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The Brexit Thread

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As for voting reform, we have already had a referendum on that. Strangely Labour only want that when they know they can't win through the present system. The AV system was a total abortion in any event.

I'm not convinced Labour do want PR or AV. They know that historically, after a decade, people get fed up with Governments and vote them out. In five years they will probably be back in again. Especially if a more amenable leader takes over.

 

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5 minutes ago, ricardo said:

Nothing to prevent people campaigning for whatever they want. Referendums were promised by governments of both left and right but never delivered. We only got one this time because they thought they would easily win it.

As for voting reform, we have already had a referendum on that. Strangely Labour only want that when they know they can't win through the present system. The AV system was a total abortion in any event.

Nothing in the Labour manifesto about voting reform with regards to AV or PR or any form of getting rid of FPTP 

"A Labour government will repeal the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, which has stifled democracy and propped up weak governments. We will maintain 650 constituencies and respond objectively to future, independent boundary reviews. We will oversee the largest extension of the franchise in generations, reducing the voting age to 16, giving full voting rights to all UK residents, making sure everyone who is entitled to vote can do so by introducing a system of automatic voter registration, and abandoning plans to introduce voter ID which has been shown to harm democratic rights."

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1 minute ago, keelansgrandad said:

As for voting reform, we have already had a referendum on that. Strangely Labour only want that when they know they can't win through the present system. The AV system was a total abortion in any event.

I'm not convinced Labour do want PR or AV. They know that historically, after a decade, people get fed up with Governments and vote them out. In five years they will probably be back in again. Especially if a more amenable leader takes over.

 

Blair was keen until he won his huge majority the gave Paddy the finger👍

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6 hours ago, ricardo said:

Remainers have tried to frustrate it at every turn.

Nobody is going to stop you campaigning to rejoin.

 

Frankly that's a no. It is the Brexiters who can't agree amongst themselves (and still can't) that caused the delay - probably because what was promised in 2016 was not achievable. In 2016/7 most MPs and Remaners would of been quite happy with a softer Brexit. 

Johnson has in all the ways that matter now accepted to split off NI (and hence DUP Brexiters think that's a duff Brexit too) but of course has no clue yet how a future trade deal will work out in 6 months - that's the next likely crisis for business confidence.

But in true Brexiter fashion as well foretold they have always to find somebody else to blame for their own shortcomings.

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10 hours ago, Herman said:

You RWNJs don't get democracy do you? You seem to think it simply means voting for something and that's it.

7 hours ago, ricardo said:

It also means accepting the result when you have lost.

Very true, I would love it @Ricardo if this country would actually give democracy a try and would happily accept a result which genuinely reflected the 'will of the people'.

However the prospect of that ever happening in this country is about to become much less likely than it was already :classic_sad:

 

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Absolutely superb (& very long) article about BoJo. It is no hagiography (it is coruscatingly critical of his many faults, some of which are outlined in the bit in bold). It is written for the benefit of Americans:

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/12/boris-johnson-brexit.html

It is this aspect of Boris’s politics that some of his close allies insist has been misunderstood. He has done what no other conservative leader in the West has done: He has co-opted and thereby neutered the far right. The reactionary Brexit Party has all but collapsed since Boris took over. Anti-immigration fervor has calmed. The Tories have also moved back to the economic and social center under Johnson’s leadership. And there is a strategy to this. What Cummings and Johnson believe is that the E.U., far from being an engine for liberal progress, has, through its overreach and hubris, actually become a major cause of the rise of the far right across the Continent. By forcing many very different countries into one increasingly powerful Eurocratic rubric, the E.U. has spawned a nationalist reaction. From Germany and France to Hungary and Poland, the hardest right is gaining. Getting out of the E.U. is, Johnson and Cummings argue, a way to counter and disarm this nationalism and to transform it into a more benign patriotism. Only the Johnson Tories have grasped this, and the Johnson strategy is one every other major democracy should examine.

Consider, by contrast, Germany, where the center right is reeling and the extreme-right AfD has 91 seats in the Bundestag. Or, for that matter, France, where the mainstream right has collapsed and Marine Le Pen won 34 percent in the last presidential election. Compare it with the U.S., where the GOP has been overthrown by a far-right insurgency and turned into a disturbingly fascistic personality cult. Or Hungary and Poland, where reactionaries control the entire system. The Tories under Boris, helped in part by the winner-takes-all electoral system, have kept the far right at bay, now favor tax cuts for the poor, have a strong program for climate change, and have proposed an Australian-style immigration policy to defuse native panic. They are not socially conservative in the American sense. And all of this has been made possible by Boris Johnson’s shameless ability to shift and reinvent his politics, betray his allies, lie to the public, and advance his own career. One of those close to him told me that the next group he will betray is the ERG, the hard-right Tory Brexiteers. And if he wins this election by a solid margin and seizes the center, he may force the Labour Party to reexamine how far left it has traveled in the past few years.

What Boris is offering as an alternative is a Tory social democracy rooted in national pride and delivered with a spoonful of humor and entertainment. In some ways, his personality is part of the formula. His plummy voice and silly hair and constant jokes are deeply, even reassuringly, British even as demographic change has made Britishness seem fragile. And if you still believe in the nation-state, in liberal democracy, and have qualms about the unintended consequences of neoliberal economics, it’s about as decent a conservative political blend as is on offer in the West. It makes the GOP look deranged by contrast.

Yes, Boris has shifted and lied and betrayed on his path to this moment. But he will gladly point out that the same criticisms were made of Churchill, who switched parties, alienated almost everyone in the Establishment, and was regarded long into the 1930s as a crank and a joke with a funny way of speaking. But Churchill was right about the one thing that mattered, and Johnson not so subtly implies the same is true about him and Brexit. It takes a large ego to use Churchill as an analogy, and Brexit is hardly the Battle of Britain (and Churchill famously wanted a united Europe after the war). But in defense of Britain’s independence from foreign power and its unbroken national sovereignty, without foreign invasion, for a thousand years, you can see, or rather feel, the parallel. And when it comes to chances for political analogies, Boris the opportunist will take what he can get.

 

Edited by ron obvious
Forgot the link! Doh!

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Tl dr. Johnson is an opportunistic liar, with delusions of grandeur that will betray anyone for power. 

Sounds an absolute charmer. Why do people want him as their leader? 

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11 minutes ago, Herman said:

Tl dr. Johnson is an opportunistic liar, with delusions of grandeur that will betray anyone for power. 

Sounds an absolute charmer. Why do people want him as their leader? 

Have you read the article Herman? Might give you some answers.

Whoops, forgot the link (now inserted):

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/12/boris-johnson-brexit.html

 

Edited by ron obvious

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13 minutes ago, Herman said:

Tl dr. Johnson is an opportunistic liar, with delusions of grandeur that will betray anyone for power. 

Sounds an absolute charmer. Why do people want him as their leader? 

You need to read it. It explains quite a lot.

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14 minutes ago, Herman said:

Tl dr. Johnson is an opportunistic liar, with delusions of grandeur that will betray anyone for power. 

Sounds an absolute charmer. Why do people want him as their leader? 

Because the want Corbyn even less.

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1 hour ago, ron obvious said:

 

Absolutely superb (& very long) article about BoJo. It is no hagiography (it is coruscatingly critical of his many faults, some of which are outlined in the bit in bold). It is written for the benefit of Americans:

 

It is this aspect of Boris’s politics that some of his close allies insist has been misunderstood. He has done what no other conservative leader in the West has done: He has co-opted and thereby neutered the far right. The reactionary Brexit Party has all but collapsed since Boris took over. Anti-immigration fervor has calmed. The Tories have also moved back to the economic and social center under Johnson’s leadership. And there is a strategy to this. What Cummings and Johnson believe is that the E.U., far from being an engine for liberal progress, has, through its overreach and hubris, actually become a major cause of the rise of the far right across the Continent. By forcing many very different countries into one increasingly powerful Eurocratic rubric, the E.U. has spawned a nationalist reaction. From Germany and France to Hungary and Poland, the hardest right is gaining. Getting out of the E.U. is, Johnson and Cummings argue, a way to counter and disarm this nationalism and to transform it into a more benign patriotism. Only the Johnson Tories have grasped this, and the Johnson strategy is one every other major democracy should examine.

Consider, by contrast, Germany, where the center right is reeling and the extreme-right AfD has 91 seats in the Bundestag. Or, for that matter, France, where the mainstream right has collapsed and Marine Le Pen won 34 percent in the last presidential election. Compare it with the U.S., where the GOP has been overthrown by a far-right insurgency and turned into a disturbingly fascistic personality cult. Or Hungary and Poland, where reactionaries control the entire system. The Tories under Boris, helped in part by the winner-takes-all electoral system, have kept the far right at bay, now favor tax cuts for the poor, have a strong program for climate change, and have proposed an Australian-style immigration policy to defuse native panic. They are not socially conservative in the American sense. And all of this has been made possible by Boris Johnson’s shameless ability to shift and reinvent his politics, betray his allies, lie to the public, and advance his own career. One of those close to him told me that the next group he will betray is the ERG, the hard-right Tory Brexiteers. And if he wins this election by a solid margin and seizes the center, he may force the Labour Party to reexamine how far left it has traveled in the past few years.

What Boris is offering as an alternative is a Tory social democracy rooted in national pride and delivered with a spoonful of humor and entertainment. In some ways, his personality is part of the formula. His plummy voice and silly hair and constant jokes are deeply, even reassuringly, British even as demographic change has made Britishness seem fragile. And if you still believe in the nation-state, in liberal democracy, and have qualms about the unintended consequences of neoliberal economics, it’s about as decent a conservative political blend as is on offer in the West. It makes the GOP look deranged by contrast.

Yes, Boris has shifted and lied and betrayed on his path to this moment. But he will gladly point out that the same criticisms were made of Churchill, who switched parties, alienated almost everyone in the Establishment, and was regarded long into the 1930s as a crank and a joke with a funny way of speaking. But Churchill was right about the one thing that mattered, and Johnson not so subtly implies the same is true about him and Brexit. It takes a large ego to use Churchill as an analogy, and Brexit is hardly the Battle of Britain (and Churchill famously wanted a united Europe after the war). But in defense of Britain’s independence from foreign power and its unbroken national sovereignty, without foreign invasion, for a thousand years, you can see, or rather feel, the parallel. And when it comes to chances for political analogies, Boris the opportunist will take what he can get.

 

I could take issue with most of this not-always-tosh (which I may be wrong but looks as if it has been written by an anti-Trump Republican  on the very questionable basis that there is a lesson from Johnson for them) but that small section will have to do.

Only someone who doesn't understand the UK (probably too much watching of Downton Abbey and taking it for real) would think Johnson epitomises Britishness and in a reassuringly good way. Johnson epitomises only the kind of talentless entitlement that the UK has been trying to move away from since the end of world war two.

And whatever Johnson may say about taxes, I see no signs that in reality he will do anything to get away from the totally predictable consequences (anyone who describes them as 'unintended' is giving their game away) of neo-liberal economics.

 

PS. From Ron's link it is Andrew Sullivan, so someone born British but now American and conservative but opposed to the current extremism iof the Republicans and very much using Johnson as an example of the supposedly more moderate path they should get back to.

Edited by PurpleCanary
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27 minutes ago, PurpleCanary said:

I could take issue with most of this not-always-tosh (which I may be wrong but looks as if it has been written by an anti-Trump Republican  on the very questionable basis that there is a lesson from Johnson for them) but that small section will have to do.

Only someone who doesn't understand the UK (probably too much watching of Downton Abbey and taking it for real) would think Johnson epitomises Britishness and in a reassuringly good way. Johnson epitomises only the kind of talentless entitlement that the UK has been trying to move away from since the end of world war two.

And whatever Johnson may say about taxes, I see no signs that in reality he will do anything to get away from the totally predictable consequences (anyone who describes them as 'unintended' is giving their game away) of neo-liberal economics.

 

PS. From Ron's link it is Andrew Sullivan, so someone born British but now American and conservative but opposed to the current extremism iof the Republicans and very much using Johnson as an example of the supposedly more moderate path they should get back to.

 

Always amuses me the way the 'Glorious Revolution' 1688/9  - otherwise known as a coup and military invasion is white-washed out of British history. 

A bit like King Louis - 

The lies and myths we tell ourselves .....

Edited by Yellow Fever

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59 minutes ago, Herman said:

Tl dr. Johnson is an opportunistic liar, with delusions of grandeur that will betray anyone for power. 

Sounds an absolute charmer. Why do people want him as their leader? 

It does not matter how many times I read it it will still be this. 

The whole point of the referendum was to kill off Farage and the far right. They've done that by getting rid of the moderate Conservatives and turning into Blukip. 

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57 minutes ago, ricardo said:

Because the want Corbyn even less.

You don't have to vote for either. You could campaign to bring honesty back into British politics and maybe try to stop it veering to either extreme?! 

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Johnson does not portray Britain in any way. His family does not portray Britain. In fact I think they are pretty dysfunctional. Whether you don't want Corbyn is one thing but to hand it to Johnson is another.

I am always amused when they portray the ordinary Brit as a 9-5 office worker who commutes to the suburbs.

There is no ordinary Brit anymore or what the myth promoters want to display as normal.

I could just as easy portray the ordinary Brit as permanently gazing at their iphone, ordering shopping, tea and clothes online, especially with Amazon Prime, watching Strictly, Towie etc.

 

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And all of this has been made possible by Boris Johnson’s shameless ability to shift and reinvent his politics, betray his allies, lie to the public, and advance his own career. One of those close to him told me that the next group he will betray is the ERG, the hard-right Tory Brexiteers.

 

Maybe I'm reading things differently but the above quote is surely the essence of the article. The reason he remains popular and is likely to win the election is that he is prepared to do/say whatever is required to win over enough public opinion. Hence the dropping of the DUP when the NI problems were getting in the way of an agreement with the EU.

When the WA is passed what is to stop him "getting Brexit done" when the future trading arrangements are being negotiated. Even if it means dropping the ERG and the Brexit Party?

Edited by Hairy Canary

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2 hours ago, Herman said:

You don't have to vote for either. You could campaign to bring honesty back into British politics and maybe try to stop it veering to either extreme?! 

That the Labour/Momentum Party has extreme Left MPs/members is a given...

Name the extreme Right MPs/members of the Conservative Party?

Edited by Jools

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14 minutes ago, Hairy Canary said:

And all of this has been made possible by Boris Johnson’s shameless ability to shift and reinvent his politics, betray his allies, lie to the public, and advance his own career. One of those close to him told me that the next group he will betray is the ERG, the hard-right Tory Brexiteers.

 

Maybe I'm reading things differently but the above quote is surely the essence of the article. The reason he remains popular and is likely to win the election is that he is prepared to do whatever is required. Hence the dropping of the DUP when the NI problems were getting in the way of an agreement with the EU.  

I think thats probably right, he changes his position and lets down his allies in his efforts to achieve the outcome he desires. Not an attractive set of characteristics but not unusual when you look at people in senior leadship positions. 

I've no doubt that he will let many others down during his period of leadership, he will ultimately be judged however on the outcomes of his premiership.

The probelm for him will be the numbers and speed with which he betrays and accrues enemies within, when that gets to a tipping point like all the rest he will be replaced.

 

Edited by Van wink

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29 minutes ago, Jools said:

That the Labour/Momentum Party has extreme Left MPs/members is a given...

Name the extreme Right MPs/members of the Conservative Party?

All of the ERG & Priti Vacant Patel.

 

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"Name the extreme Right MPs/members of the Conservative Party?"

What's the current membership number for the Conservative Party, this could take some time? 🤭🤣

Apples

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2 hours ago, Hairy Canary said:

And all of this has been made possible by Boris Johnson’s shameless ability to shift and reinvent his politics, betray his allies, lie to the public, and advance his own career. One of those close to him told me that the next group he will betray is the ERG, the hard-right Tory Brexiteers.

 

Maybe I'm reading things differently but the above quote is surely the essence of the article. The reason he remains popular and is likely to win the election is that he is prepared to do/say whatever is required to win over enough public opinion. Hence the dropping of the DUP when the NI problems were getting in the way of an agreement with the EU.

When the WA is passed what is to stop him "getting Brexit done" when the future trading arrangements are being negotiated. Even if it means dropping the ERG and the Brexit Party?

Judging his dubious character what makes you think that he won't betray Brexiters in general. Once he's got your vote and his feet under the table you may be the next ones to be politically inconvenient to his ambition? 

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Con 42% Lab 36% (ICM research) with 6%  In “other” 

And will today’s comments on E.U. immigrants / free movement, botched NHS “interview” and need to “review” future BBC funding make any difference to this slow drift towards Labour? 

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16 minutes ago, Surfer said:

Con 42% Lab 36% (ICM research) with 6%  In “other” 

And will today’s comments on E.U. immigrants / free movement, botched NHS “interview” and need to “review” future BBC funding make any difference to this slow drift towards Labour? 

ICM has had it a lot closer than the other polls for some time. They may be right but the general view seem to be an 8-10% lead exists atm.

Edited by Van wink

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"And will today’s comments on E.U. immigrants / free movement, botched NHS “interview” and need to “review” future BBC funding make any difference to this slow drift towards Labour?"

If Boris shat in his hands and smeared it up the walls, writing "Let's Get Brexit Done" some people would think it was just charming buffoonery or part of some Dominic Cummings masterplan and still vote for him...💩🤣

Apples

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