Generalisations

For some reason that is not understood, Cameron et al decided that ‘plain packaging’ would reduce smoking prevalence, especially among the youth. Most readers will know that the evidence was that youth thought that colourful packaging was prettier than dull colours. I suppose that an equivalent would be that films is technicolor are prettier that black and white films. I suppose that the Gov could pass a law which dictates that any TV programme which shows a politician must be in black and white so that viewers would be put off watching such a programme. It might just work!

I remember seeing footage of WW1 action where soldiers went ‘over the top’. I was very young. I actually believed that the battlefield was grey. I took years for me to realise that the fields  were green; that the trees were green; that there were birds twittering in the trees; that there would be quietness over the land a 5 am in the morning, perhaps a mist as the sun rose. Imagine the mental state of the soldiers, knowing that the air would be filled the noise of machine guns and bullets by the thousand in a few minutes time.

It is hard to believe that civilised nations could behave in that way.

It was all based upon generalisations. Did any German hate any Frenchman sufficiently to want to kill him, and vice versa?

The modern equivalent is Brexit. People who voted, for whatever reason, to disengage from the Project of a United States of Europe did not hate Frenchmen or Germans. ‘Project Fear’ has tried to foster such hatred. If Brexit happens, the German and French people will hate Brits sufficiently to create a trade and services war. French and German people will deliberately make air traffic difficult and block medicines.

It is all lazy, generalised, imperialistic thinking. What I have seen and heard so far from reported ‘negotiations’ is that politicians want everything under the sun to be decided in one overall agreement. That is typical politics. Politicians want a grand, overall Treaty which covers everything in one go.

They cannot think otherwise because that is the way that they think of the UK. There needs to be a ‘general’ law which applies to all 40,000,000 million of voters. How can 650 MPs out of 40,000,000 people think in any other way? They cannot.

And that was how the smoking ban came about. What was the key thought? It was the idea of ‘public place’. Once MPs accepted the idea that a pub is ‘a public place’, then the smoking ban became inevitable. The idea that a pub is ‘a public place’ is a vast generalisation. Private clubs also became ‘public places’, regardless of whether the ‘members’ as a group owned the premises and could exclude non-members. Your home also becomes a ‘public place’ if a workman enters it.

Brexit is a mess because politicians, on all sides, did not see that there is no easy solution to decades of treaties. ALL are abrogated. There is no such thing as ‘legally binding’. Our sovereign parliament can ‘unbind’ us any time it decides.

Many bloggers have asked, again and again, why the UK should not unilaterally declare that there will be no hard boarder between South Ireland and the North. It is then up to the EU and South Ireland to impose such a hard boarder. The South Irish do not want it, so it would be up to the EU to impose it. You and whose army?

Words, words, words.

And yet, I believe that, had the negotiations been conducted over the last three years in good faith, there would not now be a cliff hanger.

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