Beyond the Brexit Debacle 591


If we focus only on the near term and on Brexit, we are doing precisely what Boris Johnson wishes. But the ramifications of the last few weeks will have effects on politics on the British Isles that are far more far reaching than even the question of EU membership. Let us think about those.

In a remarkably short period of time, the Conservative Party has radically changed. Seven year Conservative Prime Minister John Major is today taking this Conservative government to court, alleging ill intent in advice given to the Queen. Figures like Ken Clarke and Phil Hammond, who to this date have been real senior figures in Tory history, are actually threatened with expulsion.

Even Thatcher accepted that the Tory Party had a wing that tended to be closer to liberal or social democratic ideas, and never tried to throw her “wets” out of parliament. Dominic Grieve told the BBC today that he did not recognise what No.10 is doing as within the traditions of the Conservative Party. That perception is correct. What Boris Johnson is doing is changing the Conservative Party into something fundamentally other.

One fascinating development is Johnson and Javid’s rhetorical break with the traditional Tory right, instead to make populist public spending promises. Promises of 20,000 more policemen, and oodles more funding for schools, colleges and the NHS, are not the usual watchwords of the Tory right. It may surprise you to learn that I am inclined to think that these promises may not just be empty rhetoric, but this bit of populism may have real intent behind it. How this squares with more traditional Tories on public spending like McVey or Patel, or with Johnson’s promises on tax cuts, remains to be seen. But the switch to a more statist right in the economic as well as the civil sphere – something moving closer to the classic fascist model – might be one of the changes we are seeing.

My expectation is that this circle will be squared by a rigorous “good spending/bad spending” divide. Police, prisons, border control agents and of course the military will all be “good” public spending. So will education and the NHS because they are popular. This will be balanced by vigorous attacks on “bad” public spending – especially on welfare benefits, but also overseas aid, devolved administrations and local government.

How this will work out for the Tories electorally is a conundrum. The Tory base rural vote is predominantly Brexit and will probably be little affected. Johnson appears to be prepared to write off the more urbane and middle class vote and thus simply give up on Tory chances places likine Richmond or Bath. His hope must be that the combination of popular public spending messages on the NHS and education, plus the continued harnessing of anti-immigrant xenophobia, will win enough urban votes in Birmingham, Sunderland and Blackburn.

That seems to me very high risk. To take on Jeremy Corbyn in a general election on the basis of who can most credibly promise increased public spending seems strange ground to choose. Plus no matter how much you ramp up the xenophobia or how many upgraded hospitals you promise, the cultural obstacles to getting the people of Hartlepool to put their cross against a Tory remain enormous. The pundits talk as though the Brexit Party vote and the Tory Party vote are interchangeable and it all hinges on whether Farage stands candidates. That is simply wrong. There are many thousands of people in Hartlepool and towns like it who would vote Brexit but won’t vote Tory.

I suspect Johnson and Cummings have blundered into a first past the post trap by being too clever. They have alienated enough educated and liberal Tory voters to lose seats, while replacing them with voters who respond to the populism, but in areas where they won’t be able to take many seats. Tory gains will be limited largely to the Midlands, but outbalanced by losses. In essence, they may get a plurality of the vote but spread too evenly, and FPTP will see them losing ground to the SNP in Scotland, Labour in the bigger cities and the Lib Dems in rich suburbs and county towns.

That analysis stands whether the election is next month or any time to 2022.

If you choose to change a political party fundamentally, you need to be sure that the new version is more popular. Concentrating on the one issue of Brexit, and calculating that he could hoover up all Brexit voters, is likely to be Johnson’s downfall. He appears engaged in a colossal act of hubris.

In Scotland, all of this is still more reason to get out of the toxic politics of the United Kingdom. Nicola Sturgeon should announce now that if there is an early Westminster election, the SNP will fight that election on the basis that victory will result in a declaration of Independence, and Scotland will not then be exiting the European Union at all. The SNP desperately needs to focus on Independence and not on the position of the UK within the EU or on the powers of the Westminster parliament.

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591 thoughts on “Beyond the Brexit Debacle

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  • Hugh

    The SNP could fight the election on the basis that a vote for the SNP is recognition that Westminster has by its actions dissolved and left the union and that Scotland in the inheritor state to the UK in the EU.

    • Hatuey

      Or “Nicola” could make it about Brexit, whatever the hell that means, and keep the independence argument firmly on the back burner. As it happens, that’s precisely what she seems to have announced this afternoon.

      If true, it’s time to consider use of the word quisling.

          • Hatuey

            Pete, you’ve got me wrong. I’m not hateful. I have a lot riding on Brexit and independence and I think it’s been handled badly. To tell the truth, I’m sick to the back teeth of this farcical state of affairs and I’m wondering why the hell Scotland is waiting.

            I’m extremely concerned that Brexit gets called off and we come out of it with nothing. If the SNP go into the next general election talking about re-enforcing their Brexit position, I think veins in my head will explode.

            As for Sturgeon, nobody wants me to be wrong about her more than I do.

            But you’re right, time for a break from this stuff and this place…

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Actually that requires the agreement of the EU. As you have seen the past three years, a political mandate in the UK does not get the EU to do what they are told by UK based politicians.

  • Laguerre

    I think it’s becoming more of an issue that Johnson is a liar. Not merely a serial liar, but that he lies all the time. Nothing he says is reliable, as it’s almost certainly a lie. As we’ve seen today. People are beginning to say it in parliament, and I think it’s going to be a big problem for Johnson. Just nothing emerging from No 10 is true, and nobody can rely on it.

    • Christopher Dale Rogers

      Why just pick on Johnson, the fact remains the Tory Party is festooned with liars, indeed, you know a Tory is lying the moment their lips move – I actually would appreciate a bit of honesty in our politics and am sick to death of political propaganda, particularly that coming from Centrists.

      • Laguerre

        Obviously every politician is a liar, we all know that. The point, if you haven’t understood it, is that Johnson is an exceptional case. Nothing he says is true. Nothing can be believed. That’s unusual. And it’s going to be a problem for him, on the evidence of today.

        • Pyewacket

          Ian, good question might be, is the bloke using coke ? There’s a fair bit of history around politicians using stimulants to enhance their popularist appeal. For example JFK was quite a speed freak, and Pervetin was popular in Nazi Germany, they even invented MDMA, nowadays known as Ecstacy.

    • Caratacus

      @ Laguerre – Hate to be the one who brings this piece of intelligence to your attention, but it must be said – Politicians lie. They lie all the time and it doesn’t matter if they are tory, labour, lib-undem, green or third sheep from the left, they lie like a cheap NAAFI watch – heroically and unceasingly. I took a leaf out of George Carlin’s book years ago and would observe that I never believe a word a politician says. My life has been remarkably free of political disappointment ever since.

      • Laguerre

        yeah, yeah, politicians lie. So what’s new? I’m surprised you haven’t figured out that we’re talking about something exceptional, not ordinary political lying. Indeed I’m surprised you haven’t noticed the obvious yourself.

        • Loony

          All people lie, and all people make errors. The outcome is the same in that false information is imparted, only the motivation is different.

          Take yourself, only today you falsely claimed that the UK privatized its electricity industry in 1986. The actual date was 1989. Were you lying or were you in error?

          Surely it is reasonable to cut people a little slack and not to immediately reach the most nefarious conclusion possible. If you are not willing to do this for others then why should others treat you differently from the way you treat them?

          • Laguerre

            Well, I looked it up, but for some reason google gave me a false figure, I didn’t spend long on it, because I didn’t anticipate the exhibition of pedantry you revel in. Actually you were not even right, the companies weren’t actually privatised till 1990. It was the law that was passed in 1989. Not that I care one way or the other.

            Anyway, Johnson doesn’t make mistakes, he lies – deliberately, all the time. And you defend that. Being a Brexiter involves lying, because the truth can’t be told. May used to lie mainly by omission. Johnson lies openly, because it’s his nature, and he’s actually in a weak position.

            It was funny today that they haven’t submitted any new proposal to the EU. Because of course they don’t have any workable solution. They just want to delete the clauses defining the backstop. You’d think after all the preparation time they’ve had, they would have thought of something. But they haven’t. It’s sheer incompetence.

          • Loony

            Actually I am 100% correct. The dismemberment of the CEGB into component and privatized companies occurred pursuant to the 1989 Electricity Act.

            As you continue to argue about evidential factual matters I am forced to conclude that you are simply lying. Some may wonder why you lie – I am merely content to record that you are lying. Ask why, but please don’t tell me the answer.

          • Laguerre

            Sorry, where’s the lie you accuse me of? In fact the only reason you come up with this stuff, is to divert attention from the lies of your hero Johnson, a far more grave problem, at the origin of this sub-thread. Rather pointless getting worked up, but par for the course for a Brexiter – it’s always somebody else’s fault.

    • giyane

      Laguerre

      Johnson has had a chance to remove his cherubic ribbon which squiggles past his political penis. He has come out as a Thatcherite for his altright wing.

      Simultaneously he has replaced his blue ribbon with a nappy of public spending trying to appeal to the Brexit loving section of the left.

      I’m reminded of Shakespeare’s Richard II bewailing the treachery of his advisors and fate. ” Is this not flesh and blood? ” . He has very little room to manoevre. Meanwhile Henry IV has mustered añ army and is about to depose him.

      So we come full circle back to Craig’s old prediction that Brexit will be abandoned in the end. Having almost been proved right, Craig is looking ahead.

  • John McLeod

    A lot of the bleating about this is predicated on two false premises.

    The first is that Britain is a democracy. It isn’t, and it never has been.

    The second is that Tory MPs are just like us – normal, otherwise decent family men and women with whom we just happen to disagree. They’re not. Bevan was right: they are vermin.

    • Ishmael

      They have different interests & develop strange world views. Any capitalist veers toward that tendency. Like the conquistadors.

      Many nowadays don’t even connect the dots at all. Just hand your money to some dark fund. Machine minds. It’s certainly a brutal & barbarous system. But when it comes to striving like a possessed man to hold onto his capital? I don’t just limit it to them.

      Any substantial democracy is at odds with the divergent interests of monopolists & those they exploit to get it, by controlling the means of production & distribution.

  • Madison

    When the next parliament sits, the Brexit Party will be in alliance with the Tories. I’d also expect some possible coordination on where to stand strong candidates. Thus the Brexit Party becomes apparent as just a marketing campaign to draw a different group into the fold. The key in the election would be whether Tory + Brexit + DUP get enough seats to hold on to the government. Thus, what Amb. Murray is saying about the people in Hartlepool is that they are likely lost to an anti-EU, pro-unionist coalition.

    • Laguerre

      You’re supposing that the Brexit Party are going to get any seats, or any significant number. On the evidence of UKIP, they won’t. Their position is pretty similar to that of UKIP. The European Parliament is a different matter – they can win there. In Westminster less obvious.

      • RandomComment

        Haha, was that Rentatool? I can’t check now. OK how about this one:

        https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/08/how-would-jeremy-corbyn-pay-his-spending-pledges

        Point being, of course, two sides seem want to pump money into things people would like to see money spent on – on is “popularist”, one is “popular”. Even though it may result in the same net benefit for the people, one is may not be countenanced, because it is on the other side of an ideological rift.

        • Yr Hen Gof

          Of the two sides promising to fund areas that are quite obviously in need of investment, one of those sides has over the last nine years been prominent in its brutal cutting and underfunding of those same areas. Further, that same ‘side’ is notorious for lying and its failure to deliver on promises, pledges etc..
          Weighed in the balance and on the basis of “fooled me once..”‘, I’d be likely to trust the other side.

  • Brett Angel

    The only mistake Johnson has made is that he has not prorogued parliament until November 1st

    You may remember that there was a referendum in 2016, over three years ago, whereby the people of this country voted to LEAVE the dictatorial, corrupt EU. For most MPs and commentators to talk hysterically about a ‘coup’ and a challenge to democracy is hypocritical. But does any of them admit that – no!

    If Johnson had prorogued parliament longer the debate would be over and democracy would be maintained. The amount of hot air, contrived upset, public angst nevermind the waste of parliamentary time, the expense, the chaos, is unsustainable. Remoaners, explicit or hidden (sic) can go onto the streets and cause mayhem. Nothing changes the fact that the people voted to leave the EU and we are still waiting for that to happen. So be cool and let brexit happen – the world will not end.

    • Laguerre

      Pity you Brexiters didn’t get more than a minimal majority in 2016. That’s why things are going wrong now. If you’d had a real majority, you would have got away with it, and not needed anti-democratic tricks and astuces. But Brexit is a really bad idea, and you’ve got an idiot Prime Minister who’s allowed himself to be taken over by an evil éminence grise, who’s not even a member of the Conservative Party. And it’s been showing today.

      • Brett Angel

        So being anti-democratic for the cause of democracy is okay with you – very principled? In a FPTP election the majority win!

          • Brett Angel

            So what you are saying is that the rump of the labour party, the tory rebels and the lib dems are acting ‘democraticly’ by being anti-democratic because they want to remove brexit and remain in the eu – democracy surely means accepting the will of the people not trying to desperately trying to circumnavigate it – unlike Johnson who is trying to respect the will of the people, being democratic??? Parliament is the only obstacle to leaving the eu

          • Rhys Jaggar

            The 2017 GE saw both Labour and Tory manifestos stating they would honour the Referendum result. That General Election is as strong a mandate as can possibly be. Over five hundred MPs elected on a manifesto pledge to implement Brexit.

            There is no getting away from that.

            None.

    • SA

      Brett
      “LEAVE the dictatorial, corrupt EU. “
      Do you think that by making a statement it becomes a truth? Do you have evidence you can quote that supports your statement?

      • Brett Angel

        Just how much evidence do you need SA? Shall we start with the EU Commission – who votes for them?

        • Laguerre

          Who votes for the Permanent Secretaries ministries of the Civil Service in London, to take a precisely parallel example?

          • Ian

            Hilarious that you wheel out the cliches about corrupt dictatorships at the present moment in british history.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            In rthe UK legislation can be drawn up by elected MPs. In the EU, no elected MEP has any right to do so, they can merely block laws proposed by unelected EC bureaucrats.

            That is the difference. In the UK, your elected representatives draw up legislation. In the EU, they do not.

    • Garth Carthy

      To Brett Angel:

      The country did NOT vote to leave the EU without a deal.
      The country did NOT vote to embrace increasing abject poverty for many.
      Much has changed since 2016 and much more has been revealed about the complete idiocy of leaving the EU – or at least without a deal.
      If we leave the EU do you seriously think that Trump’s USA and the rest of the world will give us favourable trade deals: We will have to resort to using a begging bowl.

      • Brett Angel

        The country voted to leave or remain in the eu – nice try but failed – the ‘deal’ was an invention of the political classes in order to thwart the will of the people. Parliament is the only obstacle to leaving the eu

  • Royd

    During the run-up to the first Scotland independence referendum I wanted, as a Brit, for Scotland to remain as part of the UK, believing that we were stronger if we stuck together. Now, I feel that you should pursue your independence with all vigour. The Tory government is rancid and despite all their catastrophic policies still seem to be riding high in the polls. So, it’s not certain that they would be defeated at a general election. Go for it, I say. Get out from under their yoke. I wish England could – it has become a country I no longer recognise.

  • SA

    Good post. Until the last paragraph which does not make sense. Scotland cannot remain within the EU if the U.K. leaves even if it becomes indipendent .

  • Goose

    Sadly, I have little confidence Corbyn can repeat his 2017 comeback miracle if an election is imminent.

    He’s definitely tried to reposition the party back to where it should be – as a left-wing alternative. But I’ve lost patience with him over not supporting and arguing forcefully for mandatory reselection (or Open Selection) and then not standing by his most loyal lieutenant Chris Williamson; who has been readmitted then suspended again arbitrarily without explanation or due process, at the whims of the PLP. It bodes ill for how he’d handle a deeply hostile PLP in govt. They’d remove him or collapse his govt in no time if he did something they didn’t like, like trying to keep us out of some crazy war.

    • Dungroanin

      It depends how many new mp’s are elected, the Blairites will be even more diminished rump and they will need plenty of patience to be mere wallflowers on the backbenches for the rest of their career away from any influential posts.

      • Christopher Dale Rogers

        The lack of any meaningful Trigger Ballots should say it all – last year stitch up was an unmitigated disaster for those of us who wanted to democratise our grass roots and enable real Labour folk to represent us – whilst the likes of Chris Bryant inhabit our benches I have great cause to be alarmed at how they’d react to Corbyn in Number 10.

  • Hatuey

    There’s a tacit assumption at the heart of democracy that the electorate is always right. It’s very much like the golden rule of retail; the customer is always right. As a smoker I can assure you it’s all crap.

    It’s about time we allocated blame for this Brexit chaos correctly. Politicians might have took advantage of the electorate’s stupidity but in the age of the Internet there’s no excuse for being ignorant, stupid, and easily manipulated.

    We can be more specific. The electorate of England has demonstrated serial stupidity over the last 40 years. The Tories don’t even deny that they’re self-serving scum; they print it right on the tin.

    According to recent figures, austerity has killed 130,000 people prematurely. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/01/perfect-storm-austerity-behind-130000-deaths-uk-ippr-report

    We can imagine that many poor and working class people in England were tripping over starved corpses in the streets on their way to vote for the Brexit of Farage, Boris, and Rees-Mogg in 2016.

    This isn’t a political crisis. It’s a stupidity crisis. I’m sick of paying the price for the stupidity of the English electorate.

  • Goose

    It pains me to agree with Blair. but he’s probably right about one thing:

    If Labour can prevent an election date of Johnson and Cummings’ choosing, and instead keep Johnson in the hot seat it could get very hot indeed.

    • Dave

      Blair wants to avoid a General Election because he wants the referendum to be a choice between No Deal and Remain, whereas Corbyn wants a General Election to offer a referendum between Remain and compromise Brexit.

      • Goose

        Let’s face it. Now Corbyn and Labour have moved to a position of another referendum with remain option he might as well go all the way and just say Labour are now a remain party.

        Claiming he’ll go to Brussels; get a softer Brexit deal (SM and/or CU) then sell that to the people… with the backdrop of ferocious Tory, Farage TBP and tabloid press opposition, is laughable.

        It would a like the parrot in the infamous pet shop sketch in Monty Python.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Whilst Craig’s analysis would be correct in normal times, this forthcoming General election, is about almost none of these issues.

    Apart from a few years, when both my children convinced me not to vote, because none of the candidates, were worth my vote (“please Dad do not vote for any of these horrible people”), I don’t think I have ever voted Tory.

    I have voted Liberal Democrat, Green, UKIP, and last time Labour. I also voted to leave The EU, as did the majority of people 3 years ago.

    What has happenned since, and especially today, is a complete and utter betrayal of the most basic principles of democracy.

    So if it comes to a General Election, I really will grit my teeth, and vote Conservative, and hopefully get rid of my local MP, who has exhibited the most outrageous aspects of Betrayal, whilst very much in support of a kind of apartheid, I completely detest (very much hidden, but uncovered by simply showing an interest in his real history)

    Yes, I will feel like, I am in a football team, and deliberately scoring a goal for the opposition, but sometimes, I have to put my principles with regards to supporting Democracy FIRST.

    If you can’t see the writing on the wall, ask The Chief War Criminal Anthony Charles Lynton Blair which side is he is on.

    Read the detail of this bill. It is completely outrageous. “You can check out, but you can never leave”

    Tony

    • Iain Stewart

      “So if it comes to a General Election, I really will grit my teeth, and vote Conservative”
      Oh no, run for your lives, it’s Tory Opmoc!

      • J

        Less relevant and far less accurate now than it was three years ago. It may be true again in the near future, but more certain to be if you and those like you who imbibe the baseline MSM message, get their way.

        Loony is also partial to this line of argument around election time, which should give anyone pause for thought.

  • N_

    Speaking in the Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg has just blamed the Hilary Benn bill (which would force the government to request an extension of Article 50 rather than proceed with a crashout) on the Illuminati. (7.37pm).

    Perhaps he should go and hide in the nuclear bunker at Eton. Because when the Illuminati have got you in their sights, Jakie…

  • Dave

    The fact is left, right and centre were both for Leave and Remain. Therefore to deliver Brexit needed a left, right and centre Deal. A referendum can bring left, right and centre together on the one issue, but a General Election is different. The conservatives wont be able to get the entire Leave vote, whereas a Labour promise of a 2nd referendum including a choice between Remain and compromise Brexit will appeal to more people even if they too wont all vote Labour.

    • N_

      Yes but the “Enoch was Right” brigade were for Leave. In fact they are Leave, with a few honourable exceptions such as Dennis Skinner.

      I agree that Labour’s policy of a second referendum between Remain and a “Deal” is the right one.

  • Gavin C Barrie

    The citizens of Scotland are EU citizens. If the Scotland government declared before Brexit, that Scotland is not leaving the EU and invites England to enter discussion on dissolving the Treaty of Union is the EU really going to eject Scotland from the EU upon Brexit date whilst negotiations on dissolution of the Treaty of Union are in process? Really?

    • Brett Angel

      The EU is not a country – it is a dictatorship foistered upon the citizenry of Europe – I am a british citizen and don’t recognize the eu flag

      • Ian

        No-one claimed it is. It is a partnership of European countries which has delivered a lot of benefits to the UK. The EU flag is blue with yellow stars. That should help you recognise it. Much nicer than the Union Jack and all its associations.

        • Christopher Dale Rogers

          I don’t think supporting the overthrow of the elected leader of Venezuela marks out the EU as some kind of benevolent Institution, quite the reverse, it demonstrates exactly what it is, which is hardly congruent to the well being of your average EU inhabitant. Indeed, many of the EU members are former Colonialist powers with ghastly records, or don’t France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Holland count?

      • Iain Stewart

        “I am a british citizen”
        Indeed sir? And why then do you decline to write British with a capital B? Clearly not a native speaker of English. Ha!

      • Dungroanin

        I bet you never use the EU passports lane at airports and insist on queuing with all the rest of the worlds citizens filling out their entry/exit forms.

    • Mist001

      The citizens of Scotland are EU citizens so long as the UK remains a member of the EU. Once the UK is no longer a member of the EU, then neither will the citizens of Scotland be EU citizens.

      As for the rest of your post, it’s just hypothetical wishful thinking. Do you really think that Sturgeon and the SNP have the guile or inclination to discuss dissolution of the treaty of union with England? If they were so inclined or if they’d even thought of it, they would have tried that a long time ago. Sturgeon is on record stating that she won’t act without a section 30 order. No creative thinking for her.

    • Mist001

      She’s going to ask the government for a section 30 order. She was refused last time she asked but occupied her time and mind by spending the next 3 years trying to overturn the Brexit result.

      When she gets refused again this time, maybe she’ll devote 3 years to trying to overturn the result of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

      But I wouldn’t bank on it.

      • Hatuey

        On BBC radio tonight they said Sturgeon declared she’d use any forthcoming general election as an opportunity to re-enforce the SNP’s position on Brexit.

        That’s great. If there’s one thing I’d be willing to give up Scottish independence for, its clarity on the SNP’s Brexit position.

        Truly sickening.

  • Steviemac

    Brexit is a roadmap that Westminster will follow in the event of a Yes Scottish indie referendum result. Around 60% of Scotland’s exports go to the rest of the UK and 18% go to the EU (the remainder the Rest of World). In the event of a Yes vote there would be Westminster insistence on a hard border. This would entail tariffs,customs checks and so on. They would factor in the effect that would this have on Scotland’s export industries, its wider economy and crucially public opinion. Presumably, Holyrood would push hard for a trade deal as part of the divorce settlement but Westminster would hold all of the cards (like the EU do with the UK) and would be in no rush to sign any treaty that didn’t overwhelmingly favour its interests. I suspect Westminster would present Holyrood with a Scottish version of the Withdrawal Agreement, take it or leave it. Scotland would have its own ‘cliff edge’ exit staring it in the face if it refused to sign a SIINO treaty.
    In the event of a narrow Yes indie referendum result (say 52% to 49%) what leverage would Westminster, BBC and MSM apply to the ‘outraged’ significant remainer minority.- would there be violence on the streets from people of Orange tinted Unionist persuasion? In time the legitimacy of the result would be called into question by the 49% and a people’s vote proposed to allow folk to think again as going it alone would be deemed too hard, ruinous, the Nats lied, fed you Unicorn stories, ‘We are better together’, ‘We have Listened’, etc? Sound familiar?
    By the way, UDI would have tanks on the streets of Glasgow and Edinburgh within hours, the seizure of Holyrood and the encarceration of senior Nats in very short order.

  • Ishmael

    Hatuey, Your not just “wrong” in your previous rant, it’s dim regressive nativist identity nonsense.

    To lump together the last 40 odd years, not distinguish it from the last decade & explain it away in such a manner? When you consider CONDITIONS, the eastern growth vector that saved capital during the thatcher era (no longer there) The expansion of credit (pie in the sky) Along with past struggles that have improved peoples lives, as least for the top half (& falling), It’s easy to say yes people have been lazy. But it’s not an “english” thing.

    “give just enough people just enough”

    We are no way in that position now. Hence after the financial/political crisis, A result of capital doing extra bad stuff to survive & maintain control. & left wing failure. It’s not just hear.

    When are people going to quit this dam racism. I see no evidence “the Scottish” any more savvy. & there is evidence of that.

    • Hatuey

      Yes, an impassioned argument you make and like most impassioned arguments it lacks any basis in fact or reality.

      The facts are as follows: by voting enthusiastically for Thatcher (in 3 general elections) when Scotland rejected her, you forced her twisted policies not only on us but on the rest of the U.K. The very same can be said of Major in 1992. The damage done to UK society during these years is immeasurable.

      The tendency was arguably disrupted by new labour but continued again with Cameron in two elections and then May.

      The selfish middle classes could never have achieved this without the support of many millions of dumb working class and poor people in England. I use the word dumb in regards to people voting for things that are obviously contrary to their interests, i.e. bad faith and self harm.

      Brexit is the supreme example of all this.

      The karma has come home to roost.

      • Ishmael

        Simplistic utter nonsense.

        “Yes, an impassioned argument you make and like most impassioned arguments it lacks any basis in fact or reality.”

        How you can say that after your “it’s the english”, actually implying fascist sudo science as “fact” ?

        Maybe there is more poverty atm & it’s harder for some & they are a bit more desperate & focused as a result. & Exploitable by such nativist racism. Nice little pick me up. Easy isn’t it?

        & I don’t recall the exact details, but were the SNP not guilty of alliance with the conservatives? & at a critical time?

        But sod this, i’m not getting into your twisted raciest mindset. Your the one being impassioned, I always spell bad, But anyone who has followed effects of the global economy would have seen similar trends everywhere. Im sure “the catalans” say the same about “the Spanish” & on & on it goes. Enflaming nativist passions & nothing is changing. Just people milking disaffection & providing no solutions.

        “it’s them” sums you up. The nationalist international investment class. Leading the plebs to facist utopia. Where the fundamentally divergent interests at the systems heart are totally brushed over, ‘One nation” crap. Works every time, anywhere.

        • Ishmael

          Honestly, how is explaining conditions that are well known & effects quite predicable & measured across many countries, Somehow an impassioned argument not based on facts, While “it’s The english” is..

          Your replying on passions only. Bigoted racist hate.

          • Hatuey

            Ishmael, you’d see it more clearly if you were up here I’m sure. And I’m sure I’d see differently if I was down there. I’m not one of those people that think Scottish people are more socialist or exceptional in any way. But the fact is that whatever England does affects us disproportionately, due largely to its size. But the size of England in itself doesn’t explain the higher proportion of Tory voters in England as compared to Scotland. And so you can only conclude that there is a culture difference. My guess is that it’s down to the higher levels of poverty up here which is itself more reason for us to vote independence, as I see it.

          • Ishmael

            The only thing that implies passion is my bad spelling. Otherwise aside from being blunt? ( & I see no reason not to given your obviously unhealthy regressive wanderings into far right memes) …It’s nothing but facts.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Tory rebels and opposition MPs have defeated the government in the first stage of their attempt to pass a law designed to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

    In a huge blow to Boris Johnson, the Commons voted 328 to 301 to take control of the agenda, meaning they can bring forward a bill seeking to delay the UK’s exit date.’ BBC breaking news.

    The chamber is packed and they are at each other’s throats. It’s the 2019 equivalent of bear baiting.

    So arcane. The adjournment debate is about the impact of Brexit on sheep farmers. Chamber empties.

      • Ishmael

        It’s interesting & i’m learning stuff. Though I look forward to what can be built after to move us in a better direction. & this pile up has potential to open up some space for that.

        I view these kinds of dramas a bit of a side show to larger forces at play.

  • fwl

    Who can table a no confidence motion?

    I ask because presumably Labour will nervously refuse to support the Government vote under the Parliament Act.

    The next Government step then would be for a no confidence vote, which would trigger an election with only a 50.01% vote not a 75% vote. But who can trigger a vote of no confidence? Can a Tory or a DUP MP, or does it have to come from the official opposition?

    • Hatuey

      As I understand it, any MP can but the government has control over allowing the house to discuss it and vote. If the leader of the opposition tables it, there’s a requirement for the government to accommodate it…

      I’m not aware of any PM ever tabling a motion of no confidence in his or her own government. If Boris did it and lost, I think the Remain voting half of the country would die laughing.

      • fwl

        Thanks for the response. Boris / Gov wouldn’t do it. They would have to have a cut away of sorts; maybe a leaver on the labour side.

        But it would then be 50 not 2/3 majority (not 75% as I incorrectly stated above). So I can see it as a possibility. Thursday Parliament Act. Friday / Monday vote of no confidence?

        • Hatuey

          In that scenario, there would be an opportunity for another group of MPs to form a government first, providing they had the ‘confidence of the house’ and I believe they would have two weeks to do that.

          I think that is a likely scenario.

  • Deb O'Nair

    Labour should keep their powder dry and not support an early election. They should let the country see Johnson as he twaddles around as a PM with no authority and no power . They should then wait for the 31st October to pass, so that people understand that The Pig That Walks On Two Legs is nothing more than a lying wind-bag with no credibility; his ego will not be able to sustain such humiliation and he will probably resign, triggering another Tory leadership contest and then move to a VNC motion.

    • Loony

      What a very sensible idea. Let’s destroy the lives of millions of people for no other reason than you do not like Boris Johnson. Does your ego no now bounds?

      Have you ever heard of the phrase “After the first death there is no other”? It is beloved of crazed egotists.

      • Deb O'Nair

        “Let’s destroy the lives of millions of people for no other reason than you do not like Boris Johnson.”

        How does that work, exactly?

  • ciaran

    What were the Brexiteers going to offer the EU in return for a new deal?
    What have they got that was more appealing to Europe than “Theresa May’s” deal?
    Europe is going to throw Ireland under the bus to appease the leavers and get what in return? When the British return to negotiate a new deal with Europe what will they bring to the table that will be so appealing to Europe?
    Europe is not going to budge. Not because the UK thinks they should.

    • Loony

      You seem to have answered your own question.

      The EU does indeed intend to use Ireland as a form of economic suicide bomber in order to attack the UK. If other people in Europe want to sacrifice themselves in order to punish the UK then so be it. I guess the UK is probably assuming that not everyone is insane and that some sensible compromise can be reached.

      The UK is a basket case, but it looks like the least ugly person in the room. The Visegrad countries do not seem signed up to core EU ideals. There is endless civil disturbance in France, Salvini remains a player in Italy and the AfD continues their onward march in Germany. All people that wish to be free have a friend in President Trump.

      “Live Free or Die” – It is more than a slogan. “And now this voice is brave and it wants to be free, anyway to be free” It was the British that gave the world these words. Words have meaning.

      • Laguerre

        About time you read up a bit on Europe, loony, in order to keep up. I suggest local sources, rather than the Daily Mail.

        • Loony

          The British are not like Europeans.

          Think about Ortega y Gasset. He was from Europe (although a part of Europe despised by the French). Recall what he had to say about his own country (“Spain is the problem, Europe is the solution”) and then try to get even the most ardent remainer to voice his words. it simply will not happen. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

          think about Goethe “there are none so firmly enslaved as those who falsely believe themselves to be free” Or how about Leonardo “it is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end”

          Europe too yearns to be free and the British are the vanguard. Taking due heed of the full range of European thought, but condensing it into a sharpened spear of truth and justice. And now this voice is brave and it wants to be free, nay it demands to be free, and one way or anther it will be free for no chains can constrain an idea.

    • RandomComment

      Problem is, that it’s not independence, it’s a subservience to a different political union 😉

      But you already knew that, didn’t you?

      • Brianfujisan

        Nope.. Reading too much MsM Bull S RandomC

        The EU are not the ones that have been Robbing Scotland of resources, Waters, Land. Ect Ect Ect.
        The EU are not the ones trying to cancel our Human rights
        the EU are not the ones trying to protect or greedy multi-Millionaire’s Off Shore Tax hoarding of ££££

        The List goes on.

  • Laguerre

    Johnson was sounding very petulant this evening. So I guess the defeat was worse than he is pretending. In any case decimating the Tory party by 21 withdrawals of the whip is not very bright. The old broad church party is truly dead, and the mono-issue new Brexit party is launched – it’s unlikely to last once we’re into the disruption phase of post-Brexit.

    • Loony

      You are so keen on Europe why not recall what happened in the Warsaw Ghetto prior to the uprising. Something about liquidating collaborators or potential collaborators as I recall.

      By contrast the British Parliament seems remarkably civilized.

      • Laguerre

        Certainly you are right that Johnson’s regime is proto-fascist. If it succeeds there’s only one way it can go. Back in the time of the second world war many Brits supported the fascists, and I guess the same would happen again, to judge from the Brexiters on this blog.

        • Rowan Berkeley

          “Back in the time of the second world war many Brits supported the fascists…”

          If the Anglo-American (global Nazi) axis holds, then Europe will become politically anti-Nazi and allied with Russia, analogous to the position of the Anglo-Americans of WW2. But the geopolitical advantage will remain unchanged, lying with the Anglo-Americans. I hope that Britain will remain within the European Community, if only for the sake of Ireland, which would become the new Poland. To see Ireland reconquered by British troops while Trump & Pence stood around sneering, would be very hard.

  • Ishmael

    “My guess is that it’s down to the higher levels of poverty up here ”

    O no. it’s not something I suggested is it. Me so devoid of facts, & obvious iv never been there else i’d know.

    Your so dam arrogant & patronising & full of nonsense. & as I notice your argument morph & twist in the air, i’m done with you. Think on it some more & you may get closer to some truth. …You don’t need to go anywhere…

    It’s so obvious the angle your coming from is stupid & appealing to the least progressive types of simplistic sentimental cultural bigotry. But hey, iv come to expect it as a regular off this O so advanced blog.

  • Dungroanin

    So let us take stock.

    The new PM at only his second appearance has been shown not to have the confidence of the House at the FIRST time of testing it.

    Of course that means he probably didn’t have it at his first appearance and so not when he went to see the Queen to claim the premiership or when he sent that crazy cat Mogg to rubber stamp a prorogation. He didn’t, doesn’t and She should never have accepted his assurance that he had such a confidence. Perhaps that decision will now weigh heavy on the crown.

    What next? It seems that having disenfranchised a large proportion of his party the House has suddenly been reshaped WITHOUT a election.

    So while we are enthused and believe that all is well … there is a twist that could be played out yet, that a wild beast will be unleashed – a gnu. In effect a parliamentary coup again at the hand of the Queens acceptance.

    The only winning move is to make it illegal to have a hard brexit. Followed by an election which the country can decide on the government that will present new options. That is the only way the EU could consider changing the time limit on A50 any further.

    I’m not taking anything for granted so am going for a final booze cruise this year.

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Dungroanin,

      “The only winning move is to make it illegal to have a hard brexit. Followed by an election which the country can decide on the government that will present new options. That is the only way the EU could consider changing the time limit on A50 any further.”

      It seems evident that people are beginning seriously to question whether or not there actually is water in the pool before they jump in ( or piss off – as in EU goodbye).

      The difficulty with Johnson, I find is:-

      A. Has he thought through the implications of a no-deal BREXIT?

      B. Has he articulated and involved the British people in a mature and informed updated debate about what no-deal will mean for the country?

      C. Is – or – was he aware that others in his party and across the aisle had been giving serious thought to issues A and B above?

      Clearly, Boris was not engaged at those serious and necessary levels ( at least not intellectually – if even he was in a purely political sense of gaining leadership power)..

      • SA

        Johnson’s reasoning runs like this: if we threaten a hard Brexit we appear tough and Europe will give us all we want so must all pretend to believe in a hard Brexit in order to bluff our way.
        Sadly for Johnson his personal and political history does not support that he has honest intentions and not even his own party believes in him.

  • Ishmael

    Alex Salmond & Boris johnson.

    Nigel farage & Craig murray.

    All too alike for me. & Seeing the employment of this disaffection, led along with this practically identical abstract place holder “independence” …On & on & on….

    Ask for details? Same answer, No coherent policy just “WE” will be better off, just follow me.

  • N_

    If I were John Bercow, I wouldn’t accept a government motion of no confidence in the government. If ministers have no confidence in themselves they should resign. The motion would be an abuse of process.

    • N_

      There is nothing stopping the entire government from resigning. After all, they’re appointed by the Glucksburg woman, and she has to do what they advise her, right, so there’s no question of her refusing to accept their resignations.

      Resign, Tory scum, resign!

      • SA

        But this whole charade shows the rot at the heart of the pseudo-democratic system. If we had an elected president of some sort they would surely by now have told the PM that he does not command a majority in the house and must resign.

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