Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
The current DUP dependent government is incapable of achieving any Brexit deal acceptable to the EU, and even if it could, it is doubtful whether there is a majority in the present Parliament to ratify it. Thus another general election is required IF there is to be a Brexit deal and I am not convinced Corbyn would necessarily win it.

It is also doubtful whether the Theresa May would call another general election under any circumstances prior to Brexit day (bar losing a vote of confidence) even if this means a no-deal Brexit. My default assumption is still therefore a hard Brexit with no substantial deal.

And if there is a no-deal Brexit I would expect the EU to raise tariffs on UK exports to recover monies due to EU Budget. If the UK retaliates a trade war may result.

Either way, it could be decades before a FTA is negotiated given that, after Brexit, any FTA requires unanimous approval of all 27 EU members plus some regional parliaments... a fitting legacy of the UK push to expand the Union rapidly without governance reform in order to dilute its decision making capability.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 at 07:43:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it is entirely possible that brexit will be driven by Labour supported by remain supporting tories.

The recent acceptance by Labour of the desirability of remaining in the Customs Union is a good first step and has been warmly welcomed by remainers of all parties.

It has been pointed out that this step alone does not solve the Ulster border problem but, being a considerable step in the right direction, shows that Labour are now making the realistic steps in the brexit debate. The advantage they have is that the remain vote (even when working towards the softest of brexits) is a DUP-proof majority in Westminster.

It won't be the brexit of the brextremist wet dreams, it's probably not even the brexit Corbyn hiself imagined in the aftermath of the referendum, but it will be a brexit that works.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 at 08:37:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see how Corbyn can drive the Brexit process even if there is a soft Brexit majority in Parliament without actually becoming PM. It is the government which negotiates with Brussels and Theresa May cannot do anything which antagonises the DUP and the "European Research Group" within her own party.

She will lose either a vote of confidence or her premiership if she does, and we end up with a general election or a change of leader to Boris or Rees-Mogg. I suppose it is possible she could survive a leadership challenge but her authority is already so damaged I doubt she could survive (say) doing badly in the local elections as well.

If the Tories want to avoid a general election at all costs they just have to sit tight until April 1 2019 and Brexit will be a fait accompli, deal or no deal. After that their focus on "Making a success of Brexit" will be the only game in town...  Until its failure becomes apparent to even the most dim-witted.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 at 09:03:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not that he drives it, but puts up amendments that are voted through.

These do not automatically trigger the collapse of the Tories as a government because the change to the "no confidence" rules  means that they can limp on, losing significant vote after significant vote without damaging their (legal) right to govern.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 at 09:33:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and Corbyn is gonna walk the next election. The solid recognition of that reality conditions every decision the brexiteers make when they consider holding May to ransom.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 at 08:38:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour and the Tories are currently neck and neck in the polls and that is despite the most incompetent and divided government in living memory being in office.

I think the result will hinge on the circumstances under which the election is held. Suppose May reaches a Brexit deal with the EU which upsets the DUP and loses a vote in the House of Commons because it doesn't satisfy either the Remainers, the opposition, the DUP or the hard core Brexiteers - in my view a likely scenario.

May goes to the country with "the best deal available" and poo poos Corbyn's "pie in the sky" claims to be able to negotiate a better one - particularly if B day is only weeks away.  She claims to occupy the centre ground between hard core Remainers and Brexiteers.

The electorate are faced with a choice between voting for a deal they may not like and a deal which doesn't exist. Why would the EU give Corbyn a better deal? - he is hardly liked in any EU capital...

So the sensible British voter will be cajoled into voting for the sensible middle ground, despite the fact that what is on offer is far inferior to the benefits of full membership.

Lot's of other scenarios are possible, but that seems to me to be (marginally) the most likely one.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 at 09:18:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe the polls were similarly pessimistic about his chances before the last election.

Which suggests to me that, rather than Corbyn has no chance, the polls aren't capturing a significant part of the Corbyn electorate.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 at 09:30:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if true, the polls can't capture what may be a nationalist hysteria by the time the elections are called. Of course there is a strong chance Corbyn will win, but the polls are of limited predictive value in the absence of the precise context of the election.

My own view is that it will take several years for the disastrous reality of Brexit to become clear to the British electorate, and then only after the nationalist fever has subsided. By that time it will be far to late for Corbyn or his successor to do anything much about it, bar negotiating a Canada style FTA.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 28th, 2018 at 09:42:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which suggests to me that, rather than Corbyn has no chance, the polls aren't capturing a significant part of the Corbyn electorate.

Or the Corbyn people are just really good at running a campaign. And why not? The gaggle of international consultants that usually run campaigns as a paid service don't seem to be doing so well since the glory days of Boris Yeltsin. Most people are only very weakly connected to the political system. In the earlier days said consultants and the media conglomerates could herd them to the polls, get them to make a cross and then fuck off for a few years. How would they react to a genuinely enthusiastic campaign?

by generic on Thu Mar 1st, 2018 at 12:18:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Certainly Theresa May showed herself to be an astonishingly bad campaigner... and Labour have a massive active membership advantage now to canvass and get their people to the polls.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 1st, 2018 at 12:33:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's half a million people, many of them willing and able to be active campaigners as they've only recently joined and feel the energy is going their way. Or, to put it another way, 1 in 80 voters is willing to go out and be an active campaigner for the Labour party.

As compared to an estimated Tory membership in the region of 70,000, most of whom are elderly, so let's call it an active membership of 50,000. Or 1 in 800 of the electorate.

That is a significant advantage. That's people going out knocking on doors talking to people. People with the right messages and answers, people with literature putting it through doors.

All the bullshit in the media can't compete with actually meeting people. And that has a snowball effect of energising campaigns and electors notice. they see the signs, they see who is on the streets, they want to buy into winners.

At the last election one of the things that most impressed a lot of Corbynites was the willingness of momentum to help even Corbyn's most intractable Westminster foes. Nobody got left behind, every vote counted.

Polls don't mean shit when your ground game overwhelms

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Mar 1st, 2018 at 02:35:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's quite astonishing, how much of our society seems to be set up to keep Democracy from actually happening. In popular culture, getting involved in politics as a "civilian" risks making you THAT GUY at the Christmas party. Better leave it to the professionals.
by generic on Thu Mar 1st, 2018 at 04:14:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Polls don't mean shit when your ground game overwhelms

That's what the Democrats (and I) thought in the US general election. Trump had virtually no ground game in many states - including swing states like Pennsylvania and Florida. (Unless you count evangelical churches and the NRA as the GOP ground game)

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 1st, 2018 at 04:40:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But didn't Clinton's ground game be less effective in reality than on paper? As in not actually being that good at getting boots on the ground. I think I saw complaints from activists.

And on the other side, I think the Trump campaign didn't need to put as many people out there, because the GOP did much more as a party than the Demcrats. And of course, GOP does voter suppression too.

by fjallstrom on Thu Mar 1st, 2018 at 05:41:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a specialist subject and I am relying on only a few sources - Booman, 538, Politico etc. but certainly the expectation before the election was that the Dems had a far superior ground game, were putting far more money into it, had better voter intelligence systems and more volunteers. Trump seemed to rely more on TV advertising and spent surprisingly little - especially of his own money.

I think the key factor may have been a lack of voter and activist enthusiasm for Hillary combined with over-confidence and complacency: who in their right minds thought Trump was going to win Pennsylvania? Booman didn't, and it's his home state.

In subsequent analysis it emerged that the key factor was that Hillary did far worse than Obama in rural and Red districts, and her advantage in urban and suburban areas wasn't enough to make up the deficit. Booman's expectation had been that she would do much better than Obama in Red districts because of the absence of the anti-Obama racist factor. She also did less well than expected with minorities despite Trump's overt racism.

For me the key message seemed to be that being less bad than your opponent is not a winning strategy. Trump brought out his base. Hillary didn't, or at least not to the same extent. Triangulation has its costs...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Mar 1st, 2018 at 06:33:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Analysis: Do Campaigns Matter?

Here's what Clinton, Trump spent to turn out votes | CNBC |

Analysis: Do Campaigns Matter?

Personally my view is the effort put in by Trump's Texas troll factory of bots made the difference. Thanking Robert Mercer and his Cambridge Analytica. [Brexit too]

Unless one trusts Hillary Clinton's RESIST movement, pointing fingers to Putin's Russia. A budget of $4 million in ads from ISA in St. Petersburg did the trick? Hardly!

by Oui on Thu Mar 1st, 2018 at 07:54:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by state, 21 Oct - 7 Nov, 2016 alone

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 2nd, 2018 at 12:19:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Spending and the ground game do not necessarily turn out voters. IMO Clinton created her own head wind by her dismissive attitude towards the still largest ethnic group in the nation. She virtually wrote off all but the well educated, epitomized by her 'basket of deplorables' remark, but far from limited to it. I think her campaign was biased against even trying to compete for the working people because they thought they could win without them and didn't want to owe them anything. That was less offensive to the wealthy.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Mar 1st, 2018 at 08:08:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree that was the expectation, and by offices Clinton's campaign was far ahead of Trump's, though not as far ahead of Trump+GOP. But in the end, Clinton's campaign appears to not have used their advantage to get out the base, but rather spent to much time chasing moderate Republicans.

Here's one article from the Jacobin - https:/www.jacobinmag.com/2016/11/clinton-campaign-gotv-unions-voters-rust-belt - claiming among other things that lack of on the ground knowledge led the Clinton campaign to turn out Trump voters.

And while Trump's lack of organisation was saved by the GOP, the Democrats as a party appears dead in large parts of the interior, partly from lack of organisation, partly from loss of offices during Obama. And Clinton's campaign added to that by using state parties as vehicles to increase donations to the campaign rather than raising money for the state parties. So the party couldn't save her.

by fjallstrom on Thu Mar 1st, 2018 at 11:09:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump won because he is/was a maverick, coming into politics sideways from a billionaire's podium, a la Berlusconi.
His notoriety as a crook made him media red meat, they gobbled up every gaffe and vomited it back repeatedly creating a vortex and regaling him with millions of dollars free publicity. Hillary could not compete on this level at all, she was recycled old news. Old policies, reconstituted pablum, b-o-r-i-n-g.
She thought the answer was to buy fancier pantsuits and widen that rictus leer of delusional superiority.
Her femininity was supposed to be a big voter plus, but the bloodlust she showed around the manner of Ghaddaffi's dying revealed a level of sadism that  couldn't be unseen, not exactly the kinder, gentler leader many would have affirmed her as, purely on her gender.
She placed herself right in the Madeline Albright hag-bag, hobnobbing with Kissinger just in case anyone had any illusions by then as to her true nature.
Her lust for war with Libya made her a whitebread Condoleeza on steroids.
The Republicans were on the ropes, all their candidates had the charisma of cold mashed potatoes, so when Trump showed up with his base of aggrieved, angry voters eager to see their reality show superhero drain the swamp -as if!- the Party saw voters and grabbed with both hands onto his coattails.

Similarly again to Berlusconi, people thought riches symbolised a crude wisdom that politicians were too poor and savvy-deficient to understand, and if politics was really all about money then why not get a successful businessman to run the country like a corporation?
Straight-shootin', tuff-talking, the frisson of bad boy behaviour to grab ledes and shout soundbites.
Isn't he awful? Tut-Tut.
What did he do today? Oh how shocking!
The more he hated on the media the more they lapped up their profitable punishment, like johns with their dominatrix.
Whip me! I love it! Harder? Yes! Talk dirty to me! OK you asked for it!
Gimme scandal, abuse, and alt-facts, gimme wannabe fascists, give me peace with Putin, give me Mexican walls, give me Hillary behind bars!
And so we got to know his temperament, slalom mood swings, rabid tweet-olalia, the sneering superiority failing to cover up the cry-for-help insecurity that boastful bragadocio was always really about. He defied credulity, our cosy myths about normality shattering as we watched his trajectory dominate the narrative.
Love me, fear me, but never forget me.
We watched his high wire act with sanity like passers-by watch a train wreck, rubbernecking at his antics, marvelling at how a man so clueless about anything could have the epic hubris to want to be POTUS.
No way, can't happen, surely...
Yes way. We looked into the abyss with GWB, now with Trump the abyss is staring back -hard- at us.
The swamp is deeper than ever, the sheepskin off the wolf as we ponder what mayhem he can conjure before he self-combusts, and how many he will take with him when he does.
Bang or whimper? Time'll tell. (Bigly).  

'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 Sat Mar 3rd, 2018 at 11:16:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series