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Brexit! Part 4

This is a continuation of the topic Brexit? Part 3.

Pro and Con

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Aug 28, 10:54am Top

Time for that exclamation mark, eh!

Brexitannia unleashed!

England's own Hitlerlike buffoon gets the Queen's blessing to suspend parliament.

Aug 28, 5:53pm Top

It's not really shocking. The Royal family is as conservative as all get out. I kind of expected it. There will be a parachute or a cushion to fall on when things fall apart.

Aug 28, 6:12pm Top


The British Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson wants to lead Britain to an exit from the European Union without a specific agreement that would regulate the various details. A majority in Parliament is against leaving the EU without a deal.

Parliament will convene again in early September. The Brexit date is October 31. The opposition planned to seek legislation to stop Brexit and/or to hold a vote of no confidence in the Boris government. This would install a new government with the sole task of preventing Brexit without a deal.

The problem is that the process takes time and Parliament days are limited. The government has several means to prevent Parliament from having enough time to discuss the issue and to vote on it. Today it used a quite effective one.

The Johnson government, only inaugurated weeks ago, asked the Queen to announce its legislative program, a ceremonial event known as the Queen's Speech. Custom demands that Parliament is shut down for several weeks before the Queen's Speech is held. Parliament will thus have little chance to prevent a no-deal Brexit

Boris Johnson has crossed the Rubicon today by announcing the suspension of Parliament at this crucial time, no matter how many days the suspension lasts. The United Kingdom has found itself with the most right wing government in nearly two hundred years. I still find it hard to believe that Sajid Javid, Dominic Raab and Priti Patel hold great offices. Even that minority of those voting who put this Tory minority government in place did not expect that. Now that right wing coup is being doubled down on by the deliberate suspension of the Westminster parliament just as the most crucial and divisive issue in several generations is being resolved.

There is an irony here. Johnson has been able to take over without facing the electorate because of the polite constitutional fiction that it is the same Conservative government continuing and nothing has changed. Yet he justifies the prorogation of parliament by the argument that it is a new government and a new Queen’s Speech is thus needed. Johnson is of course famously in favour of having cake and eating it, but the chutzpah of this is breathtaking.

As countries slip to the far right, the failure of the more decent forces in society to unite and to react with sufficient vigour is crucial. Jo Swinson and others need to stop their caviling and get behind Jeremy Corbyn’s no confidence plans.

Here in Scotland, it ought to be a matter of deep shame if we do not now immediately move decisively to claim Independence.

The decision of British prime minister Boris Johnson to suspend – or “prorogue” – parliament for more than a month as the clock ticks down to the Brexit date of October 31st provoked a predictably huge storm in the UK and will almost certainly incite a parliamentary rebellion that his government is likely to lose.

This is most probably his intention. Such a defeat will likely lead to a general election in early October – if not before – in which Johnson will enjoy significant advantages. Some recent polls suggest that the Conservatives enjoy a strong lead and Johnson’s novelty as a prime minister, as well as his enormous capacity to speak to voters and be listened to, will make him a hot favourite to beat his rivals, especially Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, in a short, sharp campaign. Corbyn remains a key advantage for the Tories.

Crucially, Johnson can go to the country before Brexit – enabling him to run on a promise of delivering Brexit “with or without a deal” on October 31st, his already familiar mantra since taking office in July.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/britain-brexit-failed-state-by-chri... (author was the last British Governor of Hong Kong)
Failed states used to be largely the preserve of the developing world, where the institutions of democracy do not have deep roots. But given the extent to which the Brexit campaign has undermined Britain's institutions through lies, it is reasonable to worry that the country will soon come to resemble a tinpot dictatorship.

Aug 29, 2:02am Top

What Boris has done is undemocratic and abhorrent, but the Queen doesn't really have the option of refusing. She is an unelected figurehead and politically she does what the elected giovernment of the day tells her to do. Boris, of course, has not been elected Prime Minister by the people, but as long as his Tory MPs are too craven to stand up for democracy and parliamentary sovereignty he will get away with it.

Edited: Aug 29, 5:56am Top

I wrote this in another thread and thought I would paste it here. Note that my view is that predicting outcomes is like looking at a tightly fought game of chess and predicting a winner. Boris is clearly being very devious, fighting for an outcome that he knows is neither the will of the people or of parliament.

So without predicting any final outcomes, some analysis of Boris' plan:

1. Boris, from the start, has been angling for an early General Election, but also not one that he calls. He wishes to play the blame game, blaming the EU for not caving in to his demands, and parliament and some "traitorous" Tories for bringing down the Government. He wishes to cast himself as the "man of the people"[sic] fighting those nasty elites. Because he, Jacob Rees Mogg and all his other Eton college friends have impeccable credentials as men of the people!

2. Boris was aware that there was enough time in parliament for a no deal alliance (a clear majority of MPs) to legislate in a manner that forced him to request an extension (or even cancel the A50 notification) if the alternative was no deal on October 31. This could happen before a vote of no confidence, but "no confidence" is fraught with danger that no new government would be in place to request an extension. This is why he has cynically prorogued parliament in a manner that is very deliberately designed to frustrate those plans. Any legislation that does not receive royal assent before the prorogation falls. Thus MPs have precisely 7 working days before prorogation to:

a. seize control of parliamentary time (takes at least a day to effect and requires scheduling which might take several days)
b. legislate (usually takes months, although the commons did show that it could be done in a day for all readings - to the anger of many)
c. pass the legislation through the Lords (easily slowed down so could take several days)
d. receive royal assent (supposed to take several days because the act must be written on vellum. Not sure what the shortest time for royal assent is)

Because of the need to first seize the agenda and then timetable the debate, Boris knows that there is just not enough time for legislation before the prorogation, so he has not just wasted a month, he has wasted 6 weeks of parliamentary time. Also, the Queen's speech and so forth waste more days when the commons returns.

After the Queen's speech, there are a couple of days before the final EU summit. After that there is maybe enough time to legislate, but even then it is tight. There are 10 full days of parliamentary time to fit the above timetable into. Andrew Adonis believes there is sufficient time - Boris may be hoping there isn't if he can further frustrate things by wasting time on the parliamentary agenda such that no legislation is passed. (You need either legislation to attach riders to, or to find a way to introduce a non government bill to parliament, and Johnson will hope to avoid both). There is not then enough time for a General Election though - no confidence would be off the table at that point.

So... Boris' gambit is this: having frustrated opposition plans to prevent no deal, he is looking for and expecting the vote of no confidence, playing in to 1. above. That is his aim. He is daring people to vote down his minority government in the hope of using that to cast himself as the "hapless victim of circumstance"[sic] who is forced by "self interested elites"[sic] to go to the people.

He thinks he can win that. The cynical Tories who all know he is an amoral mendacious power hungry clown think that too, which is why they selected him.

So my prediction remains what it was when he was appointed/selected: we are going to have a general election. Yet I am less sure of that prediction now, because MPs could face down this ploy. Prorogation could be reversed in the courts, or they could attempt to seize control of the parliamentary agenda in October. MPs know what Boris is up to and may choose to throw him a curve ball. He may not get his general election.

Incidentally, Europe knows what he is up to also, which is why Angela Merkel and Emanuel Macron brilliantly played him on his European trip. "Yes, we will listen to your new proposal that no one has thought of to remove the backstop. Come back to us in the next 30 days and we will happily talk".

Boris was relying on Macron to say "non".

It is not insurmountable for Boris. He will just tell everyone that Europe said no anyway. The Boris playbook is simply to make stuff up, delivered with a mischievous smile, and it always has been.

How it ends? I don't know.

Not that it ends on October 31 anyway. Even if Britain falls out of the EU, we have years of this to look forward to, almost certainly ending with Britain rejoining (although sadly not on the advantageous terms we now enjoy).

Aug 29, 5:51am Top

>5 sirfurboy: ending with Britain rejoining (although sadly not on the advantageous terms we now enjoy)

That's the tragic irony. Realistically, we cannot remain separate from Europe and in time we will have to rejoin, but as you say, on disadvantageous terms.

Edited: Aug 31, 7:14am Top

"There is an irony here. Johnson has been able to take over without facing the electorate because of the polite constitutional fiction that it is the same Conservative government continuing and nothing has changed. Yet he justifies the prorogation of parliament by the argument that it is a new government and a new Queen’s Speech is thus needed. Johnson is of course famously in favour of having cake and eating it, but the chutzpah of this is breathtaking."

Oh there's irony alright, and lot's of it; there are also more than a few constitutional fictions about British government. But the Leave camp has nothing on the irony that oozes from Remainers' claims and arguments.

And this contention,

..."the polite constitutional fiction that it is the same Conservative government continuing and nothing has changed"

is simply flatly false.

There is no such thing. Clearly and obviously, the whole point of former Prime Minister May's departure from Downing Street was, indeed, so that a different Tory leader could assume control of the government apparatus. There's no such fiction, polite or otherwise, that these are the same governments.

There is a new administration in place with Boris Johnson, like it or not, and the reason is that Parliament had very clearly shown Theresa May the "Exit" door, making it clear that her choices were to resign--which she did--or face losing a vote of no-confidence, in which case she'd be forced out of her post. So Parliament demanded and got a new governmental administration when Tory (Conservative Party) members of Parliament chose to install Johnson over all other contenders.

"Johnson is of course famously in favour of having cake and eating it, but the chutzpah of this is breathtaking."

You want irony? Here's irony for you:

Protesters outside Downing Street carrying signs which read,

Defend Migrants
Stop Boris
Stop Brexit

or this!:

(The Guardian (London) : Demonstrators in Westminster protesting against the prorogation of parliament. Photograph: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Rex/Shutterstock )

These peoplel are amazingly politically-foolish. "Defend Democracy, Resist the Parliament Shutdown" !?

Parliament, in this controversy, is the key obstacle to one of the rare examples of a genuinely democratic initiative in modern British political affairs-the 2016 referendum by which a majority of British voters chose to indicate their preference to see Britain leave membership in the European Union. Want to "defend" "democracy"? Really? Then everything fair, honest and just requires you to oppose those people who, like many in Parliament, would betray that referendum's clear outcome.

Or these comments:

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Boris Johnson’s plan to suspend Parliament was ‘an outrage and a threat to our democracy’, saying he was ‘appalled at the recklessness of Johnson’s government, which talks about sovereignty and yet is seeking to suspend parliament to avoid scrutiny of its plans for a reckless No Deal Brexit.’ He was part of a chorus of anger from MPs opposing the move to temporarily shut down Parliament from September 11 ahead of a Queen’s Speech on October 14.

This will make it harder for politicians to debate how to stop a no deal Brexit before October 31. Green MP Caroline Lucas said on Twitter: ‘Wasn’t this meant to be about ‘taking back control’? ‘The act of a cowardly Prime Minister who knows his reckless No Deal Brexit will never gain the support of MPs. A constitutional outrage which Parliament and the people will oppose.’

She was just one of many MPs to voice their dismay at the government’s plan: It would be a constitutional outrage if Parliament were prevented from holding the government to account at a time of national crisis. Profoundly undemocratic. — Philip Hammond (@PhilipHammondUK) August 28, 2019

This is a constitutional outrage. Shutting down Parliament because Boris Johnson finds scrutiny and accountability difficult to stomach is an insult to the British people. I will oppose it with everything I have. — Luke Pollard MP (@LukePollard) August 28, 2019

If true, this undemocratic manoeuvre to try and shut down Parliament must be fought every step of the way. How totally underhanded of Boris Johnson to make the Queen sign off on this plot it in a secret ceremony up in Balmoral. The House of Commons must assemble and veto this. https://t.co/yMw8FCShs5 — Chris Leslie (@ChrisLeslieMP) August 28, 2019

"Supporters claim it is standard practice to suspend Parliament to hold a Queen’s speech, but have been criticised for timing it at a crucial point of crisis.



"Director Dr Ruth Fox said: ‘The Government’s decision to prorogue Parliament may not be unconstitutional or unlawful but it is an affront to parliamentary democracy."

Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2019/08/28/queen-accepts-boris-johnsons-request-suspend-parl...

"This is a constitutional outrage. Shutting down Parliament because Boris Johnson finds scrutiny and accountability difficult to stomach is an insult to the British people. I will oppose it with everything I have. — Luke Pollard, MP"


Hey, Luke, I want an M.P. who thinks that setting aside, ignoring, reversing, the outcome of a plebecite (referendum) solemnly undertaken and passed with a margin of more than one million votes is "an insult to the British people" and no way to "defend democracy".

Meanwhile, Dr. Ruth Fox is very concerned about an affront to Parliament, to "parliamentary democracy" but she is apparently not at all concerned about affronts to the general voting public, the electorate, which elected the parliament's members.

Aug 29, 10:08am Top

>3 davidgn: "Custom demands that Parliament is shut down for several weeks" is not true, the normal duration is 3 days. The longest in recent history is 20 days. The current plan is over 30 days.

What's perhaps more interesting is all the comments made by various dramtis personae in the previous weeks where they stoutly rejected any possibility of doing what they've just done. Only Led by Donkeys seems to be bothering to actual detail and record their statements.

Aug 29, 10:23am Top

Interesting that the government whip Lord Young in the House of Lords has resigned not because he is pro-Remain but because he is against the suspension of Parliament.

Aug 29, 1:57pm Top

>4 johnthefireman:

But a refusal would have had at least symbolic power. Figureheads are supposed to "figure". She could have, for the sake of history if nothing else, taken a stance for the people, instead of against them and for the tiny ruling clique.

Otoh if this helps to erode the ridiculous popularity of these parasites...

Aug 30, 12:59am Top

>10 LolaWalser:

Can't disagree with you on that, but it was never going to happen.

Aug 30, 1:49pm Top

All I'm saying is that she had a choice. I fully understand that the royals are ceremonial window dressing, but they are not actually cardboard cut-outs. At least, not until this Rubicon was crossed. You can replace them with Punch and Judy NOW.

Aug 30, 2:06pm Top

>12 LolaWalser: I think we can be fairly confident hat the Queen is furious about this, but she was governed by advice and precedent. As you say, she is not a cardboard cut out though, and I am astonished that a prorogation was even requested when it is my understanding that the palace will have advised Johnson on his selection to the office of Prime Minister that he should not ask for a prorogation of parliament as it would politicise the monarchy.

Johnson has ignored the request from the palace, and that is telling of just how cavalier he is with the British constitution. In his audience with the Queen (the one prior to his request, which was presented as a fait accompli) he may have been turned away from an even longer prorogation, but that he asked for one at all showed that he did not care about politicisation of the monarchy, as long as he could get what he wanted.

This has shown a shortcoming in the British system, for sure. It shows that if a PM simply defies the monarch's wishes and chooses to throw the Queen into the midst of political debate, the Queen is powerless to prevent it. The checks and balances fail.

This is similar to the revelation in the election of Donald Trump that the system of electors designed to stop the wrong kind of person becoming president simply does not work and might as well be abandoned.

So too, this failure raises questions as to whether the royal powers are a sufficient check and balance to a populist determined to walk all over constitutional convention. It begs the question you ask about whether a constitutional monarchy is fit for purpose, and that is the very reason the palace instructed Johnson not to ask for a prorogation.

But he did ask.

I hope very much that it all blows up in his face.

When you mess with the constitution itself, the law of unintended consequences most definitely pertains.

Aug 30, 5:02pm Top

>13 sirfurboy:

I'll take your word on the supposed fury, as I haven't got the slightest inkling as to these people's real character.
I do find the notion of "apolitical" monarchy deeply odd, that is to say, impossible to countenance. A paradox much more difficult than "both a particle and a wave". However, I realise that the English believe they've squared that circle successfully, so no discussion there.

Edited: Aug 31, 6:44am Top

Of course the royal family are political. The idea that the queen was somehow "dragged ino" this eminently political controversy is the sort of lunacy which so amazes me about the politically ignorant. Royalty is inherently political--no pun intended but there is one, not that those too foolish to miss the obvious fact that royalty are by nature politically concerned, involved, etc., could and would notice it.

No one dragged the queen into anything. She is known by those who deal personally with her to be utterly political, completely capable of cold, calculating political manoeuvers; it's her warm, charming, personable attitude which is the assumed put-on guise. Her default state leaves her at ease with Darth Vadar and Machiavellian princes. Just ask Prince Charles or his first wife, Diana Spenc---oh, wait!* ...

It's one or the other, for pity's fucking sake! :

either, (A): the queen in fact had no choice but to appove of the "request" from Prime Minister Boris Johnson to prorogue (suspend) Parliament, leading to a freshly invoked term, in which case she's simply not responsible for the 'decision'-- as it was never up to her to decide (and therefore wasn't "dragged into" anything because she did nothing of her own volition) or (B) : she had a choice in the matter and, having exercised it, she chose to approve the request, thereby taking part in the matter in a manner which she could have decided differently, namely, denying the requested approval.

But not both at once. In neither case was she "dragged into" the 'Brexit' mess.


* Diana Spencer (b. 1 July, 1961, Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk, England -
d. 31 August, 1997, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Paris, France)

Aug 31, 6:36am Top

This reckless confrontation with parliament is just what millions of voters want (Guardian)

The forces lining up to oppose Johnson’s proroguing must find a way to win over those who have lost faith in representative democracy...

Aug 31, 7:01am Top

>16 proximity1: Your analysis is, as ever, pithy and off the point.

You will note in >13 sirfurboy: that yes, the palace exercised a choice. They did not exercise it in saying no to the request - on that the Queen will have been advised that the precedent is that she must agree the request. Her choice, behind the scenes, as I said, was to advise the new PM that he should not make the request. The fact that Johnson made the request shows contempt for the tradition that one does not ask the monarch to get involved in politics.

Not for the first time either. Johnson and Gove were responsible for leaking the spurious and false claim that the Queen supported Brexit.

Aug 31, 8:43am Top

More often than not when someone tells me I must do something---I do the opposite of what they want. I don't like the suggestion of not having a choice. You always have an option--even doing nothing can be an option.

So I don't buy that the Queen couldn't have told Boris and his goofy haircut to get the fuck out. The way I see it is she's chosen a side. She's done exactly what he wanted and it's not really a surprise because in general the aristocracy in Britain is very conservative and if a would be conservative prime minister asks her for help her tendency will be to give him/her help.

Aug 31, 8:56am Top

The Queen doesn't want her legacy to be the dissolution of the UK, so while she acquiesced, I bet she exercised her right to advise!

Edited: Aug 31, 11:45am Top

>20 margd:

..."doesn't want her legacy to be the dissolution of the UK"...

... "so while she acquiesced" ... ?

She "acquiesced"? If so, that conforms to the circumstances I described above as "(A)" -- she had no choice--in which case she didn't "choose" at all.

Dissolution? Owed to Britain's leaving the European "Union"? (LOL!)

There's an even better argument to be made for the concern that the danger to Britain --as a dissolution would be seen as being-- would be and is even greater by remaining in the E.U.,. This view doesn't seem to have occurred to the British television pundits and chattering classes in this controversy; to read the press, one would imagine that there isn't and could never be any existential risk to Britain by its remaining in the serial-train-wreck known as the "European Union." Typical!

Your asumption--that is, that leaving the E.U. poses a higher risk of a dissolution-- also fails, logically, in so far as, whatever happens to the U.K.'s condition as a kingdom, united or dismembered of one or more of its present member-national entities, it won't be in any particular degree the queen's "legacy" since she won't have had any voluntary part in it. It should be, rather, the twin legacies of the present government and, to some extent, some parts, and not, mainly, the least privileged of them!, of the present populace of Britain--these, working foolishly, would leave this imagined dissolution as a legacy to succeeding generations. ( ETA Rather than blaming today's public, future generations of British are, I believe, more likely to one day be grateful for this initiative to get the country out of the E.U.'s membership. Britain shall probably be the first to exit but I am confident that, if it is, it won't be the last. Other E.U. member-states' publics are almost certain to come to similar conclusions--and for similar motives and reasons. The E.U. "dream", once full of promise, has been badly botched. For that we must "thank" the global corporate-order that has come about since the end of the second world war. )

Where do you get this stuff? Never mind. I know the answer from what I read in your usual hilarious nonsense.

"Acquiesced" means

ac·​qui·​esce | \ ˌa-kwē-ˈes
acquiesced; acquiescing
Definition of acquiesce

intransitive verb
: to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively

The "Brexit" controversy is a symptom of rather than a cause of Britain's present deplorable political insanity and confusion. "Remain" or "leave"--either way, the British people have some very serious matters to deal with which concern their capacities to understand and effectively act on a correct and healthy grasp of who they are and how they ought to live and work together as a functioning political order. The evidence that they are up to this challenge is missing or it's obscurred by the fact that the most influential parts of the political establishment won't get out of the way of a more politically-astute public which knows far better than press and parliamentary grandees what it wants and what is best for itself.

But "dissolution" is still not the "to-be-assumed-outcome" of the manner in which the Brexit affair is settled.

You'd do better to stick to consistently misanalysing U.S. political affairs. Your specialty.

Aug 31, 12:12pm Top

>21 proximity1:

The very real risk of the dissolution of the UK is that Scotland will secede as it wishes to remain in the EU, and that a hard border on the island of Ireland will bring the eventual unification of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland a step closer. If either of the two entities, Scotland or Northern Ireland, leaves the UK, then that constitutes the dissolution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Edited: Aug 31, 2:48pm Top

#22--the Unionist parties of Northern Ireland have now and again played an essential role in keeping the Tories in Westminster in power. If the link between them and Britain's conservatives is broken their power will be greatly diminished. The Unionist population of Northern Ireland see themselves as British even if the majority of Britons see them as Irish. It's an identity thing for them--that they are loyal to the crown and as they see it superior to the Catholic population because they're not loyal to the crown. That's their perception anyway. I don't think that for the most part the Unionists are at all interested in unification with the 26 counties of the Irish Republic and I suspect there will be a lot of trouble--maybe a re-ignition of the troubles and for their own politicians being subsumed into the Irish Republic's govt. pretty much puts all their power at a local level--they lose any ability to inform or leverage power on a national level---something they've got away with for quite a while in Westminster. So I wouldn't think unifying with the Irish Republic in the Dail Eireann would be very enticing to them. As long as they stick with a Tory govt. in Westminster their power is enhanced. That's where they want to be Brexit or no Brexit. EU or no EU. Open border or hard border. Civil war or no civil war. They'll not give up anything without a fight.

So the real question for them is can they hold their own side together--because logistically the populations aren't far away from even-ing out. But really I think this situation could explode again real easily.

Aug 31, 3:03pm Top

>23 lriley:

I think you underestimate the importance of the open border to all communities on both sides of the Irish border, and also the importance of the Good Friday peace agreement which enshrines it.

Aug 31, 5:10pm Top

#24--Maybe. But I think you're more optimistic than I am.

Aug 31, 7:27pm Top

>19 lriley:

My opinion as well--the idea that one can have some "apolitical" i.e. not-conservative hereditary monarchy is nonsense.

Sep 1, 6:49am Top

Beth Rigby @BethRigby (Sky News) | 5:07 AM · Sep 1, 2019

When I pushed Johnson on food shortages at G7 he said it was "unlikely". Hancock & Gove used exact phrase: people will get "the food they need". So, not the food they want? Shortages in some supplies or spike in prices on some food stuffs? Lots of questions still unanswered

Trump: Let them eat soybeans(?)

Sep 1, 10:44am Top

#26--well the status quo (tradition) needs to be maintained at all costs. There's some version of it (monarchy or not) wherever you go though. People that are too powerful to be touched.....and maybe the most grotesque example of that is right here in the United States with our current POTUS who can flout any number of laws without consequence. The Queen is more a figurehead than a head of government all the same.....and despite her siding with Johnson she's not on a level with the likes of those who are heads of state like Trump, Bolsonaro, MBS, Putin or Netanyahu so there are limits to the damage that she is done. In this case though I don't think she was manipulated at all. She's protected herself and her family's interests over the will of her own people which isn't nice.

Edited: Sep 3, 2:43pm Top

What the "Brexit" impasse reveals about Britain's politics and political order


In Britain one finds one of the most fundamental political misunderstandings possible:
an astounding, stupefying, amazing, fatal confusion about what political "sovereignty" actually means in theory as well as in practice.

Many britons--even many people supposedly well-educated and highly-placed in professions which are in goverment, partisan politics or even higher education--will assert the nostrum, "Parliament is sovereign," meaning that it is parliament as an institution that is the ultimate political decision-making entity.

That, though stubbornly asserted as a fact, is simply not a fact in any real-world sense.

And it is this intellectual and theoretical "disconnect" which explains and accounts for a political mess now more than three years old and continuing.

To assert that the U.K. parliament is "sovereign" makes no more sense than to assert that the United States Congress (House of Representatives and Senate) is the sovereign power in the U.S. political order.

Any well-informed middle-school sudent in the U.S. would explain that, on the contrary, it is the public electorate--which elects Congress-members--who comprise the sovereign political power. There is no appeal from the ballot-box's results except other susequent ballots, given by subsequent electorates similarly qualified to cast a ballots on ensuing issues or other regular general or special elections of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate of the United States.

Parliament has demonstrated in the most spectacular manner imaginable that it is not capable of settling the Brexit affair. The elected British executive authority, the office of the Prime Minister (chosen by parliament's members in the House of Commons as either a majority-party's favourite or that of a coalition of parties' members voting for their favourite), is no more inherently capable of settling the Brexit affair than is Parliament itself. This was demonstrated, again, in the most spectacular way imaginable, by the elimination of Theresa May as prime minister. Her abject failure and her depature made many historic shipwrecks seem dignified by contrast.

What we're witnessing is the excruciating process of a supposedly august political institution taking an agonizingly long time to come to the most patently obvious of facts about its lack of genuine "sovereignty". Currently parliament is trying to insist on asserting a position which claims, in effect, "We (i.e., parliament) are not bound, whether formally or informally, to recognise, respect and implement the expressed will of the British voting public in its majority-results--no matter how urgent, how essential or how important to the voters their expressed will may be in any given matter. Rather, we are free to do whatever we please to do or not do as it suits our whims and our capacities or incapacities to act."

A fresh general-election is in the offing now simply because, as a matter of fact, there is no other political entity which can settle the matter--as it ought to have been recognized to have done in the first place when, in 2016, by referendum, qualified British voters cast ballots which, by a clear majority, chose to take the United Kingdom of Great Britain out of European Union membership one way or another, by whatever means necessary--for that was the implied upshot of their vote: Britain's choice to leave meant that, under the then-existing terms of the European Union treaties in force, Britain, at a date certain, after invoking Article 50, would end its membership with or without a consensual agreement guiding the implementation of the departure from membership as a default and de facto result of the implementation of article 50--for it states these terms and conditions and the voters have to be supposed to have understood this was implied in their ballot-decisions.

If--in the event that they should lead to a reconfirmation of the 2016 referendum's outcome on a vote to remain a member-state or quit the membership in the European Union--a new round of parliamentary elections' results are not better recognized and respected, the electoral processes shall then be clearly shown to be hostage to a body which is again in open defiance of the only real sovereign power in the nation: its adult electorate.

Now the nation needs political maturity from its parliament's members. So far, there is no sign from parliament that this political maturity exists. Parliament has already refused to recognize and honour one clear electoral outcome concerning Brexit.

Wide-open civil insurrection would be the next logical and ordinarily expected consequence of a parliament which refused a second time to honour a clear electoral mandate to exit from European Union membership.


See also :

"Jonathan Pie" (Youtube.com): "Boris Suspends Democracy"

Sep 3, 1:44pm Top

>29 proximity1: Arguing that parliament is not sovereign by recourse to the US system shows a fundamental lack of understanding about the difference between the two systems of government.

In the UK, Parliament is sovereign. That is the constitutional position.

This position was reaffirmed as recently as R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union (2017).

Sep 4, 4:36am Top

A cite from the link in >31 johnthefireman:
"A man who spent years in estrangement from the truth is unlikely to seek its company now."


Sep 4, 4:40am Top

>32 bnielsen:

I also liked the opening sentence, "Brexit is not the first thing Boris Johnson has found difficult, but it might be the first difficult thing he cannot simply abandon." As you say, ouch!

Edited: Sep 5, 6:14am Top

,,, " 'for the first time in modern history, Britons in some areas are living shorter lives' and dying more 'deaths of despair' (The New York Times). It doesn’t mince words in identifying the reasons; it points the finger at austerity.

"The fact that Britain has been broken by a devastating decade of government cuts isn’t exactly news. However, it is always instructive to see how you are viewed by outside eyes and it is sobering to observe just how grim the view of Britain from America has become. This country is more than just a laughing stock, it’s an object of abject pity."


"Food banks and early graves – how the US sees the UK now" by Arwa Mahdawi

The Guardian (London)

A land divided between those who live lives of obscene opulence and those--the vast majority--who live lives of charity-shops, unemployment or miserable, poorly-paid "gig-economy"-jobs to which they travel morning and evening, if in greater-London, crammed like sardines into a mass-transit system's buses and subterranean trains which are already straining and routinely failing under an inability to cope with the current population--which is growing. Ghettos of third-world alien-culture immigrants, whole neighborhoods where one might as well be in Cairo, Lahore, Islamabad or Mumbai.

This is a fucked-up, failing, dysfunctional state; it's full of people who are resigned to their miserable plight. On any rush-hour commuters' route one sees everywhere the blank-faced looks which seem to say, "we expect nothing better and we keep our misery unmentioned."

... ("Britain is mired in democratic crisis – but it goes much deeper than Brexit" by Aditya Chakrabortty)

..."Put bluntly: yes, Britain is mired in a democratic crisis. But it is one that is older, wider and deeper than this week’s debacle over Brexit and parliamentary sovereignty, and it features across our everyday lives.
It’s there in our privately run academy schools, which will get another wodge of cash in Wednesday’s expected spending round from chancellor Sajid Javid. Under the auspices of today’s arch-Brexiteers, Cummings and his then frontman at the department for education, Michael Gove, turned our schools system into what an LSE study calls 'highly opaque', marked by 'little transparency, democratic accountability or public or parliamentary scrutiny'.

"It’s plain as day in the London borough of Barnet, where the Tory council outsourced the vast bulk of local authority functions to giant private businesses and then – when the evidence of service failure and ballooning costs grew too thick – this summer gagged local residents from asking too many questions at council committee meetings. It’s there in the sweetheart deals big builders cut with local councils and the one George Osborne cut with Google over their tax bill.

"The master-text on the moment we’re in was published nearly 20 years ago. 'Coping With Post-Democracy' was an alarm sounded by the British political scientist Colin Crouch towards the end of Tony Blair’s first term as prime minister. He coined the term 'post-democracy' to refer to a country that still had its ballot boxes and elected chamber and rowdy journalists – only all were being drained of meaning." ...


Edited: Sep 4, 9:18am Top

Boris Johnson's secret plan?

Karl Brophy @KarlBrophy | 9:58 AM · Sep 3, 2019
1. Have election.
2. Tories win handsomely, get rid of dependency on DUP.
3. Demand EU gets rid of UK-wide backstop.
4. EU says: "Sure, it was your idea in the first place."
5. Revert to Northern Ireland only backstop
6. Declare victory
7. #Brexit with a deal on Oct 31.


"you great big girl's blouse"?? Wish we had question period!

BBC Politics @BBCPolitics | 7:43 AM · Sep 4, 2019:
"Call an election, you great big girl's blouse"
Boris Johnson goads Jeremy Corbyn during #PMQs

Boris Johnson goads Jeremy Corbyn during PMQs
BBC News
Live updates: http://bbc.in/2zMzMJG 0:02


BBC Politics @BBCPolitics | 7:58 AM · Sep 2, 2019:

"The Brexiteers are laying a trap, to seem as if pushed into an election whilst actively preparing for one"

Tony Blair warns Jeremy Corbyn not to back a general election called by Boris Johnson, and push for a referendum on Brexit instead

tap to expand http://bbc.in/32jmReu ( https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-49552403 )

Sep 4, 9:24am Top

>35 margd: Karl Brophy's "secret plan" has a couple of issues, event though the thrust is perhaps correct.

1. The deal with an NI only backstop is still not acceptable to many hardline Brex maniacs in the "no longer conservative nor unionist party". He would have to win a landslide majority to get that deal through.

2. Even if he managed such a majority on October 15, there is simply not enough time to go to the EU and get the deal renegotiated and agreed by EU leaders and parliament before October 31. That is a ridiculously short timescale, and even if by some miracle (and it really would have to be a miracle) that were possible, there would be no time for the enabling legislation required. Thus we are into the realm of requiring "technical extensions". The only Brexit possible on October 31st is a car crash Brexit. Everything else must come later.

Sep 5, 12:44am Top

A nice quote from Nicholas Soames, the veteran Conservative MP and grandson of Winston Churchill, who voted against Johnson:

“In a debate in the House in 1938, Chamberlain accused my grandfather of undermining his negotiations with the Germans... I think history will prove my grandpapa to be right under the circumstances. And I think I will prove to be right.”


Sep 5, 2:19am Top

The wind is changing on Scottish independence (Times)

Advocates for leaving the European Union have been inclined to dismiss claims that Brexit could undermine Scotland’s continued membership of the United Kingdom. Our exclusive YouGov poll today casts doubt on that assertion.

It can no longer be presumed that Scotland would vote “no” again in an independence ballot...

In other words, the Conservative and Unionist Party (the official name of the Tories) is, through it's pursuance of a no-deal Brexit, increasing the chances of the break-up of the United Kingdom which its official name claims to be protecting.

Sep 5, 3:17am Top

The New Statesman explains the oddity yesterday whereby an amendment that was set to fail was passed, because the Government neglected to provide tellers:


Basically another sign of why you can't trust this Government to act fairly.

Edited: Sep 5, 7:21am Top

Had to look up "tellers". If anyone else was wondering:

Tellers are appointed to verify the count when there is a division* in the Commons or the Lords and to report the result back to the House.

Four tellers are required for a division to take place: two representing those voting for the motion and two representing those voting against. Two tellers - one from each side - are present in each division lobby to ensure a fair count. The result is then reported back to the occupant of the Chair, or the Woolsack, in the Chamber.

Tellers, who are often party whips, are not counted in the totals of those voting for or against a motion. They are, however, taken into account when a quorum is required for a division.



* When a vote is held the Speaker in the Commons - or Lord Speaker in the Lords - asks Members to call out whether they agree or not. The Speaker will then judge whether there is a clear result. If this cannot be determined, the Speaker or Lord Speaker calls a division by announcing 'clear the lobbies' (in the Commons) or 'clear the bar' (in the Lords).

...During a division, Members literally divide into two separate areas. These are called the Aye and No lobbies in the Commons and the Contents and Not Contents lobbies in the Lords.

As they pass through the lobbies, the Members have their names recorded by clerks and are counted by tellers. Once the lobbies are empty the Speaker (Commons) or the Lord Speaker (Lords) announces the result of the division. The whole process takes about fifteen minutes....


Sep 8, 10:02am Top

Irish archbishop warns against ‘dangerous’ uncertainty posed by Brexit (Crux)

Britain and Ireland are going through “a period of dangerous political, social, and economic uncertainty,” according to the president of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh pointed to the lack of a sitting Northern Irish Assembly, an increase in sectarianism over the summer, and the Brexit crisis as the main drivers of this uncertainty...

“Our faith makes us want to cry out at the extent of homelessness, poverty, addictions and violence, criminality and corruption on the streets of Ireland. It moves us to weep that so many of our young people resort to self-harm and taking their own lives,” he said. “We cannot ignore the plight of the refugee and those who are hungry, persecuted, trafficked and exploited in our world. We rightly feel ashamed and repulsed by the horrific revelations of child abuse and other shameful episodes where the reputation of the Church was put before the compassionate call of the Gospel to protect the vulnerable and reach out to the marginalized”...

Sep 11, 5:51am Top

:D I know the Queen can't enter the House of Commons, but Black Rod is new to me! (Apparently Canada, Australia, and NZ also have a "Black Rod". Who knew??)

Who is Black Rod and what do they do in Parliament?

Anand Giridharadas @AnandWrites | 9/10/2019:
Just when you thought you were starting to understand British politics, something or someone called Black Rod enters the scene.

Keva (kay-va) 🏳️‍🌈 @Synergy3k | 10:30 PM · Sep 9, 2019
Black Rod is not here for your nonsense.

...Black Rod is best known for the State Opening of Parliament, knocking on the door of the House of Commons to summon MPs for the Queen's Speech.

When Black Rod summons MPs to the House of Lords to hear the Queen's Speech, she (or he) has the door to the Commons slammed in her face, and has to knock three times to gain entry.

Black Rod is the Monarch's representative in the Lords and the routine is symbolic of the Commons' independence from the Crown....


Sep 11, 7:23am Top

#42--the Labour MP and former coal miner Dennis Skinner almost always makes a quip during this ceremony--some are LOL funny.

Sep 11, 8:51am Top

BBC News - Brexit: Scottish judges rule Parliament suspension is unlawful

Mr Johnson has previously insisted that it was normal practice for a new government to prorogue Parliament, and that it was "nonsense" to suggest he was attempting to undermine democracy.

But the Court of Session judges were unanimous in finding that Mr Johnson was motivated by the "improper purpose of stymieing Parliament", and he had effectively misled the Queen in advising her to suspend Parliament.

They added: "The Court will accordingly make an Order declaring that the prime minister's advice to HM the Queen and the prorogation which followed thereon was unlawful and is thus null and of no effect."

The Court of Session does not criticise the Queen's decision to prorogue Parliament at Boris Johnson's request; it rules on the advice the Prime Minister gave the Queen. But the ruling raises questions for the Palace and the constitutional role of the Queen.

Meanwhile, a hearing at the High Court in Belfast into the implications of a no-deal exit is continuing, with a campaigner for victims of the Troubles arguing that it could jeopardise the Northern Ireland peace process.

Edited: Sep 11, 11:38am Top


"But the Court of Session judges (note: a Scottish court) were unanimous in finding that Mr. Johnson was motivated by the 'improper purpose of stymieing Parliament', and he had effectively misled the Queen in advising her to suspend Parliament."

It would seem, then, that it's illegal (de facto) for a governmental official to do anything which some judges take it into their damn fool heads to determine as having "stymied" Parliament--whatever the hell that may be. We discover these things on a case-by-case basis as and when the court judges, as suits their whims, make things up as they go along.

LOL! "mustn't 'stymie' parliament", ya hear? What happens then when parliament "stymies" itself!?--as it has been doing so well now for more than three years!

As far as I can see, if, rather than undertaking the prorogation of Parliament, the prime minister had done its opposite, namely keeping parliament in session beyond a date certain, that, too, by the same token, could be held to be similarly illegal ---provided that the damned court's judges ruled that the "purpose" of keeping parliament in session was one of "stymeying" the legislature.

Britain's parliament now enrolls its judiciary in the work of helping it blaze new trails in making itself an interntional laughing-stock.

This shall pobably be appealed. Otherwise, why have a prime minister at all? Why not simply turn every issue over to the administration of parliament's members?

Maybe the answer is that this isn't done because, so often, as is the case now, parliament is simply incapable of determining how a matter should be settled. It's hopelessly divided, paralyzed between two or more competing courses.

Parliament is a hopeless, helpless slobbering, staggering drunk and the Scotish Court of Sessions has just ruled that it is illegal for anyone to "stymie" its ambitions to get to the bar and order another drink. A few hours later, an English court ruled that parliament, when too inebriated, can be refused further drinks.

Members of parliament are behaving as spoiled little juveniles who'ved gotten drunk and are now very angry that an pseudo-adult figure (compared to their own childish behavior) has intervened and denied them more booze.

"The prime minister’s decision to prorogue parliament for five weeks was a political matter and not one that should be reviewed by the courts, English judges have declared. (The Guardian (London) )

"Two hours after the Scottish appeal court ruled that Boris Johnson’s advice to the Queen to suspend parliament was 'unlawful', three of the most senior English judges explained why they had come to a diametrically opposed conclusion.

"Last week, the lord chief justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, the master of the rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, and the president of the Queen’s bench division, Dame Victoria Sharp, dismissed the challenge by the legal campaigner and businesswoman Gina Miller.

"On Wednesday, the judges gave the full reasons for that decision in a 24-page judgment, which concluded with sentence: 'In our view, the decision of the prime minister to advise Her Majesty the Queen to prorogue parliament is not justiciable in Her Majesty’s courts.' "

Amazing but true: Britons have a governmental establishment which is run by people who are stupider by far than is the average man or woman on the street!


Sep 11, 2:38pm Top

>45 proximity1: "This shall pobably be appealed"

This will definitely be appealed, and whether the Supreme Court upholds the judgement is not at all clear. Neither I nor you can really make a good judgement on that because it relies on evidence that is not in the public domain.

If the PM misled the Queen (as the court has found, and the Supreme court may or may not uphold next week) then not only is this judgement right, but the PM's position is constitutionally untenable. He should resign. With this amoral man, however, don't hold your breath.

Lying to parliament is sufficient cause for a minister to resign. Lying to the monarch is technically treason. If the man told the Queen that the reasons for prorogation were X when he told others that the reasons are Y, then he will have misled the Queen, and failed in his constitutional role.

Did that happen? Well, almost certainly yes. However, the question is whether he left a clear evidential trail that this happened. If he did that, the Supreme Court would uphold the judgement. If the evidence is lacking, the case will be overturned.

We shall see.

Sep 11, 5:55pm Top

>46 sirfurboy: And following up my message, here is a radio interview with a lawyer who explains why the Scottish court were forced to reach the decision they reached, and the smoking gun that it points to (that no one will put their name to a witness statement that the prorogation was for the purpose of a Queen's Speech):

David Allen Green's take on Scottish Prorogation Ruling

Sep 12, 6:55am Top

>46 sirfurboy: It is interesting that the Scottish court has taken the step of releasing into the public domain the evidence submitted to the hearing - including the documents proving that the PM was considering prorogation a fortnight before he denied considering it.

On that evidence, he has definitely lied to Parliament, which should normally require his resignation.

He may well have also lied to the Queen. However I can find nothing in the law to confirm your statement:
Lying to the monarch is technically treason.

On which statute are you basing this assertion?

Edited: Sep 12, 2:16pm Top

In the opinion of a London court, the prorogation of parliament is a political matter and not justiciable--if so, it would follow that those bringing suits against P.M. Johnson are presuming standing to sue where they have none.

This question is going to be reviewed and ruled on by a panel of judges of an appeal court--the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.

If the court, on final appeal, rules in favor of the parliamentary malcontents then this fucking idiot nation is even more lost and hopeless than I imagine it to be.

It's sheer folly for a judiciary to intervene in such a matter. If the court can overrule the prorogation in this case then it's going to find itself having to settle each and every instance in the future since there shall always be those in the House of Commons who object to the prorogation in any highly-charged political circumstances--and those are simply too common to avoid.

The British people have got to start showing that they deserve better than this bullshit from their national legislatures. If they don't, they're going to prove instead that they don't deserve better and are getting just the fucking insanity their own insanity indicates they deserve.


— (The Evening Standard (London)) ( News Politics )
“Brexit legal challenge thrown out by high court in Belfast” — Bonnie Christian (12 September, 2019)

"A legal challenge that argued the Government's Brexit strategy will damage the Northern Ireland peace process has been dismissed.

"Lord Justice Bernard McCloskey delivered his ruling at Belfast's High Court on Thursday morning on three joined cases against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's handling of the UK's departure from the European Union.

"The trio of challenges contended that a no-deal Brexit on October 31 would undermine agreements involving the UK and Irish governments that were struck during the peace process and which underpin cross-border co-operation between the two nations.

"But the judge, in his written ruling, judge said: 'I consider the characterisation of the subject matter of these proceedings as inherently and unmistakably political to be beyond plausible dispute.'

" 'Virtually all of the assembled evidence belongs to the world of politics, both national and supra-national.'

" 'Within the world of politics the well-recognised phenomena of claim and counterclaim, assertion and counter-assertion, allegation and denial, blow and counter-blow, alteration and modification of government policy, public statements, unpublished deliberations, posturing, strategy and tactics are the very essence of what is both countenanced and permitted in a democratic society.' "



(Business Insider )"Leaked resolution reveals the EU is preparing to grant the UK another Brexit extension"

Thomas Colson, Adam Payne and Adam Bienkov ¦

The European Parliament is preparing to grant the United Kingdom a third delay to Brexit, a leaked resolution seen by Business Insider suggests.

The resolution, which is due to be approved by members of European Parliament next week, says an extension should be offered to avoid a no-deal Brexit.

The members will also support a fresh Brexit delay to create time for a general election or a referendum, the resolution says.

One member of the Parliament's Brexit Steering Group said after a meeting with Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, that she believes an extension will be offered.


"Game, Set, Match, Johnson"


Sep 12, 11:16am Top

>48 -pilgrim-: Okay, yes, "treason" under its legal definition would be wrong in this case (although there are some historical cases from centuries ago of people being executed for misleading the monarch). The offence of misleading the monarch in advice on matters of state, such as this was, would more properly be sedition. The sedition laws were repealed in 2010, so Johnson is not going to the Tower over this one, but technically it is still sedition.

Sep 12, 11:29am Top

>49 proximity1: "In the opinion of a London court... "

The court was in London, but you are talking about an English court. Johnson's advice has been found to be misleading by a Scottish court. You are aware, I take it, why there are two legal systems?

I can think of no other time in my lifetime when there has been anything remotely controversial about prorogation. You are, of course, perfectly well aware of why this is a very special case in the middle of a constitutional crisis. Your analysis of the implications appears to assert your ignorance of that fact, but I suspect you are not as ignorant as you are pretending.

Sep 13, 5:08am Top

Britain Outlined the Impact of a No-Deal Brexit. It’s Not Pretty.
Megan Specia | Published Sept. 12, 2019. Updated Sept. 13, 2019,

While Prime Minister Boris Johnson has minimized the potential damage of a no-deal Brexit, an internal document warns of many of the same dislocations the critics have talked about.

Choice and availability of food will decrease and prices will rise.

Huge waits at border crossings.

Risk for the health care industry.

Protests and riots are a possibility.

The Irish border will be a big problem.


Sep 13, 5:10am Top

>52 margd:

A document which the government refused to release until forced to do so by parliament.

Sep 13, 5:18am Top

>53 johnthefireman: And by all accounts have not yet complied fully - there are documents they have not released that are captured by the request.

Moreover they edited the document before release to change the wording "base scenario" to now read "worst case scenario" to allow government spin doctors to get to work. They also redacted the part about government policy causing the collapse of the British oil refining industry with the loss of thousands of jobs and causing fuel shortages, with all the adverse effects that would bring.

Edited: Sep 13, 8:56am Top

We don't vote to decide a government, never to revisit the question. Why one vote on Brexit?

such a close referendum vote,
suspected Russian skullduggery,
prospect of Scotland leaving the UK,
prospect of Irish Troubles resuming,
near-certainty of upheaval and deprivation, and
likely having to negotiate a post-Brexit US trade deal with a weak hand--
SURELY it's worth letting the British people vote again.

As Quebec can attest, one can always reconsider at a later date if one chooses to stay,
but once cut, ties are difficult to mend. At best, terms likely will be less advantageous.

Sep 13, 8:59am Top

>55 margd:

Agreed. I can't see any argument for not having a new referendum. If the Brexiteers are so confident that they represent the will of the majority, they have nothing to fear. Indeed Nigel Farage himself said a few months ago that he would welcome another referendum, as he was convinced that it would return an even greater majority for Brexit and would thus strengthen and speed up the leaving process. Let's see.

Sep 13, 9:11am Top

Passionate politicians took us into Europe. A poisonous press is dragging us out (Guardian)

A new book* reminds us how the idealistic architects of our entry into Europe have been undone by a Europhobic press...

How was it done, that 1975 result of 67% to 33% in favour of staying in the EC? As in its fateful 2016 reprise, almost all heavyweight figures in all parties, business voices, writers and thinkers backed belonging in Europe. Those now searching for reasons why that same heavyweight backing failed this time often blame exactly that establishment phenomenon: an angry electorate opted for the outsiders, the insurgents, rebelling against know-it-all authorities.

But whose rebellion was it really and led by whom? Radice reminds us of the vital salient fact too often ignored, or dismissed, because it’s so blindingly obvious as to be banal. In 1975 only one newspaper – just one – advocated voting against the simple question “Do you think the United Kingdom should stay in the European community?” It was the Morning Star. All the others, yes, the Mail, the Telegraph, the Sun, the Times – every single other one – advocated staying. What a contrast with the 2016 referendum, when the majority of UK papers was controlled by a handful of virulently Europhobic offshore press barons, who strongly influence the broadcasters’ agendas.

For 40 years the poison dripped from their pens in the wake of Rupert Murdoch’s arrival, when Margaret Thatcher broke our ownership laws to allow him to take over nearly 40% of all British press. The Eurocrats became the foreign enemy, with every British negotiator setting off as to war with Brussels. Never underestimate that colossal cultural influence, even if deeper sociological reasons for the leave vote are more interesting. Every prime minister was bullied by newspapers into anti-European fist-shaking. EU elections came and went ignored by the parties. None dared sing the EU’s praises, not even Tony Blair – and now he does when it’s far, far too late...

* A Love Affair with Europe: The Case for a European Future by Giles Radice

Edited: Sep 13, 12:31pm Top

>55 margd:

"We don't vote to decide a government, never to revisit the question. Why one vote on Brexit?"

Yes, why "one vote on Brexit?" why not two or three or four?

As you point out, "We don't vote to decide a government, never to revisit the question," however, as much as you despise him, in the election of Donald Trump, there was one and "only" one "vote" (i.e. electoral contest) to decide the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Many people were shocked and outraged at the election of Trump and they not only wanted to get rid of him at any cost and through any means, they stopped at virtually nothing to obtain just that result--get rid of an electoral result they hated. This included everything --even insisting that the election was so "flawed" that it's outcome had to be set aside. That is just what those opposed to the Brexit referendum's result are still trying to do just as they've been trying to do ever since the referendum's result.

But Trump's opponents didn't succeed. He was inaugurated and took office--just as he ought to have done because that was the outcome of the election at which he was chosen. There was no "let's have a 'do-over.'"

And here is the point: Yes, in electoral affairs, questions, issues, are "re-visited" so to speak; but they're not--under ordinary circumstances--supposed to be annulled, rejected, overturned, before they are put into effect. There's a vote and the outcome is respected, FFS! Not denied, not rejected, not undermined by all means most foul and dishonest.

Where the vote was open, fair and as reasonably and honestly done as is generally the case and as was very clearly the case here with the Brexit referendum, that vote's reuslts are accorded the courtesy of being implemented--tried out, FFS! because this was the expressed intent of the majority of the electorate participating--the "50%-plus 1" at a minimum which democratic votes require; and are not set aside just because the outcome is offensive to society's social, financial and political "glitterati."

A decision was made--in British English parlance, "taken". It was supposed to be put into effect.

Instead, a hysterical reaction sprang up immediately and all Hell broke loose as lots of people (but not a voting majority in this case) decided they'd do everything possible to undermine their fellow-citizens' electoral majority choice.

That "ain't 'cricket!,' "dear."

As though this is somehow novel or news to you! Get a goddamn fucking clue. This is not "rocket-science".

Sep 13, 1:01pm Top

>58 proximity1: A decision was made--in British English parlance, "taken". It was supposed to be put into effect. Instead, a hysterical reaction sprang up immediately and all Hell broke loose as lots of people (but not a voting majority in this case) decided they'd do everything possible to undermine their fellow-citizens' electoral majority choice.

No. The government of the day spent three years trying to implement the decision in the best possible way, ie with a deal which would safeguard British interests rather than with a no-deal Brexit. They failed, in large part due to the intransigence of the pro-Brexiteers in their own party who were unwilling to make the necessary compromises. Now it seems that the Brexit possibilities are a deal which seems to satisfy nobody or a no-deal which would be a disaster. Surely it's time to put those options to the electorate again, particularly as neither option matches the promises of the Brexit campaign during the earlier referendum?

Sep 13, 2:37pm Top

#58--a democratic election where the 'winner' got 2.9 million less votes than the 'loser' is not flawed? It even seemed flawed to Donald himself. That's why he insisted for long afterwards that so many of those who voted for Hilary were illegals and why he went on and on about voter fraud.....because the optics of that voter disparity were even obvious to him. He didn't win a majority--he wins because of a flawed and undemocratic electoral college system.

Sep 13, 2:41pm Top

U.K. Stock Market Increasingly Indicating Brexit Is Dead (Forbes)

The U.K. stock market is increasingly telling us Brexit is dead. This possibility in the almost unfathomable Brexit crisis has become totally feasible...

Sep 13, 5:24pm Top

>58 proximity1: “it was supposed to be put into effect”

But what was? Vote Leave, on their website promised (a) that article 50 would not be triggered until we had a deal and (b) that it might not be triggered at all if we got a better deal as a result of our vote to leave.

Promises that were not kept - but you see how this muddies the waters? So what exactly did the voters ask for, according to the Government?

The Government promised that if voters voted for leave then the government and parliament would investigate the options and find a model for leaving. They indicated that Norway, Switzerland, Canada and other models would be looked at.

And, in fact, they have done that. They implemented the vote to leave inasmuch as they have done what they promised - and discovered that there is no majority for ANY model of Brexit.

Now they should apologise to the British people for presenting a choice they cannot implement. But it is clearly ludicrous to argue that we should take no account of what the people think now, after all that investigation has come up short.

You know this, of course. We have been through it and you fully understand and see the case for a confirmatory referendum. The problem is that you, and others who oppose such a referendum, suspect what the rest of us are pretty confident about: that the will of the people has changed. That a majority would like to remain members of the EU. That this is the only option that commands any kind of majority support.

You are afraid that the will of the people will be betrayed by the will of the people. And, of course, that is impossible. The people cannot betray themselves. If the majority, at this point, wish to remain in the EU then to do anything else is simply iniquitous.

Sep 13, 11:57pm Top

>62 sirfurboy:

Thanks for articulating it so simply and clearly.

Edited: Sep 14, 1:43am Top

I note that government webpages now have a banner headline stating: Britain is leaving the EU on 31st October 2019.

Sep 16, 1:10pm Top

I have already said I wondered if the government was going to use the Kinnock amendment they caused to be passed to the Benn Brexit bill to try to squirm out of the bind they find themselves in. Well it seems there is evidence that plans are indeed afoot to do just that:


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