Four and a half years later

Interesting report this morning: a group of British musicians write to the English government in protest that the Brexit agreement presents huge obstacles to touring in Europe.

I speculated on this problem in 2016 as it was like to affect the filming of Berlin Station. At that time I wrote:

At any rate, right now according to the EU constitution, it’s going to be two years until the UK can leave the EU. Even if the UK and EU rush the process to finish before two years, as some EU officials would like, the UK is likely to drag its feet and the odds that any visa or work permit issue would prevent any EU national from working in Germany by spring of 2017 are quite low.

That turned out to be true, although not quite in the way I anticipated. It’s astounding to me that four and a half years later, they simply didn’t think of this. British entertainment is a huge export, and it’s been astounding to me that some of these people have stayed resident in the UK, given the tax situation. Even apart from the fishing fuckups, this is an outrageous failure. They had years longer than they initially had planned. They had all kinds of times to figure out these details.

Four years ago about this time, we were fuming over the Muslim travel ban in the U.S. Richard Armitage tweeted his immigration status in anger (and then deleted it — the only time I really approved of that). I hope that he’s managed to claim his US citizenship and Equity membership in the meantime so that he doesn’t get hung up on paperwork in case he wants to work on the continent. He has been severely failed by UK politicians.

Also four years ago was the week that I stormed out of the fascist cupcake shop. (Reminder that the password is in the subject line of the post.) I never went back. Most small businesses in the US fail, and apparently the cupcakes didn’t catch on, because about a month into the pandemic, it was replaced by — irony of ironies — a Mexican bakery called Alegría Mexicana. I’ve been there a few times. I hope it sticks.

~ by Servetus on January 21, 2021.

18 Responses to “Four and a half years later”

  1. As far as I know the EU offered special treadment for tpuring/working artists re visas and such.
    But the UK denied it (like the Erasmus program) and I really can’t wrap my head around this. Why harm a big group of your own citizens?
    But hey, the fish is british now and therefore happy. What more can you ask for irony off

    Liked by 2 people

    • Those fisherman were just cynically manipulated by the big people pulling the strings on this, but it’s hard to feel sorry for them at this point.

      There is this weird “we can do it better on our own” vibe that comes from the British government that is so puzzling. Why reinvent the wheel?

      But as far as screwing their own citizens — that has never seemed to be a problem for a Tory government.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Yes. A lot of people here were really sad about Brexit but are now ready to move on and say: ‘they wanted it that way, now they’ll have to deal with it.’

        And why live in some sort of never ending nostalgia for times that are long gone and were probably only half as good as it seems now?

        ….and all other right wing gobshtes all over the world *sigh

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        • It’s such a overdetermined problem, I suppose — but it would be one thing to say “we can do it better alone” and then actually invest some effort in it, and what they actually did, which was to ignore that there were going to be any hurdles at all until now they’re starting them in the face.

          It’s a luxury for me to criticize, I suppose, but if people are going to try to conjure the myth of the Blitz Spirit now, they will be very surprised at what happens.

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          • The whole Brexit is a mystery to me to be honest. I mean I thing I know why it happened and what the people who advertised it want to gain but….

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            • I imagine people were saying similar things in the 1930s.

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              • Mmmmh, not sure about that to be honest. As sad as this is, it might have made a lot more sense to vote for AH at the time than to have voted for Brexit in 2016…..or maybe that’s only my perspective from today, I really don’t know

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                • Why I said that is the people who didn’t vote for (Brexit, AH, or DJT for that matter). I don’t have a hard time understanding why it happened or what people wanted to gain from it, but I am still mystified by it on some level. In the US I totally get the disaffection with both traditional parties but i don’t think that justifies what the electorate did to us by choosing DJT last time, for instance.

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. Brexit is a complete fuck up by the right wing who wanted to avoid new tax laws relating to off shore tax avoidance
    Hence, we ended up with a known liar, incompetent, father of so many illegitimate children ( poor things) he does not know how many. Johnson is our Trump – using racist, xenophobic and lies to reduce our rights and democracy. At least you only had Trump for 4 long years. We are out of the EU for the rest of
    my lifetime. Not only was Brexit the petri dish ahead of Trump. it is run by complete incompetents ( see our outrageous covid figures) and the latest fiasco where we negotiated out EU trade deal in a rush and to control our borders, which we always could. We have rejected the EU reciprocal offer re artistes. Yes. the rich musicians actors etc will find their way round all this with help, but not the poorer ones starting out etc. So sad for the UK and its people who voted for something they did not understand and were completely conned.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I don’t disagree with any of this, but the thing is that even so, millions voted in their own disinterest to do it anyway, and that includes plenty of very poor people. Democracy is not about outcome — it’s about procedure. It was a democratic decision taken by the UK nation. So given that fact, why couldn’t they do the advance work to make it as easy as possible? That’s the puzzle.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Who would have done that work? When even the Schengen Agreement had to be explained to British politicians prior to the exit, when every school child on the continent learns the correct answer. The EU negotiators were faced with a blatant disinterest and missing understanding for the real workings of the EU. Even in his parting speach Mr. Johnson declared, Britain now can make their own laws again. That was something the EU never took away from Britain, but something that he without problems or objections could present to his country. So the real problem was, that Britain never really understood what the EU did and was and had never put much interest in the election of their EU representatives in the EU parliament. So they had nobody in their political personnel who could have acted as an expert for the topic, to anticipate what problems they would face in real life and trade with a Brexit. But also in the discussions it repeatedly became obvious, that Britain demanded things that would have broken the central ground-rules of a unified Europe and a legally secure trades area. Those points consequently were non-negotiable for the EU. But Britain just declared the EU as being unreasonable because Johnson had no understanding what he really was demanding, trying to undermine the fundamental rights-holder-protection inside the EU trades area. (As a small rights holder, that was my main point of interest in the endless discussions and my greatest fear had been that a shallow compromise would be reached in the end. But thanks to France, the blockage showed results ;o) Though the Brexit discussions are not entirely at an end yet …)

        Liked by 3 people

        • I can’t help thinking (esp after the EU-China Deal) that now the EU is emerging as the world’s regulatory superpower and the UK opted out right at that point, as if the UK market could have any influence at all on the Chinese leadership.

          Liked by 3 people

          • I am quite curious how the future will turn out and also interpret the world influences as shifting right now. Hopefully, as the Chinese year of the rat is coming to an end, where the old is eaten away, something new can emerge, hopefully something good.
            I am very glad that most of German citizens see the value and advantage of a unified Europe. And as many problems as it might internally have, I very much appreciate the peaceful rule over countries that were at war for centuries and the basic idea of solidarity between them. In an economic context, one newspaper article commented about Johnson and his British centered world view, that he should take a globe and try to find Europe (much less Britain), to recognize the foolishness of his actions ;o) [But perhaps Johnson has an old school globe, where Europe was unrealistically enhanced for learning purposes, as otherwise pupils could not find it ;o)]

            Liked by 3 people

            • This was always the argument for the EU (peaceful union of countries that had been at war for centuries) but it seems not to be as persuasive to people born after WWII. I think though that BoJo & Co are naive about the very real possibilities of that, esp. with a resurgent Russia.

              Liked by 2 people

              • I would like to see the secret communications and secret service contacts behind the scenes about the real threat and confrontations. As it is, I think money and the highest profit rules everything, not necessarily (or rather least) the highes moral standards. Last year at the time, I wrote down a sentence that jumped into my head: “If there’s no money to be made in war, there is no war.” I strongly believe that and I don’t think the fronts are as they are promoted for the voters and as far as I can make out the country blocks of the world, I have not too great hopes for the future. Wi ki l… in my opinion would be necessary and required in many more areas than it already had been successful. After all, most countries pretend to be democracies … – I always laugh about politicians complaining that the voters did not vote in a reasonable way. How should they, when they only get partial and colored information additionally filtered through politicians and well-meaning journalists, who try to educate instead of inform. I don’t fear war so much as a secret cyber war without clear frontiers, leaving only loosers behind on a grand scale, as it will annihilate the reward for hard work, so nobody will take up the effort any longer, as it is no longer worth it, as others will steal the profits anyway.

                Liked by 1 person

                • I agree money plays an important role but I don’t think it’s the only thing. There is an overlap between money and power but it’s not the whole story, nor are they completely contiguous. I’m meh on wikileaks because total transparency would prevent certain things where borders are hardened from ever getting done (peace treaties, for example). I also think people should be responsible for informing themselves. To me it’s much more a problem that people don’t consume enough journalism or get enough different perspectives, than that the journalists have particular positions.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • With the journalism and duty to inform ourselves, I don’t agree with you in a world as it is right now. I would agree with you in an ideal world, where Wiki… would not even be necessary and the information we get really would be worth that name and be truly informative and not only a partial part of the truth. German’s current problems in the political scene are a result of journalism becoming lax and trying to select and educate to (supposed) ‘political correctness’, instead of truly informing the reader / audience.
                    And also, I don’t agree with Wiki… that it would prevent Peace treaties either, as they are possible, if the problems were openly communicated. The silent negotiations behind the scene and favoritism and lobbyism are the main problems of all peace negotiations, because by an open treaty, the wrong group (meaning the general public) could profit from a deal. Peace treaties never are for peace, but to ensure the ‘right’ groups profit from a future peaceful coexistence and they need to be held in secret, to ensure the public does not know about the bribes agreed upon behind the scenes or about the criminals in powerful positions going without charge to allow the end of hostilities in the first place.
                    I think, money is power, or rather power gets to money (or influences whatever they want), so I don’t especially differentiate between those two.
                    So, for once, I don’t fully agree with you, which surprises me, as normally I do ;o)
                    Though I fully agree, that more information could have changed the outcome of the Brexit. But the problem I see there was, that to inform, one first has to know and understand oneself. I did not see that anywhere among British politicians (or newspaper articles – which only now get down to the hard facts, as they can already feel them).
                    What had been clear to me about the Brexit-results all along, as I am working together with British companies, but also other EU- and non-EU-companies, had not been clear to British politicians, as their salaries never depend on the market. (Perhaps Britain should change that for the future? That could perhaps make them more careful with the income of their population. But passively, the Pound will regulate that anyway.) Mr Johnson should have taken an economy advisor with him that was worth his salt, but strangely, politicians have the tendency to throw out people of knowledge, because their arguments are not pleasing ;o)
                    The only thing is, that I feel very sorry for all my British friends, that they have to endure all that.

                    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think I’m not going to answer this in much detail, because imo it relies on a gnostic view of politics that (a) I can’t embrace and (b) is usually not worth arguing as discussion just goes on and on and wastes time. To me, the idea that money and only money rules the world is a conspiracy theory.

    I will say two things, though: First, there are just way too many examples of current situations in the US that would counter that idea that money and power are the same thing and completely contiguous. The most powerful idea in the US right now is probably pro-life thinking, and it is both economically destructive to many of the parties who hold it and impervious to attempts to move it financially (ads, lobbying, public relations) in any direction. The notion of “dead babies” is impossible for any financial interest to move. Or, in our state, tens of millions of dollars were spent by the Democratic Party in particular to swing the election toward Biden. They did increase voter turnout overall (among all parties), but in an electorate of roughly 3.2 million vote, Biden won by the same margin Trump had won with four years earlier. Or, the QAnon idiocy which is an idea but put the US Congress at serious risk.

    Second, as I said in another post recently: I do still believe in some things. You can say all power is the same if you want, but that’s not true. China — Russia — EU — USA: the choice matters. The EU + NATO may have put itself in a place to negotiate with the Chinese but we will bitterly regret our negligence on the situation with Russia; indeed, we already should. If you’re worried about money taking over the world, though, the vision of Russian oligarchs owning the former US Preident should seriously disturb you.

    Liked by 1 person

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