And what about the Referendum Act 1975

Referendum Act 1975

This was the original referendum that confirmed British membership of what was then the EEC, European Economic Community. It asked whether Britain should remain part of the European Community (Common Market), and was approved by a whopping margin of 67-33%.That was a convincing outcome. What has happened since?

I suppose the Brexiteers would argue that because the 2016 referendum went their way, by a much smaller margin, it should reverse the wishes of the voters in 1975. Fair enough, they can argue that 1975 was over a generation ago, legally non-binding but difficult to reject had it gone the other way, and most of the voters that participated in that referendum are dead, a new generation has taken over and deserves a reconsideration of the original vote..

So clearly these hypocrites have no sense that a referendum result cannot be reconsidered – unless, of course, it is one they like. Then it’s tablets of stone time. They blather on about how having a third referendum on Brexit would ignore the votes of the people in 2016, ignoring how the 2016 referendum reversed the votes of 1975. Where I also voted for Europe.

As they obviously don’t consider referenda to be eternally binding, and believe they can be reversed, by another referendum, they are hardly in a position to object to a referendum that might reverse the one they won. Once the principle that referenda are reversible has been established, and the Brexiteers established it, it’s hard to run it back.

Leavers are fucking hypocrites. They have no respect for democracy or the ability of people to reconsider and change their minds. Apparently, the only time the people have the right to change their minds is when they have voted against Leave.

As for the Tories *roll eyes*

I believe in Tory values, but the party is becoming repellent

Quite what someone who agrees with Tory values is doing writing op-eds in The Grauniad is a little mysterious, but he does make some good points.

Brexit has summoned the very worst demons that lurk in the Conservative psyche, liberating Tories to bellow nonsense about the second world war, the blitz spirit and pseudo-Churchillian defiance. It has fatally compounded the party’s demented fixation with immigration and distracted it from the true challenges of the 21st century.


Parliament used to be the crucible of the Conservative ethos: the place where history met contemporary discourse. Now, we have MP Jacob Rees-Mogg – a man still spoken of by supposedly serious colleagues as a leadership contender – urging Theresa May to suspend the legislature if it seeks to thwart a no-deal Brexit.


In the cabinet, we have the trade secretary, Liam Fox, saying that government can be the servant of the people or the servant of parliament, but it cannot be both. A chilling populism is now creeping into the language of mainstream Toryism: the language of treachery, snarling tribalism and impatience with anything that smacks of prudence, compromise or caution. In the Conservative stockade, emotion has toppled fact.

I am far from convinced the modern Conservative party was ever driven by intellect or consideration of facts, but some Conservative individual politicians surely have been. Ted Heath springs to mind. Even David Cameron before he lost his marbles over Brexit. Most Tories today ceaselessly witter on about how unhinged socialists are about wanting a welfare state, free education and medical care for all, and a redistribution of wealth from the vastly wealthy to the poor. I don’t see what’s wrong with those aspects of socialism. They claim socialist can’t see facts.

Well, it’s screamingly obvious that a lot of Tories can’t see facts, like the economic divide between rich and poor that is tearing the country asunder. It’s not like the wealthy can’t afford to pay a greater share of taxes. They just hate doing it to help anyone else. They’d pay taxes to fund the military to protect their assets, but only if the poor pay at similar rates. Tories just don’t get it.

They prefer to focus on anti-immigration, because that’s where the far right vote of bigots is, bigots resentful of a few people who speak English as a second language. This is emotion speaking, not facts. The fact is, not that Tories are aware of facts these day, that Britain has benefited enormously from immigration and EU membership. The immigration of talent has greatly expanded our horizons economically and socially. We have more international political clout as a member of the EU than we would as a solitary little monarchy.

The EU made Britain better, but all the Tories want to focus on is emotional and nationalistic blather about how wonderful it was when Britain was an Empire. The Rees-Moggs don’t get it that those days have gone and are never coming back. They are wallowing in shortsighted nostalgia and refusing to dealt with the reality that Britain is actually in.

Labour is bad, no doubt about it, and it’s tragic that the two main parties have nothing whatever hopeful to off the electorate. But the Tories/ Phew!

Corbyn and Labour still can’t make any sense on Brexit

Labour support for Yvette Cooper’s Brexit amendment in doubt

This is a cross-party amendment to get an extension to Article 50, and postpone Brexit, maybe till after a second referendum. But Labour cannot get united behind it, because they have too many pro-Brexit MPs, despite the fact that the vast majority of Labour members oppose it.


Labour had been widely expected to whip its MPs to support the amendment, tabled by Cooper and the former Conservative minister Nick Boles, which paves the way for a backbench bill mandating the government to seek a nine-month extension to article 50.

But Jon Trickett, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, told the Guardian voters in his constituency would regard support for the measure on Tuesday as a failure to respect the result of the 2016 referendum.


“Over the weekend I was speaking to some people in my constituency. They weren’t actually people who voted for leave, though the majority of people in my constituency had voted for leave. What they said was people have struggled for the vote, people have died pursuing the vote. Other people have been sent to Australia or put in prison – and the vote actually is a precious thing, when you think about it,” Trickett said.

The vote is indeed a precious thing, and what these Labour MPS are saying is that the then votes of 48% of the British electorate count for nothing. Bloody hypocrites. Britain did not speak with a clear voice in the 2016 referendum That referendum did not spell out the consequences of what most Tories want to do, which is a no-deal Brexit, nor was anyone asked what sort of Brexit they wanted.

Instead we’ve had a catastrophic bungle made of Brexit negotiations by a Prime Minister clearly not up to the job. Not that any of her Tory colleagues would have done any better.

First, the consequences were misrepresented by the Leave campaign, who blatantly lied. Second, many young voters were never consulted, as they were too young to vote. Third, what is wrong with the opportunity to reconsider a vote by referendum? Are referendum results writ in tablets of stone like Mosaical laws? Do these Labour MPs seriously think it’s ok that the electorate as a whole should not be given an opportunity to rethink in the light of the last two years?

As for Corbyn, words fail me. He may be better than your average Tory, but not by much, and not enough to make me consider voting Labour any time soon.

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off the brink we go….

UK firms plan mass exodus if May allows no-deal Brexit

Thousands of British companies have already triggered emergency plans to cope with a no-deal Brexit, with many gearing up to move operations abroad if the UK crashes out of the EU, according to the British Chambers of Commerce.


Before a crucial week in parliament, in which MPs will try to wrest control from Theresa May’s government in order to delay Brexit and avoid a no-deal outcome, the BCC said it believed companies that had already gone ahead with their plans represented the “tip of the iceberg” and that many of its 75,000 members were already spending vital funds to prepare for a disorderly exit.

Tories have become the natural party of misgovernment. They are a chaotic shambles, and need to be exterminated at the polls. They cannot be relied on to see Britain through a gentle shower, let alone an economic storm. They are an unmitigated disaster.

Who is Alex Salmond?

Alex Salmond, former First Minister of Scotland, has been arrested on charges of attempted rape and sexual assault. Released on bail.

Now, I don’t know whether these charges are valid, or whether he’ll be found guilty or innocent. Men have been getting away with these crimes for generations, and they are abhorrent. But I can’t make a judgement in Salmond’s case, because I don’t know the facts. That will be up to a judge and jury to resolve. I never agreed with Salmond politically, but if he is guilty, he deserves to roast. If he’s innocent, obviously he should go free. I make no judgement having no facts, but it’s up to the court now.

What I do find fascinating, however, is the SNP’s reaction. Salmond was the first Scottish First Minister for what, 7 years? Something like that, with Sturgeon his deputy. He led the SNP for 20 years, and organised the first Scottish independence referendum, which he lost by 55-45%, and consequently resigned.

So what happens when I search the SNP’s website, www.snp.org for Salmond? Zip. Nada. Nothing. It’s as though he never existed. The search results all point to Nicola Sturgeon and other SNP luminaries. It’s positively Orwellian.

It concerns me that a party that claims to be honest and democratic can simply try to erase a person from their history, even though he played a major, indeed vast role in it. I can appreciate that the SNP don’t want to be associated with sexual molesters. They’d do better admitting ownership and apologising. Their failure to do this is a major blow against their democratic credibility and electoral honesty.

I’ve said previously on this blog that Brexit has made me think of voting for Scottish independence from England. This action has made me doubt whether the SNP can be trusted with it.

Sometimes, Christian white people can be the pits

Red Hats = “malevolent, murderous goblin”

This is about that obnoxious white lad from a Catholic school in Covington, Kentucky.

They went to Washington to protest against women’s reproductive rights, then found a Native American war veteran to harass because he wasn’t white and Catholic.

A lot of them were wearing Trump MAGA hats – Make America Great Again – the new symbol of white racism.- Trump has invigorated racism in the US.

He’s a sick and odious bastard.

Mind you, this is a valid point…

For the EU to prosper, Britain must leave

Britain continues to demand impossible conditions for its membership of the community-based, compromise-led, multinational organisation the modern EU represents. Even in trying to exit, Britain is still arguing about “red lines” of its own making. This approach would only amplify if it somehow ended up remaining a member.

Britain already enjoys a privileged position in the EU, much to the chagrin of many other member states. Opt-outs from the euro, the Schengen agreement on passport-free travel, the charter of fundamental rights and on any European legislation related to freedom, justice and security have all been negotiated by successive British prime ministers.


[…]


Britain never understood that contributing to the EU’s budget is not a commercial transaction, it is about investing in peace, stability and growth right on your doorstep. The fact is, without Britain, the internal functioning of the EU, including agreeing what to spend money on, becomes easier.

It’s true, neither Labour nor Tories had ever got to grips with the idea of what Europe means – not a mere partnership of sovereign nations like the UN, but an economically and politically integrated union, where many working together pack more whack internationally than they would ever have alone. The EU is comparable to powers like US, China, Russia and India. The UK is not, but Brexiteers continue to be delusional about this fact.

Britain alone is a nobody, a minor, albeit nuclear armed power. The days of Empire and British solitary significance ended in Suez, 1956. Since then, we’ve only acted together with other major nations. Leaving the EU means leaving our most important alliance.

But, the article persuasively argues, having Britain in the EU is like having a thorn in the flesh for other European nations, because Labour and Tory governments have been truculent and uncooperative. Perhaps those of us who value a united Europe should turn around and support Brexit, because having Britain in as a reluctant and uncooperative member will only be a drag.

Neither Labour nor Tories appear willing to enter the 21st century. They are mired in pre-WWII attitudes, and so long as British voters allow them to get away with it, it is certainly arguable that the UK is not fit for EU membership, from an EU perspective.

Davos Billionaires’ Bash

I came across this interesting statistic:

Panic is on the agenda at Davos – but it’s too little too late

Pity the poor billionaire, for today he feels a new and unsettling emotion: fear. The world order he once clung to is crumbling faster than the value of the pound. In its place, he frets, will come chaos. Remember this, as the plutocrats gather this week high above us in the ski resort of Davos: they are terrified.

… This week’s report from Oxfam is just the latest to put numbers to this hoarding of wealth and power. 

What the Oxfam report says is that 26 billionaires own as much as the poorest 50% of the entire human population – 3.8 billion people.

26 against 3.8 billion. That’s a hell of a ratio. That means the wealthiest 0.000000068% of the population own as much as the poorest 50%.

There is something very wrong with this picture, and you don’t have to be a Bolshevik to figure it out. It’s plain immoral.

Capitalism does generate wealth, and I don’t oppose it on principle. But it’s generating wealth for capitalists far more than for the people who slave for capitalists. We need a wealth tax. Those billionaires neither need nor deserve their riches at this scale.

More brilliant results from Tory Brexit!

Dutch government says over 250 companies in talks about relocating to Netherlands


More than 250 companies are in touch with the Dutch government about moving to the Netherlands because of Brexit, officials have said.
The trade and investment arm of the country’s government has been soliciting moves from companies worried about access to the EU market, with Britain set to leave the single market and customs union.

A number of high-profile companies have already announced a decision to cross the North Sea, most recently Japanese electronics giant Sony specifically citing Brexit. Last year Panasonic also announced it was moving to Amsterdam.

May must be very proud of her achievement! She’ll certainly go down in history, as the most incompetent prime minister ever.