Sorry, Johnson Will Not Disappear 948


It is currently popular among those who make money writing media articles about politics, to argue that Boris Johnson will implode next year and be replaced as Tory leader by someone more rational and conventional. I very much doubt this: the most important reason for that doubt being the power of the atavistic English nationalist forces that Johnson has unleashed in British politics. Astonishingly, despite the UK government’s hideously inept performance in the Covid crisis, and the corruption and looting of the public purse on a massive scale for which the pandemic has been used, the Conservatives still lead Labour in the UK opinion polls.

Partly that is due to Sir Keir Starmer having no apparent policy other than to ensure that no party member ever criticises Israel. But it is mostly due to the fact that Johnson’s supporters do not care what happens to the country, as long as they can see news footage of black people being deported on charter planes and immigrant children washed up dead rather than rescued. The racist brand is very, very strong in England. Cummings and Johnson’s plan to appropriate it and target the areas of England with lowest levels of educational achievement as their new political base still holds up as a political strategy. Look at the polls.

Tory MP’s care about themselves. They will ditch Johnson extremely quickly if he becomes a perceived electoral liability and therefore a threat to their own jobs. But as long as the Tories are ahead in the opinion polls, then Johnson is secure. The idea that there is a norm to which politics revert is a false one. Many of the same pundits who are assuring us now that Johnson will depart, also assured us that his kicking out moderate and pro-EU Conservatives from his party, and removing Remainers from his Cabinet, was a temporary move to be reversed post-election. There is in fact no going back to the norm.

Even the dimmest Labour Party members must now realise that Starmer lied when he promised he would carry on with Corbyn’s radical economic policies if elected to the leadership of the Labour Party. The Corbyn phenomenon was interesting. It arose as a reaction to the massively burgeoning wealth inequality in UK society and the great loss of secure employment opportunity with rights and benefits available to the large bulk of the population. That situation continues to worsen. Brexit was in large part a cry of pain resulting from the same causes. But Brexit in itself is going to do nothing to improve the social position or economic prospects of the working class.

Whether the novelty of Brexit will in the long term continue to be enough to channel the desire for radical change away from actual programmes of redistribution of wealth and ownership, I doubt. I suspect the Starmer project will falter on public reluctance to yet again embrace a choice of two Tory parties, and Starmer will be ejected as Labour leader before he can become the third Blue Labour PM. In the meantime, I can only urge those in England to vote Green. I can certainly see no reason to vote Labour and validate the Starmer purge.

As a former professional diplomat, I am going to be astonished if there is not a Brexit deal announced very shortly. It is plainly highly achievable given the current state of negotiations. The EU have moved very far in agreeing that an independent UK body, as opposed to the European Court of Justice, can be responsible for policing UK compliance with standards regulation to ensure against undercutting. The “ratchet clause” sticking point, where a mechanism is needed to ensure the UK does not undercut future improved EU regulatory regimes, can be resolved with some fudged wording on the mutual obligation to comply with the highest standards, but which does not quite force the EU to simply copy UK regulation in the improbable event it becomes more demanding than the EU regime. By making the obligation theoretically mutual the “sovereignty” argument about UK subservience to EU regulations and standards is met, which is the ultra Tory Brexiteers biggest fetish. Fisheries is even simpler to solve, with obvious compromises on lengths of agreement periods and quotas within easy grasp.

It should not be forgotten that David Frost is not the plain loutish Brexiteer he has so spectacularly enhanced his career by impersonating domestically, but is the smooth and effective professional diplomat he shows when actually interacting with Barnier. It could only be an act of utter lunacy that would lead Johnson to eschew a deal that the Express and Mail will be able to trumpet as a massive victory over Johnny Foreigner. I expect we shall be seeing a union jacked apotheosis of saviour Johnson all over the media by a week from now at the very latest – another reason he will not be leaving office.

It is of course, all smoke and mirrors. By expectation management, a deal which is a far harder Brexit than anybody imagined when Theresa May set down her infamous red lines, will be greeted by a relieved business community as better than actually blowing your own brains out. As I have stated ever since the repression of the Catalan referendum, I can live with leaving the EU and live with abandoning its political and security pillars. I continue to view leaving the single market and losing the great advantage of free movement as disastrous.

One thing that has been very little publicised is that, deal or no deal, the UK is going to fudge the worst consequences by simply not on 1 January applying the new rules at the borders. There will not be immigration checks on the 86% of truck drivers entering the UK who are EU citizens, for the first six months. Otherwise the queues by mid January would scarcely be contained by Kent itself. Similarly, the UK side will not be applying the new customs paperwork on 1 January except on a “random sampling” basis. Those who are eagerly anticipating chaos on 1 January will thus probably be disappointed. In fact the deleterious economic effects of Brexit are quite probably going to take some time to show through in a definite way. I do not believe we will see either empty shelves or major price hikes in the first few weeks.

My prediction is this: Boris will agree his thin deal and at the end of January the Brexiteers will be gloating that the predicted disaster did not happen. Effects on economic growth and employment will take some time to be plainly identified, and it will be mortifying how readily the Tories will twist the narrative to blame the EU, and also to obtain English nationalist support for the notion that this gradual pain is worth it in pursuit of a purer country, with less immigration. That may sound crazy to you. But is it not crazy to you that the Tories are still ahead in UK polls after the last year? Mark my words; hope that Boris Johnson will simply vanish is very misplaced.

There is of course the possibility that Johnson is indeed completely bonkers and will not agree any deal at all, in which case 1 January chaos is unavoidable and all bets are off. I should be very surprised indeed. But then I did not think Trump would be mad enough not to concede the US Presidential election. Trying to predict the irrational mind is a pointless undertaking. I don’t think Johnson is that irrational; but I have been wrong before.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

948 thoughts on “Sorry, Johnson Will Not Disappear

1 2 3 7
  • Mist001

    Why would Trump concede the US Presidential election if he believes that massive voting fraud has taken place? He may be right, he may be wrong but he’s absolutely right not to concede the election. Is that what you expect politicians to do, say ‘Oh well, we lost’ and accept any fraudulent voting? Trump’s not a politician, he’s a businessman and he’s right to challenge the result. Even if it doesn’t work out for him, it will improve voting standards come four years time now that he’s shed light on the problem.

    That’s not madness or a sign of an irrational mind, that’s fighting for what’s right and proper.

    • M.J.

      I don’t think Trump believes that there has been any massive voting fraud at all. He’s been lying since the day he took office and he wont stop. He fears that once he leaves office, the law might catch up with him. Voting standards are what he tried to corrupt, not strengthen!
      What is right and proper is for Trump to get what’s coming to him. Let’s see what happens in the last days of January.

      • bevin

        It would be a very unusual-actually unique- US election if there were not massive fraud, most of which consists of keeping people away from the polls, but which also consists of ballot stuffing of every imaginable kind. Greg Palast has written books on the subject of recent elections.
        As to the objection to Trump and his supporters questioning the validity of Biden’s mandate, we have just lived through four years of utterly spurious charges that Trump was elected by Vladimir Putin, a libel that had the added bonus of greatly enhancing international tension and encouraging the warmongers dancing us all to Armageddon.
        Compared to the Putin done it charges the evidence of fraud in the 2020 election is compelling. Not that it will lead to anything-there is no chance of Biden not being inaugurated in January. The truth is that the political class in the US plays by the rules and the rules are that the media determine the winner. Both Kerry in 2004 and Gore in 2000 had even better cases than Trump has, and both quickly dropped their objections, so, in effect, has Trump.

        • glenn_uk

          B: “Compared to the Putin done it charges the evidence of fraud in the 2020 election is compelling”

          What evidence would that be, Bevin, “compelling” or otherwise?

          By otherwise, I don’t just mean “alleged outside a courtroom”, of course. Come on, surely you’re not going for this cheap, baseless evidence-free “evidence” of massive fraud which doesn’t pass the laugh test.

          • glenn_uk

            @TW: I’ll take that as an admission you have zero evidence. Personal insults don’t count, sorry.

          • J

            I don’t see why this is difficult to understand for some people. In a two party system which offers political choice only to the billionaire and millionaire class, the choice is which group of ultra rich get to milk public coffers the most. There is no incentive for honest elections because neither is the least bit interested in the electorate or offering genuine political alternatives. Consequently, honest elections never arise.

            There have been a few good statistical studies among other more direct evidence, from voter suppression, very well documented by Greg Palast and which mostly benefits Republicans, to the extremely well documented primary rigging against Bernie Sanders, not even including the effect of media monopoly.

            The statistical evidence of electronic vote flipping is proof of one of two things: either statistics should never form any part of the toolkit of science, or there was massive election fraud. You probably can’t have it both ways.

            Dr Sh Ayyadurai, MIT PhD (admittedly not a disinterested party) presents a very clear case here:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ztu5Y5obWPk

          • glenn_uk

            J: I don’t “do” youtube arguments, it’s a waste of time. I took a quick look, though, just in case.

            As usual, lots of assertions without evidence, but then he relies on the the two main features of Trump supporters: They know nothing, and believe everything that comes from his “side”.

            Of course early counts would favour Trump, because walk-in voters were counted first. After the postal votes were counted, it was entirely predictable – indeed, it was long predicted – that Biden would pick up votes.

            Of course, if you only listen to nonsense from the FOX sewer and Trump supporters, you wouldn’t have known this.

            So now it’s all a major surprise, and wow! It _has_ to be a giant conspiracy. Send money at once, idiot$$$$ !

          • J

            “As usual, lots of assertions without evidence”

            A tedious non argument of which you yourself are guilty. Essentially:

            “There’s no evidence because I won’t look at the evidence nor bother to refute it.”

          • glenn_uk

            Sorry J – that’s just BS.

            Claiming there’s all this evidence, without producing any (other than a rambling 2-hour youtube video), and then chiding others for not looking for the “evidence” you claim exists – seriously?

            When you get some, let us know. In the meantime, good luck in finding it. And send Trump money!

        • Bramble

          The real fraud comes from the pretence that there is an actual opposition to rule by the neoliberal/neocon oligarchy. Biden is just Trump/Obama/Bush/Clinton with an avuncular mask. And it is the same in England: Starmer is Thatcher/Major/Bliar/Cameron etc with a mask made of plywood.

          • Tom Welsh

            Yes, Bramble. That seems to be substantially the case.

            It would be funny, if it were not so sad, to see apparently intelligent and educated people squabbling pointlessly over the distinction between a louse and a flea, while the liberties for which their ancestors shed blood over a thousand years are silently disappearing from day to day.

          • Kangaroo

            You are so so right Mr Welsh.

            The lawsuits are now going to SCOTUS and I expect them to rule that fraud took place. Massive fraud I may add. Trump will then initiate Martial Law under the Insurrection Act of 1807. Note Trumps earlier Executive Order 13848 regarding Foreign Interference in US Elections. GITMO is full to bursting point and that is after capacity doubling under Trump.
            Note also the more recent chwnges to Methods of Capital Punishment that come into effect on Xmas Eve.

            “None so blind that wilfully don’t look.”

        • Graham

          I’m in no way a Trump supporter or Biden (I think he might even be worse) and I don’t know if the large scale fraud allegations are true. But I believe some of the evidence, including cctv videos, and affidavits, I have seen on alternative news sources does seems worthy of looking at more closely. It also concerning that the mainstream media are effectively dismissing and censoring very serious allegations.

          Just my two cents.

          • Colin Smith

            There are massive statistical anomalies in all the districts that stopped counting in the evening – they trigger all the banana republic election theft indicators – large scale mail rather than in person ballots, significant variance with traditionally similar cities, significant variance with historical voting records, significant variance with down ballot voting.

            All ignored by the media in the same way that they ignored the Biden laptop evidence, while lapping up Trump Russian speculative nonsense.

          • Kangaroo

            Too true Colin.

            Irregularities similar to the postal vote fiasco during the 2014 indyref. 90%+ returns being world records, in more than one constituency.

      • Michael Droy

        Trouble with “Trump lies” is that at least half the “lies” are actually false Dem accusations of lies which go unchecked by media “fact checkers”.
        Of course Dems cheated at the elections on a large scale – to deny so would be v naive.
        Does it matter? Not nearly as much as the Resistance Treason, fake Muellergate cover up of spying on the president and the fake impeachment trial.
        They were a disgrace, if you didn’t get up and scream at that, why bother about some more vote fraud.

        • glenn_uk

          This is so tiresome. Just repeat, repeat, repeat that there is massive evidence. While producing none. But “everyone” is talking about it, so it must be true!

          • J

            You don’t care about evidence when it’s presented to you, far too clever to be fooled by facts, which are plentiful. American elections are corrupt before they begin, on both sides of the oligarchic coin. It’s hardly contoversial.

          • glenn_uk

            J – With all due respect, the only evidence you have provided so far is that of your own gullibility. Biden won the vote. The Courts are not going to overturn election results.

          • J

            You should reserve your respect for something you actually care about. Evidence and by inference, factuality, is not one of those things.

          • glenn_uk

            Let’s see… Biden won the vote. The Courts did not overturn the election results. All documented facts. Nothing I have said is incorrect.

            What documented facts have you come up with, J? Don’t you think it’s odd that no documented facts at all were actually presented in any of the scores of frivolous cases the Trump stooges tried to pass off to the Courts?

            Of course you don’t. You start off with the conclusion you want, and work backwards, pretending with tedious predictability that you proved it. Just like all the other Q-Anon freaks.

          • Ray A

            Parroting the BBC propaganda “no evidence” rubbish all over the thread makes you sound like a government shill.

          • glenn_uk

            @Ray A:

            Claiming there’s a huge conspiracy while providing nothing but empty assertions, makes you appear, well, less than credible. It doesn’t take a “government shill” to point that out, just someone who isn’t a credulous fool.

          • Ray A

            Seems to be something wrong with your reading skills. My only claim was that you have the appearance of a government shill. I take you rapid response as supporting evidence.

          • glenn_uk

            You strike me as someone who gets a lot of things wrong, Ray.

            Now are you going to produce some of this famous evidence (about election fraud), or are you yet another of these boring people who just likes to start pointless arguments online which go nowhere? If the latter – which I strongly expect – you will get no further replies from me.

            By the way, pretty much all election fraud conspiracists have moved on to vaccine hoax hysterics now. Didn’t you get the memo?

          • Ray A

            So Glenn,

            I didn’t post to show you the massive amounts of evidence that exists, but as you keep asking and seem to have trouble finding it yourself, as a small favour, I suggest that you start with typing state election fraud hearing into duckduckgo, and you will be able to learn about the myriad witnesses, sworn affidavits, and video evidence that was presented.

            Returning to my original point, I ask that you do me a small favour and consider how people who produce government propaganda are traitors to themselves and their friends, and helping the people who control the government. Following this logically, leads to the necessary conclusion that such people are, in a very small way, aiding and abetting the shooting of Palestinians in the knee.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        M.J.

        From what Trump’s estranged niece writes of Trump, you are wrong on this one:-

        ” He’s been lying since the day he took office and he wont stop…”

        No – he has been lying many, many years before that.

        • M.J.

          Courtenay, I’m happy to stand corrected on this one (or maybe add the qualifier ‘while president’ somewhere).
          When he lies now, fortunately there’s usually a consolation: yet another BS accusation of election rigging by his legal helpers gets thrown out by a judge.

    • SteveH

      Give over.

      It’s just mudthrowing. You either believe that all 46 judges, many of them republican, crookedly threw out the cases, or you believe that DT is just creating more hate in a hope that somehow the SCOTUS are bent enough to rescue him. Which is the only credible alternative?

      • Penguin

        Trump isn’t a Republican you complete melt!

        2018 election in Georgia where only the politically committed actually voted and 3.5% of postal votes were rejected. 2020 election and over a Million more postal votes appear yet the rejection rate is reduced by over 95%. That defies all logic, nevermind the results of every other election in history.

        Perhaps you didn’t notice the AG of Pennsylvania stating that it wouldn’t matter how many votes Trump received, he still wouldn’t win.

        Or Biden letting slip that the Democrats had arranged a massive nationwide network of voter fraud. They did it to Sanders (twice!) yet the same people who accept that happened just outright deny the faintest chance that they wouldn’t change a winning strategem. Arsewanks!

        • glenn_uk

          P: “Trump isn’t a Republican you complete melt!

          Here’s news for you chief: Trump is the Republican President at this very moment. Sorry if that comes at a bit of a shock.

          You seriously expect anyone to believe that “massive fraud” made Trump win all the states he was expected to win, lose all the districts, counties and states in which he was expected to lose, and yet – awe, shucks! – the dems forgot to fix the down-ballot votes, so they didn’t quite get the Senate?

          Of course the Dems got most of the postal votes, because they voted by mail – quite sensible in the middle of a pandemic. If you’re exceedingly stupid and in denial about the pandemic, you would be more likely to vote in person. Which is what the Repugs did.

          Your evidence-free conspiracy is best kept to OAN, from where you apparently get all your fact-free-facts.

          Btw, isn’t that Sydney Powell amazing – do you think she’s for real? Or just in on an incredible con which has already netted the Trump grifters over $200M since the election?

        • Tom Welsh

          The only reason for mr Trump appearing as a Republican is that, in the USA, it is impossible to become President without being either a Democrat or a Republican. (Or, as some wit put it, a Republicrat or a Demoblican – for all the difference it would make).

          Mr Trump is the first President for a very, very long time who is not ideologically or, perhaps, practically, owned by one party or the other. He had to pretend Republican affiliation to fit through the election machinery, which otherwise would have spat him out.

          But the Republicans dislike him almost as much as the Democrats do.

          If you are seriously interested, read Randolph Bourne’s account of how candidates are selected for docility and political correctness by the party committees, thereby rendering elections irrelevant. He was writing a century ago about critical events that took place in the 19th century.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        SteveH,

        I am a lawyer and have had in my career my crossed swords with Judges. Just to say that it reflects favourably on the US justice system that even with a majority of Republican Judges – they can still apply – logic – reason – the US Constitution and the law in a rational manner.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Trying to predict the irrational mind is a pointless undertaking”.

      It’s also surprisingly arrogant, insofar as it automatically assumes that yours is the “rational” mind and that anyone whose thinking you do not understand must be crazy.

      Think it through, and you may see that there is in fact no objective standard of what is “rational” and what is not. Most of us understand the accepted rules of logic and apply them to our own perceived advantage. Thus we are liable to see anyone who perceives different advantages as “irrational”, when in fact they are merely noticing different aspects of the whole situation.

      Mr Trump is no more rational or irrational than his political opponents – although it may be disputed how much equipment Mr Biden retains with which to think, rationally or otherwise.

      Mostly they pursue their own advantage, directly or indirectly. To my mind the salient difference is that Mr Trump, not being a professional politician, has never learned that systematic, wholesale deception can lead to useful advantages. Hence he just opens his mouth – or twits – and says whatever he is thinking. I find that refreshing; also it is helpful to know what a political leader is thinking and intending.

      Just wait until Mr Biden or his successor is President. Apparently everything will return to civilised norms, although in reality matters may get progressively much worse.

    • Calgacus

      “Why would Trump concede the US Presidential election if he believes that massive voting fraud has taken place?”

      He probably doesn’t believe that; that is not why is he is not conceding. For Joe Lauria of Consortium News speculated shortly after the election that:

      “After the Democrats played the fabulist Russiagate card to undermine Trump’s legitimacy, they should not be surprised by Republican efforts to undermine Biden’s. This is U.S. politics in a downward spiral.”

      ELECTION 2020: Payback For Russiagate

      CNN basically confirmed this later:

      “President Donald Trump told an ally that he knows he lost, but that he is delaying the transition process and is aggressively trying to sow doubt about the election results in order to get back at Democrats for questioning the legitimacy of his own election in 2016, especially with the Russia investigation, a source familiar with the President’s thinking told CNN on Thursday.”

      Trump told ally he’s trying to get back at Democrats for questioning legitimacy of his own election

      CNN Follows CN by 8 Days on Russiagate Payback Story

      So it seems that is what all this is about. Hard to say which side’s behavior is more infantile and reckless.

  • Geoff S

    I disagree with this take.

    Despite the now thoroughly boring, and ironically racist canard that “The English are all racist”, it wouldn’t matter a damn what the English thought they thought. Either the electorate were convinced to hate Corbyn against all the odds, or the last election was rigged. Doesn’t matter which. The choice was not legitimately ours.

    Johnson has outlived his usefulness. Come the next election, now that Starmer is there, and everyone knows he won’t rock the boat, he will just follow the script, the election can go back to Labour so the Tories don’t start to feel too unassailable. They might start going off script too if they feel too comfortable.

    Johnson won’t be demonised to the level that Corbyn was, but then he won’t need to be. His only ‘endearing’ trait was his clown act and that has both lost its pallor and slipped away. Even the Daily Mail now sees fit to criticise the man. Meanwhile, where is the criticism of Starmer in the mainstream? The guy even knocked a cyclist down, while doing an illegal manouevre in his oversized car and what was the media reaction – “oh, oopsie, nevermind”. Fairly plain to see which side is getting prepared for next time round the spinning wheel of pointlessness that is our parliament.

    Not sure why I even wrote the last two paragraphs. The only thing that will likely matter is that I dared to suggest that not everyone in England is a despicable racist. Anything subsequent to that is just noise.

    • Goose

      Brexit was built largely on a misplaced pride – a press promoted, English sense of superiority and victimhood (supposedly at the hands of the cruel uncaring EU). Our political system and truly appalling press have gotten us into this misguided mess by amplifying xenophobic crap and misconceptions about Europe and Europeans over decades. It’s not that we (English) are uniquely susceptible to ignorance. I believe any European population subjected to our low quality FPTP political system and press would have the same impulses and have voted the the same way. The better the political system and press, the more informed a population.
      Corbyn, for all his faults, at least offered the prospect of genuine change. Starmer and his Blairite acolyte dominated shadow cabinet just leave me, and I’m sure many others, feeling politically empty… bereft. I don’t know where we go from here.

      • Shatnersrug

        We don’t go anywhere from here goose. The Corbyn spasm was exactly that, a five year diversion that took us straight back to Milliband labour with racists mugs and the same advisors that thought the Ed-Stone was an election winner.

        There will be no independence for Scotland or wales. The real economy will continue to collapse and the city will get richer. We’re not even close to the corruption of the 1930s that brought the rise of the BUF, who the government considered a better choice than a socialist uprising, but I have no doubt that we will.

        It’s seems to me that if you return to the economic fallacies of the 1930s than you must expect the same levels of degradation and impoverishment. This seems to be the desired goal of Tories and the Labour right. I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone would want their country to be a shithole it’s like purposely smashing up the back of your car and then painting a Union Jack on it.

        If we continue down this path and I have little doubt that we will, I think the capitalist powers will again face an uncontrollable war. Who knows? It might even be the end of the species – nothing lasts forever.

          • Shatnersrug

            Isabel,

            I know it’s negative. I used to think it was likely until sturgeon arrived on the scene, and when SNP MPs joined the House of Commons I knew they weren’t serious about Indy.

            When they won that many seats but chose to sit as British MPs it was only a matter of time before osmosis set in.

            Now that’s not to say that in terms of day to day policies the SNP haven’t been good for Scotland, clearly they have and many may make fine constituency MPs, but an SNP that doesn’t have independence as its central policy becomes yet another centrist British party.

            People on here know me as a labour leftist which I am (or was I see labour as dead now) but I’ve always supported independence

            I think a Scottish Labour Party that is unaffiliated with the corpse of the British one could be good if only to bring the centre back to well, the centre if nothing else

            For the life of me I can’t see us rowing back from the awfulness of the last 10 years

        • Kangaroo

          Best comment yet.

          “Like purposely smashing up the back of your car and painting a Union Jack on it”.

          Yep the english did that alright. Lets see how it runs after 31st December.

      • Muscleguy

        Take Craig’s advice and vote Green. In England I would. If everybody voted Green they would break the political duopoly. They could even replace the FibDims and overtake the SNP as the 3rd largest party at Westminster.

        You may not realise that they are, TV coverage of PMQ’s always cut off when the SNP parliamentary leader gets up to ask the questions they are entitled to ask. So you never see it happen unless you are plugged into Scottish Independence social media where videos of the good ones circulate.

        We know how the media have kept you in the dark and fed you bullshit. Being mushrooms is not your fault. But you can get yourselves out of it.

    • craig Post author

      I have never suggested, anywhere, that everyone in England is a despicable racist. But there are enough of them to win elections – which requires a well motivated group of about 40% of those who vote, ie about 28% of the entire adult population including those who do not vote.

      At least 28% of the population of England do appear to be reliably responsive to racist politicians.

      • Goose

        Is it really racism of Brexit supporters, or simply desperation?

        As in the US with Trump supporters. Both groups of voters have correctly identified growing inequality in wealth and opportunity, but equally, both have misattributed these genuine problems people face, to the wrong causes and thus voted for the wrong remedies : Trump in the US, and here, Brexit and the Tories.

        • Bramble

          It seems that one of the sticking points is that the English want the right to gain a competitive edge by stripping English workers of their employment protections (and many other things). English workers voted for this, and would still vote for it, because they blame immigrants for their predicament. Despite Starmer and co arguing that this is not racism, it certainly gets much of its electoral energy from racist and nationalist sentiment in England. Mr Murray is entirely right to say: “The racist brand is very, very strong in England. Cummings and Johnson’s plan to appropriate it and target the areas of England with lowest levels of educational achievement as their new political base still holds up as a political strategy. Look at the polls.” Yes. Look at the polls. Mildly social democratic, pacifist, anti racist Jeremy Corbyn was unelectable? Bullingdon boy Johnson with his flag-waving, pound-shop Churchill act, the English Nationalist supreme was an election winner? Only some kind of twisted cognitive dysfunction (nurtured by 40 years of EU disinformation administered via the English media) in the electorate could have produced that dismal political landscape.

        • Courtenay Barnett

          Goose,

          ” Both groups of voters have correctly identified growing inequality in wealth and opportunity, but equally, both have misattributed these genuine problems people face, to the wrong causes….”

          You have hit the nail squarely on the head on both sides of the Atlantic. It is far easier for people to think in simple terms with easy answers – such as – this is all caused by the immigrants. For example, in the US, with some high tech firms they rely heavily on Asian talent – because the US qualified labour pool cannot provide sufficient employees in adequate numbers; likewise at the other end of the economic spectrum there are some ‘shit jobs’ which nevertheless still need to be done and it is immigrant labour which gets those jobs done. Take all the immigrants out of the economic equation – then what?

          It is far easier to use foreign nationality or ‘race’ as the scapegoat than to raise economic issues of necessity or weigh what may be called structural economic considerations.

          • Kurton Wald

            “The Trump administration sued Facebook on Thursday, claiming the social media giant illegally reserved thousands of jobs for immigrants the company was sponsoring to stay in the U.S., instead of looking for qualified American workers to fill the positions.” Hmm..

      • Geoff S

        How many times has the English population been mentioned in recent times on this blog without the word racist hovering close by? If every time you mention one, you mention the other, the intent is clear.

        • Goose

          People were misled.

          It’s undoubtedly true that Brexit was sold as a means to limit immigration – the Tory govt and the Tory press suggested their hands were tied by the EU. But the UK govt always had full control over non-EU immigration, and it was non-EU that was running out of control 000s, and that that was the real issue for areas that were seeing big demographic changes. How many Brexit supporters actually knew this?

          • Tom74

            There is also the question of whether the Brexit referendum and the 2019 general election were conducted honestly. If they weren’t fair results, then obviously the government and their crony media would need to pretend that England was a hot-bed of flag-waving bigots and that thousands in Labour heartlands switched to the Tories over Brexit to explain their ‘victories’. I think there is a danger here of falling into the trap of condemning Johnson but accepting narratives peddled on his behalf by the mainstream media and far-right troll farms.

          • FranzB

            Goose – but there was one point where racism pure and simple was evoked – that was Farage’s breaking point poster. The poster was nothing to do with immigration – nobody thought all these refugees were coming to the UK. In fact everyone knew they were headed to Germany, because Merkel had invited them to come to Germany. Farage’s racism plugs straight into the Douglas Murray ‘great replacement’ racism – the non sensical idea that Islam will replace Christianity in Europe. Farage was piggy backing onto the everyday racism that the Mail and the Tory party stoke up. In 2016 the Windrush scandal was well under way under the watchful eye of Theresa May. And of course in 2015 Labour ran on an anti-immigrant ticket.

            https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/epic-mug-battle-only-latest-cheap-set-campaign-gimmicks-set-define-election-10144248.html

        • imagine

          Exactly Geoff.

          Craigo also does the same with unionism in Britain and protestants in Ireland.

          Ironically, it’s just plain bigotry. Those whose views he doesn’t agree with (or preseumes he doesn’t agree with), he labels and smears.

          It’s similar to the tools used by Guardian/MSM/spook entities. Label, ridicule, smear.

          • Goose

            Go to some of the heavily Brexit voting areas in the Midlands and NE and ask people what they think of immigrants and you’ll quickly change your tune. Of course, some people voted for Brexit because the tabloids screamed at them voting to leave would help us ‘take back control’ of our immigration policies – this even though we never lost them.

            Why deny this? England is regionally varied land, but in certain areas it’s undoubtedly true that limiting immigration (of the non-EU variety) appealed to some.

          • Stevie Boy

            Not making any excuses for racism BUT, if you visit places in the North like Sheffield, Bradford, Leeds, for example, then maybe it is easier to understand the issues that poor, white, working class people have !
            Successive governments have allowed impoverished ghettos to build up in these areas rather than addressing the problems that inevitably will lead to the obvious outcomes. Inequality is the biggest problem in the UK and that’s down to the government and racism is just a symptom of their divide and conquer policies. This is down to the Americanisation of the UK, expect more of the same.

          • imagine

            Mr V, you vividly display the same bigotry that Craig is all about.

            One side of the coin is all that you are interested in. Black and white analysis.

            You won’t reference the collusion between Dublin, it’s security services and the IRA campaign. You won’t call for any investigations. You won’t reference the Irish government in 1970 and gunrunning for the IRA. You won’t be asking America about it’s refusual to extradite on-the-run IRA murderers.

            I have lived in Ireland all my life. You need to educate yourself and look at both sides of a complex issue.

            Otherwise, you just come across as a bigot.

            Ireland can be united. But bigotry won’t help the process.

        • DunGroanin

          When Bozo was sold to the public in Soft focus by the celebrity broadcasters – like the sly LauraKoftheCIA mockingbirds that the public ‘trust’ – you don’t need that many racists – just DumbedDowntin Abbey brainwashed voters. If tvats nit enough than just tip the balance with a Pistal Voters being decisive lie (Also one of our Laura’s bollox.

        • Coldish

          Thanks, Geoff S. During the last 4 1/2 years I’ve so far only heard 2 reasons from ordinary people (i.e. not politicians or journalists) for supporting Brexit: 1. that a majority voted for it; 2. that East Europeans are taking jobs from the English. Perhaps the second is a form of racism. I’d call it xenophobia.

          • nevermind

            Yes, thats two popular tabloid rag reasons purveyed regularly. Nobody wants to discuss the real reasons.
            Johnson is a proper dictator who has the thrust of 40 hedgefund managers and ceo’s behind him.

            They backed his version of Brexit to the hilt, after all, the 2014 decision agreed by Parliament to be transparent in the EU about tge establishments hobby of off shoring massive sums past the exchequer.
            Farrage was the City megaphone but Johnson is seeing it through. Thats why the referendum was a schocking sloganising travesty, planned to take the truth away forever.
            I wonder how many expats want to come back to this fourth Reich full of liars and hobnail psycho’s, many have decided to stay in Europe.

            Its the City and its operative grand tax avoiders thats done it.
            We are beyond politics, but many still can’t let go of believing in a political opposition, hoping that a green revolution will mean sustainable living for a majority. Its more opportunities for the hedgefunds to profit and stack their monies behind the backs of dictators like Johnson.

        • Tom Welsh

          “How many times has the English population been mentioned in recent times on this blog without the word racist hovering close by? If every time you mention one, you mention the other, the intent is clear”.

          Hmmm. Is that racist, then?

      • James Cook

        “But there are enough of them to win elections.” Is that how it still works?

        Craig, you must sense that this past year has begun/continued changes which are irreversible?
        Look at the bigger picture, not the 28% you say are responsive.

        The world-wide view of the “democratic process” has been changed by the USA, but this started back in 2016. Cripple your political opponents has morph into rigging the process, will morph further, into seen or unseen (virtual) dictatorships.

        Covid has altered what society will do against their common sense by fear of the unknown. While none of us is immune to death, even a low probability will make the healthy freely give up their freedoms to untrustworthy politicians. “Freedom of movement” – which you say you view as one of the most import potential losses of a Brexit, you freely gave up to the COVID political/medical minions?

        Science has willingly reversed its’ thinking process to more of a religion with the use of terms like “trust the science”, “believe the science”. Facts are neither what they used to be or can be altered/manipulated to what is desirable today and further re-evaluated for tomorrow, if needed. If you do not Believe & Trust you are a Belligerent – the term for a modern day Heretic!

        Hypocrisy is no longer viewed as a vice which is morally repugnant in a healthy society, but is now viewed as a “woke” character FEATURE to be viewed as a virtue, as it allows for rapid change to suit the current needs of the common mob or ammended plot line. A hypocritical politician shows they are listening and are adaptable! Presto …….Virtuous!

        King Makers – the security establishment and their social media partners now control both the narrative and the resultant conversation to suit their agenda. They will decide how the future happens and they now control all the tools and an addictive cellphone combined with the human weakness of narcissism links each human to its master.

        The actors on the political stage are a well scripted/choreographed distraction – the real decision are made behind the curtain – Julian will tell you what happens if you dare open the curtain. Johnston, Starmer – Tories, Labour – are useful, but make no mistake they are controlled by security establishment/social media mandarins

        “AI” will just make it easier for the Praetorians to further control and amass power.
        .
        Society will never be the same and the old rules are changing rapidly – we are but spectators to the future Craig.

        Now, if you want a real common-man/woman political revolution for reasserting voter power – get everyone to throw their cell phones away, use only paper ballots and pay only with cash.

        Yea, Good luck with that!

        • douglas clark

          May I pick out a particular segment of your post?

          “The world-wide view of the “democratic process” has been changed by the USA, but this started back in 2016. Cripple your political opponents has morph into rigging the process, will morph further, into seen or unseen (virtual) dictatorships.”

          You have evidence that that is what is happening?

          Apart from the UK, where subservience to Amerika is a given. No-one else appears to be conjoining with Trumps attempt to rail back democracy.

          I would be interested in your evidence.

      • bevin

        What you do suggest is that ‘racism’ is most likely to occur among those of the “lowest levels of educational achievement.”
        It is a quaint idea that the more time that we spend at school, being indoctrinated in the ideas of the ruling class, the less likely it is that we should be racists or show other signs of stupidity.
        That this is not the case is a very old story- racism is linked directly with imperialism and capitalism, it serves the purposes of the wealthy to divide their victims in order to rule them. Historically political radicals, opposed inter alia to imperialism and social injustices, have won most of their support from the poor, the least educated. There are many reasons for this but not least among them is the rejection of the ideas of the ruling class and the well grounded suspicion that the philosophers who brought the Poor Law Reform, Enclosures, the Game Laws and the discoveries of Malthus were not to be trusted.
        It was the poor and the uneducated who fueled every movement of genuine reform, from the Levellers to the Chartists, to Red Clydeside and the Miners Next Step. No doubt many eminent and well educated men and women worked on founding the NHS, but it owed its existence not to the wealthy and educated but to the united demands of the working class, few of whom had not left school at 14 years of age.
        I mention these things because, if you really believe that the way to a decent future lies through the intensification of the work that Gavin Williamson is doing, that the decency of a people is determined by the average number of years per capita spent studying the Westminster curricula, you are going to be very disappointed.
        Intellectual snobbery is as much of a handicap as any other form of bigotry.
        Does not the United States have more ‘college graduates’ per cent than almost any other country?

        • johnf

          Totally agree, Bevin.

          Accusations of racism against the poor and identity politics in general are a way of dividing and confusing those with the most interest in changing the status quo.

          Who, by a country mile, is the most popular person in England amongst the poor and the provincial? Marcus Rashford, a very poor black kid from the slums of Manchester. He has caused the government to undertake two massive U-Turns in their school meals programme for starving kids in the last six months (eat your heart out, Kier), and is currently organizing a massive campaign to improve child literacy amongst poor children and to help them to improve their own self-image and self-confidence.

          And you only have to look to his Twitter timeline to see those who, in the first 48 hours of his appeal, responded most completely to his pleas for free foods – local chippies, local Indian and Pakistani-owned restaurants and take aways, and football clubs of all shapes and sizes. All working class institutions in working class areas.

        • dpg

          Bevin ‘Does not the United States have more ‘college graduates’ per cent than almost any other country? sort of-yes – it makes for some really interesting conversations with waiters and bar people with Ph.D’s.
          You refer to Gavin Williamson. I am guessing that what he lacks in ability he makes up in diligence and obsequy. Has such a dimwit dotard ever risen so high? well yes indeed. Tories from the past were unbelievably entitled and actually revelled in their idiocy because they could afford to be arseholes.
          As for the poor and ‘uneducated’ you draw attention to – where on earth did the impulse for improvement come from? So much talent and ability was ‘self educated’ (By far the best kind) I also think I know what craig means when he says ‘those of the “lowest levels of educational achievement.”’ There is a strain of ‘partially educated’ whose reactionary intuitions and passive aggression sustains the deplorable absence of democracy and the gross inequalities in this country.
          At the end of the day about 1/3 of population are capable of moving beyond the concrete ideas of childhood. 2/3 languish forever in a state of ‘informed’ or ‘shaped’ consciousness fully believing in its infallibility.

        • Shatnersrug

          Bigotry comes from fear. Parents teach their children who to blame for the world not being the way they feel it should.
          ‘Intellectual’ families can be the absolutely worst at it. They tend to be obsessed by academic achievement and quick to dismiss anyone who displeases them as dumb or stupid. No one is immune from this insult – traffic wardens for dispensing a parking ticket, policemen who have the audacity to pull them over for speeding. Post Office Clerks or the bloke from three mobile. The insults are endless.

          Personally I’ve never really bought the idea that people have different levels of intelligence it just depends what interests you. I do know this though. The education systems installed by Empires will always value those that excel in subjects that benefit the empire. Whether it be in the writing of history, architecture or sociology.

        • craig Post author

          I too occasionally suffer from an attack of the EP Thomsons and an excessively romantic view of the English working class. I suggest you speak to the voters of Ramsgate in the real world; it is you who are removed in an ivory tower.

          There is a definite correlation between areas of low educational achievement and areas that voted Brexit. A simple statement of fact. Of course not all Brexit supporters were motivated by racism, but most were.

          • Graham Fraser

            Craig, I think most agree with you that the working class are revolting and that they are motivated by racism rather than the fear of losing their jobs and the means of feeding and housing themselves and their families.

          • imagine

            Craig happily digs a bigger hole for himself, and mutters: “There is a definite correlation between areas of low educational achievement and areas that voted Brexit. A simple statement of fact. Of course not all Brexit supporters were motivated by racism, but most were.”

            Craig does a fantastic impersonation of Will Self. Smug, arrogant, elite, condescending, patronising, sermon-dispenser to the poorly educated and unwashed.

            Whenever Craig does his brexiteers are inheritantly racist routine, I am always reminded of the 2016 confrontation between Will Self and Dreda Say Mitchell. Sadly folk like Will Self and Craig will never understand how bad they look in these situations. They will never figure just how out of touch and how nasty they come across.

            https://youtu.be/DLpWU46USbo

          • Graham

            From my limited experience I have to agree with Mr Murray. I’m from and live in one of these brexit strongholds with low educational attainment and high poverty. I suppose I undermine my argument by admitting that. I booze in the local pubs and talk to the pro Brexit majority. They seem mainly concerned about immigration. I’m no brain of Britain but their arguments often seem second hand, poorly informed and poorly formulated.

          • Bayard

            Let us not forget that a large proportion of leave voters hated not immigrants but, quite rightly, the Tories. They were for Brexit purely and simply because David Cameron and the Tory government were against it. It was they that tipped the balance, not the racists.

          • glenn_uk

            I find that hard to take seriously, Bayard.

            More Tories were for the Leave campaign than against it, the more reactionary, the keener they were, Farage and his nationalists, together with every racist in the country were for Leave. People hardly showed their disapproval for the Tories in the last election, did they? That was definitely a pro-Tory, pro-Leave vote, with the Tory at the top of the ticket the same smirking chancer who led the pro-Leave campaign from the Tory side.

          • Bayard

            It didn’t matter that more Tories were for leave than against it, what mattered was that the Tory government was against it and that allied all those who wished to give the Tory government a bloody nose on the side of Leave, it’s what got those who normally don’t bother to vote out of their homes and queuing round the block to give David Cameron one in the eye. Another incentive for these working class voters was all the pain Project Fear had promised for the middle classes if we voted to leave.
            The last election was not a massive endorsement for Leave, however much the Brexiteers try to spin it thus. What it was was the Tories exploiting their secret weapon, loyalty. They knew that Tory Remainers would vote Tory rather than remain, whereas Labour Leavers would vote Leave rather than Labour.

          • Ray A

            Having spent a considerable time at both levels of the world (near top and bottom), I can agree that there is a correlation between Brexit votes and educational achievement. There is, though, also a correlation between educational achievement and racism. I have heard far more racism openly dislayed at Petronella’s dinner parties than that shown in the warehouses I have had occasion to work.

            The correlation between intelligence and educational achievement only works for a limited range, and repeated use of the phrase “low educational achievement” suggests a limit on your intelligence, Craig. Please do not be too proud of being educated, as it is similar to a dog being proud of having spent more time with Pavlov.

      • Michael Droy

        Craig, You recognise the massive inequality issues yourself.
        surely then you should consider that any reference to immigration measures is going to be treated as a rare voice representing the underpaid. It is an insult to presume that that is racism.

      • Colin Smith

        The bar you are setting for English racism, would have even more Scots labelled as racists and xenophobes for placing all their problems at the feet of Westminster and the English. There is very little to choose in the lies, corruption and rabble rousing whether it is Holyrood, Westminster, Brussels or Washington.

  • Giyane

    Boris Johnson has a sense of Churchillian destiny that makes him completely unpredictable. He’s spoilt and he really doesn’t care about wine spilt on the sofa or upsetting Tory businessmen with No Deal. We saw from his abusive sneer at Jeremy Corbyn after he won the election that he has no respect whatsoever even for the etiquette of parliamentary democracy.

    He will do whatever populist gimmick tickles his ego with patriotic cheers. Everybody is proferring him with statesmanlike scripts to urge him to commonsense and popularity. His addiction to populist adulation will stop him from conceding a deal. Hey ho! What are hedge funds for? You fall flat in the mud puddle of stubborn arrogance BUT you are insured… Prepare to be very disgusted and angry ar what this annoying prick does about Brexit. He will enjoy your displeasure enormously.

  • porkpie

    “But it is mostly due to the fact that Johnson’s supporters do not care what happens to the country, as long as they can see news footage of black people being deported on charter planes and immigrant children washed up dead rather than rescued. The racist brand is very, very strong in England.”

    That’s a bit much, Craig. Were all Trump supporters racists too? “Some of” Johnsons supporters, or “many of” perhaps, at a push. Will Self may have been right when he said that not everyone who voted for Brexit was racist, but all racists voted for Brexit, but I don’t think blithely dismissing millions of people like this does anyone any favours, least of all you.

    • Stonky

      “Will Self may have been right when he said that not everyone who voted for Brexit was racist, but all racists voted for Brexit… “

      He wasn’t right. As anybody who read the Guardian could see, all the smug middle-class racists who despise working class people if theyr’e white and British voted Remain.

      • Squeeth

        What did the remainers vote for? A billionaires’ masturbation club, collaboration with the US-Ukrainian Nazi regime in Kiev, breaking its own laws to collaborate with the US-zionist antisemite regime in Palestine and the gang rape of the Greek working class. Remainers voted for fascism, racism and antisemitism.

    • Mr V

      Yes? There is no other sane explanation of voting for the party with a program that can be reduced to building a wall, bombing brown people, killing immigration, creating concentration camps and separating children from families, xenophobic dog whistling, trade wars, killing international deals and sabotaging foreign cooperation, deportation of people who lived and paid taxes in USA for decades, blind support for police brutality targeting minorities, etc, etc, etc – which part of this would be supported by someone not racist?

      • imagine

        ironically Mr V comes across as a poorly educated racist.

        Countries bxmbed: Obama 7, Bush 4. Indeed, your hero Mister Obama dropped more bxmbs during his 8 years in office, than Bush did.

        And as for further hurting “brown people” it was your previous hero, Bill Clinton, that introduced mass-incarceration legislation in the early 90s that has ruined millions of black lives. Three strikes and you’re out, and even simple drug crimes, have ruined lives and families. But hey, more prisons, means more profit. Right!

        Bill even now admits that he got it badly wrong.

        http://www.blackwestchester.com/clinton-mass-incarceration/

  • M.J.

    It wouldn’t surprise me if there were no deal, and come January we saw disruption and shortages, and the former red wall would blame Boris and boot him out, forming again (like the blue wall in the US). Starmer is preparing to do a Blair when the time is ripe.
    However one thing that may deter Boris is Biden’s warning. That may restrain the madness of deliberately breaking the UK’s international treaties, because it could ruin the prospects of a deal with the USA. So we might be saved the chaos of a hard Brexit because of Biden, no thanks to Boris.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “I am going to be astonished if there is not a Brexit deal announced very shortly”

      Likely that UK will concede on the outstanding issues in return for the fishing quota arrangement they’re after. The MSM and Brexiteers have been banging on about fishing for months, as if that is the cornerstone of the UK economy. Conceding to the EU in other areas will allow the fascist regime occupying Downing Street and Whitehall to declare “victory” over the EU, which will be amplified by the MSM using the usual flag-waving, WW2 referencing, jingoistic nationalism that we have all become used to in Boris ‘F*cking C*nt’ Johnson’s dystopian Britain.

  • Crispa

    I agree that Johnson is not going to go anywhere else for the foreseeable future and Starmer’s spineless non-opposition will cement his position. Furthermore I do not think that whatever happens with Brexit – deal or non deal – will alter his standing with the electorate in the long run, as he will successfully lie and bluff his way out of whatever the outcome. Indeed he seems to be relishing the challenge of the UK striking out on its own with the world as its oyster.
    And he has the British (at least the English) psyche on his side imbued as it is in class, deference to class and the monarchy and yearnings amongst those classes and their supporters to revive albeit in a re-branded way, Britain’s imperialist past. There was still a lot of people on the right who considered World War II was being fought to preserve the British Empire rather than one of defeating Fascism, which many admired. This was continued post war in the fight against “Socialism”, which was just one step away from the dreaded Communism.

    Not much has really changed since. There might be other reasons why Johnson won’t last, but lack of popular support from the jingoistic underbelly of class Britain will not be one of them.

  • DunGroanin

    I believe Bozo will go and join his Bullingdon spaffing chums and NuLabInc colleagues to enjoy the payoff, a billionaire lifestyle for their remaing days on this Earth. Having fullfiled their targets as the sociopathic CEO’s of the Pathocracy.

    What of the great white hope Knight that supposedly slayed the BrexShit deal of Trezza? A pantomime as much as the Red Lines and NI and Davus and stream of BrexShit Secretaries turning up to negotiate with no papers!

    “Keir Starmer urged to wait before telling MPs to approve Brexit [No]deal”, by the great betrayer Kinnock.

    The Guardian is doing its DS propaganda job by prepping their dozy loyal mutt readers, to get behind a hard BrexShit and keeping Starmer in cotton wool.

    Here are some examples of their expert gas-lighting articles by their pseudo intellects.
    To appeal to professionals by a professional ex BrexShit negotiator – ‘Analysis: Raoul Ruparel, who advised former PM on Europe, knows better than most what is needed to reach a deal’- Who by supposedly telling us the ‘inside track’ on the ‘negotiations’ strategy and tactics – is trying to set up the failure to reach a deal as not one sided, ours, because they were doing ALL that clever ‘work’ :

    Or NO DEAL as was always the plan until delayed by the ambush by Merkel of Trezza, these pesky EUropeans, boo hoo!

    For the ‘populist’ readers Zoe Williams goes straight for the emotional buzz words and defeatism with a suggestion – NAY a direct order – that we be ASHAMED.
    She implies, it’s spilt milk, don’t cry and get patriotic!
    In her words:
    ‘Yet ultimately, Labour was in the same concrete-abstract dyad as everyone else – do you care about mackerel, or do you respect democracy? It took many of us far too long to realise that it was no longer possible to do both.
    … blah blah Hannah Arendth … blah blah…
    Without calling this project totalitarian…grandeur of ‘historical necessity’,… blah blah … I didn’t realise how patriotic I was… I didn’t realise how much I cared about the United Kingdom, about the Union… Blah!
    …our international standing…rhubarb!
    ..‘Brexit is a process of disintegration, and opposing it was, it transpires, meaningless… suckers!… we could have YIELDed immediately and still ended up exactly where we are now, except more ashamed.’
    in short ‘RESISTANCE WAS FUTILE PUNY HUMAN – Mwahhahahaha’.
    Take a bow Zoe, as you pick up the bag of coin.

    The Obsessive Groan even nails on the coffin lid with its editorial :
    “Only the future will tell whether Britain will eventually be better off on its own, rather than deeply enmeshed in an international bloc, trying to navigate the challenges of the 21st century. “
    Ooh the evil INTERNATIONAL BLOC ??

    Owen pipes in his usual snivelling MO:
    “Hard remainers wouldn’t accept a soft Brexit. Now we’re all paying the price”
    Screeches their boy blunder Jones’ piece.

    Meanwhile what of the great Knight ?
    The only peep about that squeak the current leader of the Labour Party, is advice :
    “Keir Starmer urged to wait before telling MPs to approve Brexit [No]deal” by the great betrayer Kinnock.

    • pretzelattack

      gore had a lot more reason and a far better case, and the controversy was over one state where both the republican candidate’s brother and his appointed shill responsible for counting the votes were deciding the national election. here you have trump attacking officials of his own party, including some who voted for him, for rigging the election against him, and his lawyer’s have not provided any credible evidence of any kind of system wide vote rigging across several batteground states. they don’t even allege fraud in the pleadings, from what i understand, as opposed to their press conferences.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Perhaps you didn’t usually hear about electoral fraud in the US because both parties did it a lot and they had an understanding to keep quiet about it. Normally they would do a deal over who was going to win each election, so Trump could be kicking off because he thought he had a deal but he was cheated by the other bunch of gangsters.

        • nevermind

          Same here, JC, both parties are at it, always have been, and only the most crass and onvious fraud gets a mention.

          Never have the past or present, now privatised, electoral Commissions had enough clout to stamp down on the practises that make FPTP such a racket.

          Electoral reform to a proportional system is long overdue, but the selfservers will never agree to it and the string pullers will always be in charge, supported by our fairytale creators in the security services.

        • pretzelattack

          i’ve heard about it endlessly. there is no doubt both parties cheat, mostly by carefully avoiding trying to sign up the half of voting age people who don’t vote so they can keep control of the process, but also by gerrymandering. but republicans will retain the senate unless trump manages to screw that up, too, by advising republicans in georgia not to vote for the republican senate candidates. trump just made himself a target on the most important issue of the day, dealing with the virus, and that was greatly exacerbated by the bipartisan lockstep agreement to use the virus to transfer even more money to their donors. republicans also picked up seats in the house. both candidates were/are bowls of crap, and one bowl of crap legitimately won the election over the other, just as happened in 2016.

        • pretzelattack

          that wasnt said about gore photios. that was said by clinton about biden. the clintons undermined gore, the dnc types like bush more than gore.

    • J Pullar

      Trump should concede because:
      he lost the electoral college vote
      He lost the popular vote (bigly?)
      He is now behaving like a spoilt little 5 year old. We all had one in our Infant School but they grew out of it as other kids gave them the truth. Donald Trump has never had to grow out of it because of daddy’s money bought people’s obsequiousness.
      Time to put the big boy pants on now Donald and grow up and stop making a big fool of yourself?

  • imagine

    Craig, in livid rage, shouts: “Johnson’s supporters do not care what happens to the country, as long as they can see news footage of black people being deported on charter planes and immigrant children washed up dead rather than rescued. The racist brand is very, very strong in England.”

    Craig, you should be writing for the Guardian. Label, ridicule, cite racism, smear. The usual toolbox.

    I enjoy reading your blog. Your heart is usually in the right place. But when you start to discuss those who’s views you do not agree with, you fall back upon the usual MSM/spookery toolbox. Smearing other people hurts both you and the causes you claim to represent.

    I think we all get it, by now. You despise unionism in Scotland, and presumably across the UK. You have never had a good word to say about protestants in Ireland. You are so one-sided in your views. Your intolerance is very depressing to read.

    The posts, like this one above, I see as just plain bigotry. You need to stop labelling, ridiculing and smearing.

    Instead of sowing division, we need to be all coming together, the 99%, and standing up, UNITED, against the evil forces that run the west. We need democracy. And we need it NOW.

    • andic

      I too find it depressing when he publishes this sort of crap. At least he didn’t add his usual line giving intellectual license:
      ‘not expecting everyone to agree, you are all grown-ups who come here, I think it’s important to share challenging ideas’
      Which is just as well, on the occasions when he is accusing the working class of being on the whole uneducated, knuckle-dragging racists and generally horrid he cant really suggest it is an intelligent reaching piece.

      I respect Craig, but on this I think he is just making lazy assertions and doesn’t care enough about the issue or the people he smears to apply even an ounce of his considerable intellect. It indicates an ugly streak of elitism and arrogance.

      • imagine

        Andic said: “It indicates an ugly streak of elitism and arrogance.”

        I agree, Andic, and was about to write the same thing.

        It’s so depressing, to see Craig post the usual intellectually-redundant MSM type smears, that sow division.

        He’s quick to spot the made-up Russiagate 2016 yarn, and the war against truthtellers, like the superb Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, and he sees the anti-semitism campaign against the Labour party for what it is.

        But his elitism, like those of the 1%, betrays him when it comes to modern-slavery, and he tries to cajole and bully people into supporting a massive European superstate, lest they be smeared a racist. It’s bullying.

        Ironically, Craig seems to conveniently forget the dark prisons that Brussels won’t talk about, and the top secret cross-atlantic trade agreements they don’t want analysed in public.

    • Muscleguy

      The Scottish bard penned these wise words: Ah the gift tae gie us, tae see oursels as ithers see us.

      You obviously do not like the mirror being held up to describe your country. If the media you consume did not keep you in the dark you would find our former European partners saying much the same thing. Craig did not pull that out of thin air or his arse you know.

  • John A

    Typo alert: My prediction is this: Boris will agree his thing deal and at end January the Brexiteers will be gloating that the predicted disaster did not happen.

    I take it you mean ‘thin deal’ ?

    Actually I think Johnson wants out to make some serious money. £170K or whatever is poverty pay to him. He is seeing all these friends and donors lining their pockets with millions, why not him? He only cares about himself. The Tories only care about the tory party. The two will come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.

    • Nally Anders

      Agree John.
      He’s been bleating that he can’t ‘afford’ to hold dinner parties at no. 10.
      I reckon he’ll be off as soon as brexit is done and a suitable, more lucrative post appears on the horizon.

  • Martin

    It’s been reported by insiders that Boris is unhappy with his salary and will depart next year. Maybe he thought he would get more brown envelopes?

    Crooked Hilary told Creepy Joe not to concede a few months back. All quiet about his son’s laptop with strong links to Chinese bribery. At least he’s not racist eh?

    Surely the numbers of people turning up at Trump’s rallies compared to Biden’s tells a story?

    As the US is a constitutional republic it is the super delegates who vote for the president. I think it’s on the 14th of December.
    There has been all sorts of cheating, the dead. People voting twice, votes counted over 100% of constituents, observers kicked out. Votes strong at 4am, usb sticks with votes appearing and disappearing……

    Craig is a good writer and an intelligent man, his bias in articles like this lessen his gravitas (if that makes sense).

    • pretzelattack

      martin, the number of people who turn up at trump rallies indicates nothing at all. the issue of the virus has been heavily politicised in the u.s., and trump supporters, usually not wearing masks (because it was a sign of their political independence or something) were far more likely to attend the events which were often held indoors. i see you are repeating a number of the allegations trump’s lawyers have made, but you don’t seem to be aware that they haven’t supported these allegations in court. the number one issue in the u.s. has been the virus and the collapse of the social safety net, and trump has gotten a lot of blame for mishandling both. that is often the case with incumbent presidents, the election is a referendum on their record, and trump’s has been awful in a number of respects. that is not to say that biden will be better, he’s going to be awful, but at least he doesn’t think that the virus is fake, and lie about it on a consistent basis as trump has.

    • glenn_uk

      M: ” There has been all sorts of cheating, the dead. People voting twice, votes counted over 100% of constituents, observers kicked out. Votes strong at 4am, usb sticks with votes appearing and disappearing……

      Could you provide proof for any of this? I don’t mean allegations. Proof. Because proof is very short on the ground, while allegations are everywhere.

      You find Trump stooges making all sorts of wild allegations, screaming about proof supposedly coming through like a fire-hose, but they go all coy when asked to substantiate it. Particularly in courts. Because allegations are insufficient in courts, you need proof, and they (and you) have none.

        • glenn_uk

          Hundreds of affidavits, such as “My cousin said someone told him something fishy was going on” – well in that case, surely there’s no need to consider the election anymore! Just give Trump four more years.

          Any of these been presented in Court, Martin? Just saying that there is evidence doesn’t mean a thing until it is tested and proven. Giuliani gets $20K a day for making wild accusations – nice work if you can get it. Donations keep rolling in while they run this scam on the terminally deluded, over $200M at the last count – more than they got for the election fund itself!

          That’s 200 million reasons to keep screaming about fraud, and if people are daft enough to believe it and send in more money, can you think of any reason why they should stop claiming this – lack of evidence notwithstanding?

    • Tom Welsh

      “It’s been reported by insiders that Boris is unhappy with his salary and will depart next year”.

      Unhappy with his salary.

      By rights he ought to be tried, found guilty, whipped through every town and village in Britain – spending the evenings and nights in the stocks so that people could pelt him with bad eggs and rotten fruit – before being taken to London and hanged, drawn and quartered. Fifty times.

      Napoleon, Kaiser Wilhelm and Hitler all tried to conquer Britain, but none of them did as much material damage to it as this government has done.

  • chika

    My prediction is this: Boris will agree to his thing deal and at end of, January the Brexiteers will be gloating that the predicted disaster did not happen.

    I take it you mean ‘thin deal’?

    Actually, I think Johnson wants out to make some serious money. £170Kor whatever is poverty pay to him. He is seeing all these friends and donors lining their pockets with millions, why not him? He only cares about himself. The Tories only care about the tory party. The two will come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.

    • andic

      Ros+Thorpe
      December 8, 2020 at 07:23
      He looks awful and very much like he’s drowning. We know he is lazy and it turns out COVID has affected his eyesight. He is also apparently not satisfied with the salary. I can’t see him carrying on till 2024. My feeling is that he will quit when he thinks he’s ahead leaving an unholy mess behind him.

      chika
      December 8, 2020 at 06:23
      Actually, I think Johnson wants out to make some serious money. £170Kor whatever is poverty pay to him. He is seeing all these friends and donors lining their pockets with millions, why not him? He only cares about himself. The Tories only care about the tory party. The two will come to a mutually beneficial arrangement.

      I agree with these sentiments. It seems like Rishi is the hero of the hour painted as the man with his eye firmly on the bill but finding a way of doing what needs to be done.
      I expect another leader swap before too long. Boris will probably hang on to “save” brexit and ride the wave for a little while and then quit. He has hitched his wagon to the issue and needs to have something to show or fade away into ignominy.

      So my prediction is short term he stays then he is out in favour of the chancellor. Much hot air about unelected prime ministers and labour continue to tear themselves apart whilst the country spirals down the drain with out a viable opposition.

  • Ros+Thorpe

    He looks awful and very much like he’s drowning. We know he is lazy and it turns out COVID has affected his eyesight. He is also apparently not satisfied with the salary. I can’t see him carrying on till 2024. My feeling is that he will quit when he thinks he’s ahead leaving an unholy mess behind him.

  • Bill Kruse

    “In fact the deleterious economic effects of Brexit are quite probably going to take some time to show through in a definite way. I do not believe we will see either empty shelves or major price hikes in the first few weeks.”

    There speaks a man who hasn’t bought catfood lately. And anyway, them truckers… I keep reading they’ve already worked out it’s going to be a shitshow and have decided en masse they won’t be coming here any more till it’s all been sorted. There are plenty of areas in the EU short of drivers so they’ll earn a better living there than they will sitting in fields in Kent. Anyway, enough criticism; now I have a question. I note your suggestion that protocols, being non-existent, won’t be being observed either coming in or going out of the UK. What about at the French border though? What about at points of origin? Won’t truckers foolish enough to contemplate venturing hither have to show proper paperwork, impossible as for the UK there isn’t any, before they are allowed to leave their EU pick-up points with their loads? From reading Customs Twitter I suspect this to be the case…

    • Wally Jumblatt

      Exactly right, I dont know why CM doesn’t try to place himself in the position of the people that actually make the difference (which isn’t the politicians).
      As you say, if 10,000 truck drivers dont like the idea of sitting at Calais or the M2 carpark for a week without wages, then they will only do it once. Then Kensington won’t get its asparagus.
      By the same token, if Craig got out more to places like Birmingham, Leeds-Bradford, Luton and 100 other English urban areas, he might see why the ‘immigration’ friction was building, and it’s all about work and wages, and taxes and benefits.
      I dont see the UK as racist, anti-semitic or anything negative. I also dont see it as romantic left or right wing, most folks are old fashioned liberals with their hearts in the right place.
      But the human cycle says we are in trouble, and everything is just going to polarise for the next decade and more, until we get sick of it. Something we didn’t have to go through, but now cant stop.-and it’s all about nothing.A power-grab by clueless megalomaniacs, stirring up unnecessary trouble to amuse themselves.

      • dpg

        . wally -but don’t you think there is some development over recent decades that has created the conditions you draw attention to.
        Obviously multiple factors are dictating this slow/fast slide into barbarism. But I would suggest environmental decline (the grit in the oyster)_ and the relationship to information tech, and the ever increasing militarisation, creating a sense of ever more powerful individuals who are deluded by notions of infallibility.

      • Muscleguy

        People forget that EU drivers don’t just drop stuff off then take an empty vehicle back across the channel. To pay the fuel costs they load up here, just as UK drivers do the other way.

        So even if there are no checks coming into the UK there will be going out or the French will throw a hissy fit and close the channel in disgust closely followed by the Dutch.

        I’m seeing that indeed EU hauliers who usually have slots oversubscribed has only 20% of the drivers they need booked for late Dec and into January. The loads won’t come because people do not want to drive them. And we cannot make them.

      • Kamila

        Truck drivers used to sit for days on end at the Poland-Germany border. Miles of trucks backed up. You had to see it to believe it. This was before Poland joined the EU.

      • Dungroanin

        Austerity Wally, was a political CHOICE of the NulLabInc and Cameron/Clegg/Osborne quislings to create the real money reductions of people’s disposable incomes.

        IT HAD FUCK ALL to do with the EU or ‘immigration’ Wally, as you would know if you weren’t spewing up that old vomiting.

        All to create a anti EU , being deprived of my fair share of pie by the dastardly EU, so that we can barge out and away from our responsibilities and commitments of an ever closer Union not part of the US centred hagemony.

        Imagine if Russian troops were still stationed in bases across Central Europe so long after WW2 yet it is ok to have the yanks with ‘sovereign’ bases all over Europe!

        Pathetic hypocrisy.

    • Tom Welsh

      As I have already pointed out, almost all politicians and business people are quite rational. What you may be thinking about is that their objectives are different from yours.

      Clever and learned people have been thinking about ideal political systems for over 2,500 years. So far no one has come up with one that is remotely fair. At the moment we are definitely below the waterline in historical terms.

      It’s not that they are irrational – it’s that they are out for themselves, don’t care about us, and see nothing to stop them.

  • Tom74

    Interesting analysis. Sadly, four years of bizarre and disastrous decisions by three successive British Prime Ministers and the Conservative establishment have convinced me that they are not working in the national interest and may not even calling the shots. Most likely the hidden hand of Washington is controlling Johnson and Brexit just like they controlled Blair and Iraq, with similarly ruinous results to be expected. Otherwise we would have had some decent Brexit compromise, reflecting the near 50-50 split of the referendum long ago. Both Johnson’s trade deal and No Deal would be a disaster for the country in the short-term – but perhaps the UK needs that kind of disaster so that something better can be built in the longer term.

  • Stevie Boy

    As I’ve said before, the public had their chance, twice, to not vote in a party that for 10 years previously had been involved in incompetence, corruption and lies. Did anyone really think things were going to change by voting them in again ?
    IMO, it’s been clear from day one Boris aimed to crash out, now here we are with less than a month to go.

    • Tom Welsh

      “As I’ve said before, the public had their chance, twice, to not vote in a party that for 10 years previously had been involved in incompetence, corruption and lies”.

      That may be literally true, but if you discard the “10 years” bit, it turns out not to be the case. There is no political party that has not been involved in incompetence, corruption and lies. None. Not one.

      Think it through. Where else than in high political office does one get carte blanche for the grossest incompetence, the most appalling corruption, and wall to wall, 24 hours a day lying?

      If you find that unlikely, ask yourself how many politicians have gone to prison for even one day over the murder of millions, the destruction of whole nations, the most blatant and dishonest self-enrichment, or continuous Satanic lying?

      How many will be punished in any way – other than losing elections, so they can retire and enjoy their ill-gotten gains on some tropical island – for the unparalleled incompetence we have seen from HMG and the civil service and the NHS and… this year?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Quite a lot of assertions to examine. I’ll chip in in a piecemeal fashion.

    “The Tories still lead Labour in the polls.”

    Not quite, it’s a dead heat. Eight YouGov, Westminster voting intention polls since the start of November. Average lead for the Tories over Labour is -0.5%. Trend, Labour gaining.

  • Frank Waring

    Yes: you’re describing/explaining the underlying truth much more clearly than I could: thank you. But we have been living under chaos for 4 years now, and I can see no path out: can you?
    By ‘chaos’ I mean that not only does no-one know what is going to happen, but that there appears to be no coherent description available of a rational process by which it is decided what is going to happen.
    I’ve been clinging to the hope/belief that the fabric of community rationality is still stong enough in Scotland for us to be able to terminate the chaos by choosing independence. Do you still think that this is an achievable way out?

  • DiggerUK

    The hope that Johnson will be outed is pie in the sky. The Tories have a majority that means he could get enabling powers through parliament if he so chose, and four years remaining in office to boot.

    Who in the party would want to take on the risks of being PM with what the future will deliver. Conservatives with aspirations should best sit back, make no mistakes and wait for him to screw up.

    There is absolutely no chance of him cow towing to Europe, what does he gain if he bends the knee?
    If it ends up as a no deal not even Chicken Little will ruffle a feather in alarm, trade will continue, same as it has done for a few millennia now.

    Calm down dears…_

      • DiggerUK

        No, he won’t jump. He’s a vainglorious member of an elite, this is what he has trained for, its his ‘destiny’.

        Come January 1st he will be shown to be mortal, or declared a god. Either way, he won’t end up a footnote of history…_

  • m

    Labour are leading the polls though…

    Westminster voting intention:

    LAB: 40% (+2)
    CON: 38% (-3)
    LDEM: 6% (-)
    GRN: 3% (-1)

    via @OpiniumResearch
    , 04 – 05 Dec
    Chgs. w/ 20 Nov

  • J Galt

    Perhaps the “smoke and mirrors” extends to the racism, just like “Brexit” playing to the cheap seats while holding them in contempt?

    And as for Trump it’s perfectly possible to believe there are two loose groups of Arseholes vying for control in the US with electoral fraud an acceptable tactic for either of them when needs must.

  • Republicofscotland

    Paragraph two Craig is one of your hardest hitting paragraphs yet.

    As for Brexit even a low deal is a disaster, if one is made, however such is the Brexiteer mentality it would been seen as either a terrible loss of sovereignty, or a great victory over Johnny Foreigner.

  • Tony M

    It’s simple really.

    When a states true nature is shown to be despotic, criminal, cruel and sadistic then any obligation on me, or on anyone to have regard for its laws or to consent to be judged by its hirelings, intimidated and brow-beaten by its thugs, is nulled, it goes beyond accountability, as the harm is so great and cannot be undone. The obligation, the duty is to dismantle and smash that state to dust and see that such smothering choking concentrated evil never again so sorely afflicts us. The Scottish Government is no less vile than Westminster. We aer truly living in a country -Scotland, where people can be dragged from their homes by persons unknown claiming to be the Police, and disappeared, not known whether they’re alive or quite, quite dead. Welcome to the future, the boot stamping down forever on our heads, or being dropped head first from the ceiling height onto a concrete floor, arms and legs restrained so you cannot break your fall, just split your head, fracture your skull, damage your brain, and rip your ear almost off. Scotland the brave eh?

  • laguerre

    “One thing that has been very little publicised is that, deal or no deal, the UK is going to fudge the worst consequences by simply not on 1 January applying the new rules at the borders.”

    Everyone who’s been paying attention is aware of this point, I think. And it is true that if it were so simple, there would be no trouble on the ferries. But the French, on the other hand, are likely to be applying the rules. And that is what is likely to fill up the entire county of Kent with massed ranks of parked trucks. We saw it in the brief rehearsal the French conducted the other week. It is what Britain is exporting, or empty continental trucks returning which are facing a problem. The delays likely for a truck doing a return trip to Britain could well make such a trip uneconomical, in number of days lost. And so transport companies on the continent may well decide to divert their trucks elsewhere. And, by the way, we heard just recently that Felixstowe is already clogged up, and we haven’t even finished the transition yet. Possibly you haven’t been through Dover recently and seen what it’s like.

    • Tam O'Shanter

      But surely if the French impose border checks on their side of the border it will only amount to truckloads of shortbread and whisky destined for the Continent piling up at the border whilst we Brits continue to enjoy our French cheese and Italian wine unimpeded?

      • Bayard

        Er no. Hauliers need a return load to take to the continent. No return load or huge delays and they won’t be coming in the first place. Importers are already finding it hard to get stuff carried to this country.

  • Freshmint

    “Partly that is due to Sir Keir Starmer having no apparent policy other than to ensure that no party member ever criticises Israel.”

    Just as UKIP exists to drag the Conservative Party further to the right, Labour under Starmer exists to take any centre right ground that was vacated, to ensure the Tories can’t go back.

  • 6033624

    I read this yesterday and honestly doubted your claims about there being the makings of a deal. Well I am proved wrong today, it’s almost as if you have a crystal ball sometimes..

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Analysis that Johnson’s position is safe as long as he delivers Brexit with maximum sovereignty is accurate up to a point, but two aspects are overlooked; Scotland and the men in grey suits.
    It’s true that English, Tory voters prioritise Brexit over Scotland leaving the UK (by 76% according to an October 2019 poll conducted by Ashcroft), but the men in grey suits worry about “international prestige” and access to Faslane in the event of Scottish independence.
    The poll conducted exclusively in Scotland in September this year by Theresa May’s polling guru asked for a response to the proposition, “Boris Johnson is not the leader I want for my country.”. Answer: 88% agree, 12% disagree. The commissioning agent for this poll remains a mystery, my guess would be Better Together or These Islands (AstroTurf outfits awash with millionaires cash). The press release accompanying the poll stated that Scottish opinion groups uniquely “loathed” Johnson.
    Someone is collecting ammunition to use against Johnson.

  • Matt

    As a Brexiteer who is sincerely looking forward to gloating about it not being a disaster, I can assure you it will take considerably moire than a month for me to begin such gloating. I’m thinking 5 years.

  • Ben

    My sympathies….

    The Left in the US is similarly hobbled because its the CENTER creating your obstructions and they are the Juggernaut you ignore in your presumptuous doctrines.

    Meanwhile, President* Lame, wounded Duck is reportedly discussing giving pardons “‘like Christmas gifts’ to people who haven’t even asked,” sources tell Axios.

    • Xavi

      What ‘centrism’ means is the perpetuation of establishment interests under the premise that they are universal. ‘Centrism’ is simply ruling class interests, not the centre point of differing ideologies. Surely you have recognised this obvious fact by now.

      • Ben

        Regardless its a huge bubble that resists being lectured and shamed or told how to vote. It’s time for Progressives to be less aggressive in word play.

        The Right is ruthless and mercenary so they get away with more shit. Liberals, on the other hand are peaceful and like soft landings they think the voters appreciate..they don’t.

        They prefer toughness and resolution even when they don’t like your policies. They dislike wimps and Liberals personify wimpishness

1 2 3 7