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Good Riddance

by Frank Schnittger Mon Jun 10th, 2019 at 01:13:28 AM EST

Theresa May has stepped down as Tory party leader with an approval rating of -49% and to the regret of almost no one. She had outstayed her welcome, and even that welcome had come mostly from the Tory faithful. She was  admired by some for her perseverance and staying power in the face of almost insurmountable odds, although for many it was just a manifestation of her stubbornness and crass insensitivity to all but her own views.

In the end, even those who had felt some sympathy for her because they felt she was being treated more shabbily because she was a women, had been handed a poisoned chalice by her predecessor, and was no worse than her Tory colleagues, found it difficult to justify her policy positions. Her last days as leader were spent having to endure listening to Donald Trump telling her who should run the UK and how.


She remains a ghostly presence in 10 Downing street until a new Tory Leader has been elected to replace her - almost certainly someone she has sacked or who has resigned from her cabinet in protest at her policies. Most of her key allies - David Liddington, Damian Green, Philip Hammond  - aren't even running to replace her. Their goose was cooked with her failed policies and political defeats. With her previous responsibility for harsh immigration policies, Windrush, Grenfell Tower, social welfare cutbacks, privatisation and austerity policies, it is difficult to think of a single positive achievement to her name, although for some on the far right her attacks on immigrants, asylum seekers and the poor were to be welcomed.

On the day that May resigned Labour narrowly won the Peterborough bye-election with the Tories coming third despite the fact that Labour's outgoing MP in the marginal seat had been forced to resign following a conviction for lying about a speeding offence, and their candidate and incoming MP had to apologise during the campaign for "liking" an anti-Semitic Twitter post that said Mrs May had a "Zionist slave masters' agenda". Nigel Farage's Brexit party came second despite the fact that Peterborough had voted 60% in favour of Brexit in the 2016 referendum. But if it wasn't a great result for the Brexit Party it really couldn't get much worse for the Tories who are trying to put May's deal and her regime behind them as fast as possible.

The main contenders for the Tory Leadership - Johnson, Hunt, Gove, and Raab - are all competing with each other in trying to demonstrate their virility on Brexit because the ultimate electorate for the leadership is the 100,000 strong party membership with a reported average age of 70+ and views somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun. However the emergence of the Brexit party also represents an existential challenge to the Conservatives' hold on power, and indeed their membership of the duopoly of power at Westminster created by the First Past the Post single seat constituency electoral system. It would be ironic indeed if the system they fought so hard to retain proves to be their ultimate undoing as a party of Government.

What all these candidates have in common is a belief that the EU can be persuaded, or indeed can be forced to re-open and renegotiate the Withdrawal agreement, especially in relation to the hated Irish backstop. Quite when such a renegotiation is to take place is less clear: The Commission will be on holidays in August and is due to be replaced in November. It is hard to see the current Commission undoing what is seen as one of their few singular successes in office, and harder still to see the European Council agreeing a further extension of the A.50 notification period beyond October to facilitate a renegotiation with a hard Brexiteer led UK Government.

The response of the Brexiteer candidates is to threaten a no deal Brexit as if this would somehow put the UK in a stronger negotiating position post Brexit. However, if the UK reneges on the deal freely negotiated with the May government the EU will probably refuse to negotiate on stage 2 - a FTA or whatever future trading relationship the UK wants.  What is the point of negotiating further with a country that doesn't honour previous agreements?

No deal means NO DEAL, so the EU may even refuse to negotiate landing rights for UK carriers to destinations in the EU = no flights for UK airlines, although some "sectoral arrangements" formal or informal, might persist - e.g. security cooperation, intelligence sharing, and NATO related matters. The EU might even impose tariffs on UK goods to recover the "lost" 39m Billion from its budget, to reduce congestion at borders by reducing trading volumes, and to compensate for increased administrative costs and the loss of competitiveness created by a radical devaluation of Sterling...

You will note that all the talk of trading on WTO rules is coming from the UK hard Brexiteer side whereas the EU has given no guarantees that this will be the case. Trump has driven a coach and four through WTO rules and if the UK takes Trump's side in any US/EU trade disputes, it can expect to be the first hit in the front line. For Brexiteers, this is all project fear stuff, but in reality it doesn't come close to describing what a rapid deterioration of relations post Brexit could lead to. No one wins trade wars, but the weaker side can lose pretty badly. Take, for example, The Anglo-irish Trade war 1932-38 which devastated the Irish economy at the time.

The alternative scenario is that a hard Brexiteer led Tory/DUP government so alienates Remainer and soft Brexiteer Conservative MPs that it loses a vote of Confidence in the House of Commons. While most Conservative MPs are unprincipled careerists, it only takes a handful to overturn the Governments narrow Commons majority, and some are probably on the way out of politics to more lucrative jobs in the City in any case.

In that scenario a general election could ensue and become, effectively, a second referendum on Brexit. Corbyn will be under as much pressure from the Remain side to prevent a leakage of votes to the Lib Dems and Greens (and SNP in Scotland) as the Tories are from the Brexit party on the Leave side, and would probably campaign for a renegotiated "soft Brexit" subject to a second confirmatory public vote.

By that stage the 2016 referendum will be an increasingly distant memory, the Tories will largely own the failure to deliver on it, and Labour will be free to campaign for a fresh approach - which might also include the option of continued membership of a "reformed" EU. The electorate are allowed to change their minds, and a general election is the chief constitutional means they have to do so. The question is whether Corbyn is still capable of doing so...

So much for speculation about he future. What we know now is that Theresa May's premiership has been an epic and historic failure achieving almost nothing except dividing the UK down the middle (and threatening to do the same to Ireland). She has almost no redeeming qualities and yet her chief claim to fame may yet come to be that she was not as bad as her successor. Will it be kamikaze Johnson or one of the other lesser luminaries from the cast of this rather sad and pathetic chapter in UK history?

In the meantime, come what May, the best we can say is: Good Riddance.
 

Display:
It's still no deal unless Boris wins and then leads the Brexiteers to the sunny uplands of revocation.

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 Mon Jun 10th, 2019 at 10:39:16 AM EST
Will Boris revoke the A50? He's very vocal in advocating a no-deal?. Not that it means a damn thing; that's Boris, after all.
by Bernard on Mon Jun 10th, 2019 at 06:36:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the "logic", if that's what we might call it, runs thus;-

Boris is very popular, but knows that if he goes for no deal, he risks a no confidence vote and a possible General Election in the autumn. Everybody in the parliamentary tory party knows this is to be avoided at all costs. So Boris, will with his usual chutzpah, announce that the stars are mis-aligned for the glorious project and that we should await a more favourable day, or some such bollecks and quietly withdraw A50. He is deemed the only Tory who could pull this volte face off.

Frankly, I think it's nonsense, but there is wishful thinking on all sides

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 10th, 2019 at 08:26:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm half joking when I say it, but only half joking. Charging for No Deal seems to me to be just another way of getting to a General Election, which Johnson  can't win. He can't pass the deal. So he's left with one option.

Unless you think Johnson is going to go full emergency powers and enabling act I don't know what he does if he actually gets his hands on power.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 11th, 2019 at 12:00:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, or talk the EU into another crazy extension and hope that the whole thing will be overtaken by events.
by asdf on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 03:12:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good piece on London Review of Books by William Davies:

Given that any `soft Brexit' is now seen as `betrayal' by the Brexit Party and its sympathisers in the Conservative Party, it's impossible to imagine any consensual compromise. Say what you like about Theresa May's deal, but it was at least a viable route out of the European Union - just not an authentic one, as far as Farage et al are concerned. No one appears to relish the prospect of a second referendum, though Farage would certainly build yet more political capital out of it if there were one. But what's the alternative? While it might sound implausible, given the current depth of anti-government feeling, the most reasonable solution would be to revoke Article 50 and call a general election, with the parties - four or five mid-sized ones, as things stand - all laying out their visions for Britain's relationship with Europe in their manifestos.

No doubt a solid majority of people out there are supportive of the basic foundations of parliamentary democracy, fervently opposed to no deal and appalled by the demagogic posturing of Johnson and Farage. The question is whether they can find a vehicle to represent their position, and find it fast.

Go 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 Jun 11th, 2019 at 06:38:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also, maybe not as bad as her predecessor. His casual carelessness set up this epic mess. The popular assessment of his performance is summed up in one word: "Twat!"

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Mon Jun 10th, 2019 at 02:17:43 PM EST
Ah yes, but he was an Eton Twat, so that's ok...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 10th, 2019 at 02:24:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
With all the Tory Leadership contenders promising to renegotiate a Withdrawal Agreement the EU says it is not open to renegotiating, Faisal Islam, Sky's former political editor, says the leadership race is like a unicorn grand national...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jun 10th, 2019 at 05:04:21 PM EST
The election of the new leader is probably the most fun thing that's happened in UK politics for 3 years.

Over the weekend we've had the "who got the most stoned at university" hustings. The eruption of naked privilege and grotesque hypocrisy has genuinely sickened many people. Their willingness to preside over the destruction of poor peoples' lives for lesser crimes than they themsleves committed has given a pause to many who would previously have considered them.

Michael Gove's is the most blatant dishonesty and, even if he himself doesn't realise it, his campaign is already mortally wounded. I'm personally convinced that his assassination was orchestrated by Johnston, in part as ice cold revenge for Gove's knifing of his cmapaign 3 years previously. I have to give kudos to Boris for how well it was done : Perfectly timed, efficiently executed and with no blood on his hands. Indeed, the victim doesn't yet know he's dead. Macchiavelli himself would have been impressed.

Rory Stewart has admitted to smoking opium, although he's probably okay on that cos he did it in Afghanistan where it would have been rude to have refused. But he wasn't going to win anyway. Most think he's runnng to seek promotion.

Andrea Loathsome Leadsom has admitted to smoking dope, but it's a kinda pathetic bid for attention. She's an obvious also ran and this doesn't help her.

People keep trying to suggest somebody who might beat Boris, but with Michael Gove left bleeding in the gutter, I think this is just a coronation now.

FSM help us all.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 10th, 2019 at 08:45:47 PM EST
But, more interestingly, it's where we go from here.

If, as I suspect, Boris is crowned king of the shitheap (it's up to you if you think I mean the Tories or the UK), then what next?

As Frank outlines, there really is nothing to be gained from the EU before november, who no longer have any interest in sustaining an obviously failed State on their dime a moment beyond the stroke of Halloween.

We are left with the same choice we've faced since last November. May's deal, no deal or (whisper it quietly) revoking 50.

I think boris will charge full bloodied at no-deal. At which point the Tory party will lose several MPs to the LibDems, forcing the Tories even further to the right to try to steal voters and support from Farage's band of brutals.

Some have said that this will bring a vote of no confidence, which will be lost bringing about a General Election. Who really knows at this point? But I think it unlikely because there are too many people looking to their jobs.

Many tories will expect to lose their seats at the next general election. Even Boris' own seat is looking like a marginal right now and I'm sure Labour will put up a good show against him.

Equally, the Cuck/Tinge Turkey party, already disintegrating as some flee to the LibDems know they will likely be wiped out out. So they won't be voting for Xmas anytime soon whatever the provocation including supporting a no deal they were formed to explicitly exclude.

And the DUP will follow the tories down whatever rathole is available, just becuause they're the lowest scum imaginable.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 10th, 2019 at 09:00:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's quite obvious at this point that Labour have returned tho their traditional soft left position, but that the LibDems now have an opportunity to make a pitch to replace the Tories as the natural home of One Nation conservatives, who have been increasingly uncomfortable in the increasingly neoliberal US-Republican wannabe Tory party.

The LibDems adoption 15 years ago of Orange Bookism, an overtly business friendly economics centred policy platform increasingly looks like a good position for them as politics seeks a new normal. this possibly gives them 1/3 of the Tory vote if they leverage it effectively. Conservative MPs will be especially attracted as the LDP are a far more effective electioneering force with a good ground operation.

It is also obvious that the Boris Tories and the Farage Brutals are in a death match for the same group of voters and there really isn't room in UK politics with FPTP for two parties on the right. tbh, post-brexit I'm not sure either has a future

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 10th, 2019 at 09:33:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is also obvious that the Boris Tories and the Farage Brutals are in a death match for the same group of voters and there really isn't room in UK politics with FPTP for two parties on the right. tbh, post-brexit I'm not sure either has a future

Any chance the two cut a survival deal?  Provided, of course, they can overcome the trifling point that Frottage and Boor-Ass each has an ego with its own post code.

by rifek on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 02:59:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
oh, ho ho. As my friend wrote;-
The problem with writing a regular newspaper column when you're a chronic wannabe prime minister is clearer than ever in this 2007 Telegraph piece that New Statesman has dredged up.

Writing about the Labour prime minister Gordon Brown, who took over from Tony Blair without an election, Boris Johnson lays into Brown's lack of "mandate from the British people". He describes the "transition about as democratically proper as the transition from Claudius to Nero", calling it a "scandal", "fraud" and "nothing less than a palace coup".

New Statesman - "Without a mandate from the British people" : How Boris described Gordon Brown in 2007

Here's his intro:

"It's the arrogance. It's the contempt. That's what gets me. It's Gordon Brown's apparent belief that he can just trample on the democratic will of the British people. It's at moments like this that I think the political world has gone mad, and I am alone in detecting the gigantic fraud."

His description of Tony Blair being elected in the last general election, 2005:

"They voted for Anthony Charles Lynton Blair to serve as their leader. They were at no stage invited to vote on whether Gordon Brown should be PM... They voted for Tony, and yet they now get Gordon, and a transition about as democratically proper as the transition from Claudius to Nero. It is a scandal. Why are we all conniving in this stitch-up? This is nothing less than a palace coup... with North Korean servility, the Labour Party has handed power over to the brooding Scottish power-maniac."

Specifically on his lack of a mandate:

"The extraordinary thing is that it looks as though he will now be in 10 Downing Street for three years, and without a mandate from the British people. No one elected Gordon Brown as Prime Minister..."

Oh boy, can't wait to see that one thrown in his face

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 11th, 2019 at 07:38:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
## Democracy is not well understood.

reference
wikiwtf | Parliamentary Labour Party
Trade unionists and the Labour Party in Britain: the bedrock of success
PLP formation and leadership
Cambridge | The British Constitution and the Structure of the Labour Party
registered library
Archives of the Parliamentary Labour Party, 1906-1968 (book)

archived UK "government"
1922 Committee
there is no separate election of PM. The procedure is described here.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Jun 11th, 2019 at 12:56:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's really quite simple. The EU elects undemocratic bureaucrats and her Majesty appoints democratic PMs.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jun 11th, 2019 at 03:46:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The eruption of naked privilege and grotesque hypocrisy has genuinely sickened many people. Their willingness to preside over the destruction of poor peoples' lives for lesser crimes than they themsleves committed has given a pause to many who would previously have considered them.

Then you're still a far more decent lot than we are.  We've been fine for decades with scions of the Ueberklass getting away scot-free for behavior that puts the less-advantaged in prison for years.

And if I should chance to run over a cad,
I can pay for the damage if ever so bad.
So pleasant it is to have money, heigh ho!
So pleasant it is to have money.

by rifek on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 02:47:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The only real crime in neo-liberal society is not to have sufficient money to pay your lawyers off for getting you off whatever crimes you are accused of. And Trump has shown that a large proportion of the population is ok with that.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 11:08:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
About the Tory party members demographic, along with Labour, Lib-Dem and SNP, some data in this article (with graphs - who doesn't like 'em?):

  • Tory membership skew older (quelle surprise)
  • Average age: 57
  • Almost a third of Conservative members are between the ages of 65 and 74, while 15 percent are older than 75, more than any of the other major parties.
  • Forty-two percent of Tory members, according to the study, live in the south of England.
by Bernard on Tue Jun 11th, 2019 at 07:57:59 PM EST
that article really shows how far removed they are from the rest of the electorate, a deviation that is almost entirely erased by the media who choose to present their ignorant barbarity as mainstream public thinking.

That said, if 45% of the tory party live in the south east, then that only represents the fact that 45% of the entire population of the UK live within 100 miles of London

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Jun 11th, 2019 at 09:14:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Gove's cocaine use may explain his attack on the peace process
So now we know: it was the drugs. Michael Gove, a key figure in the creation of Brexit and a contender to be the next British prime minister, was dosing himself with cocaine before writing his columns and pamphlets "about 20 years ago". That is when he published a long polemical essay called The Price of Peace. It is an important document. Gove is what passes for the intellectual driving force behind Brexit. The Price of Peace is an attack on the Belfast Agreement. If you want to understand the inherent hostility to the peace process that is at the heart of the Brexit project, you have to read it.


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jun 11th, 2019 at 10:36:15 PM EST
sadly, the IT wants me to pay real cash money to read it.

But it's an interesting coincidence

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Jun 12th, 2019 at 03:40:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not one of Fintan's best efforts. I gave you the money quote...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 03:12:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Craig Murray had a similar thought, less the cocaine, at GlobalResearch last Fall.
by rifek on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 04:06:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 10:03:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Tory Leadership Contest.
A Twitter thread from - who else? - the Irish Border:


by Bernard on Wed Jun 12th, 2019 at 08:37:00 PM EST
First round eliminates, Esther McVey, Andrea Loathsome and Mark Harper.

Boris got nearly 50% of the vote.

I might have reminded the Tories about being careful what they wish for, but Napoleon's said something about never interrupting your enemy when they're making a mistake, so I kept my counsel.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 02:13:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boris got 36.4% of the vote, but in my view, its all over bar the shouting.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 02:53:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
oh god. Sheer brilliance from the Border :

Translated from the original by W.B.Yeats :


'The Lake Isle of Innisfree '
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 05:05:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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