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

All over bar the shouting... [Update 3]

by Frank Schnittger Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 02:49:06 PM EST

The Tory Leadership election is all but decided after the first round of voting. Although Boris Johnson is some way short of a majority of the parliamentary party votes after the first round of voting, it is very hard to see anyone else overtaking him, and he only needs 105 votes to make it into the top two and go forward to the vote of all party members in any case. He also leads all opinion polling of conservative party members and so we can more or less take his election for granted at this stage, barring some spectacular snafu, which, given this is Boris, cannot be entirely discounted. To avert this possibility, his handlers have been keeping him on a tight rein, limiting his public appearances, and even giving him a slightly tidier haircut...

[Update]: Soft Brexiteer Rory Stewart gained the most votes (+14), and hard Brexiteer Dominic Raab has been eliminated following the second round of voting. [Update2] In the third round Sajid Javid leapfrogs Rory Stewart to stay in the Tory leadership race for one more round, but it looks like it's between Gove and Hunt for the second spot on the membership ballot. Boris Johnson is closing in on an overall majority of the votes of the Parliamentary party as careerists overcome their scruples to secure ministerial positions]:

[Update 3]: It's Boris vs. Hunt. No contest really, given the make-up of the electorate. But when will the British people get to have their say? Boris is on the record of proclaiming that Gordon Brown's premiership was illegitimate because it was Tony Blair the people had elected. Now of course; waffle waffle, crisis, waffle waffle, because, waffle waffle he's perfectly ok with that. After all he was only speaking as a journalist beforehand, and what do they know?

Rumours abound that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson's campaign (to give him his full title) "lent" votes to Rory Stewart to ensure the early elimination of Dominic Raab, and then to Hunt, to ensure Gove was eliminated. There is therefore no one who voted for Brexit left in the campaign to claim Brexiteer legitimacy from Johnson. Hunt will seem to most Tory party members as a reheated version of Theresa May, and they have had their fill of that.


It is difficult to imagine a leader less likely to extract concessions from the EU than Boris Johnson who has built his career on writing falsehoods about the EU as Brussels correspondent for the Telegraph, was fired by The Times for making up quotes, and in some ways set the entire Brexit bandwagon rolling. Jeremy Hunt comes a close second for comparing the EU to the Soviet Union to the chagrin of all the eastern European states which had actually had to live under Soviet Union hegemony.

Economic realists assume the EU will eventually come to a deal with him because it is in everyone's economic interests to do so, but that is to ignore the fact that the EU is primarily a political construct to maintain peace on the continent and some economic price is worth paying if it maintains that political solidarity and social cohesion.

With the European Commission Brexit negotiating team having been disbanded, with the Commission itself going on holidays for the summer, and with a new Commission and other key EU roles due to be appointed in the next few weeks/months and not taking office until November, it is hard to see how any substantive negotiations can take place before the UK is due to leave next November.

Boris will probably prefer talking face to face with Prime Ministers in any case, but, again, it is difficult to see the European Council unanimously agreeing a further A.50 extension barring a "democratic event" such as a General Election which might produce a new and different government before then.

It now becomes a question of whether Angela Merkel and other key leaders are prepared to throw Ireland under a bus and agree to drop the "Irish Backstop" from the Withdrawal agreement in order to facilitate "an orderly Brexit", or will they maintain solidarity with the member state most effected by Brexit?

I humbly suggest the EU might as well fold up its tent and go into oblivion if it is prepared to do so. Not because Ireland is all that important, but because political solidarity and social cohesion is what the EU is, and should be all about. It is the Brexiteers' wet dream to hasten the break-up of the EU, so why should the EU facilitate them?

Of course some fudge is always possible. Brexiteers like to point out that a hard "no deal" Brexit will force the creation of a hard customs border in Ireland in any case, but for how long could the UK maintain a no deal stance? Strictly speaking, if there is no deal, UK owned airlines (now including Ireland's "national carrier", Aer Lingus) will lose landing rights in EU airports and customs controls would severely impact EU/UK trade.

Perhaps that is precisely what is required to inject some reality into UK political discourse... Brexiteers like to extol the virtues of trade under WTO rules, but WTO rules don't cover services - 70% of the UK economy - and there is far more to EU/UK integration and cooperation than is ever covered under WTO or Free trade Agreements.

None of these issues are likely to be resolved, one way or the other, by November, so absent a general election, a hard, no deal, Brexit seems the most likely scenario. Dominic Raab has even suggested proroguing parliament to push through a no deal Brexit over the heads of parliamentary objections, but could the UK constitution, unwritten as it is, survive such a flagrant attack on democracy?

The Telegraph (which pays dearly for Johnson's weekly column) is running with a poll which suggests Johnson could win a 140 seat majority in Parliament if he called a general election as PM, so that could well be the strategy. That didn't work out so well for Theresa May though, who had even larger projected majorities when she called the June 2017 election.

Corbyn would probably run on the basis of a Labour renegotiated Brexit deal subject to a second referendum which could unite soft Brexiteers and Remainers against a hard, no deal, Tory stance. However even if Johnson won an overall majority (which I consider unlikely), he would no longer be tied to the DUP, and he conspicuously refused to reassure them that he wouldn't go with a N. Ireland only backstop which would overcome Brexiteer objections to GB being "trapped" in the Customs Union and Single Market and be in line with the EU and Irish negotiating position all along.

Either way, a general election would probably be the only way to overcome the current paralysis in UK politics and lead to a more consensual way forward.

Display:
ConservativeHome has Boris now on over 50% support of Tory party members with Rory Stewart in a surprise second place...



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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 03:24:22 PM EST
That's interesting but it tells you that the swivel-eyed Brexiteers are all supporting Boris which leaves Stewart as the sensible candidate for the might-as-well-be-LibDem rest of the party.

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 Jun 13th, 2019 at 03:55:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but as the sole non Brexiteer in the race his support at c. 10-15% is not that substantial. Some of that support probably also includes some conservatives with strong maternal instincts...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 04:07:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
with a new Commission due to be appointed in the next few weeks and not taking office until November
Only the Commission President will be selected in the next few weeks. Then comes the complex process of national nominations of the other 27 Commissioners, a round of confirmation hearings where the European Parliament will make the point of rejecting at least one nominee, and then the final appointment.

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 Jun 13th, 2019 at 03:47:18 PM EST
Thanks. Worded badly. I was also thinking of other key appointments like President of the Council, Parliament, ECB etc. I will amend to weeks/months

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 03:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We can expect swivel-eyed loons to be nominated by Italy and Poland, at a minumum, so the auditions of commissionners should be entertaining...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 04:52:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It now becomes a question of whether Angela Merkel and other key leaders are prepared to throw Ireland under a bus and agree to drop the "Irish Backstop" from the Withdrawal agreement in order to facilitate "an orderly Brexit", or will they maintain solidarity with the member state most effected by Brexit?
There's nothing much the EU can do to protect Ireland from  Brexiteers who is willing to go for no deal if the alternative is the backstop.

So the question is whether the EU decides to let no deal happen in solidarity with Ireland or it negotiates a deal with a British PM whose red lines include breaking the single market on the island of Ireland.

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 Jun 13th, 2019 at 03:51:09 PM EST
Given that the UK negotiating position will be considerably weakened after Brexit, it will be possible both to allow a no deal Brexit happen AND subsequently negotiate a deal preventing a hard border in Ireland. There is also a non trivial political difference between a hard border in Ireland being forced on Ireland by a No deal UK Brexit, and one imposed by a dirty deal between the UK and the Commission. Ireland would simply refuse to implement the latter. Is the EU prepared to go to war with Ireland?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 04:00:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The UK seems prepared to go to war with itself. Ireland will be a footnote. (As it usually is, from the UK POV.)

In fact Trump will probably declare war with Iran before any of this happens, making Brexit itself a forgotten footnote in the global war that follows.

(No, I'm not in a positive mood today. Thanks for asking.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 05:38:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We all knew End-Game Middle East War was back in the scenario mix when Der Drumpfenfuehrer brought John Boltbrain back.
by rifek on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 04:25:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Because previous military interventions in the middle east have worked so well...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 10:28:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the old saw about one definition of insanity being repeating the same behavior and expecting different results?  Neocons are straight-jacket/rubber-room/chain-them-to-the-wall-level criminally insane.
by rifek on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 12:48:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hint: Election Year
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Jun 20th, 2019 at 01:15:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
THE BACKSTOP DOESN'T MATTER. IT'S THEIR EXCUSE FOR A DESIRED NO-DEAL BREXIT.

Stop pretending there are concessions that can be made to those mendacious idiots. Stop pretending they're acting in good faith.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 05:42:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed. There is no majority for any particular Brexit in the parliament (which any competent negotiator would have checked before triggering Article 50) and the backstop is used as the symbolic issue for the group that prefers a no deal Brexit.
by fjallstrom on Fri Jun 14th, 2019 at 05:24:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Its more than that. The backstop has become a handy shorthand and lightning rod for a 700 page agreement they haven't understood and probably haven't even read. While lots of different Brexiteers have lots of different problems with different parts of the agreement, they have decided to coalesce around this one issue. This has the benefit of making a deal easier to come by IF the timing is right (last minute) and Brexiteers don't have time to then move on to other gripes as it reduces all opposition to one core fault.

So if, for example, Johnson decides to ditch the DUP and make the backstop Northern Ireland only, everyone bar the DUP and a v. few hard core British unionists are happy - and the deal is even better from an Irish/EU perspective as they were never happy to guarantee the UK cost free access to the Single Market and Customs Union in the first place.

If the DUP do decide to press the nuclear button (at the risk of putting Corbyn in power) Johnson can campaign on the basis of a new improved deal which no longer keeps GB tied to the EU indefinitely.  Everybody suddenly thinks the other 699 pages of the agreement are great, breaths a sigh of relief that no deal has been averted, and gives Johnson an electoral endorsement if the Telegraph's opinion poll is to be believed.

Obviously the Brexit party will campaign on the basis that the other 699 pages aren't great either and so it will become a no deal versus Johnson's deal debate with Labour and Remainers sidelined. Johnson will seek to capture the "reasonable" centre ground and campaign on the basis that his deal will allow the UK negotiate its own trade deals and control immigration.

Corbyn will find it hard to differentiate himself from that position because in practice Labour differences with that are small and relate to the yet to be negotiated future relationship part of the deal. Johnson can fob off those concerns by promising to negotiate a pony for everyone in the next phase. And many will believe him...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 14th, 2019 at 09:24:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sure it's a lightning rod now. But will they stay united if they get a change there? So far every concession the UK has received has been followed by new demands, sometimes directly contrary to what they have just received. Sure, at some point tiredness sets in and everyone wants to move on, but I don't think the Tories are quite there yet.
by fjallstrom on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 09:07:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Two key words there: competent and negotiator.  There is no competence, and negotiating has never been on the table.  Why bother when it's always been "obvious" the EU would just cave?
by rifek on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 04:31:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So you're basically saying a trade war over the Irish border should facilitate a British government more open to compromise? I have a bridge for sale here...

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 Jun 13th, 2019 at 03:53:43 PM EST
No. A general election leading to a UK government not dependent on DUP support will resolve the issue.  And yes. The UK will not go to war over Ireland. Your bridge will be blown up...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 04:03:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're getting ahead of yourself now, Frank. The bridges will start getting blown up when Ireland goes back to war with itself, as a consequence of a hard border.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 04:56:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is what I am trying to avoid...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 05:02:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, Frank, I'm about as far from an optimist as it's possible to get, but I think NI has had a taste of peace and likes the flavor.  The DUPes are allowed to make a lot of noise, but how much of their support is solid?  NI doesn't exist in the UK without massive subsidies, and how forthcoming will those be under a hard-right Tory regime?  Add into the mix the social changes of the last 20 years, including the Republic's massive liberalization and most of NI's population discovering it can get on nicely with the southern neighbors, thank you very much.  So when NI finally has to face the issue that has been looming for a century, is it more likely to reboot The Troubles or to tell Ever Littler England to keep itself and its attitudes on the other side of the Irish Sea?
by rifek on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 04:46:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The DUPes are allowed to make a lot of noise, but how much of their support is solid?

Their support is solid enough amongst their core fundamentalist protestant base, but that only amounts to 20-30% of the electorate. Most of them actually quite dislike and distrust the English, but know that their diminishing hegemony is based on the "English Backstop" made up of guarantees of being part of the UK and in receipt of £10 Billion p.a. in subsidies. They know the Republic of Ireland couldn't afford such largesse, and, in any case, would have different priorities in spending what subsidies it could afford.

But the elephant in the room is the long term decline and systematic underdevelopment of the N. Ireland economy which has made those subsidies necessary in the first place. From having a GDP/Capita of about twice that of the Republic on independence in 1922, that ratio has now been reversed to being half that of the Republic. If re-unified now, Northern Ireland would be a proportionately larger drag on the all Ireland economy than the former GDR is on Germany.

In principle, however, absent civil unrest, there is no reason why N. Ireland should be any less productive than the Republic if run on similar lines within the EU. The problem is this could take 30+ years to achieve - see continuing underperformance and de-population of the former East Germany within Germany - and there is no way the Republic could afford that under-performance in the meantime, especially with changes in global corporate taxation rules in the offing.

So the DUP support base is stuck in something of a time warp, economically, politically, and socially, with no one really wanting them or being able to afford them, and with their traditional strategy of just saying no to everyone losing its efficacy. The EU/Ireland has steadfastly ignored their objections to the backstop and I suspect Boris Johnson will probably end up doing so too. They will then become a very nasty minority to have to deal with in N. Ireland, Ireland, the UK and, by association, in the EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 10:51:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some suggestions that Boris might make the customs border in the Irish sea and rely on Labour leave votes to get him over the line.

FSM knows if there's the votes for that

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 07:13:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect not. But he could then go to the country campaigning on his deal which will be different from May's in that it doesn't trap GB in the Customs Union and Single Market and thus allows the UK to negotiate its own trade deals and control immigration - i.e. deliver on a managed Brexit. If one is to believe the Telegraph poll, he would even have a chance of winning...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 08:05:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A Johnson premiership will not be the DUP's finest hour
The DUP has had enough dealings with Johnson to know exactly how flaky and treacherous he is. It is appropriate that he encourages comparisons with Churchill, who praised the loyalty of Northern Ireland but would have betrayed it for the slightest advantage, as all unionists are aware.

Johnson was the headline speaker at the DUP's annual conference last November, where he delivered a tub-thumping if rambling attack on Theresa May's withdrawal agreement. In March this year he promised never to support it - then voted for it two days later.

The following month, with May clearly damaged beyond repair, the DUP held talks with Johnson to try to rebuild trust around a more concrete understanding. The party offered to put him in Downing Street in return for an assurance he would not leave Northern Ireland alone in the backstop while taking Britain out, thereby creating the dreaded sea border. No such assurance was apparently received.

Johnson can assume the DUP will have to keep him in office, if not support him in office, as its only alternative is triggering a general election - a nuclear option it declined to use against May despite falling out with her completely on Brexit.



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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 05:53:54 PM EST

File photos of (left to right, top row) Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Jeremy Hunt, Rory Stewart, Sajid Javid, (bottom row) Esther McVey, Matt Hancock, Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove and Mark Harper. (indicated with crosses on face) Esther McVey, Andrea Leadsom and Mark Harper have failed to make it through to the second ballot . Photograph: PA/PA Wire

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 13th, 2019 at 06:23:56 PM EST
So, did Trump's endorsement of Johnson help him or hurt him?
by StillInTheWilderness on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 03:03:42 AM EST
Hard to say at a Parliamentary level. He was already the overwhelming favourite and many careerist Tory MPs would have seen supporting him as a ticket to a ministerial job.

At a grass roots Tory membership level, Trump's endorsement enhances his prestige as a global player and plays into the Tory conceit of being very important on the world stage. Many of them like Trump anyway,and share his attitudes to the EU.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 10:57:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump meddling in European elections?!

I expect all principled Russia-gating anti-meddlers to be up in arms about this. (Not that there are many considering how few reacted when the US government appointed a new president of Venezuela.)

by fjallstrom on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 09:13:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have to remember that everything south of us is just a big US colony we haven't coerced into speaking English yet, and so we can send in the Marines and install a new tinpot government any time we feel like it.
by rifek on Mon Jun 17th, 2019 at 03:23:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What's the old saw about one definition of insanity being repeating the same behavior and expecting different results?  Neocons are straight-jacket/rubber-room/chain-them-to-the-wall-level criminally insane.
by rifek on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 12:33:07 PM EST
This article has been cross-posted on Global Research.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 16th, 2019 at 02:48:37 PM EST
Conservative party members would rather break up the United Kingdom than stop Brexit
The latest YouGov poll of Conservative party members, who will soon be charged with choosing the UK's next prime minister, suggests they would opt to see both Scotland and Northern Ireland leave the UK, if it was the only way to ensure the UK leaves the EU.

Sixty three per cent say they would rather Scotland left the UK if it secured Brexit, with 61% willing to accept "significant damage" to the economy and 59% willing to see Northern Ireland leave the UK.

A further 54% would want Brexit to go ahead even if it meant the destruction of their own party.

The only perspective that would turn them against Brexit? Prime Minister Jeremy Corbyn.

by Bernard on Thu Jun 20th, 2019 at 07:27:23 AM EST
They weren't asked what they'd do with Wales if they got half a chance. But it's clear that, for Tories, Brexit means Englexit.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Jun 20th, 2019 at 09:49:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Isn't Wales just a national park for England anyway? I know a few yokals speak a different language and their national sport is beating England at rugby, but apart from that, what makes Wales a different country?  /runs/hides

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 20th, 2019 at 10:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
<whisper> Beating Ireland at rugby? </whisper>

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Jun 20th, 2019 at 01:12:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We'll see - at the World Cup, where it matters... However it's nice to see you define Welsh nationhood in contradistinction to Ireland... now if only they could have their own government...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 20th, 2019 at 02:04:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Although Wales backed brexit too, so it's their fault too.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 20th, 2019 at 08:04:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True. But the point that the Conservative Party is English, to the exclusion of the other bits of the UK, stands.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Jun 21st, 2019 at 05:12:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Although strangely, Wales voted very like England in the European elections.
Welsh results:
Brexit Party 32.5%
Conservatives 6.5%

UK results:
Brexit Party 30.5%
Conservatives 8.8%


Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 21st, 2019 at 11:27:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can't post the map, but it's on this page of today's Grauniad:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/jun/21/more-than-half-of-tory-members-would-ruin-party-ove r-brexit

21% of Conservative Party members live in South-East England. 4% in Wales.

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

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Jun 21st, 2019 at 04:24:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I had thought that that was roughly in line with population demographics more generally, but I now see on the Guardian page that SE England is defined to exclude London, so your point stands. The "Home Counties" is such a quaint term to describe the more important part of England where true conservatives live...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 21st, 2019 at 07:06:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suspect that there is a significant population in Wales that considers themselves English.
by fjallstrom on Sun Jun 23rd, 2019 at 10:46:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
tbh, they're so crazed about it that if they were told that brexit would cause the Sun to expand into a red giant and vaporize the earth I think they'd be happy with that too.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 20th, 2019 at 08:05:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is quite amusing that in the hierarchy of Conservative party member fears, the fear of a Corbyn government out ranks even the fear that Brexit will never happen, not to mention the break-up of the UK and the destruction of the Conservative Party itself. Corbyn must feel quite chuffed at how important he has become in the greater scheme of things...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 21st, 2019 at 09:50:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gove out now, with suggestions that BoJo "loaned" some votes to Hunt.

An advantage of an instant runoff voting system is that everybody physically votes at one time, so candidates can't do this sort of dynamic vote-shifting manipulation.

by asdf on Thu Jun 20th, 2019 at 06:38:16 PM EST
One more month and Boris moves into No 10.

Followed by a wailing and gnashing of teeth and, yes, a mighty wind



keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Jun 20th, 2019 at 08:12:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank: waffle waffle, crisis, waffle waffle, because, waffle waffle he's perfectly ok with that.


by Bernard on Fri Jun 21st, 2019 at 06:59:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's impressive just how closely Boris matches En - gerrrr - land's view of itself. From the inside looking out Boris is a magnificent statesman, steeped in centuries of leadership and oratory, born to rule those around him.

From the outside looking in he's a lazy, messy, incompetent deluded narcissist, motivated entirely by greed and sociopathic self-interest, buffered from contact with reality by inherited money and a self-reinforcing network of privilege, entitlement, and smug condescension.

Watching him get steamrollered is going to be gratifying. Unfortunately he's going to take a lot of England with him - including those English who were already living happily in the 21st century and are going to suffer for no reason.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jun 21st, 2019 at 08:13:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Watching him get steamrollered is going to be gratifying."

For that to happen, the EU needs to not roll over again.

by asdf on Fri Jun 21st, 2019 at 08:32:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Since neither Boris nor Parliament seem capable of cognizing reality ...

  1.  GFA goes bye-bye

  2.  Hard border in Ireland

  3.  UK economy either crashes or starts a long decline

The only remaining Known Unknown:  will Scotland follow England into economic crisis or vote for Independence.  Polling going back to November of last year indicates the Scots would vote for Independence.  So it is looking increasingly likely Cameron's "clever" (sic) plan to keep the Tory party from splitting will end by splitting the UK.    

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Jun 20th, 2019 at 09:32:37 PM EST
Rumours abound that Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson's campaign (to give him his full title) "lent" votes to Rory Stewart to ensure the early elimination of Dominic Raab, and then to Hunt, to ensure Gove was eliminated.

The second part is possible, but the first part does not make sense.

The first two rounds were not knock-out. The candidates just had to reach thresholds of 17 and 33, respectively. Giving votes to Steward at that stage had no direct impact on whether Raab progressed or was eliminated. The only possible benefits would be secondary, either to keep Steward as a spoiler among the pack or to help conceal subsequent strategic voting should it be required in the event that that Raab reached the knock-out stages.

by det on Fri Jun 21st, 2019 at 04:50:05 AM EST
I get what you are saying, but how else do we explain the big rise in Rory Stewart's vote after round one - to bring him above Raab - and then the sudden decline in Rory Stewart's vote once Raab had been eliminated? Even if Raab had secured 33 votes in round two to avoid elimination, that would have made him the bottom candidate and obvious candidate for the chop the next time around, and thus unlikely to attract any undecided voters or those Brexiteers who had voted Esther McVey or Andrea Leadsom in the first round.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 21st, 2019 at 10:08:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Despite being the overwhelming favourite to be the next Tory Party leader and prime Minister, Boris Johnson seems determined to blow that opportunity. Tory Party members may not be especially moral or social conservative, but they won't like their Prime Minister throwing his toys out of the pram in 10 Downing Street.

Of course for Boris it will all be a merry jape; what's so wrong with having a domestic where your partner repeatedly orders you to "get off me" and "get out of my flat" and you refuse? So what if the neighbours recorded your altercation where Ms Symonds is heard saying Mr Johnson had ruined a sofa with red wine: "You just don't care for anything because you're spoilt. You have no care for money or anything."

Just the sort of leader the Tories and Great Britain needs right now. Of course the DUP rather like Jeremy Hunt because of his social conservatism and less duplicitous ways... Expect Jeremy to emphasise his family life and conservative voting record in the leadership campaign...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jun 22nd, 2019 at 10:13:40 AM EST
Boris Johnson: police called to loud altercation at potential PM's home - Guardian
Police were called to the home of Boris Johnson and his partner, Carrie Symonds, in the early hours of Friday morning after neighbours heard a loud altercation involving screaming, shouting and banging.

The argument could be heard outside the property where the potential future prime minister is living with Symonds, a former Conservative party head of press.

A neighbour told the Guardian they heard a woman screaming followed by "slamming and banging". At one point Symonds could be heard telling Johnson to "get off me" and "get out of my flat".

The neighbour said that after becoming concerned they knocked on the door but received no response. "I [was] hoping that someone would answer the door and say `We're okay'. I knocked three times and no one came to the door."

by Bernard on Sat Jun 22nd, 2019 at 12:12:26 PM EST
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Boris Johnson faces growing pressure to comment on row with partner  - Guardian
The development follows two days of negative headlines that have damaged Johnson's chances of beating the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, in a race to become leader of the Conservative party.

Under close questioning at the first hustings before Tory party members on Saturday, Johnson refused to comment on the argument with Carrie Symonds, a former Conservative party head of press, at their home in the early hours of Friday.

Fox, a supporter of Hunt, said on Sunday it was time for Johnson to openly explain the incident so that the contest can get away from "these distractions" and return to the two candidates' plans as prime minister.

by Bernard on Sun Jun 23rd, 2019 at 12:51:30 PM EST
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I doubt it will worry the Conservative party members much. We have already established that they would be perfectly happy to destroy the economy and the UK to get brexit, I'm quite certain a few virgins burned on the same altar is something that would give them no pause whatsoever, let alone anybody stupid enough to enter into a liaison with Boris.

Yes, I'm quite sure the coucntry will look askance at the Tory party's choice, much in the same way many in the US look at the GOP and Trump, and decide they have lost all credibility, but I'm not sure it's an election losing choice.

Boris is a terrible choice of leader, he will destroy the country and make a joke while doing it, but the tabloid reding public will lap it up cos that's what they're been trained to do

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Jun 24th, 2019 at 05:45:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Calling the French `turds' shows Boris Johnson is the eternal spoilt 15-year-old - Guardian
That foreigner-bashing finds its modern parallel in Johnson, who has spent much of his career being beastly about those who had the misfortune not to be born British. This despite his own Turkish ancestry - a severe case of over-compensation perhaps. His rude poem about Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan having sex with a goat ("There was a young fellow from Ankara / Who was a terrific wankerer") certainly seems to bear out this psychological interpretation.

Johnson's far-from-sunny view of the French has also now been revealed. He thinks they are "turds", a remark disgracefully pulled from a BBC documentary on the Foreign Office last year because it threatened to derail the Brexit negotiations - what self-respecting news organisation censors its greatest scoop? - but now exposed by the Daily Mail.

Calling the French "turds" for being intransigent on Brexit is a sign of Johnson's vulgarity and stupidity. As his second-class degree suggests, his is a second-rate mind trying desperately to persuade us it is a first-rate one by using Latin tags and improper jokes. His useless, vapid books are the measure of the man.

by Bernard on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 06:36:24 PM EST
It is very hard to see the French, The EU, or almost anyone going out of their way to cut a deal with this man. The UK may end up getting a no deal Brexit whether it wants it or not, and no deal means no deals after no deal as well... something the no dealers like to gloss over.

Talk of "sensible deals" covering airline landing rights being concluded because they are "sensible" rather ignores the fact that the EU will want to get its "sensible" Withdrawal Agreement ratified first, including the £39 Billion, rights for EU citizens in UK, and an open Irish border.

There is nothing sensible about appointing Boris as PM, but then sensible is sensible only to the sensible...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Jun 30th, 2019 at 10:47:07 AM EST
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