Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
The Tories win by manipulating FPTP. The reality is elections are swung by relatively tiny numbers of votes in less than a hundred marginals, and if you concentrate all your firepower there and lie a lot - and if you have the press and media in your pocket to cover the essentials elsewhere - you can easily swing a win.

With continental PR, the Tories wouldn't even have a working majority.

So while they did win more votes, they certainly didn't win voter approval for the supermajority they're operating with. That supermajority is a handy artefact of the UK's antiquated electoral system, and makes it very hard for other parties to exert any influence on the government.

None of which solves the immediate problem, which is that the UK is clearly heading towards outright post-imperial fascist senility, albeit with some comedy trimmings.

The unknowns are how long Johnson hangs on for - it's unlikely to be much past Jan 1, IMO - and who will take over when he's gone.

The bigger unknown is how far are they willing to take this?

If the combination of Covid, trade war, and Brexit is allowed to proceed, it will create the kind of mass destitution we're more used to seeing a hot war. At some point the population will break, although without organised resistance it won't do much except mill around throwing petrol bombs and getting shot at and interned - basically the Troubles, but in mainland cities.

They may be a hot war too. The Tories are clearly setting up the EU as the enemy, and considering their backers would love to see a hot war between the EU and the UK, it's not wise to assume it can't happen.

It may not be a very hot war - the French still have nukes of their own, after all - but some skirmishes at sea would play very well in some parts of Westminster.

It's going to be a very grim few years.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Sep 15th, 2020 at 07:22:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Worst case scenario, but sadly a possible one. Johnson might survive a while longer if he is perceived to remain on the side of the Brexit party, but indeed these coming four years are looking quite a stretch. As I wrote above, Nigel Farage as prime-minister is not unimaginable at this point. If that happens, hot wars become a real possibility.

How far they are willing to go is also dependent on what happens to the White House. Will it remain hollow? Or will it host a President again? And through what ordeals? I doubt that with a functioning US government the Withdrawal Agreement would have been broken so easily.

luis_de_sousa@mastodon.social

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]protonmail[dot]ch) on Wed Sep 16th, 2020 at 07:01:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It may not be a very hot war - the French still have nukes of their own, after all - but some skirmishes at sea would play very well in some parts of Westminster.

I've already written that, should the Spanish start looking at Gibraltar funny, the Brexiters would start Falkland 2.0 immediately.

Even without a fully 'hot war', there will probably be some semi-officially sanctioned smuggling to "break the new Continental Blockade".

by Bernard on Wed Sep 16th, 2020 at 06:55:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The first step was today, with Spain's proposal that Gibraltar become part of Schengen.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 16th, 2020 at 07:39:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The worst part being that the Gibraltar PM himself is all for it, but the UK is unlikely to accept this.

Gibraltar Wants to Join Schengen Post-Brexit - UK Says No

The Chief of Gibraltar, the 6.2 km2 enclave at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula, Fabian Picardo, wants to join the Schengen Area in a post-Brexit Europe. However, the UK is not ready to let something like that happen.

In an interview last Friday, Picardo said that it would be positive for Gibraltar to join the Schengen Area, as nearly 14,000 workers cross the border every day to go to work in Gibraltar where full employment prevails.

The vast majority of these workers are Spanish or nationals of other countries residing in Spain, including 2,500 Britons.

"Does it make sense to the EU that 2.5 square miles at the southern tip of the peninsula is not accessible to European citizens? I do not believe so," Picardo said throughout the interview.

by Bernard on Wed Sep 16th, 2020 at 08:31:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't do something just because it makes sense for all those affected. There is the demagoguery to be concerned about.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Sep 16th, 2020 at 09:18:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gibraltar and Malta merging would make sense on grounds of common culture and language. Cyprus also, not so much.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Sep 16th, 2020 at 09:21:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gibraltar becoming a semi-autonomous region within Andalusia would make a lot more sense.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 16th, 2020 at 11:00:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering that so many who are employed in one or the  other live other than  where they are employed, for sure. Politically I would expect a dog fight.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 17th, 2020 at 03:16:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, the English bulldog might be missing most of its teeth.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Sep 17th, 2020 at 03:18:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display: