Saturday, 24 December 2016

The turning points of 2016 were the two key moments of 2016?

The two pivotal events that possibly tipped the balance one way or another. 
There were an awful number of events in 2016. It is going to be a historical year.

In the UK the key events that occupied the media and politicians, and so also the public, were;

The mass resignations of Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet. If events had gone just a little differently it is possible that the labour party might have split into factions.

The Independent became another casualty of the shrinking newspaper market. Much media talk of how could one their favourite papers could be so unpopular. The Indy was such a favourite that it continues to be treated as a serous print paper, even though it isn't. At the time it was speculated that whole groups of newspapers would follow and go online only. 

Terrorism was rampant. Bombs at Brussels airport.The Nice truck attack. German Christmas market. A host of failed plots. Any one of the weekly 'a number of people have been arrested in Bradford after the security services raided three properties..' could have been instead a tale of death and destruction in one of our city centres.

Brexit: It could, and, by all the predictions, should, have gone for Remain. But it didn't. 
Was it the bus? Was it the Gove / Johnson defections? The poor deal from the EU? The alleged Queen backs Brexit headline? The government's ever growing hysteria. Jo Cox's death? Did this event have any impact on the campaign as it was predicted to do?

The Trump election. What was the key moment in a long line of moments? The Emails? The FBI's unhelpful reopening of a closed case. The Pussygate scandal? Beyonce's intervention?

The Prime Minister's resignation{from his mad decision to become leader for Remain, against all the advice, including our own here}. And the following backstabbing of all candidates until only one woman was left standing?

The UKIP meltdown following the resignation of Nigel Farage? The lost opportunity to take on Labour in the power vacuum following the Brexit euphoria in northern seats coinciding with a pro-EU labour fighting its own anti-EU leader?

For me, the two moments that I thought showed something was up. The moment when it looked like the expected outcomes might not be as straightforward as it all seemed were these.

The Sun, staunch conservative paper, showed that they weren't going to be backing the government on Remain. The Daily Mail was also very critical. The two biggest papers were going to be leavers.

Why this was pivotal, was at the time, the government and the PM thought they had done pretty well with their EU deal. They had campaigned hard and had won a number of concessions from all the EU leaders. The whole referendum campaign for Remain was built upon selling the deal that the EU could best be reformed from within. Cameron's team have all written at how surprised they were that the press was so very hostile to the hard won deal they had obtained on future in work benefits and in the future the slowing of child benefit being sent abroad. shows just how unprepared they were for the reforms that people expected and what could actually be delivered. The response to their great deal of "is that it?" forced Remain to ditch EU reform and fall back almost solely on, 'Don't risk it..leap in the dark..' 

 This one I wrote about on here as it occurred. Hillary said she wouldn't want people like Trump to be President and he said "Because you'd be in jail.'

The media at the time generally reported this as another reason why Trump shouldn't be President. He was not only an idiot. He was darned rude too!
At this debate Clinton was far the better performer. Far more assured. Far more in control throughout. But it also highlighted that she had absolubtely no credible response to why she had had, and then deleted, all those emails. It was so glaring that even though she still looked like a comfortable winner, it was clear she was extremely vulnerable on the issue of honesty and trust.
Within weeks, to the horror of the MSM, the 'lock her up' chanting began. . She never did resolve the email issue and in the final weeks it came back and bit her hard enough to knock her out.

Those are my two for 2016.

As you digest all the turkey and mince pies, tell us yours.


Electro-Kevin said...

The turning point of the year (which inspired Trump) was the morning after referendum day itself. Until then I think we were all pretty sure that Remain had won it. I think that the Leave majority would have been even more convincing had Project Fear not been so awesome. I knew very few people who *wanted* Remain but put that down to my limited circles.

People were terrified into voting Remain. (There is still a lot to fear.)

Yes. The tabloids did their bit but they don't account for anywhere near 17 million voters. I think bullying us is what lost it for Remain.

So. The turning point leading up to the turning point ? A toss up between Obama's clunking intervention and the live debates and when screechy Remainers attacked Boris on stage whilst Stuart and Leadsome picked apart their defences calmly and quietly.

Maybe Eddie Izzard making an idiot of himself too.

(Sorry for my deletions)

BE said...

I agree with EK, it woz Izzard wot wunnit.

Conversely, EK, I know very few people who aren't fuming about the Leave vote. I had an argument with my brother last night about this. I was making the point that the media coverage is all about the potential downsides and nothing of the potential upsides, and he got very agitated.

I think if we had a re-run, Leave would win by a bigger margin....

As for turning points, no idea. I don't think 2016 has been nearly as controversial as everyone seems to think.

Nick Drew said...

I suspect history will be looking more at 2016 'world events': here's a couple

- Russia/Turkey raprochement (after the shooting-down incident of 2015)
- Trump kicking the Taiwan hornets nest

BE said...

ND, perhaps Europe will start to impact "world events" when the EU actually finally falls apart, and maybe the history books will credit the UK's referendum as a nice easily-identifiable start of that process. So maybe 2016 will be turning point on that particular issue. If that makes sense.

I had some other important and erudite point to add, but I have forgotten it now.

Bill Quango MP said...

ND: Agree there. I did originally have the John Kerry decision to ask russia for help. Lets get Russia in to do what we aren't prepared to.And then being appaled at the liar states blatant disregard for anything.
And Russia grabbing the opportunity with both hands. Filling its pockets whilst all the while saying 'what? who? me? I'm not doing anything...its the other guy..'

The rise of Russia, and its continuing decisions that will properly restart the Cold War.

I just found out that Michael Gove is an avid wargamer. And that he favours the 1970s excellent Avalon Hill game KINGMAKER.Wars of the Roses. And the card game/strategy game Game of Thrones. And he plays with a group of historian/wargame MPs at Westminster.

These guys may need tobe asked by the 2010 intakers who seem not to have any history at all.

{I was informed that they also played FASA Games Star Fleet Battles from the 1980s.
This is basically Star trek tabletop spaceship combat. And its been going for 35 years and has a complex lore as defined and as layered as Star Wars.

The Klingons are the bad guys. And the Klingons, with their hardware choices, command choices, doctrines etc are very obviously the Russians.

{The USA/Nato is Starfleet- Which is Spock and Kirk and the United Federation of planets.}

Electro-Kevin said...

Russia, Turkey, Taiwan...

Nah. Eddie Izzard.

dearieme said...

Two turning points.

Carols from King's this evening. If what is meant to be happiness music is to be reduced to such turgid, dismal, spiritless dirges, the Church of England deserves to die out. Bah!

The apotheosis of St Nigel of Farage: it brought joy to my heart and a song to my soul. I laughed and laughed. The cheerful, beer-quaffing bigmouth beat the political armies that fight on behalf of earnest nastiness and stupidity, and triumphed. Bloody funny.

James Higham said...

Good summary. Merry Christmas to you, Bill, and to all at C@W.

mike fowle said...

There was no turning point for me as I've wanted a referendum since Maastricht. I suspect there are many others who had made their minds up before the campaign. The undecided may well have been swayed by their friends and colleagues. That the Remain side had no positive message I am sure counted for a lot. Incidentally, it is sad about The Independent. I can well remember its beginning (and Nicholas Garland the cartoonist wrote an excellent account from his perspective - Not Many Dead.) It had one of the best advertising campaigns for a newspaper: The Independent. It is. Are You? But it became a Guardian clone and deserved to fail.

Blue Eyes said...

Yes, about as Independent as Alan Bennett.

Electro-Kevin said...

Spoke too soon. Turning points of 2016... George Michael/Rick Parfitt. Didn't see those coming !

Anonymous said...

I suspect history will look upon the Russian intervention in the US election with some interest. There's always been meddling by all countries via funding and the like, but it being so blatant, and the tolerance for it by the Republicans and Trumps followers, is unprecedented.

It's been very odd seeing people who'd have cheerfully hung Soviet-funded lefties in the 70's and 80's aggressively defending the exact same activities by their own pet politicians. Treason is the new black I suppose.

For the next 4 years Russia will have a freer hand in Europe whilst Trump and China engage a game where face-saving is more important than results, which will be one hell of an ill wind for the West.

2017 will see some shifts in geopolitics unforeseen 12 months ago, and exactly what the consequences will be I don't think anyone can guess. The EU isn't exactly good at adapting to change, and whilst a Russian resurgence ought to be good for Brexit negotiations (e.g. cutting the shit out as there are bigger fish), I can actually see the EU being so hellbent on punishing the UK they'll be blind to Russian pressure in the east. I can easily see the Ukraine going the way of the Balkans, and a bewildered EU flapping about it and the US having zero interest in intervening.

So yes, I'm going with that as the major turning point of 2016, it was the point where a declining Bear scored a major victory. Whether it'll reinvigorate the Bear in the long term is another question.

Secondly, I'll go with the US finally losing patience with Israel. I'm pro-Israel, but their settlement building activities are giving the Palestinians just cause. One side needs to collar the moral high ground at least, but both seem to prefer to play warring siblings who'd rather do the other down than raise themselves up. It's an other idiotic EU type mentality, and it's toxic to both sides futures.

Trump has promised changes, but we'll see. In another 'new', mercurial is the new flip-flopping.

Bill Quango MP said...

Anon : Agree with both of those really.

The EU has itself in a mess over Ukraine. It would really like to an Iraq. Agree some settlement with everyone, then piss off as fast as possible, and then when the Russians take over the whole country just say "it weren't us. We tried our best.."

Anonymous said...

The time for settlement has long gone sadly, I've suggested previously that a negotiated transfer of the Crimea from Ukraine to Russia, before Russia annexed, it would have been the smartest move. However there is no small amount of resentment towards Russia from many Ukrainians, and the prospect had one person up in flames. They didn't seem to quite grasp that giving away something you were going to lose anyway wasn't appeasement, but knowing when to fold so you keep as many chips as possible for a future foray.

As it stands I fear somewhat for Ukraine's future.

MyXmasName said...

This will prove to be the turning point of 2016 and, if the public catch on, will be the spark that sets the inevitable tinder box of 2017 alight.
The ECB have lowered DBs capital ration in order that bonus payments can be made to bankers. If ever there was a justification for Brexit and the implosion of Europe, this is it.

ECB sets Deutsche Bank CET 1 capital ratio requirement of 9.51 pct

Dec 27 The European Central Bank (ECB) lowered the minimum capital requirements for Deutsche Bank AG on Tuesday, giving the lender more leeway to structure bonus payments and dividends.

Deutsche Bank said the ECB requires it to maintain a phase-in common equity tier 1 (CET 1) ratio of at least 9.51 percent on a consolidated basis, starting January 2017.

This is below Deutsche Bank's current requirement of 10.76 percent, a threshold the bank cannot fall below this year without having to limit dividends, variable remuneration and coupon payments to holders of Additional Tier 1 instruments, the bank said.

The drop in requirements for 2017 comes after a change in the rules. The ECB now expresses parts of its capital demands as voluntary guidance.

The ECB demanded that, on average, banks hold Core Equity Tier 1 capital, a key measure of their own funds, equal to 8.3 percent of their risky assets if they are to pay out to staff and investors. Once capital guidance is factored in, the ECB's demands were stable year on year at 10.1 percent. (Reporting by Edward Taylor and Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

Nick Drew said...

an excellent call, MXN - quite enough to wake us all up from our post-prandial reveries

if we're putting down markers of this kind I will enter EDF to the lists, where it will founder

... based on the time-bombs that were identified by audible ticking in 2016, next year could be the one when EDF (+ La France as a whole) is forced to recognise that it cannot meet its monstrous decommissioning liabilities

it's been a long time coming (first noted on C@W a decade ago!)

andrew said...

On the subject of ticking time bombs

a) the Nork diplomat who predicted the Norks will have a nuke STOCKPILE (!) by end 17.

b) south china sea and the chinese

In Europe millions have died over the last 103 years so that we can argue bitterly over nothing that important really and I am endlessly grateful to them.
(reading keynes / hayek by wapshott).

Anonymous said...

Anon - "the Russian intervention in the US election" - you mean this sort of thing?,16641,19960715,00.html

"July 15, 1996 - Yanks To The Rescue - the secret story of how US advisers helped Yeltsin win".

I haven't seen evidence of any Russian involvement, but I've seen evidence the Hillary campaign chief and his IT staff were taken in by a phishing mail of the sort millions get. Pretty damn careless. (Although tbf if I were a Russian hacker I'd plant such a mail in the leaked cache for plausible deniability. The Podesta IT guy has confirmed checking it, however).

Btw, wasn't Merkel's Millions a Brexit factor? For all the BBC pictures of big-eyed children, anyone could see these were overwhelmingly young military age men, and mostly non-Syrian.

Anonymous said...

And Merkel's Milllions were immediately followed by Bataclan, Brussels etc