Laurie Penny blazes: Brexit is just the latest alibi for austerity

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Good luck with your Fascist Gov. UK, we have our own to grapple with.


It’s all about the debts.

In the UK 30% of taxes goes on pay the state’s debts. Plural. Pensions borrowing, PFI, cleaning up nuclear powerstations, losses on insurance, … all debts. All bar 1 hidden off the books.

The increase in those debts means its getting far worse.

So there are two types of austerity. Personal austerity because your taxes have been ramped up and you take home less. State austerity, where state spending gets cut.

Now look at Penny. She only cares about state austerity. That the plebs are poorer doesn’t come into it.

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The pro-Brexit voters essentially traded back their newer EU overlords for their older and more local plutocratic ones, being sold on the bogus idea that the former were more tyrannical and more austerity-crazy than the latter. It’s the kind of voting decision that emerges out of short-term thinking and basic ignorance* – the kind that right-wing populists always exploit.

While Penny is correct that everyone except the 1% loses here, I feel particular sorrow for the young people of the UK whose interests were sold out in this referendum thanks to a campaign based on unwarranted fear, false nostalgia and xenophobia and bigotry. I hope Sturgeon and the SNP will find fortuitous timing for their next Leave referendum so that Scottish youth are spared the worst results of all this Little Englander idiocy.

[* e.g. not understanding how progressive taxation works in the context of a social democracy or equating the function of state debt with that of individual consumer debt]


Didn’t know V For Vendetta was a glimpse into the future.

This seems familiar…where have I seen this happen before? Hmmm


Future, past, it’s always the same:

How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to…

[insert right-wing populist party or politician here]



I assume this still has relevance.


I don’t think Cameron looks in good enough form to actually slink.

There is a reason the dystopia zeitgeist has ruled speculative fiction for the past few decades…

Everything is going to be okay…


This Brexit thing is a gift that doesn’t stop giving.

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Sometimes you have two choices and both are bad. Brexit is a neoliberal plot and will serve to impoverish the people further, strip them of their rights, and usher them deeper into our inevitable Grim Meathook Future. The EU, on the other hand, is a neoliberal plot and will serve to impoverish the people further, strip them of their rights, and usher them deeper into our inevitable Grim Meathook Future.

See, the problem is that in a system of capitalism as well-developed as this, you are playing Find the Lady with the banksters and the politicians and if they let you choose none of the cards on the table is the Lady.


“Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

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“And, you know, there is no such thing as social malaise. There are individual criminals, and there are degenerate underclasses.”

(With no apologies to Thatcher; both because she doesn’t deserve them and because of the risk that she’d agree.)

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The first time I saw that, the projector broke down the instant that Ed Norton shot himself; image of the jammed film shrivelling in the heat etc.

Given the assorted film-trickery weirdness up to then (Brad’s subliminal bits and so on), everyone just assumed that the abrupt burn-cut was deliberate, and that was the intended ending of the film. It fit.

They got the projector working before everyone left, so I got to see the rest of it, but I’m still undecided as to which version of the final scene was actually better.


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