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It's hard work out what's really going on. The Guardian is pushing the punch-up angle, but it's also been suggested it was a stage-managed stunt and/or an excuse for Leave to attack Johnson for back-sliding on Brexit by contemplating a deal.

It's been obvious for a while that Murdoch has the knives out for Johnson and wants to replace him with the even more vile Gove. So this may just be another development in that story.

The tell will be the shape of the EU deal - if there even is one. If there isn't, we can assume that Leave still reigns supreme. If it's a saner outcome, then it's possible Biden is leaning hard on Johnson to keep the GFA in place and Johnson really is being pulled away from his previous extremism.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 01:56:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What has been absolutely stunning is how incompetent the Trump and Boris regimes have been. Think of how much more damage they could have done if they had been even half-way competent.

Boris is being depicted as the Brexit hardliner within government. And yet he has now been backed into a corner my Biden, his own law-breaking legislation, by the EU negotiators and by the arch Brexiteers.

So how will the cornered Boris react? With one bound will he be free by caving to a deal which he will then tout as the best evah? Will anyone believe him after his about face on the Withdrawal Agreement?

And how will the EU react? I doubt he can now get any deal through parliament so why would they go out on a limb to grant him a good one? Is he now such damaged goods that they will just have to sit this negotiating window and try again after a period of no deal?

How long can Boris survive no deal? Will he leave in a huff and leave it to Gove or Sunak to clean up the mess? Will hard core Brexiteers re-group under Farage's Reform Party? They don't seem to have gotten the memo that Trump lost.

It's hard to see the EU make significant concessions while the Internal Market Bill is still live within the parliamentary process. EU leaders, too, need some distraction from their Covid 19 disaster. The scene is still set for the disaster I predicted in The 2021-2026 EU UK Trade war.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 02:36:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why do you think Boris can't get a deal through the Commons?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 03:13:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because the Commons is full of No Deal UKIP morons wearing Tory rosettes.

If Johnson seems bad - and he is - his MPs are even worse. Their idea of Brexit is a smoking acre of burned bridges which reveal Britannia as the sole global superpower.

Delusional doesn't even begin to describe them.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 03:20:21 PM EST
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And also because the EU have no incentive to be generous just now, so any deal will be very disappointing compared to the "easiest trade deal in history".

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 03:33:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Specifically, the EU's only incentive is to minimize damage to its own industries, agriculture, fisheries... and of course, supporting Ireland (a EU member in good standing). Any deal will be aimed at the above; the EU27 have really lost patience with the Brexiters.
by Bernard on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 04:59:55 PM EST
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Donald to Boris: "Repeat after me ... BIGGEST Deal ever." ... and go on with your life. 😉
by Oui on Sun Nov 15th, 2020 at 04:53:17 PM EST
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I have to wonder if we've just been lucky, in this particular moment, that the forces of fascism in the English speaking countreis have been led by such buffoons, or if there is something in the particular makeup of talent, education, belief, and personality that is common amongst Western countries.

Namely, has authoritarianism become so obviously stupid in that only incompetent buffoons feel any desire to become authoritarian leaders? Or, is the right-wing voting block that thrills to the speeches of Trump so stupid that only an equally enormous idiot can truly appeal to them?

by Zwackus on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 06:04:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I lean towards a post-imperialist theory.

People in a dominant superpower have no need to educate themselves in what the wider world is about - they can get what they want simply by ordering their armed forces to take whatever they think they need. They can be fooled into thinking they are the greatest people evah simply by the military and propaganda victories of their lords and masters.

So British and American proles are in thrall to military/authoritarian macho culture. We are the best because we say we are. They don't even bother to find out what the rest of the world is thinking. Nothing of importance exists outside their nationalistic bubbles.

So the Trump regime had no awareness of how their antics were uniting the rest of the world against them. The UK government had no concept of how the EU would react to their idiotic negotiating stances. Everyone was just going to fall in line with their wishes because they were so obviously superior in every way conceivable.

So politics in an imperial power becomes ever more conceited, self centred and stupid, throwing up ever more idiotic leaders - long after and especially after they have passed the zenith of their powers. They are reliving past glories by proclamation rather than by the realities of today's world.

So Britain defeated the Nazis, and The US the communists (in their own minds). But labelling the EU as the new Soviet Union isn't going to get you anywhere, any more than demonising the Chinese is a recipe for continued economic dominance. In fact it signals the opposite: the decline and fall of the Anglo-American empire.

Brexiteers fondly imagine Ireland will leave the EU and rejoin the UK. Trump and Biden think that the American political system is the envy of the world. Meanwhile the rest of the world is past caring and is busy getting on with dealing with the real problems facing the world, not indulging delusions that past grandeur can be reinstated.

Trump is trying to bring the US political system down with him. Brexiteers predicted Brexit presaged the collapse of the EU. Neither will happen, or at least not for the reasons they think. But there is no point even trying to engage with them at this juncture, and Biden is delusional if he thinks he can re-unite America around himself.

Eventually those who live by the sword will die by it, and their denouement will not be pretty. Nothing much we can do about it, sadly.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 16th, 2020 at 12:37:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That makes total sense for their idiocy regarding the world around them, but I wonder why they are such bumbling fools in their own political environment as well. It's one thing for a competent fascist to make dramatically mistaken foreign policy decisions because they believe their own bullshit - just look at Hitler. The crop we have today is far too incompetent to get past the "consolidate authoritarian power" stage.

I mean, Trump clearly WANTS to use state power to illegally hold onto power, and I think he had a real window to actually stage a coup. And yet he's just too incompetent to actually make it happen. His supporters are violent and angry, but also completely lack any ability to organize or cooperate for effective thuggery. Their plots are laughably stupid and easily thwarted.

by Zwackus on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 07:35:18 AM EST
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The worry is that Trump/Boris will move the Overton window as to what constitutes competence/responsible politics and will be replaced by far more competent/insidious fascists.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 12:46:01 PM EST
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In the US I think that is a given.  The question is how bad it is going to get and what success obtained.

We'll have a better understanding after the 2022 mid-terms.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Nov 17th, 2020 at 09:05:22 PM EST
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