This is an excellent article about the current misconceptions held by both sides in the Brexit debate, and it also supplies some basic facts about life in Europe that may well surprise everyone. I am unable to reblog or copy the piece, but here is a link to it and I am sure you would enjoy reading the refreshing facts.
Not long to go before the election, and the knives are out all round.
Labour Deputy leader Tom Watson, a well known moderate, (read borderline Tory) has announced his decision to quit as an MP, and not to continue in politics after the election.
He cites the fact that he wants to become a personal trainer, and write books about his weight loss, after being diagnosed with Diabetes.
So. after a lifetime in politics, he chooses working in a local gym, and writing self-help books, over being the potential number two to Corbyn’s Prime Minister.
(If Corbyn wins of course, which seems to be increasingly unlikely)
Once a moderate non-Socialist, always a moderate non-Socialist, so it would appear.
And the chance to stab a genuine left-winger in the back? That will do nicely, thank you.
The Conservatives have their own crop of defectors. Remain-friendly MPs, afraid to face the Leave constituents who voted them in on the understanding we would leave the EU. They are bailing out as fast as the First-Class passengers on The Titanic.
Then we have the Remain Alliance. Lib-Dems, Greens, and local Nationalists, all coming to various agreements about not standing against each other, hoping to tip the balance in possible ‘wavering’ constituencies.
The forecast is for a complete ‘mess’. The worst-case scenario is that we will get a fractured government, with no party able to scrape up a majority to do anything positive. Brexit will hang around into a fourth year, and Europe will be sniggering behind its fingers at the complete balls-up that is politics in modern Britain.
Is it any wonder that I have had enough of this circus?
I have no doubt that everyone will be aware of recent events in British politics that have resulted in the temporary closure of the Parliament, a process known as ‘Proroguing’.
This is not something you hear about every day, though it has happened before. Here is a definition.
What does proroguing parliament mean?
The act of proroguing parliament brings to an end the current parliamentary “session”. This leads to a short break before a new session begins.
Parliament runs in “sessions” that generally last for around one year, although the length can vary.
A session opens with a “Queen’s speech” where the government sets out the laws it wants to pass over the coming session. Parliament must then approve the speech by voting in favour of it. Parliamentary business which hasn’t been completed by the end of a session is normally brought to an end (meaning it can’t be picked up at the start of the next session).
If that doesn’t mean much to you, then join the club.
In plain speech, the current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, along with his Right-wing rich boy cronies, was unable to get agreement for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on the 31st of October. Parliament was blocking him, and his majority is too slim to ever give him hope of winning a no-deal vote. As well as his opposition, many of those in his own Conservative Party rebelled against him, with the Scottish politicians even going to their High Court to have the suspension of parliament declared illegal.
Ironically, many of those opposing the no-deal departure from the EU represent constituencies that voted heavily in favour of Leave. But they think they know better of course. After all, the voters are mere dull-witted ‘plebs’, giving them a well-paid job with lavish expenses that will last at least until the next election.
So Boris took the rather drastic option of closing down Parliament, preventing those trying to stop a no-deal option getting through. It is likely that when it reconvenes, there will not be enough time to debate any issues further, and we may well leave on the 31st with no arrangements with the EU.
But everyone forgets that this is what the majority voted for, in 2016. Much is said now about people not wanting no deal, and not being sensible enough to realise what they were voting for. Even more is said about the fact that 48% of the voters opted to remain. But we live under a political system where the majority vote in a referendum is the winning vote. Even if that was one vote, let alone 1,269,501.
I cannot stand Boris Johnson and his sickening hangers-on. I hold no brief for the Scottish Nationalists that want to stay in the EU, or those in Northern Ireland that want to do the same. I am neither xenophobic, nor racist, and do not associate myself with any of the right-wing or nationalist groups in England clamouring their support for the Prime Minister.
But I did vote to leave the EU, more than three years ago. Ever since, the will of the people has been trampled on, sneered at, and attempts made to overthrow it.
It’s time to leave. Deal or not, Boris or not. Otherwise, we have to face the truth.
We do not live in a Democracy.
This Thursday, Britain will be voting in the EU elections, to send more than 70 members to represent our country in the European Parliament.
You might be forgiven for wondering why, as in 2016, we voted as a country to leave the EU. But because the government failed to agree on an exit strategy, we are stuck with the process of sending MEPs to the EU, despite the cost exceeding £110 million. To say this is completely unacceptable, is an understatement. It is nothing less than shameful, at a time when some British people are using Food Banks to survive, and the minimum wage here is insufficient to live on.
For only the second time in my life, I will not be voting. Because failing to vote is the only protest I can make, regarding this disrespect of Democracy, and the overturning of the accepted voting processes in this country.
The only word in my head is ‘SHAME’. Shame on Parliament for disrespecting the vote of the majority. Shame on Theresa May, for sucking up to the EU bigwigs. And shame on the Remain dissidents, who have tried to overturn the democratic process since 2016.
This country is now broken, and bitterly divided. And it is all the fault of those who refused to accept a result they didn’t expect. You are no better than fundamentalists, refusing to accept any idea or belief that you don’t adhere to.
Shame on you all. I am disgusted to live in the same country as you.
I have just been torturing myself by watching a televised debate on the issue of Brexit. Despite being worn out by the sheer scale of this betrayal of democracy, I continue to consume so much information about it, like an addict looking for the next fix.
One issue that kept being raised was that people who were too young to vote in 2016 would have voted to Remain. So now they are old enough to vote, they want a second referendum, so that they can be ‘included’. This nonsense was enough to make me want to smash my head through the living room window, and saw it off on the broken shards. So now we are expected to wait until everyone is 18, before we hold any type of election that they might not agree with once they reach that age? What an imbecilic argument. They of course omitted to mention that many young people over the age of 18 who were eligible to vote in 2016 just didn’t bother to get out of bed, or off the sofa, to do just that. But now they don’t like the result, they want another go.
Does it even occur to them that as they are voting, thousands of under 18s are still not eligible? What of their disappointment and disgust in three years time? Another election, so they too can be included?
In 1959, I was too young to vote against the Conservatives that won. Can I have a re-run of that election please?
I know, that’s a stupid thing to say.
Now do you get it, ‘concerned youngsters’?
It is only Thursday, but a lot has been happening this week. Mrs May’s attempt to get her pathetic Brexit ‘Deal’ through parliament was voted down with the biggest defeat ever seen in our political history. It’s important to note that. Ever since modern parliamentary democracy has existed in Britain, no government has ever suffered a defeat of anything like this margin. That fact alone should make this week historically memorable. Last night, the government survived a vote of no confidence. No surprise there, as most members of parliament put their jobs and careers before any principles.
But even that overwhelming rejection failed to impress the hapless Prime Minister to do the decent thing, and resign. Rarely has a leader enjoyed less popularity in their own party, and failed so completely in their negotiations with both the EU, the Opposition parties, and their own dissenters. Despite claiming to have worked hard to achieve the best possible deal for leaving the EU, it is apparent to anyone with a functioning brain that all Mrs May has done has been to return from Europe with the deal offered by the other member states, on their own terms, and a ‘take it or leave it’ basis.
I actually feel embarrassed that she doesn’t have sufficient honour to resign, and feels no shame in hanging on to her job, in the middle of this awful mess she has engineered.
Meanwhile, the opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has been making speeches this morning. This former radical, one-time committed Socialist and reformer, now seems intent on one thing. Becoming the Prime Minister. He has gone back on many of his previous statements and promises, by now suggesting that ‘everything is on the table’, in the event of a Labour win in the election that is not actually happening, except in his mind. He refuses to rule out a second referendum, or the much-lauded ‘People’s Vote’, (same thing, different name) and reprises his own demand of remaining in the European Customs Union at all costs.
So, anyone who wants to really leave the EU has no leadership to look to. Both May and Corbyn were firm Remainers in 2016, and both have broken promises to abide by the will of the people, and ensure that Brexit happens when it should, deal or not. The disgruntled Remain voters have wasted two years using their best efforts to overturn the vote, that very ‘will of the people’ they love to crow about., and they now embrace the ideas that demand a ‘second try’, in the sure hope of getting what they wanted in 2016, which was Britain to stay as a member state of the EU.
We hear a lot about how Leave voters were misled. They were confused, lied to even. They didn’t want to leave with no deal, and most of them would now change their minds, and vote Remain. This is exactly what all this stalling, propaganda, and behind the scenes machinations have been about, for the last two years and more. Sowing the seeds of doubt, reassuring the leaders of EU nations that we won’t actually leave the EU, even if it says so ‘on the tin’. Disregarding that ‘will of the people’, because they have no respect for the people that had that will, and consider them to be inferior beings, unable to understand politics, and make up their own minds. It started on the day the result was announced in 2016, and has gone on unabated every day since.
Things always change, after votes and elections. But that doesn’t mean we get another go, at least not until the elected body has completed its term of office. I was unhappy that the Conservatives scraped through the last election. But can I get another one please? Can I change the result of the last one, because I don’t respect those who voted for it? Of course not. Like it or not, that is the system we live under.
At least it was supposed to be.
Brexit continues to dominate politics in the UK, and perhaps rightly so. Since the Leave vote won the referendum in 2016, so much stalling and pointless ‘negotiations’ have gone on, it seems to many of us that we will never leave. The date of the 29th of March, presumably ‘set in stone’ by Article 50, draws nearer, with no progress apparent in any of the much publicised ‘deals’.
Theresa May is looking increasingly desperate, even reaching out to opposition members of parliament for support, in the absence of any decent majority in her own party. Next week, she is odds-on to lose the vote over her ‘final deal’, in the House of Commons. That leaves just two options. A No-Deal ‘Hard’ Brexit, or her resignation, followed almost certainly by a General Election.
Labour is convinced that they could win a new election, though I’m not so sure. But one thing I am sure about is that we have a national leader who does not command the respect and confidence of the general public, and cannot rely on many of those on her own side.
It is time for this government, and its leader, to go.
Let’s face it, whatever replaces them is unlikely to be any worse.
Current mainstream opinion has it that everyone is no so tired of Brexit, that most people would just vote to stay in the EU, given the option again. I am not so sure about that, but I do appreciate how the constant bickering and endless reporting of ‘non-news’ about our departure has made Mr and Mrs Average sick and tired of the whole debacle.
Now Mrs May has come back with a deal that sounds as if it was dictated to her by the EU negotiators. As well as not really getting anything we asked for, we are told we will be be paying close to £60 BILLION for the privilege of not actually being allowed to leave on any of our own terms. I can remember this figure being closer to £15 billion back in 2016, so it seems inflation is worse than I thought.
And then there is Parliament. They are unlikely to vote to accept Mrs May’s (read the EU’s) deal, as nobody on either side of the argument thinks it has even the slightest merit. That leaves us with a leaving date, and a deal that is unacceptable to all parties, especially those of us that wanted to just leave with no negotiations in the first place. They say this could bring down the government, possibly forcing a leadership challenge for the Conservatives, perhaps even a snap General Election. Neither of those possibilities will solve anything, as a new prime minister, or a new party in power, would both still be facing the prospect of that ‘no-deal’ withdrawal next year.
The Hard Right still want a Hard Brexit. At the other end of the political spectrum, the Hard Left also want a Hard Brexit. Everyone in between just wants it all to go away, and to never hear the awful made-up word Brexit again, for as long as they live. Theresa May has broken her promises, and shown obvious cowardice in the face of the EU. (For EU, read France and Germany) She reminds me of one of those ‘gentlemen’ who pays a dominatrix to cane them on the bum, whilst saying “More please, Mistress”.
But I had an idea. This could all contribute to the resurgence of a long-standing British theatrical tradition, The Farce.
I will be starting work on my new play, ‘Brexit: Too many bedroom doors’ forthwith.
When we voted to leave the EU, my preferred choice would have been to leave at midnight that same day. Just leave. Pull all the people out of Brussels and Strasbourg, turn our back on all the rules and regulations, and politely inform the EU that if they expected us to pay any penalties, they had better engage the services of some very tough bailiffs. We could have spent the next six months unravelling all the red tape, sorting out who could stay and go, and what would happen to the ex-pats in Europe. Bring in some ‘soft’ checkpoints in Northern Ireland, tighten up customs controls at Dover, impose a bundle of random tariffs, and allow any outstanding contracts to run their course.
Why did I think that, and why would I want such a drastic step?
Because I knew full well what would happen.
Negotiations. Backlash from Remain voters. Waffle from the weakest Conservative government in living memory. Court action to try to overturn the democratic decision of the people. Staying in, in all but name, just a watered-down version of what we had before, with less influence than the little we already had. We might as well have sent the French and Germans a note, saying something like this.
‘OH DEAR. WE DIDN’T EXPECT THAT.
BUT NEVER FEAR, WE WON’T LET IT REALLY HAPPEN.
SOMETHING WILL TURN UP.
PLEASE DON’T HATE US!’
Since 2016, the so-called negotiations have proved to be the most one-sided in the history of that word. They consist of us asking for something, and the EU replying “NON!” Even the man tasked with fighting our corner, David Davis, resigned from his job when he realised he had to do it with his hands and feet tied together, and tape over his mouth.
Once the various actions designed to keep us in and overturn the vote had failed, tactics changed. We were then told the horrors awaiting the dreaded ‘No Deal Brexit’. Big business threw in the heavy guns, threatening to leave these shores if the unthinkable no deal was on the horizon. Most recently, the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign has been agitating for a vote on the outcome of the non-existent negotiations, expecting a resounding decision to Remain, after that second ballot. I wonder what they would do if we voted Leave again? Go for a third try? Then the much lauded Chequers agreement was presented by Theresa May, a leader hanging on by a thread.
The EU laughed in her face, with a resounding “NON”.
Much fear is spreading (apparently) over the prospect of a ‘No Deal’ deal. It is second only to the end of life as we know it, according to the harbingers of doom. They are obviously not old enough to remember a time before 1975, when we were not in the EU. I am, and I can tell you, it wasn’t that bad.
But trendies in Chiswick and Islington are fainting at the thought of life without being able to grate their own Parmesan, or having to pay too much for Prosciutto. They want to be able to enjoy weekends in achingly trendy European locations without bothering too much about passport control. And if all the foreigners get fed up and go home, who is going to be driving the Uber cabs? All good reasons for voting Remain, I am sure you can see that.
So, back to the beginning. I knew this would happen. We are unlikely to get any ‘deal’ worth its name, and will probably just leave with nothing, in six months time.
We might just as well have done that in 2016, and saved over two years of grief and expense.
Ever since this country voted to leave the EU in 2016, the issue has consumed the news media, as well as being a source of heated debate among the population, with the great division caused by the vote. Even though I voted to leave, I never had much confidence in any government actually taking us out, in the spirit of the referendum. Sadly, it seems that I have been proved right.
The people who wanted to remain, so lost the vote, have waged a relentless campaign ever since. This has taken the form of court actions, public protests, outright insults against those who voted to leave, and the non-stop pressure for a second referendum, hoping to get the result they wanted in 2016. Despite her famous cry, “Brexit means Brexit” it has been obvious to anyone with half a brain that Theresa May never really intended to leave the EU, in anything but ‘name only’. The failed discussions, the intransigence of the EU negotiators, and behind the scenes deals with the German leader Merkel were all visible signs that she would return with a suggestion of a revised Brexit, that was much the same as remaining in the EU.
Foreign companies are queuing up to announce that they will pull the plug on their UK operations, if we leave without the deals offered by the French and Germans. Many of those industrial giants (including car companies, and drug companies) are run and owned by Germans. Fishing quotas are also in dispute, and many of the EU fisherman demanding access to UK waters after Brexit just happen to be French. Like anything in this world, all we have to do is to ‘follow the money’. The EU is run by Germany and France for their own ends, and everyone else either falls into line, or faces threats and financial sanctions.
Today, the minister responsible for negotiating Brexit from the start has resigned. A meeting of the government last weekend resulted in a decision to carry on with talks for a totally watered-down Brexit that would still leave this country inextricably tied to Europe. Theresa May told the German leader of that decision before announcing it to Parliament, or the British people. The referendum has therefore been proved to be meaningless. The voters who thought they had succeeded in their desire to leave the EU completely have been betrayed, and with them the whole idea of any fair and free elections in this country. If they don’t like the result, they won’t implement it, simple as that.
Before all those who see this as a ‘victory’ of sorts start to celebrate, they might want to think about what it means in the wider scheme of things. No election or referendum will ever really mean anything anymore. Democracy in Britain, such as it was, is now just a memory.