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Brexit means Brexit. WTF???

by Helen Tue Sep 6th, 2016 at 12:47:24 PM EST

So, Theresa May has gone to her first G20 summit in China and responded to all questions about the UK's planned leaving of the EU with the appropriately inscrutable statement that "Brexit means Brexit".

Which, as more than one commentator has noted, may be the "what", but isn't an answer to "how". The problem is that the UK Govt doesn't yet know what it wants so can hardly formulate a plan to achieve it.  Brexit covers a multitude of positions, some achievable, many closer to fantasy. Until the govt decides where the limits of the possible and desirable overlap, "brexit means brexit" is not repetition for emphasis, it's just a meaningless twice over.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger


As Another Angry Voice points out;-

The  Tories clearly didn't bother making a contingency plan for what to do if people actually voted for Brexit. If you didn't believe it before, the fact that Theresa May is still spouting fatuous tautologies like "Brexit means Brexit" ten weeks after the referendum is all the proof you need that the Tories are trying to wing it.

The choice is obvious, the UK government has to agree to free movement of labour in order to retain access to the single market, or they have to quit the single market in order to give the 'Kippers (ukip-nasty) and Biffers (Britain First-very nasty) their wet dream of slamming the door on European migrant workers.
[....]
As long as Theresa May and the Tories keep talking in meaningless tautologies about how "Brexit means Brexit" it should serve as absolute confirmation that these people see you as a cognitively illiterate idiot who will continue, week after week, accepting a meaningless tautological platitude in lieu of anything even remotely resembling an actual plan of action for how the UK is going to quit the EU without either committing an act of reckless economic self-harm (by quitting the single market), or completely pissing off the xenophobic "make the furriners go away" hard-right demographic the Tory party are so intent on pandering to.

A situation that was confirmed when David Davis, the Minister for Brexit, gave his first statement about "progress" in Parliament yesterday

Guardian - David Davis accused of having no plan for Brexit

The secretary of state for exiting the EU has been accused of appearing before parliament without any details of how the government is planning to embark on Brexit negotiations.

David Davis faced a barrage of criticism from MPs from Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP after he updated them on the work of his department so far.
[....]
Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: "David Davis told us nothing. He read out a few dates in his diary, but anyone looking for Britain's post-Brexit strategy would have looked in vain. No trade deals, no allies, no plan."

So, in amongst all this inaction, the Government must have been distraught to learn that other governments aren't so derelict in their duties.

SkyNews - Japan's Unprecedented Warning To UK Over Brexit

At the start of the G20 Summit, the Japanese government has taken the unprecedented step of warning of a series of corporate exits, "great turmoil" and harmful effects if Brexit leads to the loss of single market privileges.

An official Japanese government task force on Brexit, has collated views of big Japanese companies from car companies to banks and pharmaceutical companies that invest in the UK.

It has produced a 15-page list titled "Japan's message to the UK and the EU", detailing requirements from Brexit negotiations.

The report which is summarized at the location above pulls no punches and states directly that most Japanese companies sited in the UK will have to strongly reconsider their position. A viewpoint which is likely to be reflected across many economies that have investments in the UK. What is interesting is that some have noted that such direct language is unprecedented in a Japanese government report, indicating the urgency and gravity of the situation.

An urgency and gravity in savage contrast to the absence of purpose and direction displayed by Her Majesty's Government.

Display:
"...the appropriately inscrutable statement that "Brexit means Brexit"."

But didn't the British always describe the Chinese as "inscrutable" in their despatches from empire?  Perhaps Theresa is just trying to blend in with local custom?

Has a new Chinese character been invented to translate "Brexit" into the local idiom? ";/"

                                 

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 6th, 2016 at 05:15:22 PM EST
"Brexit means Brexit"
Yeah, right!
by das monde on Mon Sep 12th, 2016 at 01:51:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect the Chinese can tell the difference between "inscrutable" and "clueless".
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Sep 12th, 2016 at 05:39:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't even answer "what," it just shows that tautologies remain weasels' go-to method of answering without answering.  And governments around the world are now stating variations on, "Gormless PM is gormless."
by rifek on Tue Sep 6th, 2016 at 05:56:02 PM EST
I'm quite sure that, in private conversationss, a lot of the G20 leaders told her that the current inaction was a worrying message in itself that would force others to act in self-defence. In ways not to the UK's benefit.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 6th, 2016 at 06:06:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I'm quite sure of that, too.  If such exchangs didn't happen at her level, they certainly did among senior staff.
by rifek on Wed Sep 7th, 2016 at 02:34:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually, I think they're delighted, and hope that more countries will make similar plain-spoken statements.

Having a stack of countries saying they will pull their corporations out of the UK if the UK leaves the Single Market will help the Tories immensely in justifying whatever sleazy deal they end up cutting with #QueenOfEurope.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Tue Sep 6th, 2016 at 06:20:21 PM EST
Yes, but she's still trying to avoid the war hat is going to break out in the Tory party depending on whether they prioritize access to the single market or keeping out foreigners.

One devastates the City and the Tory paymasters, the other will outrage the kippers and their house rags at the Sun and the Mail.

One or the other; so far inaction has has been excused as it's genuinely a very big set of decisions and negotiations and we need to get our positions sorted. I've long suggested that they have to make a relatively detailed announcement of their intentions at the party conference in early October. Later than that and the entire world will begin to lose patience.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 6th, 2016 at 07:05:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Sun has  apparently slipped into line behind May, after advocating a points based system for months in line with Brexit campaigners, in the last couple of days a sudden reverse has seen them  behind the May statements that Points based system will not work

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 7th, 2016 at 02:22:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also:

Swiss blink first in EU standoff with striking similarities to UK predicament

The Alpine republic voted narrowly to impose EU immigration quotas in a 2014 referendum that must be implemented by next February, but Brussels has said any cap would deny Switzerland its privileged access to the single market.

...
Any "major concession" by the EU, which has not budged from its stance that Switzerland must respect free movement rules or lose trade benefits, was plainly "unrealistic" following Britain's exit vote, the justice minister Simonetta Sommaruga told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

...
But in a vote with a striking resemblance to Britain's, the populist, Eurosceptic SVP called for and, against all establishment expectations, won the 2014 referendum, with 50.3% of voters - in a country whose population is almost one-quarter foreign - demanding immigration quotas.

As a result, the country not only finds itself threatened with exclusion from the EU's single market, with potentially dramatic economic consequences, but has already been ejected from the EU's science research programme, Horizon2020, and the Erasmus student exchange programme.

This doesn't bode well for the Tory Brexit negotiators...


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Tue Sep 6th, 2016 at 07:48:50 PM EST
Well, it lodks like May and Davies do not agree:

David Davis's single market stance 'not government policy'

PM distances herself from Brexit secretary's remarks that staying in is `improbable' as spokeswoman says she will be `ambitious' in negotiations

...
The prime minister's view is that we should be ambitious and go after the best deal we can. The secretary of state said we want the best deal for trades and services: that is what the prime minister is doing."

However, asked again if Davis was expressing a government policy, she said: "He is setting out his opinion. A policy tends to be a direction of travel: saying something is probable or improbable is not policy."



"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Tue Sep 6th, 2016 at 10:13:28 PM EST
This is hilarious.

The Minister for Brexit said almost nothing in Parliament, and the Prime Minister immediately told him that what he said was wrong.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 6th, 2016 at 11:24:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She just told him he's going to be her whipping boy and patsy for the train wreck ahead.
by rifek on Wed Sep 7th, 2016 at 02:38:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My impression is that this is actually a plan, not plain inaction or lack of direction. This government will drag the process for as long as it can until a point where "circumstances have changed". Then it can postpone Brexit sine die or outright cancel the process off.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.
by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Wed Sep 7th, 2016 at 06:22:22 AM EST
Inaction is only suerficially tempting, but it is actually an action.

We are no longer involved in EU decision making t the top level, which means that, legislatively speaking, the EU and UK are beginning to drift apart. Equally, international companies are making investment decisions based on the prospect of the UK leaving the EU. Individuals are making immigration/emigration decisions based on UK leaving the EU.

Each is possibly insignificant measured over weeks, but in a couple of years that'll begin to have a noticable effect, A50 or no A50

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 7th, 2016 at 06:57:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
..., which means that, legislatively speaking, the EU and UK are beginning to drift apart.

I don't think we can really say that until the UK stops implementing EU directives. For the moment the Brits are still along for the ride. Of course you could say that their concerns aren't really taken account of in new legislation anymore. Except they still can vote.

by generic on Mon Sep 12th, 2016 at 03:58:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No free trade deal until Brexit settled, says Australian minister
Australia's trade minister has told the UK that any post-Brexit trade deal between the nations will have to wait for his country to complete parallel negotiations with the European Union.

Steven Ciobo said it would most likely be at least two-and-a-half years before formal Australia-UK talks could begin, as Britain would have to complete its exit from the EU before this happened.

According to the Brexiters, Australia couldn't wait to sign a free trade agreement with UK...

And note that the Australian minister says that talks would begin after Brexit is effective. Add to that a few years for the FTA to be completed.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet

by Melanchthon on Wed Sep 7th, 2016 at 08:08:03 AM EST
UnCommon Sense -  An extraordinary warning from Japan
Japanese culture is sophisticated and often considered impenetrable by Europeans. Part of this is because the Japanese speak in a subtle and indirect way, almost always avoiding direct assertions and categorical statements. Sometimes the English do this in a few situations; "Might I join you?", "Would it be at all possible to join you?" The subtleties of the Japanese language are in a completely different league however; allusion, inference and subtly implicit statements with multilevel meanings abound. Indeed they rarely ever contradict each other even in a discussion or debate. It is like the diametric opposite of the direct and plain-speaking Yorkshire culture. It is the Japanese way, as important a part of their culture as raw fish, sumo and cleanliness. I know, I have been in a relationship with a Japanese citizen for 25 years and spent many extended periods there.

This makes the unequivocal and direct way that the Japanese government has reacted to Britain leaving the EU all the more remarkable. It was direct, to-the-point and unequivocal. Incredibly they did not pull their punches or mince their words; Brexit will be a disaster, an unprecedented catastrophe for the UK, and one, which will have lasting effects and be extremely difficult to recover from. The Japanese have every right to say this; they have substantial investments in the UK, and invested here primarily because the UK is in the EU. These will go unless Britain has a very soft Brexit like the relationship between the EU and Norway; the kind of thing the Leave campaign were advocating before the referendum.



Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 7th, 2016 at 02:32:12 PM EST
Brexit TRUMP will be a disaster, an unprecedented catastrophe for the   UK  US, and one, which will have lasting effects and be extremely difficult to recover from.

With just a little editing it sounds so correct.

 

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Sep 7th, 2016 at 03:14:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Theres also a suggestion that Brexit can't happen till 2020, because the additional time required to negotiate changes to the EU budget (as an example who is going to pay for the pensions to UK former EU staff if UK no longer member so no longer paying cash in) This will take more time than Brexit negotiations so the best time to actually complete Brexit is to have it align with an EU budgetary cycle otherwise all of Europe will be dragged into an extra set of negotiations for a partial budget

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Sep 7th, 2016 at 02:43:43 PM EST
so 2020 looks like a good election to lose

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Sep 7th, 2016 at 03:20:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
British expats challenge EU head over ban on negotiations with UK over Brexit
Several days after the 23 June referendum result, Juncker announced that he was making a "presidential order" that there should be no negotiations with the UK until Article 50 - formally signalling Britain's intention to withdraw - has been triggered. By forcing the UK to wait until it has pressed the button on Article 50, many believe Juncker has restricted its room for diplomatic manoeuvre.

The legal action is supported by some of the 1.2 million Britons who live abroad in other EU countries. Many expatriates fear that they will lose economic and welfare rights under Brexit. Their claim is being financed through a crowdfunding website.

In his speech on 28 June, Juncker said: "I have forbidden Commissioners from holding discussions with representatives from the British government - by presidential order, which is not my style. I have told all the directors-general that there cannot be any prior discussions with British representatives. No notification, no negotiation." The European Union has dismissed the challenge, saying that the decision not to negotiate until Article 50 has been triggered is an agreement between the other 27 remaining EU states.

by Bernard on Fri Sep 9th, 2016 at 06:51:35 AM EST
I have little doubt that Juncker's "Presidential Order" is a political decision rather than a legal one, but that is his job: to make political decisions.  It's not like he or the other EU leaders can be legally forced to begin negotiations with the UK prior to A50, or even to negotiate in good faith if they did decide to do so.

Far from demonstrating Juncker's "antagonistic style and bombastic rhetoric" it demonstrates Juncker's determination to operate the negotiations within the legal framework - A50 - expressly provided for that purpose.  It is the idea that the EU should be forced to negotiate outside the EU's legal framework for doing so that demonstrates an "antagonistic style and bombastic rhetoric" on the part of the complainants.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 9th, 2016 at 07:46:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
trouble is that a lot of that 1.5 million seemed to think Brexit was a good thing when their opinions were being canvassed beforehand. Yet more buyers remorse.


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 9th, 2016 at 12:36:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And many still think Brexit is a good idea, all the while complaining that their Sterling based income doesn't quite stretch as far any more.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 9th, 2016 at 02:31:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think both sides demonstrate antagonistic style, which bodes ill for negotiations. In particular in combination with UK's lack of clear goals.
by fjallstrom on Mon Sep 12th, 2016 at 08:30:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
May and her cabinet members keep disagreeing with one another:

'Fat and lazy' Britain is ill-prepared to secure future outside EU, says Fox

In comments that appear at odds with May's stated commitment to an active industrial policy, Fox also argued: "We must turn our backs on [those] that tell us: it's OK, you can protect bits of your industry, bits of your economy and no one will notice. It is untrue.
...
A Downing Street spokesman did not endorse Fox's remarks, saying: "The principle behind our approach is to ensure British businesses can succeed in the world."


"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Sat Sep 10th, 2016 at 11:35:02 AM EST
no plan. No clue.

If it wasn't so real, it'd be funny.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 11th, 2016 at 07:19:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Mon Sep 12th, 2016 at 01:53:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So this happened at a Conservative Way Forward event, now that's an interesting place for it to happen. Up until last year, CWF was part of  a business that had multiple trading front ends, but in the background was all one company run by one Donal Blaney. the other well known front end was the Young Britons Foundation, and between the two organisations we have the various machinations of the Tory Bullying scandal. (and the electoral busing fraud scandal)

Blaney has disconnected himself from the two organisations, although a new YBF style group is now rising from the ashes (With Blaney as an advisor)

A replacement director has turned up in CWF and he seems to have a history of moving dodgy money around between charities. theres much oddness still to come out there.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 12th, 2016 at 03:03:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]

<script async src="
/platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 12th, 2016 at 06:26:40 PM EST
I take that as meaning that Ends has had a chat with the other EU leaders and its been made perfectly clear that that principle isn't going to be compromised.

I still don't know how the Irish/UK free movement area can be maintained while preventing EU citizens travelling to UK. They'll have to treat Northern Ireland as outside the UK for passport control, which risks drive the Unionists  off the deep end.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Mon Sep 12th, 2016 at 08:44:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
pretty much my conclusions, I was thinking that the brexit mob were trying to lever Ireland as a whole out of the EU to square their particular circle & had been told to piss off publicly but subtly

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Tue Sep 13th, 2016 at 03:06:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
brexit probably weren't trying anything cos that would require thought and planning. Qualities that have noticed only by their absence so far.

I imagine a brexiter muttered that it would be nice if Ireland joined us in a suicide pact (they probably didn't say it like that) and a few Irish people laughed at them.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 13th, 2016 at 07:29:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From a purely practical point of view, it would be simpler to have passport and immigration control at air and sea ports rather than try to police a 500KM land border which was porous even when thousands of police and soldiers tried to keep it secure - to the great annoyance and inconvenience of innocent locals on both sides.

I seriously doubt Unionist opposition would be all that vociferous - they spend more time crossing the border than many would like to admit. The most vociferous will probably be those loyalist hard-liners in East Belfast who never travel more than 20 miles outside their home base anyway - and they simply don't matter in the greater scheme of things.  Sure there might be a few riots and demonstrations. Will Theresa May care?  She has bigger fish to fry...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Sep 13th, 2016 at 02:17:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
driving unionists off the deep end sound like a good plan.

They don't have the same hold over the London political establishment as that of the 70s and 80s. I think they may find the reaction to their tantrums from Westminster somewhat disappointing.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 13th, 2016 at 07:31:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's more the rioting and the paramilitaries that worry me.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Sep 13th, 2016 at 08:49:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With some imagination and timing the whole Brexit process could be blown up. Labour could make a deal with the Liberals to vote with them on a vote of no confidence to trigger new elections. In return Liberals would be in an electoral alliance with Labour in that election with the standard agreements and per-arranged division of appointments in the new government and a deal to do something for those Liberal candidates who fail to win their districts. If Labour has taken steps to re-select candidates they could emerge with a stronger and more united Labour Party. The new government could then renounce any plan for invoking A-50.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 15th, 2016 at 10:55:12 PM EST
Alternatively, they could just fail to invoke A-50 until a groundswell had built for so doing - pleading that the new situation will require at least another year to sort things out and come up with negotiating positions. Additionally, they could offer the lead negotiators with the current government to retain their positions - with the exception of Boris.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 15th, 2016 at 10:59:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the votes to do that just aren't there. The tories have an overall majority, even if everybody else votes against them.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 16th, 2016 at 07:45:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless some Remain Tory MPs break ranks with the Tories, which seems most unlikely.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Sep 16th, 2016 at 01:51:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I have been saying

Cross-party cooperation on the left? It's not as mad as it sounds

David Boyle  The Guardian

It is called The Alternative, and I'm rather proud that my own essay, on a new approach to economic policy, provides the second chapter (the first is by the most optimistic commentator in western Europe, Neal Lawson). Whatever people say about those chapters, the book as a whole will provide a background text to the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton this weekend, after another major setback (the Brexit vote); and we will hear a great deal more about building a cross-party platform on the left.

Lib Dems are all optimists at heart. They have  to be. But there are some rather obvious barriers to a pan-left platform at the next election: three in particular:

First, there are no mechanisms in any of the formal party structures to organise a formal pact. It will take every particle of Paddy Ashdown's considerable energy, through his new More United platform, to make it remotely possible for anyone to stand down in favour of anyone else....


And there are additional complicatins to which only vague allusions are made, not least the division between Corbyn and the Blairite Parliamentary Party.

Second, Labour party members dislike each other so much that they seem unable to work together, let alone with anyone outside....

Third, and rather less obviously, the formal parties of the left - Labour, Lib Dems and Greens - have long since become bored by economics, forgetting that any winning platform must include a challenging recipe for creating prosperity.

There never was a period in recent history when a better way of doing this was needed more, given that we are subservient to an economy devoted to funnelling money upwards to billionaires, from where it patently fails to trickle down....



"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 12:58:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the economic planning within Labour has always been weak. Even Gordon Brown and Alaistair Darling mainly borrowed their ideas from the Chicago school.

Corbyn is trying to do something different with no underlying idea of how to go about it. It's a serious, disabling, weakness

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 04:27:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn is trying to do something different with no underlying idea of how to go about it. It's a serious, disabling, weakness

We'll it's not exactly well-trodden ground, it? Wtf is the alternative, Osborne-lite a la May? Recycled third way BS?

He's venturing where no one dares to tread and has the support of millions who respect his opinions and are damn determined to have a last shot at making democracy work.

What will make or break him is the quality of cabinet, especially Treasury, he can appoint.

Any opinions on that?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 06:58:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems that Corbyn has very little talent at his disposal and almost anyone with any ministerial experience is a Blairista.  The quality of the various leadership candidates who have stood against him has been appalling.  You wouldn't put any of them in charge of a major ministry, and that is even before you considered their political leanings, which are of course, all anti-Corbyn.

Labour need to do some serious reselection of candidates not just to get rid of some anti-Corbynites, but to attract some talent to the party. Most of the PLP at the moment seem to be time-serving placeholders for whom politics is a career and ministerial positions a reward for long service.  They are currently whinging that Corbyn isn't giving them their due and guaranteeing their re-selection, despite them stabbing him front and back at every opportunity.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 07:45:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, front and back, but also on live TV - too many times. Alas, the most likely remedy any time soon would be a real, succesfull Guy Falkwes Day - best done during Prime Minister's Questions. But that would likely take out Corbyn and others of his supporters. better, but less likely, would be a massive shift in public attitudes giving rise to popular demand for new elections.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 03:42:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading Tony Judt's Ill fares the land for starters... But I honestly think there has been written enough. The knowledge is available, the scholars are available.

What IMO has been lacking the most, politically, is cohesive narrative.

by Bjinse on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 09:08:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree, you really need to refresh the PLP to get talent on board. The Blairite fast-track scheme created, over the 15 years of operation, a plp largely devoid of competence, imagination or, indeed, anything other than a stolid preference for centre right policies.

But I think they need to reach out and create an effective economics advisory team. It is regrettable that Stiglitz and Piketty were frozen out when really they should have been encouraged to create the foundations for a new Labour economic policy. Steve Keen and Varoufakis should have been welcomed in as well.

When you are creating afresh from whole cloth, as Labour imagine themselves to be doing, you need the very best minds and encourage them to reach for realistic 21st century solutions for the society we want. Time servers and ideological sycophants will not do it but I suspect that's what we'l get. And it won't work and doom the entire project

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 10:39:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the problem no doubt is that if you get the best minds in, the current placeholders may be made to feel small and insignificant. Fragile egos may not accept this.

70 years ago the last time this was tried  people had had 5 years of actual contact with and reliance on experts. because there was no other choice rather than 40 years of films that sold experts as geeks and nerds and not to be trusted

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 05:40:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that's a very good point

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 06:10:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well one problem here is that all the people you mention have different economics. I'm not sure that Picketty's model is compatible with Keen's for example. And I think McDonnel also has his own economic world view. Finally inviting too many primadonna experts into your team can blow up spectacularly. For example Richard Murphy of "people's QE" fame now supports Owen Smith.

Just thinking about the practical. Ideally you'd want to get rid of most of the 172 who voted no confidence. However since there is no way to do so before the next election you'll probably have to try to keep the majority onboard. If more than half split they could claim official opposition and the media could freeze Corbyn out.
Supposing Corbyn wins of course. NEC would have to purge well over 100k voters . And there are some indications they just night.

by generic on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 06:52:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, of course yes. But it's not as if any front rank economist is going to soil himself with Labour after the way Stiglitz and Piketty were treated. So it's McDonnel only (we're doomed)

Well, the boundary changes will have an impact on some of the 172. TBH, I don't think you have to get rid of anything like the amjority; there are those who have no real argument but require more organisational competence from the top, there are those who can be accomodated and there are a few who really ought to be banished to the darkest, coldest backbenches to make their own minds up about their future. I'd suggest that there are possibly fewer than 20 irreconcilables.

That said, I think the membership who have been stripped of their vote are pretty miffed to say the least and will want some high profile heads.

But most commentators suggest that Corbyn is going to walk it

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 07:14:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I haven't heard anything from Stiglitz or Piketty. And it is pretty difficult to accurately appoint blame in this case.
But frankly you have an economic advisory board as a form of advocacy. You don't keep them around for advice.
Maybe Keen's work is getting close to giving you useful input, but you don't really need economists if you take some general MMT points on board and don't try to do complicated things. If you have a housing crisis build social housing, if you have unemployment hire people and if you have a climate apocalypse build better infrastructure, raise taxes on bad things and outright ban even worse things.
And more than economists you need international law experts to warn you of the traps the neoliberal international has left. As well as experts on the internal structure of your political entity. UK political institutions aren't likely to be friendlier to even the mildest socialism than the NEC.
Having said all that I don't think that Corbyn's labour currently has anything close to a sufficient plan. And realistically they will spend the next few years on the defensive against Tory insanity and sniping from the backbenches.
by generic on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 08:46:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian - Former Corbyn adviser Thomas Piketty criticises Labour's 'weak' EU fight

The French economist Thomas Piketty has criticised Jeremy Corbyn's "weak campaign" for Britain to remain in the EU as he confirmed that he had quit as an adviser to to the Labour leader.


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 12:03:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IOW, he resigned from advising a Labour Party whose PLP membership were largely Blairites.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 03:04:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah, now I remember.
However what he said explicitly was:
Mr Piketty added the decision was "not because of political disagreement" but "simply because I was never able to find the time to be properly involved in this council".
But, he added: "That being said, I am of course deeply concerned with the Brexit vote, and with the weak campaign of Labour (even though Corbyn is obviously not the primary [person] responsible for this disaster)."

From here
I know others were a lot more bitter about the whole thing but this seems to be the Guardian spinning again.

by generic on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 03:14:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Could they creditably parachute Steve Keen into a traditionly staunch Labour constituency and then appoint him to Treasury? He is from a Commenwealth  nation.    

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 08:39:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No need for anything that formal. Bring him into McDonnel's planning meetings on an ad hoc basis

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 12:00:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That would be a workaround. But can an advisor be appointed to the Cabinet if they are not an MP? I know a member from Lords can be.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 03:07:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would be good to do both. McDonnel's Plannign meetings could serve admaribly to broadening the understanding of existing Labour MPs - at the risk of tipping off Blairites and who ever they wished to inform.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 03:14:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leave Means Leave will oppose any deal with the EU short of a `hard Brexit'
Conservative Eurosceptics have set up a new lobby group to pressure Theresa May to take Britain out of the European single market and end free movement of people. The group, Leave Means Leave, will oppose any deal with the EU short of a "hard Brexit", arguing that any compromise would be a betrayal of June's referendum vote.

The group includes former ministers Dominic Raab, Owen Patterson and Gerard Howarth, along with veteran Eurosceptic Peter Bone. Richard Tice, a property tycoon who helped to bankroll the pro-Brexit campaign group leave.eu, will chair Leave Means Leave



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Sep 18th, 2016 at 09:00:44 PM EST
No doubt. But a drop in public support for Brexit below ~ 40% would greatly embolden Remain supporters - if too many Brits found out about it.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 03:47:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How important is McDonald to Corbyn? How unreconstructed is his Marxism? Is it academic-theoretical or straight-out Pinko mania?
Is there a plan B?
Going up against pretty much everything since the Enclosure of the Commons, the Hyper-Sanctity of Private Property and Inherited Wealth with only the gentlemanly arts of political persuasion subbing for battalions will be rough road.
Still better than this chute to perdition for most, but no easy sell to the 1%'s willing minions, the chattering classes or furriner-blaming troglodytes for that matter.
I suspect Jez may not be au courant of the latest in MET, Varoufakis and the like. Hope I'm wrong and he'said been lurking here at ET for years!
Probably the common thread in all Corbyn voters is, in this era of a shrinking pie, is simply that the slices should be cut more fairly.

Simple is the opposite of easy.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 10:29:11 PM EST
What I know is that McDonnell is in good terms with Yanis Varoufakis and is close to DiEM25.

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Mon Sep 19th, 2016 at 11:29:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then Corbyn should get him out front and centre and start the (long) job of educating the voting public that There Is An Alternative.


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Thu Sep 22nd, 2016 at 02:01:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a Plan B?

Right now, I'm not convinced there's a Plan A yet

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Sep 20th, 2016 at 11:58:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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