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

The gang of 11: A new dynamic?

by Frank Schnittger Thu Feb 21st, 2019 at 05:30:02 PM EST

So 7 Labour MPs chose to resign the party whip and set up an independent group citing dissatisfaction with Corbyn's leadership and claiming endemic anti-Semitism within the party. Hardly the most pressing issue exercising the minds of the populace just now. Perhaps it was the only issue they could find to unite around.

Then they were joined by an eighth Labour MP and three Tories. Hardly a rush to the centre.

But enough to worry Corbyn and May, and soon, perhaps, enough to ensure that the DUP and ERG aren't the only game in town. The problem is that it is not clear they have a unified and coherent plan for dealing with Brexit. Do they all support a second referendum? Will some support May's deal if the alternative is no deal? Will their whole raison d'etre be undermined if Corbyn ends up supporting a delay and then a second referendum?


So far they aren't a game changer, but if their numbers grew to perhaps 20 - roughly equally from both Labour and Tory camps - they could come to represent a new balance of power with which either May or Corbyn would have to treat with if they wanted to have any hope of achieving a parliamentary majority.

But how coherent a group are they? What are their policies and objectives? Say what you like about the DUP, but all their 10 MPs march in lock step. It seems appropriate that they have formed themselves, initially at least, as a limited company rather than a party. They seem more of a business lobby than a traditional political party, and much of their funding probably comes from businesses terrified at the prospect of a no deal Brexit. But in the age of Russian election interference and Zionist influence peddling, the funding opaqueness represented by private equity ownership doesn't present a good look.

So they probably have a few weeks to consolidate their numbers, form a party, formulate some policies and elect a few spokes people if not an outright leader. Otherwise they may well slide into incoherence and irrelevance.

One issue parties rarely do well in the longer term, but if their issue is a second referendum to give voice to the 48% who voted Remain and the majority who would probably support Remain in preference to May's deal or no deal now, then they have a shelf life at least until that referendum is held. After that they would probably have to join up with the Liberal Democrats to survive.

There has been some commentary that they don't include any national figures comparable to the "gang of four" (Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Shirley Williams and Bill Rodgers) who formed the breakaway Social Democrats who later combined with the Liberals to form the Liberal Democrats. This may effect their prospects in the longer term, but right now its a number's game.  If they can attract a few more MPs they could supplant the DUP as the swing vote in the House of Commons.

So far Theresa May seems barely to have noticed - determined to plow her own furrow of seeking legal guarantees around the Irish backstop. But it seems unlikely that any deal she can negotiate with the EU will mollify the DUP, in which case the Independent Group votes could come into play.

Equally likely however, is that they will join the flotsam and jetsam of history, the litany of breakaway groups that ended up going nowhere, destroyed by their own incoherence and the first past the post single seat constituency parliamentary electoral system which permits of only two major national parties. The centre may not hold, and even if it does, it may simply move elsewhere.

The question is whether Theresa May is following her present course out of conviction or merely to mollify her hard liners. It seems to me it is both: she seems genuinely committed to delivering her version of Brexit and opposed to a second referendum on principle. In which case she may prefer a no deal Brexit and running down the clock to dealing with the Independent group in order to achieve a parliamentary majority for a softer Brexit.

If May succeeds, the Independent Group could end up being the shortest living political movement in recent history. Alternatively they could be the vital missing piece in putting together a coalition with the numbers to pursue an alternative course of action. But Corbyn is yet another missing piece in this jig-saw. Just precisely what will he do if a no deal Brexit beckons?

One way or the other, it may well be that only the people can decide. Are there sufficient further MPs prepared to force an election or a second referendum by supporting a vote of no confidence in the Government?

Display:
Answer: no.

May ensured a No Deal Exit when she sent the A50 Letter before getting any agreement on what, exactly, Brexit meant and then negotiating the Withdrawal Agreement behind closed doors, refusing to let Parliament know what was going on.

From soup to nuts Brexit has been a cock-up of epic proportions.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 21st, 2019 at 06:34:50 PM EST
Thx .. will do 😊

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 04:56:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
enough to ensure that the DUP and ERG aren't the only game in town

That is the whole point, I believe, at least to those defecting from the Conservatives. At this stage I do not expect this group to result in a new party, their raison d'être might well vanish on the 29th of March.

This today from Barnier:

We don't need more time, we need decisions from the British parliament. If this question was raised, the first reaction of the heads of state - whose unanimous approval is required - would be to say: `What for? How much time?'

Similar sentiment coming out the European Parliament. Most likely a request to postpone the exit date will be rejected. This was Stelios Koulouglou:

Everyone in the negotiating team is completely fed up with May. They feel she doesn't have a clear plan, she changes constantly and instead of being serious, is playing cheap political games.

I think this "indepdendents" group is simply trying to definitly prevent a "no deal" by the ides of March and if possibly revert Brexit altogether. They will vote down the agreement with the EU and then machinate in Parliament to change course. I have no idea whether this can succeed or not.

You might find me At The Edge Of Time.

by Luis de Sousa (luis[dot]a[dot]de[dot]sousa[at]gmail[dot]com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2019 at 06:58:25 PM EST
They need more defection, from the Tories in particular, to deprive the Tory/DUP government of its working majority. Then they need to have the guts to vote no confidence in the Government - ether to precipitate a general election or to force a change of course.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 21st, 2019 at 08:31:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
they have already ruled out voting for a no confidence motion. They all agree that a no deal with a Conservative government is preferable to anything with Corbyn in charge.

Just like the lib dems, centrists ultimately bend the knee towards the agents of Capital and preserve the power of the mega rich

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 09:08:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"They all agree that a no deal with a Conservative government is preferable to anything," more like.
by asdf on Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 at 12:01:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"they have already ruled out voting for a no confidence motion"

Once you rule out that option you are more or less writing yourself out of the game - particularly with the new rules around snap elections which give a government a couple of weeks grace to find a majority if they lose a confidence vote.

The only reason this isn't disqualifying for the DUP is because they can live with the default outcome - a no deal Brexit - which will all be the fault of an intransigent Irish Government, of course, in DUP mythology, in any case.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 at 11:20:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Theresa May faces ministerial revolt over no-deal Brexit
Theresa May is facing the most serious cabinet revolt of her premiership next week, with as many as 25 members of the government ready to vote for a Brexit delay unless she rules out "no deal" - in a move that will challenge her to sack them.

Rebel Conservatives believe there are now enough MPs across the House of Commons to pass an amendment that would require May to extend article 50 rather than allow the UK to leave without a deal.

At least four cabinet ministers, almost a dozen junior ministers and many others on the government payroll are understood to be prepared to back the motion proposed by the Tory MP Sir Oliver Letwin and Labour's Yvette Cooper, due to be debated on Wednesday. A senior source close to those plotting the rebellion said there was no way the members of the government would resign voluntarily and May would have to sack them.


Movement?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 21st, 2019 at 09:31:57 PM EST
lateral move or lateral promotion within a corporation, eg. HOC

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 21st, 2019 at 09:47:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only deal the UK is going to get is the one Parliament rejected 432 to 202.  

It doesn't fucking matter what the Cabinet does or doesn't do.  

The only deal the UK is going to get is the one Parliament rejected 432 to 202.

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

by ATinNM on Thu Feb 21st, 2019 at 11:02:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I really don't understand why this is so hard to grasp.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Feb 21st, 2019 at 11:03:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"belief" is antibiotic-resistant.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 21st, 2019 at 11:39:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Substantively yes, but the EU is prepared to offer "assurances" around the meaning of the text of that deal to provide some face saving cover to MPs who previously voted against it. Whether that is sufficient to sway enough of them is dubious to say the least...

The very fact that it is now only a few paragraphs dealing with the Irish backstop - out of a complex 600 page agreement - that are now in contention is progress in itself.

Most MPs have probably not read the text in full in any case. Some needed a reason to oppose it and so latched onto the backstop to vent their outrage. Now some are looking for a way to get off that hook.

None thought the EU would actually stand by Ireland on this issue - hence their outrage. It wasn't supposed to be like this. Most cling to the belief that the EU always compromises at the last minute and still expect it to fold sooner or later.

But it has been the ERG/DUP which have been the driving force behind all of this, and it is this the new Independent Group is trying to change.

It looks like a delay is the only plan a majority of the house of Commons can get behind, but will the EU27 agree to this in the absence of a plan? For a couple of months perhaps in the hope it might precipitate a general election or allow the fizz of the Brexit campaign leave the body politic in the UK.

This one could yet run and run. My dark suspicion has always been that in the end someone on the EU Council will lose patience and withhold consent for a further extension of A.50 effectively kicking the UK out.

CUE outrage in the UK: Threats to withdraw the A.50 notification before B-day. Threats to pursue guerrilla war against the EU from within. Messier and messier. Eventually some deal will probably be done. We are just in the reducing expectations phase...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 12:45:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"We are just in the reducing expectations phase..." That has a long way to go in a short time.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 02:22:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The very fact that it is now only a few paragraphs dealing with the Irish backstop - out of a complex 600 page agreement - that are now in contention is progress in itself.

This is not the case: those paragraphs are just a convenient excuse for the nutters to justify their opposition to the deal as a whole, largely because their opposition to the whole idea and wish for a no deal, no constraints exit sounds nuts to anyone faintly normal.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 10:35:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, and for that reason the no dealers will continue to find fault with whatever solution is dreamed up in relation to the backstop impasse. But discussion of all other aspects of the deal has effectively ended and so those who do want a deal will now have to swallow the 600 pages lock, stock, and barrel bar whatever emollient phrases are dreamed up around the backstop.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 11:18:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It won't actually change anything if they force May to "rule out no deal".

Despite the superficial appeal of the double negative, it's empty rhetoric insofar as there is no deal currently on offer which commands a parliamentary majority.

Unless the subtext of "rule out no deal" is actually "bloody well negotiate a deal with Corbyn which can command a Commons majority, and go to Brussels with that".

I could live with that. Perhaps Corbyn could. But May would have to resign...

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

by eurogreen on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 10:06:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the short term the sub text of ruling out no deal is simply delay in the hope of something better turning up later. In the longer term that has to include a deal with Corbyn unless the Independent group grow so large and coherent that they can provide a majority for May's deal that excludes ERG hard core and DUP support - a very unlikely prospect, I would have thought.

The only other option is for the Independent group to precipitate a general election which might well produce a not v. different outcome - unless Corbyn embraces a second referendum as part of his election manifesto.  Given that the Independent group is as anti-Corbyn as anyone they will find it very difficult to support him even in that circumstance.

Given the unlikelihood of almost ANY independents being re-elected in a very polarized FPTP election, they will probably avoid the election option like the plague. The bottom line is that procrastination is their only option and Corbyn holds the key to any resolution.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 11:34:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only other option is for the Independent group to precipitate a general election ......

I would have thought a GE is the last thing many of the defectors would want. Some (many?) are likely to lose their seats; in the two party, FPTP system, the electorate vote for parties, not individuals, however effective they have been in the past as MPs, and however eloquent and principaled their stance.

The party leaders have already challenged the defectors to put their decision to "a people's vote" by resigning their seat and forcing a by-election. Noone has accepted this.

BBC Vox-Pop interviews in Conservative constituencies and press comment, even in more left-wing press, suggest that Allen, Soubry and Wollaston are not being lauded for their decision to challenge the ERG from outside the party.

Unless the Tory party does split completely under the default "no-deal", the "three amigas" stance may be irrelevant within two weeks.

by oldremainmer48 on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 12:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

<from hospital bed ... minor, minor surgery ... fortunate to awaken two houts later .... nursing taking good care ... tomorrow driving home ... excellent health care ... have some free moments ... priorities, priorities ... catching up on reading EuroTrib .. of course 😄>

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 04:01:05 PM EST
Be better soon!

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 04:45:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading Eurotrib. is not everyone's idea of a "pick me up", but happy to be of service!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 05:04:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did check downstairs for the digi-less version of the European Tribune ... in the newspaper/magazine stand ... love to read a paper version ... empty handed ... sold out 😉

Oké ... mobile will do!

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 06:15:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You sound positively chirpy, Our.
Good one about the Eurotrib on the downstairs news stand!
Get well soon

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 at 03:53:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 05:34:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I hope for a speedy recovery!
by fjallstrom on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 11:33:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have been reliably informed that 'minor surgery' is surgery performed on someone else.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 at 10:40:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It hardly seems likely that any sort of new or different deal could be worked out in the remaining two weeks. If this "gang" had acted six months ago, they might have had a chance.

And the EU seems unlikely at this point to give an extension. The choices have narrowed down to

  • withdraw Article 50,
  • no-deal Brexit, or
  • May's-deal Brexit.

I think her strategy is working just as she wants it to, and all the noise is exactly that: noise.
by asdf on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 05:00:52 PM EST
There is a fourth option, the Commission etc have made clear that a May/Corbyn compromise Brexit (customs union etc) could be accomodated by rewriting the political statement (which is currently pretty empty because May doesn't know what Brexit means).

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 06:01:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What are you talking about?

The political declaration amended to the Withdrawal Agreement, when negotiation was concluded, is not "empty".

26 pages

This document expresses UK gov "future partnership" agenda(UK-EU trade agreement) that it intended to instantiate in "legally-binding" language during the "transition period". BUT UK gov has neither signed nor ratified the Withdrawal Agreement.

May's cabinet owns the terms of this "concession" by the EU gov.

HOC has rejected its value, indeed the whole TEU process of an "orderly", negotiated exit by 29 March 2019.

The only "option" which Corbyn agita expresses should be, must be, understood as acknowledgment of UK third-country status and negotiating position viz. Lisbon without TEU protection extended 21 months from 29 March 2019 by the Withdrawal Agreement.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 07:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You must understand that the Government controls all business in Parliament. No bill is discussed without its consent, no vote is meaningful unless the government wishes to adhere to it.

Opposition parties cannot propose anything, they cannot make law. they cannot force a new referendum, they cannot even influence the wording os said referendum.

this is why I have never understood all the noise in the media about Corbyn and what he thinks about brexit. His opinions are irrelevant, his desire, for or against a referendum, is irrelevant.

So the independent group can't achieve anything, except make lots of noise in the media (which appear to be the only group that takes them seriously). Their only ambition seems to be to ensure that the Labour party is weakened

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 09:55:06 PM EST
Although the Speaker, John Bercow, did create a bit of a kerfuffle recently by accepting backbencher amendments the Government didn't want to see debated or voted on, and some elements of the HOC are currently threatening to take control of the whole Brexit process away from the Government in the next few days...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 10:12:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Birth Announcement
What is the Brexit Delivery Group and who are the key players?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 11:17:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 11:24:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A prominent kipper, with all the televisual charisma the 1940s can offer

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 11:56:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have fond memories of the dog, Kipper. Wish he'd thought about immigrating.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 10:51:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The media noise about Corbyn is to persuade people not to vote for him.

Which is also the point of the former-Labour groupie exodus.

The missing fact is that all of the so-called rebels are prominent in a group called the Friends of Israel, all have been vociferous Corbyn critics, and all have been involved in the various unsuccessful attempts to remove Corbyn.

This is just more of the same - it's a coup by different means, intended to reinforce the meme that "Labour are in chaos and unelectable".

And it's not happening because of Brexit. It's happening because if Labour are elected a lot of very rich people, and especially a lot of arms dealers with close links to Israel and Saudi Arabia, are going to be significantly inconvenienced. As will the government of Israel itself. The so-called anti-Semitism is a ridiculously transparent pretext.

I'm honestly unconvinced that Brexit is a major motivation here - at least not in a way that anyone hoping for anti-Brexit actions can rely on.

Nominally most of the rebels are pro-people's-vote. But they've given the PV option zero press time since the split, so I think we can assume it's just not that important to them.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Feb 23rd, 2019 at 10:15:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I read an interesting piece that suggested TIG are a company so that they can hide the fact that much of their funding (supposed to be around £1 million) is sourced from Israel, specifically to help their tilt against Corbyn.

I also notice that Tom Watson, an avowed enemy of everything Corbyn stands for, is running around TV studios like a dog with two tails to denounce Labour "anti-semitism".

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 11:51:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This sort of internal bickering within the two parties shows a couple of things. First, that neither party is unified on Brexit (duh). But second, and worse, both are operating on an assumption that their internal party structures will survive the next year in a form that makes the bickering worthwhile.

Rearranging deck chairs.

by asdf on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 07:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True, but keep in mind "centrist" is media-speak for "hardcore neoliberal" while "left-wing extremist" is code for "someone who would like rich people to have a little less money so no one has to starve or lives in wage slavery."

The real battle in the UK at the moment is the one trying to keep Corbyn out of power. Brexit is largely a sideshow, although it's been a very useful one.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 08:35:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The real battle in the UK at the moment is the one trying to keep Corbyn out of power. Brexit is largely a sideshow, although it's been a very useful one.

This.

He has been accused of equivocation on Brexit, but as you mention above, Brexit is less of a concern for him than reform of the present paradigm, seen dying on the vine in front of our eyes.
Within or without Europe, the UK faces challenges not seen since the last war, (there was more unity then.)

For Corbyn to support May's fiasco may bring an instant of relief - mostly from the business community, but it would enable May's will to keep her party together to succeed.

The breakout group are betraying their voters who put them there. The decent thing would be to resign and propose themselves as independents.

Failing that at least they have shown their true colours.

There was a while where his fence-sitting was a bit irritating, but when I saw the naked venom May displayed, the true stakes of this (class) conflict came into sharp relief, and I understood why he was keeping his powder dry and waiting until he could see the whites of their eyes before declaring where he stood. He knows full well the problems in the UK go far beyond those conjured by Brexit, and will remain unaddressed (or worse, will degrade further) under Tory misrule.
The Tories are decimating their own hold on power.
Any sharp move by Corbyn will only unite them further. He knows once he declares he will lose a big chunk of his potential GE vote, so he has to hope the the Tories' self-immolation can complete itself before his back is pressed right up to the wall.
Since May is in (putative) power and the main protagonist, he has to mirror from the opposition side her recalcitrance, lack of transparency and ambition to guide the fate of the country, or what kind of opposition would he represent? (NLP 101).
Most of all he has to mirror her relentless playing for time to force change. (Game theory).

Change has to happen, the country is having a nervous breakdown, May (and the ERG and DUP) own this shitshow and deserve the full repercussions to fall squarely on their own shoulders.
He has to take the risk of outwaiting her, watch her burning the bridges and not flinch when he sees what her ham-handed diplomacy is wreaking on the country, because he has to stay real.
His only 'sin' is discretion, with a pinch of realpolitik, not schadenfreude.
The UK has more than Brexit at stake, hard as it is to see under all the faeces flying out of the fans.
He has a hard row to hoe, and cannot afford to be other than reticent until the chips stop falling (where they May!)
The Tories risk being as wiped out as has happened to Berlusconi's party Forza Italia.
These breakawayers are political nonentities, and shouldn't worry him too much.
Brexit is the battle, Corbyn knows this is the best opportunity since Blair for Labour to gain power and change the horrendous inequality that the Tories stand for. That's a class war.
He can't be seen to descend too much into the fray, to enable or disable her own majestically moronic trajectory.
After his visit to Brussels, suddenly the Euro negotiators are talking about a 2 year extension.
After dealing with May's serial dissembling and mendacious red lines, dealing with Corbyn must be a pleasure though there is no painless form of Brexit possible and further delay will cost possibly many more business contracts lost than even the hardest of no-deal Brexits.
Not an enviable fate for Labour to mop up after.

(If it doesn't split itself along the leave-remain axis.)

Gunfight at the OK Corrall has nothing on this.

 

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2019 at 12:34:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I try to avoid getting into the personality side of things, but after Matthew Parris' character assassination of May your look at the dilemmas facing Corbyn is worthy of a separate diary and discussion. I do think he is in an invidious position: his job is to oppose and present an alternative strategy, but all the Media and chattering classes want him to do is bail May (and the Country) out.  For him to bail May out is political self-immolation, for him to bail the country out (a near impossibility for an opposition leader) he must time his intervention perfectly and gain the support of a mixed bag of political ne'er do wells who can't be relied on to do anything right.

Ultimately, the situation is outside his control, he can but hope that an opportunity arises before a no deal Brexit becomes a reality.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Feb 25th, 2019 at 12:51:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Labour have just announced they want a People's Vote, so... that's a good thing.

It puts the Tories on the spot. If they vote against it, Brexit becomes their baby. If they vote for it, Brexit is killed democratically, and Labour take the credit.

IMO the press narrative around Corbyn is completely wrong. Labour played some blinders in the run up to the last GE, and it was only an inexplicable outbreak of terrorism - which inexplicably evaporated immediately after the GE - which allowed the Tories to scrape their not-quite-majority.

This move is likely to be more of the same. It undermines the TIGs and takes the wind out of their pro-PV posturing, while putting even more political pressure on the Tories. It also keeps the Labour members who forced a pro-PV motion through conference happy and onside.

It's irrelevant how much of this is down to Corbyn personally, and how much is the work of the team around him. Miliband certainly never had similar heft.

As for May - an infinite number of sweary insults would be nowhere near enough to describe the worst PM, and perhaps even one of the worst people, in recent British history.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Feb 25th, 2019 at 05:54:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How is it even conceivably possible to have a "people's vote" within a month? Seems to me that this is all political positioning leading up to a grudging approval of May's agreement.
by asdf on Tue Feb 26th, 2019 at 12:55:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It can only happen in conjunction with a vote to delay Brexit, something the EU has said it will agree to if it is to facilitate a second referendum or an election.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Feb 26th, 2019 at 09:29:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's increasing chatter about a 21 month extension that takes it to the end of the current budget period and almost certainly kills Brexit stone dead.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Feb 26th, 2019 at 11:55:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
keep in mind "centrist" is media-speak for "hardcore neoliberal"

Boy, have you got Macron's number.

by Bernard on Mon Feb 25th, 2019 at 07:35:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also a strong possibility that the next general election will see Corbyn elected and all these "centrists" eliminated. The formation of the Independent Group might then in retrospect seem to have been a very useful bit of voluntary house cleaning...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 09:08:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Corbyn's popularity rating is extreme low ... recall the HRC/DT "battle" of Nov. 2018.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 10:03:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given the relentless media and Blairite attacks on Corbyn since the moment he was elected it's no surprise his ratings are poor.

However, everybody knows that the media got a bloody nose during the last election when they predicted a drubbing for Labour and instead saw their vote increase markedly.

Fact is, polling companies are not responding well to changes in the demographic and are probably mssing the big story. There probably won't be another general election till 2022, which gives TIG and their backers plenty of opportunity to make mischief. But it also gives the fallout from Brexit plenty of time to work its way through the country.

the next election may not be quite the reckoning the media hope for

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Feb 24th, 2019 at 10:14:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hardest decision I ever made - a political sound bite doing well in today's twitter media ...

Ian Austin MP: Why I voted for the Government's Brexit deal

Until today 😌

Dudley North voted 71% for Leave 😢

Key words | anti-semitism | Corbyn | settlements | Palestine |

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 10:59:10 PM EST
"no deal in the desert"

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Feb 22nd, 2019 at 11:28:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Given their ham-fisted stunts so far, I think they're more likely to be The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight than The Gang of 11.
by rifek on Sat Mar 9th, 2019 at 03:04:12 AM EST


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