I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison’s blog about software, marketing, politics, photography, time lapse and the occasional well deserved rant. Follow along with a monthly email, RSS or on Facebook. About 7,250,102,760 people have not visited yet so it might be your first time here. Suggested reading: Got It, or roll the dice.

What do you get when you multiply six by nine? Brexit.

Brexit

“Good Morning,” said the Electorate at last.

“Er… good morning, O Electorate,” said Cameron nervously, “do you have… er, that is…”

“An answer for you?” interrupted the Electorate majestically. “Yes, I have.”

“There really is one?” breathed Cameron.

“There really is one,” confirmed the Electorate.

“To Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

“Yes, though I don’t think,” added the Electorate, that you’re going to like it.”

“Doesn’t matter!” said Cameron, “We must know it! Now!”

“All right,” said the Electorate, “The answer to Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? Is…”

“Yes…!”

“Is…”

“Yes…!!!…”

“Brexit.”

“I’m going to get lynched, aren’t I?”

“I checked it very thoroughly,” said the Electorate, “and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you’ve never actually known what the question is.”

“But it was Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” howled Cameron.

“Yes,” said the Electorate with the air of one who suffers fools gladly, “but what does that actually mean?”

“Well, you know, enjoy the benefits of the single market without being part of it, points based immigration here but still retire to Spain, restore the sovereignty of parliament without actually letting it vote…” said Cameron weakly.

“Exactly!” said the Electorate. “So once you do know what the question actually is, you’ll know what the answer means.”

“Look, all right, all right,” said Cameron, “can you just please tell me the question?”

“Tricky.”

“But can you do it?”

“No, but I’ll tell you who can,” said the Electorate.

“Who? Tell me!”

“I speak of none but the referendum that is to come next,” intoned the Electorate, “A referendum whose merest subordinate clauses I am not worthy to comprehend. A referendum that will actually tell us what Brexit is. A referendum of such infinite and subtle complexity that understanding ATM modernization under Single Sky and the medical implications of leaving Euratom shall form part of its introductory reading material…”

(Apologies to Douglas Adams)

(Previously, Previously)

Brexit Prize

Flag of the USA after the UK becomes a state

The Institute of Economic Affairs has announced the 'Brexit Prize', a competition for the best blueprint for a UK exit from the European Union. First prize is 100,000 Euros, so it's worth a shot.

My plan: Beat Puerto Rico to becoming the 51st state.

I was just about to send this in when I read the instructions:

"At both stages, potential entrants should ask Amelia Abplanalp on [email protected] – for an entry number, preferably at least seven days before the closing date. Entrants should create two pdfs. One of those documents should only have the entry number as an identifier. The other document should have the entry number, name and contact details of the entrant on the cover page..."

It goes on like this and sounds like some EU directive relating to banana curvature. And don't you contact someone at an email address rather than on one? Must be an early April Fools' joke...

Instead of punishing bankers why not disrupt them?

Instead of punishing bankers why not disrupt them?

I'm not the biggest fan of banks. Not content with crashing the world economy my own bank took the time to personally defraud me. The EU is currently planning to cap banker bonuses and this is just nuts.

It feels like an attack on the UK, where the lions share of our economy is banking and people coming to see the Queen. 

It feels anti-capitalist - why bankers? Why not footballers or movie stars or orthodontists? 

But mostly it feels like the wrong form of revenge, too easy to circumvent and ultimately likely to be toothless. Banks may say they have to pay outlandish bonuses to attract the best talent, but really it means the industry is ripe for innovation. Regulators should figure out and then remove barriers to entry (and throw up barriers to unfair competition, and hold competitions to encourage innovation) so that startups and software can eat the financial services sector.

Too big to fail all at once, but not too big to be disrupted into irrelevance.