Thoughts on UK Politics 506

3.1% of those eligible to vote bothered to go to a polling station and vote Tory in an important UK wide election last week. That’s 1 voter in every 33. Yet the Tory Party is shortly going to choose internally, from within its despised ranks, the next Prime Minister of the UK, even though that Tory Party does not even command a majority at Westminster. That is how dysfunctional the UK constitution has become.

Meantime the SNP were runaway victors in Scotland and Sinn Fein topped the poll on first preferences in Northern Ireland. The UK is disintegrating before our eyes. I pray the SNP leadership finally discovers the courage to seize the moment.

There is a huge amount of wishful thinking in the popular twitter meme that SNP, Libdem, Change plus Green votes just outweigh Brexit plus UKIP votes. This wilfully ignores the fact that a very high percentage of the residual Tory vote are Brexiteers- their Remainers have, like Heseltine, decamped their vote to the LibDems. Any Remainer voting Tory would be certifiable.

The figures are also distorted by adding in Scotland. In Scotland the SNP, Green and Lib Dem vote outweighed the Brexit and Ukip vote by a massive four to one. Scotland being 11% of the total vote in this election, that tilts the overall calculation towards Remain by a full net 5% (duly allowing for the small Tory and Labour votes in Scotland). If you do the figures for England alone, it is absolutely plain that the people of England wish to Brexit. Nobody has the right to stop England from Brexiting as it wishes. What is needed is a mature and friendly acceptance that this means the UK must split.

I stood twice for election in Parliamentary elections in England as an independent anti-war candidate. The first time, in Blackburn in 2005, the BBC broadcast a radio debate between the candidates but excluded me on the basis that I had “no evidence of popular support.” I polled 5.0%.

When I stood later in Norwich, the same thing happened again, and I pointed out that I had obtained 5% in Blackburn. The BBC told me that 5% was not enough public support to be given airtime.

I shall be fascinated to see if they apply that to Change UK and their 3%. Don’t hold your breath. I am rather proud that just on my own, with a few blog readers helping, I am more popular with the electorate than this massively hyped new political party.

I was a Liberal, then a Liberal Democrat, member for over 30 years. I made the stupid mistake of not realising how far the party had moved to the right during my years of working abroad, and anyone who has any understanding of history will know that for the party of Gladstone, Rosebery and Home Rule to brand itself as a Unionist party is an abomination. So there is little remaining affection, but nevertheless I would advise my remaining LibDem friends not to contemplate any kind of merger, alliance or accommodation with ChangeUK.

The LibDems are on the up, whereas ChangeUK are on the way to oblivion. Politically ChangeUK, with its unrepentant Tories and the right of the right wing Blairites, would drag the LibDems still further rightward and make remote the chance of living down the coalition betrayals that almost destroyed the party. Finally, why the LibDems would want to import the most virulent and corrupt pro-Israel lobbying in the UK into the party is beyond me. ChangeUK should simply be ignored on its route to entirely deserved extinction.

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506 thoughts on “Thoughts on UK Politics

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  • Walter Lippmann

    In Scotland, if someone wants to vote against the interests of corporations, the business lobby, and the Israeli lobby, who should they vote for?

    • Piotr Berman

      Perhaps a more pressing issue is finding a pub where such issues could be discussed without risking a scuffle?

  • Dave

    The Euro-elections were a rerun of the referendum and if Change-UK had the wit to call themselves Remain they too would have done better than the Lib Dems. It shows what a farce elections really are when the co-authors of calling the referendum and austerity are rewarded at the polls, but the result shows a majority for Brexit, but a need for a compromise to keep UK together.

  • Brian c

    It is difficult to distinguish any political difference between the LibDems and Change UK. Both regard the status quo of 2015 as having been some kind of nirvana and have nothing else to say that resonates.

      • Ingwe

        I agree Brian c@17:50.
        The Lib Dems are political gadflies and whenever it has mattered, they always back the Tories or take the reactionary line. They are unprincipled trash and deserve to ultimately be consigned to the dustbin of politics. We all remember their stance when they backed the Tories in government. They had the chance to ally with Labour but instead took the position that they were obliged to follow the largest party; whatever their policies. And so it transpired and they backed austerity, raising of education fees and doubtless, had the Tories wanted to execute immigrants, they’d have gone along with that too.

        • Brian c

          I don’t know if it was different during Charles Kennedy’s time as leader but as of now they are no different to the Anna Soubrys of this world. The current leader it is conveniently forgotten flogged off Royal Mail at a huge discount to George Osborne’s buddies. I have no doubt they would do similar things again if given the chance of another coalition with the Tories.

          • john hartley

            Brian, I think we can can be a little more generous and spread the opprobrium and ordure around the appalling sell off of Royal Mail much wider than the execrable Osbourne(*). You must remember Mandelson and the EU directives and Labour’s Postal Services Act in 2000 facilitated the final privatisation

            (*) I am sure he has is own circle of Hell reserved for him, or perhaps just having to be such an oleaginous turd is punishment in the now.

  • Skye Mull

    Lots of people will have voted Green or Lib Dem for other reasons than a desire to prevent Brexit, so there is a defective analysis at work here. Didn’t more people in Scotland vote in a previous referendum to stay in the U.K. than voted SNP? You can spin these election results into almost any conclusion that suits your own position… and this is one of the arts of being a politician.
    I still cannot fathom a desire for Scottish independence yet staying in the EU. How much better a Federation of the British Isles would be for all, but I know mine is a minority view that can never see the light of day with the present system.

    • Mr V

      Maybe you should educate yourself then, independent Scotland would have vastly more say in EU than current occupied Scotland has in UK (but then again, it’s close to zero so virtually anything is better than that). For one, because small states have disproportionate amount of influence in EU by design and right to veto in a lot of cases. People of EU also love one more left leaning voice in EU institutions instead of toxic bankster mouthpiece UK is, protector of both tax havens and war criminals.

      • Skye Mull

        Hasn’t Scotland has had a disproportionate voice concerning England and the U.K. through its voting in Westminster and Edinburgh? And what about those Scottish Prime Ministers like warmonger Blair?
        Your suggestion that the EU gives disproportionate weight to smaller states also could indicate that the U.K. will be bled dry by the EU in the longer term.

        • nevermind

          with all due respect, dear bled dry, your system is in utter disarray and you still bring yourself to blame them for the choices you made? laughable.
          The Greens you so laud are now in the position to offer the EU an agenda for reform, sadly non of the parties here could see this opportunity to work with them in the past, but the chance for change is there.

          Leavers claim to have a mandate and so do the remainers, nothing has changed, the two main parties got what they deserved long ago, and that is good. The Brexit party will not be able to develop a policy framework that does not sound like an investment policy for their backers, so at a GE this will not look like this election, for starters the electoral system reverts to the medieval system.
          I am glad that the Green party will now receive more political coverage than the walkabout change uk proponents who must now realise that their time is up and that they will not be able to punch/sleep their way into power without some help from the dividers in this country and without distorting the BBC’s political coverage policies into some Geiger designed creature of discontent.

          don’t know whether this petition is life yet, it has been a week since setting up, but this will go life as it had the support of five people. Its for those residents who had a tape stuck over their mouth whilst some 17odd million selected voters made a decision on their families future here. Residents in this country , those who choose to live here for the last 5 decades, deserve to vote in a referendum on a final deal, if there is one.

      • Ralph

        Mr V: ‘independent Scotland would have vastly more say in EU.’ LOL, as 1 out of 28? But then, the eu is NOT a democracy, what with luxembourg getting SIX MEPs for its 0.6 m people.

        • Muscleguy

          As an independent country we would get 13 MEP’s. Small countries get proportionately more because otherwise places like Lux would get half an MEP. The US runs a similar sort of situation wrt senators.

    • MBC

      The European union is a federal union. The British union is an incorporating union. That is why Scots want out of the British union but would be happy in the EU.

      Dream on about a British federation if you wish. It was ruled out in 1707 and the English would not agree.

      • Iain Stewart

        “The European union is a federal union.”
        No, in fact the EU is a mere confederation of independent states, to which they have delegated limited powers (specified in the treaties and subject to veto). Unlike Switzerland, which calls itself a confederation, but is actually a federation (without a president). Personally, I think a federation might save the UK from disintegration, if that is indeed a worthwhile objective. But saying it was ruled out 300 years ago is not a very powerful argument against this possible solution. It would probably be more constructive to set out the advantages and disadvantages of such a constitution (again, if anyone can be bothered).

      • Casual Observer

        The EU is still a Confederacy, that may or may not have ambitions towards becoming a Federation. Although it is difficult to see that any nation in Europe would give up its sovereignty to the extent that would make the Federal option realisable.

    • Jimmeh

      Oh, I can understand the desire to be independent of the UK, but to stay in the EU: regional grants.

      What I can’t understand is that intelligent, well-informed politicians would present that as a serious platform. It is perfectly clear that if Scotland left the UK, it would simultaneously leave the EU. And if the UK left the EU, it would of course drag Scotland out with it.

      An independent Scotland would have to apply for membership of the EU – a process that takes years, requires[*] economic alignment, and entails making the Euro the national currency.

      [*] The requirement for economic alignment is a ‘soft’ requirement; Greece and many of the Eastern European countries were plainly not economically aligned; they were allowed to join because German political convenience was allowed to override the joining rules.

      • Jimmeh

        Of course, to achieve economic alignment, you have to have an economy of your own.

        So how’s this supposed to work? Let’s suppose a newly-independent Scotland sets up a Scottish National Bank (let’s not call it “Bank Of Scotland” – bad associations). The new Scottish government can now borrow from its own national bank. Let’s suppose it issues currency called “Scottish Pounds”. I think that might work, up to a point, provided that the new government isn’t perceived to be accumulating debt.

        If the new government could seize what remains of the gas-fields, there would be a government income from that; and who knows, there might be some new fields to be discovered. And the new government could assert fishing rights over a really quite large area of the North Sea and the Atlantic.

        The drilling would have to be subcontracted to drilling companies; that’s what all other countries with reserves do. So that’s all OK. But the fishing rights would have to be enforced – presumably by the Scottish Navy. The only thing that could pass for a Scottish Navy is a fleet of three Trident Subs. That’s not going to work. And the Scottish fishing fleet is hopelessly depleted (like the English fishing fleet) – the remaining boats are small, and the number of fishermen is small.

        I’m at a loss to see what other major economic resources the newly-independent Scotland can rely on; salmon? CM posted the other day about Scottish farmed salmon exports, and how they were parasitizing wild salmon fishing tourism. Kippers? I’d like some kippers, but you can’t get them in UK shops, not even the crappy boil-in-the-bag ones – they’re hopelessly unfashionable. I don’t think anyone outside the UK knows what a kipper is (a kind of tie popular for a short time in the sixties?). Oh – I think it’s possible to have a kipper for breakfast on the Caledonian Sleeper; but you have to have breakfast at 6:30am, because they kick you off the train at 7:00am.

        Scotland has (or had) a reasonably robust electronics industry, in the Lowlands. I don’t know if that’s still viable; I hope it is, but I think much of it is gone, along with the rest of the UK electronics industry.

        By radically reforming Scottish land ownership, perhaps a viable Scottish farming industry can be built, on land previously dedicated to grouse and deer hunting, land currently owned by overseas landlords with addresses in places like the Cayman Islands, who don’t pay much tax at the moment. But reforms like that are going to be terribly hard, politically.

        I really would like independence to work. But I’ve not heard anybody explain how the economics is supposed to hang together. Come on – modern economics was invented by a Scot – surely someone can come up with a credible economic model for an independent Scotland?

      • Muscleguy

        Rot, numerous EU figures post Barosso have rubbished this. As a former member that is in complete compliance with the Aquis the idea that we would have to wait more than a couple of months is wrong. The EU parliament in response to the large Remain vote in Scotland with independence in mind convened a working party on how our membership could be sort of set in aspic. No extra MEPs for eg while we passed customs, defence, foreign affairs etc bills in compliance then we would be in.

        They also rubbished the idea of there being a queue you have to join. Aspirant countries move closer to Accession (or further away if you are Turkey) at their own rate and Accede when they have reached full compliance and been certified for doing so.

        You are peddling falsehoods. I suggest you much better inform yourself.

        • Jimmeh

          I believe it is you that is misinformed.

          All aspirants must nowadays adopt the Euro. Economic convergence is indeed a requirement for joining; it’s hard to see how one can demonstrate convergence when one doesn’t have an independent economy. And EU leaders were very clear that a newly-independent Catalonia would definitely not be granted any kind of automatic EU membership. Why do you think Scotland would be treated differently?

          I don’t know what you are talking about with ‘queues’. I’ve never heard of any kind of queuing system, and I certainly didn’t mention any queues. Perhaps you have mistaken me for someone else?

        • Jimmeh

          “As a former member that is in complete compliance with the Aquis”

          A former member of what? Members of the EU are states. Scotland has never been a member of the EU, nor has it ever been eligible for membership. It has not been a state since 1707, 286 years before the EU was formed. Within the EU, Scotland currently has the status of a region. Regions are not assessed for compliance with EU treaties.

          Are you suggesting that (say) Lanarkshire is in “complete compliance”? It’s not even possible to make sense of that kind of claim.

  • Republicofscotland

    Yeah a good result for the SNP, they must now use this momentum to push for independence. The BBC at one point claimed that remainers in the rUK outweighed leavers, whilst not incorporating the Tories, or Labour which I believe to be pro-Brexit.

    As you say Craig England is decidedly pro-Brexit, and Scotland pro-remain, Scotland is moving one way and England another, time to dissolve the union. I just hope Sturgeon acts on the EU results.

    The altenative is out of the EU without a deal and a Tory PM such as Boris Johnson breathing down our necks.

    • JOML

      Alex, the power Westminster wields over Scotland is completely different to the power the EU has over the EU members. How people cannot see the difference… Jeez, you can’t make this stuff up.
      PS. I’m no fan of the EU myself but you don’t need permission to leave that union.

    • Mary Pau!

      Have the EU powers that be, actually agreed that an independent Scotland would be given fast track entry to the EU, if it split from the UK post Brexit?

      • Republicofscotland

        I think they have loosely agreed that, as far as I know no EU member state has opposed Scotland rejoining, and on a quicker basis, supported by the fact that we’ve already met the criteria for EU membership as part of the UK for a number of years

      • Iain Stewart

        By “powers that be” do you mean the European Council? If so, how could it possibly make a consensus decision when the UK is still a member? Once the UK finally wanders off into the wilderness, however, there seems little doubt that at least some of the remaining 27 members (France obviously, Spain probably, we can all compile our own Anglophobe list) will do everything they can to irritate and annoy it by whatever means are available, including of course being chummy with Scotland. But until then, Scotland will still be seen as a semi-autonomous region of a member state, with no special privileges, or rights to dialogue.

  • Ian

    If you want to play that game of analysing the euro elections in terms of remain and leave, then you have of course omitted Labour, who are predominantly remain, whatever Corbyn and his clique say. How convenient for your argument. Just about every analyst agree that as far as you can tell, the result demonstrates most poll figures which show a rough parity of both sides, with remain ahead by a slightly larger amount than leave won in the referendum. Brexit is indeed an outbreak of English nationalism, but loftily pretending that it is nothing to do with you, and won’t massively affect Scotland, whatever the future holds, is just wishful thinking, and a convenient excuse for sniffily avoiding the whole debacle. Not unlike Corbyn, who appears to think it is just an annoying distraction from the true path to utopia.

    • Ian

      And Scottish independence won’t be the comforting security blanket you think it is from the fallout from brexit.

      • michael norton

        I rather like the Swiss idea, that anything that would change the lives of the people,
        you ask their views, in a referendum.

        Brexit will either be deliver by the end of October or this current government are extinguished.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Labour, who are predominantly remain, whatever Corbyn and his clique say.”

      Labour’s offical policy is to leave, albeit with a deal.

      As for Scotland obtaining independence, I wouldn’t call it comforting, more logical, and the beginning of a new chapter for the country.

      • Ian

        I didn’t say it would be comforting, I said that whether Scotland gains independence or not, the massive fallout from brexit will have an enormous impact on the country, So you cannot afford to ignore it and blithely dismiss it, as Craig does, using notional future independence as a comfort blanket to avoid acknowledging its consequences, and thus opposing it.

        It doesn’t matter what Labour’s ‘official’ policy is, the wishes of its members and supporters are what matter.

        • Ken Kenn

          Despite the ideals of Independence or change the next Tory PM will be a No Dealer.

          The question for the non leavers ( I think we can include most Labour MPs in that camp now) is how to stop a No Deal Brexit?

          A Referendum or Confirmatory vote will not be on offer from the next PM as there is only one ‘ Deal ‘ in Town ( Leave ) and no other Deal that has been formulated and voted on by MPs.

          The next Brexiter PM may not compromise and attempt to ram the No Deal through Parliament.ignoring the wishes of the MPs.

          Not very democratic, but the government puts forward legislation not the opposition.

          The only antidote to a No Deal ( in my opinion of course ) is to Revoke Article 50 as the SNP have suggested.

          Unless we have a General Election?

          Which is tricky as I’m not convinced that the LIb Dems – Change and all others with the fear of losing their seats will vote with Labour and others in a vote of no confidence.

          No Deal needs to be challenged by Revocation I think.

          Everything else is hot air.

        • Republicofscotland

          “be the comforting security blanket ”


          Errm… cough cough look up.

    • bevin

      ” Labour, who are predominantly remain, whatever Corbyn and his clique say.”
      You are, I presume referring to the PLP which does appear to be overwhelmingly Blairite and Blair-lite. There would appear to be considerable support for Brexit among Labour voters and within the membership of the party.

        • Mary Pau!

          It seems to me a number of Labour Remain MPs, are at risk of being deselected by their Brexit voting constituencies at the next General Election.

          • michael norton

            There is a mass movement of Conservative members attempting to deselect their Remoaner Tory M.P.’s at this time.

      • nevermind

        No he does not, why should Labour voters descend from their party and vote for Greens, Lib Dems and the Brexit party? Bevin, this was not due to Labours clear voice /policies on this mattefr, it was because they wanted to send the party a message.

        The PLP will now find themselves opposed by Brexit party candidates, and the voters who don’t mind policies and vote for slogans an or rah rah hurray Johnies will send the PLP back home. What Corbyn is unable to could/will be done by voters.

    • Muscleguy

      One reason Labour did so badly while the FibDems did so well in England is that Labour are a Leave party under Corbyn and all their Remain voters deserted them. Perhaps you missed the Alistair Campbell farago and all the other Labour bigwigs going ‘I’m Spartacus’ today?

      If prominent Labour party members voted FibDem because they were Remain, what does that tell you about the Labour party? So I’m afraid the Labour vote has to be added to the Leave vote. Pretending otherwise is just blinkered and many in Labour agree with me.

  • Jack

    A whooping 31% for Farage’s new party, meanwhile UKIP only gained 3%, I guess that is the future for europe in the future.
    A social-conservative party like the Farage one, a party that reject the main ideologies of Tory/Labour, but also more right-wing parties like UKIP.

    At the same time, when Brexit is done (if it ever will be?) will Farage dissolve the party itself? How would that affect the political landscape?

    • Dungroanin


      The kippers followed the big kipper as usual – they have been hardwired into doing so after years of non-stop msm force feeding on farage.

      For all the spin around – like the Guardian leading graphic omitting ukip from their list of parties, ignoring the fact that Farage transferred almost all of the previous votes ! – it should be made perfectly clear that nothing like 17 million have chosen tbe hard brexit party. And only half of the referendum turnout bothered to vote this time. And hard brexit only got 2/5th of that! – hard brexit is dead dead dead!

      May went knowing the result – she would have been forced into a more humiliating departure tomorrow and found it impossible not to go to the country. Her manifesto dead.

      The attack on Corbyn by both sides, although seemingly effective, has just cleared the leaderships path to publish a manifesto and make it clear to the government , media and country they are ready for a showdown.

      Sunrise or high noon – see you at the ok coral!

    • Ken Kenn


      25% of their ” whop ” came from UKIP roughly.

      The other 6 -7% came from Leaver Tories and some from Labour Leavers I think.

      Despite what breathless Laura and her Cameronite chums at the BBC are saying they caveat the great surge as not
      being transferable to a GE.

      Don’t forget these were the same pundits who were sayin the Labour Party was dead and buried in 2017.

      By the way Hunt is correct.

      Next leader maybe.

    • michael norton

      Jack if you add the UKIP vote to the Brexit vote you get 35% of total votes cast.

  • Giambologna

    I find your talk of left wing and right wing very confusing and a little silly. The Blairites are ‘very right wing’ and the Tories even more so according to Craig.

    As a social and economic small-c conservative, I see that the Blairites and the Tories have the same politics and it is very different from the traditional, socialist left-wing politics of Corbyn. It does not seek to nationalise, it is pro-war via foreign ‘humanitarian intervention’ and it wholly believes in the free markets. But these parties (New Labour and the Tories) are clearly now of the left. They are very socially liberal, they believe in abortion almost without restriction, they believe in easy divorce, they believe in comprehensive education and are against selective education, they believe in liberal criminal justice stances, they believe in liberalising the economy. Everything they do is based from a liberal standpoint rather than a conservative ones.

    These ideas come from the left – Gramsci and later the Fabians. They are not ‘right wing’ political ideas. Roger Scruton and Peter Hitchens are right wing. David Cameron, Tony Blair and Boris Johnson are not.

    • Stygg

      Political Compass disagrees:

      (I know, 2010 is the wrong election, but it does place the Blairites quite firmly on the right, and there’s a chart at the bottom showing how UK parties have drifted over the past several decades.) Incidentally, the “socially liberal” stuff doesn’t matter for this diagnosis — left/right is an _economic_ continuum.

  • Mist001

    The only vote I’ll be making (if I’m still eligible) will be in an independence referendum should the SNP suddenly have a brainstorm and remember its core business. I will never vote for the SNP as a political party again so in all probability, I won’t vote for anyone in this rotten system.

    And maybe that’s the whole point of current UK politics, to deter people from voting by making them feel as I do.

    • Muscleguy

      We may have to weaponise the 2021 Holyrood election as the SNP have threatened May with at Westminster already. Then I expect List votes will be tallied by declared Yes/No allegiances. I suppose you could vote Green or RISE (if they still exist) instead of SNP and still vote Yes. But you will still have to vote for a party to take part in that form of referendum.

      Westminster and Whitehall would hate that scenario as there is all sorts of scope for voter confusion. We might vote Yes by mistake! That would never do.

      So despite all the bluff and bluster I expect the civil servants to inform No10 of the political realities and so they have a choice of a neat, simple referendum or a messy, chaotic Holyrood election.

      The SNP also threatened to weaponise any GE, so a majority of Scottish SNP/Green MP’s would make us independent. Note last snap GE Sturgeon expressly stated it was NOT an IndyRef.

  • William Purves

    Now is the time for the Scottish Government, being one of the two signatories of the Treaty of the Union of Parliaments, to repeal the Treaty.

    • Muscleguy

      Without express democratic permission and even though it would be legal it would amount to UDI and international recognition, as the Catalans found out, would be dicy.

      This is why Sturgeon is being careful to be seen to try everything, stopping Brexit for eg, while inducing May and Co to deny us a Section 30. It is forming evidence in saying to the world community: Look we have tried to exercise our right to self determination but Westminster is being recalcitrant and obstructive so we are trying X instead.

      I’m not sure if she really thinks WM will come to it’s senses and grant us a Section 30, she is just playing the game. I certainly hope that is it. Though if the new PM says ‘Okey’ she hasn’t lost anything either. If the Commission agrees it will bully all the individual capitals to recognise whatever method we choose. If that happens and the EFTA countries do so which seems very likely and Iceland ditto it will be hard for the rest of the world not to. Canada and the US have big proportions of people who see themselves as Scottish Americans etc who will jump up and down if they don’t citing the Declaration of Independence etc.

      Ditto Australia and NZ. China might be late to the party with Tibet and Xinjiang but the Russians have a soft spot for us as we share a patron saint and much interacting history. The South American countries thinking of their independence from Spain/Portugal will recognise us as will post colonial Africa. The snowball will gather pace. We just have to do it by one of the methods Craig has outlined previously.

      Referendums are actually a minority method of gaining independence.

  • Ben Franklin

    The Tory MPs of the David Cameron majority and David Cameron himself will go down in history as the people who destroyed the UK. First, Cameron let the Unicorn Brigade push him into a very poorly conceived Brexit referendum. That referendum should only have asked whether or not to begin the process of leaving the EU, and should have included an automatic confirmatory referendum once the deal and choices were known to be different from the Unicorn Parade that was instead what people voted for. But even worse appears to be their Fixed Term Parliament Act which has resulting in a non-functioning Tory government that apparently can’t have a stake driven through its heart. I’m only a silly American watching from across the pond, but it seems like in the past this government would have fallen and their would be another General Election. Instead, we are stuck watching the Tory freak show elect a new leader who won’t be able to pass their main and only agenda through Parliament.

    As an American, I’m in favor of groups that desire independence. Even if that is now a minority view in the former colonies that fawn over a royal baby. I believe it was Jefferson who wrote that its better to have a government that is closer to home, and that seems like a wise choice for everyone except the corporate lobbyists and the Generals who want massive states to benefit themselves.

    • Sharp Ears

      Brexit. Cameron’s legacy.

      He is a poor imitation of Blair. He is having trouble writing his book in the now famous Shepherd’s Hut. He has writer’s block! I believe he was given a large advance for the book.* Blair had his old friend Gail Rebuck to publish his. She is the widow of Philip Gould, adviser to Blair and Mandelson. Enough said.

      And he only owns five houses compared to BLair’s portfolio of 17. The latest acquisition was a £2m house in North Cornwall currently being remodelled.
      Let alone the vast Cameron family wealth as revealed in the Panama Papers.

      What is David Cameron up to now?

      * ’16 May 2019 – Cameron sold the rights to his memoir to William Collins, an imprint of HarperCollins, for a reported £800,000 in 2016 and promised to give a frank account of his time in Downing Street. On Thursday the publisher said the book, For the Record, would be published on 19 September.’

  • Loony

    As a consequence of the type of arrogance that only the truly ignorant can embrace the UK has managed to engineer a situation whereby everyone is a loser.

    However in a nation of losers the Labour Party must surely win the prize for the biggest losers of them all, Their policy on Brexit appears to be not to have a policy. That Corbyn despises the EU is beyond doubt (just look at his ideological alignment with Benn and Foot – and to a large extent George Galloway).

    Most of his MP’s are in love with the EU – and most of them represent constituencies that are passionately determined to leave the EU. Corbyn can only maintain his position thanks to Momentum and they too are in love with the EU.

    So a Labour Party that wishes to leave the EU will in short order lose its leader and possibly trigger the defection of some existing MP’s. None of this is likely to be attractive to voters and so it can expect to lose more MP’s in an election – especially as there is a clear and unambiguous alternative available with regard to leaving the EU.

    A Labour Party that wishes to remain in the EU will lead to electoral devastation – with just a few weird people in London voting for them. Naturally the overriding interest of London voters is that their house prices do not fall. In order to avoid extinction then the Labour Party will need to effectively re brand itself as the “Party of House Price Rises” Not really all that appealing to those who consider themselves to be largely disenfranchised. Hilariously it will involve Corbyn pretending to support the EU and needing to adopt policies designed solely to inflate asset prices. I guess this would all be too much for Corbyn to stomach and he would just quit – thus bringing an end to the Labour Party love affair with Communism.

    • Wikikettle

      Loony. Yes, Corbyn must never be allowed to inact policies for the many rather then the few…..we cant have people starting to pay their fair share of taxes and sink off shore havens can we ?

      • Loony

        It is not my problem that the passionate supporters of Corbyn are metropolitan elites who could not give a flying fuck about the poor – and care only that their house prices continue to rise.

        • J

          They get ‘passionate’ about Corbyn but they “care only that their house prices continue to rise.” Isn’t that at least two passions?

    • Sc

      Labour campaigned for remain and reform, though the official project fear got most of the coverage. Once they lost the referendum to leave, they respected the leave vote, 2017 general election fought on that basis, and they have ever since been arguing for a less damaging soft Brexit. Not specially unreasonable.

      • Loony

        I note you fail to point our the exact nature of the reform that Labour were campaigning for.

      • Mary Pau!

        I have long been puzzled about Labour’s EU policy of negotiated reforms. Hasn’t the EU reiterated, on many occasions, that it has no intention of introducing reforms just to accommodate the political situation in the UK?. What would Labour do if they won a general election and approached the EU to open discussions about reforms only to get a sharp “Nothing Doing” response?

        • Sc

          We are a large economy and could have some influence if we ever took the EU seriously. What I understand Corbyn and I think the TUC were saying is, yes the EU is not perfect but better in, arguing , than out. And it’s not the completely unreformable bureaucracy some think..

  • Lennart Odström

    I can understand if someone wants a independent Scotland. But how can Scotland be independent and a still be a member of the EU? EU is an unelected creation that has neoliberalismen as foundation. And the leading politicians, all unelected, want EU to take control of the budget of all member states by 2025.

    • Bones and Dirt

      We’d prefer an insignificant voice in an indifferent EU to no voice in a hostile Westminster it seems.

      Also, there’s a lot of misplaced love for the EU in Scotland. They are seen as having partially mitigated the rabid free-marketism of successive Westminster governments.

      Me, I always vote for the most destabilizing option.

    • Republicofscotland

      All the other EU members are independent nations are they not? Scotland will join that group of independent nations. As part of the UK we have six MEP’s similar to tiny Malta, as an independent nation in the EU, we’d have thirteen I think.

      Just one of the many benefits of dissolving this unfit for purpose union sooner than later.

      • ciaran

        That is the very thought going through my mind at the moment? I live in the Republic of Ireland where we have a population of 4.8million approximately. We currently have 11 seats in the European parliament, increasing to thirteen, if Brexit ever happens. So I was more than somewhat surprised that Scotland with roughly a population of 5.3 million was only allocated a mere 6 seats. It looks like Scottish politicians either are not doing their job or/and England doesn’t think you are worthy of more. Strange state of affairs seen as the Scots evidently would like to remain in the EU and the English are nowhere near as sure.

      • Muscleguy

        Not to mention we can make alliances with other countries over various issues in ministerial meetings etc.

        Here in the UK the SNP caucus with PC and with SF not taking their seats the only other option is Caroline Lucas.

        So in the EU we can have big influence by forming alliances not available and with many fewer options in the UK. Over some issues as a full member we also get a veto, something we have absolutely no chance of doing in the UK. Nicola suggested to Cameron a triple lock of all parts of the UK having to agree and he stupidly did not take it.

        Otherwise instead of Brexiting and May we would still have Cameron and Farage would be trying to turn UKIP into an English independence party or starting one like the BP and still crying in the wilderness. England declaring independence so it could Brexit would suit everyone, other than the heavily Settled and Stockholm syndrome Welsh. We could offer to help them adapt I’m sure. Having three Celtic countries in the EU could be interesting though.

  • Michael Droy

    “Any Remainer voting Tory would be certifiable.”

    Perhaps – but they might be right.
    Tories push the EU for a better deal, get nowhere or worse, try to push through no-deal, fail, new election and there are chances of remain.

  • BuggerLePanda

    How many of the Tory wrinklies who will vote on who will be our next PM actually voted Brexit Party?

    UK Constitution (ha) is not fit for purpose.

  • MBC

    I’m not entirely sure we can assume that Tory and Labour voters in this election were ALL Leavers. Ashcroft did an analysis of voting intentions (sample 10,000) a few days ago. It revealed that most were voting for these two parties because ‘this is the party I always vote for’. Brexit came third in their reasons, and given that Labour’s position on Brexit is ambiguous…

  • KJH

    I can understand the SNP wanting independence from the UK but why on earth would they want to then surrender it to the federalist anti-independent EU?

      • Iain Stewart

        Whoever told you the EU is a federal union was misleading you (and perhaps other people who may have voted leave on the basis of similar misinformation). Its only “federal” competences are strictly limited to customs, commercial competition and fish (with monetary policy for the Eurozone).
        It is a confederation, without a constitution.

  • W

    Did anyone else notice Liverpool? I’ve been watching them for some time.

    In the last general election the five constituencies in and around Liverpool voted 78% Labour

    In the 2016 referendum they voted 58% Remain.

    Last week 30% of the English population voted Brexit. In Liverpool only 18% voted Brexit while 44% voted Labour.

    What distinguishes Liverpool from the rest of the country?

    No one in Liverpool reads the S*n.

    In the rest of the country it is the favourite paper of the working class.

    Just a thought.

    • J

      I agree. It is a very interesting correlation. I’m not surprised it hasn’t been more widely noted.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “I’m not surprised it hasn’t been more widely noted.”

        It has been noted many times, just not by the media for obvious reasons (hint: controlling public opinion).

    • Tony

      I remember reading an article by a prominent Conservative Party activist about the last general election. He could not believe that their election leaflets for Wirral West contained quotes from the Sun.

      As the Conservative party declines, this lack of local knowledge is likely to get worse!

  • Goose

    During Charles Kennedy’s time as leader (1999 to 2006) which incidentally, coincided with the start of Iraq war – March 2003, being a Lib Dem was the only realistic option for those feeling dispossessed and appalled by New Labour’s assault on civil liberties, its hawkishness and the general drift to the right in all policy areas.

    The next Lib Dem leader needs to both value civil liberties and copy Kennedy’s popular dovish example, it also needs to be someone who’ll tell Chuka’s lot to get lost if they come looking for a merger.

  • Paul Damascene

    That Craig could compose this entire entry with no mention of Labour is, I fear, an indication of an ill wind blowing in their direction. It seemed a two-horse race theirs for the taking, now both horses seem to have died in the traces.

  • Hatuey

    When it comes the the EU, I’m the biggest federalist here. I studied EU politics and economics for years at university because I was genuinely interested and enthusiastic. That Europe, after thousands of years of vicious infighting, could evolve into a peaceful and powerful collective fascinates and excites me to this day.

    In John Le Carre’s latest and possibly final spy novel, set in the present, the wonderful character George Smiley re-appears and he addresses the question of what all the Cold War espionage and subterfuge was for. He dismissed capitalism, democracy, and the west and replied simply that it was “for Europe”.

    For Europe. I understand that.

    And yet here I am in this predicament hoping that Britain Brexits in the most hard and destructive way possible. Contradictory as it seems, it is in fact completely logical and rational that I should want this to happen;

    1) we might not like it, but the people voted democratically to leave. It must be honoured.
    2) the fools who voted to leave the EU need to be (and should be) taught a lesson. Give them what they wished for — how else are they expected to learn?
    3) a second independence referendum for Scotland is much more likely if we crash out of Europe.
    4) we are much more likely to win a second Scottish independence referendum if we crash out of Europe.
    5) Brexit will make Britain weaker and less influential in the world and that in itself is a good thing (especially for innocent middle easterners). If Brexit leads to Britain being dismantled then that’s even better.

    These are strange times.

    • JMF

      I lived in Europe for 9 years.
      Europe’s diversity is what makes it great and also what makes federalism impossible. There are too many different cultures & languages to make it a viable single currency area (Optimal Currency Area). The circa. 1 TRILLION EURO’s Target2 balance ‘owed’ to Germany is all the proof you need to show that the imbalances between many of these European countries are simply too big to make a single currency viable.
      Where is the logic or accountability in the Bundesbank providing an interest free loan, with newly created funds, that doesn’t need to be repaid, to the Italian Central Bank so that an Italian in Italy can buy a new BMW? And this entire process happens in the twinkling of an eye.
      But that’s the whole story with the EU isn’t it? No accountability.
      The British can smell a rat!

      • grafter

        “The British can smell a rat.”……….That would be England’s racist faction. The stench from Westminster is appalling and the Thames is a muddy brown colour.

        • JMF

          The stench from Westminster is indeed appalling but, thanks to the electorate, it is improving ever so slightly right at this moment. It is the British Brexit vote that has unintentionally opened this foul smelling can of worms. For that we should be grateful

      • Hatuey

        Interesting that German alacrity when it comes to providing loans and support can be defined as some sort of sinister scheme. Nobody is providing anything so that people can buy BMWs. We just went through the worst recession since the 1920s.
        I’ve heard a thousand dimwits go on about TARGET2 as if they found a smoking gun. It’s a very ordinary ,mechanism for distributing finance which every country has in one way or another.
        British national debt right now is £1.8 trillion. That’s essentially double what you define in the Euro zone as some catastrophic. Does that represent an impossible imbalance within the UK? Is the Bank of England selfishly providing that money so that the Welsh can buy British cars? Lol

        • Loony

          Yes, UK national debt represents an impossible imbalance – just as the debt everywhere does. Money has not been provided for the Welsh to buy British cars or for them to buy anything else. Money has pumped into the system to inflate asset prices in an attempt to disguise a solvency crisis.

          In theory the British could get back control over their central bank. It is obviously impossible for each member of the eiuro to gain control over the ECB and so Europeans are even more screwed than the British. Take a look at this

          Monetary policy explains why British people cannot afford to buy houses, and it explains why the French are rioting. That reform of the EU is impossible likely means that the scope and magnitude of the rioting will increase. For people who claim that the EU is responsible for maintaining the peace then it sure seems a weird policy to encourage mass unrest in France. Oh sure the horrors of the 20th century were used to eclipse all previous history – but take a look at just how destructive the French revolution really was

          • pete

            Looney’s remarks and reference make a lot of sense here. If I have understood him/her correctly this is what Max Keiser bangs on and on about, week after week, on the Keiser Report (RT) Namely that a Fiat currency is backed up by nothing at all, the whole process is just a bubble continually inflated by printing more and more money, this works so long as the money never falls into the hands of anyone who tries to use it, hence it goes to the banks who then refuse to lend it in any useful way, the main profits here only going to the banks themselves and hedge funds and other speculators gambling on the ups and downs of exchange rates and fluctuating scarcity of resources. These speculators gaining an edge on other hangers on and insiders by having access to systems able to enact transactions at a marginally faster rate than competitors.
            Like a dog chasing its own tail this cannot end well. Yet some people claim economics is a rational process.

          • Hatuey

            Paper (Fiat) money was first introduced and adopted in Europe, as I recall, in the late 17th century. It’s hard to understand why anyone now, given the last 300 years of European dominance in the world, would suggest that it has been a hindrance to European economies.

            I’ll be blunt since this is the Internet and nobody really cares… you’d need to be a certifiable crackpot to suggest that Fiat money has been anything but hugely successful in Europe and its offshoots — who do you think defined the international system and who do you think dominates it?

          • pete

            Re Hatuey at 14.02
            I hardly recognise your picture of a financially homogeneous Europe, even less the notion that a Fiat currency propped it all up. Europe from the 17th century to today was hardly an un-problematic whole, its financial growth was propped up by the slave trade, wars of occupation and exploitation, the immiseration of the working class and internal feuds. The great mass of the people had no say in the working of its financial structure, not that that might have helped. It was backed up by gold, silver and other precious metals and goods. In the UK the banks notes were redeemable by gold up until 1931. After that it was a wing and a prayer.

          • Casual Observer

            A link to the ‘Hedge’ !

            Catering as it does to a predominantly American audience, its maybe the case that Zerohedge portrays a rather biased view of the EU ? If one see’s the world economy as being dominated by the 3 big fish of the US, China, and the EU, then it becomes clear that a reduction in size of one of the fish means more for the other two to get even bigger on ?

            Recourse to the comments section of any article at Zerohedge regarding the EU will reveal that the average American has much less idea about the EU than even the Love Island viewers who have flocked to the Nigel banner here in the UK 🙂

          • Hatuey

            Pete, if you look into the functioning of banks in the early days, the Bank of England being a good example, the remit was to print money and indulge in what we would call today investment banking, long term borrowing, and usery.
            There was no requirement to hold gold to the value of deposits. Instead the paper notes came with a mere promise to pay the bearer on demand. The money they printed equated to government debt in theory but it was entirely fiat in essence.
            The idea that money only became fiat after 1931 in the U.K. is a red herring. People who say that don’t understand the purpose of central banks — their purpose was to allow governments and monarchs to borrow without limits, with a promise that it would be paid back in the future, aka government bonds — and they understand history even less.
            Britain was the first country to adopt the gold standard and it only did so in 1821.
            Lenders were, of course, happy to work on the basis of mere promises like that since they were assured that the states and governments they were lending to were not going anywhere.
            Incidentally, have a look at the number of financial and banking “panics” there were in the U.K. between say 1821 and 1931. The idea that the gold standard promoted stability is completely at odds with the record. There was a financial and banking crisis almost every 10 years.

          • Iain Stewart

            Good stuff Hatuey.
            You probably recall that there were times in the nineteenth century when Scottish banknotes were even preferred to gold, as being more dependable.
            As David Hume pointed out (a few years before his close chum Adam Smith) the wealth of a nation and the desirability of its currency depended on its natural resources and the ability and willingness of its population to work hard.
            I could dig out the references to both of these points but I’m sure you are familiar with them.

          • Hatuey

            Iain: “You probably recall that there were times in the nineteenth century when Scottish banknotes were even preferred to gold, as being more dependable.”

            Yes, and that happened with the US dollar around 1970 too…

        • JMF

          Even in Germany there is a fierce debate about Target2 so that will surely add a few more thousand dimwits to your list. Perhaps they should all go and buy Deutsche Bank shares.

          • Hatuey

            Naturally Germans are concerned; it’s their money and their industrial might that is underwriting everything.

            Borrowing and loans can only be facilitated where they are underwritten and it’s hard to imagine how any European Central Bank would be expected to perform such a role without reliance on and reference to its primal guarantor, the German economy. And why would you want it to?

            The trillion euro debt you refer to signifies the effectiveness in of the system, the willingness of Germany to act as guarantor and underwriter, and the extent to which member states are able to borrow when necessary.

            If it wasn’t for TARGET, I wonder on what basis the Italians and others would borrow — pasta? And I wonder what sort of terms and interest rates they’d expect when through TARGET they are getting free loans in effect.

      • Bill Thomson

        JMF having spent ten years based in Eastern Europe, despite having severe reservations regarding the British having the ability to smell a rat, after all they keep voting for them, I otherwise endorse you opinion entirely. Germany has made good use of the EU.

    • giyane


      I voted Leave primarily to kick the presiding war criminal in the huevas and for your No. 5 i.e. to make Britain weaker in the world for the benefit of innocent Middle Easterners.

      The war criminals in Tory and Labour appear to have anticipated my right boot’s very amateur approach to their delicate eggshells and twisted my tactical vote to mean Britain hates foreigners.

      I wasn’t expecting them to expect me, and I do feel stupid hopping around on one leg while they drag me by right boot. But small compensation is found in the fact that the red and blue neo-cons knew what they were doing was wrong and unpopular with the electorate viz destroying a list of Muslim countries.

      The fact that they were expecting our boots in their to its proves their guilt. They knew they were doing wrong. So when the Avenger ( no not that bowler-hatred pin-stripe , the Real One ) avenues the neo-con destruction of the Muslim countries and they say ” We didn’t know what we were doing . We only wanted oil “, The Avenger will say:

      How come you were expecting giyane’s right foot in your short and curries then? And How come you funded Farage to wreck the United Kingdom too punish the giyanes for daring to criticise what you were doing to his fellow Muslims?

      Then He will push the delete button. Inshallah.

      • glenn_nl

        G: “I voted Leave primarily to kick the presiding war criminal in the huevas and for your No. 5 i.e. to make Britain weaker in the world for the benefit of innocent Middle Easterners.

        That was a particularly daft form of reasoning, with all due respect.

        Without so much European influence, the UK will become ever more subservient to the war mongering Americans. It’s loyal attack dog in the words of Chomsky, or – as Patrick Cockburn put it the other day – “… an ever more humble spear-carrier for Trump’s America”.

        Huge own-goal there, Giyane, I’m surprised you didn’t think it through a little better.

        • giyane


          However, British punching above its weight does seem to now resemble a poisoned cockroach lying on its back trying to work out how the novichok got out of the perfume bottle.

          I thought it through and I’m 120%happy with what I’ve done.
          So nerr !

        • Hatuey

          A dismantled UK outside of the EU would leave England poor and weak. They can carry spears for anyone they like. Should we worry about Madagascar carrying spears for Trump too?

          It’s not as if the record suggests an intact UK within the EU has been a pillar of civilisation or that it’s been able or inclined to resist Washington.

          That’s a ridiculous argument, Glenn.

          • glenn_nl

            @Haughty: However weakened the UK is, do you really think it will be at Madagascar’s level of offensive capability? You have some cheek calling my argument ridiculous (actually, it was Patrick Cockburn’s, as mentioned above) while coming up with nonsense like that.

            It’s a curious position perhaps you and certainly Giyane seem to take, cheering on an impoverishment of Britain. That causes a lot of misery for people, and no good that I can see. Your argument from earlier today that everyone will see the error of their ways once the downfall strikes is touchingly naive.

          • Hatuey

            Glenn, we don’t need to guess or argue. Have a look at how the U.K. has behaved over the last say 30 years. Is that a record that warms your moral heart? Millions have died.

            It makes sense though that it isn’t your argument. This is what happens when seemingly intelligent people get lazy and stop thinking for themselves.

            My argument is mine.

          • glenn_nl

            @Haughty: Good of you to admit it being your argument – I’m sure nobody else would want to be blamed.

            You seem to be arguing against a different point to the one anyone was making, however. Nobody suggested the UK had a wonderful moral record.

            Kindly explain why you think a reduced Britain would be better for the world. I hope you’re not one of these people that imagine we won’t have money for wars if the economy weakens, and will decide to devote remaining funds to social programmes and infrastructure instead.

            It’s a dangerous delusion that you apparently suffer from, wherein a Britain vastly more in hock to America and unanswerable to Europe will produce a humanitarian positive.

          • Hatuey

            Glenn, since you seem incapable of remembering my argument, I shall spell it out and add some clarification. I think dismantling the UK will leave England weaker and I think that’s for the good of England and humanity.
            I also see no reason to assume that a country the size of England would impoverish its own people if it suddenly stopped throwing its weight around on the international stage and bombing innocents abroad.
            You can quote Chomsky or Cockburn and anyone you want. If Britain stopped pretending it was a big man on the international stage and stopped buying stupid things like nuclear weapons, jets, and aircraft carriers, it would have more money to spend on tackling poverty at home, not less.
            If by some stretch of the imagination the English people did find themselves poorer, and I see no reason why they would, then they would at least know their levels of prosperity did not depend on “bombing niggers”, as Lloyd George allegedly put it (quoted by Chomsky, incidentally).
            Certainly I think people in the second and third world would be better off. Or do you wish to argue that bombing them is somehow good for them as well as us?

          • glenn_nl

            @Haughty: Once again, you pretend about your correspondent’s arguments and questions instead of actually addressing them.

            I actually remembered your unsupported point well, and asked you to substantiate it – something you still have not done.

            There are at least half a dozen straw men in your latest reply, and the number increases with every post. Is that your tactic here – just throw straw men around until they become so numerous they aren’t worth listing and countering, so that you can claim some feeble victory?

            Nothing you attributed to me here – in this entire exchange – is a point I actually made. Are you this slippery and dishonest in real life? Every point is either untrue or a straw man in your latest. 100% of them.

            In any case, you have done a good job in distracting from the point – so I have to give a nod to that attempt.

            The point was – why do you think a diminished Britain would be a greater good, to the world in general? Although I have to admit, hopes of getting any honest conversation out of you have somewhat faded.

          • Hatuey

            Actually, Glenn, this is a new question you are asking;

            “The point was – why do you think a diminished Britain would be a greater good, to the world in general?”

            At no point above did you ask that but I can answer it very simply.

            I’m really arguing that a dismantled Britain would be less bad. It stands to reason that if Britain was disbanded then it would lose a lot of influence. I assume it would lose its permanent seat on the UN Security Council for a start. That’s a big one.

            Immediately, though, England without Scotland would lose the oil wealth. Do a search on Google for Britain’s main exports and oil comes up in the top two with just about every search result — where services are discounted, it comes up first. Without that oil wealth, Britain or England or whatever you want to call it would essentially have very little to sell to the world outside of arms and offshore banking facilities.


            Britain/England, of course, would fall right down in the economic rankings on GDP. In short it would be forced to radically change the way it manages or mismanages its economy and if renewing trident and militarism are contentious now, these things would be much less contentious when they simply couldn’t afford them.

          • glenn_nl

            @Hatuey: Ok, perhaps it wasn’t clear that this was not the point I thought we were disputing.

            H: “Actually, Glenn, this is a new question you are asking;

            Fair enough.

            —-> *Olive branch*

            The trouble with your argument about a diminished Britain doing less harm, is that I really don’t think that’s the way it works.

            Knowing your disliking for calling on the thoughts of others, I hesitated before recalling Tony Benn’s maxim that “There is always money for war!”

            A few ne’re-do-wells I happened to be bump into shared their excuse for total idleness and rather welcomed alcoholism – if it took money from the state, so that it would not be funding wars, they were quite happy pursuing a lifestyle which furthered that sentiment.

            Pointing out that meals-on-wheels and social housing budgets were far more likely to be cut, than nuclear weapons budget overruns were going to be seriously stepped upon, was not the line of reasoning they wanted to take.

            In much the same manner, I put it to you that Britain’s worth is going to be much more as a more compliant military stooge after it’s diminishment following Brexit, than it was before.

            With the result that a weaker, more subservient UK is a more destructive force than it was inside the EU.

          • Hatuey

            Glenn, you keep coming back to this idea that Britain would somehow be more susceptible to US overtures if it was reduced to just England. We have no way of knowing that right now. Maybe it will.

            I’m saying it’s been the most enthusiastic US spear carrier of all in the last 30 years and that it would be less inclined to follow the US into illegal and expensive wars if it was poorer.

            I could be wrong, but at worst it would continue as it has in which case we have lost nothing.

            As for cutting ‘meals on wheels’ and social budgets, what has that got to do with anything? I can’t imagine how people would react if say Russia argued that losing access to Ukrainian resources would negatively impact on social spending. I’ll refrain from applying that logic to Nazi occupied Eastern Europe.

            The interesting thing though is that in the case of Ukraine, Nazi occupied Eastern Europe, and other places, it’s probably true.

            Maybe Britain should expand, take back Ireland or something, because then we’d have more to spend on welfare….

      • giyane

        ps I should explain that ‘toots ‘ toot-ake is Kurdish slang for your private parts and spellchecker changed it to ‘ to its ‘.

      • Hatuey

        Sorry to burst your bubble of self importance, Giyane, but many people voted for Brexit for the same reasons — filed under “rocking the apple cart”.

        Western foreign policy is a key issue for me. I’m not bogged down by “poor me” stories from people in Britain who comparatively speaking don’t have a care in the world. It puzzles me that “socialists” in the UK get so emotional about stuff that goes on here when the biggest problem here, as I see it, is probably obesity.

        On the other hand, official figures suggest that around 50% of the world is malnourished. Those are the ones we bomb. Everything is connected.

        But I agree with Will Self when he said all racists voted for brexit even if not all Brexit voters were racists… and I think most brexit voters probably celebrated when we bombed Iraq and that the vast majority don’t care about things like world poverty.

    • nevermind

      Well said Hatuey, leaves to add that the EU has now been polarised by the events of the last ten years and is very likely open to reform at the top, or peace between the 27 might be in jeopardy.
      You also forgot the WTO, much talked about but not much explained. Some 200 people beavering away in Genevre who are in utter disarray due to Trumps sanctions and ensuing trade war with China. The latter has tried to become a members of the WTO for some time now and has been rebuked by political western machinations, if anything its defunct. The world is reverting back to pre Bretton woods solutions by its actions and the globalisation agreements, Uruguay and Doha are technically not feasible anymore.

      I agree we are living in strange times, but its also a time for opportunities and I hope that the SNP leadership realises this. Their adhesion to Westminster should theoretically diminish and bar from giving advice to the new functional dysfunction down south, they should concentrate on the future of Scotland first and foremost.

    • Dave Lawton

      May 28, 2019 at 02:51

      “When it comes the the EU, I’m the biggest federalist here. I studied EU politics and economics for years at university because I was genuinely interested and enthusiastic. ”

      Well do tell me as I am interested from your take on how and who created the EU project.

      • Hatuey

        It’s complicated. At the heart of the EU/EEC/EC though, is an agreement between France and Germany. I’ll put it crudely and let someone attack me for over-simplification… basically, in return for giving German industry access to French markets, the French were given guarantees for their farmers and wine producers. We call the guarantee to the French the CAP.
        You’ve got to remember that many in Europe and France wanted to de-industrialise Germany at the time as a way of preventing another war. There was a lot of stuff like that flying around in the mid to late 40s and in actual fact NATO was primarily aimed at containing Germany, not containing communism as western comic/history books would have you believe.
        The EEC provided a similar sort of containment in respect of German industry.

        • Muscleguy

          A couple of years back I was at a Halloween party at a friend’s place and got talking to a guy who was a prof of History who had just researched the seemingly forgotten Coal and Steel union which Germany and France instituted in the 1920s. They even went so far as to hold joint cabinet meetings. It floundered eventually due to different economic cycles they did not have the techniques to handle then.

          When the Victorious Allies decided to form the EEC guess where they got the blueprints to the Franco-German Coal and Steel union which started it all?

          Imagine if the first one had worked. No rise of Hitler and Nazism. No De Gaulle stopping the British from joining in. Might have resulted in an anti Communist alliance mind but Soviet Russia was in no state for starting a war with the whole of Europe. It certainly bears thinking about as an alternative history. It could all have been quite different.

          Wouldn’t have stopped the Japanese though without the European powers being embroiled I’m not sure Japan would have tried expanding out into SE Asia and the Pacific either. There might still have been the confrontation with the US mind but the EEC might have decided to stay out of it.

          I could go on all night like that. Then again if Napoleon had been able to enforce the Continental System and had not made the mistake of invading Russia over it then it would have been different again.

  • Wikikettle

    I hope the Scots can shape a society that differs greatly from current values. All our peoples now have access to information never before dreamt of. If they don’t act on this available information and are lazy – well, don’t complain and say you did’nt know. I cant vote for any party that is for ; Nuclear Power, Nuclear Weapons, sale of weapons, following the US into never ending wars, rampant consumerism and non stop entertainment and noise wasting valuable life time and deadening the brain and crap food clogging the body. I am so impressed by the quality, range and depth of debate on Craig’s site. I don’t have a TV and run to the radio on the hour and half hour to turn off their so called News. I agreed with the ‘Anonymous’ groups broadcast bemoaning the fact that the people never turned up in their their thousands to surround the Embassy and lead Julian to safety. So it is their, mine and our loss that we keep walking on by….

    • michael norton

      The Liberal Democrats, think they are riding high on the hog as they have borrowed Remainer votes from Tories and from Labour
      but do not forget, they were against Nuclear Power, yet to get into bed with David Cameron, they reneged.
      The LibDems were against student fees, yet to get into bed with David Cameron, they reneged.
      They say one thing in one constituency, yet another thing, in a different constituency.
      Like all parties, they tell lies to the voters.

      • Mary Pau!

        Making the speech their audience wants to hear, sounds like Tony Blair.

    • grafter

      Well said Wikikettle. This English mess we are in is surely the turning point for Scotland towards Independence.

      • Shatnersrug

        You’re all reading too much into it. You all know the public use local elections(which eu elections are of a sort) to punish the the status quo. Its absolutely retarded to do that with the eu, seeing as EU elections are about arguing the minutia about allocating funds. But that’s the British for you.

        Let’s also remember that EU citizens are allowed to vote in these elections, skewing the innercity vote towards remain parties, extinction rebellion is large in the public’s mind at the moment so it stands to reason that a pro-EU internationalist party like the Green Party should do well out of it.

        Come the next GE the public will be focused on removing the current govt in whatever form it takes by then, and I expect the SNP will take a damned good kicking if there isn’t a definite move away from the Blairite pro-war, pro-austerity Pro British establishment we have seen arising in the leadership of late.

    • Hatuey

      Wiki, Scottish independence is more or less all I care about as far as domestic UK politics is concerned. But I don’t have any reason to believe that Scotland is going to be a fairer society for it.

      I’m certain Scotland’s people would be better off and instead of a million people sitting in dire poverty it could have prosperity like Norway, but there’s no evidence to support the view that people are any nicer or more conscientious when they are wealthier. Speaking from experience, I think there’s a case for saying the exact opposite is more likely true — the most shallow, cowardly, materialistic, and boring people I know in the world are middle class. It’s because of those types that the world is a mess.

      The idea that Scottish people are more caring and more socialist than English people is an affront. You’ll never hear me say anything like that. If Scottish people tend to vote and behave in ways that are consistent with being more conscientious, it’s probably down to the fact that so many are in abject poverty.

      I’d happily devote several thousand words to the topic of “what is shit about Scottish society” but you don’t get any prizes for that. The SNP are committed to talking things up. So, yeah, we’re all great.

      • Muscleguy

        Not socialist but Communitarian. Malcolm Rifkind makes the same point. He related how he had an elderly constituent in a big house who wanted something done about her big rates bill. After what he insisted on calling the Community Charge came in he rang her to see if she was happy. Not really she said, her bill had gone down but why did they have to do it in such a way as to hurt those poorer than her?

        That was Communitarianism in action. Much more prevalent up here than in England. Amongst those who are culturally Scottish at least. Some are more British then all bets are off.

        Scotland has long been like that the Poor Laws from at least the C16th mandated that the landowners in each parish had to make provision for the poor (with definitions) in concert with the Kirk. Then as society got wealthier there was a combination of local taxes and tithing to support the poor in each parish. Communitarianism in action.

        England was much less caring and patchy. The quid pro quo was that moving out of your parish required a letter of recommendation from your minister to the minister of the parish you were moving to. Thus the English pattern of the indigent moving from parish to parish was inhibited in Scotland.

  • Sharp Ears

    Javid and Malthouse (ex GLC) have added their names to the list of candidates for the Tory leadership. That makes 11 so far. The 124,000 members of the Tory partei (?middle aged or older, well off cf the rest etc?) will choose May’s successor. So democratic. Not. We need a General Election, not a Tory shoe in.

    Javid once said he would like to live in Israel!

    The BBC provide mug shots of the candidates.

    • Mary Pau!

      How will a General Election help, given current state of main political parties and polarised opinion in the UK? Also it seems unlikely the hawks now in control of EU policy on things like transport, will welcome any major renationalisation in the UK. And might some remainer Labour MPs not get deselected? Be careful what you wish for!

  • Andyoldlabour

    I would imagine that the vast majority of Labour voters North of London, in England and Wales were actually Brexiteers. The other point about this election, is the woefull propaganda put out by the BBC in relation to the supposed “high turnout”. The turnout in the UK was down, around 36%. Compare that to the 72% who turned out to vote in the referendum and a more realistic picture is emerging – many people who voted leave didn’t bother to vote in these elections.

    • Ian

      That’s the problem with imagining things and then making assumptions from it.

      • Andyoldlabour

        That was a judgement made on the results of the referendum, where there was a 72% turnout, and both England and Wales clearly voted to leave. The only areas which voted to stay in the EU were London, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The turnout and leave vote in traditional Labour strongholds – Midlands, North West and North East was huge and the Labour MP’s in those areas would be stupid to ignore their constituents at the next general election.

  • Matt

    ChangeUK’s performance was absolutely beautiful. It’s refreshing to see that the British voters are seeing these people for the frauds they are. Change? Really? They want to keep us in the EU and drag us back to Blair times. They are as irrelevant as UKIP and somehow even more distasteful.

    Brexit + UKIP picked up 1.2 million more votes than UKIP and the smaller “leave” party of 2014. Anyone trying to spin this EU election as a success for remain is either being extremely disingenuous, or they are outright politically inept.

    And Gove saying that the door is open for Corbyn is wrong. The door is open for Farage and Widdecombe. In those two, the Brexit Party have two star politicians who the Tories should fear.

    The only way the Tories have a chance in the next GE is if it happens in November after we’ve left.

    • Ian

      Widdecombe a star? Haha, now you’ve made us laugh. As for the analysis, everybody analyses it to fit their prejudices, but whatever way you divide it, the two sides are pretty equal in support.

      • Matt

        Underestimate Widdecombe at your peril. She is formidable.

        Craig raises a very good point… England wants out, however you try to spin it. If you think that the UK should vote again with regards to the EU, then you must also think that Scotland should have another vote. And if they vote to leave the UK, then how does that impact on the EU debate? Surely you must then accept that what’s left of the UK needs to vote once again, and it’s obvious how that will pan out.

        • Jo1

          I wouldn’t assume too much too soon. Farage isn’t used to sharing the limelight and Ann won’t be playing the silent partner! Expect sparks to fly there. Claire Fox isn’t going to sit silently by either with her track record!

          It’s very early days. Chuka’s merry band are already at each others throats. I don’t think it’ll be long until BP will have to confront some issues too!

          • Matt

            You may well be right. Brexit Party are solid right now, because they have one policy. Everyone is on the same page. When it comes to sorting out what else they stand for, it will get interesting. I honestly hope they can find some common ground, because if I’m honest, I would love to see one as PM and the other as deputy. I have no preference which way round. But that assumes they can actually form a united party with common policy that I can get behind. Of course it’s unlikely to happen, but they’ve already done great things in six weeks. I wouldn’t bet against it.

            British politics needs one hell of an overhaul. Perhaps this is nothing more than deluded optimism, that I’m looking for saviours where they don’t exist. But I like these two.

            Another interesting thing to consider is that Anne certainly isn’t a racist. She is also very much intolerant, and outspoken. I don’t think Nigel is racist, I think he’s the target of a biased press just like Corbyn, but if he is racist, Anne won’t stand for it. She’ll walk and speak out. So we get the added bonus of learning something important about Nigel.

  • Shatnersrug

    It’s worth noting that we haven’t a clearly elected PM(I appreciate we vote for party not person, but that isn’t how uk campaigns are run) since 2005. That’s 14 years

    • Mr Shigemitsu

      “It’s worth noting that we haven’t a clearly elected PM(I appreciate we vote for party not person, but that isn’t how uk campaigns are run) since 2005. That’s 14 years”

      David Cameron, GE 2015?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    “… why the LibDems would want to import the most virulent and corrupt pro-Israel lobbying in the U.K. …”
    A merge between the LibDems and the Changelings would mark no change of direction at all. The LibDems FoI group comprises 11 out of 12 MPs. That’s 92% against an estimated 80% of Conservative MPs in their particular FoI group.
    LibDem Peer, Jenny Tonge was EXPELLED from the LibDems in 2012 for expressing support for the Palestinian cause.

    • Laguerre

      Israel hasn’t spent so much on suborning LibDem politicians, because they are few.

  • Republicofscotland

    Looking at the Scottish results in the EU election, they really are quite remarkable for the SNP.

    They took thirty of the thirty-two council areas Orkney and Shetland going to the Lib/Dems by not an insurmountable margin. The city of Dundee, an independence backing city, voted by a whopping 46% to back the SNP, even the sabbath loving Western isles managed to vote 43.3% in favour of the SNP. However Dumfries and Galloway voting for the SNP, is surely the icing on the cake. Good to see Edinburgh vote for them as well.

    I also welcome the fact that Scots voted to send a French man to represent us as a MEP in Christian Allard, will the EU be surprised by that, I think not.

    • Hatuey

      Excellent. Do we get any sort of prize or is there nothing in it as usual, except bragging rights and more jobs for the nomenklatura?

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