The Forgotten Referendum – Ireland 1998 353


The problem with making decisions by the blunt and heavy tool of referenda is now very apparent. One self evident difficulty is how to cope with contradictory results. Scotland had two referenda in two years. In the first the Scottish people voted narrowly to remain part of the United Kingdom, in the second they voted heavily to remain part of the European Union. The two results are now incompatible. So how did the referenda help to set the legitimate course of political action? They did not.

There is another incompatible referendum which has gone virtually unmentioned in the UK. Following the Good Friday agreement, Ireland had a referendum in 1998 to amend its constitution to allow it to subscribe to the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Ireland amended its constitution to remove its unfettered claim to its entire historic territory, in favour of a contingent peaceful process. Mutual EU membership and no border control was absolutely intrinsic to that agreement and to what the Irish voted for in their referendum. The vote, incidentally, was by much the same margin as Scotland’s vote to remain in the EU. So in resiling from its EU accession due to its referendum, the UK is negating referendum votes in Scotland, in Northern Ireland and in the Republic. The UK cannot arrogantly claim its referendum is more important than Ireland’s. The famous “backstop” is to maintain at least the shadow of the arrangements on the basis of which Ireland voted in 1998.

The other reason referenda are not useful is they are insufficiently detailed. The Brexit referendum said nothing whatsoever about the UK’s continued relationship with the EU. It said nothing about the Customs Union, about EEA, or even about freedom of movement. The referendum was called by David Cameron to buy off party splits in the Tory Party, but failed spectacularly even on those sordid terms. as someone who wants the UK to fall apart, personally I am enjoying the chaos, but it was not the planned result by those behind the referendum.

I am probably a horrible elitist. I dislike direct democracy and am quite profoundly Burkean. I believe democracy should work through the people electing representatives they trust, to use their judgement and experience and adaptability to make the decisions of government. This is not a popular position given the appalling calibre of politicians currently. That is partly due to the UK’s antiquated electoral and governance systems; but something else is in play as it appears to be a worldwide phenomenon. It is to do with neoliberalism eating away at societal bonds and institutions, and requires a great deal more thought to delineate. But of one thing I am quite sure: referenda are not the answer to the West’s malaise of government.


353 thoughts on “The Forgotten Referendum – Ireland 1998

1 2 3 4
  • freddy

    Found myself wondering what if…what if the 2014 referendum was won for Independence? Would Scotland now be happily independent? Would Craig (perhaps after setting aside his Burkean principles) be fighting off a “people’s vote” to save the Union? Or that has passed, the replay being…no-one was happy at all.

    Addendum – while I warm to anyone who uses referenda as the plural, I find myself in agreement with those posters who consider Scotland’s participation in the second referendum as part of a UK-wide vote, after deciding to stay in the Union 2 years earlier.

    • N_

      Those aspects of Scotland’s public administration that fall under Nicola Sturgeon’s remit she has a mandate to run within the framework of the British union. Some need reminding of the differences between party, state, and volk.

      At the moment I am hoping most of all that people in Scotland and the rest of Britain have enough to eat and the medicines that they need.

    • Goose

      May really dropped a clanger today, by highlighting in her speech the Welsh assembly referendum, as an example of the Tories’ respecting a referendum result . Turns out, she and her party voted against respecting it in parliament. Then in 2005 they stood on a manifesto that promised another referendum to reverse it.

    • giyane

      Bob

      The problem with this article and much else from WikiLeaks is that it whitewashes the USUKIS ‘s relationship with Al Qaida, by presenting Al Qaida as a third party when it is in reality a USUKIS franchise. Waht’s the difference? Well, when you walk into the Kensucky fried chicken shop the price is less and the slimy undercooked slab of pink fat in an American bap is not what you asked for, whereas the genuine Kentucky franchise tastes great. Russia wouldn’t have got involved in Syria unless they knew for a fact that Al Qaida was a USUKIS outfit, set up and managed by Germany, supplied with concrete by France.

      This article presents Clinton as deluded and incompetent, which is whitewash for aggressively Zionist and focussed on the Zionist agenda of destroying Muslim states. Erdogan is the mafia boss of Daesh and he sits at the G20 next to Trump, squeezing the ketchup on the Middle East for his boss. even Iran is a genuine Kentucky product which can be utilised under its ‘destroy Israel ‘ slogan to foment war against Sunni Islam.

      Trump has clean run out of generals so I guess Betrayus will be coming back soon to do his special bombe surprise of sectarian false flags in the mosques and market places of the Muslim world, while Mattis mad dog just wasn’t killing chickens fast enough.

  • Sharp Ears

    Plaid Cymru correct a lie in the HoC today from May on the Welsh referendum.

    ‘We’ve had Theresa May around long enough now to know that we should be taking everything she says with a wedge of salt.

    Earlier today in Parliament, and one day ahead of what looks like being an embarrassing defeat for her and her Brexit deal, the Prime Minister was questioned about her record on referendums.

    Following on from May’s speech in which she attempted to rewrite her party’s historical attempts to scrap the Welsh Assembly, the Conservative Party leader was taken to task by Plaid Cymru leader at Westminster, Liz Saville Roberts.

    /..
    https://www.thenational.scot/news/17357403.watch-mps-laugh-at-may-as-she-defends-tory-record-on-referendums/

  • Gary

    Cameron never expected to win the election, this was why he was confident in including the offer of an EU referendum in the manifesto. Something he had never wanted to do, never mind LOSE the referendum!

    I think that the MPs, across the board, are in agreement with you. THEY dislike referenda too. It chips away at their power and leaves them the job of implementing the will of the people, not something they are comfortable doing.

    Regardless of my ill-will towards the Tories, and May in particular, she is right on one point – the result MUST be implemented if the people are to have any confidence in the democratic process. It should NOT be overturned.

    I agree that it was the most ill thought out referendum to date. In the Independence Referendum we had one of the most well thought out and detailed proposals ever to have been put to the people. It was defeated by both fair means and foul. Cameron, learning NONE of the lessons from the Scottish Referendum ploughed ahead with the EU Referendum against the ‘Leave Campaign’ which HAD learned the lessons of the Scottish Referendum. Had we had the money and (paid) manpower at our disposal (and not had the entire weight of every government organ against us) we would have won Independence comfortably!

    However, as much as I disagree with what has happened, if politicians DO overturn Brexit, the electorate (UK wide) will never have trust in them again (quite rightly) It would show that whatever the result, politicians will do as they wish anyway and in that case why would you engage with politics in any form. I also think that people in England would take to the streets.

    The whole Brexit fiasco reminds me of one of those games where you are granted a wish by Satan, eg – you ask for a Ferrari, you get it but it’s on fire etc. Brexit is similar, you want to leave the EU? Okay, but all of your employment rights will be taken away. You want to leave the EU because of free movement? Okay, but they will exempt anyone who is working in UK under a year (therefore undermining low earners and STILL exploiting poverty stricken Eastern Europeans)

    Those who want Brexit will get a version of it they don’t recognise and don’t want. Anything that COULD have been positive will be removed from it. It will take some decades for the true face of Brexit to be seen but, as usual, the only ones to benefit will be those who are considered the ‘elite’ of society. Those who voted for it will never benefit from it. If it was ever going to be any different then the likes of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg would never have supported it themselves.

    Now that we have a deal in front of parliament then should we not be able to say that we know the ‘true face of Brexit’ and be able to go back to the people with Indy 2? Outside of the EU it will become yet even harder for Holyrood to be respected and the wish of the Scots to be Independent to be put to the vote.

    Brexit would’ve been slightly less awful had the Tories not been the ones to negotiate it, but there we have it, they are going to sell out the wishes of those who voted Leave and run roughshod over those who wished to remain. The massive power shift towards Westminster from Brussels will see them punish Scotland for daring assert any kind of power and Holyrood will be utterly emasculated. I predicted this would happen in the event of a failed Indy vote and it is already underway, it will accelerate after March 29th. God help us!

    • Goose

      Cameron was a chancer. He only backed the Scottish referendum because support was so v. low, running at around 25% only in most polls prior to 2014, he[Cameron] thought he could put the issue to bed. Even the SNP’s leadership, quite understandably, gave the impression at times that any campaign would be futile.

      As support grew however, in the lead-up to the September 2014 referendum, Cameron really started to panic. Travelling to Scotland iirc to put on a tearful display for his “beloved union”. Then there was ‘the pledge’, on new powers. Panicky stuff.

      As you state about the 2016 Brexit referendum, he[Cameron] had good reason to believe (from polling) he’d never have to follow through and implement his 2015 manifesto promise. A referendum pledge was added to that manifesto, simply to stop the loss of support to UKIP and prevent his MPs defecting. Labour performed appallingly in the 2015 election and the rest is history.

    • Dungroanin

      ‘Call me Dave’ and his gimp were part of making brexit happen. By imposing Austerity. A political choice, which set up the populace to be receptive to the brexiteers manipulation, legal and illegal. They could have had a referendum that required a significant majority to change our course, no less then 1 in 11 – like a jury type majority – We went on 1 in 33!
      Dave delivered in both referenda and job done went to his seat at the table and billionaire lifestyle.
      The Indyref took place first (and was knobbled by the same SCL/CA as the next one) because there was NO WAY it could have lost after Brexit. Just think about that.

      There was only one plan – a hard brexit, preferrably delivered by NuLabInc partners in crime over the decades.
      Just one fly in that ointment – Corbyn.

      The best hope for further Scottish autonomy is a GE and a Labour majority government in my opinion.

      • Godolphin

        “They could have had a referendum that required a significant majority to change our course, no less then 1 in 11 – like a jury type majority”

        What if the significant majority required to remain were no less than 1 in 11?

        • Dungroanin

          To CHANGE a 50 year course – should be done on more then a coin toss. Don’t you think?

          Would you like a jury of 33 people that decided your fate on justa majority of 1 in 33?

  • James

    The “leave” option on EU referendum was a bit like the Titanic’s lifeboats – it was +never+ meant to be used.

    So no real thought was ever given to the question, which was so vague that it could have been used to justify half a dozen different outcomes. All that counted was that it headed off a supposed UKIP challenge (he needn’t have worried – they imploded all on their own).

    But of course Dave miscalculated. The referendum became a vehicle for disgruntled voters who were fed up with his old-boy network Toryism and the rest is history.

    This whole sorry debacle, which has UK politics even more poisonous, is a good demonstration of why Germany has long outlawed referendums.

    About the only thing you can say in its favour now is that it will help to re-unite Ireland and it will give Scotland a push towards indepedence. Not quite what Dave intended, I guess.

    • Tom

      But the reason UKIP imploded was because the shadowy people behind the Leave campaign (and indeed behind UKIP itself) had by then forced Cameron’s hand and secured, and then won, the referendum. Had they not succeeded in doing so, then I very much suspect UKIP would have continued to be a thorn in the side of the liberal wing of the Tory party and that Gerard Batten would not have been allowed to become leader.

  • Goose

    On the subject of Scotland.

    I’m English but in no way emotionally attached the Union, no flag waver. I’d be quite happy for there to be simply mutual respect between England and an independent Scotland, with Scotland setting a progressive example. I really don’t think the govt at Westminster (whether Lab or Con) should have a position on independence, better imho, had they remained neutral in the referendum. Self determination is ,after all, a basic right.

    As for today, the row between Sturgeon and Salmond is deeply unfortunate, and a silly distraction. Whether mischief makers are behind it I’ve no idea? But it complicates calling another vote. And doing that without Westminster’s blessing is high risk. I don’t envy Sturgeon’s position, and despite what some are saying, I think she’s basically the same determined fighter for Scottish independence she always was. Far better than the alternatives from what I’ve seen.

  • Frank Waring

    A curious feature of the Cameron ‘referendum’ is that the outcome of the vote was given no legal effect by the act of parliament that set it up.. Two years before, on the Scottish independence question, unionist politicians on all sides, vehemently demanded that the referendum outcome should be legally binding. Up to the time of the EU ‘referendum’ a non-legally-effective poll of opinion was called a plebiscite. Giving the outcome of a consultative vote immediate binding consequences, ameliorates to some extent one of the shortcomings that Craig identifies — that the question is ‘insufficiently detailed’.
    Why did not the act setting up the EU ‘referendum’ specify a clear consequence of a ‘Leave’ majority? For example, it could have provided that, if the ‘Leave’ proportion was greater than 50%, the UK government was thereby instructed to activate Article 50 within a period of three months (or three days, for that matter). I think the answer may be that if the terms of Article 50 had been properly examined in parliamentary debate, it would have been clearly appreciated that (by allowing one side, but not the other, to extend the negotiating period indefinitely) these terms put the EU side at such a strategic advantage, that no country should voluntarily submit to the EU withdrawal process. Activating Article 50 effectively passed more control over the UK’s affairs to the EU, than it had ever had before. I’m afraid that the ardent Brexiteers who maintain that the only way to fully repatriate sovereignty is to leave without a deal, are probably right.

  • fwl

    I can’t help but keep coming back to the thought that the drum behind political Brexit events is the economic drum namely how we get off the drug of QE and deal with the cold turkey of QT, and if this has to come about, if we have to go cold turkey (and it’s difficult to think we don’t or else we just print money for ever) are we better in or out of the EU?

  • fwl

    Deaf to the economic drum for a moment there is also a political drum I can hear and that is the concurrence of no government in the US and the UK. Closure of the Federal Gov in the US and a neutered Gov in the UK, which looks as it it may collapse at a pivotal juncture before Brexit.

  • Hmmm

    I agree in general with the criticism of referenda, but there’s a flaw in saying that Scotland had two referenda with incompatible results. Scotland had one referendum (on independence), and *the UK* had another one (on the EU). The electoral unit matters, quite a lot. “Scotland” did not vote against Brexit, any more than “London” did.

  • FranzB

    CM – “The referendum was called by David Cameron to buy off party splits in the Tory Party, ”

    Might be true, but equally I think it was to spike UKIPs guns. Which seemed to work in that the Tories won the 2015 election. UKIP got 3.8 million votes to be sure, but only got one seat via the renegade Tory Carswell.

    Ian Blackford was qute good replying to May this afternoon (14th Jan). Lots of authority. I wish he’d lose some weight though. He’ll need to be fighting fit for whatever come next.

    • giyane

      Hindsight is a beautiful thing but Tory computers must have been telling them for a long time that 30 years of racist prejudice in the press had united the UK for a bandwagon of popular racism. Fat burgers; like icebergs, have more underneath the surface than above ground. When the groundswell of popular opinion reached a critical mass on their computer algorithms , they knew the emergency of Brexit to deal with the problem was bound to win. So I personally don’t believe for a moment that Cameron thought Remain would win.

      Cameron had seen what full-scale Zionist war had done to his predecessor Blair. He had just trashed Libya and ignited the Syrian fuse. He desperately didn’t want to get involved, like Blair in Iraq 2003 after Afghanistan
      2001, with a 15 year hike against Russia, with a hostile internet on his case all the time. So he in effect called the Brexit referendum in order to resign. Madness and millions may yet overtake him even for his sodomy of Gaddaffi and theft of millions from the coffers of Africa. Unlike Blair he may think he has managed to remain squeaky clean. Cameron remains. while the UK gets washed down the populist May racist revolution.

  • JohninMK

    John Helmer in Moscow has linked to Craig in an article about a recent book about the remarkably similar to current anti Russian moves by the UK back in the 1920s. Its a long read but quite enlightening. Things don’t change is the lesson here.

    “A report by a group of British academics has identified fresh details of operations and funding sources for Integrity Initiative, including the money Facebook is contributing. This report also traces the military and intelligence backgrounds of the operatives. Former UK ambassador Craig Murray has identified names and roles in the operation of Foreign Office analysts on Russia, and the MI6 case officer for Sergei Skripal. ”

    http://johnhelmer.org/operation-integrity-initiative-british-intelligence-celebrates-a-century-of-russia-lies-and-self-deception/#more-20240

  • William MacDougall

    I agree that referendums are blunt instruments not to be encouraged, but the conflicts you posit are not there. Scotland voted that it preferred the whole of the UK to be part of the EU two years after it voted to accept UK wide decisions on such matters: no contradiction. Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland each both voted to accept the Good Friday Agreement that said virtually nothing about the EU: again no contradiction. Dislike direct democracy all you want, but these are not good examples of problems…

  • Hatuey

    I’ve given up on Scotland. Actually, I’ve given up on me. I can’t work out if I detest the gullible idiots on one side more than I detest those who are on the other side.

    Like Craig Murray, I suspect, I’m hoping Brexit causes chaos for Britain — Britain and its constituent parts, including Scotland, deserve chaos.

    Someone gave the Tories a ouija board and they conjured up demons. There’s no undo button with those things.

    Good luck.

    • Clark

      “I’ve given up on Scotland. Actually, I’ve given up on me. I can’t work out if I detest the gullible idiots on one side more than I detest those who are on the other side.”

      I can relate to that.

      • Clark

        I should clarify. A lot of the time, I’ve given up on me too, and I can’t stand proponents of either side of most arguments either.

        Hatuey, I apologise for the ambiguity in my earlier comment.

    • Iain Stewart

      “Actually, I’ve given up on me.”
      It’s good to see you back, Hatuey, you’ve been missed (despite your occasional atavistic Calvinism) so don’t give up.
      — What has Scotland done (or not done) to deserve chaos, though?

  • Tony M

    It’s more, not less direct democracy we need. Pre-requisites for it to work are a) clear exposition of the issue or issues at hand, which the existing corporate-banking-intelligence controlled media will determinedly thwart, and b) democratising root and branch reform of the aforementioned corporate-banking-intelligence fiefdoms.

    There will always be marginal results, but in any of the referenda you mention, without such distorting influence and interference, the results would have very likely have been much more clear-cut. Scottish Independence would have romped home to 70-80% in favour, a reversal of the baleful 2014 outcome and the EWNI (England, Wales, NI) EU-Exit referendum would have been more heavily in favour of EWNI Independence from the EU. If such an EU referendum would ever have taken place. If Cameron, his government, party, could have survived their masters’ wrath when Scotland left their precious union.

    So it’s toys out of the pram and baby out with the bathwater from Craig, for all the wrong reasons. Fix the underlying problem of the top-tier master controllers, we fix most but those the significant issues he has with referenda. But he’d still have lost one (EWNI EU exit) but won one, Scotland’s Independence (a fine prize). Timely Scottish independence would have fixed-it for Scotland to remain in the EU till the EU itself fully unravels (not long now) and emerge neither a vassal of the late EU nor abject English colony and domestic punch-bag. UDI, with a Westmidden boycott, after the splendid 2015 UK GE was the optimal course.

    As a warning to the SNP not to fumble so again, and raise their game, and to ensure Holyrood is forever pro-indy, to reduce state-funding of unionist parties, and reduce unionist media exposure, another pro-independence unwavering Scottish national party is needed to contest Holyrood list seats.

  • Contrary

    Fascinating. Radio Scotland GMS, one of our propaganda outlets by the BBC here in Scotland, has introduced Bellingcat as a crowdfunded online research etc, finding out all the truth about the Skripals and Syria for us, blah blah, huge long interview (with such restricted time, at prime time, between 8 and 9 am) with a promise of an even longer interview online. This from the BBC that believes all online blogs are sources of fake news. It was treated with no scepticism, as is their won’t except when interviewing unionists. They must have somehow missed the leaked documents from the integrity initiative tying in Bellingcat to government funding because they didn’t mention that at all. I expect Bellingcat will have another revelation soon now that the BBC has bigged them up. Maybe just yet another Skripal smokescreen squirrel event to overshadow uk government incompetance manoeuvre. there can’t be anything happening politically that might need overshadowed can there?

    The media here are telling us there’s an SNP civil war just now and this is the most important thing ever, apparently, so dunno why they need to throw in the Skripals too, seems like overkill to me.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Link (I hope). Eight minutes with no introductory preamble.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p06y3qs2

      Meanwhile BBC Scotland Political reporter, Sarah Smith has apparently been on Radio Four presenting personal punditry on the subject of SNP internal workings as established fact. Smith is deeply spooky. Father was alumni of British American Project. Mother was director of private intelligence outfit Hakluyt. Smith is married to American, ex-military spook.
      Smith was poached by BBC from Channel Four in early 2014 and sent North to keep the natives “on message “, so no agenda there!

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Apologies, Smith’s other half although born in America is actually ex-British military.

  • Republicofscotland

    So its come to light through an ex-Israeli army chief, Eisenknot who spilled the beans, that Israel has been arming and funding terrorists in Syria all along. I think most of us knew that to be true, and Eisenknot just confirmed it.

    Meanwhile New York mayor Bill de Blasio, openly praises Israel, and claims its part of his job to promote the military state. I wonder how much longer the taxed to pay for Israel, US taxpayer will put up with it?

    • Dave

      And its much more than whatever Israel gets, because the US taxpayer is also funding the wars and buying allies in the region due to the Israel lobby.

      • Republicofscotland

        Yes, now we know Israel funds arms and supports terrorists, the US can surely no longer complain about other nations supporting terrorists, when the US is openly propping up the military apartheid regime of
        Israel.

        • Charles Bostock

          “Yes, now we know Israel funds arms and supports terrorists,”

          Actually, we know nothing of the sort. Earlier you purported to quote from General Eisenkot to that effect. Unfortunately, as is your wont, you distorted what the good general said. Perhaps that’s why you didn’t link to one of the many available sources which reproduced what he actually said?

        • Jo1

          The UK and the US have been training, arming and funding rebel groups in Syria since the start!

  • Brian c

    “The UK cannot arrogantly claim its referendum is more important than Ireland’s”.

    That is certainly within the Tory wheelhouse. Some of them have already publicly threatened to re-starve the Irish into dropping the backstop. If they are willing to re-enact the Great Famine they are more than capable of claiming that a British referendum has more import than an Irish one.

  • Sharp Ears

    The ex UK Ambassador to Syria and Bahrain writes:-

    Peter Ford, former British Ambassador to Bahrain (1999–2003) and Syria (2003–2006), offers the following assessment.

    US Withdrawal from Syria: Postponing the Inevitable
    At the start of the year the horizon seems to be dominated by the issue of the possible withdrawal of US troops. In reality however the more important action is elsewhere.

    US withdrawal: on or not?
    Every day that passes seems to bring fresh evidence that Trump’s decision is being walked back. But appearances can be misleading.
    7th January 2019
    https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/us-withdrawal-from-syria-postponing-the-inevitable-by-peter-ford/

  • Tatyana

    The Heritage Foundation issued a brief:
    6 priorities of US policy in Europe in 2019

    1. US-UK Free Trade agreement
    2. Stop Nord Stream 2
    3. Permanent military Presence in Eastern Europe
    4. Maintaining involvement in Balkans
    5. Focusing on Ukraine
    6. Ramping up engagement in the Black Sea
    https://www.heritage.org/sites/default/files/2019-01/IB4933.pdf

    so I see, all is about russian economic interests in Europe and russian military interests around our borders, except only #1 and much or less #4
    what I expected but haven’t found in the document, it is Kurile Islands problem. Japan stated they will seek for US support to help them getting the islands.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Tatiana.
      This is the first I have heard of Japan having any serious territorial ambitions with regard to the Kurile islands. The Japanese have a notoriously racist attitude towards the few remaining Ainu people on Hokkaido. Ainu on Hokkaido have been estimated as being as few as 25K due to forceful suppression of the native culture.
      Then again, the attraction of the Kurile islands to the Japanese will not be the population, but rather the mineral and fishing rights.

      • Tatyana

        Vivian O’Blivion
        Japan has not yet recognised the results of WWII and Russian sovereignity over Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Habomai islets.
        Thus, we still have no Treaty of Peace between Russia and Japan.

        Russia’s fear is that US military bases will appear immediately there, and this will cut our fleet off the Pacifics. (Because there was long negotiations about US Okinawa base to be moved off Japan first, but it is still there).
        Japan’s position is that Kuril Islands are their Northern Territories occupied by Russia.

        We had just had one of regular negotiations between Russia and Japan on the islands a day or two ago.

        • michael norton

          The United States of America claim they are worried for Europe, as they imagine Europe is too dependent on Russian Methane.
          Donald Trump hardly gives a shit for Europe but he does care about selling fracked U.S.A. Methane to Europe.

  • Ottomamboi

    A classic case of a referendum which was destined to be never about its subject but rather the popular view of the ruler, was the 1969 constitutional referendum in France proposing greater decentralization of power. De Gaulle staked his authority as President of the Republic on its being approved, however 52% voted against the proposals, the majority of those through dislike of him and his perceived ‘monarchistic’ tendencies.
    The quasi-monarchic French presidency, which De Gaulle instituted, continues to function and decentralization is an ongoing subject of debate.

    • Charles Bostock

      One should add to the above entirely accurate post that by the time of that referendum the no vote was facilitated by the knowledge that there was a valid Gaullist successor in the wings,, ie de Gaulle’s former prime minister Georges Pompidou.

  • mark golding

    It is to do with neoliberalism eating away at societal bonds and institutions, and requires a great deal more thought to delineate. Michel Foucault reminds us how the market evolved from the church which lent the money with interest accrued from church property rents. Politics protected this derision by legitimacy with laws and institutions. The state apparatus evolved that crushed any remaining trust in the trade network and induced the war machine with it’s ‘think-tanks,’ police state and deception.

    A succinct approach for the destiny of civil society is to eliminate church and sovereignty together with those institutions that sustain this public deception.

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00131857.2017.1305720

  • Sharp Ears

    The MP with the highest second income, the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, Con, Torridge and W Devon, is opening the last knockings on the Brexit bill.

    1. Geoffrey Cox (Conservative): £653,718 from his work as a barrister
    Constituency: Torridge and West Devon
    Income sources: • Practices law at the bar in England and Wales, and provides legal services.
    https://www.businessinsider.com/the-richest-mp-in-terms-of-second-incomes-2017-8/international?r=UK&IR=T/#1-geoffrey-cox-conservative-653718-from-his-work-as-a-barrister-13

    See
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Cox_(British_politician)#Tax_avoidance_allegations
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Cox_(British_politician)#Outside_work_whilst_employed_as_an_MP

    Did he bill HMG for this earlier legal opinion last month?

    Theresa May’s secret Brexit legal advice says exactly what we thought it said – just more bluntly
    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-legal-advice-published-theresa-may-contempt-vote-geoffrey-cox-attorney-general-what-it-says-a8668181.html

    • Dungroanin

      Its like being bashed around by Mr Blobby – almost entertaining.

      A lot of waffle – nowt said.

    • N_

      Did he bill HMG for this earlier legal opinion last month?

      Surely that work is paid for with his salary?

    • Charles Bostock

      Yes, Sharp Ears, some barristers earn an awful lot.

      And yes, some barristers are MPs – I believe it’s quite legal.

      Your point, therefore?

  • Bob

    england has always hated ireland, it’s first colony

    dont watch parliament today because it is not fit for habitation – the criminals at the house of charlatons are continuing the pantomime season – it could damage your health

  • N_

    I have nothing but contempt for the many MPs of all parties who sit in the House of Commons during debates picking their smartphones like retards.

    • Dungroanin

      They are being coordinated in their interventions. Bercow took them on again yesterday, after May and before Fox.
      Classy.

      • N_

        Some of them are coordinated. But that guy sitting behind Kenneth Clarke, wearing a brown suit and something similar to an MCC tie, hasn’t stopped picking his phone all the time I’ve been watching. He could do that in his bed!

        • N_

          The manners rule for users of these abominations called smartphones should be that if someone’s talking to you and you want to show basic respect towards them, don’t pick your phone when they’re talking. Picking it is like pulling a book out of your pocket and starting to read it.

  • Sharp Ears

    News from Salisbury. DS Nick Bailey returns to work. Novichok was not deadly after all. 😉

    Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Angus Macpherson confirmed the officer had now returned to work.
    “He’s doing very well and we look forward to working with him,” he said. “He’s making a good recovery – but I suspect the mental recovery will be longer, as it would for any of us who were exposed to something as horrific as that. He will be given all the support he needs.”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-46874361

    Q. Where are the Skripals?

    • michael norton

      I wonder if D.S. Bailey recalls if he caught it from the doorknob or perhaps from the roof timbers?

  • N_

    Attorney-General Geoffrey Cox’s shtick is to say practically nothing but say it in a booming voice and with strong hand movements.

    • Dungroanin

      Did he change any Tory MP’s vote tonight?

      Which dodgy amendment will be used by the ex-attorney general to march the lying tories down the hill again.

      OT? – just looked at CM’s twitter, being ‘mensched’ – always sticking her bignose in – needs further rhinoplasty?

1 2 3 4

Comments are closed.