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Britain blinks first

by Frank Schnittger Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 05:25:39 PM EST


Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nigel Farage: The joke is on them

Part of the Brexiteer mythology is that the EU is made up of incompetent and unprincipled bureaucrats who can be counted on to come grovelling for a compromise even if only at the last minute. To their discomfort and horror there is still no sign of the EU27 caving in, and all of Theresa May's best efforts at divide and conquer tactics have been in vain. If there is one takeaway from this almost wholly sad Brexit saga it is that, remarkably, the EU27 have stood united behind one of their smallest members and maintained a coherent negotiating position throughout.


And so it is that the UK is staring into the abyss of a no deal Brexit unless they can come up with a better idea pretty sharpish... If there is one majority in the House of Commons for anything, besides the government's sense of self preservation, it is that a majority want the no deal "option" taken off the table. It was all very well as a negotiating tactic to scare the EU27 into an agreement, but it has become increasingly obvious that it is nothing more than a wilful act of self-harm.

It wasn't meant to be like this. "Having your cake and eating it" was meant to be a cake walk. Negotiating a future relationship with the EU was meant to be "the easiest deal in history". But somehow, unaccountably, the EU27 individually and collectively decided that preserving the integrity of the Single Market and Customs Union was more important than short term economic pain. The German car industry didn't come running to Merkel to tell her to tell the Commission to cut a deal at all costs. Even more annoyingly, some upstart former colony was allowed to dictate the EU terms of engagement...

So as zero hour and B-day approaches it has been the UK which has blinked first. The hard line approaches by both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have been undermined by their own back-benchers and both have had to modify their previous stances. First Corbyn announced he was finally prepared to support a second referendum having failed to defeat May's deal or precipitate a general election.

Now Theresa May has announced that if her deal is defeated a second time, she will allow a vote on the "no deal" option, and if that, too, fails (as expected) she will support a proposal to request an extension to the A.50 deadline. Everyone knows that that, in itself, will solve nothing, except perhaps serve to further puncture or at least deflate the Brexiteer balloon. But essentially they are throwing themselves on the mercy of the EU Council, which must support any such a request with unanimous approval.

The EU Council, for its part, might well impose some preconditions - such as a requirement that the extension is used either to approve and implement May's deal or to organise a second referendum and/or a general election. What seems certain is that any further extension - beyond, perhaps, an initial three months, will only be approved if a second referendum or a general election is in prospect. The Withdrawal Agreement (May's deal) will not be re-negotiated. It is up to the UK to come up with an alternative option if they don't like that deal.

In the meantime the UK would have to take part in the EU Parliamentary elections in May, providing a platform for Remainers and undermining the "EU is Undemocratic" narrative so beloved of Brexiteers. Farage will have to decide whether to stand for a Parliament he affects to despise. Then there is a whole summer for UK tourists to "Europe" to contemplate the joys of applying for visas, green cards and international driving licences, standing in line in the "non -EU" queue alongside various third world "foreigners", and getting less Euros for their Pound.

Any second referendum, if it is held, will involve a straight choice between May's deal, the only Brexit on offer, or Remain. The only thing achieved by Parliament over the past three years will have been to take "no deal" off the table. Some Brexiteers might well be tempted to advocate for abstention in the referendum on the grounds that either option is unacceptable. Then they could at least claim credit for the c. 30% to 60% of the electorate who don't turn out to vote in referenda in any case. Either way the Brexiteer vote could be split between support for May's deal and not voting in the second referendum at all - in disgust at the whole process.

In those circumstances I could see the Remain option supported by a 2:1 majority of those who do vote - reminiscent of the 1975 referendum vote which too, supported continued EU membership be a 2:1 majority: A vote which seems to have been consigned into the black memory hole of history. May's deal is almost universally reviled even though it contains a huge concession by the EU - effectively continued membership of the Single Market and Customs Union without the requirement to allow free movement of workers or pay Norway style contributions to the EU budget. There will be many in the EU who will breath a sigh of relief if it is ultimately rejected.

From an Irish perspective, at least we will no longer be jeered at by Brexiteers for voting twice on the Treaties of Nice and Lisbon. The people are allowed to change their minds, especially in the light of new information and the creation of a more informed electorate motivated to turn out in greater numbers. I don't hear too many complaining that we finally changed our minds on abortion and voted to reverse the 1983 referendum result banning it in all circumstances.

But from a British perspective the political repercussions could be more traumatic. May will inevitably have to resign if "her" deal is ultimately rejected by the electorate, especially by such a margin. Much irreversible economic damage will have been done to the UK economy. But above all, such a volte face will result in the loss of much face in the diplomatic world. It will be some time before the UK is taken seriously on the world stage again, if ever.

But of course it won't stop the British Brexiteers whinging about the EU, any more than the decisive 2:1 referendum vote in favour of continued membership did in 1975. Some people will always have to have something to whinge about - anything really - as long as it doesn't point to their own responsibility. But will anyone else ever take them seriously again? BoJo may have his £300K p.a. once a week column in the Daily Telegraph. But who else beyond the Tory pensioners who read the Telegraph will care?

The repercussions for the DUP in Northern Ireland will also be serious, if not terminal. Depending on whether the DUP end up supporting May's deal or not - in itself a humiliating volte face - Brexit could well be defeated by a 90:10 margin in Northern Ireland the second time around. Even pro-Brexit Unionist voters will not lightly forgive the DUP for throwing in their lot with a cabal of Brexiteer chancers in London - to the detriment of community relations and economic prosperity in N. Ireland - and bringing the whole question of a United Ireland into play again. Sinn Fein will likely become the leading party in any subsequent election, with the Unionist vote split between the DUP, UUP and splinter groups.

However it will not benefit Sinn Fein much in the rest of Ireland. Here Leo Varadker will claim the lions share of the credit. Even some of his staunches critics have had to concede that he has played Ireland's cards masterfully, building an EU consensus and holding the line when the going got tough. It may not save him at the polls when his other short comings are evaluated - a failure to address Ireland's housing and health care crises - and a failure to achieve some measure of inter-generational justice: The young are being held hostage by the rentier class.

But then Brexit, as a whole, has served as a monumental distraction from the real issues facing both the UK and the EU: The issues of globalisation and growing inequality between the owners of capital and workers, between different regions within the EU, between urban and rural, young and old - between public austerity and squalor and private wealth and conspicuous consumption. Hopefully soon we will be able to start prioritising those issues again. Brexit has already dragged on for far too long.

Display:
As Bobby McDonagh, former Irish ambassador to the EU, Britain and Italy says: May's MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) negotiating strategy has turned to MUSH (Mad Unnecessary Self-Harm).

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 05:35:39 PM EST
Let's get real for a second.

May has been a fuck-up through out this silliness.  No reason to think she'll be anything but a fuck-up over the next 30 days.  

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

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 06:49:36 PM EST
You will note I have made no predictions beyond predicting a wide margin of victory for Remain IF a second referendum is held. Logically, rationally, a delay in Brexit can only lead to one outcome - a rescinding of the A.50 notification following a second referendum. But very little in this process has been rational to date, beyond the HOC gradually having to come to terms with realities it would rather have ignored.

The scope for this process to be mismanaged or sabotaged in some way is still high. For one thing, anything Corbyn proposes is likely to be opposed my most Tories almost all of the time. It is still unclear whether any motion to hold a second referendum will pass the HOC without May's government's support. My guess is that that may not be forthcoming until late June as the UK faces the prospect of the EU Council not renewing an initial 3 month extension.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 07:01:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(t'was C# ... I believe?  :-)

I'm not confident the EU Council is slam dunk for approving an extension even if Moron gets her act together requests it.  It's being broadly reported the EU are tired of the UK and want the Thing Done.

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

by ATinNM on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 08:15:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All it takes is one Council member with a grudge - against the UK or even against Brussels - Viktor Orbán anyone? or a Pedro Sánchez in the middle of a difficult general election campaign in Spain? - to withhold consent or to use his vote as a bargaining chip in some unrelated dispute and the whole process comes to an abrupt halt. Gibraltar could still be the Rock that Brexit founders on...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 08:51:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about the UK just giving up their Gibraltar colony? Have May present it as a choice between giving it up and no Brexit?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 11:58:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. You are talking centuries of British naval dominance here. It would be like asking Tories to re-run WW2 with Britain on the losing side. It would be not just the end of Empire but the end of the World as we Know it. Even the monkeys would rebel. Churchill would turn in his grave. The Queen would utter words of concern. Britain's nuclear subs would be mobilised. Britain's expats in Spain would threaten to eat only in Irish pubs. HOW CAN YOU EVEN THINK OF SUCH A THING???

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 01:27:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hell, there are Tories still pissed off about the Treaty of Amiens and the loss of Menorca.
by rifek on Sun Mar 10th, 2019 at 12:44:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Treaty of Amiens? Are you kidding? The true blue Brexiteers don't live a mere 200 years in the past; for the best of them, only 800 years old treaties will do:

Historical nonsense underpins UK's Brexit floundering

Rees-Mogg sees May's Chequers plan as "the greatest vassalage since King John paid homage to Phillip II at Le Goulet", a bizarre reference to a short-lived treaty by which England accepted French sovereignty over territories in France. Medieval Britain's fascinating complexities, and its political and cultural entanglements with the continent, are ignored in favour of flag-waving fantasy: The Daily Express declared the crusader knight - drawn from the European attempts to conquer the Holy Land - "the figurehead of the struggle to repatriate British sovereignty".
by Bernard on Sun Mar 10th, 2019 at 02:19:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rees-Mogg apparently knows very little about the period running from, say, Hastings to Bosworth.  Probably knows very little about any other period either.  I suspect his only history book had a title along the lines of "Ripping Tales for Boys."  He's such a moron, he fully qualifies to be a US politician, aside from the citizenship thing.  Amazing how far a double-barreled name can still get you.  As for the Daily Repress, it doesn't know much about much and displays that, well, daily.
by rifek on Mon Mar 11th, 2019 at 01:45:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He could be governor in several US states. We are not actually very organized over here...
https://ballotpedia.org/Qualifications_for_governor_in_each_state
by asdf on Mon Mar 11th, 2019 at 05:03:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but there are all those unwritten requirements, e.g., try running for governor in Utah if you aren't Mormon.
by rifek on Mon Mar 11th, 2019 at 09:57:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The same way the NY rules don't officially require you to be a member of the Cuomo family.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Mar 11th, 2019 at 11:10:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But in New York, you're not threatened with excommunication for voting the wrong way.  You may have a contract taken out on you, but it isn't a spiritual one.
by rifek on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 03:02:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But when Teachout was running against Cuomo, didn't somebody say that women who don't vote for women have a special place in Hell reserved for them?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 13th, 2019 at 12:08:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lord haw-haw.
Method actor.

'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 Tue Mar 12th, 2019 at 12:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not Pedro Sánchez, but imagine a right-wing nationalist government of Ciudadanos and PP with outside Vox support after May...

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 05:38:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Referendums in the United Kingdom
Referendums in the United Kingdom are occasionally held at a national, regional or local level. National referendums can be permitted by an Act of Parliament and regulated through the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, but they are by tradition extremely rare due to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty meaning that they cannot be constitutionally binding on either the Government or Parliament, although they usually have a persuasive political effect.

Agitate all they want for a "public vote", this exercise is morally vacant without the expressed consent of parliament to bind the government legally to the result of the "public vote."

references to legislation.gov.uk, AFFIRMED gy UK High Court recently by a number of lawsuits challenging the commission and execution of the 2016 Referendum to exit the EU.

Theoretically, enacting such legislation requires parliament to table and pass a specific bill enumerating the legal and political authorities of said "public vote", of which there are in UK law evidently NONE, to rule proceedings or capacities of parliament and government.

HYPOTHETICALLY, IF the prime minister were to exercise a prerogative to dissolve parliament thereby necessitating general election of members, the composition of the body --no matter how amenable to constituencies' demands for "public vote" to revers or alter prior legislation-- does not assure that this NEW! parliament would prevail on the High Court to vacate parliamentary sovereignty.

THEREFORE, parliament consultation of the opinion of the polity ("public vote") is not a political instrument to affect the form of UK government. It is a ritual cathexis, or a dramaturgy, to which the UK government periodically invites its captive audience participation in approval or disapproval of particular actors among its ranks.

Method of "persuasion" directed to the vote of each and every elected and hereditary "representative" of the polity affirming ONE solution to real and imagined annihilation of the nation must change before the institutions will change to lasting effect.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 08:17:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this. Parliament is afraid of the political consequences of not honouring the Brexit referendum result and so would require a second referendum to provide cover for any decision to reverse Brexit. Equally, as the consequences of Brexit could well be dire, a second referendum would be a useful tool to off-load responsibility for those consequences on the people themselves. May's government currently resembles a game of musical chairs - no one wants to be left holding the Brexit when the music stops, and only May is tone deaf enough to carry on regardless.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 08:57:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a second referendum would be a useful tool to off-load responsibility for those consequences on the people themselves.

The "people's vote" is politically impotent. That is what legislation.gov.uk guarantees.

That you or anyone else out there who is NOT an MP is unwilling or unable to understands that reminds me. You (pl.) are only responsible for seating and re-seating the MPs you trust to screw you left, right, and center.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 09:29:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You confuse legal with political effect...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 09:48:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I don't.
All laws are political acts.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 05:34:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But not all political acts are legal

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 11:01:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Illegala political acts are codified. These are enumerated crimes and are punishable to the full the extent proscribed by law --or law enforcement agents, such as "special prosecutors" and police officers.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 02:20:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No they can be neither legal nor illegal. They are POLITICAL!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 06:04:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the meaning of "political" in your world, Frank?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 07:21:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All this tells us is that the UK parliament are muppets who can't write referendum legislation properly.

You can do a binding referenda in a Westminster system quite easily: pass laws which both set up the referendum rules and what will happen if it passes or fails, and a forked commencement clause to bring the various bits into effect appropriately. NZ did this when we switched to MMP, with the Electoral Referendum Act 1993 and the commencement clause of the Electoral Act 1993, which is basicly a big "if... then" clause. We'll be doing a similar exercise next year over marijuana legalisation, euthanasia, and probably tweaking the MMP threshold.

Of course, parliament could then repeal or amend these laws if they change their mind, so they're no more "binding" than any other law in a westminster system with parliamentary sovereignty. But they're certainly no less "binding" either. And the political consequences of a parliament goign back on its word like that... well, they'd be very ugly in NZ.

by IdiotSavant on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 12:06:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
May's authority in Wetminster has vaporised. When she fires minor members of the Cabinet for making sensible suggestions in the commons while allowing senior members of the Cabinet to rubbish defy her proposals in the newspapers you know you are looking somebody who is in office but not in power.

She only stays on because we are one month away from disaster and nobody wants to left holding the baby. And because no faction wishes to risk putting a member of another faction in the prime minister's seat.

Meanwhile, the smart people are saying that Corbyn's move has freed Labour from having the albatross of brexit hung around its neck. Not the party of Remain, but officially no longer a party of Leave either.

This anchor is the Tories alone.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 07:33:23 PM EST
I've found one article itemizing five (5) amendments to the UK Withdrawal Bill tabled for a vote by 12 March. NONE "expresses the sentiment" of the HOC to revoke the A.50.

Have you any? Let's compare.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 08:26:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course not. You have to read between the lines of a motion voting for a delay.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 08:58:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's worse is that her authority in Brussels vaporised some weeks ago - when she urged Parliament to vote against aspects of her own deal. No one can be bothered to negotiate with her now. They're not even being polite. Anyone with any self respect would have resigned once her deal was defeated by a record margin. She is a political Zombie now - or a Death Star, if you were looking to her for your own career advancement.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 09:06:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
there will be entire careers built upon the pyschologies involved in brexit.

Few will be generous to the brexiteers, but I doubt that any will treat May with anything but utter damnation. Matthew Parris' Death-Star article seems to have unlocked something in the press who now vye with each other to describe her in ever more dismissive terms

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 09:30:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even more annoyingly, some upstart former colony was allowed to dictate the EU terms of engagement...

Those Cypriots sure have been getting uppity (or perhaps you meant Malta?).

Meanwhile, things are not too rosy for some present crown dependencies:

For Guernsey, free movement loss is a double whammy

"I think the worst moment was going into the conservatoire the morning after," said Peter Bourne, 21, of the 2016 Brexit referendum, which took place when he was studying music in Bordeaux, France.

"I was faced with a load of French people who expected answers from me because I was `the English one,'" he said. "I had to explain to them that actually, it wasn't anything to do with me because of where I came from -- and that I was being dragged along."

If Bourne had indeed grown up in England, he would have been entitled to vote in the referendum. But he grew up in Guernsey, a small island in the English Channel just off the coast of France.

Guernsey, technically a crown dependency, is part of the British Isles -- its citizens hold British nationality, and many have southern English-sounding accents -- but it is not part of the U.K.

Guernsey residents can't vote in U.K. elections unless they have recently lived there, and the Brexit referendum was no exception. "I took part in the debate, but at the end of the day I didn't have the vote. I was locked out, along with everybody else in my situation," Bourne said.

by Bernard on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 07:59:06 PM EST
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 08:59:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
speaking of GREENLAND,

UK gov has run into a bit of bother holding on "its" gulag archipelago.
Legal Consequences of the Separation of the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius in 1965
UK gov patented response to "decolonisation"?

"Britain will consider the view of the World Court" ... between the lines

archived international "treaties"
Greenland is not a sovereign state.
ARTICLE 3, Territorial Scope, ¶ 1, final draft 17 Nov 2018

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 03:18:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice!

Once again an International Court of Justice the "Empire" takes an issue with ... after all the Tory leaders avoiding regulations, oversight and universal rights ... can mrs T. May withdraw the UK from the U.N. .... similar attitude by all members with veto power at the UNSC.

Will the lease with the US for Diego García be null and void? Are the barges with renditioned orange suit prisoners still located there?

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

by Oui on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 04:04:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If they try, the US will decide it's time to bring democracy to Mauritius.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 04:38:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That has already occurred.
Diego Garcia
Between 1968 and 1973, the population was forcibly removed by the United Kingdom and the United States to establish an American base through intimidation of locals and denying the return of any who left the island.[3] Many were deported to Mauritius and the Seychelles, following which the United States built a large naval and military base, which has been in continuous operation since then.[3] As of August 2018, Diego Garcia is the only inhabited island of the BIOT; the population is composed of military personnel and supporting contractors. It is one of two critical US bomber bases in the Asia Pacific region, along with Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, Pacific Ocean.[4]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 07:24:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The plight of the Chagossians has been ongoing for fifty years:

Mauritius: The Struggle of the Chagossian People

Those who remember the deportations recall being escorted off the islands, forced to leave their belongings behind and shoved onto ships, never to see their home again. "When we were deported, we were taken with a stick at our back, put on a boat" said one man, who was a young boy at the time of the deportations.

"As we were deported, our animals and dogs were killed," said another inhabitant. "And we were taken out of the island like animals ourselves."

The British have kept the story of the islands complex, confusing and hidden from public scrutiny but the fact of the matter is that one of the most powerful known empires has wilfully suppressed the most basic right, the right to land, in the full glare of the international community and international law.

Chagos islanders want to go home

The as yet uninhabited islands were discovered by the Portuguese in 1512, and later passed to the Dutch (1598-1710). Under French rule (1715-1814), the first African slaves were brought to work on coconut plantations. The UK took possession at the end of the Napoleonic wars, and still controls the islands under the name British Indian Ocean Territory. Their incomplete decolonisation is a human tragedy.
by Bernard on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 09:09:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Next year on Diego Garcia."
by rifek on Sun Mar 10th, 2019 at 12:51:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Claims of secret CIA jail for terror suspects on British island to be investigated | The Guardian - Oct. 2007 |
CIA Interrogations Took Place on British Territory of Diego Garcia, Senior Bush Administration Official Says |Reprieve - Jan. 2015 |

Related reading from the diaries ...

CIA Black Prison on British Territory by Londonbear @EuroTrib on Dec. 4, 2005
Chagos Islanders Win Right of Return by Londonbear @BooMan on May 23, 2007



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 09:44:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The as yet uninhabited [sic] islands were discovered ...

Can we agree, that's sort of a Freudian slip by editors of more glorious chronicles?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 01:44:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the English translation of a paper originally published in French (the original French title translates as "Chagos, the coral aircraft carrier").
by Bernard on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 07:21:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
venn diagram



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 07:22:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Northern Ireland is neither a country nor a "co-equal sovereign state" with England within the United Kingdom. It is not even a province, but consists of 6 of the 9 counties of the province of Ulster. It doesn't even contain the most northerly county of Ireland which is Donegal.

It is an enclave created to provide the illusion of statehood to a Protestant minority whose ancestors, for the most part, arrived from Scotland and England as part of an ethnic cleansing program to create a more loyal local population for the Crown in the 17th. Century.

They've made a mess of running the place ever since the enclave was created in 1922, and now can't even develop the place with a £10 Billion p.a. subsidy from the British exchequer.

Belfast used to have virtually all the heavy industry in Ireland, and yet now the GDP/per capita is only about half that of the Republic of Ireland. Sooner or later England will try to give it back to Ireland, and many in Ireland will be tempted to say "no thanks"!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 09:04:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does not discuss Forewick Holm.
by asdf on Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 at 12:50:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Does not Commonwealth of Forvik either.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 at 01:21:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Brexit saga as a Greek tragedy:

Britain needs a last-minute Greek lesson

Imagine a state that embarks on a suicidal national adventure because of lies and a refusal to listen to experts. Imagine an island nation that destroys itself because its negotiators live in a fantasy land and cannot see the point of view of a more powerful adversary.

Brexit Britain? Well, yes and no.

These are also two of the most notorious (and bloody) episodes in the calamitous war between Athens and Sparta that ripped Greece apart some 2,500 years ago. It's a conflict that the British would do well to study. There's a useful lesson: Even at the 11th hour, a deal can be done.

Luckily, it's easy to read up on the war between Athens and Sparta. A veteran of the conflict called Thucydides wrote an account of it, and his book is a masterpiece of political psychology and strategy. The Brexit parallels are stark.

(Spoiler alert: it doesn't end well)

by Bernard on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 08:01:57 PM EST
"This time is different."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 08:27:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 09:00:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes,
after "I haven't had time to read the whole thing."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 09:31:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May's Article 50 extension is a trick to take us to the real cliff edge - politics.co.uk
Once we go past May without holding elections, the cliff edge becomes immovable. And then, finally, with all options exhausted, MPs will have to fall in line with her deal or else topple into the abyss. That is how she checkmates her opponents. That's the plan.

It is perfectly visible now. Anyone can see it. But no-one is stopping her. There is only one way to do so: Insist that Britain takes part in the European elections. That means passing the legislation to do so at the point of extending Article 50. Anything else leaves us at her mercy.

With some notable exceptions, it seems like a parliament of morons. I don't expect much from a bunch of gullible bystanders. Brexit in a few month if all goes well. If not, all-consuming rage as a country pushes sets off the suicide vest. A final say on the deal would mostly be a mood poll. If the morons in parliament don't understand basic things about the EU, how can we expect non-parliamentary morons to understand the intricacies of the WA. Some consider No-deal equal to No-Brexit. The state of it...

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 01:26:11 AM EST
I don't understand how the UK can not hold EP elections if it is still a member in good standing at that stage. Anything else would be a breach of the treaties

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 11:09:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's another breach of the treaties when you're openly speculating about tearing up the withdrawal agreement itself, or the Gold Friday Agreement for good measure?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 05:36:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Withdrawal Agreement isn't a Treaty until it is ratified by both sides and the Good Friday Agreement doesn't necessarily say everything people says it does. It has a lot of political and moral force, but sadly, little legal enforceability if M'learned friends are to be believed...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 06:09:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not convinced here.

The EU would not allow a short delay; two years has already been suggested. And if there is to be another referendum, then the UK's formally-required timeline is about a year. And subsequent to the referendum, there would need to be a period to either negotiate another deal or to negotiate the UK's new position within the EU. So a two year delay would be appropriate from both the EU and UK sides.

That would be two more years of business uncertainty and political foolishness for everybody, at a time when the overall geopolitical situation is already pretty tense. Who can say now what the Brexiteers will come up with as a ploy to win another referendum? Who can say what a new PM would do, if there is one? Who can say what the Spanish election or a multitude of other EU considerations might bring? Who can say what will happen if Trump is impeached?

If the EU gives an extension it will be a blink on their part.

by asdf on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 02:37:40 AM EST
They will "read between the lines of a motion voting for a delay", of course.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 05:36:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously it's not certain one way or another, but my view would be that time is now on the EU's side. Ongoing uncertainty hurts the UK economy more than the EU and if the UK economy hits a wall huge additional pressure will come on the UK government.

The EU has already said it will not extend A.50 simply to extend current negotiations. It would be illogical for it to do so as it's position is that the Withdrawal Agreement is not open for re-negotiation.

However NOT extending means almost certain immediate no-deal Brexit which is its least preferred option and any extension increases the chances of Brexit not happening after all, so it does have a strong incentive to find some pretext for extension.

So ideally an extension would be granted where there is a second referendum or a general election in prospect and it's length would be determined by however long it takes for that process to be completed - perhaps 3-6 months.

I know there has been some talk of a 1-2 year extension but that seems to have been mainly to put the wind up Brexiteers that Brexit may never happen unless they agree to May's deal.

Ultimately it's up to the UK to request an extension and to state how long they want it for. But the EU is within its rights to ask "what for?" and to place some conditions on granting it.

In my view the very act of asking for an extension is an instance of Britain blinking and accepting it needs to have a rethink on the whole thing. The EU can be quite clear that granting an extension is conditional on accepting the existing deal or coming up with a radically new plan acceptable to the EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 11:51:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 03:27:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I, on the other hand, think the EU won't grant a long extension. That's what the transitional agreement in th withdrawal deal is for.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 05:34:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France would block a delay to Brexit unless it had a "clear objective" based on a "new choice" by the British, Emmanuel Macron has said.  Independent  
Speaking at a joint press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel in Paris, the French president gave the clearest signal from an EU leader so far that there would be conditions on an extension to the Article 50 negotiating period.

"We would support an extension request only if it was justified by a new choice of the British," he told reporters.


Will this concentrate minds?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 02:48:05 AM EST
Revoke A.50? That would be a "new" choice for parliament to ahhh debate.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 05:40:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, and it shifts negotiations onto new ground. Discussions will no longer be about changing the Withdrawal Agreement and instead come to be about what would be an acceptable plan to justify an extension.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 11:54:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the UK gets an extension, they are still members during the extension, right? And can presumably withdraw the article 50 notification within that period of time?

Because otherwise, it would be clever to get parliament to first vote down May's deal and crash out Brexit, to get them to kick the can down the road through an extension, only to find that the road ends with the two choices they already voted down...

Or in the words of Admiral Ackbar:

by fjallstrom on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 12:18:14 PM EST
Assume nothing.

EU Council procedure to grant an extension to the WA negotiation period --although WA negotiation has concluded-- is not prescribed by the TEU.

Strictly speaking, the EU Council offer is not legal.

Strictly speaking, any conditions or contingencies proffered by either party in order to circumvent TEU obligations and rights are not legal; and these are moot.

UK is not an EU "member is good standing" by any measure of common sense.

The whole, sad connivance by UK gov to subvert EU gov legitimacy is as likely to end up in the ECJ as the UK High Court for disposal --the next business day after PM posts wtf in the mail to Mr Tusk. Thus, legal review will stay execution of BREXIT and seating of UK MEPs.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 04:05:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU Council has the legal right to offer an extension to the 2 year A.50 notification period, for whatever reason it sees fit, but only by unanimous consent. Until such time as the A.50 notification period or any extension thereof granted by the EU Council expires, the UK remains, by definition, a member of the EU in good standing, and is subject to all the rights and obligations of the EU Treaties.

By my understanding, this incudes the right to rescind an A.50 notification, but also the obligation to organise the EP elections due next May in its territory, even if it subsequently turns out that the UK has left the EU before the EP is due to hold its first session, in which case the UK members of the EP duly elected will be unable to take their seats and their election will be deemed moot.

The EU can also choose to re-open the Withdrawal Agreement negotiations at a time of its choosing if it is so minded, but then again it may choose not to do so, as appears to be their choice at the present time.

Discussions on the accompanying "Political Declaration" are ongoing, with the UK seeking to give that declaration some legal force, something the EU has not been prepared to concede at the time of writing, particularly as the declarations the UK are seeking might be deemed to be in contradiction of aspects of that Withdrawal Agreement, as concluded last November.

If the choice for the UK becomes one between ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement and a Second referendum, with "no deal" ruled out, the EU will have little incentive to "sweeten the pill" of the Withdrawal Agreement, as its preferred option as always been no Brexit at all.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 05:05:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"the obligation to organise the EP elections due next May in its territory"

What does this mean, though? May is not that far away: fewer than 90 days. If one looks in France, for example, have polling place notices been mailed yet? Candidate lists published? Voting observers put on retainer? Etc.?

I don't know the mechanics of voting in the EU, but an election date in May suggests that by early March there should be observable preparatory activity. If that activity is not observable in the UK, is the UK still fulfilling its responsibilities as an EU member in good standing?

by asdf on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 07:37:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AFAIK, no bill introduced for vote on or before 14 March establishes criteria or means for the Electoral Commission to execute any "public vote."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 08:11:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Afaik, every country has their own schedule.

In Sweden, today was last day to hand in candidates, lists, signed declarations by the candidates etc, for parties if they are to be guaranteed printed lists at latest 45 days before the election.

The election authority usually manages late cases, but they don't guarantee it.

So, at least here, the election time table has already started.

by fjallstrom on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 09:15:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
General elections in Britain are governed by the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 which allows for a snap general election if voted for by 2/3s of all MPs or if a government loses a vote of confidence and no new government can win a vote of confidence within 14 days.

I can't find any requirement for a minimum or maximum notice period, but on 18 April 2017, Prime Minister Theresa May announced her intention to call a snap general election for 8 June 2017 - a period of c. 7 weeks.

Referendums require distinct legislation to be passed on each occasion, so it takes however long that takes. The legislation for the June 2016 Brexit referendum was introduced into the HOC on 28 May 2015 - over a year beforehand.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 09:46:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Polling place notices? Don't all voters have a voting card with the fixed polling place on it, to be notified only if it changes?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 11:28:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't all voters have a voting card with the fixed polling place on it

No

Individual Polling cards are mailed to each person on the electoral roll before each election, indicating the polling station on that occasion. While they rarely change, polling stations are not fixed.

The polling card is/was just a notiification of the election. You did not need it to vote. Until a trial in May 2018 you did not need to prove your identity, just state you name and address to be given a ballot paper.

In May 2018 local (council) elections, there were some trials requiring ID to vote.

You might say "archaic" or "very trusting".

by oldremainmer48 on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 08:59:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sensible.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 05:06:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Probably dates from the time when democracies were actually trying to encourage people to vote...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 06:34:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hold up.

The questions about "organizing an election" and voters' assignments to a particular "fixed polling place" concern the UK electoral system, specifically.

Let's not generalize methods of "to encourage" (or to discourage) to exercise the ballot for either the past or the present,

before you've even established qualifications for

  1. universal suffrage in the the UK; and
  2. democratic form of government  in the the UK.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 06:54:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Like revoking notice to wisthdraw, procedure for extending the "negotiation period" is not "explicitly addressed" in TEU(50). This is what I mean by "illegal."
JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Full Court)
75      In view of all the foregoing, the answer to the question referred is that Article 50 TEU must be interpreted as meaning that, where a Member State has notified the European Council, in accordance with that article, of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, that article allows that Member State -- for as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between that Member State and the European Union has not entered into force or, if no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period laid down in Article 50(3) TEU, possibly extended in accordance with that paragraph, has not expired -- to revoke that notification unilaterally, in an unequivocal and unconditional manner, by a notice addressed to the European Council in writing, after the Member State concerned has taken the revocation decision in accordance with its constitutional requirements. The purpose of that revocation is to confirm the EU membership of the Member State concerned under terms that are unchanged as regards its status as a Member State, and that revocation brings the withdrawal procedure to an end.
It follows, arguably, EU gov may not lawfully or legally impose conditions on or qualify an extension period in terms other than duration, granted by EU Council to a "negotiation period" that otherwise would terminate two year after A.50 notification absent WA ratified by a "possibly" withdrawing Member State.

Obversely, the EU Council might lawfully reject, without consideration, any conditional or qualified request for an extension from the "possibly" withdrawing Member State -- such as leave to modify, alter, or amend the WA ostensibly approved by its legislature in accord with constitutional authorities it may or may not exercise in the period contemplated.

Effectively and arguably, extending the period for the "possibly" withdrawing Member State to obtain agreement from its legislature offers no benefit but sovereign rights in itself to undermine EU legitimacy and "democratic" process.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 08:03:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The highlighted passage in Para. 75 refers to a member revoking its A.50 notification - which must be done in an unequivocal and unconditional manner - not to the EU Council extending the A.50 notification period - which requires unanimity and could be subject to whatever political conditions the EU Council chooses to dream up.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 09:23:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know that.

My remarks anticipate litigation.  I said that.

I'm applying ECJ logic to adjudicate lawful UK request to extend the period. I said that.

Neither procedure or its legality is "explicitly addressed" in TEU. I said that.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 12:23:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
EU's Barnier: UK needs to resolve Brexit, not delay
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator has given the UK a blunt message after British lawmakers voted for a plan that could result in a Brexit delay. Barnier called for decisions, rather than extra time.
Member in 'good standing'? No
After a meeting with Barnier in Vienna, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said he would also like to see Brexit resolved before European elections in May. It would "seem more than absurd" for a country wanting to leave the bloc to be able to vote for its legislature, he said.
30 days more enough to 'Ratify' or Revoke? UK decides.
Barnier reiterated that position in Vienna, telling reporters that the EU was "not going to reopen the withdrawal agreement."
EOM

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 01:55:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If the UK gets an extension, they are still members during the extension, right? And can presumably withdraw the article 50 notification within that period of time?
Yes, unilaterally and unconditionally according to the ECJ ruling on Brexit reversal.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 05:32:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This. And this again. And then again.


But then Brexit, as a whole, has served as a monumental distraction from the real issues facing both the UK and the EU: The issues of globalisation and growing inequality between the owners of capital and workers, between different regions within the EU, between urban and rural, young and old. Between public austerity and squalor and private wealth and conspicuous consumption. Hopefully soon we will be able to start prioritising those issues again. Brexit has already dragged on for far too long.

I've mentioned before at ET that I'm so through with the past years of hardcore ineptness on display in London that I've come to nurture a grudge against the idea of GB just casually picking up its antagonizing role in Brussels in case the A50-letter actually gets withdrawn. Yet a chance of an escape route out of the Brexit is now tentative - in itself something I didn't hold possible.

There still are a hundred ways how this could go manifestly wrong, but the idea of a possibility of Brexit getting cancelled makes my head giddy, filling it with visions of organizing pissing contests on Nigel Farage posters on the party to be held on the day Brexit is announced cancelled.

Oh what frabjous day it would be. One can hope. One can hope.

by Bjinse on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 12:30:10 PM EST
A frabjous  pissing contest eh? The mind boggles, but as neologisms go, it isn't bad!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 04:41:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frabjous is not a neologism, it's in Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky.

"O Frabjous day! Calloo, callay!"

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 05:27:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh dear - my lack of a fine literary education has been exposed!  Here is my take:

'Twas brillig, and the slithery Gove
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the breurocrats,
      And the Leave rats outgrabe.

"Beware the BOJO Jabberwock,
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Mayfly bird, and shun
      The frumious Jacob Rees-Mogg!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
      Long time the Juncker foe he sought--
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
      And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
      Boris Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain Boris Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my British boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
      He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy Gove
      Was still gimbling in the wabe:
All mimsy were the Breurocrats,
      And the Leave rats raved.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 06:01:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is not literary education, it's math education!

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 08:24:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Carroll's own comment on Brexit is in another poem, where the EU is represented as a "Boojum"
In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
   In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away--
   For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 11:58:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you sure he hadn't discovered some sub-atomic particles??

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 02:32:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No. That was James Joyce
Three quarks for Muster Mark! (FW 383.1)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 04:58:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Channelling Joris Luyendijk, I reckon?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 05:30:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I did faithfully read his columns on Brexit (until he jumped the border), not because they were particularly informative or because he could deliver new insights, but because it is just nice, albeit somewhat self-gratifying, to read someone who could articulate my own feelings regarding Brexit and Downing Street so well.

So I guess it fits.

by Bjinse on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 08:55:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hardcore ineptness aka reckless bad faith wilful dithering.

My fantasies are more along the line of a reality show with all members of the ERG, the EU-hating gutter press and ESPECIALLY Boris and 'Just call me' Dave dropped off on the Cook Islands in hurricane season filmed by the Black Mirror crew.
But then it goes all Lord of the Flies on me and I have to stop watching.
Variations include official openings of JRM's new finance company in Ireland and the merry good cheer of the local neighbours and a ticker tape parade in the City as the pound goes through the basement and a bunch of exiled Russian billionaires make trillions on FX put options, vodka flows in the gutters of Westminster.
Hilarity ensues as they proceed to buy the other masthead mainstream press prizes of Fleet St.

This one goes a bit too Stephen King/John Le Carré, involving Macron, Salvini and a tunnel through the Alps.

Then there's the dropping them off in leaky coracles in the North Sea to repel the Scary Migrant Invasion.

That one ends well, the migrants rescue our winsome (losemost) heroes and Teresa May weeps on camera as she contemplates the wealth and generosity of the racial diversity she had been so hostile to before.
She poses contritely, makeup running down her ruddy cheeks, wrapped in blankets surrounded by a group of jovial tropical visitors embracing her conversion and baptism in the icy waters.

Her husband jetted off to Saudi with family jewels intact.

See how everything always works out for the best in the end, children?
Now goodnight and sweet dreams of Albion and Camelot...

'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 Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 09:11:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
My fantasies are more along the line of a reality show with all members of the ERG, the EU-hating gutter press and ESPECIALLY Boris and 'Just call me' Dave dropped off on the Cook Islands in hurricane season filmed by the Black Mirror crew.

my fantasies are more prosaic, same cast but being dropped into a boiling volcano.

I could watch re-runs of those 10 seconds for quite  while

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 01:09:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's the Leave voters who must be appeased... or they might foment civil disorder... and you can't have the police cracking down on right wing protestors, now, can we?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 02:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK is not equivalent to Israel!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 05:18:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Leaving EU would make UK the North Korea of Europe!
warns Gordon Brown

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 05:27:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
yes, they would, and tbh stopping brexit at this point would probably break trust in the rule of parliament and rule of law for far longer than the damage from a no deal brexit.

Much as I fear brexit, this I would fear far more

That's how much we have been backed into a corner by May and her stupid manias.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 08:02:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps some people will be persuaded that a written constitution isn't such a bad idea after all. Making it up as you go along hasn't worked out very well, and the matter is only being referred back to the people because Parliament couldn't make up its mind.

I know it isn't my fight, and I'm not at the sharp end, but I find myself unimpressed by threats of violence or civil disorder, especially if it's racists and hard right wingers doing the rioting... A Corbyn government will soon sort them out - unless there is a police mutiny - in which case I would bring in the army. They must be of some use...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 10:03:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Control of civil disorder depends on how stable and cohesive the underlying society is, and how well the government manages expectations. Reconstructing the "Blitz Spirit" in today's conditions might be tough.

A replay of the Committee of Public Safety, or the October Revolution, or Bloody Sunday, or May 1968 would be chaotic, unpredictable, disastrous. And easy to start.

by asdf on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 02:21:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Again, count me a sceptic. The passivity of the vast majority has been my abiding impression, and expectations of Westminster are at all time lows in any case. Of course some well financed, publicised and orchestrated incidents and campaigns by the usual suspects masquerading as tribunes of the people are to be expected. The usual media frenzy will ensue. I'm not sure it will amount to much in terms of substantive political and societal change. The more likely outcome of the whole Brexit fiasco, however it turns out, is more likely to be stagnation. I just don't see a whole lot positive coming out of it one way or the other.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 11:51:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We "May" find out.  <-- haha

I suspect that at the last minute there will be some grand compromise, but time is getting pretty short.

IF there is a no-deal brexit and IF there is massive economic disruption, then it could turn into a serious social issue. Losing your job and then having your bank collapse and finding limited food at the store and not having your doctor or prescription available and your kids at home from closed schools, all occurring at the same time, would be pretty stressful. And having no football or beer, well...

by asdf on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 02:24:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And having no football or beer, well...

Never happen, there will be more bread-substitute and (rigged) football than ever, post Brexit.

Those two elements have been the main reason for decades that Brits put up with being misruled for the profit of the JRM's of this world.
Boris' water cannons may not be necessary as long as warm stout and the beautiful game are there to ensure bleary, dreary compliance continues.

More lotteries will subtract fuel from revolutionary fires.
 

'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 Fri Mar 8th, 2019 at 07:13:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
beat down

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2019 at 12:00:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
UK agrees WTO procurement membership post-Brexit
because Tory gov is so desperate to negotiate its "political declaration" -OR- ratifying the WA  with EU gov -OR- commission a UK "public vote" {DELAY | NO DELAY | EXIT | NO EXIT | REVOKE A.50} during the "extension period."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 06:48:13 PM EST
Labour has a Cunning Plan after all...

Under the new plan, the text of the amendment would make clear MPs were "withholding support" from the legislation until the people were given a decision in a second referendum. If it were to pass, Labour would then abstain on May's deal.

Clever. Let the people decide. Get themselves off the hook.

  1. Any chance of getting a majority for the referendum? Tories would have to whip in favour...
  2. Referendum : straight choice between May's Brexit and no brexit... Prédictions on a result?


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 02:54:56 PM EST
Prrdictions on a result?

May's deal.
(See also: straight choice between May's Brexit and no deal)

by det on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 04:11:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is the greater Humiliation: giving the people a final say on May's deal, or voting for it after having voted against it by record margins?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 04:20:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
which has been the intention of her blackmail all along.

Labour's plan is daft cos it simply results in kicking the can down the road when the result is not in doubt. After all, even if there is a referendum, May gets to pick the timetable, to decide on the question and what the available options are. Of course it's entirely possible that she might include sensible options in it, but my chances of winning the lottery are considerably more likely.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 04:21:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll play.

2. I think Remain would win, mainly because May's deal is considered as such a failure. This time Brexit would be the option that has to defend the specifics, while Remain could court votes from everyone who has a grudge against this specific deal.

Actually, I think Remain would win in a there way instant runoff referendum too. May's deal would get least votes and split between no deal Brexit and Remain, and Remain would win.

Either way, there would be a large pool of Brexit-was-betrayed voters up for grabs in the next election. Probably smaller in the three way runoff referendum, but still sizeable. To be picked up by UKIP or more extreme nationalists, if May is viewed as the main betrayer.

by fjallstrom on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 04:21:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Even if a second referendum was won by Remain by 2:1, there will be a huge cohort of people who believe that Brexit was betrayed and that the 40% or so who didn't vote all share their anti-Brexit beliefs.  Democracy is only democracy if it supports your beliefs...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 06:37:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The huge cohort will consist of some very confused pensioners and a small core of die-hard racists.

They'll always be there, and there's no particular reason to worry about them. They're certainly not going to take any kind of action.

The one absolutely consistent thing about Brexit has been the total lack of practical support for pro-Brexit protests and events. A few thousand people turn up to the events with the biggest publicity, but generally either pro-Brexiters simply aren't interested in practical action, or there are far fewer of them than we've been led to believe.

Farage has announced a pro-Brexit march from the north of the UK to London. Not only is the scheduling unappealing - it's twenty miles a day, for a couple of weeks - but Leave are also trying to sell £50 participation packs.

I suspect numbers will not be large.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 09:33:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
May is going to string this out until the choices collapse to:

  1. The negotiated Deal -- which isn't at all bad

  2. No Deal

I'm still laying my wager on No Deal.  May doesn't have the votes.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 01:36:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i find your estimation of May*s survival wholly too optimistic. In my opinion, she is toast either way - as soon as blame for a disastrous Brexit can be firmly assigned to her, the Brexit Tories will vote her out.

And if she looses a second referendum, even more so.

What I do not understand is why she doesn't throw it outright. I her shoes, I would have threatened resignation before that vote in January and resigned after losing it. She is without support and has barely anything to gain now.

by DerFriederich on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 03:03:56 PM EST
I don't know who you're referring to here, but I doubt May will survive for more than another few months and think she should have resigned after her deal was defeated by a record margin. She has neither authority nor credibility in London or Brussels and is simply running down the clock in the hope she can force people to support her deal as an alternative to no deal.

Even an extension to the A.50 notification period doesn't solve or change anything except buy her a little more time and the EU may be reluctant to grant it unless she comes with a firm proposal as to what she is going to do during the extension period - e.g. call an election or a second referendum.

My guess is some Brexiteers will support her deal if they see the alternative of no Brexit becoming more likely, but probably not enough to pass it. Remainer and some establishment Tories may also support a second referendum if the alternative is a general election which they might lose to Corbyn, But enough to pass legislation for a second referendum? Very doubtful. So we could still be here in Limbo even after a 3 month A.50 extension.

And will the EU then agree to extend A.50 even further? Very doubtful indeed. A No deal Brexit is still the default and most likely outcome simply because the House of Commons can't agree on anything else.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 08:48:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She hasn't resigned because she doesn't need to. There is no constitutional way to remove her.

There has never been a situation where a sitting PM hasn't done the decent-ish thing and resigned in the face of overwhelming failure and contempt. Now we find that in the absence of a constitutional impeachment mechanism, if a PM is a bit bonkers and decides to carry on regardless there's nothing Parliament or party can do to get rid of them.

She can also point to the polls. Although they're not entirely to be trusted, there is no doubt that she has the support of a significant proportion of the population, and that Brexit has solid media support from the BBC and the tabloids.

Her own vanity is also a contributing factor. Given the way that she has enraged her party, her suggestion this week that she would carry on after Brexit to deliver a "domestic agenda" is so tone-deaf it's almost performance art.

But I strongly suspect the real reason she hasn't gone is because she's on commission to deliver Brexit as promised, to sponsors unknown.

There are simply too many elements that suggest Brexit was planned for a long time, someone expects it to be delivered as planned, and that someone is going to be extremely angry if it isn't.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 09:45:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You don't need a Conspiracy theory to explain her behaviour. She probably believes that her Brexit deal is the best Brexit deal negotiable, and she is probably right about that. She is also right that it is preferable to no deal. Her problem is getting the hard core Brexiteers on board - many of whom would probably prefer no deal and may only be persuaded to vote for her deal if No Brexit becomes a likely alternative outcome.

So a lot of them will probably vote for her deal on March 12th., because otherwise the delay motion might pass, and that opens up the possibility of a second referendum or an election. If she can't get her deal passed she will have to decide between No deal and No Brexit - or maybe the HOC will take that decision away from her. But she needs to be seen to be delivering on her Brexit mandate and if she fails she has no honourable course but to resign. Not that that means she will.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 10:06:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She probably believes that her Brexit deal is the best Brexit deal negotiable, and she is probably right about that
given her own red lines of no free movement and no customs union.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 at 12:07:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, it is the best deal she can get given her xenophobia. She could easily get a much better deal.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 at 12:54:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"May's deal" is/es the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) with the EU in final, legal form as negotiated between the two parties, UK and EU governments, and dated 17 Nov 2018.

WA appendices, eg. the Protocols and the "Political Declaration ..." a negotiable trade agenda agreed to by the two parties are contingent to ratification of the WA.

EU Council has announced WA negotiation is concluded; the document cannot and will not be altered. This position has not change despite claims to the contrary by T. May, proffered to UK parliament and press.

What "deal" are you (pl.) people discussing now?
Please define your terms to those of us who are not privy to the private joke.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 at 09:25:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That sounds like a reasonable assumption.

So, assuming her target is to get her deal through, I would guess that she will try to keep it alive, and put it against Remain when talking to Brexiteers, and put it against No deal Brexit when talking to Remainers.

So if she calls a referendum, she would want to put it against the less popular of these two (more popular) options. Which right now is No deal. It can be motivated by the question of Brexit already being settled, now is just time to decide how, etc etc.

And then people get angry, Remainers stays home, and quite possibly No deal wins. Brexit referendum all over again.

by fjallstrom on Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 at 01:03:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is no constitutional way to remove her.

I was under the impression that a motion of no confidence in the House of Commons is the constitutional way to force a government to resign or call an election.

Am I wrong there?
Or is the "or call elections" with a spectre of a PM Corbyn such a deterrent that is seems impossible to everyone?

by DerFriederich on Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 at 06:00:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretty much, and also Conservative Party rules forbid a leadership challenge within 12 months of the previous abortive ERG one - a real botch job which should have destroyed Jacob Rees-Mogg's reputation for any kind of competence...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 at 06:56:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We seem to be living in an age where competence is almost a barrier to high office.

One only has to look at the shambles of a Cabinet formed by the self-styled "Party of Business" where each one has presided over a series of financial and managerial catastrophes that would have done for the lot of them in a more informed age.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 at 07:51:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Competence in correctly performing which skill(s)?
Please name the skill(s) and define to the best of you ability and knowledge its correct performance.

Why is this exercise necessary? This exercise is necessary to establish criteria and evaluation of agreement between people about the terms and conditions of some mutual enterprise.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Sun Mar 3rd, 2019 at 09:50:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 05:38:30 PM EST
via Twitter: Nigel Farage is about to be prosecuted for money laundering

https://twitter.com/jdpoc/status/1101910252390367233

by IdiotSavant on Sat Mar 2nd, 2019 at 11:25:46 PM EST
Former UK ambassador to the EU, Sir Ivan Rogers, hits nails on the head in a speech reported in The Guardian:

He also said there was no chance that the UK would be able to disentangle itself from the EU even if Brexit goes ahead.

He said: "These fantasies of release and liberation - they are fantasies. We are going to be negotiating on everything from aviation to farming for evermore with our biggest neighbour. We cannot live in glorious isolation. Talk to the Swiss and to the Norwegians - they live in a permanent state of negotiation with the EU."

The whole thing is worth a read.

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

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Mar 5th, 2019 at 06:59:07 AM EST
It was quite clear ... May's first order for Brexit was to get rid of the UK ambassador .... insight wasn't a precondition for policy.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Tue Mar 5th, 2019 at 11:46:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sir Ivan, appointed to the job by David Cameron in 2013, had been expected to play a key role in Brexit talks expected to start within months.
because he had been extraordinarily instrumental in reforming the EU?
Sir Ivan is a veteran civil servant whose previous roles include private secretary to ex-chancellor Ken Clarke, principal private secretary to ex-PM Tony Blair and Mr Cameron's Europe adviser.

archived noes
There is no end to "negotiation" among people. Negotiation is ...
Is it time to post Cameron's Nov 2015 Four Pillar Reform Letter to Tusk again.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Mar 5th, 2019 at 12:08:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Mar 5th, 2019 at 02:32:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can Technology Solve the Brexit Impasse When the Wifi Doesn't Work?
From her home office close to the Irish border, Catriona Curran can spend up to eight hours struggling to e-mail documents to the U.S. She has a hard time believing technology could unlock the answer to the trickiest part of Brexit.

"My colleagues are often left in disbelief when I tell them that I will leave my laptop running overnight to be able to send them files that would take them a matter of minutes," Curran, 26, who works in marketing, said.

Curran lives in the rural village of Donagh in Fermanagh, the frontline of Brexit. Right now, the prospects of a smooth exit by the U.K. from the European Union hinges on keeping the border between the south and north of Ireland invisible.

The EU maintains the so-called backstop, a guarantee in the Brexit deal which binds Northern Ireland closely to the bloc, is needed. By contrast, Brexiteers counter that as yet undiscovered technology can solve the riddle. Curran is skeptical.

by Bernard on Tue Mar 5th, 2019 at 09:22:45 PM EST
It's working for GQHC, ain't it?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Mar 8th, 2019 at 12:03:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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