Machiavellianism and Brexit 542

A Cabinet Office source tells me today No. 10 is considering agreeing a second referendum with three choices: No Deal Brexit, May’s Deal or No Brexit. It would be by alternative vote, ie you rate your preferences 1, 2. The thinking is that the first round might go No Deal 23, May’s Deal 37, No Brexit 40. The second round would then go May’s Deal 60, No Brexit 40.

They claim there is opinion poll evidence to support this. But I see a flaw. It is predicated on the current situation, where a lot of Remainers are prepared to support Brexit, to respect the referendum result. But surely a second referendum would release that psychological constraint and the overwhelming majority of Remainers would seize the opportunity to try and ditch Brexit?

The advantage of the ploy from May’s viewpoint is that it presents her “deal” as the only alternative to No Deal or No Brexit, and in an AV vote the compromise position is always boosted. What is more it keeps the numerous other options for deals outwith her red lines – eg EFTA, Single Market, Customs Union, EEA – all off the ballot paper. This limited choice referendum thus appeals to May as “out-maneuvering” the opposition parties. The idea is to sucker them in to talk on a second referendum, then produce this slanted one.

This has not been adopted as policy yet, but No.10 and the Cabinet Office are working on the practicalities of this option.

There will almost certainly be a vote on a second referendum amendment in the government motion debate now starting on 29 January. One very close adviser to Jeremy Corbyn is suggesting to him that he gives a free vote, in order to prevent the row that the convoluted Conference motion tried to put off by focusing on process not substance, but on which time is running out. The adviser’s take is that the Tories will whip against the “People’s Vote” and a Labour free vote will lead to the second referendum being defeated. He was not however aware of the possibility the Tories will push their version of a second referendum, and I was able to brief him on that.

Today I walked down to Tesco to get my milk and, as every day, I passed the huddle of homeless people who sleep in the close. It illustrated vividly how disconnected Westminster is from the very real problems of desperate poverty that exist in our society. Observing the UK in the last phases of decline of a once great Empire, with its entirely dysfunctional political system and its fractured society, I cannot shake the impression of how small and sordid it all is.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

542 thoughts on “Machiavellianism and Brexit

1 2 3 4 5
    • uncle tungsten

      Thanks Arby, I had a chuckle when I read that line by Craig. I immediately thought of Michael Hudson and ‘the spiders web’. The banksters have put an end to empire both in the UK and every other nation they practice their neoliberal economic voodoo. Michael-hudson dot com is worth viewing and reading his works.

  • SA

    The reason why the old British empire is viewed with some nostalgia by some is that actually some if not all of the former colonies in Africa and Asia were newly independent and there was so much optimism in the air. Since then many of these countries have either been lexcluded from help or exploited, some of them becoming much worse than in the colonial days in terms of social development, infrastructure and economic developments. This has been interpreted as showing how bad these poor Africans are at managing thier affairs. What however remained hidden because of the absence of effective mass means of communication. Many of the new leaders in Africa and the Arab world had forward looking nationalist agendas. It was in those heady days when the non-aligned nations formed s unity that had great promise. But one by one these leaders were picked out and it became clear that another more subtle form of even more vicious imperialism is taking place.

    • giyane

      Empire2. if someone didn’t learn the lessons first time, the punishment will be repeated, this time as Armageddon. Don’t worry the Christians will be looking down on battlefield from their cotton wool clouds while the dark skinned slog it out in the trenches. For any of you lovely people who don’t do irony, please check your cloud’s tyre pressure and fuel.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ SA January 18, 2019 at 06:44
      ‘… Many of the new leaders in Africa and the Arab world had forward looking nationalist agendas….’
      An excellent example of that (although not Britain’s Empire this time) was Patrice Lumumba in the Congo.
      Belgium and the US put paid to him, and the Congo has been hell on earth since then, as it had been under Leopold’s tender care.
      I saw a picture in ‘King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa’ by Adam Hochschild, of an African man contemplating a tiny hand and foot on a mat in front of him, which had belonged to his young (I forget – 5, maybe 7 year old) daughter, cut off by company men as punishment because he, her father, hadn’t collected enough rubber.

  • Ros Thorpe

    The homelessness is appalling as is the rising crime, near collapse of the NHS and just about every state function

  • Sharp Ears

    Good investigative journalism has been carried out by Electronic Intifada on a campaign to smear Corbyn.

    ‘An investigation by The Electronic Intifada has documented 10 fake Twitter profiles posing as Corbyn supporters who have been posting virulent anti-Semitism.

    The accounts share sufficient similarities to indicate that the same person – or group – is running them.

    Without police involvement or a court case, it’s impossible to know for sure who is behind this troll network.’

    There is a reference to the Integrity Intiative involvement within.

    So many tricksters around.

    • uncle tungsten

      Thanks Sharp Ears that was a mighty interesting read. I am firmly of the belief that Integrity Initiative and IfS are both engaged in sedition by using government funding to attack Her Majesties Leader of the Opposition. I know the UK courts are….. but it would be an entertaining case to prosecute. Discovery would be exciting if there were any documents left by now. Phone records could be seriously revealing.

    • Stephen Ambartzakis

      Sharp Ears, when I see a photograph of Jeremy Corbin laying a wreath on Palestinian tombs whilst praising his “brother” I simply cannot believe that his anti-Semitism (Anti Jewish rather) are simply a creation of a malevolent group opposed to his politics.

      • Rowan Berkeley

        @Stephen Ambartzakis: Corbyn’s motivation in attending the commemorative events you refer to is solidarity with victims of Israeli aggression. If his doing that makes you uncomfortable, that is not evidence of any “anti-Semitism (Anti Jewish rather)” attitude on his part. You are imputing that attitude to him for reasons of your own.

      • uncle tungsten

        Stephen the genocide perpetrated against the Palestinians is done so by the State of Israel, not every jewish person, just the state governing machinery of Israel. It is not anti semitic to criticise the state government machinery of Israel or the IDF, rather it is conventional political discourse to be free to criticise a government or its army that indulges in crimes against humanity.

        Placing a wreath on the tomb of a person who once fought for freedom from persecution and the right to live freely in his homeland and who may have taken up arms against an aggressor or invader is hardly siding with or celebrating an anti semite. The BS practice of deriding and badgering people who are critical of whatever state apparatus that assaults humans is frankly deplorable and dishonest.

        • Republicofscotland

          Yes Israel is a nasty apartheid state, that constantly harps on that its a democracy, when it clearly isnt.

          It’s disgraceful the way it treats the 1.9 million people corralled into the Gaza Strip, the world’s largest open air prison. We should all support the BDS movement when we can.

      • Shatnersrug

        Steven I find it deeply concerning that you could not think of a Palestinian as a brother or sister, this is tragic and truly a great loss for you. We are all one fraternity. It is our leaders corrup who put us against each other.

        Btw the wreath laying was in Tunis for people that had died at the hands of an Israeli terrorist attack. It’s a matter of fact and you can read it’s history here

      • uncle tungsten

        Thanks TFS intersting site. I did notice that one article dealing with the socialist position on the free movement of labor that they advocated labor and capital deserve the right to free movement but failed entirely to describe equal rights to taxation on both. I support a progressive tax on all capital movement just as workers are taxed wherever they are working.

  • Mrs S J Wilson

    Your final description is so accurate of this country today. It makes me ashamed to be British that this is done in my name.

  • Sharp Ears

    More on Theresa May’s cruel immigration policy.

    Home Office refuses to let great-grandparents remain in UK
    Iranian couple rely on family for support and help care for their autistic grandson

    ‘The Home Office is trying to separate a couple from their four British children, 11 grandchildren and a great-grandchild by forcing them to return to Iran.

    The 83-year-old great-grandfather and 73-year-old great-grandmother, who bought their flat in Edinburgh in 1978, live near their close-knit family and depend heavily on their daily support. But they also act as co-parents to one of their grandchildren, a teenager with severe autism who requires constant supervision. Their help enables the boy’s mother – a single parent – to continue her work as an NHS nurse.’

    • Jo Dominich

      Sharp Ears, what a pair indeed. Two megalomaniacs who have created deep crises in their own Governments and Legislature which they don’t have the brains or skills to sort out!

  • Ingwe

    Not a comment on Brexit but just have to record hearing the most pusillanimous BBC Radio 4 interview of Mark Regev on the Today program. And that’s saying something. There isn’t a single journalist worthy of the name on that program. Truly a disgrace.

    • Laguerre

      It’s only rarely that I can bring myself to listen to the Today programme all the way through. I doubt that Regev has much influence on the listeners, though. Public opinion is strongly anti-Israeli these days.

      • giyane

        I turned it on – to a party political broadcast for the Tories consisting of anti-Bercow venom. Then I switched it off again

    • Sharp Ears

      Regev follows a fairly sympathetic view of the situation in Gaza’s hospitals by Mishal Husain from Radio 4 Today. Quite surprising to see it on the BBC. She spoke of the shortages, mainly of electricity and supplies and of the huge pressure on the staff to treat 25,000 limb injuries from Israeli bullets at the Friday protests where snipers the IDF lie on earth banks and shoot. Some of the injuries are untreatable when dum dum bullets have been used (illegal under international law) as they expand within the flesh wound down to the bone and the joints are ripped apart.

      I cannot see a link to the report on the ME page of the BBC website (quelle surprise) but here are some tweets.

      and remembering John Beavis, the trauma surgeon, who did so much to help the Palestinians and other people.

    • Dungroanin

      Under no circumstances can one trust ANY Beeb msm ‘journo’ cypher. As has recently been proved by the rearranging of faces there and the hiving off of some ‘personalities’ to the ‘private’ sector – extending their propaganda reach by doing so. (Peston and Mair being the most recent examples)

      If you want to see an example of how deep in shit DS they are – pick one and do some deep deep research in them – i don’t mean Wikipedia. (Kqanonsborg is a zinger! )

      The regressive poll tax they demand from every household under the pretence of providing a ‘public service’ has been a establishment propaganda lie for many decades. STOP PAYING IT. They use crapita to do the collecting even!

      Public services should be publicly funded by the Treasury. And it shouldn’t take £4 BILLION a year in taxes to provide a ‘public’ broadcaster. Nor should they be in receipt of private sector salaries. All that money plus another BILLION in ‘commercial’ revenues is pocketed by the wholly nepotistic operators.

      The way to put the beast down is to take its funding into government and thence to make it rely on its commercial activities for its ‘entertainment’ output – people would freely subscribe to watch their Eastenders as they do to watch Netflix/Sky/BT .. even Coronation Street as the longest running soap has always been ‘commercially’ funded.

      It is blatant propaganda – TURN IT OFF – after a few weeks your mind will calm and clear.

    • Wikikettle

      Ingwe – I recall how Regev was the PR man for Israel when it was pummeling Gaza. The Doctor who lost his daughters. The phosphorous. The demolitions. The high tech jets of the brave IDF. Goldstone and his report. Goldstone and his capitulation. History will however remember how we the so called civilised democratic nations stood silent and walked on the other side of the road.

      • Ingwe

        @Wikikettle timed at 22:53. Yes I remember Regev before he got his promotion to UK ambassador. One lives in the hope that when the Zionist leaders are eventually brought to justice, he too will be charged for his services of progandising the unacceptable.

      • Jo Dominich

        Wikikettle – yet much poorer countries in the African Continent and Latin America took action like recalling their Ambassadors and other things.

  • michael norton

    If it really is more than likely that Cliff Edge Brexit is our future, it would be great if the outcomes could be explained to the country, not maniac armageddon but reality.
    What will really hapen?

    • Laguerre

      The whole point for the Brexiters was to conceal what was going to happen. You can’t expect them to change now.

      • michael norton

        Well Laguerre, I was no really meaning explanations from Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage, I was meaning from our government.
        Apparently the legal situation is,
        we will leave on 31/03/2019 with No Deal,
        unless a deal has been done.
        So, if the legal default position was always ( for the last two years) No Deal

        the government must have worked out what that entails?

        • Laguerre

          The Brexiters are the government. You are just mentioning two who don’t happen to be in government at the moment. Those who are in post far outnumber those few who are Remainers.

    • giyane

      Michael norton

      Calm down dear. We are covered for political cockups under the EU’s comprehensive insurance. May goes over the cliffedge. We stay on land with Corbyn.
      It will put up our premiums though every time we change our minds. 39 billion might go up to 80 billion. Bargain!

  • Mary Pau!

    Someone help me out here please. What is Corbyn’s current line on the EU/Brexit? Only I am losing the plot. ??

    • Charles Bostock

      His current line (according to Mr Ian Lavery, the left-wing Chair of the Labour Party) is that “the Labour Party membership will set out the line in the election manifesto”.

      Which is not terribly precise and upfront really.

      • Republicofscotland

        Agreed Charles, Corbyn has sat back for two and a half years and twiddled his thumbs on Brexit.

        Now he expects us to believe he’s s man of action.

        • Iain Stewart

          One can’t help wondering, what kind of a Brexit did Mr Corbyn exactly have in mind two years ago when he put a three line whip on the vote in favour of Article 50? Maybe he has forgotten?

          • Iain Stewart

            What Mr Corbyn said 1 February 2017: “Labour MPs voted more than three to one in favour of triggering Article 50. Now the battle of the week ahead is to shape Brexit negotiations to put jobs, living standards and accountability centre stage.Labour’s amendments are the real agenda. The challenge is for MPs of all parties to ensure the best deal for Britain, and that doesn’t mean giving Theresa May a free hand to turn Britain into a bargain-basement tax haven.”
            So you have forgotten too.

        • Jo Dominich

          RoS – I don’t agree with you. He actively campaigned for the Remain vote. However, it is not his problem is it? Let’s be clear about one thing – it is this Government under May that has sat on their hands and done nothing. Corbyn doesn’t actually have to does he? The negotiating team of Bojo, Davies et al did nothing at the negotiating table with the EU commissioners for over two years – just spent that time insulting the Eu negotiators, talking the language of war rather than negotiation or diplomacy and statements such as ‘we will have our cake and eat it’. At periodic intervals the EU commissioners made statements saying the UK Government needed to come to the negotiations with something to put on the table – but they failed to do so. Hence May went over, signed her own deal and we now find ourselves in this monumental mess. It has absolutely nothing to do with Corbyn at all – this shocking mess we now find ourselves in is May and her Government’s own doing – they were the negotiators and did absolutely nothing.

      • Jo Dominich

        Charles Bostock – you are most incredibly poorly informed – he has said no such thing at all. Listen to his recent parliamentary speeches, go onto his website, look at what was agreed at the Labour Party Conference last year and read the letter he has sent to May. You are oh so wrong.

      • Mary Paul

        I do read the papers and I truly do not know. I am very busy with family matters at present and do not have time to wade through pages of stuff. I looked at the Guardian this morning, online and this is what it said:” In his first, longer speech at the end of the full Brexit debate, Corbyn said: “Labour believes that a general election would be the best outcome for the country if this deal is rejected tonight. He argued that despite differences of opinion over Brexit, membership of the European Union was not the most important issue facing the country. “We need to keep in mind that the vast majority of people in our country don’t think of themselves as remainers or leavers,” he said. “Whether they voted leave or remain two and a half years ago, they are concerned about their future.”

        This does not tell me what his view is on leaving or staying in the EU. As you obviously are very well informed on this, I would appreciate a straightforward summary of his current position, preferably without the insults.

        • uncle tungsten

          Looking at the grauniad for news is like looking at the sea for mermaids. Time spent with family matters is more productive than swallowing tripe from grauniad.

    • SA

      He outlined this very clearly yesterday in the sky news mini conference. He is prompting the government to pledge that a no deal is off the table. He wants a general election and he wants the electorate therefore to decide what the next step is. The current labour manifesto is the current government policy which is General elections, failing that, renegotiated deal that the majority are comfortable with, failing that, a peoples’ vote. If there is a general election a new manifesto will be published by consultation with the members. To me that is clear.

    • Robert

      His line is to prevaricate until Brexit happens on someone else’s choice (‘cos he wants Brexit), and then to take credit for clearing up someone else’s mess.

        • SA

          Yes I think it is glaringly obvious that May has been propped up not because she has done anything useful but because the Tories and the press don’t want Jeremy.

          • Shatnersrug


            It’s going to continue too. Look at the inter war period. We had not one real democratic government, every one a National Government or ‘coalition’ this was at a time that socialism and more importantly the working class understanding of socialism was at an all time high, the Labour movement was strong, but the party had a collection of wealthy right wingers – fabians in fact. The worst offender being Ramsay McDonald who sold out the party for the premiership of a national government. This is how the establishment doubled down on the threat of socialism, with the controlled opposition of Fabianism, quasi capitalism of the cooperative party and one after another supposedly national crises that just had to mean that normal elections were postponed. The upshot of all of this was Austerity implemted first by McDonald and continued by Chamberlain, poverty was rife, then of course we were take into WW2 which did a fine job of removing plenty of working class men a decapitating the socialist movement.

            I think the study of interwar British political history would do everyone the world of good, the precedents set them are playing large right here and now. The political break down of the establishment then was as it is now.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ Shatnersrug January 18, 2019 at 12:22
            Totally agree. I tried to put a very similar point up re the pre-WWI years, but my comment was removed.
            I took it to be because I had mentioned by name some folk who are too ‘special’ to be criticised, so mad a comment just using the two books’ titles and authors, and lo and behold, that also got removed! I haven’t a clue why.
            So I’ll just give the joint authors of both books, perhaps that will pass muster: Jim MacGregor and Gerry Docherty.

        • Ingwe

          Dungroaning-agree with this 100%. And in the same week as Ofcom censures RT for biased reporting Skripal!
          Just waiting now for the peace and calm.

    • isa

      He gave an interview a few days ago where he was quite clear on several points:

      On the issue of a new referendum: One has to be pondered and represent all teh population both leavers and remainers. You cannot marginalise either one .

      On the issue of leaving with a deal: Remain in customs Union with a special deal re access to the single market. My understanding is that he aims at a Norway type deal and with regards to immigration I suppose he will use the mechanisms that are already there , the EU rule that states that if you did not obtain employment after 3/6 months (cannot recall precise time) you may be repatriated and lose your residence right.

      For those who advocate that leaving the customs union will bring better deals to the UK, do you truly think that in a world that trades in blocks a single country is going to get a better deal than a block of 27 countries?

      I believe that the referendum must be respected and a new referendum would resolve absolutely nothing. to start with it must be made with the same questions and same percentages of simple majority to have a validity of “like with like”. Imagine remain now wins with 52% , Then what, a third referendum like the extra time and penalty shoot outs in a football match not to mention the absolute lack of trust in the democratic process?

      In that sense, a referendum should be presented but only as to what type of exit do you want. No deal, Norway type Deal or similar .

      Now if Craig ‘s sources are correct and May is planning a referendum with the questions above, that is pure deceit and a clear manipulation for remain to win. I would then change the questions to: Quit brexit and adopt the Euro and sign to Shenghen , Quit Brexit but keep the pound and sign in to Schenghen.

      Two can play at this game as you see.

      • Mary Pau!

        Regarding the three month rule, it is not enforced in the UK. Primarily I suspect because we lack any proper system for registering EU citizens who live in the UK. However it is academic in the case of Bulgarians for example as a very large percentage claim to be self employed on arrival, and then the three month rule does not apply.

        • isa

          Mary, If you claim to be self employed you still need to register for tax as self employed and present payments to national security and income tax, so there is also a mechanism there . I know that the UK does not enforce the 3/6 months rule but that is May’s and Cameron’s and Blair’s ineptitude in the past to do so. It was a choice of your successive governments. I have many family and friends working in the UK and they all register with their local council and also obtain a PPS (not sure what that is called in the UK ) number without which you cannot open a bank account, get utility bills , etc. Furthermore, the UK is not in the Shenghen area and by the nature of being an island one must present their passports upon entry and they know precisely how many enter and how many leave , yet another point to be made that this is your governments’ ineptitude through the years with ah , tomorrow we will do it, sure we will be just grand.

          This to stress that in this case your successive governments are at fault. And I am not saying the EU is perfect, not by all means I think it is far from perfect , it is not but on this issue, the mechanisms are there for each state to protect themselves from abuses of freedom of movement . If the states use them or not is another matter.

        • Iain Stewart

          “Primarily I suspect because we lack any proper system for registering EU citizens who live in the UK.”
          Until then you could have them easily identified by wearing some simple badge or something on their clothing, perhaps a little yellow star inspired by the EU flag?

    • Jo1

      It’s difficult for him to have one really. According to the Guardian they’ve already spoken to a number of Labour MPs who have threatened to resign if he backs a second referendum. On the other side he has MPs imploring him to do such that. And since May’s talks invite he’s got the likes of Benn and Cooper behaving like Independents and going to have their own chats with her in defiance of Corbyn. Elsewhere we’ve had nonentities like young Kinnock doing the same.

      Oh, and he has the BBC wheeling out all sorts to say what an idiot he is. Even Fiona Bruce was at it last night on QT. That said, whoever thought, in Labour, that this week of all weeks was the best one to send Diane Abbott on to QT needs help.

      • Dungroanin

        Its the chickencoup cabinet this time against the whole country not just the labour membership.

        They seriously believe the will get away with that heist. Insane.

    • Mighty Drunken

      I feel a far more important question is, what Is May up to with Brexit? Her position seems clear, her deal, or no deal but it is totally dead now and yet she won’t move. This intransigence will either force a no deal, which would be a dereliction of duty of the government. Force another few years of extension while parliament hammer out a consensus, please get your act together. Or maybe remain will become the final option just because everyone gets tired of the whole thing.

      I want to make clear that a no deal means not sorting out our affairs with the EU. A “clean brexit” would involve sorting out our future relationship with the EU and fill in the gaps of law which leaving the EU creates.

      Why is it so many wonder what Corbyn’s Brexit plan is when the government’s plan is in total shambles and we only have a few months left?

    • Jo Dominich

      Mary Paul, it is very clearly that we should remain in the Customs Union and that it is as voted for at last year’s conference – which you can read on either Corbyn’s own website or the Labour Party’s. It is that the Government should negotiate a deal that protects jobs, protects trade and protects workers rights, legal freedoms and jobs. That means remaining in the Customs Union. This is just a resume. He has stated very very clearly the Labour Party will respect the result of the Referendum which is to leave but to leave with a proper Deal that will protect UK jobs, services, financial investment and economic growth.

  • Isa

    The DOJ has issued international letters of request to question former Ecuador embassy workers in the U.K. because of the false guardian story regarding Manafort and Assange . That was what the guardian was doing all along .

    Meanwhile , Facebook , Atlantic council , has blocked Sputnik accounts in several countries .

    Things are getting truly out of control and very fast .

    • Tatyana

      facebook’s head of cybersecurity is Nataniel Gleicher, former employee of the National Security Council in the White House.

      • Republicofscotland

        Edward Snowden showed us that Facebook is completely open to the US security services. PRISM, or whatever they call it now, collects internet communicates across the board including Facebook.

        • Tatyana

          till I’ve got nothing to hide, so I’m not personally concerned with it 🙂
          But the fact of surveillance is disgusting

    • Dungroanin

      Don’t use Facebutt or twatter or Gargoyle for news and no-choice – go direct to websites and subscribe to their emails and RSS feeds,
      Read the comments from punters – some are not trolls, they offer more info – but be careful and sceptical of new sites!

      There is a market for a decent daily newspaper/media – as the msm has spookily learnt to say the same words and thoughts, like some evil midwich cuckoos.

      I am hoping something gets going … already have a decent crossword setter – you’d be surprised how many people buy their daily propaganda just for a few hours of quizzical amusement.

  • Thomas Cochrane

    The decline of empire indeed ! a total shambles and disgrace to civilized society, these people should be ashamed of themselves…..but not much chance of that .

  • Muzunga

    Have you talked to the homeless people to find out where they’re from, why they are homeless?

    I stopped to talk to an immigrant busker who I’ve chatted with on and off over the last ten (I guess) years, and was very pleased to find out that he was now married, with a job, and was actually only busking because his neighbours get shirty if he practises at home 🙂

  • TFS

    Oh, will you look at how Loser Democracy works.

    I’m guessing Craig, that the manner of this post hides your disgust and deep conflict within you about the Brexiteers decision to leave, being usurped at each and every turn? Search your soul you know it to be true. If its not, then there is something deeply flawed within you that has rationalised this subversion of Democracy, as being wholly acceptable.

    All Brexiteers were aware that, after the decision, that which has happened, was always destined to happen.

    Just out of interest. A new referendum is constrained by certain rules. Do they affect the timescales in any way?

  • Jan

    The ‘Once Great Empire’ left the poor of its own country in a much worse situation than today.

  • Geoffrey

    Craig, I am not sure why you say that these three options are the Downing Street option, I heard Tony Blair recommending that very same option on The Andrew Marr show weeks ago. The way he put was : May’s reasonable deal under the circumstances, The Boris Nutter No Deal or the Almost Absolutely Perfect Remain option…… I suspect Leavers would sense a trap and would not vote.
    A much better option surely is a straight option between Canada option or Norway option. This would respect the first referendum but allow the people to chose what kind of Brexit they want.
    What is the point on voting on a withdrawal agreement which does not resolve the really BIG question ?

  • Agent Green

    Any further referendum should only be on the manner in which we leave the EU. We have already voted to leave. The choice to the people should be a deal or no deal.

  • Frank Parker

    Surely the “numerous other options” become available as soon as we accept the withdrawal agreement. That is when we start to negotiate our future relationship. Not that any of them is better than remaining!

  • Al

    To release Remainers who might vote for Brexit they must not be persuaded by the claim that a second Referendum would be undemocratic. It needs to be made clear that it would be democratic to ask us (The People) an honest question whereas it was not democratic to ask questions in 2016 backed up by a pack of lies and false claims.
    A referendum that asks straightforward questions and does not try to manipulate us into supporting politicians’ and business people’s best interests would be to fully support the will of The People.
    But what is the will of The People? From the media news The People seem to have been indoctrinated with bias and prejudice for the perpetrators’ own ends. We can only hope that someone somewhere might make it clear to The People what is really at stake.

    • michael norton

      Apparently one and a third million more people voted Brexit than voted Remain, how many Brexiteers are clamouring for another Referendum/People’s Vote?

  • Patricia Wheeler

    Homelessness is chiefly caused by private landlords, who are heavily represented in both Houses of Parliament and are getting richer all the time.

    • Victor Leonard

      “Homelessness is chiefly caused by private landlords, who are heavily represented in both Houses of Parliament and are getting richer all the time”

      Indeed, and one of the consequences of the infighting about Brexit has meant the extreme delay of the crumbs of Tory legislation that might at least have made a slight difference. One is the closing down of letting agents who charge outrageous fees to tenants and the other is the extension of leases from the currently pathetic six months statutory “assured” tenancies to three years. Both pieces of well overdue legislation have been conveniently sidelined while the Brexit farce continues to grab not only headlines but any useful progress in the two things that might have signaled at least some humanity by this pernicious government.

      The letting agent legislation was announce as a ground-breaking and socially desirable proof that the Tories really do care about the average person. Nothing could be further from the truth. This legislation has been conveniently dropped, along with hundreds of other rather pressing subjects. And the press has been utterly obedient to this agenda, with daily and unchanging reports on the same immovable subject matter.

      I long to hear the headline on mainstream media as follows: “Brexit negotiations on all sides are as unproductive as they were yesterday and the day before. Now here is the news”.

  • Sharp Ears

    Back to last night’s QT.

    Diane Abbott accuses BBC Question Time of legitimising racism
    Labour MP’s spokesperson claims she was mocked and interrupted more than other panellists

    18 Jan 2019

    Diane Abbott has accused BBC Question Time of legitimising racist abuse after claims that the shadow home secretary was singled out before and during Thursday night’s episode of the political discussion programme.

    A set up job

    Shame on Bruce, Gentchev and Mentorn. Acting under orders? Most probably.

    • Ken Kenn

      it’s comical that all ‘presenters ‘ (and that’s all they are) pretend to know everything about every subject.

      What the folks at home don’t realise is that a producer/editor is shouting instructions into their ear piece constantly.

      He/she is ordering the presenter ” Ask him this -ask her that and so on.

      What most people also don’t realise is that other presenters ( no name – no pack drill) don’t actually do much research either and have teams of underlings who do it for them.

      On the surface it appears to the audience that the presenters know their stuff when in actuality it is scripted and it’s researchers who know the stuff and not them.

      I’ve no doubt Fiona ( Cameronist – aren’t they all at the BBC?) was receiving orders all night from the gallery.

      From the sounds of the warm up she had her orders and obeyed them to the letter.

      Shameful stuff.

      I would say it’s a taste of things to come but it’s already here.

      • Ingwe

        The dreadful Fiona Bruce is way over her head in Antiques Roadshow and the art fakery bore in. To make her chairperson of QT, fits in entirely with the way the establishment BBC skews the program by its choice of participants and the inevitable majority of right wing reactionary commentators. They sure as hell don’t want an Eddie Maier or someone who would give the right wingers a hard time.

  • Sharp Ears

    We Own It’s campaign to renationalise our railways is growing. Please share.

    ‘Today was the last day for the initial ‘listening phase’ of the biggest rail review since privatisation.

    Thanks to you, the head of the review, Keith Williams, has had a lot to listen to! And we’re only just getting started…

    We’ve been bowled over as HUNDREDS of you have told Keith exactly why you want public ownership. He’s received your comments.

    And this morning we handed in a 120,000 signature-strong petition for public ownership of the railways at the Department for Transport – together with our allies at Bring Back British Rail, Association of British Commuters, Care2 and the unions.

    Now is our chance for public ownership! Watch and share this video to make sure Keith gets the message.’

  • Sharp Ears

    Mark Curtis on the BBC using Blue Peter to give out war porn to the kiddies.

    ‘Mark Curtis
    Why is the editor of Blue Peter
    helping the MOD to propagandise its new aircraft carrier, a massive new strike force? Will Blue Peter next week visit an arms factory to show kids how our missiles are made before flying off to Yemen to see them in action?
    Jan 18, 2019 ‘

    A Gavin Williamson initiative. we

  • Col

    Why does remain get a single entry and therefore a benefit?

    We have no idea what No Brexit / Remain means. Does it mean we lose the rebate? Does it mean we give up control of the military to a EU to create a force of internal repression? Will we have to join Schengen? Will we have to join the Euro? Do we have to take our mandated share of Merkels jihadis that she encouraged into Europe illegally and against the existing border laws of the EU? Will we have to liberally apply the new Global Migration Compact and allow all of the planets 4.5 billion poor the right to reside in Europe if they fancy giving it a try?

    Nobody knows what remain means. Their campaigning was full of lies, many of which have been proven not to be true, not just forcasted to be untrue like the Brexiteer lies.

  • Roger Bailey

    The alternative vote method as outlined is flawed. Why should a person who wanted to remain put a second option ?! A fair method would be to have three options and only vote for one. If the total of the leave votes are more than the votes for remain then we should leave under the leave option with the most votes.

  • Baron

    Had the 2016 vote been the other way round, those voting for Brexit would have grumbled, felt disappointed, few may have shouted loudly, even taken to the streets, but calmed down soon after. The country’s plebs would have accepted the verdict, the top layers of the numerous ‘pyramids of power’, those of the CBI, the MSM, the Unions, the Church … most importantly that one of the Governing class would have been happy, they all wanted to remain, and got what they wanted.

    As the vote went against the top layers, they, the opinion formers sitting at the top of the pyramids, having access to the communication platforms with the farthest and deepest reach have mounted a campaign of scaremongering never witnessed in the history of this country. It aided the efforts of the woman in no10 to scupper the plebs’ vote, to come up with a deal that’s worse than staying in, a deal that cannot but ensured that both those favouring ‘leave’ as well as ‘remain’ must be against it.

    Whatever happens next, unless the wish of the first people’s vote is fulfilled, we leave without a deal, democracy will be dead, very likely forever unless the plebs revolt, unlikely that for as the darling of the Left, Karl Marx once quipped ‘if the British were to have a revolution, it will be in gardening’.

  • Jo Dominich

    Craig, small and sordid is an excellent description of British Politics at this present time. We have a Prime Minister who is not fit for her post, a seriously divided Tory Party in Parliament, a No Deal Brexit and a minority Government kept in power by a group of yes, effectively, terrorists who are responsible for the suspension for two years now of the NI Parliament due to Foster refusing to allow an open and full investigation into funding she has benefitted from. We have an MSM – all broadcast media – from whom there has been not one shred of dissent, investigative journalism or responsible reporting criticising this Government and Government paying hundreds of thousands of pounds to run a filthy smear campaign against the Leader of the Opposition. Small and sordid it is but also dangerous. I wonder why we, the Nation haven’t taken a healthy tip from our French neighbours and hit the streets.

    Thanks to successive Cameron and May Tory Governments – this Country has been made the laughing stock of the world, the economy is in dire straights and getting worse, a UN report highlighted the extent of crippling poverty in this country and heavily critical of Universal Credit in increasing this poverty. Had the Labour party presided over this economic and political catastrophe they would have been crucified by the MSM; who incidentally, are seeking to blame Corbyn for this sordid little mess. I admire Corbyn for his dignity amongst all this – he seems to me to be the only Politician who is thinking clearly and logically and in terms of what is good for the British Nation.

    Our current Government is in chronic disarray and is a disgrace to any nation. Corbyn is right to seek a General Election as any Leader of the Opposition would when the Parliamentary process is in complete meltdown. Gove’s speech had nothing to do with what was being debated in Parliament – i.e. no confidence in May – but trashing Corbyn because the Tory’s have nothing left in the tank vote wise who support their current behaviour.

    It is a shame this Government has dragged this country down to the depths of this governmental and parliamentary depravity. Economically we are heading for a deep deep recession thanks to their short-sighted incompetent economic policies in which they have tripled the Deficit amongst many other things. I am looking at the wildly fluctuating pound sterling at the moment and see doomsday on the horizon. Yet the Tory Party’s formal Propaganda organisation that is the MSM and the BBC continues to tell the country what is happening is o.k. Shame on them and the British Nation for tolerating it.

  • Keithr

    I’ve read a lot of these comments and I’m really surprised that no-one seems to have cottoned on to the fact that all of the financiers of the Brexit campaign, nd probably May and Hubble as well, stand to lose under anything but a no deal because if we stay in the EU in almost any recognisable form at all they will have to comply with the EU anti tax avoidance legislation that takes effect for the next financial year – starting in UK on 6-Apr-2019, and in most of Europe as of 1-Jan-2019. All the millionaires club has to do is keep any deal off the table until the default WTO kicks in and they keep millions in tax payments that they will cop for otherwise.

    Understanding Brexit is simple – follow the money. That’s where the truth is. The only guaranteed winners are the Brexit Billionaire Club – and they have the other BBCs (Aunti Beeb and the British Brexit Cabinet) in their back pocket to help them get it over the line.

  • Dungroanin

    Latest report on Bercow in Guardian includes a line on how the parliamentry coup will be given some cover.
    ‘Another explosive proposal being discussed by MPs would allow them to pass Brexit motions without first winning majority support. Rebels have drawn up an amendment that would allow a motion backed by a minority of 300 MPs to take precedence over government business. This would allow backbench MPs to propose plans blocking a no-deal Brexit.’
    The ‘backbench MP’s..’? That is how they by-pass the opposition front bench having deprived the country a chance of voting for a change in government.

    • JohninMK

      Grieve is at it again it seems.


      According to reports published by Buzzfeed and CNN an influential cross-party group of MPs lead by Tory Remainer and former Attorney General Dominic Grieve is moving to table an amendment that would effectively tear up the parliamentary rule book and allow a mass of backbencher MPs to seize power from the government – something that would be practically unprecedented in the history of British politics – to decide what business comes before the Commons.
      Followed by this linked by uncle_disgusting on that thread. Which he summed up as

      the invocation of A50 was passed as primary legislation by parliament itself. Therefore they would need to pass a new law in order to revoke the old one. At that stage – aside from there probably being no time for all of that before March – they would be committing collective electoral suicide, if there was even a majority for the lemming cliff to be found in the house.

      First post at

      Baldred • 9 hours ago

      MPs can do all they want to the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. It has a Date/Time inset AND it is deliberately amendable by Statutory Instrument should the date of Brexit change, i.e, if Art. 50 Process is delayed.

      BUT it is all smoke and mirrors and misunderstands the purpose of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

      This Act is designed entirely to pull all EU-derived Law into UK Law and repeal the European Communities Act of 1972 which bound the UK into the EEC (now EU). It does not govern the UK leaving the EU and the date/time of “Exit Day” within the Act is amendable to synchronise it with the Art. 50 process only.

      The process of leaving the EU is entirely contained within Art. 50 of the Lisbon Treaty 2007. Thanks to Gina Millar’s attempt to block Brexit, MPs voted to allow Theresa May to issue the Notification of the intention of the UK to leave the EU. That was 29 March 2017.

      Art. 50 manages the withdrawal process. There is a 2 year period at the end of which the UK leaves. It may be delayed by 100% consent of the leaving country asking and ALL remaining EU27 unanimously agreeing to a delay

      The leaving country and the EU may agree Deal but is not obligatory. The leaving country may be revoke the leaving up to the 2 year notification anniversary date. No Deal is the default result if no Deal is agreed.

      I am sure everyone knows this BUT Dominic Gieve is screwed. MPs cannot change Article 50 as it is International Treaty Law, the clock is ticking down to the 2 year anniversary of May’s letter to Donald Tusk relentlessly.

      Dominic Grieve can do what he likes to domestic Law but Remainers are screwed by Art 50 and MOST of them voted for May’s Letter! Hahahaha

      If they mess up the EU (Withdrawal) Act then in Law, domestically, they screw up the transition of EU Law to UK Law and repealing a by-then-redundant Act as we WILL have left.

      As a by-the-by. again thanks to Gina Millar & the Supreme Court split decision, if MPs want to revoke the Art. 50 Letter & Process they HAVE to pass Statute as the Letter was issued by Statute to trigger the process.

      Greatest Gotcha in UK Political History! LOL

      • Dungroanin

        Agree with almost all of that -except my understanding is that the submission of the Article 50 is by the head of government – the Prime Minister.

        Therefore the PM can withdraw it too.

        If this PM doesn’t personally want to She can resign and let in one that would.

        It would be much more rational and much quicker to have a GE.

  • AS

    Actually I’d be inclined to vote remain followed by no deal on the basis that giving up democratic influence on the EU while submitting to its rules is theoretically the worse possible outcome. But a better way of dealing with the three options would be to have two rounds of voting, a week apart, should no option achieve 50% (as applies in numerous presidential elections worldwide).

1 2 3 4 5

Comments are closed.