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Westministenders. Boris grabs his clown suit for Halloween, whilst we wonder if parliament survive until Bonfire Night

(983 Posts)
RedToothBrush Sat 22-Oct-16 13:23:53

Remember, remember the 5th of November. Gunpower, treason and plot. For I see no reason Why Gunpowder Treason Should ever be forgot.

Here we are 401 years after Guy Fawkes was foiled. The failed attempt to kill the King and destroy parliament celebrates stopping what is now regarded generally as an attempted act of terrorism but to others he was a martyr.

This division would form part of the dynamic between various factions following the death of Elizabeth I which eventually led the civil war as Charles I dismissed Parliament to avoid its scrutiny. A division that lead to Irish and Scottish uprisings. A division that lead to the lost of many of our then colonies to another nation.

You start to wonder just how much has changed within British Society.

The dynamics of the era might be different, but following the referendum vote we have a power vacuum into which our uncertain direction and future is fuelling cries of ‘traitor’, there is widespread loathing of Europeans and their values who apparently ‘threaten our way of life’, many are simply given the label of ‘potential terrorist’ purely for their religion, there is ill feeling throughout Ireland, in Scotland, there is talk of revolt and uprising, our parliamentary democracy seems potentially under threat by the power of the crown and the relative stability of the long reign of Queen Elizabeth must end soon and her heir to the throne is a man named Charles.

Strangely enough, many of the rights being quoted in the a50 case originate from this same period of turbulence in British history, or from the direct consequences of it. It is not a coincidence.

So where are we at? The decision on a50 and what it means for our parliament is due before the end of the month. It is not likely to be the final ruling but it will set the tone and direction for what happens next. Is it likely to win?

In my opinion, whilst the constitutional argument might be strong in principle the challenge has a great deal of merit. Several of these might win out but the most compelling of these is: If a50 is triggered and our government is unable to reach an agreement by the end of two years we will leave the EU and rights will be removed as a direct result which is outside the power of the royal prerogative.

Against this, May herself has set up an atmosphere where the court challenge which is a protected right of the people to challenge the government has been framed as ‘subverting democracy’ which raises questions about how the ruling will be accepted if it goes in favour of the claimant. The anger on display on Question time last night is worrying. The government must make a strong point about respecting the ruling even if they challenge it. And conversely if the challenge looses, they must acknowledge its merits and legitimacy to appeal rather than allowing it to be framed as a blank cheque for their agenda.

It must – once again - be stressed that the challenge is not about thwarting Brexit. It is about making sure that Brexit is done properly and with due diligence.

And you have to seriously wonder if May is using due diligence. Donald Tusk said we might get into a situation where it is ‘hard brexit’ or ‘no brexit’. This has been interpreted as an EU threat. Personally I think it is nothing of sort. It’s a warning. For our own good.

The much talked about CETA agreement (Candian Free Trade agreement) all but collapsed on Friday due to a single region of Belgium opposing it. It is now in last chance saloon to save the deal. This is the context behind Tusk’s comment. He also warned that CETA might be the EU’s last FTA as result of the difficulties in trying to pass it.

What he meant was the chances are that no agreement will be possible with the approach the British seem to be taking. This means the alternatives will be a chaotic unmanaged exit with no transitional deal or a realisation that we are better off sticking in the EU afterall.

Understanding this is important. May is missing this in her determination to be tough, and is further alienating European leaders. May has made assurances to Nissan, but the reality is she is in no position to make any such promises as the reality is if she stick so tightly to the line on immigration she has no way of keeping them. The EU will give us no ground at all here no matter what anyone says. The harder May is, they harder they will be.

When Cameron tried to do a deal which restricted migration, the brick wall he hit was the fact he could find no evidence to back up the claim that migration was a problem. When he turned to MigrationWatch for help the best they could come up with was newspaper clippings. The UK lie 13th in the EEA for migration. The EU pointed out that all the problems this highlighted where caused by UK level policy rather than EU policy and Cameron was forced to admit that hostility to migration was much more cultural rather than an economic or one over services. As a commentor in the FT sums up: “In other words, lots of middle English people culturally dislike immigrants even though the immigrant didn’t have any negative impact on them.” Notably Thursday’s questiontime came from Hartlepool – a area with hardly any immigration and where 95.6% of the population are white english born. Its also been a week where there has been uproar over 14 refugee children coming to the UK due to their age, gender and lack of cuteness, whilst announcements over no more money for the NHS have been all but totally ignored. It’s a sentiment that is getting increasingly difficult to argue with especially with the overall tone coming from May’s lips and actions.

Tusk’s speech was also strong on 1930s references and this is largely the motivation behind strong comments from Hollande and Merkel about a deal being hard to get. They simply won’t stand for rhetoric which they believe sounds as if it has fascist undertones. The message was lost in the British press though. On top of this, even if Hollande goes, Saroksy and Juppe have been lining up to talk about moving Calais’s problems to Kent. Something that is entirely possible if we disregard our international commitments to Dublin.

This is why we need the article 50 ruling so badly. And this is why May is so opposed to it. It actually gives her a way to back down and save face. Failing that parliament must up the ante and pressure May with its full force – and it may cost her dear. And this is why the right wing media who make a profit from peddling lies about migration are so opposed to them as May is such a kindred spirit.

It has got nothing to do with an elite conspiracy to derail Brexit. Many, many remainers with heavy hearts think it must happen to prevent a further lurch to the right. It is not because Brexit must be stopped, but because May’s self destructive vision and approach to Brexit must be stopped and replaced by an approach that at least acknowledges the dangers rather than labelling it as treason or a lack of patriotism to do so. Marmitegate has been our warning; Leadsom has this week has been unable to refute the possibility that food prices will go up 27% something that many working class leave voters who feel left behind just can’t afford. That way lies even greater hardship and division.

Brexit MUST have a transitional deal if it is to work at all, however unpopular this might be and however people are afraid that delays will kill Brexit entirely or be seen as a fudge as this is in the national interest. This needs to start being the approach of all and pushed to the public by Leavers and Remainers alike

Brexit MUST not trigger a50 on a certain date because May made a political promise to her supporters and this happens to suit the EU’s agenda too. It must be when we are ready, when we have a better consensus and when we are prepared. The uncertainty over whether we will achieve a smooth change is as damaging as a delay to investment. Brexit MUST also include tackling xenophobic attitudes and confronting our centuries old ingrained mentality as this brand of ‘British Values’ were the ones that lead us not to our greatest moment, but the one that lead us to perhaps our greatest crisis and threat to our future.

I find a certain irony - and also a creeping fear - that the first article 50 ruling should fall at this time of year. Especially since the British celebration is being forgotten increasingly being replaced in favour of the more American Halloween. I wonder what further frights and horrors await us over the next couple of weeks.

RedToothBrush Sat 22-Oct-16 13:30:07

Had to do this early - the old thread is here and still has a couple of pages left on it before this one is needed.

Brexit Related Calendar
(Events and dates that might affect what Brexit looks like or influence politics in some way).

People’s Challenge a50 High Court Ruling: By the end of October
US Presidential Election: 8th November
Jo Cox Trial: Starts Nov?
Romanian Parliamentary Elections: Nov/Dec
Italian Referendum: 4 Dec
Austrian Presidential Election Rerun: 6 Dec
Final a50 judgment By end of Dec
Corbyn’s EU summit: Feb 2017
Suggested a50 date: By end of March 2017
French Presidential Election 1st Round: 23 April 2017
French Presidential Election 2nd Round: 7th May 2017
The Great Repeal Bill: In Parliamentary Session after May.
EU Budget talks for the next 7 years: Mid 2017
German Federal Election: Between 27 August and 22 October 2017
European Parliamentary Elections: June 2019
Next General Election expected: May 2020

merrymouse Sat 22-Oct-16 14:01:31

Brilliant summary - love the historical context.

hotmail124 Sat 22-Oct-16 15:12:17

thank you RTB

Ohchristmastreeohchristmastree Sat 22-Oct-16 15:36:38

Great stuff! You have a knack of summarising and connecting the dots in a way that is so accessible.

TheElementsSong Sat 22-Oct-16 17:41:16

Thank you Red

SwedishEdith Sat 22-Oct-16 17:52:09


joangray38 Sun 23-Oct-16 00:49:09

Wonder what effect Brexit will have upon the Conservative party itself / - insulting businesses - saying they are lazy etc, potentially making business harder via possible reduced or lack of access to the SM - their major supporters plus aging supporters who are not being replaced may mean Financially they may have problems by the next election. Will they have to reinvent themslves and officially align with UKIP millionaires and risk losing support of moderate conservatives? Doubt most leavers would support them financially. I joined the cons in case we got to vote for the next leader and I noticed I am getting at least 3 begging emails per week.
The only sensible Conservative I can see is Ken Clarke!

mathanxiety Sun 23-Oct-16 07:31:49

Thank you RTB!

LotisBlue Sun 23-Oct-16 10:30:04

Thank you RTB

SapphireStrange Sun 23-Oct-16 12:28:12

Thanks as ever, Red.

Re: Irish and Scottish uprisings, I'm increasingly wondering if Scotland and, particularly, Northern Ireland will be our key to/out of Brexit.

Kaija Sun 23-Oct-16 13:49:40

Thanks, Red. These threads are keeping me sane (just).

officerhinrika Sun 23-Oct-16 14:06:31

Thank you RTB, great analysis.

Motheroffourdragons Sun 23-Oct-16 15:13:12

Thanks, Red. Brilliant stuff as usual.

ImpYCelyn Sun 23-Oct-16 15:47:04

Thanks Red smile

Unicornsarelovely Sun 23-Oct-16 17:40:35

Thank you Red. Interesting point Joan - I'd posted this analysis on the other thread about the problems with british manufacturing over the years which are now likely to be multiplied. It looks like the Tories always claim they're the party of business, but that is not borne out in reality.

smallfox2002 Mon 24-Oct-16 00:05:59

The tories aren't the party of business, they are the party of wealth. They look after Wealth, not business. If it makes the wealthy better off to strip businesses out, they allow it. See Goldsmith et al for further examples.

Unicornsarelovely Mon 24-Oct-16 13:15:53

Exactly Smallfox. They've traded unfairly on this 'pro-business' claim for years and it is finally about to bite them. Hard.

Peregrina Mon 24-Oct-16 13:47:58

Except that the Tories always manage to spin it so that it's someone else's fault e.g. global crash cause by US sub prime loans - Labour's fault.

SwedishEdith Mon 24-Oct-16 16:28:07

Faisal Islam ‏@faisalislam 1m1 minute ago
PM to Burnham: He talks about hard brexit that the Government is going to take the country into, there is no suggestion of that whatsoever

Andy Burnham then tweeted to say

Andy Burnham ‏@andyburnhammp 2m2 minutes ago London, England
That's interesting. In response to my question, PM backtracks on idea of "hard Brexit". Cold shoulder at EU summit must have had an effect.

RedToothBrush Mon 24-Oct-16 16:32:06
Profiled for the first time: the UKIP party membership

Revealling survey about Kippers. 66% have voted Tory in the past but only
24% have voted Labour.

They consider the party to be in about the right place on the ideological spectrum, with more than half saying the new leader should carry on in that direction. Nearly three quarters of UKIP members think that future general election campaigns should be targeted at Labour voters, but are not willing to compromise ideologically in order to do so.

Party members believe that they are on course to win 24% of the vote at the next general election. Despite this, they expect to receive a median of just 10 seats. Nonetheless, 42% of members would consider such a seat tally to be a success.

Barely a third (35%) think that the economy is one of the most important issues facing the country at the moment.

(Are UKIP as much to Labour as everyone makes out? Maybe not)

twofingerstoGideon Mon 24-Oct-16 16:35:43

Juncker on May

RedToothBrush Mon 24-Oct-16 16:36:52

Jim Waterson ‏@jimwaterson
Today's EU talks:
Carwyn Jones: "huge uncertainty"
Nicola Sturgeon: "very frank exchange of views"
Downing Street: "constructive meeting"
The Scum says Davis is scared of EU spies listening in on his phonecalls.

Why the fuck is he worried about that when everything is being leaked in the newspapers anyway!?

twofingerstoGideon Mon 24-Oct-16 16:38:04

Thanks from me, too, Red!
I got so far behind with the last thread, I couldn't keep up. Will make sure I read this one every day - it's so useful.

Nicola Sturgeon on her meeting at Downing Street

ToujeoQueen Mon 24-Oct-16 16:43:11

Checking in to new thread. Loved the Junker clip grin

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