Friday, 3 June 2016

Champions of Europe

Curious letter in the Times Literary Supplement this week in which a selection of European sporting, intellectual and media celebrities - Raymond Blanc, Alfred Brendel, Costa-Gavras, GĂ©rard Houllier and so on - urged the British electorate to vote not to leave the European Community on June 23.1

There's a couple of interesting names on the list, from our point of view.

As the claims of both camps are coming under intense scrutiny from the other, I wonder....would everybody agree with this one?

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1 A view, for the record, with which the author of this blog strongly concurs.


Anonymous said...

One has to wonder whether having a bunch of non-Brits urge anything on Britain, will be counterproductive in the end. Actually bringing this up to a electoral vote, is already a HUGE win for brexiters.

Anonymous said...

Topalov joined the “Remain” campaign

Veselin Topalov was among 140 European celebrities who signed a “love letter to the British people” wanting them to stay in the EU.

The letter published in the Times Literary Supplement magazine came with exactly three weeks to go until the June 23 referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. Its aim is to help the undecided to make up their minds on whether the UK will remain in the European Union. The authors, Philippe Auclair, Apostolos Doxiadis and Robert Rotifer say they were not surprised by the fact that the letter was signed by people who have distinguished themselves in all sorts of different activities because the affection felt for Britain across “our shared continent” is wide and deep.
The letter said that having the United Kingdom in the European Union is very much valued and that it was not just treaties that joined other nations to their country but bonds of admiration and affection. However, if British people do not decide to stay in the European Union, it is their right and should be respected.

ABii said...

Isn't having celebs (elites) speak to the people, exactly the WRONG idea here? Isn't that the whole Brexit issue, that the (apocryphal) common man sees his culture eroded, and wants something done? So then, wouldn't having a bunch of average Joes give a thumbs-up to Britain be a better scheme? Or being cynical, do the Remainers only mingle among "elites", and don't know any common folk?

ABii said...

PS. Danailov likely wants Britain in the EU, because it's the most corrupt (according to Mafia), which he hopes to leverage. Maybe it would become more corrupt after a Brexit, but w/o Danailov able to profit.

AngusF said...

Topalov was *FIDE* (as opposed to "Classic") World Champion - wouldn't that count?

ejh said...

Well I'd be all right with it, but would everybody? What if Ponomariov or Khalifman or Kasimdzhanov made the same claim?

ejh said...

Or being cynical, do the Remainers only mingle among "elites", and don't know any common folk?

Well, more likely the Times Literary Supplement is a magazine about literature culture and politics and hence these are the sort of petitioners who are liekly to appear in their pages and appeal to their readers. (Don't ask me about the sportspeople though.) As it happens I believe the magazine's editor and managing editor are strong Exiters.

Personally I read and recommend the London Review of Books instead.

Anonymous said...

Does/Did the Times Literary Supplement review chess books, like Keene's of old?

J10 said...

The "love letter" is all-around dopey IMO. I'm not sure what the latest scholarship (from feminist circles) on love letters is, but I think they are now largely seen as a way for the writer to try to manipulate the beloved. Writers and cultural elites are probably aware of this aspect.

Meiester said...

According to Declan Hill (soccer-fixing academic), these letters, exactly as the first commenter said, backfired. Everyone told Obama to not comment about it, but he did anyway.

This story is a microcosm of an effect up and down Britain yesterday. The political and financial establishment told voters they had to vote a certain way (Richard Branson even videotaped a message from his tax-exile home in the British Virgin Islands urging people to vote Remain.) A segment of the electorate reacted by voting the opposite way.

As the first commentor also said, even giving the people a vote was a big win (unlike Blair, with his famous if they vote it down we'll put it up again until they agree).

Anonymous said...

i think you're right, meiester.
all the headlines say the BREXIT stunned the world, when really it only stunned (or stung) the elites. those with a nose, knew what was coming. too big to rig.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, like Al-Jazeera is a bunch of elitists.

The betting marbles were saying they DID think Remain would squeak by. Then again (so this is almost on topic), they quote a YouGov poll as showing Remain will win.

The survey by pollster YouGov showed Remain ahead by a margin of 52 to 48 percent. Unlike a classic exit poll, it was based on online responses by a pre-selected sample of people rather than a survey of voters as they left polling stations.