Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Red Cliffs Of Dawlish
Red Cliffs Of Dawlish

Monday, 6 February 2017

ABC Learning: The Politics of Brexit

Weblink To The Above Source of Information from Ivan Rogers:-

Subject: EU-UK relations in preparation for Brexit: Witnesses: Sir Ivan Rogers KCMG, former Permanent Representative of the UK to the European Union

This is a short blog.

The purpose of this blog is a task completion: "Find the most relevant political information from the preceding week on the subject of Brexit which provides the most helpful overview to people who are interested in understanding the politics of Brexit at the present moment in time."

Assumption: To provide a source of information which is helpful to the above task completion to people who still consider themselves as learning more about this subject but suspect that most sources of information are either inadequate or error prone to the extent of ostensibly appearing to be sources of information but in fact are some form of social activity for example propaganda being one category amongst many.


  • Learning involves the skill of filtering relevant information from irrelevant and erroneous information to increase focus and reduce distraction.
  • Learning involves increasing the "stamina" of the above activity in progress to be able to deal with lots of new information which may often be unfamiliar in form and structure and content.
  • Learning increases in effectiveness when the ability to spot errors in the above filtering is developed further: This provides sources of questions.
  • Often learning only starts with finding the sources that fit the first criteria most reliably. For example in the case of Brexit.
  • Efficiency of learning develops when automation of the above as a process is created or stored: To speed up the actual focusing on the actual relevant information.
  • From this each individual will develop their own particular skills to understand the information.
  • A framework of conception of the subject starts to develop.
  • A lot of repetition and study is required for the full learning process.
The above is a rough account of my own learning about the politics of Brexit, so it's far from a formal set of principles but perhaps a few helpful pointers for others interested in how people might learn more more effectively here.
Some of the problems, learners will have to contend with in the above talk with Ivan Rogers:-

  1. The questioners in the committee appear to me to not have a conceptual framework: Namely the people asking questions appear not be fully functional learners of the subject they think they have the competence to pose questions about (see the 3rd point about learning). I believe this as I find their questions hard to establish a connection with what Ivan Rogers is saying (who himself does skillfully manage to make connections from the obscure questioning) as I cannot easily work out their context in relation to the subject. Compared to this, I find I easily do understand the multiple dimensions of context Sir Ivan Rogers involves in his answers.
  2. For people totally used to the news-media format, the above will test their stamina of understanding probably exactingly. The density of information will be challenging to parse, to pattern, to arrange in mental conceptions in relation to further contexts, it will remain a very dense lump of heavy substance to use a word picture and effect of exhaustion on comprehension.
  3. The more familiar with the actual subject the more usefully one can filter out the "hackneyed" redundancies in language ie phrases and such like that are empty of information value and reflect much more the struggle of the people attempting to communicate ideas with each other; often through mixed and confused motivations; around a subject they don't have a strong grasp of (instead of through it).
  4. The motivations of people mix the real ABC's of this learning exercise. Let's use some examples in the talk: On one side you have Kinnock making value-laden conclusions about the risks of Brexit not "being worth it" and on the other side you have Bill Cash acting as the high priest of "the people have spoken and will not be deterred from their absolute right to sovereignty" as based upon the Referendum result. Before stating what "ABC" means, which should be familiar to everyone in a different form, to investigate not the A as here, but the C as per this week's
In the EU Referendum Campaign there were two notoriously full of BS flags held aloft by each side the Remain and Leave official campaigns:-

  • "£350m to spend on the NHS saved from wasting/thieving on the EU."
  • "The demons of FUD will get you! if the UK leaves the EU."
If we all assume most of the time that all of the adults voting in politics are mostly rational, why do we allow such BS to to be the flags around which each group rallies around and fights these political battles?

To communicate to millions of people, in films there's a device known as "Anvilicious"; helpfully provided from TVTROPES (everyone should be so familiar with by now):-

"A portmanteau of anvil and delicious (or possibly vicious), anvilicious describes a writer's and/or director's use of an artistic element, be it line of dialogue, visual motif, or plot point, to so obviously or unsubtly convey a particular message that they may as well etch it onto an anvil and drop it on your head. Frequently, the element becomes anvilicious through unnecessary repetition, but true masters can achieve anviliciousness with a single stroke.
Heavy-handed for the new millennium. Extreme polar opposite of subtle.

Most people as Dominic Cummings rightly points out in his long blog post on the subject make value-laden decisions, often resorting to their tribal chieftan or other (anthropolitically-the-same-thing) "belief leaders" (be they politicians or celebrities)."

Most people don't learn, they believe instead. And that means believing what your mother-surogate or dominant-group-father-figure tells you is good for you. It may or it may not be but if you don't know, you rely on those who you often fall back on to rely on, trusting they're looking after you as "one of their own" and visa versa.

As it stands at the present, this is the past description of domination of the argument as value-laden "so-called democracy". The present "negotiations" or phony war as Sir Ivan Rogers calls it, can be characterized by another heavy object: Anchoring:-

Anchoring or focalism is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the "anchor") when making decisions. During decision making, anchoring occurs when individuals use an initial piece of information to make subsequent judgements. Once an anchor is set, other judgements are made by adjusting away from that anchor, and there is a bias toward interpreting other information around the anchor. For example, the initial price offered for a used car sets the standard for the rest of the negotiations, so that prices lower than the initial price seem more reasonable even if they are still higher than s what the car is really worth

Cash and Kinnock hold arguments that only fall into the above behaviour in evidence, by the way. Hence so much of the talking of Brexit is at this Behavioural level only stems from dictating each groups' own particular brand of gospel ie coded language singing  to the belief systems of large groups (hence why each side cannot fathom the other's strange and WRONG! tribal customs and beliefs), leading to very little explanation - merely consternation at bizarre behaviour of people interacting with each other that seems to so obsess so many people unproductively (another example the incessant obsession in the news-media with anything related to Trump; amusingly Robert Harris in the Evening Standard suffars from this without seeming to have seen it in Blair or Mandelson during their particular political hay-day). We have moved on from the A at the start considering people's value-laden basis A For Attitude to decision-making roots, to the behavioural descriptions operating, the B For Behaviour. Lastly the C:

As above EUReferendum has been providing these:-


Brexit: the Digital Single Market02/02/2017
Brexit: horsing around01/02/2017
Brexit: prepare to meat thy doom31/01/2017
Brexit: medicines for all30/01/2017
Brexit: taking to the air29/01/2017
Brexit: high stakes on REACH28/01/2017

Brexit: fishing for policies26/01/2017

Brexit: of customs, chickens and roosts24/01/2017

I've removed the other blog posts which point out the aberrant behaviour level and left the Cognitive areas that are supremely useful if we can avoid distractions and not be beguiled by our more innate habitual biases...

These to use a picture are the SECTORS of our economy and society and state and the mix between all these - where for people we have strange organic patterns as of a surreal dream, for this we have some more neat and tidy engineering systems little circuits buzzing like so much plumbing, for illustration purposes and visual representation only (not accurate due to time requirements):-

Each slice is a "SECTOR" and within each "sector" there is numerous legislation for repatriation, and from that each "bit" of legislation has sub-divisions that need analysis. Not only that but each "bit" itself links to other "bits". For example:-

Brexit: fishing for policies

Obviously, with some regulations, there will be no problems. For example, we have Commission Regulation (EU) No 1129/2011, "amending Annex II to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council by establishing a Union list of food additives". This is a straightforward technical regulation and as long as we keep it in force, our trade with the EU will not be interrupted by virtue of disparities in rules on food additives.

On the other hand, there are the more complex laws that cover policy issues related to economic activity, and include the regulation and coordination of the actions of Member States and the Commission – plus other EU bodies. These might be considerably harder to integrate into UK law without, at the very least, substantial amendment. 

One such example might be Regulation 1380/2013
 which sets out the current parameters for the Common Fisheries Policy. If Ministers think they can simply re-enact this at a UK level, they may be rather disappointed.

 Brexit: medicines for all

The crucial point about medicines for human use is that their manufacturing, distribution and sale is currently an EU competence, and heavily regulated by a considerable number of legal instruments, many of great length and complexity. 

Even with the best will in the world, full separation from the EU, and restoration of independent control over medicines is not going to be easy, although there are elements that could make returning UK control easier than in some other sectors. 

In this short piece, though – continuing a theme introduced in several earlier posts – we look at the post-Brexit supply of medicines in the context of the UK Brexit strategy which is largely reliant in the short- to medium-term on the Great Repeal Bill, repatriating EU law and applying it as UK law. 

The idea generally is that we can simply pluck EU law out of its context and re-apply it with a UK label but, as we saw with fishing and other sectors, this may not be as straightforward as is imagined. 

This is just a sample of the productive level of learning and understanding once the barriers below this level have been removed, which are so innate:-

Ape tantrums: Chimps and bonobos emotional about choice

And perception of fairness on those Brexit negotiations:-

That all said, for people, the layer below behaviour which animals exhibit is based on our formation of our values and hence our attitude which informs are basic behaviour - BEFORE - we even begin the more challenging task of learning and growing our knowledge through more cognitive means. Eg as per Dr. North at considering the legislation as one form of measurement of scope for action in a very complex and very large operation in scale (time and space).

But even the above animals exhibit some basics here eg Fairness. I think the more people can learn about the subject, the more they will be persuaded to think in terms of fairness as being the most practical method of how to work Brexit successfully, be that for London, Scotland, Ireland, any of the European countries, whichever of the plus 30 sectors which are integrated into the Single Market and so on.

I looked at the usual offerings: The newspapers, the tv and the sheer quantity of this material which mixes up the ABC's of Brexit constantly only reinforces the idea that for people politics is some sort of specialist activity for experts, when so much of it is based at such low levels of behaviour masquerading as intelligent and rational decision-making. To begin learning it, separate these layers and focus on the Cognitive sources and raise the value and input of the national conversation on our politics.

Even Sir Ivan Rogers, who knows a lot about the EU and Brexit makes an error in saying that the EU was more of a market and now is more of a political thing. Yes it's true in one sense, but he fails to point out the origins of the EU idea were always of a Supranational Institution and this purpose seeking an audience to subdue instead of serve by means of gaining power in Europe. See Christopher Booker and Richard North's The Great Deception history. As Dr. North points out: Curiously those who supported this narrative now attack the narrative of FLEXCIT, their values at odds with their cognitive understanding dictating their monkey like reactions (see above).

What next? D For Deadlock?