Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Red Cliffs Of Dawlish
Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Referendum: Choice With No Meaning

The Seventh Seal: A game/euphemism with only one outcome

In the above film by Ingmar Bergman, The Seventh Seal (Swedish: "Det sjunde inseglet") the game of chess with the personification of death indicates an inevitability juxtaposed with the other euphemism of the title name: "The silence of god". By the end of the story "Death" asks the Knight [Spoilers]
if he has achieved his "one meaningful deed" yet? [/Spoilers]

A few weeks back when I heard that David Cameron had issued an early referendum, I felt very much like the above Knight. One of the biggest reasons is that I feel as if after waiting so long to have a true and fair referendum, David Cameron has acted with great iniquity on the correct running of such a measure of Real (direct) Democracy. He has his deal, now let there be time to think and absorb and discuss and analyse and finally decide.

The media are very good at pointing out:-
  • The Referendum is dominated by Politicians
  • The Referendum is dominated by Men
  • The Referendum is Project Fear on both sides
  • What does Out Look Like?

Unfortunately we are dealing with serial hypocrites. Unless it's mentioned in their own circles it does not exist previously:-

Lilico: Genteel Conversation is the number one priority for self-pleasuring

The media have collectively failed to hold David Cameron to account over the legitimacy of his "deal" as well as trampling over the clear recommendations of the Electoral Commission. So when they come out with the above nonsense rejoinders what the hell are they actually doing apart from indulging themselves in "Genteel Manners": Are they really communicating or not? Equally we look at Lilico above: What he is actually doing here? These so-called "experts of communication".

Again it's quite interesting that Boris Johnson suddenly wades in with There is no conspiracy. The EU is completely open about its superstate plan. An argument that needed to be asserted long, long ago, and with little direct reference to The Great Deception. 

 Plagued by empty, heroic-sounding memes

What is wrong with these people? I remember teaching and being given advice on how to write end of term school reports for subjects and students I was teaching which is similar to these: Must do better… what school reports really mean & teachers - fess up, what are your parent evening euphemisms!:-
  • “keen to share his ideas and opinions” = Chatterbox
  • “In drama, he uses his humour and imagination to create expressive body and facial movements whilst experimenting with different characters’ = Class Clown
  • “a pleasure to teach” = Doesn't cause any trouble
  • "is a natural leader” = "is a bossy little madam”
  •  "should work on his organisational skills" = "would lose his head if it wasn’t stuck on”.
  • “’Tries hard’ =  ‘not very bright, but plods on’ 
  • ‘enjoys the more active tasks’ = ‘I can’t get them to do their written work for love nor money’
  • "enthusiastic" - never shuts up
  • 'Very popular in class' - one of the in crowd who doesn't like working.
  • 'Has made good progress over the course of the year' = If you think they're bad now, think how much worse they were last year!
  • "he's very well mannered and polite" = Struggling to find anything noteworthy to report.
There probably at least two simple rules for actually achieving results that are productive and without confusing code and euphemism in conversation when the parameters are fairly clear, for example in the case above on childrens' progress in school:
  1. Argumentative in the sense of constructively critical
  2. Listening in the sense of actively absorbing before responding
 What these euphemisms do is is remove argument by obfuscation and implicit though still unclear gentility of communication. How is anyone supposed to listen to what the actual results are and hence what is the appropriate response?

Here we have an article by the FT from a number of distinguished City luminaries and their prestigious opinions on Brexit/The Referendum: FT City Network: GOOGLE: "What should the City fear most from Brexit?" and pick the top result and you can read the full article behind the paywall.
  • Sir Win Bischoff, FRC
  1. Save The Children!
  2. It's In Our DNA
  3. Cunning linguists
  • Sir Philip Hampton, GSK  
  1. Some applicable economic history context given
  2. Spiteful Rejection
  3. Uncertainty
  4. Political Context?
  • James Bardrick, Citigroup
  1. Single Market direct link
  2. Improve the Financial Sector of the Single Market
  3. Conflates the Rule-Makers of Finance Regulations with the EU and Single Market Access
  • Stephen Hester, RSA
  1. Being a member of the Club
  2. Straw Man of "better deal fallacy"
  3. Brexit as an EU-Centric limited field of vision
  • Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, Baml
  1. Access To Single Market is only possible as an EU member?
  • Helena Morrissey, Newton
  1. Uncertainty depends on HOW Brexit occurs
  2. Brexit is a Process not a shock event
  3. Reference Work Actually Read & Cited: Dr. Richard North's FLEXCIT
  4. Staged Exit Access to Single Market
  5. Regulations are made globally
  6. Clear communication to avoid market turbulence
  7. City success independent of EU membership, Global perspective
  8. No Remain status quo: Risk of political uncertainty
  • Brenda Trenowden, 30% Club
  1. Uncertainty
  2. Trade Deals with the EU?
  3. Single Market contribution
  4. Regulations and passporting
  5. Revenge
  6. Don't know what Out looks like?
  • Jean-Pierre Mustier, Tikehau
  1. City not in danger of replication in Europe
  2. Clear Vision for alternative needed to avoid collateral damage
  • Johannes Huth, KKR
  1. My experience tells me: "Brexit is self-harm"
  2. Global uncertainty means it's too risky to experiment
  3. A Leap Into The Unknown
  4. Private equity must have a "Strong UK in Europe".
  5. ... benefits of "UK being part of Europe".
  • Simon Walker, IoD
  1. British Success = "Global entrepôt"
  2. Signal of leaving will be negative
  3. Britain "turning it's back" would be negative for FDI
  4. False dichotomy: Sovereignty and border control vs growth and prosperity
  5. There will be disruption, We'll all be dead as Keynes says.
  • Sir Mike Rake, BT
  1. Benefits of membership are clear == Single Market == EU
  2. Single Market all regulations but no influence
  3. Trade Deals time required
  4. City and US both recognize the advantages
  5. Scotland would then leave
  6. Significant period of uncertainty and disruption
  7. We need EU Reform 
  • Paul Drechsler, CBI
  1. CBI members consistently call for "EU Reform"
  2. Uncertainty both ways but Cameron's deal helps
  3. Uncertainty of leaving far greater, many questions unanswered
  4. Businesses and Politicians can help inform the people
  • Michael Tory, Ondra
  1. Current opt-outs already are "best of both worlds"
  2. How can things then be so broken we'd be better outside alone?
  3. Populism is the biggest worry about Brexit causing a chain-reaction
  • Colm Kelleher, Morgan Stanley
  1. EU membership has healed the UK "sick man of Europe"
  2. Leaving would lead to serious "backlash" against the City
  3. Trade deals and China "Hopes Britain will remain a member"
  4. Change in trade deals would hurt services the major industry
  5. Migration is a boon for the City
  6. Virtuous circle would reverse on Brexit
  7. Better off staying in a Reformed EU
  • Sir Roger Carr, BAE
  1. Leap of Dark into Splendid Isolation or act of Collective Strength
  2. Challenges of staying as a constructive agent of change are well understood
  3. City would survive but as a wounded animal on Brexit
  4. Dislocate, derail and fragment our trade, economy and nation on Brexit
  5. Voice of business and City must combine to reassure people to remain.
  • Edward Bonham-Carter, Jupiter
  1. Nothing to add to either side in particular but,
  2. Positive case on both sides needs making better
  3. Dire negatives are a case of exaggeration
  4. Undecided's will likely vote as per their feeling on the economy by present government.
  5. Important for the population to engage in high quality debate standards.
  • Rhydian Lewis, RateSetter
  1. UK innovates in market lending
  2. some EUropean rules are beneficial
  3. Our lenders 70% say Remain
  • Guy Hands, Terra Firma
  1. Brexit will lead to the Break-up of the EU and war.
  2. City of London could not possibly survive in the brexit environment
  3. UK FO is the backbone of EU Foreign Policy
  4. Brexit would destroy everything made in the prosperous last 50 years.
  • Tidjane Thiam, Credit Suisse
  1. Africa counts eg China during the 90's
  2. Successful transformation of the EU will help global trade 
  3. UK cannot have more influence outside the UK than the EU it seems to me.
  • Daniel Godfrey, ex-Investment Association
  1. Fear and contingencies
  2. Europe will become less safe without UK
  3. Violence is the biggest reduction in investment
  4. Fabulous arguments for remaining have been made.
  5. Arguments for remaining other than City will resonate more with voters

Firstly, the above is far from complete. It's necessarily condensed in part draw out obvious patterns but primarily to lead to a very very specific outcome in demonstrating exactly where we are positionally in this argument, our current bearings and coordinates not according to opinion but according to the actual arguments as they are.

Some of the RED =
  • Euphemism
  • Incorrect Statement of Fact
  • Personalization
  • Ignorance
  • Lack of Definition/Conflation of meaning
  • Irrelevance
  • False dichotomy/choice
  • Propaganda Agency
  • Argument from authority
  • Incorrect Causation
  • Misapplied metaphor or model of understanding
There's a lot of different patterns here too:-
  1. People don't distinguish between what they actually know and what they do not know.
  2. Often this starts with lack of clear definition of words or the use of euphemisms with lack of careful attention to their use.
  3. This void is filled by confabulation to fit disparate bits of information that
  4. May or may not be relevant or directly linked causally to the neighbour they're currently linked to.
  5. This in tern leads to false models of understanding or because there is a lack of a model of understanding false metaphors driven by emotion/personal prejudice or other fallacies of argument structure being made.
  6. Hence many arguments are broken before they've begun (all read).
  7. Some arguments start well then fall apart and others are jumble of insights randomly cobbled together eg 3 magic reasons, 5, 7 12, 20 arbitrary top lists.
  8. Brenda Trenowden starts off showing she's actually researched the argument for herself, but with a limited knowledge ends inconclusively and therefore reverts to the risk-caution principle of her working instincts (it seems) which lead to poor ending arguments unfortunately. Here's a case of almost getting it right: I know A but I do not know B, so C depends on me knowing A and B.
  9. One argument is very positive in arguing about arguments themselves from Edward Bonham-Carter. This is helpful.
  10. There are in fact two OUTSTANDING EXEMPLARS of both the Leave actual argument and the Remain actual argument:-
 Selection Bias
  • Remain = Mike Rake. He uses all the adept experience of Pro-EU Propaganda. I have seen this so often it is obvious when it's intentionally motivated. The above video is all he's good for.
  • Leave = Helen Morrissey. She is remarkable in being the only person who cites the expertise of work already carried out in the subject in question, firstly. This gifts her the opportunity to define the question clearly which she does: "It depends HOW we Brexit". She is able to immediately frame her selection of arguments around core concepts: Process and Staged transition with zero change to our present operating conditions on economy/trade. She idenfities clarity of options to avoid speculation boosting uncertainty which is also a prerequisite of a fair vote for the public to know what they are voting on. A comparison is fairly made with alternative contexts.
 Asserting one's limits of knowledge brightens up democratic debate, ironically as well as being a good opportunity to switch to listening instead of talking

The other result from the above, is that the Business Leaders here make excellent case studies. They are able to articulate and orientate themselves around the language of economics and politics in a way that in general the lay public possibly are not very experienced or familiar with; as often demonstrated in the unstructured responses polling companies attempt to corral into their own limited vehicles - unsuccessfully. This I think makes it much sharper in working out what they are actually trying to say and hence assess the level of understanding demonstrated as well the level of ignorance or at worse in the case of Rake, deliberate and artful propaganda.

How much does euphemism replace the simple assertion: "I do not know"? And how does this then lead to "Genteel Conversation" overtaking "constructive critical argument" and hence productive communication? So much for manners being mandatory!

 Inevitable Outcomes: Not even past the Referendum Stage of the argument where the crude FUD of Uncertainty has even been removed leaving the core political argument

Finally the other interesting outcome here is that if so many of our "brightest and best", and successful if you are to measure their economic success as the best measure of success, demonstrate such low understanding of this subject and you can see the instinct to be cautious, conservative, risk-averse, avoid uncertainty, fear and doubt and bet on the devil you do know, which is merely the very first stage of Dr. RAE North's FLEXCIT: The Market Solution, then truly this Referendum has barely even begun and much of that failure falls on the Leave Campaigns: EU Referendum: no excuse:-

Leave Campaigns: An inevitable lack of meaning in these groups

In the Seventh Seal, the Knight does achieve his purpose, but it's not exactly a happy ending nor an ending with an unpredictable outcome, but an inevitable one. I think much of the good work done for the Referendum is of the same. But it is at least still a meaningful choice. Something most people will be deprived of, this Thursday 23rd June, 2016.