May 30, 2017

"Saying you’re going to be a bloody difficult woman right at the start of the negotiations..."

"... tends to make sure you do get a bad deal rather than working with partners across Europe. Theresa May has made us look like ogres across Europe. We’re a laughing stock."

"Saying you’re going to be a bloody difficult woman" — It sounds like the sort of thing feminists in America would celebrate. It's a giant step — an ogre step — beyond "She persisted." I mean, I know that sort of thing doesn't work when the woman is on the conservative side, but it's funny to think about how these insults can be flipped and how they would be flipped if a conservative were criticizing a liberal.

In other Theresa May news, the Telegraph has an entire article about how you can tell a man in the audience listening to Theresa May speak is mouthing the word "bollocks." If May were liberal, it would be possible to denounce the man as a despicable sexist.

80 comments:

rehajm said...

It's impossible he said 'bollocks' since he was reacting to May's comment We are ensuring we are putting more money into the NHS for the future as well as for what's happening at the moment. Everyone knows Britain is already healthcare Nirvana...well, at least every American leftie knows.

Glen Filthie said...

The purpose of a negotiation is to arrive at a good deal for everyone. Unless you're a liberal moron, you want to negotiate from a position of strength. The guy (or gal) that can afford to walk away from the negotiation has the upper hand. This is why such negotiators should not involve the media other than as useful fools if strategies and tactics permit.

As far as being accused of sexism by some liberal media slob ... Who cares what they think?

MikeR said...

"... tends to make sure you do get a bad deal" Does this person know anything at all about negotiation?
Anyhow, the EU is known for pretending to negotiate and actually just sitting on their position; they may be just fine with agreeing on nothing as long as they can say it's May's fault. I don't think it's a bad idea for May to walk in from the first saying, "I am expecting you to refuse to negotiate in good faith, that's what you've done so far. I am going to make sure that the public knows that from the first, and I will tell them all about it. There will be plenty of countries in the EU who will be unhappy with what you are doing."

Hagar said...

Britain is not the U.S., and Theresa May does sound like what she is saying is that the Conservatives can do a lot better job of managing a soscialist society than Labour - which is not such a high bar.

clint said...

Sounds like something Margaret Thatcher would have said.

Big Mike said...

Margaret Thatcher didn't have to say it.

Darrell said...

Lefties always thinlk the NHS is horribly underfunded--that's why the 'bollocks' comment to May. Heck they don't even have universal anal bleaching yet.

stlcdr said...

I'm reminded of the scene in The Fifth Element when Bruce Willis' character goes in to negotiate...

traditionalguy said...

Did the anti-brexit guy just say blood was coming out of her wherever?

Angel-Dyne said...

Whether May is a good negotiator I do not know, but denouncing other Brits for looking after their own interests and not kowtowing to the holy EU, and fretting like high-school girls about being laughed at by foreigners, is pretty standard issue Guardian bollocks.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Tuffnell said...

Should use a reset button with the wrong word or open with "don't call my bluff" to gain media accolades for brilliance at the start of negotiations. It's almost like the reporters are leftists who picked sides long ago, but we know that's not true because they are dispassionate professionals.

Fen said...

Britain should bypass the EU and negotiate with the Muslim leadership
Because the EU is a walking dead man. The people laughing at Britain won't be alive much longer

Fen said...

Oh this is the Guardian? Someone body slam them again please. Twats.

Sebastian said...

"it's funny to think about how these insults can be flipped" It would be funny if it weren't so boringly predictable. And of course, as implied in the post, progs would flip at the flipping.

Paddy O said...

“She says no deal is better than a bad deal, but no deal is a bad deal,” the shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner

You missed your chance for your "Better than nothing is a high standard."

Also, I'd like to petition to retire the phrase "laughing stock." It's one of those hyperbolic overused statements that doesn't mean anything other than "political opponents still disagree."

Besides being hyperbolic, it's an expression of an argument appealing to social conformity. A sort of opposite of the appeal to popularity. A logical fallacy and an ineffective one.

Rick said...

This is a page out of the Trump playbook. Everything's an "embarrassment" because the elites consider anyone not left an embarrassment regardless of what is actually happening.

Comanche Voter said...

Well Dame Maggie didn't have to say it, because she had a track record of handbagging those who got in the way. Get hit with a purse often enough, and you learn that when she reaches toward the handle, you tug your forelock and say, Yes Maam. Margaret Thatcher was just the dose of salts needed to get Britain moving again in the 1980s--bless her heart.

Theresa May might get there--if she persisted. And I think she will.

Rick said...

Glen Filthie said...
The purpose of a negotiation is to arrive at a good deal for everyone. Unless you're a liberal moron, you want to negotiate from a position of strength.


You present this as if the critics are acting against their interests and thus must be stupid but this demonstrates your lack of imagination. Their interests and actions are completely reconciled by understanding the British left isn't looking for a good deal for Britain. Their allegiance is to leftism rather their nation. They see national loyalty as provincial, dangerous, and low class.

rhhardin said...

She's having her period and so is difficult.

I put it down to bad scheduling.

rhhardin said...

Summits get more difficult to schedule as you get more women leaders.

Kevin said...

Their interests and actions are completely reconciled by understanding the British left isn't looking for a good deal for Britain.

Exactly. They want a bad deal so they can use it to force another vote to remain.

tcrosse said...

May's Labour opponent, Jeremy Corbyn, is the very model of a 1970's Leftie, and as such is an object of fun. The Labour Manifesto calls for a return to the Golden Age of Pre-Thatcher Britain. The betting odds are 8 to 1 against.

MadisonMan said...

Wait -- so a Liberal politician in the UK is criticizing the Conservative PM?

Wow! Breaking News! Thanks Guardian! What a surprise!!

Darrell said...

The difference between Thatcher and the Labour Party was like that of the Earth to the Sun. The difference between may and today's Labour Party is like the Earth to the Moon. In twenty years it will be a yardstick, if that.

Ann Althouse said...

"“She says no deal is better than a bad deal, but no deal is a bad deal,” the shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner' You missed your chance for your "Better than nothing is a high standard.""

Ha ha. Yeah. Funnily, Meade and I were just having a long conversation about the "better than nothing" idea, and I saw so much substance in it that I want to write a book about it. I've at least written the absence of a book about it.

"Also, I'd like to petition to retire the phrase "laughing stock." It's one of those hyperbolic overused statements that doesn't mean anything other than "political opponents still disagree.""

What's the "stock" in "laughing stock"? I'm going to look that up. I picture stockyards. Probably the wrong image.

Also, re no deal is a bad deal: Contradicts the standard Trump dealmaking wisdom that you've got to be willing to walk away. You've got to put value on the nothing, or you'll get stuck with a negative.

mockturtle said...

Darrell, much like our own 'two party' system.

mockturtle said...

Althouse, you are veering dangerously off-topic. ;-)

George Grady said...

I assume that "laughing stock" is related to this.

Ann Althouse said...

According to the OED, the "stock" in "laughing stock" is "A tree-trunk deprived of its branches; the lower part of a tree-trunk left standing, a stump." What's so funny about that? I guess a person is perceived as the equivalent of a branchless lower part of a tree left standing, and a person so stupidly looking and bereft of what it takes to flourish should be laughed at.

The expression "laughing stock" was in the language as early as 1518:

?1518 A. Barclay tr. D. Mancinus Myrrour Good Maners sig. Aiv, Thynge nat lesse vyler, is to be ignorant Of maners vncomly: ageynst all honeste As fable or laughyng stocke, of lewdest commonte.

Whatever that means! It's vile to make lewd comments?

SGT Ted said...

Why are lefties afraid of strong women?

Ann Althouse said...

"Stock" is a word with an amazing number of meanings, but the beginning of it all (the stock!) is that tree trunk.

I found this in the many definitions of "stock":

"In imitation of compounds like leaning-stock n. at leaning n. Compounds 2, whipping-stock n. at whipping n. Compounds 1b, where the n. has the sense A. 1b or A. 5, there have been formed many combinations of stock with a preceding vbl. n., which designate a person as the habitual object of some kind of contemptuous or unpleasant treatment. (There is probably in these formations some notion of sense A. 1c, the implication being that the person is treated as if incapable of feeling.) Examples, which appear in this Dictionary as main words or under their first element, are floating-, gauring, gazing-, jesting-, laughing-, mocking-, pointing-, sporting-, talking-, torturing-stock; the following quots. contain one or two nonce-words that have not been registered in their alphabetical place."

Ann Althouse said...

Here are the quotes:

1548 Hall's Vnion: Henry VIII f. cclxiv, Not to dispute and make scripture, a railyng and tauntyng stocke, against Priestes and Preachers.
1580 J. Lyly Euphues & his Eng. (new ed.) f. 114v, Then shall you be like stars to the wise, who now are but staring stocks to the foolish.
1631 B. Jonson New Inne i. vi. 154 Therefore [she] might indifferently be made The courting-stock, for all to practise on.

Drago said...

Althouse: "You've got to put value on the nothing, or you'll get stuck with a negative."

It's not "nothing" that you put value on, its the status quo.

George Grady said...

Ann, that's just the OED's definition 1. Look down at definition 3 or 8 of the same word.

Paco Wové said...

"It's vile to make lewd comments?"

"Vile" as in common, uncouth, vulgar; e.g.,

For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;

AReasonableMan said...

Britain is going to get a 'bad' deal not because of anything May says but because Britain has a weak negotiating position. They have nothing the EU needs and the EU can easily take a significant fraction of their most valuable asset, their financial services, simply by blocking access to the EU market. The financial service industry can easily move to the continent, even if it is in Frankfurt. Those guys can afford to buy a villa in the south of France.

mockturtle said...

ARM, I would bet on Britain over the EU any time. Their mettle will show itself long after the demise of France and Germany.

mockturtle said...

Headlines: The Telegraph Jeremy Corbyn scrambles for iPad as he fluffs policy figures in interview before angering Mumsnet users in disastrous day of campaigning

The Irish Times British election: Theresa May struggles during TV interview
British prime minister faces heckles from audience as Corbyn exceeds expectations

tcrosse said...

The Irish Times British election: Theresa May struggles during TV interview
British prime minister faces heckles from audience as Corbyn exceeds expectations


So the Tories will do badly in the critical Republic of Ireland vote, just as Trump polled poorly in the crucial suburbs of Toronto.

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
According to the OED, the "stock" in "laughing stock" is "A tree-trunk deprived of its branches; the lower part of a tree-trunk left standing, a stump." What's so funny about that?

I believe it is that people used to stand on stumps to give speeches is the inference. If they were dumb you laughed at them.

Achilles said...

AReasonableMan said...
Britain is going to get a 'bad' deal not because of anything May says but because Britain has a weak negotiating position. They have nothing the EU needs and the EU can easily take a significant fraction of their most valuable asset, their financial services, simply by blocking access to the EU market. The financial service industry can easily move to the continent, even if it is in Frankfurt. Those guys can afford to buy a villa in the south of France.

Britain has a much lower regulatory burden and isn't as far down the demographic spiral as the EU. With 1-2% growth rates the EU isn't going anywhere. Also if the US and Britain make bi-lateral trade deals it will be the EU that needs to scramble.

AReasonableMan said...

Achilles said...
Also if the US and Britain make bi-lateral trade deals it will be the EU that needs to scramble.


Also a great time for NYC to grab financial business from London. The US has a long tradition of screwing the British economically, why stop now?

Bill Peschel said...

"Also if the US and Britain make bi-lateral trade deals it will be the EU that needs to scramble."

My thought as well, although I'll admit my ignorance regarding Britain's need for financial services that only the EU can provide. Money, like most trade goods and energy, is fungible.

n.n said...

The "difficult women" meme is a left-wing production, which they force to progressive heights.

Women should be taxable commodities, sexual objects, and exploited for democratic leverage.

Oh, and feed the abortion industry. Think of the Planned children!

AReasonableMan said...

Why does the EU need to 'scramble'? It holds all the cards. Britain produces nothing that the EU can't get elsewhere and the EU is Britain's biggest export market. Why would the US do a particularly favorable trade deal with Britain when the US is tearing up trade deals with other countries?

Virtually Unknown said...

I read a book once about getting the best deal for a new car. The guy who wrote it was a car salesman. He said that whenever a man told his wife to shut up, it usually cost him a thousand dollars on the deal.

mockturtle said...

He said that whenever a man told his wife to shut up, it usually cost him a thousand dollars on the deal.

I doubt it. Men are the bigger suckers when it comes to car shopping.

Virtually Unknown said...

I doubt it. Men are the bigger suckers when it comes to car shopping.

Sorry, that's what I meant to. convey, it usually cost the man who told his wife to shut up a thousand dollars.

Lucien said...

ARM, your comments are confusing Britain with London (a common problem not just for the EU but for many of the Brits living in southeast UK who voted Remain).

AReasonableMan said...

London has been described as "A first-rate city with a second-rate country attached." Take away London and Oxbridge and things look a little grim.

mockturtle said...

Clearly, ARM, you know nothing of England.

AReasonableMan said...

mockturtle said...
Clearly, ARM, you know nothing of England.


It is a beautiful country, one of the most beautiful, but take away those three centers and it is not very internationally competitive. I assume that the Brexit voters understood this and were content with a more pastoral future.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Also a great time for NYC to grab financial business from London.

Good here.

The US has a long tradition of screwing the British economically, why stop now?

Actually Canary Wharf got a lot of business after the disastrous recent wave of financial regulations here in the states. Be glad to get some back.

That said, guys like you bet on Napoleon and then you bet on Hitler. As James Bond said, never go a bear of England.

Lucien said...

Thanks for your comment ARM. No doubt the ~12% of the population that lives in SE UK would agree with your assessment. If only they could have made the Brexit decision on their own and the 88% who are "deplorables" didn't get a vote, amirite?

Just out of curiosity, what did you mean by "Take away London and Oxbridge and things look a little grim"? That strikes me as a very odd statement and I'd like to understand more about the mindset of the person who made it.

AReasonableMan said...

Bad Lieutenant said...
guys like you bet on Napoleon and then you bet on Hitler.


These are the kinds of comments that one might normally associate with a troll.

Lucien said...

England by the way is not Britain. Another common mistake.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Lucien, it pleases me to annoy the Irish, Scottish and Welsh today. Thank you though, you are perfectly correct.

Arm, I didn't say that you liked Napoleon or Hitler, I'm saying that people of your way of thinking probably thought they would win.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Northern Irish, Lucien. It pleases me to annoy the Irish at all times.

Lucien said...

I'm an American, but I live and work in London. Very few of my British middle class and upper middle class white collar colleagues voted for Brexit. They have a relatively good thing going by UK standards (still much worse than the US) and Brexit will hurt them.

I also support one of London's rougher, nastier football teams who play in a not so great part of town. My blue collar buddies in the stands primarily voted Brexit, as they are tired of losing jobs in plumbing, construction, parcel delivery, etc. to Eastern Europeans who will do the work for less (often much less). If them getting their employment back in the future means some banker loses his job, they're good with that.

Paul Krugman will be the first to tell you that free trade is a net benefit to society, but there are winners and losers. In the UK, it would appear the winners made the mistake of putting it to a vote - and the losers voted.

Lucien said...

No worries Bad Lieutenant. Remember, according to ARM, London and Oxbridge are all that matters. The only thing the Scottish export is whiskey, the only thing the Welsh export is sheep shaggers, and the only thing the Northern Irish export are drunks and terrorists. Whatever will they do without the EU? Who will buy their sheep shaggers now?

AReasonableMan said...

Lucien, this is a fair description of the state of play as I understand things. Literally all the people with a vote that I know opposed Brexit, presumably out of self-interest. Since they are the kinds of people that make the UK an internationally competitive country it is reasonable to project that it will be a less internationally competitive in the future, unless they have seriously miscalculated their own self-interest.

I am not against economic fairness but this looks more like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

I have no dog in this fight beyond the fact that I would like to see Scotland get its independence. This should be automatic with Britain leaving the EU. I think this will be good for Scotland, although it may mean an even more pastoral future for them.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Arm, why is a pastoral future good for Scotland, but a less finserv heavy economy bad for the UK?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Also do you know very many Britons without a vote? Perhaps you are referring to children, or maybe felons, or immigrants? What an odd phrasing. Oh, and how did the non-voters feel?

tcrosse said...

All those migrants in la belle France trying to get to the UK are going to be very disappointed to hear how second-rate it is. ARM must know something they don't.
The Scots, if one can trust the polls, are not that enthusiastic about Independence, either.

AReasonableMan said...

tcrosse said...
All those migrants in la belle France trying to get to the UK are going to be very disappointed to hear how second-rate it is.


They all want to go to London.

JaimeRoberto said...

Difficult woman. Is that something like a nasty woman?

tcrosse said...

They all want to go to London.

But they end up in the Midlands.

n.n said...

according to ARM, London and Oxbridge are all that matters

Actually, that may be true. Democrat socialists treat people like sardines in order to maximize democratic leverage and profits from redistributive change (e.g. smoothing functions a.k.a. welfare, progressive costs of living).

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loudogblog said...

It seems to me that's the proper way you start any negotiation. If you were selling a used car, you'd say,"I believe that the car is worth this and I believe that you should pay that price." That's a much better position than saying, "I really need to sell this car and I'm willing to take any price for it. No Reserve." Didn't Trump say that you have to be willing to walk away from any deal? I wonder if this is a reaction to that?

n.n said...

The Guardian: uppity woman. Know your place.

Lucien said...

ARM, I'm still trying to figure out what "internationally competitive" means. Nations don't compete in the economic sphere the way corporations do. Germany is not trying to win "market share" from the UK or vice versa like they're Coke vs Pepsi. Trade between nations is not a zero-sum game.

Back in 1994 (so when he was doing the work that ultimately won him the Nobel Prize in economics and before leftist politics drove him insane), Paul Krugman wrote a marvellous article about the foolishness of "international competitiveness". It's available on the web in various formats - google "paul krugman international competitiveness a dangerous obsession".

A sample paragraph:

"The idea that a country's economic fortunes are largely determined by its success on world markets is a hypothesis, not a necessary truth; and as a practical, empirical matter, that hypothesis is flatly wrong. That is, it is simply not the case that the world's leading nations are to any important degree in economic competition with each other, or that any of their major economic problems can be attributed to failures to compete on world markets. The growing obsession in most advanced nations with international competitiveness should be seen, not as a well-founded concern, but as a view held in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence."

AReasonableMan said...

It is good that you acknowledge that Krugman is not the last word on anything. Where does London's wealth come from? Why is it so competitive in drawing international capital? Of course London is internationally competitive and of course this is the source of much of its wealth. Otherwise it is Manchester.

AReasonableMan said...

Almost the entire basis of London's rise to financial preeminence was colonialism. Colonialism was self-evidently driven by international competition. Britain has been in relative decline ever since the end of colonialism.

Lucien said...

Once again, what do you mean when you say "international competition"? Competition for what? This isn't Coke vs Pepsi. If someone in the UK grows richer it doesn't mean someone in Germany must grow poorer. Trade is not a zero-sum game.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Almost the entire basis of London's rise to financial preeminence was colonialism. Colonialism was self-evidently driven by international competition. Britain has been in relative decline ever since the end of colonialism."

Let me suggest though that while colonialism may have been how London became powerful in finance, that probably isn't why it continues to this day. The U.K. gave up its crown colonial jewel, India, before most of us were born, and before E II, the countries longest reigning monarch, ascended the throne. We have a mere couple of months until the 70th anniversary of their independence. Some of it I attribute to inertia, but some to synergy. Ditto too for NYC. Who in their right mind would want to live in either city?

AReasonableMan said...

Blogger Lucien said...
Once again, what do you mean when you say "international competition"? Competition for what? This isn't Coke vs Pepsi. If someone in the UK grows richer it doesn't mean someone in Germany must grow poorer. Trade is not a zero-sum game.


Straw man, no one said trade was a zero-sum game, but being or becoming the largest economy is definitely a competition. A competition the west is now losing to China. Tell me that doesn't come with some consequences.

Lucien said...

Please do tell the consequences of being or becoming the largest economy, ARM.

Seriously. Tell us the consequences. Is there a trophy?

AReasonableMan said...

Well, having the financial resources to build an army that can crush all potential rivals is always a plus. Or at least has been considered a plus throughout all of recorded history. Having the resources to exert 'soft' power as China is doing with its One Belt, One Road initiative has also been seen as a good thing for millennia. Currently the US can't even afford to fix its existing roads and the UK isn't even in the same league. China is dictating the future thanks to having the largest economy. Seems like that is worth more than any trophy.