Simon’s cat explains Brexit

The “cat + door” meme has been used before in connection with Brexit, but it’s especially effective when Simon’s Cat is coopted in its service. Voilà (be sure to press the blue arrow):

h/t: Barry


  1. Posted July 12, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    But why the pre-1807 Union flag?


    • Posted July 12, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink


    • darrelle
      Posted July 12, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Who knows why cats do anything?

    • Dave
      Posted July 12, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      They’ve given up on Ireland but are still hopeful for Scotland?

  2. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted July 12, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    In the interests of balance you may care to view Pat Condell’s YouTube rant:

    Now he is famous for being critical of many things, but in the rant (@ 4:44) he says:

    One thing that this referendum has very made clear to a lot of ordinary decent people in Britain is just how patronised and how despised they are by an arrogant progressive minority that behaves like a majority as if by some kind of divine right.

    Whether this is a big truth or not it expresses a feeling about the current state of politics in the UK, and I expect, elsewhere.


    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted July 12, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Of course it expresses a feeling, it is all what it does. It is the populist strawman/meme that they push everywhere. Especially perverse to repeat it in the context of a referendum.

      Seems balance consist in 100 % analysis vs 100 % feelings…

    • Posted July 12, 2016 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      I think it is a truth.

      • Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        Yes and like many truths, it’s a hard one to learn.

        I come at it another way. My father fought and died in WWII to keep Britain free from those who wanted a superstate for Europe.

        Some of his ancestors did the same in WWI, others in the Napoleonic Wars.

        I love German music, French wines and cheeses, the Spanish language and Italian food. I have worked amicably with Dutch, French, Germans and Austrians. My schoolmates were from half a dozen European countries. I speak fair French and better Spanish.

        But I believe that government derives from the people by direct election of representatives. I want nothing to do with proportional representation by which a political party selects candidates from a national list.

        I want nothing to do with a parliament that has neither the power to initiate its own legislation nor to choose the executive branch of government.

        I want a restoration of British sovereignty and British democracy. So I voted Leave, together with over 60% of Conservatives and 30% of Labourites in both England and Wales.

        • John Ottaway
          Posted July 13, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

          I think you just perfectly proved Torbjörn Larsson point

          I’ve seen the WWII and WWI quotes quite often given, rather than some actual substance quite a few times, but chapeau for going as far back as the Peninsular Wars. Remind me again, who did we fight along side in those wars?

          Parliament can and does initiate it’s own legislation and why do you want it to choose the executive branch of the government? Shouldn’t we get to vote for them too? Because what you’re describing as the thing you want, sounds a lot like what we currently with regard to choosing who represents us on the EU Commission

          Lets hope you show as much passion for disbanding the House of Lords, the only truly, unelected body that makes UK law

          • Posted July 15, 2016 at 12:49 am | Permalink

            John, I was referring to Napoleon Bonaparte’s imperial ambitions.

            The Peninsular War was one theatre of the Napoleonic Wars and to Britain not the most important theatre of war. Wellington’s role has been greatly exaggerated relative to the Spanish popular resistance movements.

            The great fear in Britain at the time was invasion, as it was after the fall of France and Dunkirk.


            The UK Parliament does initiate its own legislation and when you vote in a general election you know that the leader of the winning party will lead the executive branch as Prime Minister.

            The PM is empowered by statutory law and wields the Royal Prerogative.


            That is not how the EU is governed. The EU Parliament does not select the executive and cannot remove any member of the executive from office, nor can the leader of the executive do so.

            Moreover, the EU Parliament does not have the power to initiate legislation. Only the executive can do that.

            So you are absolutely correct. I have stated what I want. What I want is the UK to be governed according to the UK Constitution.

            If you and others wish to change the Constitution, then let’s discuss that.

            But shouldn’t changing the British Constitution be a little more difficult for the Prime Minister to do than changing his/her socks?

    • Heather Hastie
      Posted July 12, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      I have very little time for Pat Condell.

      I think people would have a lot more respect for the result if it wasn’t for the lies told in the campaign. Condell carried on many of those lies in this rant. That £350 million, for example, doesn’t exist, and he’s talking as if he does. And he insists immigration had nothing to do with it.

      And the Greek situation is not the way he characterised it either.

      As usual, he sounds like the ignorant, selfish git he accuses everyone who doesn’t agree with him of being.

      • Posted July 12, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        “I have very little time for Pat Condell.”

        Nor do I, but I think he’s largely correct when he describes the lefts opinion of the right. As you go on to point out they are too stupid to recognize lies, and not honest enough to admit bigotry was an important factor in their support of Brexit.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted July 12, 2016 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          Even when I agree with Condell, I still don’t like him. He’s just nasty. The way he speaks about people he doesn’t agree with is ignorant imo. He’s always got this superior look on his face like he’s better than everyone else and takes pleasure in running down others. I love a good argument, and even demolishing the arguments of others if I can, but I hope I never come across like that. I’m about as non-violent as they come, but I just want to slap his face!

          • Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

            It’s irrelevant whether or not one likes the person on the other side of the debate.

            And, yes there was at least exaggeration by the Leavers.

            But in 50 years of observing UK politics the Remain campaign outdid themselves in the extravagance of their claims.

            I compare recent claims to those made by the pro-Europe crowd since 1965, including fellow students at the LSE, then later, colleagues among the teaching and research staff.

            But this time the majority in England and Wales did not believe their outrageous claims.

            • Tim Harris
              Posted July 14, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

              I notice the Scots & Irish don’t get a look in with you. Why?

              • Posted July 15, 2016 at 1:23 am | Permalink

                Since my ancestors are English, Irish, Scottish and Cornish, I consider myself British rather than English.

                But once I studied the history of the United Kingdom, I can’t say I have have ever been a Unionist, except perhaps for Wales and Cornwall.

                Scotland and Northern Ireland are now both provinces with their own legislatures empowered to make provincial laws and to govern themselves with respect to provincial affairs.

                As with Quebec in Canada, these provinces may oppose what the majority the nation want. And as with Quebec, the majority in the nation would prefer that they stay, but will not insist that they do so.

                As I understand the situation in Northern Ireland, some wish to continue as a province and others wish to join the Irish Republic.

                So it’s not as simple as it looks at first sight.

                As for Scotland, so many Scots voted to dissolve the Union, whether in or out of the EU, that the Scottish would probably now vote for independence.

                So that’s not as simple as it looks either.

                As for boundaries, an independent Scotland within the EU, subject to the free movement law of the EU, would be a nightmare for Westminster.

                What would Westminster do? Rebuild Hadrian’s Wall?

                The issue you raise is a serious one.

  3. Merilee
    Posted July 12, 2016 at 8:27 am | Permalink


    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted July 12, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      When UK brexits, its EU institutions has to move. The other EU nations are on to that as a cat on a mouse.

      Sweden is gearing up to swipe EMA, the European Medicines Agency, and my home town Uppsala is riding point.

      Too bad UK behaves like a cat.:-/

      • friendlypig
        Posted July 13, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Nothing will even begin to happen until Theresa May triggers article 50, and then it will probably take at least two years.

        So why are you so ready to write us off? You are no better than those who are in a sulk because Operation Fear failed.

        • DiscoveredJoys
          Posted July 14, 2016 at 2:49 am | Permalink


          Arguably the Remain Campaign ‘lost’ the Referendum because they could not or would not put forward a positive case for continued membership of the EU.

          In other news George Osborne, the Chancellor who promised a ‘punishment budget’ if Leave won, has been sacked.

          • friendlypig
            Posted July 14, 2016 at 3:58 am | Permalink


            And the majority of the bleating is coming from the ‘young ones’, ie those aged <35, who either weren't registered to vote, or, if they were, couldn't be arsed.

            • Posted July 14, 2016 at 5:08 am | Permalink

              I don’t think your last statement is supported by the facts, as we now know them.


  4. Tim Harris
    Posted July 12, 2016 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    It is hardly the fault of a ‘progressive minority’ – but largely the consequence of the near religious belief in the ‘market’, a belief that, taking the form of ‘austerity’ policies, has been extraordinarily destructive. And don’t just take my word for it: here’s the opening paragraph of an article in the New Statesman:

    ‘In a damning new report, the United Nation’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has confirmed that the UK government’s austerity measures and social security reform are in breach of their obligations to human rights.’

    (And if someone wants to object on account of the provenance of this quotation,they will find the report described in much the same terms in many other places; or they might like to Google the report itself.)

    I wasn’t aware that all the Camerons and Theresa Mays, the bankers and financiers, not to mention the Scots and the Northern Irish, formed an ‘arrogant progressive minority’.

    But it suits bigots like Condell, and bigots on the other side, too, to reduce the matter to snobs on one side and ordinary decent people on the other, or intelligent people on one side and the unwashed and ill-educated masses on the other. Indulging one’s prejudices is far more satisfying than seeking to understand reality, and the internet seems to have made it easier to do o..

    • Tim Harris
      Posted July 12, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      ‘to do so’ at the ending of the above.

      • Tim Harris
        Posted July 12, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Just in case, my comment is in response to DiscoveredJoys rather uncritical introduction of Pat Condell.

        • Dave
          Posted July 12, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

          “In a damning new report, the United Nation’s Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has confirmed that the UK government’s austerity measures and social security reform are in breach of their obligations to human rights.’”

          Was this the same UN committee as the one a year or two back that claimed Britain was the world’s most sexist society? Or the same one that has representatives from Cuba, Saudi Arabia and China passing judgement on our standard of human rights observance? Still, I suppose it makes a change from passing yet another motion condemning Israel – after about 1500 of these it must be getting a bit boring.

          • Posted July 12, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

            When someone tries to sell me such theories, I just say, “Income is determined by productivity of labor.” My opponent typically fails to grasp such a complex idea at first glance, so I have to add variations such as, “The living standard in a country depends on its per capita GDP” and “You cannot make something out of nothing”.

            • Tim Harris
              Posted July 13, 2016 at 6:50 am | Permalink

              No doubt you add lots of variations tho your complex ideas, MM. Here’s something from The Independent – another Marxist rag, no doubt:

              ‘A rising tide of xenophobia and anti-intellectualism in the UK following the Brexit vote is making academics think of leaving the country and discouraging others from applying for jobs here, pro-EU scientists have warned.

              ‘Mike Galsworthy, the programme director of Scientists for EU, has been contacted by about 350 scientists since the referendum, almost all of whom expressed concerns about the future of British scientific research.

              T’he EU provides about £1bn a year in funding for science in the UK, which has been extremely successful in both winning grants and attracting the brightest talents from the continent.

              ‘It is possible for non-EU countries to access the grants if they pay a contribution based on their GDP, but the UK will have to negotiate a new deal in order to do this…’

              • Posted July 13, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

                I was talking about the economy (I thought this was clear, but maybe it wasn’t).
                Brexit may harm science funding. In my country, transition to market economy was a heavy blow to science. Many scientists emigrated. However, few suggested that a bankrupt economic and political system should be kept in place solely for the benefit of research.
                By the way, EU membership is not 100% good for science. There is a heavy bias towards animal rights in EU legislature, and animal rights extremists in individual countries use it as an excuse to impose acts of insanity. This year, the grants accessible to us amount to mere EUR 2,500, and of these, EUR 150 must be immediately paid to the national Commission of Food Safety so that it allows us to work with experimental mice. We ask each other: “Why the Commission of Food Safety? We do not intend to eat the mice!”

    • somer
      Posted July 12, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink


  5. Alastair Haigh
    Posted July 12, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Shame about the lack of attribution.

  6. Posted July 12, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Condell is becoming more and more acerbic, to the point where I may stop watching him. But his opinions do stir some thought. Still, he does not have to be so outright insulting. Who says he is right?

    On this question, I find that the extreme left joins the extreme right, whether it’s called a people’s right to self-determination or nationalism. I am not sure which side Condell is on, left or right.

    As for the immigration problem, I am not one to cast stones. As Sean Carroll points out in “The big picture” (highly recommended): “For the majority of people in the developed world, utilitarianism [ethics] would seem to insist that we give away a large fraction of our wealth to the cause of ridding the world of disease and poverty. That may be a laudable goal, but it reminds us that utilitarianism can be an exceedingly demanding taskmaster.” You could the same thing about equality in general and the right to move around in particular.

  7. Posted July 12, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I interpret the cartoon as a message that, in order not to behave like this cat, Britain must oblige the results of its vote and exit. So far, this seems to be the case. The interim PM Theresa May said that Brexit means Brexit. Moreover, Angela Merkel has made some statements implying that if the exit procedure drags, she will take care to speed it up.

    • Posted July 12, 2016 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      How does she propose to do that?

      It’s no matter for the EU until the UK invokes Article 50. She has no right to interfere with the UK’s constitutional steps towards that (whatever the hell they are – no-one bothered to think about that in advance).


      • Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        “…the UK’s constitutional steps towards that (whatever the hell they are…”

        Good one! Who the hell knows a tenth of the UK Constitution, apart from professors of law, and probably not all professors of law.

        Did the UK public realize that the treaties the UK signed were changing the constitution?

        In my opinion, the Leavers knew that they were changing the constitution back to an earlier time, which seems to call into doubt the claim that the Leavers were more ignorant than the Remainers of the import of their vote.

        The Leavers had the highest turnout, over 80% for people over 64 years old. Of the under-24s, only about one-third voted.

        The next morning, it was the young who plied Google with search queries about the EU, not their elders.

        • Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

          You’re mistaken about the number of young people voting, as it turns out.


        • Wayne Beitzel
          Posted July 13, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          I seem to have read recently that the United Kingdom has no written constitution and that matters of parliament etc run by way of convention. So I am pretty sure no one voted in reference to the “constitution”.

          I have also read a juicy conspiracy theory which states that unless the British get cracking and invoke article 50 and sort it all out before March 2017, the EU will have changed its rules on leaving and the UK won’t be able to leave unless a majority of the EU says OK. So there. Fun and games!

          • DiscoveredJoys
            Posted July 14, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

            Not entirely true. Conventions and customs do come into it but we have many written documents which collectively form our Constitution. We don’t have a single document though.

            There’s an argument that the fragmented nature of the Constitution plus the First Past The Post Parliamentary Elections – for all their faults – do add governmental stability over the longer term. A bit like a sea anchor.

  8. Lurker111
    Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Nice little video, but shouldn’t it be the cat asking to go OUT, rather than IN?

    Ah! I see. Someone has munged the original animation.

    • Posted July 13, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      No, the animation correctly depicts the situation. It was the Fat Cats who wanted IN.

      But even the Fat Cats were uncertain. As far back as I remember, the mid-1960s.

      A major report at that time stated that the economic consequences of joining the Common Market would be unfavourable to the UK.

      The Times letter columns then started to publish promoters of the idea that the UK would bring democracy and respect for human rights to Europe, something more important than mere economic growth.

      It may have appeared that the Fat Cats would have to foot the bill for that. But as it turned out, they were able to pass on the costs to consumers.

      What really did the trick was the switch to the metric system and the ensuing confusion that allowed the prices of imported goods to adjust to the impact of Common Market subsidies and protectionism.

      At that time I was a graduate student with an interest in the UK national accounts, household income and expenditure, and the influence of fixed exchange rates on the stop-and-go pattern of UK economic growth.

      To some extent we could apply economic theory to the impact of the Common Market, but the issues were so complex that almost everyone was wrong about everything.

      The history of the UK in-and-out can be summed up: Hubris and Nemesis.

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