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Once more unto the… oh wait…

December 10, 2018

You will doubtless have heard by now that the Prime Minister has just bottled it. (I think that is the phrase that will be used in the majority  of politically active households for today’s events.)

She got her horse up to the starting post after years of breeding and training and then at the end cancelled the race lest someone else’s nag should win.

Now, I have tried very hard to be fair to the PM over the past two and a bit years. Though she was doing things I regarded as folly and moonshine I could at least see why she felt she had to do them and that she was doing them in very difficult circumstances. Those difficulties were partly of her own making and mostly of her party’s making but they were none the less real.

But here we come to the end of the Parliamentary road. There are only a few paths left and she still thinks there are options to be explored, some way she can reconcile the irreconcilable, make the nation unite behind one plan…

Theresa my sweet, you can’t. There’s no more give and take left. Any changes in the Withdrawal Agreement would a) be purely cosmetic and b) take far longer than we have.

People in Parliament have reached the point at which they are voting on principle. Even more shocking than that MPs in the Conservative Party are voting on principle. Your fellow Tories, dear Prime Minister, are not singing from the same hymnbook. They are unlikely to be at any  time in the near future.

To make things worse, the Leader of the Opposition is under the illusion that a General Election is the way forward. Now, I’m not saying that he would be a bad PM or that the election of Labour under his leadership would be any more disastrous or destabilizing than the last two and a half years. But on the Big Issue of the Day electing a party that stands on a whole raft of policies isn’t the way forward, especially with our rotten electoral system, especially with Labour still trying to be all  things to all people.

What is needed is a chance to put all possibilities back to the People, the  ones who through the incompetence of your predecessor in office, got to drop us in  this shit.

So here’s what I’d propose if I were allowed to pop up in the Commons.

  1. Ask the EU for a six month extension in the negotiating period and another six months on the base time of the transition period after leaving.
  2. Put forward two referendums one following the other after about a week or two.
  3. In the first ask: “Do you approve of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU?” This gives the lunatics who want a ‘hard Brexit’, a ‘clean break’ or whatever is their preferred euphemism for maximum pain right up front, a chance to put their ideas to the people.
  4. Then ask: “In the light of the result of the preceding referendum do you really, really want to Leave the EU?”

And then do what the People instruct.

Don’t for the love of God either let us wander into a No-Deal Brexit without the People supporting it or reverse Article 50 without popular support. If you do your name will be even more accursed by later generations than David Cameron’s.

From → Brexit, Rants

  1. Given the comprehensive illegallity that accompanied the campaigning for what was supposed to be an advisory referendum, but the lack of investigation and prosecution that’s followed it so far, it’s clear that that referendum had no legitimacy, and any current referendum would also have no legitimacy because all the same people and countries would simply pay for the same lies again.

    May’s first objective has always been to keep the Conservative party together: this has been a priority well above the welfare of the country.

    The smart move now would be: cancel the A50 notification, let the would-be profiteers in the big parties combust and go off to found their own UKIP mark 2, prosecute the Daily Mail for treason and child pornography (both of which are many years overdue), give the people who voted for things they didn’t understand a chance to recant now that they’ve seen what the likelihood has done to the country never mind the actuality, and give the people who did understand that they were voting for racism and tyranny without oversight a few more years to die off rather than binding future generations to their suicidal mania.

    Oh, and negotiate in good faith with the EU hereafter. Try to fix some of the things that are wrong with it rather than using its failures as tools to get excessive amounts of money out of it.

    • I have to disagree and mostly for reasons I tried to imply in my post.

      Yes, the referendum was called for all the wrong reasons. Yes, it should never have happened. Yes, it was only advisory. (1) Yes, the Leave result was promoted by dodgy means and doubtful people.

      But we have no time machines to undo it. (At least I don’t: what Roger has in his deep tech cave is a mystery.)

      The referendum was only possible because a huge number of people believe that they have no say in and no stake in politics as usual. And for many of them, they are right. (I have no say in normal electoral politics because I live in a safe Tory seat. The people who have no influence and live outside the Home Counties have it worse.)

      To cancel Article 50 without their consent would create a ‘stab-in-the-back’ myth that would accelerate the populist extremism that has been bubbling for the past forty years. I am willing to risk that the people will vote for No Deal because if they did they would have… well, not no excuse but less excuse to say that they weren’t given what they asked for and what they believed was good for the country.

      And people have a terrible tendency to believe that if only their advice was followed courageously and without modification everything would have been fine. Ask any Marxist Old Believer, especially those from the Socialist Workers Party.

      And if the DAILY MAIL survived their crypto-fascism of the 1930s I doubt anything else would bring them down.

      There are no actual good choices left at this moment in time. There probably haven’t been since 2016. There are only the bad and the less bad.

      (1) To which Leavers will say ‘Well, technically…’ and point out that David Cameron promised the result of the referendum would be carried out. They are not impressed if you tell them he had no authority to do that.

  2. The hard-core Leavers, as opposed to the people who are just looking for an excuse for why they were fooled, will be angry whatever happens. That’s what defines them: being angry when they’re told to.

    With an exit, they’ll be angry at the drop in quality of life, which they will blame on the EU and all those nasty immigrants, so let’s necklace Abdul down at the corner shop.
    Without an exit, they’ll say “if only”.

    Either way they will continue to cause trouble as long as their paymasters continue to whip them up. Just like fanatical anti-smokers or diet activists, there’s no point giving them the first reasonable thing they demand, because they’ll just take that as weakness and demand the next unreasonable thing too.

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