And why the fuss about the Tory election?

These TV leadership debates highlight how undemocratic the process of choosing our next PM is

Look, it’s up to less than 200,000 Tory yahoos to select a new dogminder prime minister. If the Tories really wanted the public to have a say in who governs Britain, in this allegedly “democratic” country, they would have called a general election. But, thanks to the unique British constitutional system, it’s an internal party matter, so why the fuss?

The fuss is because normally, it isn’t an existential crisis of these proportions that the premiership changes hands in. Normally, the prime minister has to resign because of some mischief committed and discovered, or because they’ve lost the confidence of the ruling party. Some other twit just takes over, same party, same government, same bullshit. And the Tories have shit covered – they are the experts in covering stuff with shit.

Brexit is the issue, and many Tories are keen to ruin Britain in the process, because to them, being free of these dusky furriners is worth economic disaster. Xenophobia is the gift Tories want to give Britain, because that’s what they are. They want an isolationist UK, well, maybe letting Donald Trump buy up more golf courses, but certainly not a UK involved in the development of Europe, because you know, you can’t trust these babbling furriners. Can’t understand a word they say!

Tories are the foul filth of the earth. They don’t care about the future of Britain, they only care abut personal profit, and their wealthy constituency. Pox on the lot of them.

Little Englanders?

Looks like the barking bastards may have won, and will probably get their Brexit without a deal, with ensuing social and economic chaos. Fair enough, it’s not really possible to predict in this climate, but it is not looking good. Britain is set to take several vast leaps backwards and there will be no easy recovery from the mess the Tory hounds are hellbent on pooping on us.

Parliament out of options to stop no-deal Brexit, says Letwin

The new Tory dogminder is likely to be the boor Boris, let’s face it – our answer to Trump. An intellectual zero, all he has to do is lie as usual and do nothing, while creating a vast volume of foul wind, and we are out on, appropriately enough, Halloween.

Tories are good at doing nothing, it’s what they think the government should do and let private companies and financiers run Britain for their own benefit – Boris will also try to get a further tax cut for the rich, so screw the workers. The point of Britain under the Tories is to make the wealthy wealthier. The point of Brexit is for its own sake, a fuck you to the EU and strange, sausage-smelling furriners. Maggie Thatcher will begin to look good compared to the present kennel of Tories.

Fuck “One Nation”. If that kind of Brexit happens, bring on Scexit and leave the xenophobic Little Englanders to their fate.

Tories as the new “revolutionaries”?

The Peterborough by-election result, for a Labour seat, with Labour snatching a narrow victory over Farage’s hodge-podge, mostly neo-fascist Brexit party, leaving the Tories in third place, has been leading to much speculation. Corbyn has assumed it’s a vindication of his strategy of fudging on Brexit leaving people bewildered as to what a Corbyn government would actually do, and hoping he can con the Tories into calling a general election where Brexit would split the anti-Labour vote so much it would result in a Labour government. If he’s still dreaming that, someone needs to wake him up. Tories aren’t going to call an election they know they will likely lose, and to get an election, Corbyn needs Tory votes. Ain’t gonna happen.

Tories are making their own stupid assumptions. They fear – rightly – that Farage is stealing their voters, and some of them think that to get them back, they need to out-Farage Nigel himself, and become even more radical than he is. Farage is only interested in one thing – political power, and to get that, he is willing to tear down everything good about Britain in the EU. He wants to uproot the whole thing. No talk of pruning here or mulching there, no talk of incremental change. He wants a radical separation of Britain from the EU, without any deal whatever. He’s a revolutionary, the very opposite of a conservative. He wants to tear up the status quo, damned what follows. He even has ex-communists on his team.

The Tories are now gripped in the death-struggle for the Maybot succession. She has finally admitted she has failed – and to be fair, the task she had was not one that any other conceivable prime minister would have succeeded at. When you ask a country to jump off a cliff, there is no easy way to do it, but she was spectacularly bad at it.

So what do we have but the Tories’ Mussolini-in-waiting, Dominic Raab.

How Brexit is causing the strange death of British conservatism

As the Brexit party is a revolutionary and extremist one, when Tories like Dominic Raab want to out-flank it and get their far right voters back, they have to become revolutionaries themselves, not conservatives. This creature, Raab, has said that as prime minister, he would prorogue Parliament till after Halloween – the currently anointed day of no-deal Brexit is Oct 31 – in order to prevent it from foiling his evil schemes.

He, like Farage, wants Brexit without any mature consideration of the consequences, probably for the same reasons, a raw grab for political power. He wants it because he is no conservative, he’s a revolutionary radical. And he is eager to destroy British democracy by setting Parliament aside in order to get his way. He isn’t just willing to risk British democracy. He is willing to risk the existence of the UK itself.

Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted heavily in favour of staying in the EU. As did London. It was the rural and neglected post-industrial wastelands of England that engaged in a protest vote. Take Britain out of the EU without even some sort of a deal, create that much of a revolution, and you will create a momentum that could take Scotland and Northern Ireland out of the UK for ever. Just 3 years ago, I would never have voted for Scottish independence. Now I am seriously considering it, and I am a small “c” conservative who dislikes radical changes, though normally a Labour voter. Of course, a would-be Mussolini like Raab would probably try to prevent democracy working there as well – he obviously has the same respect for democratic institutions Mussolini did.

I despair.

Trump thinks the moon is “part of Mars”

Trump attacks Nasa and claims the moon is ‘a part’ of Mars

In a tweet, apparently commenting on his own administration’s space policy, the president said: “For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years ago.”
He added: “They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!”

This must be the most spaced out presidency in US history. The silence of Republicans in denying the moon is part of Mars is deafening. If supporting Trump means accepting the impossible, they will do it gladly..

Reminds me of Tories in the UK. They will accept every absurdity as god’s own truth if it means channeling state money their way.

Xenophobia

Even as decent, thinking people excoriate Trump and his neo-Nazi supporters, it’s worth bearing in mind that most likely, the only two political philosophies going through Trump’s shrivelled mind are: Me First! and Make Trump Rich Again!

Unfortunately, behind Trump is an international network of neo-fascists and other far right extremists to whom Trump is likely a useful tool, rather than an active participant and fellow traveller. These are exemplified by public faces such as Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon), and Americans such as Stephen Bannon and the whacko Alex Jones. I doubt their main sources of income are crowd-funding.

Farage is another case in point. Although he abandoned UKIP when they started cosying up to Tommy Robinson because he didn’t want to be tainted by overt neo-fascism, he appeals to the same anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-equality, anti-feminist instincts of the worst of the British hard right. Farage might not be keen to admit it, but likely he would be far more comfortable in a hard right dictatorship than any egalitarian democracy.

The movement is European, as well, not just American or British, but fortunately, they did not do all that well in the rest of Europe, losing rather than gaining ground in the recent EU parliamentary elections.

Europe is a monument to trans-nationalistic values, hence the fevered yearning by Farage, Bannon, Robinson and the rest of the rabid right yahoos to tear it down. A united Europe is a bit tattered around the edges, and needs considerable reform. It is also a vast bulwark for peace and requires preservation. Otherwise we return to pre-War instabilities.

Trump slimes ever onwards and downwards

Some people have accused Trump of being a narcissistic psychopath While I am no psychologist, I would surmise that any contender for the US presidency needs a fair dose of narcissism, and Trump wouldn’t be the first with an unhealthy number of psychopathic tendencies – Nixon springs to mind. Among Trump’s numerous unappealing qualities is his pathological need to lie, and to surround himself with sycophantic liars to echo and amplify his spin.

And it isn’t merely a need to lie to cover up unpleasant truths about his character, attitudes, abilities and accomplishments, it seems to go beyond that. It seems that he is mentally incapable of telling the truth where a lie will sound better to his own ears. He lies in order to inflate his own ego like a bullfrog inflating its chest. To any faintly knowledgeable and impartial observer, he only succeeds in making himself appear a smaller and smaller, if louder and louder blowhard.

It was clear from the Mueller Report that the Special Counsel had determined that Trump was obstructing the course of justice into the investigation of Russian involvement in his election campaign. True, Mueller could not prove strict conspiracy and collusion in legal terms, but he made clear in his report that obstruction was a fact.

Yet the president set the yapping dogs of his administration, the White House scandal defuser Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Attorney General William Barr to distort the report’s conclusions, and lie, lie and lie again that he had been completely exonerated and had no case to answer. It got to the point that Mueller had to give a brief press conference recently to clarify the point that if the Special Counsel had found reason to exonerate Trump from criminal activity, he would have done so, and that the only reason he had been unable to prosecute Trump was because of Dept. of (In?)Justice own policy that they cannot indict sitting presidents for criminal wrongdoing.

Mueller went further and made clear that it is the role of Congress to bring about impeachment proceedings in cases like this. Trump’s response was typically both ignorant and intemperate. After weeks of tweeting that he had been “exonerated”, that there was “no collusion” or “conspiracy”, and that the “case was closed”, he had these tweets to post in response to Mueller’s statement:

“The Greatest Presidential Harassment in history. After spending $40,000,000 over two dark years, with unlimited access, people, resources and cooperation, highly conflicted Robert Mueller would have brought charges, if he had ANYTHING, but there were no charges to bring!”

“… Robert Mueller would have brought charges, if he had ANYTHING, but there were no charges to bring!” Another lie by the Liar-in-Chief, who ignored (if he even read) that Mueller had clarified there were no charges brought because he was procedurally constrained from bringing any, and saying it was the proper course for Congress to do that.

Trump further tweeted:

“Russia, Russia, Russia! That’s all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax…And now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected.

“It was a crime that didn’t exist. So now the Dems and their partner, the Fake News Media say he fought back against this phony crime that didn’t exist, this horrendous false acquisition (sic), and he shouldn’t fight back, he should just sit back and take it.

“Could this be Obstruction? No, Mueller didn’t find Obstruction either. Presidential Harassment!”

Mueller found 10 cases of obstruction. Trump also admitted in this tweet that Russian interference in fact had helped him get elected.

I think that after this, impeachment is a certainty, indeed a duty, the only question being of when and after what further investigation by Congress. With Trump doing his best to obstruct – there’s that word again! – all investigation by the House judiciary committee, and blocking all subpoenas of administration employees, the precise path to impeachment is not currently clear. Further, given that the Senate is full of Republicans who would rather slit their own throats than publicly admit they had supported a monster in the White House, impeachment is not likely to succeed.

However, that would be more of an indictment of the lack of any ethical values in the Senate and the Republican party, and under the circumstances, is not likely to help their election chances in 2020. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has explained her reluctance to impeach because it would give Trump the opportunity to ride a bandwagon of aggrieved and rabid Trump supporters into an election. He would whip them into frenzies in more and more Nuremberg-style rallies. However, even granted that election results in a frenzy like this are not guaranteed, failure to impeach where impeachment is clearly appropriate is not likely to be forgiven, either.

I should think Democrats’ phonelines will be extremely busy this week.

Whither Brext spinners?

EU results.

Northern Ireland not yet reporting, but the results are clear. Brexit, as anticipated by the predicted Tory collapse, comes first over all of England, except London where Lib Dems did well. In Scotland, the beneficiary of the protest vote is the SNP. UKIP is a devastated loser, not even the odious neo-Nazi Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) getting a seat.

So the Faragistas did better than they did in 2014, getting an extra 5 seats over what UKIP had won then and 29 out of 70 EU Parliament seats. Not a pretty result, and it will be spun by Tory PM wannabees as proof that they need to be even more right wing and anti-foreign than they already are. Well, they have been left with a rump of 4 seats in the parliament, and they have no-one to blame but themselves.

Labour isn’t crowing, either. They managed to hang on to only half their seats, ending up with 10. The only saving grace is their vote didn’t collapse as badly as the Tories’. God knows what lesson they will learn, as it is not obvious Jeremy is capable of learning in his advanced years.

The other winners were the pro-EU Lib-Dems who increased their representation from 1 to 16, and the pro-EU Greens who picked up up an additional 4 seats to end with 7.

So in summary, the Brexiteers, the only definitely anti-EU party (besides most of the Tories), ended up with just under a third of the vote (31.6% and 29) seats, and the definitely pro-EU parties (SNP, Plaid Cymru, Lib-Dems and Greens) end up with another third (37% and 27 seats). Labour and Tories managed 23.2% and 14 seats between them. No telling how the pro/anti-EU vote is divided among that lot, likely mostly pro-EU on the whole. (Note: the 3 NI seats still undeclared as they use the STV system.)

So definitely not a resounding vote to leave the EU, which agrees with opinion polls results, that there currently remains a majority in the UK to stay in the EU, and that if a referendum were held, the leavers would lose it. But doubtlessly we can leave it to the lyin’ pols to spin it as something different.

The SNP didn’t do as well as I had expected but still, they gained half the Scottish seats. I fully expect Westminster pols will ignore the danger that separating Britain from the EU increases the likelihood of a separation of Scotland from the rest of the UK as a consequence, as Scots are pro-EU. However, I get the feeling like with Tory pols like the boorish Boris Johnson, the UK’s answer to Donald Trump, it’s not so much a matter of principle, as personal power. He doesn’t care what gets destroyed, so long as people are kowtowing to him while all perish in flames.

So not a good outcome for those who believe in a united Europe, but not the huge sweep against Europe so many will claim it to be. A lot of seat reshuffling between parties, to be sure, but the remainers remain in the majority.

Strong and stable… stro-o-ong a-and sta-a-ble…

… to how it became weak and wobbly.

.May has been a hapless disaster, and lots are thanking the stars she has – finally – given up the ghost and said she will stand down June 7th when the Tory leadership brawl will officially commence. As it is likely the Tories will select the Euro-Boor Boris Johnson, it’s unlikely there will be any improvement or shift in the current morass.

Only a general election or (final???) referendum has a hope of sorting this one out, and even that is a dim one. There’s not been a majority in this parliament for a third EU referendum (the first was in 1973), and the Commons is not spoiling for another election at the moment.

I voted SNP in the EU election yesterday, in part as a protest against both major parties nationally. Whether I would do that again, or return to Labour, in a general election, I can’t predict – depends on what the issues became beyond just Brexit. However, if it became clear that below the border there is a solid majority of narrowminded little Englanders, parting company with the UK to stay with Europe would seem a more attractive option.

May draws to a fitful close

But Theresa clings on to the No 10 doorstep with teeth and fingernails while her Tory party try to pry it from her grasp. It’s perfectly understandable why Tories on either side of the Brexit debate are fed up with May. She’s created, single-handedly, what is likely to go down in history as the most shambolic political and economic disaster in the UK. And turned Britain into a world class laughingstock.

Any reasonable prime minister – e.g. David Cameron – when faced with such a cataclysmic debacle, would have slunk off to the deepest, darkest coalshaft still open in post-industrial Britain and stayed there. May simply ignores the news that British Steel has collapsed thanks largely to her Brexit fiasco, and looks keen for more catastrophes.

It’s almost like she still wants to be prime minister when the ghoulish Donald Trump makes his state visit at the beginning of June. Though frankly, I can’t imagine anything better calculated to make Theresa look worse than she actually is than shaking Trump’s orange fingers on those tiny little hands.

Looks like Farage is going to be the big winner in the EU parliamentary elections, though the actual result won’t be announced till polls have closed in Europe on Sunday night. (I would say the rest of Europe, but it’s hard to tell these days. Tories can’t even organise a cross channel ferry carrier post Brexit.) Fair enough the EU election is seen largely as a protest vote, with the Tories slipping very close to single figures in the projected result. Probably wouldn’t be reflected in a general election where other issues count. I must say, however, that the literature I got from Labout concerning this election was a diatribe against Farage and nationalism, while that from the Tories was just a diatribe against the SNP – neither party had anything to say about the EU – so who knows what issue would dominate one.

What does the Farage/Brexit vote mean? While we won’t have a definitive answer till everythnng finally washes out and we achieve the virtue of hindsight, there are some suggestions.

First, he’s polling a regular 35% of likely voters, one third of the voting public. That seems to be the base core of nationalistic, white bigots who resent immigrants because they aren’t, well, British. That’s a disturbingly large minority. A lot of these (though likely not all) will be racist and/or fascist as well. Most usually vote Tory and it’s likely the lesson learned by the Tory party is they need to swing towards a racist right to fend off Farage’s likely general election challenge. That isn’t good news for anyone in the UK, British or otherwise, except maybe the Adolph wannabees. We need racial equality to be above politics.

Second, he’s probably polling about as high as he will ever get. That means that 65% of Britons are at the very least, willing to live and let live. That’s not nearly good enough, in my view, but at least it’s a start, though we should have been a long way forward from this start after so many decades of European membership, since we joined in 1973.

Denmark, Ireland and Britain joined the EEC in 1973, after Charles de Gaulle’s resignation in 1969. Under the Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, there was aUK referendum on continued membership of the EEC in 1975. The electorate voted ‘Yes’ by 67.2% to 32.8% to stay in Europe.

Strange, we heard nothing against having a second referendum on British membership in 2016 from the leavers, yet now they want us to think a third referendum is inconceivable! Astonishing. But at least, Farage’s support today is not much greater than it would have been then in the 1960s and 70s, the years of the National Front and other racist and fascist rumblings.

What Britain really needs is an end to Brexit as well as an end to May – Theresa, that is. Nothing good, sacred or of any worth lies down a nationalistic, racist and fascist path. Never has and never will.

The Farage “juggernaut”

Nigel Farage has joined the ‘BBC bias’ club. Now we know he’s not worth listening to

Maybe not so much. Maybe it’s all a bit of an exaggeration. The Independent’s article dissects Farage’s shock and horror at the Beeb having the absolute temerity, the unmitigated gall, the sheer cheek of having a BBC host treat him like any other politician and ask questions about his opinions on topics other than Brexit.

… Nigel Farage doesn’t want to be asked any questions about, say the NHS, and his previously expressed his wish to replace it with an insurance system, even though he will stand 650 candidates at the next election, and as such wants to run the NHS. He will scream outrage if you bring up his having heaped praise on Vladimir Putin, even though he wants to control the country’s foreign policy. 

All Nigel Farage wants you to ask him about is the insurgency of his own brand new party, which he calls the “biggest change in British politics in decades”, even though his own, single-issue, pro-Brexit party is about to do almost exactly as well in the EU parliamentary elections as it did in the last one. And actually, when it comes to the popularity of Nigel Farage, and the size of his electoral constituency, which tops out at 35 per cent in EU elections, and significantly less than that in Westminster ones, nothing in the slightest has changed.

In short, Nigel Farage is a charlatan.

There’s poling data to prove it. His Brexit party is doing well for two reasons. First, the previous UKIP support – Farage’s original anti-EU vehicle – has collapsed in the wake of its lurch towards fascism under Gerard Batten and the neo-Nazi Tommy Robinson. UKIP supporters left along with Farage once he lost his grip on it.

Second, the Tory vote has also collapsed, and though no doubt some have gone to the Lib-Dems and other minor parties, a lot has gone gone to to the the Brexit party.

Third, UKIP already had a third of the UK 73 member delegation to the EU parliament, 24 seats in 2014, though this has also shifted to the Brexit party as UKIP MEPs moved to Brexit or Independents.

AffiliationMembers


At 2014 election

At dissolution
Conservative1918 -1
Labour2018 -2
Brexit PartyN/A14 +14
Independent06 +6
Green33
UKIP243 -21
SNP22
Liberal Democrat11
Sinn Féin11
DUP11
Plaid Cymru11
UUP11
SDP01 +1
Change UKN/A1 +1
Vacant seats02 +2
Total7373

The EU poll tracker tells the same tale:

Brexit under Farage is doing no better, if no worse, than UKIP under Farage. As les Français would say, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. (Nigel, close your ears, it’s furrin jabber.)

The-UKIP Brexit party is still in the lead in the EU election, just as it was in 2014. It’s the hard core 30-35% of Britons who are anti-immigrant, anti-Europe, anti-foreign, and those just plain frustrated with the impoverishment caused by Tory austerity politics. Tories and Labour deserve their fate, it’s just a pity the pro-EU factions can’t get it together. But they never could, and it’s highly likely they never will – the EU is just one of their issues, unlike the single-issue Brexit clown car.

The state of the polls and British politics in general merely confirms the depressing conclusion that no other issue in the UK is going to get sorted till Brexit gets sorted, once and for all. The NHS crisis, the economy, jobs, poverty, climate change, you name your issue and you will find it at best on a back burner if not put back in deep freeze. British politics needs an earthquake under it to get things moving again, but I doubt the EU elections will suffice. How the UK parliament will react is the key. Neither Tories nor Labour will relish a general election right now, though it’s unlikely the Brexit protest vote would be replicated in one, but they are going to need to move before Oct 31, the no-deal exit date, and absent any leadership in either major party, MPs may have to do it themselves.