Westministenders. Boris worries about the land of his birth and simply wonders, what the hell next!?

(1000 Posts)
RedToothBrush Fri 11-Nov-16 21:26:43

Of all the Westministers intro I’ve done to date, I think this has been the hardest to write.

My first thought is where on earth to start, and then where to stop with how Trump’s victory affects us in the UK. It completely changes international relations. The political fall out is going to be considerable and potentially radioactive in its toxicity.

To hardened Brexiteers, America falling to Trump represents the domino effect in progress. It will embolden them. And the fear is that on 4th December both Italy and Austria could fall next as they respectively, face a referendum and a re-run of the presidential election.

And then there’s France…

All of this is a threat to the EU. It just leaves everyone, including the UK asking what next? And what of our relationship with the US? Who knows? It makes it look around and say, can we rely on the US, and without the US surely we have no choice but to grow closer to the EU. Perhaps there is a role for us in-between but there really are no guarantees and do we want to make that choice?

The suggestion is that May has no love for Trump. And whilst the hard right might harbour fantasies about becoming the 51st State, which seem to be led by Farage himself, this exposes the one red line that could bring the fury of the country down on the government to its extinction. The NHS. Its not for sale. Its not to be subject to a trade deal.

In a curious turn of events, rumours grow that the government will contend at the Supreme Court that a50 CAN be reversed afterall. Davis had personally been responsible for the original line that its not reversible. This was a political decision to tie us into leaving, and show intent and seriousness to Leavers. Yet it was always a crazy one that is not in the national interest.

Going back on this totally changes the game.

It would be a move that will go down well with Remainers and Liberal Leavers but will enrage the hardliners especially if the ECJ is part of this new tact.

It off loads a pile of risk and it is the prudent and sensible approach. It is much needed to protect the best interests of the country overall. Its also that magic ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’ for that promised Nissan deal.

The change of tact would also help to appease MPs and much opposition to Brexit. And in doing so, also lessens the chances of a HoC rebellion against May and also reduces the chances of an early election, thus is perhaps a more stabilising way forward. It encourages negotiation of a good deal that other parties and rebels will also find agreeable rather than them feeling like they are being held to ransom on.

It would almost certainly delay things and might interfere with May’s precious timetable.

But there’s France… and the Presidential elections are in April/May

Do we really want to trigger article 50, if post Trump, the domino really is likely to fall there too and Le Pen wins the Presidency? There is suddenly a potential ally for major EU reform. Or even its collapse. Now is not the time to do something rash and drastic but to hold our nerve just a little longer.

It makes sense to everyone to hang fire and delay. If only briefly to see what now happens.

There are dangers in doing this though. The prospect of the ECJ being involved in a case which is in essence about our Constitution, is not only embarrassing but could be explosive. It will raise fears of leavers that Brexit will not happen. It will play to the extremes and the agenda of UKIP. It exposes judges to the press and criticism that they are activists and also trying to stop Brexit. Though Gove seems to have changed his tune and is defending them rather more than he was previously...

With tensions running high will Farage get his 100,000 march? Maybe, maybe not. Only time will tell on that one. He is trying to win through intimidation though, and that makes people fear him if we don’t do his bidding and what’s happening over in the States only emboldens him and makes others fear him more. He is divisive and never will be able to serve the national interest, because of it no matter how honest his delusions of being an ambassador to Trump are.

It just adds to the growing sense of helplessness and growing question of whether the proud tradition of British liberalism can even survive? It becomes appears to many this is ultimately the goal of Mr Farage – and not the EU. The EU is just a protector of it.

Well I don’t believe that Farage does have it all his way and has the monopoly on people power, nor a connection to the public that no one else has.

One of the themes developing on twitter, is one about passion, hope and a new sense of purpose. One to defend British values and not become like Trumpland. We have a warning and an example of how it really could be worse and it’s not a pretty sight.

I remember during the referendum one poster unsure of how to vote, asking simply:
“I don't want to spoil my vote. I want to vote, and vote with conviction”.

It was a question I found difficult to answer at the time. To me it highlighted how much people did want something to believe in and to not having that. We must start to build on that, and provide that alternative.

But I do believe those things to believe in were there all along. The NHS and our open democracy, whatever the flaws and imperfections of our institutions they have endured and survived for a reason – and not just for the benefit of the ‘elite’.

We just took them for granted, and now we are going to have to stand up and make sure people know that by speaking out, and know that while moderates might have it in their nature to compromise there are also some things we just can not loose in the process. We must not be drawn into a battle along violent lines as it will be used against those who do. We can’t loose our soul in trying to defend what is precious, nor should we try and reassure ourselves by finding justification for things that can not and should not be justified.

The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote in notes to himself;

"The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”

I think that message rings true now both for Leave and Remain supporters alike. You might have made a decision on 23rd June but you still have other choices to make now.

Choose to stay sane.

TheBathroomSink Fri 11-Nov-16 21:35:39

Thanks Red, another super opening post.

On Trump, and conflicts arising from his business interests, Buzzfeed has some issues which are of interest.

On Austria and Italy, my Italian ex-cousin-in-law thinks they will pull the trigger. She sees a lot of parallels between the 5 star movement and Ukip in that they play the game well but when they are given positions of responsibility by winning local elections etc, they descend into infighting and incompetence, but regardless, the general attitude is going with the flow of upending everything and seeing where the chips fall.
I think Austria will do the same. There would be some irony if Austria becomes the first line of resistance in the spread of far-right populism, I think.

TheBathroomSink Fri 11-Nov-16 21:37:08

Choose to stay sane.

Or if you can't choose to stay sane, there's always sherry - it is almost December, after all (/flippant)

MagikarpetRide Fri 11-Nov-16 21:42:08

I have wine!

TheBathroomSink Fri 11-Nov-16 21:46:06

Ooh, I was wrong on the transition team, it's not Ivanka, it is two of his sons, Donald Jr and Eric and his son-in-law, Jared who have got the jobs on the Executive Committee, according to Buzzfeed

I also note the presence of Peter Thiel, who is not popular with the press for his actions in funding Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker earlier this year, and Florida US Attorney General Pam Bondi who took campaign donations from Trump while investigating allegations against Trump University.

merrymouse Fri 11-Nov-16 21:51:21

On Christmas Eve it will be 6 months since Brexit.

amaravatti Fri 11-Nov-16 21:52:44

if Austria becomes the first line of resistance in the spread of far-right populism, I think.
is this a possibility?

TheForeignOffice Fri 11-Nov-16 21:54:39

Thanks Red.

Nicola Sturgeon got more love from me this week with her speech re Trump. Angela Merkel ditto.

I think were seeing a stark polarization between far right now (including every single person that doesn't condemn Trump and Farage and May + brexit acolytes) versus "the others". It's shocking to me how many of the former group exists and "the others" seem too fragmented to challenge in any meaningful way.

That leaves us with our judiciary and the rule of law to offer hope and protection. I'm obviously rooting for the SC being able to protect our parliamentary democracy. But still astounded at how clueless so many (including MPs!) are regarding the mechanics of, and rationale behind, having one.

I also hereby officially withdraw previously stated vote of confidence in George Osborne making a UK rescue. I must have been on glue hmm

merrymouse Fri 11-Nov-16 21:55:10

Remember when Grexit was the big thing.

Before somebody triggered the infinite improbability drive.

merrymouse Fri 11-Nov-16 21:55:28

Thanks for the thread Red!

TheBathroomSink Fri 11-Nov-16 21:56:01

is this a possibility?

Honestly, I doubt it, but everything else has gone against expectations this year, so given that Austria is the most likely to go with the far-right option, there has to be a chance, surely?

TheBathroomSink Fri 11-Nov-16 22:00:38

Remember when Grexit was the big thing

Grexit is still a thing. It's just being kicked repeatedly down the road in the hopes that no-one notices.

Peregrina Fri 11-Nov-16 22:08:37

The NHS. Its not for sale. Its not to be subject to a trade deal.

How sure are you of that? The Tories have been quietly privatising chunks of it. E.g. a piece of news sneaked out when peoples' minds were on other matters www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-37948514

amaravatti Fri 11-Nov-16 22:09:58

www.youtube.com/watch?v=66qe76gkCxo
Lou Reed's song about:
www.britannica.com/biography/Kurt-Waldheim
who had nazi form which was noted:
www.demokratiezentrum.org/en/knowledge/stations-a-z/the-waldheim-affair.html
maybe this might help now

AmberEars Fri 11-Nov-16 22:12:50

Place marking

BestIsWest Fri 11-Nov-16 22:25:26

Me too.

RedToothBrush Fri 11-Nov-16 22:36:48

Peregina, I think they will try it. I linked to that story the other day.

The point is, if there is anything the public won't tolerate and is likely to provoke a reaction to Brexit, its signs that the NHS is for sale.

I am curious as to what will happen in the autumn statement. Hunt has asked for more cash despite being told there is none available. The September A & E figure were DIRE.

My gut says the NHS will be thrown money to appease the situation and keep people on board.

Peregrina Fri 11-Nov-16 22:43:42

its signs that the NHS is for sale.

Sorry, I missed your posting of this link. It's hard to keep up sometimes, also keeping an eye on various facebook pages.

Agree, and hence it being the 'pledge which wasn't' on the red bus. But the signs are being well hidden.

The frustrating thing to me is that although the NHS is expensive, but I think underfinanced, compared with other countries and is dealing with more and more elderly people, we only ever seem to look to the US and not try to see how other countries like e.g. Germany deliver health care.

Peregrina Fri 11-Nov-16 22:45:28

Now if we had a Referendum on would you pay more tax to support the NHS, I think there is a good chance you would get a yes vote, with a comfortable majority.

MirabelleTree Fri 11-Nov-16 22:53:05

Thank you very much Red.

BoredOfBrexit Fri 11-Nov-16 22:56:32

Peregrina: they don't need a referendum for that, they can just announce it in their autumn statement.

StripeyMonkey1 Fri 11-Nov-16 22:59:48

Thanks Red.

I wonder whether there is any link between the Trump victory and the government's decision to argue that article 50 is reversible. If so, then what are the implications for us?

Either way, a reversible article 50 must be good news for the country and it makes absolute sense to ask the ECJ to rule on this now, before we trigger it.

This article from the Independent is interesting. It seems somewhat familiar (£350million for the NHS anyone?), and yet I think it can only be positive if he is more pragmatic in office than as a candidate. It's still not great, but the alternative is much more unpleasant. It might also mean that he is someone that the UK and other EU countries can work with.

Donald Trump: I may not repeal Obamacare, President-elect says in major U-turn

Getting rid of the healthcare plan was among billionaire businessman's biggest campaign promises

Donald Trump has said that he might not repeal Obamacare, perhaps his biggest campaign promise.

The President-elect performed the apparent U-turn after his meeting with Barack Obama at the White House this week, he has said.

Mr Trump is going to look at "amending" the Affordable Care Act, rather than completely repealing it, he told the Wall Street Journal.

"Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced," Trump told the newspaper. "I told him I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that."

After the President and President-elect met at the White House, Mr Trump said that he and Mr Obama had discussed "some of the difficulties" the country faced but also "some of the really great things that have been achieved". Some took that latter remark as a reference to Obamacare and perhaps other policies, and a potential suggestion that Mr Trump may be won around on what has become one of Barack Obama's flagship policies but also one hated by much of the Republican party.

Trump will be impeached, says expert who called President-elect's win
Mr Obama also said he was "encouraged" by Mr Trump's willingness to work with his team, telling him: "We want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed the country succeeds".

The tense meeting was far more respectful than the exchanges between the two during the presidential campaign, during which Mr Obama called Mr Trump unfit to be president, and Mr Trump said Mr Obama was "the founder of Isis".

Mr Trump said after he spoke with congressional leaders, shortly after his first meeting with Mr Obama, that healthcare would be among his top priorities in office.

President-elect Trump says he looks forward to working with Obama at White House meeting

“We're going to move very strongly on immigration. We will move very strongly on healthcare. And we're looking at jobs. Big league jobs,” he told the press.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Mr Trump said that he may well keep at least two of the main provisions of the healthcare bill. He said that he is favouring retaining a key part of Obamacare that stops insurers from refusing to cover people because they have existing conditions, and another that lets parents add coverage for their children to their own policies.

“I like those very much,” he told the paper.

Mr Trump did say that he would still be looking to strengthen the border with Mexico, and that he would look into deregulating banks so that they can "lend again".

Peregrina Fri 11-Nov-16 23:04:38

Peregrina: they don't need a referendum for that, they can just announce it in their autumn statement.

I think you missed the irony in my posting.

BoredOfBrexit Fri 11-Nov-16 23:05:24

Peregrina. Probably.

StripeyMonkey1 Fri 11-Nov-16 23:21:04

There won't be a referendum on more money for the NHS. I think we can all be sure of that!

Actually, I'm going to be controversial and say that I think there might need to be more NHS rationing in future. Of course, it exists already but it is not publicly acknowledged (yet). The problem is the ageing population, combined with all sorts of wonderful medical advancements. There is only so much I think we can legitimately ask the young to pay, beyond what they are paying at the moment, primarily to pay for the healthcare of the old. Many people in their 20s and early 30s are unable to fund payments into their own pensions and are unlikely to enjoy anything like the retirement this generation has. To ask them to spend what is likely to be a lot more to pay for the older generation's healthcare is fine up to a point, but only up to a point. There needs to be some balance.

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