Brexit re-postponed

Brexit: May insists UK can still exit EU by end of next month

Ironically, it’s been postponed to Halloween, or maybe Hell Freezes Over, hard to tell. It’s given the twitterati Fits o’Hilarity, apparently. And May continues her zombie-like circuar lurch insisting for the umpteenth time that her “deal” be approved by a parliament that doesn’t appear capable of coherent thought, let alone an agreement on any policy of any kind.

The next deadline is May 22, the day before the EU elections. After the last two yearsworth of Tory pantomime, I can’t see the House agreeing on anything by then, either, though it’s impossible to divine anything from casting the rune stones on this one. Today’s editorial wisdom is tomorrow’s cat litter and worth less.

The solution obvious to anyone with working front lobes is either an election to shake these half-baked twits out of office, or a referendum to let the people do their jobs for them, but this Tory misgovernment and this parliament is perfectly capable of sitting on their collective buttocks for another few months, being against everything and for nothing.

When May says the front benches should “work together”, she’s lying as much as President Trump does. She insists Labour accept her agreement. Even Jeremy Corbyn isn’t that daft. She’s so stubborn and dense it’s embarrassing, but I suppose she learned the lesson from Maggie that sheer, stupid intransigence can overcome… whatever. It’s a pity the only two female prime ministers in British history have been unmitigated disasters. Of course, the riposte might be, every male prime minister has been a disaster as well. Even Churchill. It would be facile to put all the blame on May. She’s

Unfortunately, sheer, stupid intransigence never accomplished the utterly impossible, which is a complete separation from the EU with no Irish border, and Ulster still in the UK. The only way anything like this could be done is a union of the two Irelands, taking Ulster out of the UK. That would go down well with the DUP May depends on. And it would be a good solution for the whole of Ireland. But May is terrified of going down in history – and she will go far down indeed – as the prime minister who lit the powder keg under the entire Union. It’s not just Northern Ireland, she stands to lose Scotland as well. Pulling the UK out of the EU might very well unravel the fabric holding the UK together, since the vast majority of the Tory fascists are in the southeast of England.

Still, at this point, anything anyone promises or speculates about Brexit is so much gas.

Given the dates, my own view is we to resurrect Guy Fawkes, and make sure he gets it right this time.

Neo-Nazi Rees-Mogg

This jackal is desperate to sabotage the EU.

Andrea Leadsom: no-deal Brexit next week would not be so grim

The Conservative backbench Brexiter Jacob Rees-Mogg on Sunday reiterated his proposal for the UK to seek to veto EU budgets and other disruptions if it stayed.

“I don’t think the EU, in its jargon, has behaved towards us with sincere cooperation,” he told Sky News’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday. “We are no longer obliged to follow sincere cooperation in return.”

He said: “When the multi-annual financial framework comes forward, if we are still in, this is our one-in-seven-year opportunity to veto the budget and to be really very difficult, and I hope that any British prime minister would take that opportunity.”

Treason? It’s the Brexiteers who haven’t behaved with sincere cooperation. They clearly want to disrupt Europe and send it back to the good old days of 70 years ago, when it was at war.

Whither Brexit?

Who knows?

Brexit delay: Tory minister says taking part in EU elections would be ‘suicide note’ for party

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “If we can’t get Labour to agree I think it’s important that parliament acts quickly now to decide what it is in favour of – whether it is through some voting mechanism where we have a single transferable vote and we vote on all the different deals.

“We need to do that quickly because I think going into the EU elections for the Conservative Party, or indeed for the Labour Party, and telling our constituents why we haven’t been able to deliver Brexit I think would be an existential threat.

“I would go further and say it would be the suicide note of the Conservative Party.”

The entire British political system has written its suicide note. It started with the choice to have a referendum on EU membership at a time when voters were already disgruntled with the establishment. And it’s gone downhill from there.

The man has a point. No telling what the hustings would produce right now, and it is all thanks to his party screwing up. I’ve read that May is now driven by the threat of the UK breaking up as her political legacy. She should take it seriously. The Scots Nats are dancing in the streets and a united Ireland is on the cards. I’m happy with both those outcomes, as a means to deliver us from Tory occupancy.

That’s one reason Tory MPs don’t want a general election. They are justifiably afraid of losing their jobs.

Is Rees-Mogg a would-be Nazi?

The question may seem on the surface absurd, till you look at the people he supports.

Tory racism storm deepens as Jacob Rees-Mogg promotes video of German far-right leader

Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has caused consternation after approvingly quoting the leader of a German far-right party whose senior figures have called for refugees to be shot.

The influential Tory Brexiteer posted a video of Alice Weidel, leader of the AfD, commenting on Brexit to his social media profile. 

The AfD, whose candidates have declared that Islam is worse than the plague and that refugee boats should be sunk, marched alongside neo-Nazis last year, leading to some of its members being put under formal state surveillance.

“You can tell a lot about the person by the company they keep”, one social media user commented under Mr Rees-Mogg’s tweet, while another added “Are you quoting the same AfD that had posters urging an ‘Islam-free’ Bavaria at a recent election?”  

The whirring sound you hear is Winston spinning in his grave.

Everywhere you look, racism and proto-fascism is leaking out of the pores of the Tory Grand Wizards.

May’s legacy?

Theresa May’s appalling legacy will be the total destruction of the Good Friday Agreement

While I agree with much of what this article says about May –
as prime minister she has shown that she has a lethal blend of tunnel vision and obstinacy that automatically produces ill-judged decisions – it may be a little early to start talking about legacies.

For starters, it was not May who started this, and she supported and voted Remain. Cameron started this pot boiling with the cooperation of the Tory party in order to keep keep UKIP from undermining the Tory majority – which says a lot about the sort of people who support the Tories. If the Good Friday Accords get shredded or nullified, as they must do in any Brexit worthy of the name, then it’s the legacy of the Tory party and its thrust for power. At least May was aware of the importance of that agreement in her attempt to put in a backstop to keep the border open. In fact, it could ultimately lead to Irish unification, which is one solution to the brexit conundrum.

May is undoubtedly responsible for how she conducted herself as prime minister. On top of a narrow Leave victory in 2016, she made a massive error of judgement in calling an election in 2017, thinking this would ratify the referendum. She lost. Even after that, it didn’t dawn on her that she wasn’t a dictator able to accomplish brexit by fiat. She refused to consult anyone but the Tory right; she ignored nearly half the country that chose to Remain; she refused any compromise with the opposition; and she treated negotiations as if the UK had the upper hand.

She was a fool, but let’s wait to see the scale of her disaster before assigning a legacy.

We should beware reaction on the right

Brexit protests: Two arrested as ‘yellow vest’ activists block Westminster Bridge

As the prospects of either a general election – unlikely as Tories fear decimation – or referendum loom closer if May cannot wangle enough support for a 4th brexit effort and if the House won’t sanction a no-deal brexit, delay seems all but inevitable at this point. This means the EU Parliament elections in May would have to go ahead. The EU has indicated it would approve delays under either set of circumstances.

If this pans out, look out for trouble, for the yellow-jackets* are coming.

Now these yellow jackets are not working class folk alarmed for their jobs. They are English nationalists or their dupes who have understandable resentments about adverse economic and social conditions in the UK – conditions, I might add, that have be exacerbated by the tone-deafness of the Tory regime. As a result, they look for someone or something to blame, and are taken advantage of by English nationalist demagogues like Tommy Robinson, and Nigel Farage. They are encouraged to blame the EU and the free movement of Europeans throughout the EU. They may be goaded by nationalists who are taking advantage of economic distress, but let’s not turn a blind eye to what is causing that distress – Tory austerity.

Not to exaggerate, but this is reminiscent of the later years of the Weimar Republic in Germany leading up to events from 1933 to 1939, where another demagogue unleashed a holocaust across Europe. We’re nowhere near that tipping point yet, but we should be careful not to repeat history. The entire point of the EU, from its humbler yet historic post-war beginnings as the European Coal and Steel Community that evolved into the Common Market, is to keep the European peace, and to a large extent, the experiment has succeeded.

The nationalistic yahoos would like to reverse it. The article above refers to harassment of journalists from Channel 4 and CNN at that demonstration. Now why would yellow jackets be harassing journalists? Surely, one asks, they would like the publicity? Ah, but Channel 4 and CNN are on the “wrong” side of politics. CNN is a known critic of would-be Dictator Donald Trump, who is friendly towards white supremacists and far right nationalists in the US. Channel 4’s reporter Jon Snow had commented on observing the protests on Friday that he had “never seen so many white people in one place”  – an oblique way of pointing out the inherent racism of this movement.

Let’s make no mistakes. The far right forces behind the yellow jacket demonstrations are no friends to to a peaceful, democratic and integrated society. They want to foment racism, discord and strife. They want to widen rifts and disagreements. And they want to split up Europe into nationalistic camps. Again. I have no insight into their motivations, which could be diverse, from simmering rage and resentment to a desire to wield power and authority. (And they won’t stop even if brexit is prevented. EU spokespeople have remarked that they have seen commentary in the British rightwing press about trying to break up Europe from within.)

It would be a tragic mistake to ignore the austerity-driven economic grievances that they are exploiting. Whatever course Britain takes over the next two or more weeks, those grievances need to be addressed and means of resolving them need to be outlined, here and in Europe. We need to deprive this far right nationalism of any political oxygen. Let them choke.

*yellow “jacket” – I prefer this noun over “vest” because, although it is supposed to reflect solidarity with the gillets jaunes in la belle France, it is also a cognate of the yellowjacket wasp of North America, which is a vicious and feared stinging insect pest. This is also indicative of the transaltantic political connections and alliances of the racist far right, for in the US, Trump, a nationalist and white supremacist sympathiser or fellow traveller, holds Nuremberg-style rallies across the US on a weekly basis. The far right is a looming pestilence. We live in interesting times after 74 years of European and transatlantic peace.

Tories running scared of general election

Senior Tories warn May against snap election

Conservative MPs are reportedly preparing to block any attempt by Theresa Mayto call a general election in a bid to resolve the Brexit crisis.

The prime minister and some of her closest advisers are believed to be considering a snap poll if her withdrawal agreement is put forward and voted down for a fourth time this week.

Yet senior Conservatives have said that an election would be a disaster, fearing their bitterly divided party would be wiped out at the ballot box.

Some are adamant Ms May should not lead the Tories in any election in the months ahead, with one telling The Sunday Telegraph the party would be “annihilated”.


The only way to ensure that, though, is tactical voting in brexit Tory constituencies.

So what do Brits feel about brexit currently?

A lot on both sides wish it would just go away, and who can blame them after May and her Tories have made a pig’s breakfast out of the entire process. One wonders, in fact, whether the phrase “pig’s breakfast” might not be added to by “brexit” itself, as in: she made a complete brexit of it.

However, while we are all heartily fed up with May and her clown circus, no matter what we think of the process, what do Brits think about the goal?

Brexit: how do voters feel about the EU now?

Now, last week-end, hundreds of thousands marched in London in favour of staying in the EU – organisers reportedly estimated over a million, and allowing for the usual exaggerations, it’s still a substantial number of people, certainly a lot more than appeared in London yesterday, March 29th, to protest that we were still in the EU. One can at least conclude that the pro-EU side is more willing to turn out than the anti-EU codgers, perhaps because they are younger and more able to walk Or maybe ore committed to political processes, rather than threats of violence..

Additionally, almost 6 million people, including me, signed an online petition calling for article 50 to be revoked, reversing Brexit. This is roughly 10% of the British population, signing a single petition. This is the biggest response to a public petition in British history (official figure:
5,992,444 signatures). The next largest was to leave the the EU without a deal in March – 597,278 signatures, about 1% of the population.

This pro-EU petition was of course instantly rejected by May last week without any consideration or reference to the desires of almost half the voters in the 2016 referendum – unsurprising given how stubborn and insensitive she is, but those are the charming personal qualities that caused her to make such a brexit of it all in the first place. She doesn’t give a fuck about the pro-EU Britons, they are invisible to her.

So in terms of responsiveness, at least, the pro-EU lot have it all over the antis. One reason might be that some of the original antis were old conservative codgers who are (alas) no longer with us, having been replaced by younger pros. Possibly, and this is an invidious suggestion, the antis are less likely to be following the mainstream internet and news and may not be aware of online petitions, or how to find and sign them. Or possibly the antis are less politically engaged, and just rage inwardly about those damn foreigners.

But what about people in general? Back to the Guardian article.

All we can really tell is from the opinion polls.

A range of polling suggests the public have moved in a pro-EU direction since 2016. The polling average compiled by Sir John Curtice and the body What UK Thinks puts Remain ahead, by 54 to 46, with practically every poll conducted in the past year or so recording a small Remain lead.

According to their Poll of Polls, the remain share has crept up gradually since this time last year. Bearing in mind that it wasn’t clear what a mess leaving was going to be before the 2016 referendum, as Boris, Gove and the rest of the gaggle of geese lied repeatedly, this is not surprising. The events of the last couple of years haven’t been edifying for the leave side, either.

However, it is still a very narrow margin, one that could be overturned by a good campaign by the leave side, and a repeat poor campaign by the remainers. Also, there are indications that those who voted last time are more likely to turn out than previous abstainers or new remain supporters. Also a lot of people are not enthused by another referendum, on both sides, so predicting turn-out – 66.8% in the 2017 election – is speculative at the very least.

However, the arguments for a confirmatory referendum are these: (1) the electorate has changed, and a lot of young people whose futures will be enormously affected by the outcome were unable to vote last time; (2) the leave campaign was dishonest last time, and the voters were not informed about the economic impact of leaving outright, or how complicated a negotiated deal would be; (3) Parliament has shown it is deadlocked and has voted many times against what it doesn’t want without voting once for what it does; (4) the government side has come up with only two solutions to brexit, May’s deal and no deal, but is unable to pass either; (5) the previous decision was very narrow, 52-48 to leave. In view of this, to cement the decision to leave, it would be wise to put it to the people to ratify what the House proposes to do, whether it be to leave outright deal or no-deal, or to remain as we are.

If Parliament cannot decide, then there is no democratic option but to go back to the people, either by general election or referendum. A general election may result in another hung parliament, but a referendum would yield a result, however narrow.

If the chips once again fall to leave under whatever deal or no deal the Tories propose, then there can be no further argument from the remain side, and the UK has to take its lumps, with all the economic disruption that is likely to continue. At least the argument stops. If the voters choose to stay, then the battle isn’t necessarily over for the anti-Europeans, but they would at least have to cool it for a while.

If politicians are allowed to change their minds, as Boris Johnson and Mike Gove notoriously did when they sighted a leadership grab opportunity, then why not the electorate at large? If they don’t change their minds, they will at least have shown more consistency than would-be Tory leaders who would stop at nothing to get the job they crave. And the leavers would then get the government they deserve, though the rest of us would be shafted.

The Wily Witch and the Grand Wizards

A few days ago, March 24th, Theresa May – Margaret Thatcher was the Wicked Witch – summoned the self-styled Tory Grand Wizards, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, David Davis, David Lidington, Damian Green, Dominic Raab, Steve Baker, Steve Barclay. Michael Gove, Alistair Burt and Iain Duncan Smith to a meeting at her little witch’s cottage, Chequers.

The end result was she promised to resign if they voted for the interim agreement part of her dreadful deal, leaving an essential part about negotiating a longer term agreement out of it. A real botch that makes a nonsense out of a pig’s ear, but typically Tory.

So a number of these Grand Wizards, all stalwart men of sterling and unshakeable conviction who had repeatedly said hers was a dreadful deal, changed their minds and found they could support a dreadful deal after all, because they saw a leadership contest they could participate in. After all, self-interest-and-country-be-damned is a Tory virtue. Anything they say after this about their being for the national interest is openly exposed as a lie. It’s a power-grab they are after.

Of course, as we know, May lost the Friday vote anyway, even with their back-stabbing support, so we are back where we were before the witch and wizards met. I don’t really know how wily May really is, or how grand the Tory wizards are, but between the lot of them, they couldn’t organise a pissing contest in a public bog.

Whenever the next election, if any of these self-seeking aresholes are still in parliament, Britain will finally have the representation it deserves, and might as well have surrendered in 1939.

I know the Labour contribution to the brexit debacle has been weak, muted, minimal, compromising, vacillating, and ineffectual. However, they did not contribute an iota to the brexit disaster. They didn’t start it; they didn’t support it; they didn’t prolong it; they weren’t consulted about it; and they didn’t make it worse. They were inert, a failure of opposition, and I will likely never vote Labour again as a result. SNP looks better and better.

The crisis is one entirely of Tory manufacture and ownership, concerned solely about (1) keeping the Tories in power and preventing UKIP incursions into their voter base (hence Cameron’s ill-advised referendum in the first place), and (2) an internal Tory power struggle about who gets to call the shots post-Cameron, and that has been dragging on for 3 years. That is why brexit negotiations got nowhere slowly. May decided to keep this a Tory-only process, excluding all opposition parties, and Tory factionalism prevented any brexit agreement from being ratified.

The Tories liked to call themselves the “natural party of government”. Now everyone knows they are the natural party of self-seeking, chaos and disaster. Vote Tory and damn the national interest. We need an anti-Tory, cross-party alliance, with tactical voting. In every Tory constituency, if you don’t vote for the candidate most likely to unseat the Tory – Labour, Lib-Dem, Green, Independent, either nationalist party – you are voting to prolong Tory grip on power and promoting damage to the national interest. We need a major reform of the electoral system and parliament, not just tinkering with fixed term parliaments, and the Tories will never provide it.