Really a Right Wing Coup 274


Just because it is not written in a single document does not mean the UK does not have a constitution. But it does mean it has a particularly bad one.

If like me you were awake until 2am watching the remarkable scenes in Parliament last night, as opposition MPs stayed and protested in the Commons as Speaker Bercow, having himself entered a formal protest, led the Tories to the dissolution ceremony in the Lords, you were probably struck by the ridiculous flummery of it all. The three Queen’s Commissioners sat before the golden throne in silly hats, which the gentlemen doffed formally and very slowly three times, while the lady did not, and the Speaker and Commons staff bobbed low each time in response like a row of overdressed ducks.

This ludicrous pantomime is intended to reinforce the majesty of the monarch in the minds of the plebs, and indeed as an example of monarchical power it is effective. The prorogation, which Bercow objected to as an “executive fiat”, is just that and had it been made in the name of Boris Johnson, it is extremely probable that Bercow, with the strong support of the majority of the Commons, would have resisted the prorogation and carried on sitting. But because it is done in the name of Elizabeth Saxe Coburg Gotha, the most outrageous and undemocratic acts are suffered out of a misplaced sense of personal loyalty to the 93 year old monarch.

While Rees Mogg and his racist Brexiteer stormtroopers from the Commons turned up eagerly to grovel, it was very notable that only a dozen Tory peers bothered to show – something else totally unprecedented about this prorogation. Last week I was again up till 2am watching parliament and the much touted (esp on Guido Fawkes) Tory filibuster to stop the anti no deal Act. On a series of ridiculous procedural motions, on which counted votes were insisted despite obvious massive defeat by acclamation, the Government vote fell from in the low 100s until eventually they were being defeated every time by margins of approximately 250 to 60, and they gave up the filibuster in embarrassment. There was a remarkable contrast between the breathless excitement with which the mainstream media trailed the filibuster, as the BBC here, and the brief and sordid reality. Johnson’s repeated defeats in the Commons have rather overshadowed the utter contempt in which he is held in the Lords.

The monarchy is not a neutral player in all this. By the monarchy I mean not only the Queen, but the professional courtiers who surround her, each paid by the taxpayer. It is almost twenty years since I last held a conversation with the Queen, and I just do not know how sharp her faculties remain at 93, but I have not heard she is not still making her own decisions.

Boris Johnson should not be Prime Minister. It is not the constitutional duty of the monarch to appoint as Prime Minister the leader of the Conservative Party, and not even the leader of the largest party in the House of Commons, but a person who can command a majority in the House of Commons. For example, in 2010 Gordon Brown tried to put together a “rainbow coalition” to get a Commons majority and be reappointed Prime Minister. Had he succeeded in putting together such a coalition with a majority, the Queen would have had to appoint him even though David Cameron’s party had more seats than Labour. This was universally accepted as the constitutional position. It did not happen in the end as the Lib Dems preferred the Tories.

Nothing in the Fixed Term Parliaments Act alters the constitutional position that the Prime Minister must be able to command a majority in the House of Commons.

It was unconstitutional of Elizabeth Saxe Coburg Gotha to appoint Boris Johnson as Prime Minister when it was absolutely plain at the outset he had no majority in the House of Commons. This is not hindsight, I said so at the time. Now it has been proven that he has no majority in the House as he has been defeated six times out of six on major votes on the most important issues of the day. He has never won an important vote on anything as Prime Minister. Whether or not these are characterised as “confidence issues” is irrelevant. The man Johnson has never had a Commons majority. I can think of nothing more unconstitutional – and I think it can absolutely be characterised as a coup – than for the Queen to appoint a Prime Minister who has no majority support in the Commons, and then prorogue Parliament precisely because the executive has no majority. This is not even a government which has lost its majority – it has never had one and ought never to have been appointed.

Rather than prorogue Parliament, the Queen should have obliged Boris Johnson to resign and asked the Leader of the Opposition to see whether he could form an administration that could command a majority. That would be the constitutionally correct course of action. The monarch is not neutral in this and is acting unconstitutionally, abusing her power.

Let me put it this way. Does anybody seriously contend that Jeremy Corbyn would be appointed Prime Minister by the Queen in a situation where he had no parliamentary majority, and would remain in No. 10 despite losing 6 successive Commons votes and never winning one, and that the Queen would prorogue Parliament for him to get round the fact that he had no majority? Of course not. It is unthinkable. We are witnessing a right wing coup specifically in favour of Boris Johnson.

It is particularly worrying that so many people are happy to see dictatorship established so long as it expedites Brexit. This demonstrates the folly of introducing elements of direct democracy into a representative democracy. I am perfectly content for England and Wales to be outside the EU, though I regard extending that to being outside the customs union and single market as economic madness driven by xenophobia. I am sorry to say I do not maintain a romantic view of the electorate, having for a considerable while dwelled amongst a remarkable percentage of open racists in Ramsgate, a UKIP hotspot where Farage chose to stand. The idea that the crowd should directly wield unmediated power of executive action is almost as repugnant to me as the continued existence of the monarchy. As so often, I appreciate my views do not fit into a standard and easily labeled set of opinions and many of you may disagree. They are however my opinions and I present them with no insistence you agree, but in the hope that you will consider and discuss.

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274 thoughts on “Really a Right Wing Coup

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  • Dave

    The problem is can anyone command a majority in the House. Personally if Maybot had promoted a compromise Brexit of remaining in the customs union it would have passed straight away with Labour votes and I daresay if Corbyn as PM had proposed it, it would have passed, but there wasn’t a majority for making him PM, when the chance arose, because of Lib Dem opposition.

    The Tories are in No Deal meltdown, but think Leaving at all costs will, despite the constitutional wreckage, still win them the General Election and it probably will unless Corbyn can promote a compromise Brexit, but will the Remainiacs allow him the opportunity?

  • Sharp Ears

    Even La Kuenssberg is saying that Parliament is broken.

    It even becomes more bizarre today to see Johnson sitting in a Pimlico primary school classroom (with the children) answering a question about William of Normandy. Photo op after photo op.

    ‘Boris Johnson has recorded a short interview with Sky News on his visit to a primary school in Pimlico in London. Slipping into franglais (he was sitting in on a French lesson), he used the interview to dismiss claims that proroguing parliament for five weeks was anti-democratic. He said:

    We need a Queen’s speech. That’s why parliament is in recess now, because you always have a recess before a Queen’s speech. And anybody who says – this stuff about it being anti-democratic – I mean, donnez-moi un break. What a load of nonsense. We were very, very clear that if people wanted a democratic moment, if they wanted an election, we offered it to the Labour opposition, and mysteriously they decided not to go for it.’

    https://www.dumptheguardian.com/politics/live/2019/sep/10/anger-abounds-after-parliament-suspended-in-night-of-high-drama-politics-live

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Even La Kuenssberg is saying that Parliament is broken.”

      But that’s a deceit, it’s the Johnson led Tory government that’s broken. Parliament, in standing up to his despotic attempts to damage the national interest, is showing that it is far from broken. The corporate media, having reported the past weeks parliamentary activity of the opposition, have managed to avoid giving any credit to Corbyn and instead bleat that “politics is broken”. Corbyn has given a masterclass in leadership and has been completely ignored for obvious reasons, i.e. the corporate media narrative that Corbyn can’t lead his own party let alone the country is shown to be false.

      • Andrew Nichols

        Yes. Ive noticed this absence of Corbyn in the saga so far and like you thought it was no coincidence. The very same thing happened in the Brexit referendum where he got no airtime at all in his attempts to prevent Brexit thus allowing the digraceful meme that he is a Brexiteer to become established. Nonetheless he delivered 60% of labour voters for Remain.

        • Iain Stewart

          He did impose a three line whip on an unconditional vote for Article 50, which surprised a lot of us at the time, and has never been explained since. That was “disgraceful” at the very least.

          • Deb O'Nair

            Although I disagreed with the whipping on A50, context matters; at the time there was a belief that a withdrawal agreement could be reached and May was suggesting that if Labour did not support A50 they were betraying the “democratic will of the people”.

            Hindsight, viewed through tunnel visions in combination with rose tinted specs, makes for dodgy perception. My view was that Labour should have used A50 to get compromises from May in terms of cross-party negotiations but that would have been used by the Tories and press as Labour blackmailing the country and holding the “democratic will of the people” to hostage, even though it now looks a perfectly reasonable and sensible move.

          • Iain Stewart

            Well, many Scots (at least) wondered why Jeremy Corbyn was in such a hurry, and why he gave the government Labour’s unlimited and unconditional support with absolutely nothing asked in return. That was the abrupt end of his brief honeymoon and the extinction of his credibility in Scotland, where hopes had been high after his election.
            Here he is waffling away (as vaguely as ever since) at the time:
            https://labourlist.org/2016/06/corbyn-article-50-has-to-be-invoked-now

  • Gary

    Well, you’re right, I DO disagree lol! I’m not sure that the Queen ad any other option than to appoint Boris as PM. His predecessor had held the post and, with the help of their terrorist sympathising friends in the DUP they DID have a majority (wafer thin) in the house.

    As Jo Swinson decided that she, and therefore her party, would not support Jeremy Corbyn EVEN for a very short period of time and EVEN in the national interest meant that no other party nor combination of parties could have commanded a majority and taken Boris out of No 10. Had she taken a slightly different tack we wouldn’t be discussing this.

    I remember my time in the Civil Service (now) with some fondness. I learned some VERY valuable lessons. Although at a MUCH lower level than yourself I DID occasionally receive (with thousands of others) memos from Cabinet Minsters. What I’m trying to say is that just because something is a stupid idea (the most stupid way of doing things) doesn’t mean that the politicians won’t do it. If there’s a debate to be won or an election coming up they’ll do/promise ANYTHING. Case in point was when Cameron was facing an election after being in office as part of the Coalition with the LibDems. They were expected to lose, in quite a big way, to the Labour Party. But saving the day was the campaign showing Salmond with Milliband in his top pocket. This, backed up with the ‘Rivers of Blood Speech’ printed in ‘The Daily Mail’ with ‘black man’ replaced with ‘Scots man’ showed the fear in middle England of Scots telling them what to do and, frankly, appealed to the racist vote. Having an unpopular(ish) leader like Milliband helped of course but this AND Cameron’s throwaway promise to have an in/out referendum worked in combination to win them an unexpected majority in parliament. At that moment the die was set and Cameron was committed to having the EU Referendum that he never wanted nor expected.

    Having failed to learn ANY of the lessons of the Scottish Indy Ref of 2014 they entered the campaign assuming they’d win with a ‘Project Fear’ type campaign. They got it by a whisker in Scotland because they broke rules AND they could outspend the Indy supporters easily. Not something they could do this time. There was LOTS of Tory money going for the Leave Campaign and more eyes watching their shenanigans. Hence they lost.

    Having promised beforehand to abide by the result, voted afterwards to envoke Article 50 and, major parties anyway, made it part of their manifestos that the result would be honoured THEN spent three years faffing about. They CANNOT now simply decide it’s all too much bother and say we’re staying in. They really can’t. The electorate would NEVER forgive them that. EVERYONE is sick of it, and apart from a small number most want Brexit done quickly now. The majority of Leave voters respect the result and even THEY would be unhappy if the vote was overturned even IF that was in another referendum.

    Now, given that I have said that, THAT applies is you are a democratic AND a unionist. Scotland voted to stay and to be TRULY democratic we should have an independence referendum BEFORE UK leaves EU. Hopefully we could gain our independence and stay within the EU with our own seat at the table. Even dyed in the wool unionists are beginning to come round to that point of view.

    The one thing I am sure of in all of this is that most of the MPs in parliament care little for what the public actually think. And that is wrong. THEY work for US. Even IF we choose to do something stupid, it’s OUR choice, not theirs, no matter how much they hate it, they must implement it…

    • Loony

      Are you truly interested in Scottish independence?

      You claim to have been a Civil Servant employed by the UK government. No doubt you have, or will be entitled to, a pension. True independence means that you would only receive about 8% of your actual or projected pension – as 8% is about the population of Scotland as a percentage of the UK population.

      Take any more and all you are is a parasite leaching from people in places like Gateshead, Burnley and other destroyed towns of the north of England. Why should people in these places want to pay your pension?

      If you are happy with 8% then I wish you all the best and admire your principled stance. The Westminster elites (or however you want to describe them) could notwithstand a demonstration of such true determination and desire for independence.

      Many of the people in favor of Brexit are prepared to pay any price at all to be free from the EU. Apparently there will be no medicines, house prices will collapse to mere pennies, famine is a real prospect and there is even a danger of running out of drinking water. Any price at all!! – As the architects and purveyors of all these lies are finding out.

      Now surely you can see what it takes to sit at the high table of freedom. Does Scotland have what takes???

      • Republicofscotland

        “True independence means that you would only receive about 8% of your actual or projected pension – as 8% is about the population of Scotland as a percentage of the UK population.”

        Christ this scaremongering bollocks was a busted flush back in 2014, when Better Together frightened the pensioners with this drivel. It didn’t hold water back then and it doesn’t now.

        • Loony

          No, not scaremongering just an example of the kind of things you need to embrace in order to be free.

          Compare your knee jerk response to potential economic pain to the stoicism demonstrated by those who wish to see the UK exit the EU. They have been impugned as idiots and racist bigots. They have been threatened with economic armageddon. And yet…they stand firm willing to pay any price at all in order to be free.

          The official motto of New Hampshire is “Live free or die” It is not a patented motto and to all intents and purposes it has been adopted by those who wish to leave the EU. The only question of relevance is whether Scotland is willing to pay the necessary price. Nothing to do with me and everything to do with people like you.

          You want to become a parasite nation then good luck to if you can get away with it (and you may well be able to). However the formation of a parasite nation is the very opposite of freedom.

      • Iain Stewart

        Loony writes: “True independence means that you would only receive about 8% of your actual or projected pension – as 8% is about the population of Scotland as a percentage of the UK population.”
        That’s exactly the crushing logic which explains at long last why all those “swathes” of canny Scots only ever pay eight per cent of their tax bills too.

    • Dungroanin

      Gary,

      The chronology goes a bit like this:

      There was a mass movement led by the SNP under Salmond that was inevitably going to lead to a referendum.

      At the same time it was being planned the UK would effect a hard brexit if the EU wouldn’t be amenable once the UK veto became obsolete.

      SCL/CA were gaming elections across the world. They were deployed (being ds) to work some high grade electoral hoccus poccus at home.

      So to stop Scotland having a better reason to vote for independence (post a possible brexit) its referendum had to be spiked first.
      Then a GE had to be spiked so that a EU referendum was in the manifesto and legislated.
      Then the EU referendum had be spiked so that it resulted in Leave.

      And so on.

  • ian W Kinnear

    “This demonstrates the folly of introducing elements of direct democracy into a representative democracy.”

    Others have also cited this as a problem but I’m not so sure. The main problem after the 2016 vote has been the dishonest framing of the result. If you take into account non-registered but eligible voters the result was approximately; 35% did not vote, 34% leave and 31% remain. No mandate for anything. Intelligent democrats see this as an indication that the country is split and that a large minority are not content.

    Good representatives who really wanted to “respect the vote” would have realized that a period of reflection and negotiation was required to establish a negotiation approach and desired outcome that all could accept before starting the process. Our numb-skull government and representatives succumbed to pressure from leave supporters (who couldn’t believe their luck in the vote) to trigger art. 50 without having a clue and the rest, as they say, is history.

    I share your fear about unmediated populism but given how useless our representatives are, how can our institutions be fixed. It’s about time we became a democratic country. I’ve been speculating about a series of regional peoples assemblies (members selected by sortition) to provide guidance on high level constitutional issues. This would be combined with a directly elected executive, an assembly elected by the STV to scrutinize the executive and a written constitution.

    What do you/others think?

    • Shatnersrug

      Ian. The ref itself was ill conceived and design to reunite the Tory party, which ultimately it has failed to do, because they are a spent force. As for a coup, that happened in the rose garden in 2010, the rest has been for spectacle

    • Baalbek

      I agree that the Brexit referendum and the current fight to leave/remain is a fiasco. IIRC Call Me Dave promised the referendum to keep Farage and UKIP from cannibalizing the Tory party and the whole thing shouldn’t have happened the way it did.

      However, if Remainers manage to postpone leaving the EU indefinitely and effectively void the result of a referendum, which however flawed, people took at face value…that would set a very uncomfortable precedent and have implications for democracy which is already weak and almost non-existent except as a diversionary spectacle to keep the plebs thinking they are free people who have a say in how they are governed.

      OTOH, leaving the EU based on the results of a badly conceived, spur-of-the-moment referendum might well end up being a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. It is certain that Rees-Moog and his ilk, who stand to gain financially if/when the divorce happens, care not a whit about the well-being of the working class or about the UK’s sovereignty. Bojo, for his part, has already supplicated to his New York City bosom buddy Trump and would likely insert his tongue into Netanyahoo’s sphincter as well if the Israelis turn up the pressure. Would being the moribund US empire’s very junior “partner” in business and geopolitics really be an improvement over Brussel’s neoliberal embrace? How much bargaining power does the UK on its own have vis a vis the United States, China and other major economies, and are its notoriously sycophantic leaders even capable of resisting the inevitable American pressure to sell off assets like the NHS on the cheap and follow it into disastrous wars in the Middle East or elsewhere?

      The UK is presently in a very unenviable situation. Brexit and the multiple shocks destabilizing the west are the result of decades of terrible governance. Elevating greed and sociopathic self-interest to a civilization’s supreme guiding values, whilst fleecing low and middle income earners and hoping enforced optimism and the linguistic tricks of neoliberal ‘government by PR’ would keep the proles from noticing they are being lied to and bled dry so the billionaire ruling class can get even richer, was bound to eventually end in disaster. The chickens are well and truly coming home to roost and the battle between the morally and ethically bankrupt neoliberal establishment and its odious, xenophobic right-wing challengers will likely not end well.

      Your ideas on how to reform the broken political system and ensure that citizens’ rights are enshrined in a constitution and that voting actually delivers the representation one would expect from a fair and
      democratic electoral system are sound and can be implanted more or less painlessly, but the people in power will do everything they can to make sure such heresies are never implemented.

      The vile and absolutely un-democratic “anti-semitism” smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn and any Labour MP who is to the left of Attila the Hun shows how determined they are to prevent social democracy from breaking out. Can’t have a government in power that might implement policies to benefit people who get up every day, or night, and earn an honest living in a very inhospitable and precarious economic environment. And a government that might assist and enable those who have been pushed to the margins of society by the social Darwinist neoliberal scam to regain their dignity and play a meaningful role in their communities? That is simply unacceptable and only an anti-Semitic Putin loving Stalinist throwback would dream up such a horrific scenario!

      • ian W Kinnear

        I agree with most of what you say but not the second paragraph.

        Arguing that we must leave the EU because of the referendum is ignoring the result. You are repeating the dishonest leaver framing. Sometimes we should contest bad ideas.

        I also agree that our rulers will never give up control, the question is how do we take it without violent revolution?

      • Tarla

        The UK were clear why they backed the CIA orchestrated coup against the democratically elected social democratic Allende government in Chile – ‘it would set a bad example’. That reasoning has never gone away and that’s why Corbyn was undemocratically thwarted from being asked to form a government.

        But when all is said and done, the absolute pomposity of the proroguing of parliament was very revealing about the UK’s ‘democracy’. It’s becoming clearer by the day that ‘parliamentary democracy’ is nothing but the open dictatorship of capital protected by their customs, conventions and laws – the so called constitution. It’s alarming that Corbyn cries about ‘our democracy’ being trampled on. It’s not ‘our’ democracy but theirs, the ruling classes. They’ve invited us in to participate as long as we ‘don’t go too far’. It’s clear as day that this capitalist system is bankrupt and had its day, and needs replacing with the dictatorship of the proletariat, as the only way to take human kind forward for the benefit of the many. The working class are being led a merry dance by the shenanigans around Brexit, parliamentary democracy and it’s ramifications fro the majority of people. I’d sooner trust my colleagues at work – the electorate – to run things than the jumped up anti working class parliamentary careerists and opportunists that have been elected.

        These last few years has been an eye opener to the working class about how this country is run. It won’t be long for our time to come.

  • Dungroanin

    Bolton ran out of rope.

    Next in line Pompous and Haspell.

    Bobo and co must be wondering at the reception they gave him last week and his promise to get in the minute we are out on no-deal.

    Even Fartage on LBC is sounding a bit jittery trying to spin towards bobo breaking the law because he can’t get on the stump.

    Prorogation already beginning to blow back.

    • remember kronstadt

      busy day: anti hero boring batty boy wins a maygong and trump saves the world while bojo shows arlene the bus stop

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      As predicted at MoA, Trump hasn’t lost time in appointing a bigger wingnut than Bolton as acting NSA. Charlie Kupperman spent 9 years as Director of the Centre for Security Policy, promoting the line that Muslims were “infiltrating” the US Gov in a secret plot to impose Shariah law on the country.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      And here was me hoping that Trump would revert to his other trait of appointing pundits from Fox “News”, namely Tucker Carlson. Trump and Carlson have much in common (inherited wealth and rampant racism).

  • Pardeep Singh

    Which part of ‘MPs voted twice against holding a general election ‘ do you not understand Craig? All that matters to the elitist monsters is preventing Brexit and nothing else.

      • Tony

        A SOFT brexit is a brexit in name only, and is designed to quickly take us back into the EU and into the Euro (the latter will nail the remainer lie that the EU is not behind austerity).

  • Adrian Parsons

    “While Rees Mogg and his racist Brexiteer stormtroopers from the Commons…”

    While Lenin might have described the assignation of the epithets “fascist”, “racist” and “xenophobic” to those who voted for Trump and Brexit as an infantile disorder, James K. Baxter had a more Ivor Cutler-esque turn of phrase for such disingenuous and pernicious verbiage: “Odorous and sonorous, like the farting of a goose.”

    The threat to the class interests of the “liberal intelligentsia” really has brought the “best” out of them on both sides of the Atlantic.

    • Iain Stewart

      I thought it was “bang on the brat with a base-ball bat” but if you prefer eliminating royal infants with agricultural implements nobody is stopping you.

  • Alison Lindsay

    Thank you for writing what I saw too but without your skills to record this whole foolish pretence at governance. As for your Monarchic views, I agree there are no principles in unelected monarchy. But, possibly like the majority of people in my age group – 70 +, the present QUE11 reign has been part of the cultural heritage we share and hard for this age group to see the old lady go before nature’s norms. I have no doubt either that she is a very strong Monarch who has laid tablets of stone to preserve the WINDSOR reign well into the future. So, the time to oust Charlie/Camilla will come when the new’ ‘star cast’ are ready, This role has been indoctrinated into the people’s minds for ages: ‘King William and Queen Kate’. I see the future in these Islands as a United Republican Ireland, Scotland a Republican Nation, England a Monarchy with its subordinate Principality of Wales.

    • Yr Hen Gof

      There’s precious little love in Wales for a Prince of the same; a 1000 years of Norman subjugation has robbed her of her once very valuable resources and in their place left some of the poorest regions in Europe.
      If Scotland and Ireland go, despite Wales’ parlous financial state, I doubt they will be happy remaining as England’s handmaiden.

  • DRD WOODWARD

    What distinguishes a written constitution from a disparate collection of normal legislative laws, called ‘a constitution’, is the manner by which they can be added, amended or removed. By this measure the UK does not have either a written constitution, nor does it have many constitutional laws since most, if not all, can be amended or removed by simple parliamentary majority. In other words subject to the whims of a ruling party with no special consideration or procedural requirements needed. No constitution worth its salt would be built to such a blindingly flawed standard … unless possibly by design. IMO the term ”UK constitutional law’ has been one of the greatest cons perpetrated by the ruling elites upon the masses in all our history.

    • nevermind

      Well said DRD Woodward, what currently is called a constitution is a piece of rubber, to be stretched and elongated at the whim of lawyers and vested interest politicians, for example? Fracking regulations are forever adjusted, to suit the complacent companies involved, tearing up precautionary principles as they go along.

      Voters and future generations have no say in their meaningless short term alterations to geological strata and aquifers, pumping cancer causing chemicals and millions of gallons of drinking water to prise open fissures holding very little gas, as studies show.
      An island surrounded by opportunities to generate safe and longterm alternative power sources is polluting the Bowland valley because they can get away with it.

  • Shatnersrug

    If there’s one thing that has been clear about Britain’s relationship with the EU is that it’s incredibly complicated on a technical level. If the public were to truly vote on whether or not to remain then we would need a huge public open debate over a number of years. It’s extremely the type of informed debate from a well informed public that powermongers would hate.

    I find it striking that we have had the debate AFTEE the referendum, absolutely bizarre and classic Tory bumbling. Whilst I accept that the tories are power hungry I believe we have come to this juncture because of incompetence arrogance and folly

  • Sir Robin

    I was pleased to see that The Black Adder’s descendants are still honored with the title of Black Rod. Or was that title given to the Baldrick’s descendants?

  • Notre Dame (Anon1)

    In all your talk of fascists and coups and hard rightists, you appear to have forgotten that Boris is the one calling for an election. Labour won’t have it because they are scared of the Tory majority that every single poll predicts.

      • Notre Dame (Anon1)

        To seek the democratic mandate that you complain he doesn’t have, but know he will get.

        • Garth Carthy

          To Notre Dame who says: “In all your talk of fascists and coups and hard rightists, you appear to have forgotten that Boris is the one calling for an election. Labour won’t have it because they are scared of the Tory majority that every single poll predicts.”

          Well, Boris has engineered the situation and lied his way to power like Hitler. He clearly is trying to disable the power of parliament to discuss Brexit thoroughly through his proroguing of parliament.
          Of course, he might not be a full-blown facist but he is using exactly the same methods as the Nazis.
          Scared or not, Labour would be foolish to fall into the trap of calling for an election on Johnson’s terms.

          • Deb O'Nair

            There are many similarities between the methods employed by the Nazis in Germany and the current UK government. Why do you stick your head in the sand at the first mention of Nazis and Hitler, how can they be a “warning from history” when you ignore them? Ignorance is not strength.

          • Tony

            Oh dear! Godwin’s law has made an appearance. Btw, Hitler’s Nazis didn’t win a general election.

          • Deb O'Nair

            That message was made in response to a now deleted post from Notre Dame. Any person with a passing interest in history knows that the Nazis were elected.

          • Tony

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_rise_to_power

            “Through the late 1920s and early 1930s, the Nazis gathered enough electoral support to become the largest political party in the Reichstag, and Hitler’s blend of political acuity, deceptiveness and cunning converted the party’s non-majority but plurality status into effective governing power in the ailing Weimar Republic of 1933.”

        • Sir Robin

          Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has the basic problem that his personal character is held in such low regard that nobody believes him. If Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson was a person of character who could be taken for his word, then it is likely that Labour would have jumped at the opportunity to hold an election on its first offer. But, since most of Westminster feels that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is a blatant liar that can’t be trusted, they instead insist that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson actually follow the already passed and royal assented law of the land and not take the nation into a crash-out Brexit. Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson can’t even be trusted to obey the law. And that’s why there isn’t an election, yet.

        • defo

          Labour? I can’t speak for, but even the dogs in the street know that BJ has bet the house on ‘no deal’, and offering next month was merely gaming to that end.
          Scotland rejected Brexit quite categorically, and will again at the inevitable upcoming early election. No mandate here.
          Or planning permission for leprechaun bridges either.

    • Coldish

      Notre Dame (21.05): the outcome of an election would have been, as always, uncertain. Perhaps Johnson thought he could win it. However the clincher was that no-one could trust Johnson and Cummings not to manipulate the election date so that the campaign continued through the Brexit deadline, thus allowing a no-deal by default. These guys just cannot be trusted. So the election proposal had to be voted down.

    • Disinterested Bystander

      Notre Dame, opinion polls mean jack sheet because whenever there’s a real meaningful election in the offing they’re nearly always wildly wrong. So:

      In 2015 the pollsters predicted a Labour majority. The Tories won.
      In 2016 the pollsters said that the majority would vote to remain in the EU. They didn’t (obviously).
      In 2017 the pollsters said that the Tories would romp home with one organisation, ComRes, saying that they would achieve a 74 seat majority. I mean how utterly wrong can you be?

      https://www.independent.co.uk/News/uk/politics/election-poll-latest-tory-win-results-corbyn-theresa-may-a7777781.html

      Meanwhile the weekly polls we’re all subjected to are basically just conjecture because polling companies have no idea about people’s true political allegiances. Also have you noticed how one week the Conservatives will have a four point lead then the next week Labour are neck and neck or slightly ahead? It’s almost as if the pollsters are seeking to hold our attention with these dubious political swings. After all if one Party was consistently ahead the majority of people would lose interest and maybe media organisations would find something else to waste their money on rather than filling the pockets of the shyster polling companies.

      • Tony

        The problem with the 2017 GE is that the Tories WOULD have romped home, but brexit saboteurs May and Hammond produced a suicide manifesto that ensured they wouldn’t get the mandate to get a brexit they didn’t want over the line.

    • S

      I don’t know if you are incredibly gullible, writing from CCHQ, or trolling.

      The entire opposition (not just Lab) don’t want an election before 31 Oct because it would be a cynical trick to further shut down parliament and allow the government to rule without oversight. Cummings has explicitly said that this is his aim.

      • Tony

        But if newly remain Labour won the election (even in a coalition), they could quickly grind the leave process to a halt and reverse it. And the EU would be more than accommodating with this.

    • Tony

      He looked like a living skeleton in the photo I saw. He has known that he’s been found out for a long time, and nobody is offering him a way back in to public service. A guy on another message board described him perfectly: “A man who is slightly less popular than Jimmy Savile.”

  • Coldish

    Nicely argued, Craig. But didn’t he have a tiny majority (maybe 2 seats?) at the start? Before the Brecon by-election. Certainly the majority is long gone now, and he doesn’t seem to care. Perhaps queenie is being advised that no-one else commands a majority either so she can’t do anything (yet).
    A snippet of yesterday’s news that I particularly liked was that the ‘Duke of Wellington’ (sic – he really is a member of the House of Lords) had resigned from the Tory Party. Will Boris de Piffle soon have his own Waterloo?

    • Garth Carthy

      “The real coup is coming from the remainer shower.”

      So who are you going to blame if we leave without a deal and the ominous “Yellow Hammer” forecasts prove true?
      I can’t understand the stupidity of Brexiters who are charging into unknown territory and seem completely oblivious to the Irish border issue.
      I can assure you that if the right wing extremists who are taking over the country fail to make any concessions while furthering their undemocratic pursuit of power, there will invevitably be an increasingly extreme left-wing reaction.
      Is this what you hawkish twits want? You do seem to thrive on division and conflict and narcissism.

      • J Galt

        Never been called a “hawkish twit” before but hey ho!

        I actually voted remain, not particularly enthusiastically I have to say. I would not do so now.

        If the Common Market had remained a mutually beneficial free trade organisation among sovereign nations with roughly comparable economies, then great – nothing wrong with that, no law making, no parliament, just developed European nations working together on their mutual interests – end of story.

        But that was never supposed to be, was it?

      • Tony

        Yellowhammer is the daftest installment from Project Fear that we have seen so far. And understandably so, with brexit set to actually happen. We have a senior doctor (who will lose most of their big pharma perks in the event of a proper brexit) arguing that we will have severe medicine shortages, when we can buy (and have delivered in a couple of days) 99% of necessary drugs at a fraction of the costs we are now paying. And we have stockpiled the 1% that we can’t get easily within a few days. We have the patronising nonsense that “up to 85%” of our lorries will turn up at ports unprepared (as though our haulage companies are a bunch of fuckwits), and we will have lorries backed up dozens of miles for weeks/months on end. Of course, the boss ofthe main French ports authority has described this claim as politically-motivated bullshit, and told us that ports will be operating normally the day after brexit. And the there are the claims about the hit our economy will take…..well…..the same people making these claims have got every economic claim since the referendum wildly wrong.

    • Hatuey

      Yes. It’s difficult to explain. As a starting point, I’d ask that you consider what sort of person is most likely to interact with government websites on the issue of Brexit.

      This is all very useful profiling information. If you assume they are tracking by IP, and further assume that Vote Leave personnel have access to data from the EU referendum campaign, and that they may be harvesting more right now via Facebook and other platforms, combined and collated with the big data from .gov, they would have the ability to generate highly enriched profiling.

      Do you know about Facebook Pixel and how it works? It’s quite scary. I’ve used it in a marketing context but it takes creepy to a whole new level. Between that and google analytics, you basically have about 95% of the population covered (potentially). These technologies use IP tracking too, and cookies.

      So, imagine you visit Facebook. They put a cookie on your device and track your ip. They monitor your interests (“likes” etc.) and discussions on Facebook and serve you adverts. That’s all sort of fine in the context of Facebook, it’s their platform after all.

      Imagine though you visit a website later than has nothing to do with Facebook. You’re outside of Facebook now, right? You’re anonymous again… Well, no, because if the website you visit is tracking using Pixel, it can immediately recognise who you are as a Facebook user.

      There’s real potential here to strip anonymity right out of the web user experience so that if someone visits your website you could, in theory, know their name, phone number, email, political persuasion, marital status, everything (that people give away to Facebook). This isn’t theoretical.

      To cut a long story, I think they’re probably going to target remainers this time.

      • S

        It is intensely horrible and unregulated. gov.uk currently uses google analytics. I wonder if there is a way to force them to reveal how they are using it.

  • Crispa

    I think the central point of Craig’s argument is as in a previous blog the neutrality of the monarchy which is of the “debate and discuss kind”. While agreeing with the general idea that the establishment, rooted in the monarchy, always seeks to preserve itself, I am not convinced that it is playing a significant role in the current situation.

    Johnson is clearly happy with his image of being a hard man under the present circumstances and I think his general election before October 17th was a carefully calculated self -defeating strategy. As I think the 31st Oct Brexit deadline “dead in a ditch” mentality has been a sham. He is actually vacillating on this publicly more than Labour has ever been accused of. His angle all along is to convince an uncritical electorate that he and his Labour lite domestic policies with a bit of jingoism in his foreign policies will be enough to give him the overall majority that he is seeking without necessarily a resolution to the Brexit situation at the time. And the future of the UK will rest in his palms, but in an ostensibly democratic way.

    • Ken Kenn

      Johnson’s job is to deliver the UK into the arms of a Trumpian USA.

      Farage has the same task too.

      This is the reason why chaos is abounding and to many eyes (not surprisingly ) it appears surreal.

      In my view there is nothing surreal about it at all.

      This delivery can not be carried out under the Old Order but could be under a New Order.

      Add to that the general agreement amongst a majority of MPs that do not want a a Corbyn led anti austerity government under any circumstances ( they prefer a referendum rather than a GE ) then it all fits in place.

      How many pushers for an election now will be ” demanding ” one after the 1/11/19?

      Not many I think.

      Including Swinson and her gang of adopted Lib Dems.

      Watson has joined in this view apparently.

      This is all happening -despite the temporary unity underneath all this chaos.

      Anti Corbyn has not gone away and won’t in the future.

      The only party Corbyn and Labour could count on in future votes is the SNP.

      The others I wouldn’t trust to look after my goldfish.

  • Sir Robin

    If you guys ever do get around to writing a constitution, it is silly to make major changes like leaving (or joining) the EU on a 50%+1 majority vote. The obvious problem with that is that very small swings in the electorate will lead to massive changes in the nation very quickly. For instance, if it is true that younger voters favor being in the EU, then yet another referendum in a few years time might lead to the UK rejoining the EU. Or simply buyer’s remorse over this referendum could lead people in just a short number of years to decide that maybe being in the EU wasn’t so bad after all.

    A proper sort of process would be for
    1) Showing support from a large percentage of the voters to get a referendum. Say 40%. Petition signatures, or maybe corporate polling firms (if you trust them) can be used to show this support from voters.
    2) That puts onto a ballot a question of whether or not to hold a referendum. A ballot question such as “Should a referendum be held as to whether the UK should join the EU?” Got to get the 50%+1 to pass that hurdle. This step is a check to make sure the idea really does have some broad public support.
    3) Next the real referendum, “Should negotiations begin for the UK to join the EU?” That should take an even larger percentage. Lets say 55% for that to pass.
    4) Since the outcome of the negotiations can not be predicted, after the negotiations are complete, the “deal” negotiated goes back to the people for confirmation. By then, the terms of the deal are known, and thus the people can have a clear idea as to whether this should or should not be approved. Again, I’d say 55% or maybe 60% is needed to pass this.

    The percents are just pulled out of the air and open to discussion. The two key lessons from Brexit is that the question asked could not possibly bear any relation to reality because reality could only be negotiated with the EU. At least two ballots are required in order for people to approve of a known deal. And that making major changes in a society on a fragile, 50%+1 majority is a very bad idea.

    Another thing that should be locked into stone is that the people always get another chance to vote and can always change their minds. This whole discussion trend where it is now stated that democracy can only be defended by denying democracy is quite bizarre. Democracy is not a one-time occurrence. It is a constant process. Getting the people’s backing for a course does not mean getting a small majority once and then locking that in stone and saying the people never get to vote again.

    • nevermind

      ‘Democracy is not a one time occurence, it is a constant process.’
      Indeed, I agree, for that reason alone our representatives should endeavour to provide us with a modern fair and proportional electoral system, to enable voters with a recall system and ensure that parliamentary scrutiny is applied. Mistakes should be learned from and ironed out, rather than nonchalantetly overlooked, to happen again in future.
      What is good enough to elect our leaders, STV in the case of JC, should be good enough for all voters and at any election, local and national.
      This should be part of a written Constitution, by law, not by referendum, reforms to better democracy for voters don’t need a referendum, this should be done by constitutional law.
      One might dream….

  • Hatuey

    I think for the first time I disagree with a lot more in this article by Craig Murray than I agree with. That’s okay, though, we all make mistakes.

    But this line is worth looking at again;

    “I am sorry to say I do not maintain a romantic view of the electorate, having for a considerable while dwelled amongst a remarkable percentage of open racists in Ramsgate, a UKIP hotspot where Farage chose to stand.”

    It follows from the above, of course, that Craig is not a democrat in the everyday sense of the word. There’s more to democracy than universal suffrage, though; it’s intrinsic that those who vote are equipped to do so and that they are able to form judgements freely, in knowledge of pertinent facts, etc.

    I would suggest then, that, instead of throwing the democratic baby out with the racist bath water, it is worth considering that the political complexion of Ramsgate does not reflect a failure of democracy, but reflects a bastardisation of democracy.

    I don’t need to remind anyone who reads this blog that the whole spectrum of political thought in the UK is tightly controlled and determined by a media that is more or less to the right of Genghis Khan, with a few exceptions.

    That doesn’t mean I blindly forgive the ignorant idiots of society. There’s no real excuse today for being ill-informed and racist. They deserve to be criticised.

    But the existence of those types has no implications for democracy because they do not exist or operate within a democratic system, and we can only hope that if they did, if they were better informed, then they would be better people.

  • Peter

    Ok, neck out.

    Whilst we may be in the midst of the most appalling democratic quagmire, I think you might be slipping into overstretch here Craig. Could it be the ‘cask strength’?

    At the point of handover from May, Johnson/the Tories, with the help of the DUP, still had a majority of one, and as no vote of confidence has been held or lost since then Johnson remains the constitutionally correct PM, however unsatisfactory that may be.

    If the Tories had not had a majority at that point and Corbyn had been able to command a majority (perhaps/perhaps not requiring a confidence vote to prove it), then the Queen would have had no choice but to ask him to form a government – had she not done so then there would have been even more furious outrage then there is now.

    On the appalling decayed state of the BBC NCA and on a similar issue, I recall in the 2015 general election, on the night of the vote waiting for the results to come in, L Kuenssberg tried to assert the case that if the Tories were the largest party but could not obtain majority support in the commons but Miliband could, then a Miliband government would not be legitimate and Cameron should still be PM. On that occasion Andrew Marr was on hand next to her to point out that if Miliband commanded a majority in the house then he would, correctly, be the PM.

    The problem arrises because we have a fairly evenly split parliament and an anti-Brexit establishment, at a time when they have to deal with the most important of issues for a generation, leading to the current stalemate – very stale mate! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

    Had May had a majority and not needed the DUP she would very probably have pushed through her original ‘half in-half out’ formulation including a ‘Northern Ireland only’ backstop, which would have been the worst of all worlds in my view, but from her point of view would have enabled a quick and easy re-entry to the EU at some point in the future. Johnson, it seems, is currently trying to re-heat this and bring something similar back.

  • giyane

    We’ve had right-wing coups before , like 1980. If you think about it, the people being zapped now were the zappers in the ’80s. It’s hard to feel sorry for wide-bummed statesmen of the Tory status quo being shafted from their comfortable HoC chairs. I’m not sure you can call it a right-wing coup because the justifications for coups are always pure ideological tripe to camouflage the grabbing of seats of power and the lowering of new bums into them.

    What does BoJo want to put in the Queen’s Speech? The power to create monopoly trade deals like Thatcher arranged for her son so that he got a cut from every import transaction. Well that’s been going on since Pepys. That’s what Tories. red ones or blue ones, do and the red ones are rather cleverer at it than the blue ones. So that’ll go through fine.

    Obviously he wants to make us pay for our pensions, healthcare and disability care. This is Cameron and May’s wet dreams. Not sure myself why 20% on every purchase. + 20% on income and corporation tax + council tax + death duties @ 40% is not enough for them. That’s more than 100% of everything just counting on one hand.

    In reality the combined wishes of the Tory and Blairite Labour MPs would have a massive majority in the new parliament.for both of the above. In reality, there are very few decent MPs and the Liberals are the least decent of any of them. In reality there is no point having an election on normal matters because this country is very right wing. Full stop.

    As for Brexit ,if it turns out to be the end of the world to have No Deal, at least the Tories can’t say like Tory Dorrell over Mad-cow disease that nobody could have predicted this outcome. That is what they’ll say and the racists will believe them.

    • Loony

      It is always interesting to read the thoughts of a naked elitist, and to see just far removed from reality they really are.

      As a matter of verifiable fact those being “zapped” in 1980 were the steelworkers – after Thatcher provoked a strike in the steel industry. After the steelworkers were crushed they were able to move on to crush the miners. Crushing the miners was a necessary precondition for the dismantling of substantially the entire industrial base.

      To the great surprise o elitists like yourself the survivors of this wholesale destruction together with their children remain unbroken. It is these people that turned out in their millions to vote for Brexit, and it is these people who are willing to pay whatever price may be necessary. These people know all about just how expensive the price may be since they have had their entire economic, community and spiritual lives crushed by elitists like yourself. A smart person would pay attention to such peiople.

      But oh no let’s continue with the smears that they are all right wing racist lunatics, and then immediately bait and switch to a discussion about a group of politicians who no-one cares about, or if they do care then they care only enough to despise them.

      The smart people, or those you dismiss as idiots or racist bigots now full well there is no intention to make people pay for their pensions, healthcare and disability care. They know exactly that the intention is to dismantle all of these things. Just like you cannot pay for tele- transportation so you will not be able to pay for basic services, because neither will exist. Sure the elites and those who serve them so faithfully will still have the option to pay, but the vast bulk of the population will just be left to rot and hopefully die without causing too much inconvenience for the enlightened and pure people.

      However the enlightened and pure people seem to be suffering from a degree of nerves right now – as the smart people (or racists and/or idiots) do not seem to be blinking as they are forced to stare into the abyss. Perhaps because they remember who it was that was really “zapped” back in 1980.

      • giyane

        Loony

        I wasn’t talking about any of that.
        But don’t you think based on your idea that everyone who is part of an elite therefore agrees with that elite, that British people belong to an elite compared to the victim’s of British war-making? And yet you consistently support the elite you are in against the victims of your elite.

        Your attack is just argument for argument’s sake like cats squalling in the night. I hope you feel better for your irrelevant rant. You seem to be saying that the same Conservative Party that destroyed our manufacturing industry and its communities in the 80s is now defending those communities by supporting what’ s left of industry by leaving the EU with No Deal.

        Meeiiaaooww.

        You might as well be talking cat because what you are saying is total nonsense.

      • giyane

        The plan of the devil is weak.
        Tories think that without industry in the UK there will be no Labour Party base. They are surprised that it still exists and intend to use Brexit to further destroy it.

        It’s pretty feeble intellectual thought that letting the poor demolish the chances of the poorest and totally dispossessed will compensate them emotionally for their own loss of homes jobs security etc

        But that is what Tories calculate, and reading you, it does seem they’ve calculated right.

  • FraPer

    “Elizabeth Saxe Coburg Gotha”

    I normally just read your blog and the immensely diverse comments but you use the above frequently when referring the Queen. While I appreciate the historic connotation, I fail to understand why you address her in this particular manner? Is this an anti-German thing you harbour? Just curious.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      isnt it a reference to the pretence and absurdity of the ‘royal family’ who arrived on these shores as a makeshift pretend royalty after running out of native born options and electing for George 1st.a german dynastic head. Being British is not really very important in these arcane matters. The Saxe-Coburg Gotha refers to the family name of Prince Albert. Also German. But the romance of royalty is that there some special unknowable quality. Pure unadulterated kidney water

      • Iain Stewart

        You mean, the Auld Stewarts back again, I suppose, and why not? Meet you Saturday in Glenfinnan, bring your own claymore, pass it on.

  • Mary Pau!

    My sister and I are running a book on how many PMs we will have to go through before some sort of reluctant cross party solution is found on the UK’s formal relationship with the EU. Any guesses?

    And just to add that it will all be irrelevant in the not too distant future when it won’t matter whether or not Romanian welders work in Stuttgart Vienna or Liverpool, once the robots take over. My question then is, how will workers buy stuff if they have no jobs to earn wages. ? Thus is the sort of question governments and the EU bureaucrats should be focussing on.

    • Loony

      Surely your Romanian welders will be quite important. Since they, along with welders from Vienna, Stuttgart and Liverpool, are likely to be unemployed thanks to AI. Perhaps their allotted role is to act as a catalyst for social unrest. Fomenting some form of material civil unrest would appear to be the preferred solution of the EU.

      Elsewhere there are people giving quite a lot of thought as to how people will buy stuff if they have no jobs and no means of earning money. Andrew Yang a US Presidential candidate is an example of such a person. Naturally he is largely ignored by the media who prefer to run with “Orange Man Bad” stories and to continue to fetishize all forms of identity politics.

      Interestingly, or perhaps not, a number of people who voted forTrump would likely give serious consideration to voting for Yang. Naturally the caring, sharing progressives of the Democrat Party along with the captured media have no intention of allowing Yang to secure the nomination. It could interfere with their preferred racist narrative.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      starting prices Mary?As for robots-of course they will do all the nasty stuff and leave us all free to pontificate on blogs.

    • nevermind

      Good question Mary, our supermarkets have selfserving, non taxpaying robots/ accounting machines installed people use without thought.

      Robots that work 24/7,imho, should pay twice the tax a worker would pay. This leaves a social system with enough to feed the worker and his family, whilst leaving a seven hour production profit to the company/shareholders.
      Any less would erode the existing base our social structures and services rely on. If unemployed workers cant pay taxes then the state will have to pick up the tab, expect much less counciltax for their disappearing services.

      My question is’ could our public servants locally deal with us directly, without unqualified party politicians putting their leanings on to budgets and spending, i.e. less bias?’ Could they use modern communications and a voting process online, via letters and ot video conferencing to get in touch and receive casework?

      Just a thought.

  • Tony

    Craig, you are so completely and utterly wrong in the vast majority of your assessments in your above article, it is almost beyond belief.

    Let’s get the course insults out of the way first: you met a a fair number of racists during your time in Ramsgate. Ok, putting aside your own anecdotalism, Are you so focused on your own POV that you have failed to notice the equivalent behaviour from remainers? Ferchristsakes, ‘Gammons’ is pretty-much equivalent to blatant racism in this huge brexit debate, yet not a squawk from you or any other remainer. It’s as derogatory and generalising as calling black people ‘Niggers’. Then there is the upside down logic of calling brexiters liars, mainly because of a suggestion on the side of a bus.This, despite remainers lying about the effects of a vote to leave pre-referendum, and continuing to lie about a leave outcome ever since. The latest of which is the Yellowhammer report,a major aspect of which was laughed away by no lesser a figure that the director of Calais and Bolouigne Port Authority, who described said Project Fear predictions as “Le bullshit”, put forward by people with a political agenda, and he stated that ports will operate just as normally the day after brexit that they did the day before.Yet remain keep telling us that lorries will be backing up in queses into our countryside for months to come post-brexit.

    Then there is the ‘coup’ nonsense. As has been pointed out to you, there is currently no viable alternative to the current sitting government. The current sitting government has tried repeatedly to engineer a general election in order to facilitate a legitimate government. You choose to completely ignore these attempts, and also choose to completely ignore the conspiracy of disparate politicians (who normally wouldn’t even agree about the price of a loaf of bread), when this is the real coup. As opposed to the weak sitting government trying to find a way to enact the result of the 2016 referendum. Jesus wept, Craig, we’ve seen the Speaker of the Lower House change a hundreds of years old House procedure in order to stop us from leaving the EU. Can you not see the anti-democracy that is going on? Or are you just another arrogant remainer who thinks that they can browbeat “thick” brexiters with complex lies because you “know” that you are working for the ulterior good?

    • James Boswell

      “Or are you just another arrogant remainer who thinks that they can browbeat “thick” brexiters with complex lies because you “know” that you are working for the ulterior good?”

      I think you’ve answered your own question there. The trouble with Craig is that he always wants his cake and eat it. One minute he’s rightly complaining about how the EU backed up the Spanish junta when it went about in jackboots smashing the Catalan independentist referendum and afterwards declaring loudly how he’s lost all confidence in Brussels, and the next moment he’s back to tarring anyone who wants to leave the EU (presumably for the sake of regaining their own sovereignty – a cause that in ALL other circumstances he again loudly endorses) as stupid, racist, or actual fascists!

  • remember kronstadt

    No wiser,

    The opposition Labour Party campaigned in the 1983 general election on a commitment to withdraw from the EC without a referendum. It was heavily defeated; the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher was re-elected. The Labour Party subsequently changed its policy.

    In 1985, the United Kingdom ratified the Single European Act—the first major revision to the Treaty of Rome — without a referendum, with the full support of the Thatcher government.

    Thatcher resigned as Prime Minister in November 1990, amid internal divisions within the Conservative Party that arose partly from her increasingly Eurosceptic views.

    The Referendum Party was formed in 1994 by Sir James Goldsmith to contest the 1997 general election on a platform of providing a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. It fielded candidates in 547 constituencies at that election, and won 810,860 votes or 2.6% of the total votes cast.

    After Thatcher had negotiated a rebate of British membership payments in 1984, those favouring the EC maintained a lead in the opinion polls, except during 2000, as Prime Minister Tony Blair aimed for closer EU integration, including adoption of the euro currency, and around 2011, as immigration into the United Kingdom became increasingly noticeable.

    As late as December 2015 there was, according to ComRes, a clear majority in favour of remaining in the EU, albeit with a warning that voter intentions would be considerably influenced by the outcome of Prime Minister David Cameron’s ongoing EU reform negotiations, especially with regards to the two issues of “safeguards for non-Eurozone member states” and “immigration”.

    Thanks to wiki. Don’t worry they’re will be another dilemma along in ten years.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    I take it brexiter Iain Duncan Smith(he of the comically autofabricated patrician sounding name )is one of the coupsters, being pretty hard right, and one of the heroes of austerity. This week in the Observer there was a delightful piece of arse tearing jollity provided by Stewart Lee about the hon IDS esq. who was shown in a pair of photos, the first with him studiously excavating his nose for tasty morsels and the second with said nasal exploratory finger being sucked with enthusiastic relish. Stewart Lee rips into him about ‘enough food’ in the event of hard bogey Brexit, The “piece” is both stomach churning and stomach turning simultaneously. Comedy and politics truly becomes merged with the surreal in this moment.
    I have to wonder about how Doris ‘spaffer’ Johnson and his wonderfully weirdly cartoonish chums (Rees-Mogg/Lord Snooty/Hen Broon),’Mortlock’ Simmonds( seriously his parents gave him that name-they must have had a very wry sense of humour, Mark Francois(fat Bob) David (desperate dan) Gauke/Gowk, David Davis (PC Murdoch) and Primrose(Andrea stupid woman Leadsom’ have managed to get as far as they have, I think this is less a coup and more a comedy sketch/retch from the Beano. Surely this whole episode will eventually be set to music by Andrew Lloyd Weber and scripted ad absurdum by Armando ianucci. Pity it will probably be prorogued.

  • Deb O'Nair

    “I am sorry to say I do not maintain a romantic view of the electorate”

    A huge section of people in this country are simply ill-informed ignoramuses who do not even possess the most basic understanding of their own history, let alone that of other peoples. They are simply not capable of making any sort of informed decision and are easily persuaded by a multi-millionaire Tory supporter sitting in a BBC news studio pretending to be unbiased and impartial. Many of these people can not even conceive the notion that they have a fascist government because to their limited understanding a fascist is someone running around Europe in the mid-20th century wearing a funny uniform and making odd hand gestures.

      • Deb O'Nair

        No, I’d rather see the corporate media ownership laws reformed so that 75% of the news media is not in the hands of half-a-dozen foreign billionaires and tax exiles. Then we may have an informed electorate that is not brainwashed into stupidity by constant political propaganda parading as “news”. A shake up at the BBC wouldn’t go amiss as it’s constantly in breach of it’s charter regarding political bias and impartiality, largely because the BBC News and Current affairs management, as well as senior correspondents, openly support one political party.

        • Tony

          The Beeb was largely pro- remain leading up to the referendum. Surely you remember Dimblebore’s despair upon hearing the exit poll result? “We’ve lost!!!”

          • Deb O'Nair

            The “beeb” were also calling a remain win before the elections had closed, which may have resulted in many remain voters not bother to vote. Besides that the point I make is a general one regarding public opinion being manipulated by a small cadre of journalists and commentators, which is not invalidated by the single instance of one comment which you pointed out.

    • James Boswell

      “I am sorry to say I do not maintain a romantic view of the electorate”

      Craig’s just being a pompous arse – what does he want then? A dictatorship?

      If he believed his own blather he wouldn’t ever appeal to opinion polls in deciding any issues, but of course he does whenever it suits his purposes… especially when it comes to the electorate north of the border of whom he evidently does maintain a romantic view!

  • Gavin

    I’ve long been of the opinion that the ideal government is a benevolent, competent, dictatorship. This has obvious problems both in establishment and sustainability, making it impractical. Democracy is certainly the commonly accepted ‘best’ form of practical government, but I have severe doubts that that common acceptance is correct.

    Everyone having a potential vote seems laudable to me, and financial position and background having no bearing on whether someone can vote seems essential. The difficulty then is in establishing a fair way to determine who is competent to vote without introducing bias or prejudice into that process.

    • lysias

      Western states do not have democracy, they have plutocracy. As the ancient Greeks recognized, appointment by lot is the democratic way to choose representatives and officials.

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