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Resignation raises chance of hard Brexit, say officials
Politicians and senior officials say the resignation of Ivan Rogers, the British ambassador to the European Union, is a worrying sign that a hard Brexit is becoming more likely.

Mr Rogers resigned abruptly on Tuesday - just three months before the formal triggering of the exit mechanism by the British and the beginning of negotiations between the UK government and the EU on an exit agreement.

Amid a growing mood of pessimism in Dublin about the type of Brexit likely to take shape over the next two years, Mr Rogers's sudden departure was taken as a sign that negotiations between the EU and the UK are likely to be rocky.

Irish officials and politicians speculated following the news that the resignation stemmed from an unwillingness in Downing Street to accept the message that patience for the UK in Europe is wearing thin, while one British source said the departure was not surprising.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 3rd, 2017 at 10:57:06 PM EST
his email to staff on leaving included the lines


"I hope you will continue to challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking and that you will never be afraid to speak the truth to those in power," he wrote.

"I hope that you will support each other in those difficult moments where you have to deliver messages that are disagreeable to those who need to hear them."

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 Jan 3rd, 2017 at 11:41:20 PM EST
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In sum Ivan Rogers says we lack:
A. Plan
B. People to implement plan pic.twitter.com/MH2461smV2

— Ciaran Jenkins (@C4Ciaran) January 3, 2017

<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 Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 12:01:59 AM EST
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by epochepoque on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 12:29:36 AM EST
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It's not a bug, it's a feature.
by rifek on Thu Jan 5th, 2017 at 06:37:01 PM EST
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Guardian - Dan Roberts - Our man in Brussels : Hounded out after daring to tell the truth

The resignation of Britain's ambassador to the European Union is seen on both sides of the ever-widening Channel as a sobering reminder that the country is heading for the hardest of Brexits.

Regardless of whether he was pushed or chose to jump, Sir Ivan Rogers was more than just the government's representative in Brussels. He was also Britain's best hope of a negotiated compromise with other member states over the terms of its departure.

For hardliners in Westminster, the resignation will be seen as a late Christmas present. The Tory right has long accused Rogers of offering "little but doom and gloom" by focusing on the gulf between what they believe could be achieved through determined British bargaining and what the other 27 governments want.

A good analysis of what consequences there will be for the UK with his departure

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 01:27:32 PM EST
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I wrote this diary before I heard of Rogers' resignation, but this confirms exactly what I said:

"The political processes used to reinforce opposing negotiating mandates may help to transform the Brexit negotiating process from a rational process aimed at maximising mutual economic advantage to a political process required to keep domestic political oppositions at bay. Instead of trying to resolve differences, negotiators will be instructed to see the negotiations as a war between competing national interests where any concessions could be construed as a signs of weakness at home."

Rogers resignation is latest sign Britain is heading for hard Brexit

The former EU commissioner Peter Mandelson said: "In terms of knowledge and experience of the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers is second to none in Whitehall. His resignation is a serious loss for us in Brussels.

"Our negotiation as a whole will go nowhere if ministers are going to delude themselves about the immense difficulty and challenges Britain faces in implementing the referendum decision."

It looks as if Rogers was hounded from office not for the crime of disloyalty but because he was too negative - not capable of seeing the opportunities that May claims are around the corner.

Signs continue to abound that British Eurosceptics still inhabit an entirely different planet, let alone continent, from everyone else in 2017.

Earlier on Tuesday, Michael Gove's thinktank Change Britain claimed that far from destroying trade, leaving the EU customs union would create 400,000 jobs by allowing hitherto unrecognised opportunities in the rest of the world - a claim dismissed as "fantasy figures" by the rival group Open Britain.

In this context, Rogers represented a dangerous tendency to try to bridge the divide. For politicians on either side, it will now be that little bit easier to shout past each other rather than seek common ground.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 01:52:46 PM EST
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I just hope that all of the chickens come home to roost on the Tories' watch. Not that they'll do anything other than deflect blame

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 02:15:28 PM EST
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As usual it will be the Government which inherits the problems which will cop most of the blame, not the government which caused them.  Most Republicans blamed Obama for the Economic Crash even though it was created and happened on Bush's watch. This is because they felt most of its effects during Obama's terms. Before that it was just another big news story effecting other people - disaster porn if you like.

My guess it will take 5 - 10 years for the true horrors of Brexit to unfold hitting ordinary people very hard.  In the meantime any doubters and naysayers will be accused of weakness, defeatism and lack of resolution - as Rogers is being pilloried now.

Will Labour be back in power in that time-frame?  If so they will be blamed for the economic disaster, failure to negotiate wonderful trade deals, public service melt-down, Scottish independence, and not getting rid of N. Ireland quickly enough...

Their one "success" will be to reduce immigration from the EU.  Sterling devaluation and economic melt-down would have seen to that anyway.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 02:47:08 PM EST
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I don't see Labour winning anything in the near future.

Even when Corbyn first won the leadership election, he was unlikely to be Prime Minister. He doesn't have that sort of personality to be a modern leader, but it was much to be hoped that he would put forward a set of policy initiavies that would cement the move of Labour away from slavish neo-conservative economic policies.

Sadly, Corbyn has not stepped up his game; he is by nature a protester and a quiet worker behind the scenes when what was needed was somebody who could seize the PLP by the scruff of the neck and bring them to his bidding. However, he is more noted for absence than presence. Even the policy ideas have failed to materialise. If there is an alternative Labour vision of Britain post-Brexit, even in outline, then so far he has failed to let anybody know what it might look like.

And fialing that, Labour will continue to come second. Good grief, even the Lib Dems have more idea of who they are right now.

Britain needs a new conservative set of ideas to combat a near 4 decades record of utter failure. Labour needs a new leader, Corbyn has failed.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 06:18:51 PM EST
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So, the Tories will have this failure hung around their necks.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 06:19:36 PM EST
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That last paragraph should read;

Britain needs a new conservative set of ideas to combat a near 4 decades record of utter conservative failure. Labour needs a new leader, Corbyn has failed.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jan 4th, 2017 at 08:18:14 PM EST
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Is he even doing that badly? Overall labour seems to hold out OK in by-elections. The polls look bad but I'm not sure they tell us much at this point. Or at all really. The wage development in the UK looks like Greece. Unexpected things will keep happening. Though what's needed is for Momentum to become what it is accused of being. A party within the party that conspires against the PLP. Kill it with fire.
by generic on Thu Jan 5th, 2017 at 05:48:00 PM EST
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yes, he is doing that badly. Holding your strongholds was acceptable when Corbyn was being attacked everyday in the papers as much by senior Labour figures as by actual Tories.

But Corbyn hasn't moved from a defensive crouch, he isn't creating a new ideology, people like Steve Kean and Varoufakis were brought in with great fanfare to advise on economic ideas and then were ostentatiously ignored.

There are no grand plans for jobs, nor for homes, welfare or services. It's all a big vague nothing. Corbyn was elected to change the direction of policy, but he just seems storm-tossed and adrift.

I still think he is better than a return to Blairite neo-conservatism that was on offer from at the original election nor from the faux-socialism allegedly offered by Owen Smith. As I said at the time, he's just a place holder, but he's not even doing that much.

Incidentally, Andy Burnham, one of the Gang of 3 from 2015, is now vying to be Labour's candidate for Mayor of Manchester. His pitch is to position Manchester as creating "Northern Labour" as opposed to Corbyn's metropolitan Labour. His catch-phrase is "protecting the safety of our streets"

Guardian - John Harris - The rise of a northern Labour party

And in the buildup to the campaign, with the tacit support of some MPs, he has come up with a new definition of what he wants to represent: "Northern Labour" - which, he says, "needs to speak very directly to people and represent them properly in terms of the way [they] think and feel".

This does not take much decoding. While Corbyn and his inner circle have rejected any calls for Labour to sound tougher on immigration, Burnham has been on manoeuvres, controversially claiming that Labour's stance is undermining "the safety of our streets" and the vote to leave the EU was partly about "more control in our immigration system"

Which, as I've always said, is Tory-lite, racist-lite and probably with a kicking for welfare recipients to prove that they are tough on society's "freeloaders"

That's not Labour, that's ukip. Andy Burnham has lost his way

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jan 5th, 2017 at 07:21:12 PM EST
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There goes the crowd.  I am their leader.  Therefore I must follow them.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jan 5th, 2017 at 09:53:14 PM EST
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Burnham is given a lot of positive press for organising the new Hillsborough inquests, and selling the story that he was behind this so is good for the north. However the story is somewhat spun.

Burnham went to a Hillsborough memorial service to announce a series of platitudes and do nothing, but was shocked by the amount of hostility received

His fear of the loss of his local seat being a Liverpool MP was the thing that got the party policy turned round and the Inquest started. his Northern Labour rubbish is entirely dependent on his campaign to be mayor of Manchester, where it is thought that several districts of Manchester may go UKIP

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

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Jan 6th, 2017 at 11:01:02 PM EST
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I think you are far too negative here.  Leaders won't save us and we shouldn't expect them to. And when was the last time one created a new ideology that was more than a rebranding of old ideas? Frankly in more normal times I'd have little objections to Corbyn's stance. In so many questions the correct answer is "just don't". And the Tories are a ready source for those. Just don't cut social services, privatize the NHS, deliver weapons to Saudi Arabia....
Sure the outreach to economic experts was completely bungled and McDonald's economic statements are worrying conventional very serious person reassurance noises. But then no one close to power anywhere else is offering anything close to a reasonable economic program either. Sanders' program wasn't really either. And just as in the case of Sanders the most important thing here is that he can serve as both a focus point of organization and a showcase that leftists can actually win. Getting either no or slanderous media attention is what every socialist can expect. That's neither here nor there. Of course that leads to a natural tendency to only get news from friendly sources which blinds one to real missteps and irreversible wrong turns.
Which is a good place to place a failure condition. According to the latest I heard on the bureaucratic infighting front team Corbyn now has the majority on the NEC again. If they don't get to revoking the frivolous expulsions within the next few months the party is going nowhere.
And yes I left out Brext. At the moment there really is very little that can be done about it and every position the labour party takes can only hurt their fortunes.
by generic on Mon Jan 9th, 2017 at 07:16:23 PM EST
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And of course the moment I write a positive piece we get another blunder.
Jeremy Corbyn: I've not changed mind on immigration - BBC News -
"Labour is not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle, but I don't want that to be misinterpreted, nor do we rule it out," he said.

From reading the rest he clearly hasn't changed his mind on immigration. So who thought putting that in the speech was a good idea and what was it supposed to signal? Loss of nerves?

I also must agree with Richard Seymour that "the populist turn" still needs some work:

Corbyn, the Unlikely Populist | Jacobin -

But as Bernie Sanders demonstrated without conceding an inch to this sort of politics, it is possible to articulate a class hatred sincerely and effectively. One can, in the name of every casualty of capitalism, uncompromisingly revile the "billionaire class" and its political advocates, without giving ground to bigotry.

Corbyn, though, is currently too nice to be a populist: hate is not his metier. If Labour really wants to go down this path, he will either have to draw out the more lupine aspect of his appearance and character, or delegate nastiness to one of his colleagues.

by generic on Tue Jan 10th, 2017 at 11:34:04 PM EST
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Because it is not entirely clear from my comment: The fracas started with a press release including the first sentence without the qualification. The quoted one is a clarification from an interview afterwards. But even from the first version it was relatively clear that there wasn't any real change of policy here. So why lead with this?
by generic on Wed Jan 11th, 2017 at 01:32:23 PM EST
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So fed up with this slagging off Corbyn.. gratuitous,  cruel, defeatist and unnecessary. Worst of all not recognising that although old, he is actually proposing a completely novel approach to politics, not personality based, not charisma based, not a recycled drabber-than-thou, pie in the sky, promise them the moon bullshit we have all been weaned on.
Sneer at him if it makes you feel intelligent or superior,  but put up an alternative or find more deserving targets for your scorn, please.
Happily the so-called experts are more wrong than right these days, and hundreds of thousands of new lefty voters signing up means the experts are wrong as per usual when they dissect the entrails of public opinion.
This is the really bitter aftertaste of turd-way Bliarism, that commenters may be smart enough to see his criminality in retrospect but remain fascinated by his media massage and (barf) charisma.
What the pundits get so wrong in this case, and his voters get so right, is that those values of so-called 'electability' are rotten to the core and Corbyn offers instead a different attitude to modern politics, ie, just be yourself.
Of course as always his success will depend more on whether he can get a quality, dedicated group of similarly minded individuals to form a government with were he to be elected.
What's the point of grand plans when the wheels are coming off? Designing a new liner as the Titanic hits the berg!
The Tories are patiently assembling their collective hari-Kiribati.  They-re fucking impaled on their own stupidity, all Corbyn has to do is hold steady and the whole shebang may well fall in his lap without a 'media makeover' or other drivel that would make him just another politico blowing smoke.
Stop fellating the media's distorted, inhuman, petty version of who he is and just help the Tories self-immolato, please.
Knocking him just plays right into Tory hopes you'll do exactly that.
 Nothing personal, Helen. I just get so fucking pissed off when I saw Kos doing it to Bernie, then Booman too.
Let the guy be FFS, he's getting a shit load more votes than you, I or anyone here will ever get, yes he has political weaknesses seen through the dumbed-down reductionist lens, but you don't get yet in my opinion is that same weakness is his secret sauce.
Hard enough the row he has to hoe, without this cheap, 2c peanut hurling from the gallery to sabotage him further. Nice company you put yourself with there, you really want birds of that feather around you?
Kill him and there is nothing doing for Labour, NOTHING! just the usual crapola that voters are finally, thankfully getting fed up with and stay home without voting for. If Corbyn gets aced you know you're just going to get another Millibland clone, or worse, if there is such an animal.
Petty, destructive, internecine carping is raised to a fine art in GB, sad to say.

'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 Jan 8th, 2017 at 12:09:05 AM EST
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