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by Frank Schnittger Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 01:27:35 PM EST


DUP defensive cunning misses big picture of being laughed out of court

In 2015, towards the end of a previous Stormont crisis, then Democratic Unionist Party leader and first minister Peter Robinson found himself in a corner. He had threatened to bring down power-sharing if devolution was not suspended over an IRA murder. However, the British government had called his bluff. So the DUP commenced an arcane series of rolling resignations, with ministers standing down for a week, resuming their posts just in time to avoid triggering an election, then standing down again.


It was a classic DUP solution under Robinson's tenure, stretching laws and promises to the limit to construct an elaborate face-saving mechanism. But the DUP leader had misjudged Northern Ireland's sense of the absurd. The resignations were promptly christened "the hokey cokey" and became a joke from which Robinson's authority never recovered. He announced his retirement from politics two months later.


There is an unmistakable echo of the hokey-cokey in the DUP's offer of a Brexit deal, and not just because it has one leg in the single market and another out of the customs union. There is the same narrow focus on defensive cunning, while missing the big picture of being laughed out of court. Each part of the offer can be justified in terms of a red line or a trade-off but the whole thing adds up to an unworkable mess.


This is proof the DUP is serious about the deal, even if British prime minister Boris Johnson is not.

The DUP has manoeuvred itself into advocating a regulatory sea border, which until now it has denounced as anathema to the union. It has presented this as the result of its unprecedented influence over the British government. The DUP would not have exposed itself to the inevitable criticism from other unionists and the unease of its supporters if it believed it had a better option. Of course, many other Brexit outcomes are possible but this may be the last chance the DUP has to claim it shaped a deal in unionism's interests. It has chosen to offer this deal and to defend it in increasingly strident terms as the ridicule has mounted.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has been christened "two borders Foster" by the Ulster Unionist Party, which also coined the term hokey-cokey. How much longer will her authority last?

----

However, the DUP is not playing in the Stormont little league any more. There was no chance of its Brexit ruse going undetected and in any case the unionist veto is too central to its hopes of selling its deal to the unionist electorate. Once everyone immediately spotted what the party was up to, it was in no position to downplay it. Observers who say Stormont consent might be tweaked to salvage the deal are missing the point. As far as the DUP is concerned, a unionist veto is the only win in a deal that nobody else can see any advantages to whatsoever. Without it, the DUP has simply acceded to a sea border after saying it would it never do so.

Or as the UUP might put it, it has done the hokey-cokey and then turned around. And that's what it's all about.

In essence the DUP agreed to an extension of existing sanitary, phyto-sanitary and other controls in the Irish Sea to cover Single Markey regulatory rules as well, in return for a Unionist veto on any extension of the currently open border on the Island of Ireland four years after Brexit. For them, adding democratic accountability to the backstop is always about Unionist consent. Nationalists and others don't count.

Quite why they thought anyone else in N. Ireland or the Irish government would agree to this is one of life's mysteries, but they seemed genuinely shocked at the instant rejection it received. They have now conceded the principle of greater controls in the Irish sea, and gotten nothing in return. Dominic Cummings claims Varadker promised he would move on the border issue if he got this concession. The Irish government is adamant no such offer was made.

Doubtless that issue will be discussed by Varadker and Johnson today at (a previously secret) venue in Thornton Manor, on The Wirral, near Liverpool. Varadker was probably unwilling to reciprocate Johnson's Dublin visit with a visit to Downing Street. There seems to be an informal EU embargo on EU Heads of Government meeting Johnson there, perhaps because of fears of how the meeting will be spun afterwards by "unnamed Downing Street advisors"...

Sources in Dublin were last night playing down the chances of any breakthrough arising form the meeting. While reports from London suggested the meeting could lead to a breakthrough in time for next week's crunch EU summit in Brussels, several senior Irish sources played down this possibility.


The notice of the meeting, the wording of which was agreed between Government Buildings and Downing Street, said only that the talks would be "about the process for securing agreement for a Brexit deal" and not, Irish sources pointed out, about actually securing an agreement on the substance on how the UK leaves the EU.

Dublin has repeatedly refused to negotiate directly with the UK on Brexit, insisting that the negotiations can only take place between the British government and the EU taskforce under Michel Barnier.

Of course the backstop could be taken out of the Withdrawal Agreement entirely if similar provisions could be written into a revised inter-governmental element of the Good Friday Agreement which was concluded before A. 50 ever existed and assumed both Ireland and the UK would remain in the EU indefinitely.

Whatever the mechanism chosen, there is no way the Irish government could agree to the DUP having a veto on the maintenance of an open border, but might agree to a cross-community mechanism whereby both nationalists and unionists would have to agree to a change in the current status quo.

This would probably cost Johnson the DUP's support, but at this stage, would anyone care? Johnson would have a deal he could go to the country with, and the current House of Commons with an anti-Boris majority won't pass any deal Boris might come up with anyway.

The Cranberries: Ode To My Family

Understand the things I say
Don't turn away from me
'Cause I spent half my life out there
You wouldn't disagree
D'you see me, d'you see
Do you like me, do you like me standing there
D'you notice, d'you know
Do you see me, do you see me
Does anyone care?

Unhappiness, where's when I was young
And we didn't give a damn
'Cause we were raised
To see life as a fun and take it if we can
My mother, my mother she'd hold me
Did she hold me, when I was out there
My father, my father, he liked me
Oh he liked me, does anyone care?

Understand what I've become
It wasn't my design
And people everywhere think
Something better than I am
But I miss you, I miss
'Cause I liked it, 'cause I liked it
When I was out there
D'you know this, d'you know
You did...

Display:

Taioseach meeting Boris Johnson at Thornton Manor Hotel, on The Wirral, Cheshire, ahead of private talks in a bid to break the Brexit deadlock. Photograph:PA Photo


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 03:11:41 PM EST
Brexit: Varadkar says new agreement 'possible' by end of October after talks with Johnson - live news
He said he hoped there would be the outline of a deal next week and he believed the "objectives" of the backstop could be achieved after today's talks.

"I can't predict that with any certainty but I think all sides would like there to be an agreement next week at the council if possible and obviously there is a further deadline after that which is 31 October, so I would say a short pathway rather than a long pathway."

He indicated a cautious optimism and a hope that talks could now take place away from the glare of the media and acrimony of anonymous briefings.

Varadkar said the two prime ministers had agreed not to disclose any new proposals that might have been put on the table but that talks would now move to Brussels where Brexit secretary Steve Barclay is meeting Michel Barnier tomorrow.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 04:44:15 PM EST
My guess is that these discussions are mostly about how things are going to work post-hard brexit.
Damage control, in sum.

The UE cannot sanction a hard Irish border, but Varadkar will still have to live with it, in the likely event.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 04:54:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt Leo would countenance any discussion of that with Boris. Those discussions are happening with the EU Commission behind close. Today was about getting a more acceptable mechanism for ensuring N. Ireland consent to open border. I.e. no DUP veto. Both communities would have to agree to any change in status quo...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 05:16:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
not that crisis management, the other one

Republic of Slovenia | Slovenia's EU commissioner-designate Janez Lenarčič assigned the portfolio of crisis management, 10 Sep
"the job assigned to Lenarčič would correspond to the portfolio of humanitarian aid ... He will be supported by the directorate general for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)"
vdL mission letter, 10 Sep
"I want you to look at how the Emergency Response Coordination Centre can help react to new and emerging threats."
europeaninterst | Hearing with Commissioner-designate for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, 2 Oct

"Commissioner-designate Janez Lenarčič has shown competence regarding his portfolio and specifically in the field of migration and cooperation with the local civil society. Now, Lenarčič must prove his devotion in the coming months", said EPP Group Spokesman in the European Parliament's Development Committee György Hölvényi MEP, reflecting on Lenarčič's performance at the EP hearing in his capacity as Commissioner-designate for Crisis Management.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Oct 10th, 2019 at 05:19:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Customs border in Irish Sea emerges as the only basis of a Brexit deal
After three days of hostile briefings, mutual recriminations and predictions of doom, a three-hour meeting in a hotel outside Liverpool has transformed the mood around Brexit. Leo Varadkar gave little away about what was discussed in a brief exchange with Irish journalists, and Boris Johnson said nothing at all.

But one phrase in their joint statement stood out: "They could see a pathway to a possible deal." Shortly afterwards, Irish sources said they believed the meeting had produced the basis for negotiations between the UK and the EU.

A day earlier EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier told the European Parliament, "We're not really in a position where we're able to find an agreement." So what did Johnson and Varadkar agree that could be the basis of renewed negotiations?

The most difficult issue in the negotiations surrounds customs, with Johnson insisting Northern Ireland must leave the EU customs union with the rest of the United Kingdom. The EU has dismissed his proposal for a light-touch customs border with checks conducted at traders' premises rather than on the Border and exemptions for small traders.

In her call with Johnson this week, German chancellor Angela Merkel was reported by Downing Street to have said Northern Ireland must remain in the EU customs union forever. But asked after Thursday's meeting if he believed the North must remain in the EU customs union after Brexit, the Taoiseach gave an uncharacteristically elliptical answer.

"It remains our position that there cannot be a hard border between North and South. And we must continue to have a situation whereby the all-island economy can continue to deepen and function well," he said.

---<snip>---

So Northern Ireland would leave the EU customs union and would enjoy all the benefits of an independent UK trade policy. But the customs border for administrative purposes would run alongside the regulatory border in the Irish Sea.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 09:11:40 AM EST
I think here that TWBJ and Varadker have decided to take advantage of the DUP's strategic mistake about the Irish Se border and seize a victory (of sorts) from the jaws of defeat.

TWBJ had boxed himself in between a cast iron declaration that we will leave the EU and the various legal realities preventing it. Foster inadvertantly gave him a way out and he's taking it. I imagine that he wil be able to present the deal to the Commons as a choice between a deal and the continuation of chaos.

In order to get it to pass, TWBJ will require the votes of many Labour politicians to make up for the lack of DUP support as well as all the people he sacked and most of the ERG. So, all sorts of sweeteners and concessions will robably be thrown in. It may never be admitted but he may even consult Corbyn about what might work.

I hate the idea of leaving the EU, but I don't think the country can survive this impasse much longer. So, if we're gonna go, then some lukewarm halfway house will probably work for most people.

But it isn't a victory for the tories. Their end has already begun, their civil war will continue. Cameron thought he could settle the Cold war, but he was an idiot. It's a hot war now and will be untill they are destroyed.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 01:34:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Arms are scarce. Which is a good thing.

But the peoples of the UK been beat down so long --1,000 years, I reckon--they don't know know which way's up. I might have mentioned.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 02:29:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect this isn't true, but I'd like to believe Varadkar and Barnier are just stringing Johnson along.

They know he has to ask for an extension if there's no deal by the 19th, and they also know that if he doesn't, a court or some other proxy will.

And that will be the end of Johnson. There will be a GE, and he will be removed.

So it makes sense to play along to create a pretence of congeniality, and then when the inevitable sticking point is found, to be very sad about the fact that clearly more time is needed.

With Johnson gone the most likely outcome is a very weak BINO or Remain - both of which are far more palatable to the EU than any Tory-organised deal.

Most likely wishful thinking. But wouldn't it be fun if it were true?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 02:32:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Happy endings. Doncha just love 'em?

But I do think Johnson's cartoon progress is ending with him seriously boxed in on all sides.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 03:08:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Bernard on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 03:28:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
bounded rationality. I might have mentioned.

Observers are bound by authoritarian obedience to rules and "norms". HRM BoJo ("Trump") is not.

Let us note here that there are exceedingly few "game theory" rationales in the innerboobs which admit this condition of play (although H. Simon does). Most of the litchitchure "democratized" by innerboob media studiously ignores motive apart from pecuniary interest ("incentive"). I might have mentioned.

Consequently, putative "opposition" to the authoritarian opponent of the day is "normally" ill-equipped to communicate properties of any alternative value ("product") than that vested in a designated "big *man". Transformation of independent variable requires transformation of boundaries, presumed to lie outside the scope of the game objective to which all players are bound.

What is that?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 03:55:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously, as the theory does not cover the game as currently played, the theory must change if it is to be relevant. This is significant mostly to game theorists. But can game theory move from bounded rationality to unbounded irrationality as easily as Trump and Johnson have, or at all.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 01:56:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's start with a simple principle.

GIVEN, play without rules is not a game, which theory of play best describes the role(s) of players.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 03:06:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with life is that there are few rules that are not routinely broken. That we all die currently seems to hold true. Some taxes are no longer inevitable - if you have enough money and don't count what you pay the tax lawyer as tax. So 'there will always be death and sales taxes'?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 03:24:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I detect a communication problem.

The proposition offered is play.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 04:32:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then game theory is irrelevant at the most complex levels.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 03:52:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As one might expect from Gödel's incompleteness theorem.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 03:59:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by das monde on Fri Oct 18th, 2019 at 09:28:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Authoritarians would love for all observers to be bound by authoritarian obedience to rules and norms, but, in practice, that never works. There are dissidents even in the most authoritarian societies, even if they are mostly silenced.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 03:30:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as I see it, the most likely to deviate from the norms are those at the top who believe that position, wealth and influence places them above the everyday mores of the herd.

Which solidifies into corruption, which breeds resentments which breeds extra repression which breeds revolution.

I think right now the Chinese are conducting an experiment into how successful 1984 type societies can be in sustaining an authoritarian hierarchy. An expanding economy helps but the price being paid is so high that the bills will surely cause an implosion. It's just a matter of when.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 07:00:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 11:03:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:"I hate the idea of leaving the EU, but I don't think the country can survive this impasse much longer. So, if we're gonna go, then some lukewarm halfway house will probably work for most people."

So long as Johnson is gone this could be some kind of acceptable solution. If Johnson remains it would be another example of totalitarians winning by turning up the tension to unbearable levels. But I don't live in England. One thing Johnson has in his favor is that he is able to do all he does with a grin on his face. That is so much better than the rage and angry contempt we so often see on Trump's face

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 05:02:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the idea that any win for TWBJ is a win for his leadership style that should be opposed at all times seems to be the current thinking from the Labour leadership. Especially as they point out that TWBJ seems ery willing to throw worker's rights and environmental protections out of the window in order to get a trade deal from Trump.

I think it all depends on what finally emerges from this "tunnel of negotiation".

I guess it all depends if this is a final throw of the Cummings game-theory dice for a showdown on a "shit deal vs no deal" in order to force an election or if this is indeed an honest attempt to get a deal by building bridges in Parliament (which he desperately needs to do if he's to get this passed).

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 10:39:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect Corbyn won't agree to vote for the deal in parliament, but might agree to put it to a referendum where the other option is Remain. So if Boris wants to get the deal through, he will have to agree an A.50 extension and organise a referendum and then get 50% for it. A tall order if the Brexit Party and ERG are campaigning against.

If he doesn't agree to do that, Parliament might nominate Corbyn for a few months to do the same thing. Remain would probably win with the Leave vote split between the deal and no deal. But the Lib Dems and some ex Tory and ex Labour MPs would have to get over their hatred of Corbyn first. Also a tall order.

Johnson's preferred strategy is probably a deal followed by a general election. Then he need only get 30% if the Lib Dems and Labour get 20-25% each and independents are wiped out. That would be achievable for him, but would the opposition be stupid/divided enough to give him an election?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 09:54:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank:"would the opposition be stupid/divided enough to give him an election?"

What is worse for Jo Swinson: being seen as responsible for a no-deal Brexit or letting Corbyn become a caretaker PM?


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 01:49:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the problem for Jo Swinson is that the LibDems have a long track record of "we'd happily work with Labour if only xxx was not in charge".

They didn't like Blair, they didn't like Brown, they didn't like Miliband and they don't like corbyn. Yet they happily sat next to Cameron, Osborne Duncan-shit etc for 5 years. You begin to suspect that their problem is not so much that they have a mild objection to Labour but that they have a too close affinity with Conservatism.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 10:43:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However divided the opposition, Corbyn controls enough votes to ensure that an election is his call.

So the question should be: is Corbyn stupid enough to give Johnson an election just when Johnson wants one?

Some might think that he is, but most would say that he isn't...

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 08:52:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Problem is Corbyn has to threaten an election if Jo Swinson is to be made desperate enough to support him as PM.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 10:16:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Why would the Lib Dems fear an election? They can hope to slice chunks off Labour thanks to Remainer votes.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 11:19:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What the LibDems need to fear is a Brexit solution. They are a single issue anti-Brexit party. If the UK crashes out they can turn into the rejoin the EU party. Otherwise they'll collapse back to their base of people who are equally commited to having poor people die on the streets and feeling good about themselves.
by generic on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 01:20:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The LibDems would certainly like the electorate to believe that rationale, but the truth is that the LibDems are most likely to make gains from the Tories, whilst a lot of their MPs are actually under threat from demographic changes, especially the new defectors, even if they change seats to better prospects.

Swinson herself is almost certain to lose her seat in Parliament as the SNP are galloping ahead in her constituency as people tire of her anti-Labour games.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 10:49:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Lib Dems might, but Jo Swinson is also likely to lose her seat to the SNP, and the leadership with it. So she has a personal interest in seeing Brexit resolved before an election - and to be seen as pivotal in resolving it...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 09:20:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How do the Liberal Democrats view a second referendum? I know they favor just withdrawing the Article 50 notification, which Corbyn opposes. Some in Labour feel it would be irresponsible to have an early election unless there has first been a second referendum, as that would likely lead to another hung Parliament. But Corbyn has stated that the first order of business of a care taker regime should be organizing an early election. Is Corbyn being tactical here?

Might the compromise between Labour and the Liberal Democrats be that both agree to a second referendum before an early election? Is it feasible to hold either a referendum or an election before spring of 2020? Certainly it would be difficult to hold two elections before Jan 31, 2020. So it would seem necessary to ask for an extension until May or June. This would leave Corbyn as PM for a very long time indeed from the point of view of Swinson.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 04:16:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the problem with a second referendum before an election is that the government get to frame the question. So if TWBJ remains in place, don't expect a sympatheic choice.

Equally, the enabling legislation for a referendum calls for a 6 month campaigning period, whilst that for an election is only a few weeks.

All in all, an election makes the most sense, but the LibDems don't really want one cos Swinson will cease to be an MP

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 10:52:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The government only gets to frame the question if parliament lets them. If they legislate for a referendum, then they can set both the question, and the legal effects.

(This isn't rocket surgery. NZ almost always does its referenda like this, so the public knows exactly what it is voting for. And its a source of significant disquiet around the upcoming marijuana referendum that they're not doing that, and instead doing it UK style with executive-set wording and no legal effects)

by IdiotSavant on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 02:17:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah but when the majority party members fear the leader of the opposition more than they fear the economic and social collapse of their country, how are they supposed to reach agreement?
by asdf on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 02:57:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You mean the opposition party members?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 03:02:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, actually I meant everybody. It's like Corbyn is assumed to have some sort of super-power that will allow him to destroy the country if he gets to be PM.
by asdf on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 10:46:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Helen:"I hate the idea of leaving the EU, but I don't think the country can survive this impasse much longer. So, if we're gonna go, then some lukewarm halfway house will probably work for most people."

Of all the rationales for letting some form of Brexit through, this is the one I hate the most. The idea that you can appease Brexiteers by throwing them the bone of a soft Brexit seems to me to be be even more delusional than the idea you could appease Hitler by letting him have the Sudetenland..

They will take the bone and demand more. Every minor and major problem will be blamed on remoaners and not having gotten a clean break from the EU. Brexiteers will not rest until the break is complete, and will be encouraged in their efforts by the half victory they have already achieved.

The other part of that rationale I hate is the idea that Brexiteers will take to violence and that a sort of low intensity civil war will break out - a sort of Northern Ireland comes to Britain.

Somehow the idea has taken hold that right wing violence as legitimate, effective, justifiable and impossible to resist while left wing violence is almost desirable as it enables the riot squads to let of some steam and do some recreational head bashing.

I'm sorry, this is tough and easy for an outsider to say, but the class system in the UK is THE problem. I am not normally a revolutionary type - being far too wedded to constitutional processes for change, but there is no easy way to say this: The UK is in the throes of a revolution and you either fight it or give way to fascism.


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 12:08:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure it's the UK class system so much as the US class system.

The UK enthusiastically adopted the poisonous rhetoric and warped ethics of US neoliberal ideology. As we've seen over and over in other countries, the US is delighted when it can install so-called upper class fascist puppet regimes for resource stripping and the creation of disposably pliant cheap labour.

Brexit is the end game in that process for the UK. The plan seems to have been to spread the contagion elsewhere, but even though the EU has neoliberal issues of its own, it's still proving unexpectedly resilient against total colonisation.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 02:40:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I didn't say there will be chaos. I said there's chaos now. The UK is dying on its feet and not just because of the economic hit of brexit, but because politics in every other sphere has simply stopped.

One of the things that's happened is that the violence is happening now, Jo cox's murder was literally the first shot fired, not the last. Actual fascists march the streets now, in large gangs terrorizing neighbourhoods.

You're right, they won't be appeased by a soft brexit. But they know that what they get now is the most they will ever get, cos any actual leaving the EU will damage the UK terribly. However, equally, until we do leave, I don't see these people ever shutting up. And they have been convinced that there was a democratic will to leave and if wiser heads prevent that, it will genuinely damage concepts of democracy in this country for decades.

I honestly don' see a way out of the trap Cameron stupidly painted us into

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 02:44:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexiteers will not rest until the break is complete, and will be encouraged in their efforts by the half victory they have already achieved.
What makes you think they will stop after achieving Brexit? Given that Brexit will be an economic and social disaster, every single problem for the next century will be blamed on the remoaners.
by asdf on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 07:33:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And why it is an absolute must for the Leavers to put the blame on the EU.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 10:39:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Because they are like children playing blame games?
Because they know a no deal Brexit will be a disaster and need to be able to blame it on someone else?
Because it fits in with their childish hatred of the EU in the first place?

It will be a hard sell though. EU has already granted two extensions for UK to get their act together and negotiated at least one Withdrawal Agreement, and shown willingness to grant/negotiate more.

Of course none of this will matter to hard core Brexiteers. For them hatred of the EU is axiomatic and anything the EU does to protect its interests after a no-deal Brexit will merely confirm their hatreds.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Oct 14th, 2019 at 08:34:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hate the idea of leaving the EU, but I don't think the country can survive this impasse much longer. So, if we're gonna go, then some lukewarm halfway house will probably work for most people.

Have you considered that any actual Brexit will be a SHAMEFUL CAPITULATION to the EU and a BETRAYAL OF THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE, and every move to stop Brexit is a crypto-leave conspiracy?

by generic on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 01:35:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 01:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think "Loud and Clear" is more reflective of the EU-UK relationship.
by rifek on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 02:19:33 PM EST
Or "Promises".
by rifek on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 02:50:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Free to decide. Time is ticking out.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 04:34:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not convinced all the players are "not so suicidal after all", though.
by rifek on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 08:16:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, they come out of the tunnel in 48 hours with something that looks suspiciously like May's deal, with lipstick on it.

But he has no more power to implement that than May had. Less.

Unless. Parliament has to seize the moment... And, as quid pro quo for voting for Bojo's Brexit : impose a referendum between that, or remain?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 04:30:14 PM EST
Corbyn would be the arbiter on that. Would he want to see the likely victory of Remain?

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 09:18:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he can see where Brexit is going, and it is not a socialist Nirvana. He can also see that a defeat for the Brexiteers will destroy the Tories, at least for a generation.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 10:19:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So, after having been a crypto-Leaver, he's now a crypto-Remainer? No wonder his communication is confused.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 11:21:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's always been a crypto-whatever-you're-supposed-to-hate. That's the magic of Corbyn. He's Emmanuel Goldstein in a cycle helmet.

After years of media smears absolutely everyone is convinced he's not just not on their side, he's practically the worst person in the whole of British history - simultaneously a comically bumbling impotent nobody and a master plotter casting a terrifying shadow over British politics from his evil allotment lair in darkest Islington.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 01:25:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
His allotment veggies are shit, too. If ever invited to dinner at the Corbyns', make some excuse.

It would be interesting, though, to know if he now thinks Remain is a fitting ending to the Brexit saga, or if he hopes to wangle some form of Leave.

Not that this is the biggest problem the UK and Europe face, not by a long chalk.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 02:17:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn has stated that he wants to negotiate the best possible exit from the EU and then have a referendum to let the people decide between that plan and remain. He would then support the outcome either way. Most of Labour now seems for Remain.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 04:22:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What could Corbyn do? Issue a command to Labour MPs to vote for May's solution? Doesn't seem likely to happen and doesn't seem likely to work if it did happen.
by asdf on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 04:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow. Only a faint smudge of lipstick, at that.
NI in EU for customs and VAT, obviously. No DUP veto, of. Purse.
...but alignment on government assistance, environment, workers' rights? Nothing left of Bono's brave new world.

Can parliament approve this? It would be a bitter triumph for Theresa.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Oct 17th, 2019 at 06:50:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course ( of course), not of purse. Bojo, not  Bono.
Remind why I never post on ET from .y phone.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Oct 17th, 2019 at 06:53:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brexit Border plan a non-runner, say Troubles-era customs officers
Former Northern Irish customs officers who manned Border checkpoints during the Troubles believe Boris Johnson's Brexit plan to impose a customs border and still avoid a hard border would be unworkable.

Three officers who worked on the Border at the time of repeated IRA attacks on customs checkpoints in the 1970s said it would be impossible to impose a customs border and not have checks at the Border.

"You either have a border or you don't," said Bill Carson (79), who worked as a customs officer in Newry in the 1970s.

The Co Armagh man was injured in a botched IRA bomb attack that destroyed the Newry customs house in August 1972 and killed nine people, including four customs officers, two lorry drivers and three IRA men.

It was the deadliest attack on a Border customs post during the Troubles.

Customs posts along the Border were frequently the target of republican attacks during the Troubles. There were 484 bombings and other incidents recorded at customs posts between 1969 and 1992, according to the Northern Ireland Land Boundary 1923-1992, a book published by the then HM Customs & Excise in 1993.



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Oct 11th, 2019 at 10:10:37 PM EST



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 08:38:09 AM EST
And yet they agreed to enter the negotiation "tunnel"...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 10:17:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tunnel, landing zone, border in the Irish sea ... I am not a fan of neologism. And the Brits have run a gamut. Nor am I a fan of Coveney and Varadkar. Remarks off code have only encouraged scurrilous wags. What a surprise to find Buzzfeed's man in Brussels. ugh.

However, RTE Connelly's 12 Oct dispatch surfaced in the feed.

Long story short: They're haggling over EU tariff schedule (utterly predictable) with a NI rebate sweetener (utterly predictable) to be collected at specific NI ports (utterly predictable) not roads and EU commodity quota. Possibly joint port inspections --a reheated T. May talking point as is geolocation data sharing.

Not mentioned, the cover story ("big EU concession") is HRM BoJo inks FTA before exit, which is the D1 Tory idee fixe of "negotiating" withdrawal. Not mentioned, and I would bet, Barclay has turfed the draft assignment to EC which is pissed, because 7 day deadline to table at HoC wich is FoS which portends parallel EU calculation of and rapid response to UK extension request, say, 30 Nov for "deal" approval or fuck off? Mebe 31 Dec.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 12:12:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't foresee anyone in the EU in their right minds accepting an extension period long enough to accommodate grandmaster Corbyn.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 12:31:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How long would that be?

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing, nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 02:09:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Corbyn sticks to his plan there would have to be two elections before we would have an outcome. May or June would seem reasonable. Would anyone want an election in November, December, January, February or March?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 04:29:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Guardian - possibly optimistically - is suggesting there could be Parliamentary support for a referendum on the 19th.

Getting Brexit off the agenda would transform politics. The Brexit Party and the LibDems would have to find some other reason to exist, the Tories would be badly damaged by a Remain  win, and Labour might have more of a chance to campaign on other pressing issues.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 12th, 2019 at 10:43:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Guardian reports HoC incoherence.
Keir Starmer: Labour will stop no-deal Brexit 'whatever it takes'
"Johnson must seek and accept an extension"; "if the prime minister succeeded in getting an agreement, Labour would demand it was put to the public in a referendum."; "it appeared any agreement would be 'even worse' than Theresa May's rejected deal."

Support grows for a new Brexit poll amid fears over Johnson's plan
"less frictionless access to European markets than Theresa May's deal offered"; "A snap election will resolve nothing and could prolong the agony"; "parliament should pass all the necessary legislation to implement the deal so, if people vote again to Leave Brexit would happen immediately and require no further votes in parliament."

I did not see any MP commit to legally binding HoC to "second referendum" or "confirmatory vote" for or against any question.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Oct 13th, 2019 at 01:41:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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