ENGLAND AND THE EU: WOW!
I'm saying 'England' here, rather than the 'United Kingdom', because Scotland (joined in 1707) and Ireland (1800) may go with the other parent if there's a divorce. I expect this will come down to which parent offers the most pocket money.They're only talking about it so far, haven't filed the papers yet, but if (and I think it unlikely that they won't), how much will this change the wider world?
And the bigger question; how will this effect kite flying?The EU concurrently accounts for 22% of the world economy by gdp, of which the UK contributes 3.7%: http://statisticstimes.com/economy/countries-by-projected-gdp.php
How can the UK leaving the EU make much difference at all to the world's economy?
It's not that it's going to slide off into the North Atlantic with an apologetic burp and faint echoes of Rule Britannia.
Initial market over-reactions aside, over the next few years, in my view, England seems unlikely to experience even a 10% either way change in its per capita gdp as a consequence of leaving.
Which will hardly affect the wider world at all, and certainly not as much as some other possible events, like Putin pulling on his jackboots again, or China "accidently" downing a US plane over the East Philippines Sea, or Kim Kardashian falling out of her top (again?).
Sure, England's departure might trigger an EU breakup, but it's also anyone's guess as to whether this would have a positive or negative longer term economic impact, and is in either case unlikely to be significant in world terms.
But the main reason they'll be wrong is that they have not yet stepped outside the propaganda mode they were in last week when desperately trying to influence the way people would vote.
On the one side we have the left, who want ever bigger and more intrusive government, at least partly because this supports Clientelism (by which ruling elites trade government hand-outs for votes from beneficiaries), and therefore favour the Europe experiment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clientelism A break-up of Europe is, in their view, an open invitation to the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
On the other side we have the Right: Brussels is a blood sucking parasite, and intent on facilitating the invasion of peaceful neighbourhoods by PNLUs (people not like us). In their view, throwing off the yoke of Europe will immediately boost wealth and make neighbourhoods (and jobs) safe again.
Both sides in this are guilty of exaggeration and distortion, which they justify by the ends they want to see met- just like climate scientists (who may at least have an arguable case).
Scale makes it worth-while for small nations to coalesce into larger ones even at some considerable loss of identity/control. Larger countries aren't so easily bullied, and economies of scale make many things easier to do (as Stalin said, "Quantity has a quality all of its own).
But when countries that have different cultures, histories, and maybe language, are put under the same roof, perceptions of who's doing the work and who's getting the rewards cause tensions to arise when the makers and the takers don't share close family connection- and sometimes even when they do. It's notable that Scotland and Ireland may both stay with the EU, whereas England is planning to leave.
A cynical view of this is that, to net takers (of EU subsidies), staying in will seem like a good idea.
But to net contributors, leaving will seem attractive- unless other benefits such as visa free travel (of particular value to younger people), security and market access are perceived as worth the difference. Following this logic, if other countries leave the EU, while the basket cases remain, at what point will Germany, the biggest net contributor to the EU budget, say nein nein nein?
The wrecking of their gravy train that this would cause is, I expect, what the Left fears, and is why they are incoherent with rage at the 'Leave' vote and want it struck out.
But I think welfare dependency is a bad thing, not just for the payer but also for the recipient, and this applies equally to nations as to individuals. When countries (and individuals) are required to pay their way, they find things hard for a while and whinge a lot about the unfairness of it all, but sooner or later learn that the harder you work the luckier, and happier, you become. New Zealand went through this, cold turkey, when the UK joined the EU in 1973 and cut off our preferential market access.
From Wikipedia: "In 1955, Britain took 65.3 percent of New Zealand's exports, and only during the following decades did this dominant position begin to decline when the United Kingdom joined the European Economic Community (now the European Union) in 1973, with the share of exports going to Britain having fallen to only 6.2 percent in 2000."
NZers did a heap of complaining about this, usually around how large numbers of our finest had died for the Brits in various wars, but to no avail. As Stalin also said, "Isn't gratitude a disease that dogs have?"
But after significant economic hardship, we eventually learnt to work harder and smarter- at things the wider world would pay us for, and have now regained prosperity and are rather pleased with our independence. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/81474699/new-zealand-ranks-4th-in-prosperity-index
There's a lesson in this for some present EU members; paying your own way is hard but worthwhile in the longer run. Though I would not have wanted NZ cut loose in 1973 if I'd had a choice- just as I would probably have chickened out and chosen 'Remain' had I been voting in the UK this time.
An amazing thing about the Brexit vote was how unexpected it was.
The polls called it wrong. Just after the voting closed, NZ radio reported that "polling suggests that 'Remain' has won comfortably, perhaps by as much as 10%. Pollsters are finding it increasingly difficult to find representative groups who are willing to answer questions at all, let alone honestly.
Markets got it wrong. They didn't wake up to the new reality until an hour or two before counting was completed- and then over reacted. I was rather expecting that London and the South East, coming in later, would swing it back, but when the stockbroker belt came in for 'Leave', could see that it was all over bar the squealing.
At this point, I went off to the beach and flew some kites.
Even the Bookies got it wrong: UK betting agency William Hill was 9/1 for a 'Remain' victory just after polling closed.
This is astonishing; sure, experts don't even know that they don't know much, pollsters get lied too, and markets are reef fish, but bookies, to the extent they are laying off bets from either side, represent the 'wisdom of the crowd' which isn't often so wrong.
But back to the big question; what effect will this event have on kite flying?
I say basically none, unless Brexit triggers a GFC (unlikely), or conversely, if it causes various less than successful European countries to lift their games. In this case they'll have more money for buying excellent kites- and more leisure time in which to enjoy flying them.
PETER LYNN ASHBURTON NEW ZEALAND, 1 JULY '16.
The 20m SS Octopus, blue is now the best single line kite I've ever developed or flown- bar none. It flies at a high angle in less than 10km/hr through to somewhere around 80 with only 3 bridle settings, has excellent pull ( great pilot kite), is central and stable across the entire range (some weaving at the top end), is extremely easy to launch and weighs just 2.7kg for 20m x 3.2m. About its only disadvantage is that the tentacles are linked and will catch on obstacles, people for example, unless it (or they) are kept clear. Without cross linking the tentacles quickly tangle into a huge knot. There's no solution to this unless I can now successfully develop the 30m Serpent design (it has the same head and bridle, different graphics and a single tail that doesn't catch on things). It's a challenge to get exactly the right amount of drag into the tail. I've now tried 4 completely new and different tails, each of which takes a day and 20m of fabric to make, 10 minutes to test fly, and 1 minute to throw away. I expect number 5 will work- but then I thought this about number 4 also.
1Skin diving over (their tendency to dive off to one side in strong winds unless extremely carefully tuned):
Last month I tried shifting the keel's lateral area disposition forward (1Skin 64) by the theory that it's rearward placing had been causing diving over. Perhaps I moved it too far forward (which will also cause diving over), but 64 does seem better. I can't be really sure until we get some 80km/hr + winds (forecast for this weekend).
For this month a new theory: Trailing edge flapping (63 and earlier) probably indicates that the rear part of these kites is not contributing lift in stronger winds. If true, the effect is that the remaining more forward part becomes too "back bridled" and could be causing diving over. It will also be making the LE less liable to collapse in stronger winds though- and this is why I haven't tried reducing TE flapping until now. 1Skin 65 (red) is a new design which has reconfigured keels to eliminate TE flapping. It flies well in light and mid-range winds, waiting now for strong winds.