Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Brexit Stop: 48 Letters Trigger No Confidence Vote

by Oui Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 08:04:33 AM EST

UK Government with PM Theresa May in shutdown due to hurdle brought by her own Tory party members.

No PMQ today in Parliament, no Minister's meeting to discuss her escape to the EU for one day and no meeting with DUP's Arlene Foster. UK and the EU heading for a no deal to be decided by the Tory party members tonight whether Theresa May survives or is set aside. Great dissatisfaction may trump the nation's interest and push May out!

Brexit in chaos as Tory MPs trigger vote of no confidence in May | The Guardian |

Conservative MPs have triggered a vote of no confidence in Theresa May, plunging the Brexit process into chaos as Tory colleagues indicated they no longer had faith in the prime minister to deliver the deal.

Sir Graham Brady, the chair of the 1922 Committee, has received at least 48 letters from Conservative MPs calling for a vote of no confidence in May. Under party rules, a contest is triggered if 15% of Conservative MPs write to the chair of the committee of Tory backbenchers.

A ballot will be held on Wednesday evening between 6pm and 8pm, Brady said, with votes counted "immediately afterwards and an announcement will be made as soon as possible".

In a press release, he said: "The threshold of 15% of the parliamentary party seeking a vote of confidence in the leader of the Conservative party has been exceeded."  

More below the fold ...

UK politics in shambles ... a laughing stock to the EU and the rest of the world. With Trump in the White House, perhaps the UK can get away with it. Let's watch twitter and read the view of the white tornado pretending to be running the state of affairs in the USA.

by Oui on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 08:14:05 AM EST
plunging the Brexit process into chaos

So it wasn't in chaos before then? Could have fooled me.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 08:38:19 AM EST
This is Chaos++ with a tinge of Turkey.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 09:09:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 09:38:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A "Need for Chaos" and the Sharing of Hostile Political Rumors in Advanced Democracies
we provide the first comprehensive assessment of the psychological syndrome that elicits motivations to share hostile political rumors among citizens of democratic societies. Against the notion that sharing occurs to help one mainstream political actor in the increasingly polarized electoral competition against other mainstream actors, we demonstrate that sharing motivations are associated with `chaotic' motivations to "burn down" the entire established democratic `cosmos'. We show that this extreme discontent is associated with motivations to share hostile political rumors, not because such rumors are viewed to be true but because they are believed to mobilize the audience against disliked elites. We introduce an individual difference measure, the "Need for Chaos", to measure these motivations and illuminate their social causes, linked to frustrated status-seeking. Finally, we show that chaotic motivations are surprisingly widespread within advanced democracies, having some hold in up to 40 percent of the American national population.

Why do people share conspiracy theories and fake news? Maybe it's the human "need for chaos"

The phrase "need for chaos" especially drew my attention because it resonates with the findings of what is called "structural demographic theory" or SDT, as laid out in Peter Turchin's 2016 book, "Ages of Discord: A Structural-Demographic Analysis of American History"  [...] SDT explains how demographic changes periodically overwhelm the capacity of social structures to meet basic needs -- first in the general population, then among existing and aspiring elites -- with the resulting rise in political instability eventually leading to a period of likely state breakdown and possible civil war.
by das monde on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 10:42:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a practical person not a theorist. No need to quote illuminati or Bonesmen on the term "chaos". One can find any and all matters on the Internet search engine. The filter should be in one's own intelligence ... nothing artificial. :)

True, tough times with fake news and deliberate floating of conspiracies. Plenty of obstacles.

by Oui on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 10:51:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not about understanding conspiracy theories, but looking at their practical effects.
by das monde on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 11:05:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That phrase has been rattling in my head all day. I've concluded. It's bullshit. There is no such thing, no concept of 'advanced democracy.'

Look it. Whether or not one believes some form of government "ruled by people" was entirely invented in Greece between the 7th and 3rd centuries BCE--nowhere else on the planet-- many hundreds of generations have been indoctrinated in this belief, mostly on account of predatory success of successive leadership.

So the fact of the matter is, really, this form had one decent century at it --the rest were kings or demogogue/tyrants, depending on how rich or indigent the court reporter--Which seems to signify there were only two recorded revolts in Athens in the 4th century against and within the oligarchy that controlled civic culture. Political agency was pretty restricted among men by property rights and liturgies paid to acquire appointments and philanthrophic status when the demokratia were starving for "corn" or the Athenian Council needed more ships to raid leaugue scofflaws and "asia", that much survives very well, along with the fear and loathing of debt default, collateral being one's enslavement. How many families of citizens declined in this fashion. NO ONE KNOWS. NO ONE KEPT ACCOUNT. The dramatists chortled or lamented in fragments. One marvels at chipped inscriptions for filthy rich men here and there. The Egypytians kept better records for 2,000 years before the Ptolemies. That should tell you what.

It's one of the oddest features about classical European history: The more one searches the less one finds of records. There are tons of FRAGMENTS. There's loot to dig up, but little of of the meticulous stenography plied by Plato, who evidently toddled around Athens with a nameless, no-account slave perhaps bearing papyrus and ink, taking HOURS of dictation from all the notable sons of his benefactors. Had he no weekly newsletter, a newspaper? Did all 30,000 really wait once a month to attend ekklesia to get news from Sicily? Historians have been guessing and interpolating and extrapolating like nobody's business since, you guessed it, 1700 CE.

So. Persons have been replicating this model for millennia, with particular attention to refinements in hierarchy, top to bottom, added by Macedonians and Romans.

What I witness now is that. The difference, or "advance" if you must, in organization is one of scale, quantity of people caught up in production and value of property these masses of innumerable peasants and slaves beyond the security of the poleis return to oligarch franchise, lately taken to compounding "republic" and "democratic". That's it. No chaos at all. Merely a bad case of accounting which really chaps the asses of empiricists who call themselves big data engineers. They struggle to "wrap their heads" around unknown opportunities to exploit someone's labor.

Phew! I feel rested now.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 09:22:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is one possibility that Rationalists still discount: humans don't really want to be bothered with so "advanced democracy". Social-hierarchical species as we are, comfortable following rather than leading, taking responsibility is in our statistically predominant genes. Perhaps people vote for Brexit and Trump because they do not want that much participatory democracy as progressives ideally wish to establish. Or they just do not trust giving power to those overly apologetic progressives, not recognizing them viscerally as tribal leaders.

This is not to say that autocratic, plutocratic, totalitarian governing is never too much of "leading" for the masses. But the Roman emperors were pretty right with giving bread and circus rather than referendums.

by das monde on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 10:49:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or, to put it more bluntly, monarchy is the standard form of government.

And it is so because most people would rather sit around drinking beer and gossiping about football than thinking about administrative policy or showing up to vote.

It is only when the common people are lined up as cannon fodder that they start to pay attention to who is making the rules, and even then, they are easily distracted.

by asdf on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 06:39:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Montesquieu: The spirit of laws
For it is clear that in a monarchy, where he who commands the execution of the laws generally thinks himself above them, there is less need of virtue than in a popular government, where the person entrusted with the execution of the laws is sensible of his being subject to their direction [...]

A very droll spectacle it was in the last century to behold the impotent efforts of the English towards the establishment of democracy. As they who had a share in the direction of public affairs were void of virtue; as their ambition was inffamed by the success of the most daring of their members; as the prevailing parties were successively animated by the spirit of faction, the government was continually changing: the people, amazed at so many revolutions, in vain attempted to erect a commonwealth [...]

As virtue is necessary in a republic, and in a monarchy honour, so fear is necessary in a despotic government

If democracy is governance by the people, broad civic virtue is required [Federalist Papers?]. As virtue has to be learned, maintenance-intensive universal education is required.

Monarchy could be the most resource-efficient governing, thermodynamically. This waning era of peak oil and progress is a small window for a lasting perturbation.

by das monde on Sun Dec 16th, 2018 at 10:40:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think the asumptions hold when you look closely at what resources are scarce.

Real existing education, the effect:
So what is the effect of the modern emphasis on long education periods in terms of resource use? I think it is uncontroversial that going for a longer education period comes with a short term hit in material living standards on a personal level. Whatever else happens you get something like four plus people years of reduced consumption of living space and amenties out of it. It also leads to people having kids later in life, which inevitably means less kids overall. What you are spening wastefully are man hours and we are not running out of people at anything like the rate we are running out of everything else, really.
Also, I'd add that the resource austerity here comes with the consent of the people bearing the brunt of it.

Real existing education, the purpose:
While we can agree that broad civic virtue would be good to have, it is hardly a hard requirement or we wouldn't have any republics at all. And teaching those is certainly not a main reason for universal education though it might be sold that way and even the practicionairs might believe it. Really, I'd argue one of the main features of broader democracies is how mobilized they can be. Look at the Athenians and their Sicillian campaign. Utterly dumb, petty and mean spirited. But they sure got a lot of guys motivated to die on that island.

by generic on Tue Dec 18th, 2018 at 02:14:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Opposing power of obstructive forces is an important part of the entropy and scarcity of the civic virtue or democratic mobilization. Increase of opposing powers signals some unsustainability of democratic ambitions. Especially when those giving away their man hours for high education are not that powerful socially.
by das monde on Wed Dec 19th, 2018 at 01:54:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely not.

Those monologues are attributed either to A. Hamilton or J. Madison. The subject of these articles is in the main distribution and self-regulation of powers within a republican government (to replace the Articles of Confederacy) and, parenthetically, some interest in restricting that body's abuse of constituents. Neither were particularly metaphysical, in the manner of French philosophes, but eminently utilitarian. "Virtue" is not in their lexicon.

The former advocated for formal central government. The latter advocated for laissez faire central government, arising form perpetual, factional conflict.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Jan 6th, 2019 at 12:54:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The US Constitution and the Federalist Papers (that were written for swaying New York to ratify) constitute unprecedented pieces of practical political philosophy.

Federalist No. 55

as Madison said in the Federalist Paper, "Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be, that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another"[4] meaning, the Republican government depends on the virtue/trust of the people. "Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form [of government]."[4]
In the papers #10, #63, Madison discusses the concern of longevity of Republics, noting "puritanical" ones as the most stable. The common understanding was apparently that checks, balances, whatever mechanics of government would (strictly speaking) never guarantee prolonged functioning without such things as civic virtue.
by das monde on Sun Jan 6th, 2019 at 08:07:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I linked to the texts, not wikiwtf. Hamilton, Jay, and Madison focused regional interests of wealthy property owners that were diametrically opposed to central government for reasons as obvious at the time as they are now.

Though this correspondence was initially published in NY newspapers as was convenient for two of the principal authors --extremely prominent convention delegates-- they were reprinted in every state debating ratification. That is to say, their arguments were not published exclusively for NY's assembly.

Ratification was not a foregone conclusion. Able, articulate men used newspapers, pamphlets, and public meetings to debate ratification of the Constitution. Those known as Antifederalists opposed the Constitution for a variety of reasons. Some continued to argue that the delegates in Philadelphia had exceeded their congressional authority by replacing the Articles of Confederation with an illegal new document. Others complained ...
NY was neither the first nor the last to ratify in the period of publication.

I believe, I have cautioned readers about Libertarian Speed Reading Methods, but I might not have commented on the tendency likewise to attenuate literal scope of the matter to frequency of a word's occurrence.

Here is No. 55 in its entirety. "Virtue" here merely represents proposed term limits, opposed to abject corruption in the House of Representative, especially.

Is the danger apprehended from the other branches of the federal government? But where are the means to be found by the President, or the Senate, or both? Their emoluments of office, it is to be presumed, will not, and without a previous corruption of the House of Representatives cannot, more than suffice for very different purposes; their private fortunes, as they must all be American citizens, cannot possibly be sources of danger. The only means, then, which they can possess, will be in the dispensation of appointments. Is it here that suspicion rests her charge? Sometimes we are told that this fund of corruption is to be exhausted by the President in subduing the virtue of the Senate.
As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence. Republican government presupposes the existence of these qualities in a higher degree than any other form. Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be, that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.
Meaning, none of them had confidence in "civic virtue".

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jan 10th, 2019 at 06:43:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thx for the rant! :)

Democracy in historical context ... interesting! Food for thought.

Ancient Political Philosophy | Stanford |

    "Disraeli's conservatism proposed a paternalistic society with the social classes intact, but with the working class receiving support from the Establishment. He emphasised the importance of social obligation rather than the individualism that pervaded his society. Disraeli warned that Britain would become divided into two nations (of the rich and poor) as a result of increased industrialisation and inequality."

The Rise of Authoritarian Capitalism | NY Times  - Opinion |
Propaganda 2.0 : Herman and Chomsky's Propaganda Model in the Age of the Internet, Big Data and Social Media

by Oui on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 12:27:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Role of Protestant religion, patriarchy and authoritarianism in US politics. Common ground in the establishment of the United States of America ...

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable. That in this free government all white men are and of right to be entitled to equal civil and political rights; that the servitude of the African race as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both the desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding States. [The Texas Ordinance of Secession - Feb. 2, 1861]

[h/t Is the GOP the Party of White Supremacist? by XicanoPwr in 2006]

The Gettysburg Address

by Oui on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 12:29:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if no-confidence vote is lost tonight, there is no way for UK parliament to vote for the EU deal on the table. By UK Law, the UK will leave the EU per March 29, 2019.  Parliament is in no position to change the law with so much division in the nation and both parties.

EU Withdrawal Bill  
Re: This is what BREXIT IS BREXIT means

by Oui on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 10:53:23 AM EST
On the subject of horse races:

a Theresa May win in the confidence vote is at 6 to 1 on

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 12:19:17 PM EST
So the odds are May will be confirmed as the leader of the Tory Party and the Brexit deal will be voted down when she gets her ass in gear and brings it before Parliament.

As our local hicks like to say, "it jist don't git any better than this."

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

by ATinNM on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 06:04:36 PM EST
Presuming May wins by a substantial margin this could actually strengthen her position as the rules prevent another leadership challenge within 12 months. It could also expose the Brexiteers as the minority sport they represent.

What is less clear is how this changes anything, beyond making the No Deal Brexit a Brexiteer leader might pursue less likely. I doubt it will make May's current deal any more likely to pass the Commons.

Perhaps EU leaders will throw her some bones, if they are now more confident she will still be around for at least a few more months. However they have little incentive to do so, because there is little they can offer that would make Commons acceptance any more likely.

So it is really up to May to come up with her next trick. She may procrastinate until the new year in the hope that sentiment changes, but that seems unlikely too.

So a second referendum may well be her only "get out of jail card", once every other option has been exhausted. AS=s Churchill said "the US always does the right thing - after it has exhausted every other option".

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 07:24:18 PM EST
The EU leaders have to be fed-up with May, the Tories, and the entire Brexity mess.  I don't know what the diplomatic wording for "fuck off" is but I'm sure they are considering it.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 07:32:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having May win the confidence vote may destroy the brexiteers as a force within the Tory party, but I really don't think it strengthens May.

As you say, her plan is dead in the water and Parliament have seized control of the brexit process via the Grieve amendment. She is in office but, for brexit, she is no longer in power.

the problem is that there is no time to organise an alternative. So we have 3 choices;- no brexit, May's deal or no deal. Neither of the latter will get through Parliament, so prepare for referendum II.

And god help us if we vote leave again.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 08:41:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You really think there's a chance May will back down and have another referendum?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 11:23:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't "no BREXIT" and "May's deal" one and the same choice?

In fact, isn't this the most direct, polite question to the people.

May the UK government accept the Withdrawal Agreement from the EU?
(Choose one response)

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 07:59:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Aren't "no BREXIT" and "May's deal" one and the same choice?

:- the answer to that very question demonstrates the philosophical fault line that runs right down the centre of the Conservative party and down the middle of the entire population.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 02:27:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems to me that a fruitful line of argument might to argue that whatever your opinion on leaving the EU is, that this process has been totally screwed up, Article 50 needs to be withdrawn and a good long rethink needs to be had.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 02:56:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well, the brexit process was doomed the moment the Tories got involved.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 04:36:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no option for a rethink. The ECJ ruling specifically excludes revoking A50, having a bit of a think and making some hard plans, and sending another A50 letter.

If the UK is in, it's in permanently.

Of course Brexiters don't understand this, but they don't understand anything - including how to stage a successful coup - so there's no point worrying about them now.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 11:16:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No it doesn't. The EU can't fuck around with internal constitutional processes like that, no matter what the UK propaganda machine says.

You can't withdraw subject to conditions, and you can't weasel the withdrawal of the A50 process and it might be a really bad idea to resubmit an A50 notice a week later, but if you go off and institute internal processes without a predetermined outcome that might result in an A50 notice in five years time or might result in something else they can't do anything about it.

I'm pretty sure Council would go for this too, in the expectation that the whole idea would die in the process.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 10:02:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. Because early next year the EU is going to decide that A50 has to be clarified and amended to remove all possible ambiguity about what can and can't happen, in what order, and also to close the loophole opened by the ECJ ruling which might make it possible to use A50 as a negotiating tactic.

This will probably also lead to all kinds of other legislative changes. We'll see.

I also expect the EU to realise it needs to do a much better job of promoting itself in countries like the UK where the press has been allowed to create a hostile xenophobic environment.

So whatever happens constitutionally, it's going to become much harder for the UK to decide it wants to try to leave again - both internally and externally.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 10:49:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU is going to propose treaty changes to reduce sovereign power next year? I look forward to that.

I still don't understand how A50 is meant to become a negotiating tactic. I don't see how that works. I don't see how the UK example makes it the case. This was always the most likely, most obvious interpretation of whether an A50 notice could be cancelled.

I also expect the EU to realise it needs to do a much better job of promoting itself in countries like the UK where the press has been allowed to create a hostile xenophobic environment.

Oh yes. I think the days of allowing governments blame the EU for things their people don't like and taking credit for the stuff they do are probably over.

In the unlikely case that a rethink still wanted Brexit in five years time, I think a different sort of A50 process would have to be found, because A50 is a piece of shit.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 10:59:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm confused about this argument. Joining the EU is a treaty. A country can unilaterally withdraw from a treaty, or can withdraw under some specific condition of the treaty--in this case, the A50 rules.

  • If the withdrawal is unilateral, then re-entry into the treaty is at the whim of the other side--the EU in this case. A country cannot "demand" to be let back into a treaty that it has withdrawn from. That would over-ride the sovereign power of the other side (the EU countries).

  • If the withdrawal is under the treaty rules, then re-entry may also be controlled by those rules (or, the treaty may be silent on re-entry rules). The withdrawing country may or may not be able to obtain re-entry, depending on what the treaty rules say.
by asdf on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 01:54:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The country has not withdrawn from the treaty until the two year period has expired. Until March 30th nothing has changed in law, they are still members. They continue to be, on the same terms as before if they withdraw the A50 notice.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 01:56:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Note that the A50 judgement was determinedly apolitical and minimal: it was the simplest judgement that made sense without interfering politically - and rebuffed the EU institutions who were looking for more power over the process.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 10:03:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but she may not have a choice.

She doesn't have the support of 1/3 of her party. Her majority relies on a handful of far-right DUP kooks who don't support her backstop plan.

When she loses her vote - which she will - she can either call a General Election, she can push through and lose a vote of No Confidence, or she can put the question back to the voters.

For someone who wants to cling on to power at any price, the last of those is by far the most attractive option.

Her only get-out would be a referendum with no Remain option - but that would probably trigger a No Confidence vote too.

At this point, her choices are very limited.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 09:00:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's how I see it.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 12:38:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or she loses the Agreement vote sometime in January.  Wastes a couple of weeks fiddling around trying and failing to get the EU to agree to substantial changes, e.g., the backstop.  Then a round or two of domestic silliness saying "The People have chosen" and "Brexit is Brexit" and "The UK will not be held hostage to {sneer} Ireland & etc until time runs out.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 05:11:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, people are beginning to tumble that May is just kicking the can down the road till March 29th. But I suspect she won't get a chance to repeat her trick of pretending to have a debate and then whipping the ball away before the Commons get a chance to kick it out.

I think there will be a vote on 21st Jan and then the Grieve amendment will kick in and Parliament will attempt to take charge. At that point I imagine Constitutional experts will begin to earn their pay.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 05:43:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now there's a recipe for ... (thinking of the right word) .... disaster.  

Nothing like an foreign policy crisis, an economic crisis, AND a political crisis all at the same time being "handled" by a group one half of which can't find their arse with both hands.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 05:52:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's quite likely a coalition of Labour and a handful of the saner Tories - there aren't many, but there are a few - will eventually realise the only way to stop the train wreck is to bring down the government and revoke or extend A50.

Labour are already talking to the DUP. Of course Labour and the DUP are hardly natural allies, and it's quite likely the talks will go nowhere. But the fact that there are talks at all is mind-bending, and shows how far we are from any kind of business as usual.

Buck Palace is also making concerned noises.

May is on the thinnest ice imaginable, and almost the entire UK Establishment is quietly lining up to oppose her.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 11:23:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's more likely the UK is going to find itself out on its collective asses on March 30th, stunned that actions have consequences and stupid actions have stunningly stupid consequences.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 01:40:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In making a pledge not to lead the Tories into another general election, she has effectively taken that option off the table. Logically, if she loses a confidence vote in the Commons, she would have to resign as leader to prevent that eventuality from happening.

At that point the UK is drifting towards no deal unless someone - Grieve, May, Corbyn or May's replacement - takes the lead and proposes legislation for a second referendum. It would be interesting to see, at that point, who votes for and against it.

Even Brexiteers have been saying that "no one voted for a Brexit that would make them poorer", and no one other than a few ultras campaigned for a no deal Brexit. So even May could argue that what is on offer now is no longer the Brexit people originally voted for, so they need to be consulted again to make sure that that is the Brexit they really want.

If Parliament exercises its constitutional prerogative to determine a no deal Brexit is unacceptable then the only choices to be put to the people are May's deal - the only deal the EU will offer - or Remain. recent polling has Remain majority rising to 18%, so a clear and decisive vote for Remain would end the debate for another generation.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 05:55:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having agreed she will not lead the Tories into another general election, she has more or less taken the snap general election option off the table for her. So when she loses  the Commons vote she will have two choices - resign and make way for a Brexiteer PM who will pursue a no deal Brexit, or put the issue to a second referendum - for which she would still need Corbyn's support to agree the wording and pass the necessary legislation. But will he agree?

If the choice is May's deal or Remain, he would be in the awkward position of campaigning for Remain - not for the first time - but at least this time he can say he can always trigger A50 again if the EU doesn't agree to his ideas for reform. But for Corbyn the odds are probably better if a Brexiteer becomes PM, because then he can force through a vote of no confidence with the support of Remainer Tories and win the ensuing general election on an anti-no deal platform.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 12:37:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your comment illustrates the extraordinary convolutions of British political "strategy" which seems to exist in an EU-free vacuum. Or on an island, maybe?

There will not be substantially another agreement with the EU than May's, because the EU (not being the petitioner) is in a situation to lay down its law, and it is not in its interest to give away a great deal more than it has. In the case of a second A50 (after withdrawal of the first), I suggest the EU will be likely to demand more strenuous conditions than in the first instance.

If Corbyn were to believe he could use Brexiteers as a foil to rally Remainer support, leading to a snap general election, and were then to campaign against no-deal but not frankly for Remain, he would end up at least as far up his own fundament as is May currently.

Put simply, if May's "deal" is out (as it probably will be), then an anti-no-deal platform = Remain. Any notion of "negotiating" anything better is illusory.


I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 01:08:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So if the referendum choice becomes May's deal or Remain, and Remain wins, after all the shite endured during the past two years, all the time and collective efforts put into fulfilling the Eton-bred wet fantasy of ripping the UK out of the EU, London is going to be: "Hey Europe, let's be palls again. Besties?"

Excuse me while I'll be excessively swearing in a corner.

by Bjinse on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 09:13:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or one could take the alternate Machiavellian view that the Brexit crisis and subsequent climb down has been excellent for EU cohesion and demonstrating the benefits of membership - and conversely in providing a cautionary tale for any euroskeptic parties who might be tempted to pursue a similar course of action.

On the down side it has distracted from urgent reforms  and general business the EU needs to get on with - Climate change, Euro reform, reducing inequality etc. But is there any evidence the EU would have pursued these issues any more urgently in the absence of Brexit? Is it coincidental that there seems to have been a renewed push on signing more trade deals recently?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 07:07:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
believe me, you won't be alone in that corner.

Yes, there will be many sighs of relief, but we will also have to deal with that (possibly ~40%) segment who believe they were cheated of their manifest destiny to make a free (and whiter) britain.

Pandora's box has been torn open. Racism and racist violence is increasing, nazis openly march, a member of Parliament was shot dead on the streets. I honestly thought we'd learned, I honestly thought that unrepentant racists had been reduced to an ineducable rump of malcontents who would die off.

But the rise of ukip, the lionizing of Nigel Farage and his bar stool dog whistling, followed by the media courting of the far more overt Tommy Robinson has shown how complacent I was. Brexit validated these people, people emboldened to wear t-shirts saying "Yes, we won. Now send them home". And the "them" here wasn't about nice white germans or nordic blonds, it was all about coloured people, just like always.

These people feel they are the majority view, released after decades of being held back by an elitist few in the media with their "political correctness". They won't be going back in their box anytime soon and we'll have to live alongside them for many decades to come.

I once said here that the UK had made every mistake it was possible to make about rce relations, but that we had finally learned and come to terms with them. Well, we made a new mistake and now we're gonna have to re-learn every lesson again, from the beginning.

We will not have gotten away with brexit. It has wrecked Britain, economically and socially.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 07:52:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see any sign that the Brexiteers have been destroyed as a force within the Tory party.

They are back-benchers to start with, and their power is channeled through the popular press. If anything, May's win will encourage them to even more energetically ramp up their noise, knowing that the chance of them being put in the position of cleaning up the mess is even further reduced.

by asdf on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 06:43:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
maybe, but I can see the television is treating them with a lot less reverence now. They may be names saying things, but nobody now believes that their version of brexit can happen.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 06:54:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Running scared of no-confidence vote? Just throwing a bone to the Tory extremists [Hammond].

May signals she will step down before 2022 election

May's announcement won't make her a strong leader!

by Oui on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 08:46:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexit cliff-edge looms as Tories wage 40-year-old civil war | The Guardian - Analysis |

The hard right can argue that if they maintain their nerve, and remain in league with the opposition parties, including the Democratic Unionists, they can still prevent May securing the Commons majority she needs for her deal to be accepted. With the clock ticking, and Labour's position at best ambiguous, the Tory sceptics can take parliament, and the economy moves closer to the cliff-edge of 29 March. The default position if parliament cannot agree a course of action is to leave with no deal.

In this scenario, the theory goes, the European commission looks at the imminence of a no-deal exit, and cracks by offering currently unobtainable legal concessions on the Northern Ireland backstop.

If the commission remains unmoved, the UK simply leaves the EU on World Trade Organization terms, and takes its chances on the open seas of full-blooded Brexit.

Juncker on Brexit: 'Withdrawal agreement will not be reopened'

UK Tory ally and friend of Theresa May, Mark Rutte wishes the March 29th departure date to be flexible ...

Dutch PM describes breakfast meeting with Theresa May as 'useful'

by Oui on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 08:38:02 PM EST
that would be the brexit the leave fanatics always wanted. One that would destroy the economy, but allow the disaster capitalists who are prominent in the ranks for the fanatics to make colossal sums of money.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 08:44:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
200 for : 117 against.

A substantial win, but with 1/3 of the PCP against her, I don't think it's cause for comfort

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Dec 12th, 2018 at 09:25:35 PM EST
Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. She won by a significantly larger margin than many other things have been decided. Like, for instance, Brexit.
by asdf on Thu Dec 13th, 2018 at 06:44:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PM May returns empty-handed ... Juncker tells UK to come forward with solutions, not a Xmas wish list.

EU leaders reject May's idea to salvage her Brexit deal

EU leaders delivered a devastating knock-back to Theresa May after she appealed to them to hold "nothing in reserve" and work with her to salvage her Brexit deal by putting a 12-month limit on the unpopular Irish backstop.

The embattled prime minister had pinned her hopes on a last-ditch effort to persuade the European Union to work with her in devising a legal guarantee, known as a "joint interpretative instrument", that she believes could get her Brexit deal through parliament.

The idea of the EU having the target of terminating the Northern Ireland backstop no more than a year after it was put in force had been supported by Germany's Angela Merkel and Austria's Sebastian Kurz.

But it was opposed by France, Sweden, Spain and Belgium, who voiced doubts that the prime minister would be able to sell the technical concession to hostile MPs in Westminster.

Following an address by May before a dinner, and subsequent discussions among the 27 member states, the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, said there was no form of deal that could get through parliament, and that it was not up to the EU to satisfy the demands of rebellious MPs.

Both the UK and the EU will push forward with no-deal contingency preparations.

by Oui on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 12:13:51 AM EST
What the fuck is wrong with May?  She did too much acid back in the hippie days?  The EU told her weeks ago what she got was what she was going to get and still the idiot comes wandering back, bleating for someone to save her sorry ass.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 01:37:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now she can say, again, that there is no option other than her plan, no deal, or no Brexit. Maybe it moves a dozen votes or something. This can continue for another couple of months.
by asdf on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 02:51:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Her plan is dead.

the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, suggested it was difficult to imagine any deal getting through parliament at the moment, and that it was not up to the EU to satisfy the demands of rebellious MPs.

Ain't that the truth.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 07:05:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]

EU negotiating team - Cecilia Malmström

by Oui on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 12:20:23 AM EST
Nice read this morning ....

Brexit 'delusions' risk putting UK into crisis, warns Ivan Rogers | The Guardian |

In an excoriating denunciation of the British political class that goes to the top of government, Ivan Rogers said the Brexit debate had suffered from "opacity, delusion-mongering and mendacity on all sides" and predicted the public would not forgive politicians.

"The whole conduct of the negotiation has further burned through trust in the political class," he said in a speech at the University of Liverpool on Wednesday. "We shall need a radically different method and style if the country is to heal and unify behind some proposed destination."

Without naming May, he said the country required "leadership which is far more honest in setting out the fundamental choices still ahead, the difficult trade-offs between sovereignty and national control".


Since leaving the civil service, he has maintained a low profile, but has offered occasional scathing reviews of British political debate on Brexit in a series of lectures. In October he took aim at the "pinstriped Robespierres" of the anti-EU European Research Group, led by Jacob Rees-Mogg. He has also argued that British delusions and the EU's technocratic approach mean both sides risk "sleepwalking into a major crisis".

His latest lecture offers a stark warning about the democratic crisis that could result from a Brexit debate characterised by "evading and obfuscating choices". Eurosceptics advocating a no-deal Brexit, he said, were "lying openly" about the extent to which World Trade Organisation rules would provide a safety net.

Brexit: May returns to UK to face MPs after Brussels knockback

A new referendum won't heal the differences in British society, let alone at Westminster.

by Oui on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 08:51:59 AM EST
When Barroso sides with you, you are indeed in deep trouble ... Iraq War - EU Commission president - Goldman Sachs.

by Oui on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 09:05:06 AM EST
How solidarity has its limits and Ireland's greatest Brexit fear may still come to pass | Irish Times |

Brexit holds grave risks for Northern Ireland, study warns | Irish Times - Sept. 14, 2018 |

Brexit will cause more division in Northern Ireland and hamper relations with the Republic, a new study has warned.

The research by Queen's University Belfast, Ulster University and the Committee on the Administration of Justice contends that the UK's departure from the EU will have detrimental consequences for the peace process and also weaken human rights and equality protections.

BrexitLawNI  is led by Prof Colin Harvey from the school of law at Queen's.

He described Brexit as a "profound constitutional moment for Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland".

"Brexit will threaten the peace process and weaken protections for human rights and equality," he added. "It risks disrupting North-South co-operation, increasing racist immigration enforcement and dividing British and Irish citizens.

24 years on: Revisiting the border line
Risk of an Irish poll

by Oui on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 09:33:12 AM EST
"Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing."

Maybe. The current US Administration is obviously pointing in the wrong direction, but at the state level, where things are actually controlled, we are generally headed forward--although with insufficient enthusiasm.

by asdf on Fri Dec 14th, 2018 at 02:04:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]