78

Brexit Endgame

Michael Antony

(Photo credit should read DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

This week, appropriately beginning 1st April, Brexit descended into farce after merely being a two-year comedy of errors. In fact it went beyond farce and became more like one of those Shakespearian tragedies like King Lear where doomed tragic heroes begin behaving like clowns and demented court jesters. The doomed tragic hero in this case is the United Kingdom itself and its venerable (some would say senile) parliamentary system.

Brexit had two toxic characteristics built into it. The people voted to leave the EU by a clear majority, but they elected a parliament that was 75% in favour of Remain. This is because of the class bias of the Brexit vote (the Remain chattering classes versus the Brexit deplorables.) This required a superhuman abnegation on the part of MPs to implement the will of the people when they thought the people had gone mad. Some MPs were capable of this spirit of intellectual self-sacrifice for democracy’s sake. Most were not and fought tooth and nail to stop Brexit or water it down to the point of it losing all purpose. They kept up a dishonest mantra that what was voted for was not deliverable. It was only not deliverable because of them.

The second toxic element was EU manoeuvring. The EU bosses had two goals: stop the UK leaving, or, if they couldn’t, make leaving such a disaster for the UK it would deter anyone else. (Their political goals of power and unity trumped the economic interests of their citizens.) They took advantage of the fact that after May’s reckless snap election she was dependent on the Northern Irish DUP for a majority, and needed every single Conservative MP on side.

May went for the full Brexit: outside the customs union and the single market, which meant she was relying totally on Conservative and DUP votes to get her deal through. The EU then slipped into the Withdrawal Agreement a poison pill: the Irish Backstop, a temporary membership of the Customs Union until a free trade deal was negotiated, so as to prevent a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. This arrangement could only be ended by mutual agreement — that is, with EU permission. What is more it required alignment of Northern Ireland with single market rules. This poison pill could not be swallowed by the DUP, because it divided NI from GB, or by the hardline Brexiteers because it could be used by the EU to keep the UK in the Customs Union forever.

Theresa May should have pounded the table to demand a time limit on the Backstop or a UK right to leave it unilaterally, or else she would walk away. A dragon in the Commons but a mouse in Brussels, she funked it. The EU were adamant the Backstop must be unlimited in time, and then insisted that the whole deal was now signed and couldn’t be re-opened. (At most they would give a few toothless verbal reassurances that were not part of it.) This intransigence guaranteed that the Withdrawal Agreement would never pass through parliament. The votes against it by the DUP and hardline Brexiteers, when added to the Remainer and partisan votes of the Labour Party (which falsely labelled the deal a “Tory Brexit”) ensured crushing defeats every time May presented it.

The only logical solution would have been to threaten the Labour Party with a no deal Brexit to make them come on board, since the Withdrawal Agreement itself had nothing in it that the Labour Party could not support. It did not go into the details of the future trade relationship of the UK and EU to be negotiated afterwards (i.e. it did not exclude a customs union or single market) and the Political Declaration which sketched this future out could easily have been fudged to keep everyone happy. Instead, May has now decided to compromise with Labour and explicitly accept staying in the Customs Union in order to get their support. Her own hardline Brexiteers are now in open revolt. The dance is becoming frantic as the deadline approaches of 12th April, the new date at which the UK must exit or else ask the EU for a long extension of article 50.

It remains to be seen at this moment whether the compromise over a Customs Union (which makes it impossible for the UK to make its own trade deals, one of the key goals of Brexit) goes ahead. Since it can only be written into the non-binding Political Declaration (as an intention), not the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement, it is hard to see Labour having any faith in the promises of a PM already on the way out.

Most important will be the attitude of the EU when May asks for an extension next week. Will they grant a long extension in the hope that Brexit fires will burn out and a second referendum will cancel it? (Resigning themselves to more of Farage’s harangues in the EU parliament, cheered on by hordes of French and Italian populists.) Or will they call time and force the UK to choose between renouncing Brexit and leaving at once with no deal? (In other words, surrender or suffer — the endgame of the more Machiavellian plotters among them, but perhaps now also of the merely exasperated and despairing.)

If the EU chooses the second course, this may be a salutary kick in the pants for the most selfish, blinkered, factious political elite on the planet. It is always enlightening to learn how unloved and dispensable one is. If it happens, the ultimate revelation will be whether the UK parliament will still have enough tattered rags of pride left to walk away, or whether they will cringe and crawl one more time (this time forever) to the cracking of the whip of their masters in Brussels. This really will determine what sort of nation Britain is and will be.

Michael Antony lives in Switzerland and has a blogsite: [email protected]
avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

Brexit negotiations? I have not infrequently wondered what sort of “back channel” negotiations that might otherwise be described as high-level strategizing, if any, might have been going on between Team-Barnier and Team-Self-Appointed-Less-Than-Principled-Former-UK-PMs from 23 June 2016 until now and what impact, if any, they might have had, or not, on the formal “negotiations” between Team-Barnier and Team-Forever-In-the-Dark-Current-Encumbent. Should I check in to the local Looney Bin for another course of Largys and a squirt or two of the high voltage or does this persistent fantasy have legs?

Paolo
Reader
Paolo

My problem with Brexit is that those at the forefront of pushing it are those that personify the core problems at the heart of the EU, corporatism, financialisation of……everything, uregulated markets and privatisation of government. Chancers like Johnson and Farage do not have the interests of the UK at heart, these are players that simply serve capital. And that is where the UK is headed when it leaves the EU, not that it wouldnt be if it remained, just that the Tories, unshackled, would add power boosters to make the process run even faster. Wasnt Jeremy Hunt claiming a few months back that his role model for a post Brexit UK was Singapore? The UK electorate is simply not savvy enough to vote for a party that isnt corporatist and Tory at heart.
God save the UK !!
And PS….As far as the refugee/migration problems confronting europe over the last few years are concerned, i’d just like to pose the question as to which european nation was at the very forefront of creating the conditions which resulted in this catastrophe?

Post 2008 the US has made a concerted effort to destabilise and destroy the EU. Sadly it seems to have worked.

mark
Reader
mark

I wasn’t aware that Soros and his billions were at the forefront of those pushing for Brexit and sticking his big nose into our business to bring that about.

shoog
Reader
shoog

With that comment you identify yourself as one of the Alt-right loons.

David Eire
Reader
David Eire

I have noticed an almost complete loss of reason and objectivity in many Brexiteers; similar in many ways to the hysteria of many Liberals about Trump. Even the objective reality that the UK and the US are split down the middle on these issues is denied.

In my opinion Brexit is a total mess and was always destined to be. I see it as part of the general European upsurge in Nationalism in reaction to Neoliberal Globalism. People instinctively realize that Neoliberal Globalism aims to erode and eventually eliminate Nationalism and Nations.

When I was born people were considered citizens of the nation and lived in a society of local communities. Today we considered to be units of production and consumption in a market. When I visit a government department I am addressed not as a citizen but as a customer. There has been a profound psychological reframing which has been systematically imposed on my country by the elites through their corporate media propaganda systems…and almost no one has noticed.

Neoliberalism is essentially Transnational Corporatism; the remaking of the human world in the image of the corporation. Neoliberalism is also Totalitarian and Imperial. It intends full spectrum domination and transformation of the entire human world in its image.

But beware, to believe anything I have written is to be a conspiracy theorist. In fact the corporate elites do not have any plans for the world. All they want is make as much money as possible…and if that means changing the world, well that is just by the way and certainly not anything they would ever consciously consider or systematically plan.

mark
Reader
mark

Maybe you prefer the “reason and objectivity” of somebody like Tusk, for whom Brexit was “the end of western civilisation.” Shame we can’t all match that fine sense of proportion,

Jim
Reader
Jim

…“This week, appropriately beginning 1st April, Brexit descended into farce after merely being a two-year comedy of errors.”…

That the European Union is a comedy with elephants in the rooms, is beyond doubts. The biggest elephant in the room is the fact that the UK never belonged to the Monetary Union of the Common Market. The UK never adopted the Euro, never… , and it will never do it, except if… …against the wall? This means that the fiat money is not shared. Did, because of this, the UK nevertheless belong to the EU? Yes! This means that the UK never wanted to share one the biggest risks, the Euro, with the EU. So what will the UK then leave, they were already not in the Monetary Union?

The EU countries are the scapegoat of powerful actors, it seems, all the countries do no belong to one political union and it is too easy for the strong ones, political or economic, to impose on the weak their politics. It seems that this was the purpose of the EU? How are the seats of the EU Parliament distributed?

We will not speak about the other elephants in the rooms, it seems that they they better in the dark? Have the “Nobel Lies” then, so much, to be respected?

bothfeetontheground
Reader
bothfeetontheground
Bob Marsden
Reader
Bob Marsden

The referendum choice between Remain and Leave each had entailments – inevitable consequences.

Remain entailed there being no changes and no additional effort required.

Leave entailed virtually everything changing and considerable additional effort – political, economic, commercial, organisational and conceptual – required over a period of years. And so it has proved.

People attributed to the choice that prevailed a variety of consequences or meanings.

Theresa May asserted [in her speeches: Lancaster House, January 2017; Tory Conference October 2016, and others] that the Leave choice entailed:
◆Leaving the Single market;
◆Leaving the customs Union;
◆Leaving the 40-odd European Union Agencies, and rejecting European Court of justice arbitration;
◆abolishing free movement of people between the UK and EU;
◆Maintaining “frictionless trade’;
◆Keeping an open border between EU Ireland and non-EU Northern Ireland.

“We do not seek to hold on to bits of membership as we leave.” Plan for Britain [17.1.17]

The Single Market, the European Union Agencies, free movement of labour, and the Customs Union are the means by which frictionless trade, cooperative exchanges, and open Irish border are achieved. So May’s Brexit propositions are mutually contradictory and Brexit, rather than being a tautology [“Brexit means Brexit”], is a paradox of incompatible requirements.

You can’t negotiate or compromise a paradox as it can’t be manifested in any shared actual realities.

The “red lines’ disqualify and veto the purposes to be realised. So all the proposed Brexits are impossible political objects. However hard you wish it (“just do it”), they remain unachievable.

Brexit has become a fundamental orthodoxy, and any who doubt its correct beliefs are heretics and deserving of punishment by those who claim to own the Brexit religion, and or which “hostile environment” is a pilot scheme.

mark
Reader
mark

The EU Eutopia has become an article of faith for those Brussels Groupies whose only purpose in life lies in worshipping at the altar of this religion. It’s like an example of Stockholm Syndrome or a woman in an abusive relationship who can’t imagine life without the abuser she has grown used to.

The 2016 Referendum was a once in a lifetime golden opportunity to escape from the EU sinking ship while there was still time. This has been deliberately sabotaged, undermined and delegitimised by the Brussels Groupies and the MSM who never accepted the result and worked tirelessly against it from the moment it was announced.

The process of leaving the EU could have been resolved in one five minute phone call. The current fiasco has been cynically manufactured by a corrupt, arrogant, unrepresentative, anti democratic elite.

shoog
Reader
shoog

Theres a degree of fundamentalism and denial of objective reality from the Brexiters which I find disturbing and doesn’t bode well for a successful resolution of this clusterfuck.

David Eire
Reader
David Eire

I have noticed an almost complete loss of reason and objectivity in many Brexiteers; similar in many ways to the hysteria of many Liberals about Trump. Even the objective reality that the UK and the US are split down the middle on these issues is denied.

In my opinion Brexit is a total mess and was always destined to be. I see it as part of the general European upsurge in Nationalism in reaction to Neoliberal Globalism. People instinctively realize that Neoliberal Globalism aims to erode and eventually eliminate Nationalism and Nations.

When I was born people were considered citizens of the nation and lived in a society of local communities. Today we considered to be units of production and consumption in a market. When I visit a government department I am addressed not as a citizen but as a customer. There has been a profound psychological reframing which has been systematically imposed on my country by the elites through their corporate media propaganda systems…and almost no one has noticed.

Neoliberalism is essentially Transnational Corporatism; the remaking of the human world in the image of the corporation. Neoliberalism is also Totalitarian and Imperial. It intends full spectrum domination and transformation of the entire human world in its image.

But beware, to believe anything I have written is to be a conspiracy theorist. In fact the corporate elites do not have any plans for the world. All they want is make as much money as possible…and if that means changing the world, well that is just by the way and certainly not anything they would ever consciously consider or systematically plan.

binra
Reader

I resonate with a lot that you wrote but greed is a means of leverage that manipulation uses and for that ‘drive’ money is just part of a toolset. Those who have leverage over key people in key societal roles – who have enough leverage over enough key people etc. While greed is associated with money and power it would be more accurate to identify it with lack-driven drive to possess and control (against dispossession).

‘It takes all sorts to make a world’ – as my Mum would say.

Reflecting on the theme of a ‘negative power’ in our mind and our world, as an adulteration and corruption of true power. A corruption that works fear and division such that we ‘know not what we do’ – because in a split mind-frame, truth and power have taken on different meanings – as a misperception covering over a direct inner knowing. Innocence lost … sight of.

bc
Reader
bc

With over 2/3rds of its seats having voted Leave, Labour may pay a heavy electoral price for having become associated a 2nd referendum. But as Basher points out below this was forced upon Corbyn by members at the Conference (and he had always made great play of members’ deciding policy).
Those Labour members were all aware of how many of tbe party”s seats voted Leave in 2016, so they have sent a very clear message that they would rather stay in the Neo liberal EU under continued Tory austerity at home than have an anti-austerity, antiwar Corbyn-led government. The irony is, their self-absorbed EU love will probably end up giving them continued Tory austerity outside of the EU.
Well done

shoog
Reader
shoog

I doubt this scenario will happen. The vast majority of the new labour support is made up of young remainers – a demographic which generally has always had poor voter turn out – and certainly had the lowest turn out on referendum day. Only be ensuring that this demographic turn out in large numbers do labour have any chance of winning the next election – so to alienate them by supporting Brexit would be a very bad move. The sad fact is that the aging population of England has drifted progressively to voting Tory and they are a lost cause as far as Labour is concerned – they have to concentrate on the under 50’s if they stand any chance of winning power.

24CtCynic
Reader
24CtCynic

That’s not entirely accurate. Most of the new Labour membership demographic is 30+ middle class city dwellers. Not what is needed to swing an election or a second referendum result.

Labour are on borrowed time and they know it. Generation Z is more Conservative (capital c) than their 1940’s predecessors. Low taxes, low immigration, low welfare. Corbyn is a fleeting anomaly forces to the front by the hard left to play sock puppet for their agenda. May is a Manchurian candidate to destroy the Eurosceptic right.

shoog
Reader
shoog

This simply doesn’t reflect the evidence:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/17/politics/gen-z-politics/index.html

More wishful thinking from the Alt_Right waiting for the young to lift their boat. the reality is that the Alt-Right is been buoyed by the graying baby boomers who are on the way out.

bc
Reader
bc

To stand any chance of winning power they need to retain their existing working-class seats in the North, Midlands and Wales. Virtually all those seats voted to leave the EU, not remain.

Jake Masoc
Reader
Jake Masoc

Stuff the EU and stuff Mays capitulation and appeasement.deal!!~ No deal as soon as possible and lets get on with it!~

shoog
Reader
shoog

Not a great article since it fails to address the elephant in the room. The backstop or something like it was inevitable on day one because the EU is the principle guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement and it requires an open border. Everything else logically follows from this basic fact. The fact that the Leave campaigner played this basic fact down shows that they were either stupid or lying from day one since those who understood the legal position of NI pointed it out on day one.

If you do not acknowledge this basic reality everything else you say is simply fantasy politics.

kweladave
Reader
kweladave

@ shoog

Shame on you! Fake facts – otherwise known as lying.

You assertion:

“The backstop or something like it was inevitable on day one because the EU is the PRINCIPLE GUARANTOR of the Good Friday Agreement”.

Absolute bollox!

The Good Friday Agreement (or Belfast Agreement) was between Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of Ireland. The EU was NOT a participant.

The EU is mentioned in the Agreement as follows:

“3. The Council to meet in different formats:
(iii) in an appropriate format to consider institutional or cross-sectoral matters (including in relation to the EU) and to resolve disagreement.

17. The Council to consider the European Union dimension of relevant matters, including the implementation of EU policies… to ensure that the views of the Council are taken into account and represented appropriately at relevant EU meetings.

31. Terms will be agreed… to ensure effective co- ordination and input by Ministers to national policy-making, including on EU issues.

ANNEX
Areas for North-South co-operation and implementation may include the following…
8. Relevant EU Programmes such as SPPR, INTERREG, Leader II and
their successors.”

NB no mention of ‘principle guarantor’, not even just ‘guarantor’.

See for yourselves, full document here. Just search for ‘EU’.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/136652/agreement.pdf

shoog
Reader
shoog

The agreement is built on European Law so disputes regarding the GFA are to be decided through the European Court.

shoog
Reader
shoog

What is more, there is no consent from the people of Ireland, North or South of the boarder, to have their European Union rights removed. If it goes ahead it will inevitably result in the fracturing of the UK on the basis of this lack of consent.

shoog
Reader
shoog

This document explains how EU law and the ECHR are central to the GFA:

https://www.thebritishacademy.ac.uk/sites/default/files/TheGoodFridayAgreementBrexitandRights_0.pdf

mark
Reader
mark

The EU is an irrelevance to the Good Friday agreement.
The role of the US is incomparably more significant.

shoog
Reader
shoog

You like to wear your ignorance on your sleeve where everyone can see it don’t you.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

Oh, for heaven’s sake, shoog, give it away. There is no unresolvable conflict between the UK and the Republic that is not resolvable under the terms and structures of the Belfast Agreement except those spurious logistical impediments willfully set up by the EU to hinder what might be termed a “frictionless” exit.

Absent the will of the EU to cripple the exit process there are several solutions, some of them already operational at the periphery of the EU others at borders elsewhere in the world, that could easily accomodate both the principals of the Agreement and the Pillocks (sp? Pillars?) of the Union. It is up to the Union to co-operate in the resolution of border difficulties that do not accord with the commercial advantage of its fasisct supremos and that co-operation has been signally absent from its position in the Brexit negotiations. Of course.
Unfortunately, the Brits have swallowed the EU’s malign intent and relabelled it as their own problem, coming up with “technogical” solutions and other shenanigans that can, in the era of big data, only be ultimately much worse, instead of sticking the EUs perfidy right back to where it belongs. Way to go, not.

It has been truly extraordinary watching the UK government actually acting on the supposition, instead of accepting it as just the “diplomatic” form of words it is, that the EU was an honest negotiator in the Brexit process. Neither Chamberlain at Heston Airport nor Arafat in Washington managed to actually look like (as well as being) such prime dupes.

shoog
Reader
shoog

The reason that the EU is not mentioned more in the GFA is simply because the laws that it is built on were implicit to the process and no one ever envisaged a point in the future where they would not be common to all jurisdictions.
The fact that your cursory analysis of the GFA didn’t reveal this is telling of your lack of real understanding of the issue, and probably applies to all areas of that “simple” process of brexit.

shoog
Reader
shoog

I am pointing out that the reason why a deal over the Irish border has not been forthcoming is because its incredibly difficult to draw one up due to the fact that it is built on European Law and the European Court and the European court of Human rights. If you cannot understand that the reason why better minds than yours couldn’t square the circle then that is simply a reflection of your arrogance rather than the simplicity of the situation.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

You are talking about what the EU is in law. I am talking about what it does to achieve its ends. Idiots listen to what politicians say, intelligent voters pay attention to what they do. Good doctors treat their patients, mediocre doctors treat their textbooks. Humdrum lawyers tell their clients what they may or may not do under the law, good lawyers tell them how to achieve their ends whatever the law does or does not say. All states, unions and federations apply, ignore or modify their laws, often all at once in the same case and frequently with zero consistency, as immediate political circumstances require. Many states, unions and federations, not unlike the EU (which does not exclude aquis), make up the whole caboodle as they go along and reinvent it on an almost daily basis. Now back to the law library with you before someone rips your favourite page out of its elaborate, gold-blocked, finest leather binding.

mark
Reader
mark

This is a nonsensical non issue. Britain has had a completely open border with Eire since independence in 1922. It has only ever been closed once, for a couple of weeks in 1944 before the D Day invasion of Normandy. They use different currencies, have different laws and regulations, different tax and VAT rates, amongst other things. This has never been an issue, not even during the 30 year campaign of violence.

It’s just another red herring, like the spurious self aggrandising claim that the EU is a force for good and peace in the world.

shoog
Reader
shoog

There is a difference between an open border and what is legally required under the good friday agreement. You are obviously ignorant of that agreement and its obligations. Still its not surprising since the vast majority of the English population are ignorant of Irish issues and really don’t care about what happens to them.

mark
Reader
mark

The Good Friday agreement was nothing to do with the EU.
Try reading it.

shoog
Reader
shoog

Such willful ignorance:
https://ukandeu.ac.uk/brexit-the-island-of-ireland-and-the-good-friday-agreement/

“The connection to the Good Friday Agreement is clear. The EU is mentioned in the document, and EU law is central to the statute enacted to give it effect in the UK, the Northern Ireland Act 1998.”

different frank
Reader
different frank

All because of a NON BINDING advisory vote in which only 37% of the electorate voted leave

mark
Reader
mark

The Referendum result was to be respected and implemented. The British people’s wishes were to be honoured. All political parties made public commitments to this effect. Even the eurofanatic Liberals, who were expecting a Remain result. “Either you believe in democracy or you don’t,” as Clegg helpfully explained. The government booklet sent to every household in the country stated that the decision whether to leave or remain was in the hands of the British people, who had to decide the issue. In the 2017 election, the manifestos of both the Tory and Labour parties undertook to respect the Referendum result.

In some countries like Australia, voting is compulsory. That is not the case in the UK. Millions of people choose not to vote for a variety of reasons. Some people can’t decide how to vote, or couldn’t care less, or have other priorities in their lives. Some people probably believe, like Mark Twain, that voting is pointless, because their wishes and interests will be ignored. When you see how the Referendum result has been stolen, sabotaged, and undermined, you have to admit they may have a point.

72% of people did vote, a higher participation than is achieved in general elections. Most governments are elected by a significantly smaller proportion of the electorate than those voting leave.

Like Cleggy said, either you believe in democracy or you don’t.
Most MPs and the political elite obviously don’t.

binra
Reader

Clegg believes in Facebook.

But the term ‘democracy’ is abused more often than wisely used.
Especially and often by those who have no willingness at all for transparency and accountability.
Believing in things can be an identity assertion – no different from a presentation to self and others.
But the idea of democracy still has some sense of freedom from tyranny – while falling prey to the tyranny of the mob.

Testing the system for shocks is also like testing the patient to see if they’ve gone ‘under’ yet.
Applying shaped charges of shock to the system to enable the clearing of obstacles is a new art form. But of the dark arts. Inducing others to do the opposite of what they would have by

Perhaps if I cant say something constructive, I shouldn’t say it at all – but the idea that the farce is a mistake is like believing US lost Vietnam. Our mind is being hacked through our ‘good intentions’ and aversion to see the hateful.
Manipulative deceit without moral restraint is the evil we used to NOT want to be delivered unto.
But an induced sense of moral self-righteousness is just the ticket to do whatever it takes to eradicate the threats, evils, or obstacles to bring in the new order.
Corruption is another term for a loss of integrity – or its subordination and capture by fear – that then seeks self-survival under threat of pain of loss.

mark
Reader
mark

All political parties, even the Liberals, made public commitments to honour and implement the Referendum result. As Clegg said at the time, “Either you believe in democracy, or you don’t.”

The Referendum had the highest turn out of any national vote, only slightly behind the Scottish Referendum.
Any politician would give his right arm for the support of 37% of the electorate. Most UK governments are elected on about that share of TOTAL VOTES CAST. If you count those who failed to vote, most governments gain power with the support of significantly less than 30% of the electorate. In the 2016 US election, only 52% of the US electorate bothered to vote. Trump was elected with the support of about 25% of the electorate.

Had 52% voted Remain, this would have been touted as a triumph in democracy, settling the issue for all time.

Like Cleggy said, either you believe in democracy or you don’t.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

Or 51.9% of those who actually voted. You can find a great deal more about how to count the Brexit vote at https://academic.oup.com/economicpolicy/article/32/92/601/4459491 if you are up to staggering through any more than the opening summary (all words, no numbers) without fainting too often.

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

You would appear to think that you have stumbled upon some unanswerable argument. Not quite old chap. Firstly the 37% of the electorate that you adverted to was the entire registered electorate of the UK, including non-voters. Since when have UK government elections and referenda ever reached 50%. Of the votes actually cast the leave vote won 52% of the votes to the remainers’ 48%, narrow but, it has at times been narrower.

Secondly the government’s – which advocated a remain vote – leaflet to vote told voters that it would implement the Referendum result. This promise, too, does the rounds on social media.

But here’s the trick. If the Remainers’ had obtained a majority then the issue would have been settled, the government would just carry on as usual. However, if the Leavers had won the referendum the government would have overruled the majority vote (as they are in the process of doing) since the referendum was only advisory. Boom, boom. Hobson’s choice! The leavers’ were never going to be allowed to win. The whole episode was a fraud, a farce and a denigration of democracy.

Some Random Passer-by
Reader
Some Random Passer-by

For every 1000 remain voted, 1074 voted leave.

Spin that Campbell!

different frank
Reader
different frank

In a non binding referendum.

24CtCynic
Reader
24CtCynic

Which it clearly was not. Except in the distorted mind of anti-democrats.

One can search through the televised debates archives on YouTube for government ministers and the Prime Minister and his successor stating the referendum result will be implemented.

So please. Change the well worn scratched and tedious record.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

Then (23 June 2016) as now. But in the UK? No frightening the horses, please: we’re 21st Century British.

“Totalblowoutback” is the historical stage when a softly-colonized former viscious colonizer becomes as craven as the Unclest Tom of the formerly viciously colonized. Anyway, as Uncle Tom Watson has repeatedly pointed out, a brexity sort of Brexit would undoubtedly breach the provisions of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work etc Act. The horses might break loose. Best not go there.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

What a cognitively dissonant mess. If I try very hard to imagine myself being a true Conservative, I would, of course, passionately want Brexit to succeed, as the only chance for our wonderful British nation to retain some independent significance in world affairs.
Where this notion completely crumbles, however, is in the all-pervading Conservative/Neo-Lib-owned media tripe which try to paint Brexit as a TERRIBLE idea.
My conclusion from all this is that the “elite” are actually terrified enough of Brexit to do whatever it takes to stop it.
Many people have noticed how, after initial scorn, rejection and very strong rhetoric, May’s detractors in the EU have allowed her to succeed time after time with her delaying tactics, which, I suspect are not even hers at all.
This shows how strong Britain actually is when it puts its foot down. It could probably wring an enormous bunch of concessions from the EU if it could just be bothered to stay the course.
Now my fear is that those delaying tactics will befog most people to the point where Britain will take its foot up again and settle for any old thing yet again.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

Of course it is actually the MPs who have gone mad.
People vote for vague notions of “democracy” without having the faintest notion of how viciously conservative all their MPs are, and that’s the only reason the greedy and the corrupt sit there in Parliament, with one or two notable exceptions who stick out like sore thumbs and are patronizingly allowed to survive.
The Second Part of Goethe’s “Faust” also does a pretty good job of foreseeing modern western politics, by the way.
Farce is the only word for what is happening.

Kitty
Reader
Kitty

I don’t understand what has happened to Labour. We all know Jeremy’s true feelings about the EU there are enough clips on UTube . Considering the high number of labour constituncies that voted to leave it is political suicide to call for a second referendum or attempt to sabotage BREXIT but that is what he is doing.One of the things that Jeremy has always stood for is his principles what on earth has happened? Labour has always been the party to stand up for democracy. He must know that he would never be allowed to be Prime Minister. Then again perhaps he knows that and is just making sure that the traitors around him are finished to.

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

”I don’t understand what has happened to Labour. We all know Jeremy’s true feelings about the EU there are enough clips on UTube”

I understand it perfectly: it’s the social-democratic playbook. When the going gets tough – roll over! We should have known this when Labour caved in to the zionist lobby and adopted the IHRA definition of anti-semitism. It has been in evidence across the whole of the EU. Centre-left parties – SPD, PASOK, PS, PSOE, SYIRIZA – has been swept away and then integrated into the centre-right, centre-left neoliberal blob.

There has been an historic failure of social-democracy to achieve a permanent change, and moreover, most of its social and political changes were easily reversed with Blair leading the pack. The new mix of social-liberalism – a contradiction in terms – in the ‘reformist’ left now increasingly consists of ex-activists and professional politicians using reformism as a type of ideology as a means to come in to power and engage in implementing a neo-liberal policy mix.

But hey, this is nothing new. The seminal work which first identified this reactionary tendency is to be found in Roberto Michels’ seminal work, ‘Political Parties’ in 1911

mark
Reader
mark

Jezza is probably just focussing on trying to survive the attacks of the Blairite Backstabbers and the smears of the Board of Deputies, with their openly expressed objective of driving him out of public life. The one good thing about the Brexit circus is that it has flushed out some of the Red Tory Backstabbers like Gapes/ Umunna/ Berger, who have obligingly deselected themselves.

Basher
Reader
Basher

Corbyn’s hands were tied. The Labour Brexit approach – People’s vote, had already been agreed at Conference. Nothing more to say.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

Sounds like you understand all-too well, Kitty…
Threats and bribes in high politics must be pretty hard to withstand, when you think of the careers and wealth at stake.

tom197482
Reader

You forgot the most toxic element of all, Mr Antony – a Conservative Party and media controlled by the CIA, and willing to lie to and betray the public in return for favours from Washington. Hence the lack of meaningful engagement by the Conservative Party with either the 48% or the EU, and the rampant pro-Brexit bias of the mainstream media. Brexit is a soft coup, and the only mistake honest Parliamentarians have made is in believing the Tory traitors are in any way honourable.

Some Random Passer-by
Reader
Some Random Passer-by

The Labour party is selling out its voters pushing for a soft brexit (no exit is their current attitude), and when Obama said back of the queue, it was because the septics couldn’t use us as a back door into Europe anymore.

All 650 have no honour. Let me know if you see anything about remain in the 2017 Labour manifesto.

Basher
Reader
Basher

It was agreed at Conference

Some Random Passer-by
Reader
Some Random Passer-by

Both me and the wife are ex members. Left for many reasons. Mostly that as poorly paid workers who have very little free time, and a lot less free cash, we got fed up with middle class entitled white folks throwing their cash, weight and free time about.

The members are members. They haven’t a clue. The voters are already walking away. See Newport for the reality (not polls or focus groups…)

Scumbags like Tommy Robinson are moving in to vacuum up their support (no one gives a rodents furry crack about them, not that Robinson does either).

Meanwhile, millions suffer (unlike the contemptible middle class).

mark
Reader
mark

Entirely agree, SRP, apart from your comment about the middle class, which I think is a common mistake. In the past, they enjoyed a small measure of reasonable salaries and benefits, job security, and pensions. But that is now ancient history. The working class and middle class are being ground down into a common lumpenproletariat lorded over by the 0.01%. Britain is owned and controlled by a tiny gilded elite of just 5,000 people. It is a distraction to try to set the working class against (what is left) of the middle class.

Some Random Passer-by
Reader
Some Random Passer-by

It is the middle class, with the luxury of working traditional hours and having weekends off that is steering the party currently.

No one I know (apart from retirees) gets the weekend off any more. You can’t compete against that. Granted, there’s another rung above the middle class, but the middle class wants to be them, and doesn’t want to be us. Why should I show any solidarity to a group that’s never once shown it to me? They like their cheap cleaners and low cost gardeners.

https://skwawkbox.org/2019/03/25/the-placards-that-speak-volumes-about-peoples-vote-campaign/

The pictures speak for themselves (the dog owner boils my piss in particular). It’s them Vs us. I didn’t start it, I don’t intend to finish it either. I don’t want to hate people, but I can’t like them either.

As far as I’m concerned, I know (in or out) that the future is going to be bleak. If I’m going to do anything as the middle class slips into my world, it’s going to be ala John McClain “Welcome to the party pal!”

carmpat
Reader
carmpat

Save us from narrow-minded, bigoted simplifications! I suppose I’m middle-class (though I don’t see the point of such classifications – and came originally from a working-class background, council house and all) but I have never had either a cleaner or gardener; I’ve often worked weekends, or overtime, and have no desire whatsoever to go up a ‘rung’. And I don’t think anyone would think me contemptible.
If I say I sympathise with your low wages and lack of cash that would sound condescending but just remember we’ve all been there. And if you think that what you call the ‘middle class’ never suffers, maybe you should take the blinkers off sometime and look around.
As for some of those placards – ever heard of irony?

mark
Reader
mark

Thanks for that. I take your point. Some of that is frivolous and fairly repulsive.
But I know many people you would probably accept as middle class. Teachers, doctors, managers, people with qualifications who don’t do manual jobs.
It’s the same story of being squeezed to do more and more with less and less, with less for themselves in return.
They don’t have second homes in Tuscany or take their dogs on skiing trips.

Some Random Passer-by
Reader
Some Random Passer-by

If they (really) can’t make ends meet and would be in trouble if the wage stopped, then they are not middle class. They are working class (bet that’ll cause a few upsets when it finally dawn’s upon them).

Never met a poor doctor yet though.

mark
Reader
mark

I’ve known doctors working 100 hours a week getting treated like dirt by their employers.

binra
Reader

Will they soon be replaced by A.I?
Symptom entry = tests indicated.
Test results entry = prescription issued.
Smart drugs report ingestion = no pharma hesitancy reeducation program required.

carmpat
Reader
carmpat

Ever met a doctor who doesn’t work weekends?

tutisicecream
Reader

You are not allowed to think. You are not allowed to have an independent action. As the Neo-liberal doctrine, dressed as left-wing think-tank-o-vision, dance into the fire you can be sure you were never allowed a voice.

But hell why worry when the real deal of independent thinking and freedom of speech and therefore thought is about to be lynched by the same security that brought you… Skripalbury-gate and Dirty-dossier-dirt via the Strange but Dear love franchise of Brennan and co Holy crusade for the salvation of Queeeen and country plus UncleSams Dollar boutique.

Remember this.. your safety is our concern. Your reality is our product. And tomorrow you will wake up and the sun will sine over End game Brexit. Cos it never happened.

Toby
Reader
Toby

The most informed and insightful reading of the process is that the farce and chaos are deliberate. Microsoft became infamous for their FUD tactics: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. Well that’s what we have with ‘Brexit’. It’s actually been Bre-entry behind various smoke screens and towards deeper neo-liberal federalism and so-called European Defense Union.

I agree with the hope noted by Mark below, namely that trust in the ‘elites’ is dwindling rapidly. Abstain from their nonsense, their FUD, and invest your energies in solid institutions like Common Law, Magna Carta, and the Bill of Rights, and also of course in the new and quickly rising independent media such as this site and others.

wardropper
Reader
wardropper

Good grief, I hope you’re right about declining trust in the “elites”, Toby.
I am frankly worried that notions like “Common Law, Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights” have already become toilet paper, following the example of the spectacular contempt shown for their Constitution by American “representatives” sixteen years ago…

Toby
Reader
Toby

We can have notions about these cornerstones of our heritage, but they themselves are not notions in the sense of idle ideas or fancies. Of course interpretation of their relevance and meaning is the inescapable essence of how we relate to them, work with them, and so on, but all group endeavor requires agreed sets of terms to some degree. In my interpretation – which is informed by only a shallow but deepening knowledge of each of these cornerstones – it is precisely because rampant and cynical corruption is very plainly the order of the day that we ought to get our bearings as a people by reference to how we did so at a similar stage of our own history. It is not that they are the be-all and end-all of what needs to be done, it is that they are likely to be most helpful in taking a stab at cleaning out the stables.

As for hope, there are no guarantees, apart from the certain fact that embarking on a battle of this kind is a lifetime’s undertaking. For me it is about doing what’s right regardless of the ‘success’ or ‘failure’ of doing so. But, somewhat in contradiction to that, also as effectively as possible.

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

The US deserves Trump and the UK deserves Brexit.
The vultures are coming home to roost.

binra
Reader

A farce from the outset; ‘Brexit’? Leader Cameron? Debate? Negotiations? Deals?
Worth noting that those who ‘make reality’ set the framework of narrative in which most everyone then thinks, speaks and reacts. And perhaps those who do not want direct exposure to fears give power to whatever they see as offering protection or the lesser pain.

While KoLs are now bought assets for PR, (Key opinion leaders), it remains so that anyone given or assigned influence has a greater responsibility for what they teach by word and deed.

The descent into farce is more like unto A Midsummer Night’s Dream- which actually makes humour of a near calamity. Initially in the subtler or higher realms and reflecting in principalities down through to the common lot.

I note that Shakes spear (Pallas Athena) brought about a basis for English language as a cultural renewal of ancient archetypes brought forth for our recognition in reflection.

Someone said ‘give me a the songwriter and I care not who runs the country’ or similar – which became ‘give me a central bank and I care not…..’

Beneath the level of appearances are principalities or powers in the world – and beneath them is that from which the power is inherited – or indeed usurped.

Each is a microcosm of the whole regardless the role played on the world stage.
But we can only recognize from our current level of acceptance.

If we are compelled by our dramatic investments we are glued to our ‘screen’ or stage and only dimly aware of a script when it is shown in parody within the drama.

Plato comes in to free us from being chained to shadows – and we intensify our freedom from such interference by investing ever more energy and attention in defence by the corruption and limiting of the faculty of the mind, of language and communication.

While there is a world, there will be powers in the world that may be in or out of accord with a true account and appreciation, because if you cannot SEE it, you cannot free yourself of it, and share in that freedom with the seeing of others in a new light.

mark
Reader
mark

My money is on further unlimited crawling to Brussels.
Brexit is only undeliverable because the people whose responsibility it was to deliver it never had any intention of delivering it in the first place.
The one saving grace of this whole tawdry, degrading spectacle is that it has shown up our sham democracy for what it is.
And there will be a price to pay for this, going on for years, like ripples in a pond.
Beginning with the break up of the two main parties.
And not ending there.
Everything is becoming increasingly turbulent and unstable. Public support or tolerance of the elites and the systems they represent is dwindling away rapidly.

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

”Everything is becoming increasingly turbulent and unstable. Public support or tolerance of the elites and the systems they represent is dwindling away rapidly.”

Agreed, yep, like the man said:

”All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.” Marx/Engels – Communist Manifesto 1848.

We seem to be at the inflexion point of fundamental historical change where the outcome is extremely uncertain.

As Gramsci put it,

”The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

How prophetic these men were.

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

‘”All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned…”‘

When I mentioned the powerul insight of Nietzsche in analyzing that historical moment, albeit from a different perspective than that of Marx and Engels, one of the Reader’s Digest Condensed Pnilosphy fans posting here informed me that he had a second rate mind gone mad. In fact, his famous prophetic (I.e. before the event, despite its tense) statement “God is dead” encapsulates the same conclusion and was born out of a similarly deep concern for finding a way through the above delineated, potentially society-destroying chaos when the fact of the demise of God found expression in the general psyche. A rounded culture expresses its development in many different ways.

Francis Lee
Reader
Francis Lee

Quite so. ”If God is dead, everything is permitted.” Alyosha to Dmitry in the Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky.

binra
Reader

The idea of God was replaced (again) but with a dead conceptual system of thinking.
So although it isn’t called a god – its function is the usurping of what was ascribed or derived from God.
This pattern is a deep archetype of the death of a God, Era, or Age and the emergence of the new.
The idea of God is of course many things to many people but one of them is the upholder of order over chaos.
That the ‘gods’ were generally gods OF chaos or terror meant that supplications of appeasement, mitigation and emulation as praise or aligning in worship under, operates a focal point of a mind in chaos.

The Classical Ideals of Order may also seem like an old saturnian Golden Age in some sense – but they were ideals set against a chaos that was much less insulated against and repackaged into complex narrative identity than the ideals of the ‘scientific’ technologism of systems of extended powers and protections that of course … do not deliver as their lure or promise suggested.

‘Anything goes’ is on the one hand freedom to act on anything at all – but thought is the framing of reality from which any response is expressed or suppressed. So any think goes is a freedom to imagine and favour or align in whatever thought attention alights in (that we abide in by giving attention). But whatever we first accept as self definition in relation to anything, sets the framework through which all thought proceeds or unfolds.
We are then free to relate or experience within that idea until and unless it is released to a new perspective.

So the quote is to the fear of loss of order in the terms of the guiding or holding ideal of that era or world-view and Nietzsche originally meant not that God (Truth) is dead, but that the Idea of God as an embracing and upholding truth was no longer currency of cause for acceptance in the unfolding idea of ‘new thinking’ that thought itself ‘free’.
Despite the warnings against taking God’s name in vain (using it to serve a vanity or futility) – the abuse of the Religious dimension became as a God that ate its own children (another Chronos) – because creative expression and expansion was blocked by vested power of a manipulative deceit.
Free from the frying pan is not necessarily free from the fire (brexit reference) and yet the wish and belief in freedom by regime change is pathetically constant in its persistence regardless of being hostage or captive to it.

Regardless the choice of symbols, disciplines or paths, a post-truth resort to manipulative deceits and coercions IN PLACE of residual honouring of real relationships and of communication as a meeting is an echo or spiral repeating of the same sentiment; Truth is dead. Again this is not TRUE but is establishing acceptance by alignment in a further fragmentation of consciousness as the resonance with the ‘original sin’ of giving precedence to the wish to make reality in our own image and defend it against truth – that MUST be perceived as threat by the Promethean thief and so the conflict plays out as the hero of the dream and the underbelly of a tortuous and unfaceable but inescapable nightmare.

The recognition that Light never left its Source is the release of a fundamental conviction in guilt. In this sense Jesus faced the underbelly and looked PAST it to a recognition that was through him but not OF him. He knew that with certainty – but others could only accept light in terms of something apart from them. There is a sense in which we gain a ‘world’ but lose our Soul (feeling-awareness or Communion with the Soul of Life) – and thus fear that yielding to – or no longer hiding (from) – truth will cost us our life – or worse – expose us to retribution that directs our fate or pursues us beyond the grave.

If we look closely we see that running away from our Self is not the hero’s adventure but a cover story for an underbelly of undigested conflict that Calls for light of a true acceptance. But that is not possible within the idea of eradicating the chaos monsters and shadows that shift and change as a world of fear and threat.

We are – here at OG and in in our time – seeing always more of the nature of an underbelly that has no light and reacts in the nature of its forming. Denial not only denies but accuses itself in the other while it denies.

Sometime by grace but perhaps with humiliation or remorse, we catch ourself doing the very thing we accuse in the other. I see grace as the Gift or our being – but one can only receive what we are the willingness and vibration of.
Hence we cannot ‘give’ or teach what another is unwilling or unready to learn or accept. But we can live from what we have accepted and have NO choice in this – but only as to knowing our choice or being framed in and driven by a lack of choice as the ‘devil we know’ or the UNKNOWN – onto which unconscious or denied fear is projected – as the ‘evil’ we NEVER want to relive NO MATTER WHAT THE COST.

Oh there is no time to think these things. The territory is the unthinkable. But actually nothing is unthinkable – but what is your guiding or directing purpose. To heal or to seek power for a self apart?

Truth is Alive – and to know is as simple as to give life in place of death – or dead concepts that overlook the living one to see only what a sense of lack seeks to get from – or get rid of. Whenever there is a shared recognition and acknowledgement there is a basis for relationship and communication. All else is an old script that plays itself while we think we are what thinking thinks. Within ITS framework anything true is futile – but masking in the forms of true can aggressively assert its qualifications by taking offence.

shoog
Reader
shoog

God was never the arbiter of morality – MONEY and those who wield it was. The only difference now is that a few more people are copping on as they see the fiction of religion for what it always was – a smoke screen for money.

carmpat
Reader
carmpat

ooh! careful Francis Lee, ‘Some Random Passer-by’ could accuse you of being middle-class with a comment like that ….!