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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  • Brett Angel

    So, it seems that to be ant-democratic to gain ‘democracy’ is okay now then. Parlliament is the only obstacle to leaving the eu. Mps have voted to ignore/decline/sideshow/deny the will of the electorate in order to fight again for what they want – NOT to leave the eu. And many here seem to think that that’s okay too. The level of ignorance and arrogance is amazing.

    The people voted to leave in 2016 and MPs and obviously others are prepared to hijack that decision at the cost of division, disloyalty and despair – by lying about what ‘no deal’ means and subjugating the country to oblivion – no doubt the same folk would be very interested in the likes of all remain MPs being reselected to fight a general election – to continue their pursuit of their own self-interested desires – representative democracy in the uk is dead – your MP doesn’t represent you but that’s okay – hope you can cope with the fall out!

    • SA

      That is the nature of representative democracy. It is of course flawed but I can see no alternative.
      The people have voted in a referendum to leave. The people were not told of the intricacies of the alternatives to the various ways we can leave. The elected representatives battled for 3 years to square a circle of how to leave without causing so much damage to the country. It is perfectly sensible to consider that this process has shed a lot of light about what Brexit really means and that now the electorate have more insight the question can be asked again. None of this is anti democratic unless of course you believe that casting your vote once commits you to a government which can then never be removed.

      • N_

        @Brett. You speak of ignorance and arrogance, but there’s a reason why the unit of argument for thousands of years has been the sentence, not the sentenceless tweet that you and teenage girls chewing their gum in shopping centres use.

        Let’s try you on memory. Do you recall that Boris Johnson suggested during the referendum campaign that voters should not consider a Leave result to be final and that it could be used as leverage to achieve a good “deal” for staying in the EU? How can a career liar “represent” anyone? Doesn’t the truth come in anywhere to your so-wonderful-that-you-sneer-at-everyone “theory” of “representation”. I’ve written in this place about the psychopathology of Brexit, as the current form of “Enoch was Right”, or “White Power” as it is also known, is called. To give you a way in to beginning to understand what’s going on, I’ll take your notion of “representation” and note that it is a relationship between two entities. Maybe you could consider the nature of the “represented” entity.

    • Jo1

      “the will of the electorate…..”

      No, you can’t get away with that! The people who voted Leave represented a mere 37% of “the electorate”.

        • Jo1

          Indeed, yes! You prove my point!

          To go into such a process with no terms and conditions attached concerning what would constitute a decisive vote was insanity! It was madness. The result, 51.9% to 48.1% wasn’t remotely decisive. It was close to half and half.

          There is also precedent – the 1979 referendum on devolution for Scotland was won by around the same margin. The government of the day ruled that, despite a win for YES, legislation would not proceed because the number who had voted YES did not represent at least 40% of the electorate.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      I hate to reduce argument to this level but your comment is utter putrid cack.I wont waste energy summoning up a counter argument.

      • PP

        “utter putrid cack” – great argument.

        “I wont waste energy …” – because you are unable to?

        • Deepgreenpuddock

          well it aint for the comments(apart from occasional unintentional hilariousness)-half of which(at least) are the ravings of crackpot obsessives and fantasists.

    • Funn3r

      When you say referendum and the will of the people you are referring to events well over three years ago. It’s hard to see the relevance today, considering everything that has happened since then. It’s like me saying my car doesn’t need an MOT because it passed just fine a few years back. Things change. Things change a lot.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Parlliament is the only obstacle to leaving the eu.”

      It’s also the only “obstacle” to a despotic dictatorship.

    • Robert

      Well, suppose I took my car to agarage to be fixed, they estimated £100, and I said “OK”. And then they phoned later and said – “oops, it’s not as we said, it’s £1,000”. I did say “OK” – but now I’d like to change my mind.

    • Mighty Drunken

      Hi Brett, your comment has many arguments common to those who would like to leave the EU. Arguments which I think are flawed.

      “Parlliament is the only obstacle to leaving the EU.”
      Of course, parliament is where the sovereign power of the UK resides. It can’t be any other way unless we change how the UK system works. We have a representative democracy, a very common setup around the World. Only Switzerland has a reasonably strong form of direct democracy.

      “deny the will of the electorate”
      The problem parliament are having is they can’t decide on the type of “leaving the EU”. As a majority they don’t appear to be against leaving the EU, they are against leaving the EU “without a deal”. I think he main flaw with the referendum was there was no clear idea of what leaving the EU meant. If I asked a large group of people, “Do you want to move”. I think most will say yes. Then if I tried to get a majority to agree to a specific location I would likely fail.
      Another thing is what do the people want? The referendum results were close and most polls since then give a slim Remain victory.

  • Brett Angel

    To complete my comments, it is obviously clear here that subversion of the will of the people is okay, you may want to reflect on the comment here:

    The divide between the people is so enormous now that there’s no going back to some respectful, reasonable time – it’s on your own time against the neoliberals dressed in identity clothing pretending to care – just what they wanted – interference in other sovereign nations is viewed as unacceptable by the many – interference in your own country is accommodated with ease – wish you well with that

    • zoot

      as i understand it, boris johnson, jacob rees mogg and nigel farage are all pitiless neoliberals dressed in John bull outfits pretending to care. how do you understand them?

    • N_

      Do you have any feelings about immigration, Brett? Or perhaps you have them but you keep them separate from your intellectual thoughts about the question of whether Britain should or should not belong to the European Union?

    • nevermind

      How sad to see that people still use the events of the second great unpleasantness to compare events today. The second world war anniversary in Poland was marred by empty chairs. Russia an ally of the western powers, was not invited.
      I understand that Poland was in the way of armies for over 200 years and has been overwhelmed and forced into defending themselves from Russian forces more than once. But this was a specific event and such stance keeps animosities alive.

      The divide here comes from the anachronism of the so called ‘democratic system’, its backwardness and non representative nature. This is the time to change it. Move parliament and give us all a fair proportional vote, then manifest it into a written Constitution. All else will follow.

      • Tatyana

        Poor little innocent Poland never had a slogan “Poland from the Baltic sea to the Black sea”, never took western Belorussia and western Ukraine from Russia and Wilen region from Lithuania, never had Pilsudski-Hitler pact. When Hitler demanded Sudeten, poor little innocent Poland never demanded (and never got) Teshin region from ex-Czechoslovakia.
        When Hitler invaded, polish government escaped to the neighbour Romania.
        Forced into defending themselves! Indeed.

        They are playing victim to get another trillion dollars.

  • Sharp Ears

    This is a list of the Tory rebels who voted against Johnson yesterday.

    It includes Alistair Burt, one time MENA Minister in the FCO. The BBC refer to him as a ‘respected figure in the party’. So respected is he that he once recommended death for Assad in the same style as Gaddafi’s death, ie by insertion of a bayonet per rectum. How vile.

    That was in a debate in the HoC in 2013. Burt is a member of the CFoI and a one time officer of the outfit. He is also a self professed Christian.

    • Greg Park

      Each of them is a Tory first and foremost and above all else. Every one of them voted straight down the line for the austerity measures that have forced the most needy and vulnerable to pay for the sins of the most comfortable. Any non-Tory trying represent noble, relatable figures needs to give their head a good shake.

      • N_

        Just a side comment here, but I wouldn’t trust John Bercow as far as I could chuck the constantly sarcastic joker about date rape.

  • Dave

    The referendum was a glorified public consultation that are a statutory duty but which are often ignored if they deliver the wrong result. That is it wasn’t (I believe) a binding referendum, but of course the politicians said it was, expecting a different result.

    The point is it was always straightforward to leave, with big majority votes in Parliament to do so, but it was deliberately sabotaged by the Maybot, because once she couldn’t get her deal through she could have reached a leave deal with Labour.

    Whether No Deal will be a disaster or not, isn’t really the point, the point is there is sincere opinion against No Deal and for Remain and so politically the priority for a patriotic British Unionist, is how to heal the wounds of the referendum and keep the country together, whilst delivering on the referendum result.

    The problem is due to Maybot conservatives are in No Deal meltdown and ironically it falls on Corbyn to deliver the compromise Brexit, a Labour manifesto promise, if he can keep the Remainiacs at bay.

    • N_

      Whether No Deal will be a disaster or not, isn’t really the point, the point is there is sincere opinion against No Deal and for Remain

      That No Deal will be a disaster for tens of millions of people IS the point.

      Screw democracy. Just use a democracy argument when it’s expedient, as everyone else does. We live in dark times.

      The more atomised that people are on one level, the more the idea of racial national community operates on another.

      • J Galt

        I think the “tens of millions” of whom you speak were shafted long ago – “no deal” will make little or no difference to them.

        Indeed that’s probably why most of them put the two fingers up to TPTB in the first place, they’ve f**k all to lose!

      • Dave

        It isn’t the point because many people don’t fear or agree No Deal will be a disaster, so my appeal to Leavers is consider the political and social implications of simply ignoring sincerely held opinions, as do you really want UK to leave EU just to have Scotland and Ireland leave UK. Hence support a compromise deal and recognise the problem is due to deliberate sabotage, the choice is presented as No Deal vs Remain, which in practice becomes Remain, when a compromise Brexit was (and is) always available.

        I think you’ll find nearly all the leaders (and many of the supporters) of anti-immigration parties/opinion are second generation immigrants and/or married to them.

  • michael norton

    it is a bit difficult trying to keep up as things are fast moving, a few hours is a long time in British politics.
    Wiki claims there are now only
    289 Conservative members of parliament, so no majority by a long shot.
    In normal times, when so may have dribbled away from the Conservative government, then yesterday a defection, followed by 20 or so deselections, the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition would be honour bound to call for a vote of no confidence in this Tory government.

    So what is holding Jeremy Corbyn, back?

    • Antonym

      Doesn’t this put the 35 MPs of SNP in a momentary power position to create a one off simple majority?
      They could strike a deal with either camp to have a second binding referendum for Scottish independence or continued EC membership or X in return.
      IF they are of one voice and their leader is ready for it…

    • TonyT12

      Last night’s vote was to all intents and purposes a vote of no confidence. Not much else to say. Do they not teach mathematics at Eton? When you have a majority which has slipped to one, the last thing you do is to drive twenty two loyal members out of your own party.

      What is holding Jeremy Corbyn back from granting Johnson his immediate General Election? – Simple answer common sense, duty to the country to act responsibly, and not trusting Johnson even as far as you can see him.

      The General Election will come soon enough, but not on terms which enable Johnson to force through NoDeal. Not on terms which enable Johnson to pursue other follies in pursuit of self-aggrandisement and doing his utmost to crush Nigel Farage and his party – the latter ambition being his greatest immediate concern.

      Many inside and outside the Conservative Party knew Boris Johnson was a man not to be trusted, and this knowledge is now universal except among those with their heads deepest in the sand.

      • Sharp Ears


        The bluffer’s bluff failed big time.

        Speaking of Old Etonians, did you spot Rees-Mogg, who is one of them and also the Leader of the House of Commons, showing complete contempt for the HoC by lounging along the front bench with his head and shoulders propped up on the end rail? I think I saw him coming to and adjusting his spectacles in a rather theatrical manner.

        He was told off by Caroline Lucas –

        • Shatnersrug

          I think labour are going to keep their powder dry till Johnson cancels Brexit. Thanks to the headline in the Telegraph we all now know that the city doesn’t want Brexit so Johnson and May were playing a bluffers game all along. If labour step in they will still take the blame.

        • RogerDodger

          My concern is that this was all theatrics. Johnson and Cummings were playing to the public, getting all the opposition parties to tie their colours to the remainer mast, before calling a GE so that they would have to split the remain vote between them while the Tories hoover up all the leave vote and a healthy plurality. Brexit signalling if you will.

          The expulsions are all gravy because he’ll now have a party no longer fractured along brexit lines which will give him a free hand in leading, unlike Labour (who will have to keep fence sitting and refocusing the debate, or try to compete with the rabid remain Lib Dems).

          Craig suggests that the Tories’ FPTP calculations are wrong and that won’t translate to a commons majority but I’m not so sure. I fear they might have played it very well.

          • Deb O'Nair

            “getting all the opposition parties to tie their colours to the remainer mast,”

            The opposition are not Remainers, except the LibDems. Labour want to remain in the customs union, which was not something any Brexiteers objected to during the referendum – many of them, including Johnson, even campaigned on the notion that the UK would retain access to the single market. It’s Johnson and his clique of loons that have lurched to the hard-right Brexit position not everyone else moving over to Remain.

          • RogerDodger

            Hi Deb O’Nair,

            I agree and I should have been more clear – it’s more about how it appears (or can be spun) to the public rather than what Labour’s position actually is.

          • Dave

            Corbyn’s dilemma is as Labour is split he needed Maybot to put forward a compromise Brext that enough Labour could support. He couldn’t deliver the compromise without conservative support and it would simply cause him problems within Labour to promote it, hence the alleged ambiguity. Maybot knew that deal was available, but refused to offer it, with Corbyn now being cast as Remain enemy of Leaving, when he’s just holding to the Labour manifesto position of compromise rather than No Deal.

          • Jo1


            Caroline Flint is already planning to submit an amendment to the bill tonight. As always, looking out for herself.

          • Dave

            Except her amendment seeks to resurrect the Maybot (Remain+) Deal (which is also Boris’s plan with backstop being changed to interim arrangements) rather than remain in the customs union which would pass.

      • Antonym

        IF this was a vote of no confidence then general elections are due in case a vote of confidence (with simple majority) doesn’t succeed within 14 days.

      • N_

        Agreed, the government should resign [1]. No Act or precedent stops them from doing so [2]. They are about to fall anyway, even if as far as I’m aware no newspaper is currently using the word “fall”.

        The Tories are trying to frame it as if their strong leader is in command of events, advised by his super-brilliant consigliere and doubtless by his louche yet shrewd Leader of the House and Lord President of the Council.

        Rees-Mogg’s cartoonlike act will surely win frequent applause in the US Embassy, the White House, and throughout Yankee New England. But to the internal market (and an election is coming, so this is crucial) he f*cked up with his laying down on the bench move. I’m sure that by now he knows it. His image managers may have been sent to a bit of a tizzy. He can’t do it again, and he can’t obviously do the opposite either, because that would look awkward and make him a laughing stock. He will have been given intense body language training since yesterday evening. I won’t be surprised if he changes something in his appearance, perhaps in his clothing, to distract attention.

        Let’s see how else the Tories will f*ck up. They are so arrogant that other instances are likely. The problem is that they or their friends control the media. Most people after seeing a person hold up three fingers will believe that they were really holding up four fingers if that’s what posh people tell them on the telly and how it’s described in the Sun. Nowadays they will also believe that the idea that it was three fingers is “fake news”, circulated by saboteurs and traitors.

        1) Charlie Elphicke who lost the Tory whip because he had to for the sake of appearances when he was accused of sex offences, and who therefore counts as an “opposition” MP, voted with the government yesterday. He’s a Tory who has been put in the sin bin for 10 minutes.

        2) The whole point of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act was a sop to the Liberal Democrats, as part of the coalition agreement. It was a Tory promise to them that the Tories wouldn’t call a snap election if they were doing well in the polls before the five years were up.

  • Fwl

    What sort of hard border is there between these EU and non-EU states:

    Italy and San Marino

    Italy and the Vatican

    Spain and Andorra

    Are there differences? Is there some flexibility as to what is acceptable as a hard EU external border?

    France and Andorra

    France and Monaco

    France and St Maarten

    Franc and Suriname

    Austria and Liechenstein

    Are there differences? Is there some flexibility as to what is deemed acceptable for a EU external border?

    • Willie

      Great stuff predicating a supposedly sensible question about hard borders between major European states and micro entities.

      And so FWL what kind of border do you think there is between the Vatican City comprising of a few buildings in the middle of Rome and the 110 mile border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

      Do you see them as the same or similar. I suspect you do.

      And by the way, the Vatican is defended by the Swiss Guard who I suspect you’ll see as the equivalent of the UK’s Border Agency and Customs and Excise.

      What intelligent comment you get on this blog. Swiss Guard for the Irish border!!

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Switzerland is as big as Northern Ireland and has borders with France, Germany, Italy and Austria. It is not a member of the EUz but trades with it.

        Switzerland is neither on the verge of civil war nor bankruptcy…

        • Ed J

          But Rhys, this doesn’t fit the Left’s narrative, so therefore you are wrong. The sky is about to fall on our heads – why aren’t you panicking?

          • N_

            Switzerland is not in the customs union and it has customs controls on its borders with EU countries. And it always has done.

            If you don’t want a hard Irish border, Britain should stay in the customs union and single market.

            All sizeable countries that are in both the customs union and the single market are also in the EU.

          • Russell Davies

            Switzerland’s trade with the EU has nothing to do with “the Left’s narrative”, whatever that might mean, and everything to do with the more than 100 bilateral trade deals that the EU and Switzerland have signed over the years since their Free Trade Agreement of 1972. Switzerland and the EU agreed a package of seven sectoral agreements in 1999 (known in Switzerland as ‘Bilaterals I’), covering such things as the free movement of people, technical trade barriers, public procurement, agriculture and air and land transport. There’s also a scientific research agreement which means that Switzerland is integrated into the framework of the EU’s research programmes. A second package of Bilaterals was signed in 2004 covering Switzerland’s participation in Schengen as well as agreements on taxation of savings, processed agricultural products, combating fraud and so on. Switzerland is also part of EFTA, but it still has its own trade agreements with the likes of Japan and China.

            This does not mean that the current relationship between the EU and Switzerland is all sweetness and light. Switzerland, like the UK, is unwilling to sign an agreement. This is a pact that Brussels has sought for a decade and which was negotiated over almost five years. This pact is meant to sit above the existing bilateral deals but it is being resisted by Swiss politicians of the right and the left because the one does not want the EU to have a say in Swiss affairs, while the other fears the dilution of Swiss labour laws and the undercutting of wages. The row over the agreement saw Brussels blocking EU-based investors from trading on Swiss exchanges, leading to Switzerland retaliating by banning EU venues from hosting Swiss stock trading.

            The next deadline for Switzerland to sign the agreement and begin ratification is the end of October.

          • Iain Stewart

            “more than 100 bilateral trade deals that the EU and Switzerland have signed over the years”
            I read it was more like 180 separate agreements, and that the EU had decided “never again”.
            You can find out how much fish and chocolate you can bring in here

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Are there differences?”

      Yes, none of those states were involved in a 100 year old civil war which a no-deal Brexit threatens to re-ignite by scuppering the GFA.

  • Laguerre

    The media are saying – and they’re right – that last night’s purge, even a night of the long knives, was more serious than even I thought yesterday. It’s a complete wreck of the old Tory party, just because Johnson was naive enough to believe his evil éminence, Cummings. It’s a common mistake for neophyte leaders to make, to think now they’re in power, they’re free to do whatever they want. The backlash is so powerful, it seems, that it may even wreck the entire Brexit policy, never mind what all the Brexiters on this blog think.

    • Shatnersrug

      The city made it quite clear this morning that they would rather a Corbyn govt than a Johnson Brexit. That means the Tory bluff is called. There never was a Brexit and Johnson’s cunning plan was – as May’s was – to get labour to cancel it and let them take the political burn for s generation. All Labour or any opposition need do now is wait and watch. Johnson’s backers will be on him to cancel article 50 within the next 8 weeks.

      • N_

        Have you got a source for your first sentence, @Shatnersrug?

        Some say the City backed Remain in 2016 but that is not true. If the City want to back something they have considerable PR resources at their disposal and while some in the City backed Remain it would not be accurate to say that there was an agreed City line in favour of Remain.

        Might the FT back Labour in the coming election as they did in 1997? That’s interesting if so.

        In that year, so did the Sun, but there is absolutely no chance of them doing it this time.

    • TonyT12

      As another commentator jested. Boris is a bull who goes everywhere with his own China shop. Parties are broad churches, otherwise they have no hope of a majority in the House. Kicking out loyal party members wholesale in this way can only end up in tears.

      Now is a perfect time for Jeremy Corbyn to publish a manifesto which is tamer and broader than he might have planned a year or two ago. The plan to bury him and his party as unelectable commie antisemites has not worked, and we need positive proactive news urgently. It may be a while before the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail give Jeremy Corbyn any credit for anything. Sorry to break the news, but the next election will not be decided by the Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail.

      The Conservative Party ship is looking more than tired, it is holed and listing heavily to starboard, and looking ever more like UKIP/BREXIT which is going to end up nowhere. Pandering to pub-warrior over-55’s and Tommy Robinsons will not renew the Conservative Party

      • Xavi

        Corbyn’s 2017 manifesto produced the largest increase in support for either of the two main parties since 1945. For Labour to now revert back to a triangulating, Thatcher-lite strategy would almost certainly see them suffer the same fate as all the other big centre-left parties in Europe: that is, to virtually disappear as a serious electoral force. What cost Labour two years ago was its defensive election campaign strategy, devised by a then rightwing party HQ.

        Also seems odd to have viewed the Tory party as a broad church. All its MPs are Thatcherite to the core while its membership is far to the right of Thatcher. The only ideological division, if it can be classed as one, is on whether to wreck economic mayhem with a no deal Brexit.

        • N_

          They weren’t defensive on student grants and dementia tax, two issues which won them a lot of votes.

          Agreed the Tories are nothing like a broad church.

          This time the anti-Labour campaign is multiheaded. (UKIP were nowhere in 2017 and there was no Brexit Party). Where the traditional Tory enemy is concerned Jeremy Corbyn will be portrayed very simply as a traitor, a man who consciously seeks to smash this country up to help foreigners, those with swarthy and dark skins, and Muslims.

          • Xavi

            No, I mean a defensive strategy in terms of defending existing seats rather than targeting Tory ones. This one going to be different.

    • Jo1


      Where in the media?

      Certainly not at the BBC! Kuennsberg was being dishonest last night in claiming to her journalist colleagues in a podcast that Labour had signed up to a GE on 15 October. Labour did not!

      She’s tweeting today that Labour’s position has shifted, she’s claimed they’d said last night they’d be ready to agree to an election by this Friday…when their bill would be law. More rubbish! We don’t know how long the bill will take to get through the Lords. Kuennsberg is actually lying!

      NN last night, Maitlis shouting at a Labour MP, “But why? You’ve wanted an election! You can have one! Why say no? You’ll be a laughing stock!”. More disgusting behaviour from yet another BBC journalist.

      If our media had anything like a shred of concern about the state of our politics we would not be in this state. The truth is too many in the media, including the publicly funded BBC, are guilty of failing to do their jobs by holding the government…and politicians…to account.

  • Republicofscotland

    So Corbyn was in Salford recently roaring up the crowds on we’ll have a GE soon be ready as we’re ready. Meanwhile other Labour big wigs were playing down the prospect of a GE, because Johnson could move the date from the 14th of October to after the 31st of October which would mean we’re out.

    Is it the old Corbyn torn between in his heart really wanting to leave, but in his mind admitting so out loud, would scupper his chances of becoming PM, and has his dithering continued right up to this very crucial point?

    On the otherside of the fence or border to be precise, the Machevellian machinations and the death of Westminster democracy should be a rude awaking to those folk in Scotland, who still see Westminster as some form of righteous parliament at work.

    We really need to extract ourselves from this House of Cards before it collapses in on itself.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Corbyn is looking more like a prospective PM when compared to the Queens Jester and his band of merry loons.

      • Iain Stewart

        But then the Rt Hon Mr Bean MP would also look more convincing, so your praise is very faint. Why ever did Jeremy Corbyn put a three line whip on voting unconditionally for Article 50?

        • Deb O'Nair

          I agree, at the time I thought it was the wrong move. He should have used support of triggering A50 as leverage to get cross-party involvement in the negotiations.

          Corbyn has risen to the populist challenge of the hard-right brexiteers (fully supported by a large chunck of the corporate media) far better than I would have imagined, he’s totally out maneuvered them and brought half-a-dozen political parties together to oppose Johnson and his gang of nasty politicians – that’s genuine leadership.

    • Jo1

      Corbyn always said he had voted Remain but only believed in it 70%. Fair enough, I say. Those who say, “We all ‘know’ Corbyn is for Leave”, don’t know any such thing!

      Corbyn’s functioned post Brexit knowing 61% of Labour constituencies voted Leave. He’s had many of his MPs on his back warning him against challenging the result, against a second referendum. Not easy circumstances at all.

      Add to that the open hostility he gets from the media. BBC presenters regularly refer to him as just “Corbyn” showing no respect whatsoever. I’ll tell you something, no matter what you make of his tactics, I am gobsmacked that he’s still standing after four years with all he’s had thrown at him. I take my hat off to him!

      • Iain Stewart

        “Those who say, We all know Corbyn is for Leave, don’t know any such thing!”
        Could you explain his three line whip on voting unconditionally for Article 50 then?

        • Jo1


          I can’t answer that question, no.

          That doesn’t, however, make my original statement incorrect. For what it’s worth I blame the entire Parliament for the triggering of A50 so early as, for me, the closeness of the vote should have raised serious issues across the board immediately.

          The quote you highlighted was about claims made by various folk in the media that Corbyn was always for Leave, indeed, some even claimed he’d voted Leave. The man himself said he voted Remain with a 70% enthusiasm level.

  • Ed J

    I knew it was only a matter of time until you started dropping words like “fascist” and “xenophobia” into your articles. So, I’d be very interested to see your evidence for Johnson’ “harnessing of anti-immigrant xenophobia”. Additionally, given you’ve made a direct comparison with fascism, what exactly are the points of comparison here?

    Making allegations of racism/fascism/xenophobia etc are very serious, and too often made without any real evidence to back up these claims. I’ve yet to see any real evidence that would make me agree with any of these claims, and until such time as evidence is presented it amounts to nothing more than slander.

    • grafter

      Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been accused of Islamophobia after saying Muslim women wearing burkas “look like letter boxes”.

      “It is said that the Queen has come to love the Commonwealth, partly because it supplies her with regular cheering crowds of flag-waving piccaninnies,” he wrote. It also mentioned “watermelon smiles”.

      Boris Johnson’s slanderous remarks.

      • Dave

        Presumably its Islamophobia to bomb Muslim countries and far worse than objecting to an item of clothing?

        However what’s misunderstood about that Boris comment is it was intended as a way to put forward a liberal view not to ban the burka. That is he declared in a humorous way he didn’t support the burka, but then said an outright ban would be anti-British, as the British approach is more softly-softly than what often happens elsewhere.

        And OK maybe nowadays you shouldn’t say what he said about commonwealth subjects, but its more affectionate rather than offensive and its true the commonwealth and adoring crowds gives legitimacy to the Monarchy.

      • nevermind

        Ed J asked empty questions he probably knew the answers to, he’s here t5o intimidate and obfuscate, not to defend Snolly G. Johnsons racist and fascist behaviour, ain’t that Right Eddy/Edward J.?

    • N_

      There is a kind of rejection of ideas that might wise a person up that always includes self-negation if you look hard enough: “I have seen no evidence”, “I see no reason to change what I thought before you came along, you dirty guttersnipe”, etc.

      At this point, I always hear the line “I used to get six of the best every day. It never did ME any harm”.

      Free clue: examine your own use of terms such as “fascism” and “xenophobia”, Ed J, because it doesn’t sound as though they’re up to much, as though they’ve even got off the ground floor.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The latest YouGov poll is in. Headline would be Remain front retaining a steady 5% advantage over the Leave front. Dig deeper and things are not so reassuring. The Remain front in Scotland had an average lead of 46.3% over the previous 8 polls, the new gives the Scottish, Remain front a massive 57% lead. This matters not a jot because the seats are already in the bag, but it does mask what is happening in the Midlands and Wales (if you are considering only UK trends).
    The last 7 polls for Midlands and Wales taking the Leave front figure and subtracting the Remain front figure gives:
    -5 -5 -8 -2 -3 +9 +7
    There are 135 seats in YouGov’s Midlands and Wales block. This is where Cummings wins the election.

    • Jo1

      “This matters not a jot because the seats are already in the bag…”

      Can you just confirm which seats you’re claiming are in the bag in Scotland? Because I say to hell with the polls. Nothing is in the bag and to proceed that way is bloody reckless, complacent and arrogant.

      Let me tell you what frightened me about Johnson’s latest slogan today. It was significant to me because, being Scottish, I know how a lot of minds work here when the word “surrender” is mentioned! Johnson’s slogan, “the Surrender Bill” could have been designed to provoke a particular response. That response is, “No Surrender!” a phrase familiar to many here who recognise the role sectarianism and NI/Irish politics play in Scotland, unfortunately. Expect to see Johnson’s latest slogan to make an appearance at Holyrood courtesy of the Tories. They will want it in the mix because they know it will add the sort of fuel they like to the debate. The tactics will be filthier than usual.

      I say again, nothing is “in the bag”. Anyone putting any sort of store by polls is being very foolish indeed.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Scottish, Westminster seat projection taking average polling returns from a reasonably number of sub-samples together with one full scale poll and deriving variation from 2017 polls, then applying this variation to 2017, individual constituency results has the Tories retaining two seats (Mundel and Jack I think).
        “No Surrender” may work for the Tories if they were defending seats in West, Central Scotland, but they ain’t.

        • Jo1

          Polls can go out the window very quickly…. especially if you start claiming seats are “in the bag”!

          Of the 31 closest marginals in the UK, 12 are in Scotland. Nine of those are West/Central Scotland.

  • Jack

    Personally I believe Brexit should be followed accordingly, this is what people voted for. Why have referenda or any voting at all if the result wont be accepted by the other party? Imagine you have a vote for parliament, the result show that party a won, but party b wont accept it and will drag on many years to stop team a from ascending to power. That is what is happening now. Its not right in any sense.
    I think the left, liberals really show their true color in the aftermath of this and its not a pretty one. This is why people dont have trust in the democratic vote anymore, and its not a UK thing but a western political failure.

    At the same time, UK is now stuck between a rock and a hard place, if there is Brexit, I believe the Remainers will accept it over time even though there will be some fuss about it for a couple of years. However, if there are is no Brexit, the Brexit voters will grow bigger and more frustrated that their voice wasnt respected and will put alot of more pressue to leave.
    I believe in that case that the Brexit voters will win, I believe the inevitable criticism that will grow against the EU coming years. Mostly the immigration issue seems to accelerate constantly and is a big factor tipping people over.

    ” ‘Chaos unseen since WWII’: UK parliament subverts democracy, leaves pre-Brexit Britain ungoverned ”

    • Michael

      It’s not the real left, it’s a bourgeois left. Real lefties like me and others particularly in the north won’t be voting for Corbyn to take a dump on our earlier vote. The EU did nothing to stop the Tories killing off the ill and poor, all while handing out huge land grants to some of our richest people. I doubt Corbyn will win, so to change anything we’ll just have to wait for the horrendous riots brought on by excessive austerity.

      • Iain Stewart

        “Real lefties like me”
        Ah, the pure pureness of authentic purity! We fake lefties can only hang our heads in shame.
        And this north to which you refer, would that be Sutherland, Orkney or Shetland in particular?

  • Mist001

    Let’s see. Johnson has prorogued Parliament and has banned 21 of his own party members from standing in the next GE. How long before he turns his attention to Holyrood?

    The warning signs are all there.

    • N_

      Boris Johnson hasn’t banned them from standing. He has banned them from representing the Tory brand if they do stand.

      By the way, if Kenneth Clarke is no longer an MP after the election then the Father of the House will be Dennis Skinner, assuming Dennis stands and wins.

      I will always fondly remember Dennis’s gesture to the White Phosphorus scum in the parliamentary Labour Party after they jeered him for giving a warm welcome to Jeremy Corbyn – and even more so his speech to the Commons after Margaret Thatcher died. I don’t think he even mentioned the b*tch’s name. He spoke about coalminers who had died in pit accidents. Dennis may support Brexit but he is an example of an extremely rare breed: a member of parliament who is honourable.

  • Mighty Drunken

    I think the article’s analysis and predictions appear likely and are very reasonable. However I don’t know if the future is very reasonable:)

  • Deb O'Nair

    Having just watched PMQs I can now see why Johnson/Cummings have prorogued parliament; it was a car crash. I have never seen a PM get such little support from his own backbenchers, let alone of their first outing. Proroguing is clearly a tactic to avoid public inspection of the “new government” and on the evidence of this alone it is fair to say that Johnson is already finished. He looked shell shocked as he sat down at the end and not one single MP engaged in the usual back-slapping of congratulations which is the custom after a new PMs first PMQs. Theresa May may have been a dead duck but even in her last days she looked more authoritative and more supported than this blustering buffoon. To cap it all off Sajid Javid was censured after two minutes into his maiden speech as chancellor by the speaker for wandering off his spending revue into GE campaign rhetoric. Beyond embarrassing.

  • Loony

    “If you had the luck of the Irish you’d be sorry and wish your were dead” – John Lennon.

    Why doesn’t Varadkar explain to the Irish citizenry why he feels that in extremis they should act as economic suicide bombers. Why does he not acknowledge that in 1973 Ireland joined the EEC for the sole and exclusive reason that the UK joined the EEC. Now that the UK wishes to leave the EU why doesn’t Ireland also want to leave.

    What is exactly that has changed in the intervening 40 years? Or is it less than 40 years since in 2008/9 Ireland made its standard response to economic reversals by exporting large swathes of its citizens around the world, including a considerable number to the UK.

    What is the current aim of Varadkar? Surely it cannot be to wilfully destroy the Irish economy in an attempt to punish the British and then to seek to recover by exporting destitute Irish to the UK.

    • Deb O'Nair

      Your posts seem to indicate the the predicted post no-deal shortages of medicines is already happening.

      • Loony

        Not really – you be people are supposed to be so interested in the EU and yet seem remarkably uninterested in anything outside of your own narrow parochial obsessions about current politicians in the UK.

        Sure the UK is interesting because it voted to leave the EU. The EU is far more interesting because it is an entity that the UK does not want to be a part of.

        In the simplistic sloganeering of this blog all is explained by a combination of English stupidity and English malice. A more productive line of inquiry would be to examine the EU – see if you can spot any faults or internal contradictions. Alternatively see if you can spot something munificent about the whole thing, maybe people will change their minds.

        Some may conclude that the abject silence on what the EU actually is and the incessant smearing of those that want to leave it is simple cover to avoid any discussion as to the real nature of the beast.

        • nevermind

          you can be such a bore Loony, why should we look at other peoples apparent mistakes and or EU top down failures, WHEN YOU OR YOUR MATES OR THE POLITICIANS YOU ASKED ALL THESE QUESTIONS SOME 40 YEARS AGO DID ABSOLUTELY nothing at all to change this now ‘undemocratic entity’?
          You failed all these years and now you want absolution by boring the pants of us. All you want is the GFA anulled, bring back border controls and violence.
          Irish people have grown together since the GFA, they have combined water services, electricity supplies, the south sends its cows to be slaughtwer3ed in NI and visa versa they send their milk south to be turned into dairy products.
          Most importantly, they have publicly rejected English or EU interferences of their growing interchanges, saying so loud and clear.
          NI will soon grow together into a united Ireland, whatever your loony tune snollygoster’s say or do.

    • Salford Lad

      Varadkar is not just destroying the Economy, he is also destroying Ireland as a Nation State.
      Massive illegal migration and open borders has changed the demographics of Ireland ,and the planting of mainly single military age illegal migrants in Hotels ( known as Direct Provision) in the dead of night ,in the small villages of Ireland has caused anger among Irish people.
      There are over 10k native Irish people homeless in Ireland and there is a Housing crisis. The population is now over 20% foreign born,
      Dublins sewage works has a capacity for 2.4 million and is overloaded ,spewing raw sewage into the Liffey.
      Irish Farmers are in revolt because of low beef prices at the processors who operate a cartel. EU regulations saw the culling of 50k bull calves recently.
      The EU Mercosur Agreement means cutbacks to Farming production and the importation of South American farm products.
      The realities of the EU dictatorship are coming visible in Ireland.

      • nevermind

        what has caused anger in Ireland are the housing minister and his black and tan bullies that turf out tenants from farms and houses because they want to make a buck, Ireland has always been far more open to Immigrants than this country. Varadkar will not win another election.

    • Dave

      Yes a compromise of keeping in the customs union can be revisited when the Republic see sense and leave the EU too.

  • RichardN

    Just back from Lidl.

    PMQs usually bores me rigid but today’s was riveting, especially the bit where half the House (you can guess which half) claps to Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP asking BJ to apologise about his “letterbox” and “bank robber” comments.

    And then people will argue that they/he/it isn’t racist.

    The cat’s out of the bag.

    • Antonym

      Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP -Sikh- speaking up for Muslim burka wearers suddenly now, 13 months later?
      Pakistan’s ISI is busy with its Khalistan project to carve out a Sikh territory from India. They need gullible prominent Sikhs to support Islam now and this was an opportune moment in the lime light. Brexit etc. was just a background stage.
      This project will not work for those who have knowledge of Sikh history: their 4th Guru Arjan was tortured and killed for not converting to Islam in 1606 AD, their 9th Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded in 1675 under orders of Mogul emperor Aurungzeb while their 10th and Guru Gobind Singh was assassinated on Aurengazeb’s orders in 1708 after which the Sikh battle with the Islamists continued for many decades Not to mention the mutual slaughter during the Partition of Punjab in 1947.

  • Republicofscotland

    Listening to PMQ’s earlier on today, it would appear that Boris Johnson isn’t prepared to answer any difficult questions on Brexit. Instead he’s turned the important, holding to account of the government session, into a finger pointing exercise.

    This farcical position was exacerbated by the baying mobs of (MP’s) on either side of the House shouting over the shoulders of both Corbyn and Johnson.

    Maybe its just as well the two-swords lengths distance between either sides of the House is still applicable.

  • Sharp Ears

    Johnson’s PMQ session was followed by Javid on the economy. Javid resembles the Mekon physically (if anyone remembers the Eagle) and he speaks in such a dead toneless way as if he is an app that converts text to speech. Bercow told him off for making political points rather than giving a review of the economy and his proposals.

    Bercow had another go at him for not sticking to his remit, almost accusing him of filibustering. That won’t go down very well with the Tory front benchers and there is no mention of Bercow’s admonitions to Javid in this report.

    Chancellor unveils spending plans

    He’s found the magic money tree which Theresa sought in vain. ‘Chancellor pledges £13.8bn extra spending next year’.


  • mike

    The state broadcaster cannot bring itself to say that Corbyn walloped Bozo at PMQs, or that Bozo’s display was incoherent blustering.

    • nevermind

      They just paid out 2 million of their ‘meagre’ funds to Cliff Richard for publicising his house/privacy via a helicopter, we should seriously pay more in license fee tax to keep these offshorers happy in their propaganda jobs.

  • George Burns

    I find it curious that the various corporate media outlets are concerned that Johnson’s actions could ‘destroy the Tory party’. The destruction of the most odious group of people ever to exist in this country, whose policies (and the ideology they represent) have brought untold misery to millions of people since before the Industrial Revolution and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths – if not more. And the destruction of this group is supposed to bother anyone?

    They should consider themselves lucky that we suffer them to continue living.

  • david

    Parliament has blocked a deal, its blocked no deal…. will it dare block a GE ? That’s the next big democratic question.

    My guess is that boris feels that by being clear.. ie leave and the Lib Dems being clear ie remain and labour giving a message of wait and see that the labour vote will end up being split between the Cons and the Libs, leaving labour pretty much wiped out.

    I know that Ive had enough of Brexit, voted leave but now I don’t care, I like many other people simply want parliament to make a decision. 3 years of sitting on the fence has probably led to Brexit exhaustion and Im not convinced that labours wait and see will win much support with the electorate.

    Id imagine a no competition pact with the Brexit party in areas where people wont vote conservative is on the cards. Labour are going to have to get their message across very carefully if they allow a GE, which I think they will block, or they really could end up not only losing, but not even being the official opposition.

    The Lib Dems have a lot to gain here, if they are really clever and really get the message across, not only on remain, but more importantly on other domestic issues they could end up in government. Maybe not such a bad outcome.

  • different frank

    “It’s the arrogance. It’s the contempt. That’s what gets me. It’s [the new Prime Minister’s] apparent belief that he can just trample on the democratic will of the British people.”

    – Boris Johnson talking about Gordon Brown becoming PM without an election.

    • Brett Angel

      It’s parliament that is trampling on the democratic will of the British people – this is treason – hillary benn does not want to leave the eu – his bill is treasonous and too many are lapping this up

      • N_

        @Brett – “Treason” means betraying the state, not the “people”.

        May I ask you a question? (This relates to the scenario I posit here).

        You’re angry now. What will you feel like if events run as follows?
        * Labour wins an election and Jeremy Corbyn becomes prime minister
        * A deal is negotiated that leaves Britain in the customs union and single market (BINO)
        * A referendum is held pitting BINO against Remain?
        In that scenario, would you support the violent overthrow of the “treasonous” Labour government?

  • Sharp Ears

    Fellow Members of Parliament are saying that Johnson’s response to Mr Singh Dhesi was inadequate. They have raised the matter with Bercow saying that he should have apologized.

    Unusually the questioner was applauded.

    ‘Q14. If I decide to wear a turban, or you, Mr Speaker, decide to wear a cross, or he decides to wear a kippah or skull cap, or she decides to wear a hijab or a burqa, does that mean that it is open season for right hon. Members of this House to make derogatory and divisive remarks about our appearance? For those of us who, from a young age, have had to endure and face up to being called names such as towelhead or Taliban, or to people saying we come from bongo, bongo land, we can appreciate full well the hurt and pain felt by already vulnerable Muslim women when they are described as looking like bank robbers and letterboxes. So rather than hide behind sham and whitewash investigations, when will the Prime Minister finally apologise for his derogatory and racist remarks? [Applause.] Those racist remarks have led to a spike in hate crime. Given the increasing prevalence of such incidents within his party, when will the Prime Minister finally order an inquiry into Islamophobia within the Conservative party, which was something that he and his Chancellor promised on national television? [Applause.] [912223]

    Johnson’s response was to ‘claim’ Muslim and Sikh heritage. He then rakes up anti-semitism in the Labour party.
    ‘We have yet to hear from anywhere in the Labour party any hint of apology for the virus of antisemitism that is now rampant in its ranks.’

    Slur and slander is the meme. He is disgusting.

    The full reply is shown in the link above.

    • Loony

      That is the kind f question that must be prompted by either ignorance or manifest hatred of Christians. Surely the questioner must have known the discrimination faced by Nadia Eweida.

      This lady was persecuted by British Airways with the support of the British Government and British Courts and only succeeded in obtaining redress via the European Court of Human Rights.

      So based on precedent if Mr. Speaker decides to wear a cross to work then he can expect to full force of the state to mobilize against him. I wonder if being on the receiving end of someones words that you happen not to like is worse than having the state attempt to destroy your life.

      It cases like these that could be deployed in favor of continued British association with the EU. Pro remain type people tend not only to loathe the UK, but also to loathe Christianity, and any type of order whatsoever. Just because people who raise questions such as the one you quote are too afraid to openly identify as the hate filled atheist anarchists that they are does not mean that others do not now exactly what they are.

    • Tatyana

      He has no inner understanding that he is elected by the nation to do job for the country. He has the rightful understanding he was appointed by the Queen, instead.
      That is why Mr. Johnson does not feel when it’s time to hold his tongue.

      Mr. Johnson lacks aristocracy, I mean manners, tact, ability to behave in the society. So he may not notice how his remarks may have hurt a muslim woman, wearing her traditional clothes. He didn’t even bother about careful wording. They apparently do not learn in Eaton that a traditional clothes is always connected with the traditional religion. One cannot be mocked without mocking the other as well.

      What’s next? Will he also make fun of traditional food and traditional holidays? These things are also connected.
      I could have given ideas for jokes, only one thing prevents me – I respect cultural differences.

      • Tatyana

        Thanks for the video, Sharp Ears. It is very emotional and exciting, as a shooter movie!

        Have you noticed the moment: Johnson was asked when would he finally apologise, and Johnson says about most diverse cabinet in the history
        I am very sorry, but here in Russia we are not shy in terms. For me, Johnson’s answer sounds like ‘you are already given too many rights, so [email protected] you and no apology’.

    • N_

      I wonder whether Singh Dhesi was aware that Boris Johnson is on record as calling black people “piccaninnies”, the same foul racist word that appears in Enoch Powell’s famous “blood” speech?

  • Loony

    Many of the people on this blog seem so proud of displaying their faux virtue and preening their oh so caring and empathetic natures and running to support any fashionable officially sanctioned left wing cause.

    Here is a one time darling of the left – who also happens t come from Scotland, the most perfect country on earth, calling y’all out for what you really are.

    Take it away Mr. Galloway

    • Laguerre

      Others take pride in advertising their Brexitism and prejudices. Indeed Craig’s blog is particularly known for its commenters who are notoriously obscurantist, and well embedded in their ancient right-wing prejudices, presumably fought for from the safety of the keyboards of secure well-funded pensions which cannot be endangered by the catastrophes inevitable with No-Deal Brexit.

      • Loony

        What well funded pensions do you have in mind?

        Up until 2008 the long run return on US Bonds and Equities averaged 3.6% and 8.6% respectively. According to the World Economic Forum since 2008 returns on equities have declined to 3.45% and to 0.15% on bonds. These returns apply to monies invested both prior to 2008 and post 2008.

        So I ask again what well funded pension do have in mind? Or could it possibly be that you just make things up as making things up is much easier than actually seeking a genuine understanding.

        • Laguerre

          Yes, I’m sure it’s true that even people on well-funded pensions anguish every day about bond rates in the way you seem to. After all, their annuity provider could go down.

  • Ralph

    Trotting out these 3 undermining traitorous idiots major disaster clarke & hammond in support of your argument only serves to weaken it.

    There’s a precursor to this: ‘get out of the toxic politics of the United Kingdom’ – to the Scots who want to become independent, STAY OUT of British politics insofar as it affects England & the eurine, otherwise you come across as bloody minded, interfering hypocrites.

  • Brett Angel

    It’s funny how the anti-blairites are supporting the blairites to stop brexit – would the hypcrites like to explain themselves?

    • Brian c

      To stop a mad “No Deal” Trump Brexit. Something even arch hypocrites Farage and Johnson have previously said would be crazy.

    • nevermind

      Its the Loony and Brad show here this afternoon folks, they would see nothing wrong with getting rid of the 48% by accusing them of treason. And we all know what sentence treason carries.
      Don’t worry your hurting heads boys, the 48% are not going to lie down for being called treasonous.
      Have you ever asked yourself why you can’t change your mind after 3 years of changed circumstances, but those representing you in Parliament can switch their allegiances from one minute to the next, complete U turns?
      That should worry you more than anything, because you are not allowed to change your mind.

      • Loony

        Sure people can change their minds.

        They are unlikely to be persuaded to change their minds by arguments made up by people too lazy or too cognitively inhibited to actually pay attention to observable reality.

    • garth carthy

      Because whether or not one is a hypocrite, you may still be doing the right thing. If a person is a hypocrite, their character may be lacking to a degree but their action may still be the correct one.
      I get irritated at the number of times that silly people play the hypocrite card as if being a hypocrite automatically invalidates an argument.
      This primitive thinking is seen all the time in exchanges between climate change protesters and deniers.
      Accusations of hypocrisy are fair enough but they are too often used to conceal a lack of debating skills.

    • Salford Lad

      It is a commendable ideal for the Scots to seek Independence from the UK and become a Sovereign,Independent Nation in control of is borders ,its currency and its Laws, To then surrender and submit to the dominion of an unelected Bureaucracy in the EU , is pure treason and surrender of its duty as a Govt of the Scots people.
      The people of the UK VOTED in 2016 to Leave the EU. The discussion of the finer points of economic deals never entered the Ballot paper.
      The people of the UK are Sovereign. They elect a Govt to run the Institutions of State and invest in them their Sovereignity ,with the condition the Parliament will carry out the will of the People.
      The Parliament has failed abysmally in its duty and only a General Election will suffice to change this abject failure of a regime.
      The People of the UK wish to reclaim their Sovereignity and freedom from interference by a Foreign unaccountable, unelected power, the EU
      All 28 member of the EU lost their Sovereignity when they:
      Submitted to the Laws legislated by the unelected Commission, which are superior to Nation Law.
      When they submit to the Rulings of the European Court of Justice ,which are superior to Nation Courts.
      When they submit to the European Extradition Treaty, which removes protection of an individual by his Nations Law.
      When they submit to free movement and residency of Europes 500 million people to cross their borders without regulation.
      When the 19 States of the Eurozone have no control over issue , and monetary control of the EU currency,the Euro.
      And soon ,on the introduction of the EU Defence Union, no control over the defence of their Nation State.
      The EU is the New Soviet Union, run for the benefit of Finance and Corporations ,instead of the worker.

  • N_

    So the England football team has matches against Czechia and Bulgaria on 11 and 14 October. Could this explain at least in part the unattributed briefing by No. 10 that Boris Johnson wants a general election on 14 October?

  • Sharp Ears

    The voting for the Delay Exiting Brexit bill –

    For 329
    Against 300

    Meanwhile, what is happening in the country? Is life continuing?

    • Sharp Ears

      Missed out the word ‘blocking’ there!

      MPs vote by 329 to 300 to back a bill aimed at blocking a no-deal #Brexit

      The MPs are now discussing amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, the Third Reading of which will be completed by 7pm today.

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