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Theresa May, your taxi is waiting for you

Like most of my fellow Samizdata contributors, I imagine, I am watching the election results in the UK and the projections from exit polls suggesting that the Tories may not even have a working majority. And about 10 days or so before the full, formal negotiation process is due to start over the UK departure from the European Union.

It is a non-trivial possibility that Brexit may either not happen or at all, or take a form on such a humiliating basis that it is not really a departure from the EU at all.

As already noted, the idea that it was smart strategy for the Tories to pursue a centrist, pre-Thatcherite, interventionist agenda, was always dumb. Not least because to make a positive case, it was necessary to stress the pro-enterprise case for leaving the EU, rather than simply promising to introduce the very kind of dirigiste policies that the UK was supposed to be freeing itself from by leaving. Mrs May, does not have it in her to make a positive case.

It has come to this: a party led by Jeremy Corbyn, Marxist, hater of Israel, cheerleader for the IRA, Hamas, and a foe of open markets and the West in general could be close to holding power in a few days’ time. I seriously hope I am wrong. But whatever happens, I think it is highly probable that May may not be in Downing Street for very long.

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103 comments to Theresa May, your taxi is waiting for you

  • David Moore

    Part of me would like to see a Corbyn government in power, very simply for the popcorn spectacle it will be to see the unholy mess he will create.

    I say this because I can watch from the other side of the world of course.

  • Regional

    DM,
    Look at the dysfunctional people who will make up the government, a sack full of ferrets and with the BBC and Press doing cartwheels and back flips chaos will ensue.

  • Eric

    Calling the election seemed like a cynical move to sort of kick Labour when it was down. I wonder how much of the vote was a reaction to that impression – that she was playing politics while she should have been dealing with Jihadis and Brexit.

  • Yes, it’s looking truly terrible. The fact that Theresa May (a) denounced libertarianism, and (b) is now (surely) toast, is no comfort at all.

    I started putting a posting together, but you covered most of what I was going to say.

    I confess it, I absolutely did not see this coming. Again, no comfort that lots of others didn’t either.

  • bobby b

    Hillary was at 95% right up until the votes were counted.

  • bobby b

    Yes, there are now going to be a lot of comparisons between Mrs May and Mrs Clinton.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I said at the time of the EU referendum that I would be willing to swap Labour getting in in exchange for elections mattering again… looks like I may be held to my words.

    And I do hold to them.

  • I wonder what those Conservatives who joined Labour and voted for Corbyn are now feeling.

  • David Moore

    Brian Micklethwait

    “Yes, there are now going to be a lot of comparisons between Mrs May and Mrs Clinton.”

    Both names being contenders as an answer to the question; “Who is the most incompetent, evil, and useless woman in politics?”

  • Mr Ed

    You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

    O. Cromwell, esq. of Huntingdonshire.

  • Mr Ecks

    I told you she was thick and useless.

    However if we can keep Corbo out then all is not lost. Another election is usually the result of hung parliament and this time every body will have had a shock to make them act. No more abstentions –or UKIP –unless Farage can rally them.

    If we keep Corbo out this is ZaNus last throw. They have brought out every silly son of a bitch they have on a last throw to get their “Chavez” in. If we keep him out then boundary changes is number one on the agenda.

    And frankly disenfranchising the RoP.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    I’ve been thinking further about elections mattering again. While we were in the EU, EU law pushed both parties towards the centre. There was a sense that the parental EU would stop either Labour or Tories doing anything too drastic. Now we’re out, the British electorate is like a kid who goes to university and whoops it up when out of the parental eye.

    It needs a few good hangovers to learn that actions have consequences.

    That said, we haven’t got Prime Minister Corbyn yet. BBC are now forecasting 322 for the Tories, a tad up on the 314 in the exit poll. But who would have thought this a month ago?

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Steve Baker has been returned in Wycombe. That’s good.

    BBC forecast for Tories now down to 318.

  • Gary Wintle

    Hung Parliaments are the best outcome. They smash the ego’s of our universally awful politicians, all of them grafting grasping narcissists.

    A divided government means less government. If they are arguing with each other they are not governing.

    The good news is that the Baby Boomers,that stinking, putrid parasitical, worthless generation, will soon be getting the kicking they richly deserve.

    I say slash pensions to cull the stench of the Boomers at a quicker pace.

  • Mr Ecks

    Hung parliament is no fucking good when we are trying to get out of the EU.

    Neither side can rule by a handful of votes and there will have to be another election.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    On April 19 someone by the name of Shlomo Maistre said these things:

    1:

    Would snap elections have been called to “strengthen” (read: find excuses to not follow through with the results of the referendum) the government in the event that Remain had won? To ask the question is to answer it.

    Brexit beat Remain. Why is an election required to follow through on the will of the people?

    That’s rhetorical and a trick question. Nobody in power gives a shit about the will of the people.

    Why anyone in favor of Brexit would react to this calling of snap elections with anything other than a mix of disgust and dismay makes no sense to me at all. The Conservatives have 330 seats. The Conservatives have the ability to deliver what a strong majority of self-identifying Conservative voters voted for in the referendum: Brexit. But apparently not the will to follow through on it without yet another election.

    2:

    So many assumptions, guesses, and speculations in Lee’s reply.

    Facts:
    1. Conservatives voted overwhelmingly for Brexit.
    2. The Conservative Party has the mandate and power to deliver to Conservative voters what Conservative voters want.
    3. The Conservative Party by calling snap-elections is in the MOST OPTIMISTIC scenario putting at risk a once-in-a-generation opportunity to gain perhaps a bit more leverage/power to deliver Brexit. I suspect that this is an attempt to make an own-goal look like a valiant effort on the football/soccer pitch.

    Instead of doing her job, which is to deliver on Brexit, Theresa May is taking every opportunity to find excuses to avoid doing her job.

    Again, any supporter of Brexit with half a brain reacts to this bullshit with a combination of dismay and disgust. Period.

    3:

    It’s win-win for May: either her hand is strengthened to actually follow through on Brexit, which protects her from Establishment forces out to cause trouble for anyone who follows through on Brexit, or she can no longer do Brexit as a result of the June 8 elections, which is what she really wants anyway.

    Of course, if her objective were not to politically protect herself but rather to withdraw the UK from the EU, then the wise course of action would be to not gamble a once in a generation opportunity to do what may never be politically feasible again for the mere chance of gaining a bit more leverage to follow through on Brexit. Instead, if her objective were to get the UK out of the EU she would get the job fucking done. Period.

    My comments were heavily criticized by multiple people here at Samizdata.

    Theresa May does not give a shit about Brexit.

    There were ulterior motives for this snap election.

    https://www.samizdata.net/2017/04/discussion-point-uk-general-election-called-for-8th-june-2017/

  • Gary Wintle

    Hung Parliament means less government. That is always a good thing. Get to watch these narcissistic 50-60 year old has-been Boomer clowns be exposed as the careerist incompetent hacks they truly are.

    The people need to see how useless the entire political and Boomer class is so they can be punished.

    Its all good. 😎

  • J k atwal

    The problem is that most UK voters don’t know what real liberty is and wouldn’t want it anyway. After the past 40 years, we’ve been infantalised and it will probably stay that way

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    I wonder if it is simply voter fatigue? 2 elections and 2 referendums in 4 years is a bit much! We expected five-year terms, and we insist on them!

  • Sam Duncan

    Don’t forget that there are now ten DUP members, who’ll reliably vote with the Tories, and Sinn Fein never take their seats. They only need 312 to form a government (of course, by the same token, with their various Lefty chums, Labour could get away with less than 290). But that we should even be talking of that kind of thing after the sort of polling we saw a month or so ago, and Wolfie bleedin’ Smith in charge of Labour… Christ on a bike.

    Then again, Gary W. has a point, and it’s almost been worth going through the whole farrago just to see Alec Salmond and Angus Robertson kicked out. By Tories, too. Delicious.

  • NickM

    I am on Holliday in Crete. Off to see ruins of Knossos today. Just sayin’

    PS Bought all my Euros a while back.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Taxi? Just tell her to get on her bike, and go!

  • I wonder if it is simply voter fatigue? 2 elections and 2 referendums in 4 years is a bit much! We expected five-year terms, and we insist on them!

    Boundary commission changes come in next year. Given that we’ve got a hung parliament with Conservatives + DUP able to govern on a “confidence and supply” basis.

    If I was the DUP leader, I’d be looking for guarantees on Corporation Tax equalisation and no hard border with the Irish Republic post BRExit.

    Theresa May has definitely lost this snap election and if she doesn’t resign then she will face an election challenge in September. Hard for her to recover from what can only be seen as an abject failure.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    On Nov 29, 2015 someone by the name Shlomo Maistre said:

    What we are witnessing in the United Kingdom’s Labour Party is one of the main ways in which the Overton Window is shifted leftwards, as it has been doing for centuries in the Western world.

    According to Overton’s description, his window includes a range of policies considered politically acceptable in the current climate of public opinion, which a politician can recommend without being considered too extreme to gain or keep public office.

    Jeremy Corbyn is probably unelectable in today’s United Kingdom, but by controlling a major political party the Corbyn gang are presenting dissenting Labourites with a simple offer they can rarely refuse: get with the (leftwing) program (or face the consequences, which can vary). Ultimately those who do not accept said offer will almost certainly be eventually rendered irrelevant to the Labour Party.

    Many (probably most) of President Obama’s policies would be considered politically unacceptable by the climate of public opinion that prevailed in the United States circa 1980, for instance.

    Like the leftists who have preceded him, Corbyn will lose the battle but win the war. Time degrades all things, after all.

    https://www.samizdata.net/2015/11/snapshots-of-labour-collapse/

    Jeremy Corbyn has shifted the Overton Window with this June 2017 election. Labour has lost this election, but they are winning the war by shifting the terms of public political debate leftward. The water flows leftward in democracy.

    Indeed, Fraser Nelson, Editor of The Spectator said a few hours ago:

    “If Corbyn does take Labour to 40pc, he’ll have done more to increase his party’s vote share than anyone since Attlee in 1945.”

    At this moment Corbyn has taken his party to 41pc with 641 seats of all 650 declared.

  • Lee Moore

    Boundary commission changes come in next year

    I’m happy to be corrected, but I think boundary commission changes come in next year IF AND ONLY IF Parliament confirms them. Dunno whether an actual Act is required or whether a HoC vote will do. But I don’t think it’s automatic.

  • Lee Moore

    I was one of the guilty men to whom Shlomo refers, who did not think Mrs May trying to pad her majority was a bad thing for Brexit. In my defence, although I never believed she was possessed of much political talent, i did not expect her to conduct her campaign by area bombing the Conservative Party’s most loyal supporters (old folk with savings); then machine gunning herself in both feet; and then retiring to her tent to cry. My mistake.

    Now, having donned my helmet and flame resistant body armour, in the expectation that Shlomo will disagree, I will venture the craven opinion that if Brexit lite, and staying in the single market is all that can be got through the Commons, then Brexit-lite will have to do. For the present. The critical thing is to escape, even if we’re tied to the door. We can always chew through the rope on another day. Whereas if we don’t get out of the door in the first place, well we know from experience that we are allowed a say on EU membership once every 41 years.

    Out, however it can be achieved is the first hill to climb.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think any “deal” with the EU is possible anyway, so whatever negotiating position the UK adopts, it boils down to WTO rules or stay in and pretend the referendum never happened. I would prefer to avoid the latter.

  • David Moore

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think any “deal” with the EU is possible anyway, so whatever negotiating position the UK adopts, it boils down to WTO rules or stay in and pretend the referendum never happened.

    Agree, the ‘deal’ has always been BS. I never saw any value in even trying to cut one.

  • Chip

    Some 40% of British people voted for someone who publically praised Hugo Chavez as a success.

    Another perhaps 10 years of emigrating makers and immigrating takers will likely hand permanent control to Cronyn and his breakers.

  • I sympathize with you guys. I had hoped you had escaped the worse horrors of the Left; I sat up late cheering as the Brexit results came in. But it seems that pushing back the tides of idiocy is a never-ending struggle.

  • Lee Moore

    Well I think there’s some political value in trying to cut a deal, or at least going through the motions of doing so, simply to avoid the political charges of extremism and dereliction of duty and so on. There are bound to be problems with any kind of exit, and you don’t want to look as if you weren’t trying to mitigate them. So better to sit round the table at chatter away, making sure Fleet Street keeps it up night and day as to how absurd and unreasonable EU demands are.

    But in the back room you want your chaps to be working like hell on dealing with a disorderly exit from the Single Market. Plenary powers to relax business and employment regs, nice fat tax cuts all drafted and ready to go, and so on. Cos the negotiations are just for show. Not, I stress, because negotiating an orderly exit would be inherently wicked and stupid, but simply because even a friendly EU couldn’t possibly get its members to agree on any kind of deal in the time frame. And since the EU is obviously not friendly but hostile, there’s no deal to be done. But there is a sort of a win-win out there. The EU wants remaining members to see that the sacrilege of leaving will be punished with fire and brimstone, not to mention everlasting damnation. And the UK government wants the British people to understand that sorry, no deal was possible with people like this.

    Obviously all of this is better attempted if you have a fat majority in the House of Commons. Harder if you have a small majority. And decidedly dicey if you’ve just lost your majority.

  • David Moore

    On the upside, I’m in London in a couple of weeks and the exchange rate will be great!

  • Phil B

    Look on the bright side. Nick Clegg lost his seat in Hallam!

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I was one of the guilty men to whom Shlomo refers, who did not think Mrs May trying to pad her majority was a bad thing for Brexit. In my defence, although I never believed she was possessed of much political talent, i did not expect her to conduct her campaign by area bombing the Conservative Party’s most loyal supporters (old folk with savings); then machine gunning herself in both feet; and then retiring to her tent to cry. My mistake.

    Lee, sorry but you still don’t get it. Your mistake (and the mistake of so many others in that thread) had/has nothing to do with miscalculating Theresa May’s political talent or misidentifying the political strategies she would use in her election campaign.

    Your mistake is in thinking that May wants to withdraw the UK from the EU. She does not want to do this in and of itself. She was perhaps willing to do certain things like activate Article 50 in exchange for being Prime Minister.

    Theresa May campaigned against Brexit. She was a Remainer at heart. She is still a Remainer at heart; the referendum on Brexit changed only the political incentives affecting her political career but it did NOT change what’s in her heart or what the entire global Establishment from NGOs to Ivy League to MSM to Goldman Sachs to IMF to UN to Federal Reserve to the State Department want from any PM of the UK: continued membership in the EU.

    Remember one of the things I said on April 19:

    It’s [calling snap elections] win-win for May: either her hand is strengthened to actually follow through on Brexit, which protects her from Establishment forces out to cause trouble for anyone who follows through on Brexit, or she can no longer do Brexit as a result of the June 8 elections, which is what she really wants anyway.

    It’s said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So is victory. Has the June 8, 2017 election result not very nearly achieved (and perhaps will more or less eventually achieve) what Theresa May campaigned for pre-June 23, 2016? Seeing what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.

  • Chip

    As Mark Steyn says, demography is destiny. In the UK, some 80% of population growth is among ethnic minirities. In 2010, the Conservatives received a grand total of 16% of their votes.

    The left – in both the US and UK – is playing the long game. They know some cultures are inherently statist and that values like individual liberty are not universally admired. They are winning.

    The only chance for the West may be a cultural alliance with the pragmatic and socially conservative East Asian cultures. It’s being borne out in Canada and Australia, where these immigrants support small c conservative policies.. But unfortunately for Europe, Karachi, Tunis and Lagos are a lot closer than Guangdong.

    Some of you will see this as a racist perspective. My wife and kids are minorities so I don’t give a fig what you think. It’s about culture. One of the Left’s great achievements is that they have tricked society into thinking it’s about race.

  • Lee Moore

    I will beg to differ. I think Mrs May wanted to withdraw from the EU in the same sense that Neville Chamberlain wanted to declare war on Germany on 3 September 1939. With very great reluctance, but aware that there was no alternative.

    And possessed of a very modest majority, with plenty of her own MPs willing to disrupt Brexit if given a chance, she thought she saw a slow half volley outside off stump, and wafted at it. Now she is possessed of a minority and is in a much trickier position. I don’t think she’s thinking “Oh goodee, this gives me the opportunity I was looking for to cancel Brexit.” I think she’s crying in her soup. There are however plenty of Tory MPs who saw no alternative but to give effect to the referendum result who have now got a glimmer of hope that perhaps it can be stopped. I’ve already seen some fine spin in the Graun saying it was David Davis who pushed for the election. What better way to blacken the name of the only real contender who actually favours Brexit than to tie his name to yesterday’s debacle ?

    The Tory leadership campaign has already begun. The next General Election campaign too, as this Tory minority government can’t last too long.

  • Patrick Crozier

    At the outset of the campaign Labour had something like 28% in the polls. I believe this was confirmed by the local election results in May – insofar as local elections can confirm such things. Now Labour is on 40%.

    What happened?

  • What happened?

    Theresa May happened.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I will beg to differ. I think Mrs May wanted to withdraw from the EU in the same sense that Neville Chamberlain wanted to declare war on Germany on 3 September 1939. With very great reluctance, but aware that there was no alternative.

    You are comparing the consequences of a democratic referendum on membership in a political organization that voting country has been a member of for decades with the consequences of one of the most destructive and evil megalomaniacs in modern history invading foreign country with one of the then-most formidable war machines ever devised by man. I must confess that I’m not terribly convinced that this argument is all that persuasive or even appropriate.

    And possessed of a very modest majority, with plenty of her own MPs willing to disrupt Brexit if given a chance, she thought she saw a slow half volley outside off stump, and wafted at it. Now she is possessed of a minority and is in a much trickier position.

    Let me say the words you should be saying instead: Theresa May is not a leader. A genuine leader in the traditional sense does the hard thing, the thing that hurts short-term and helps long-term, the thing that powerful people, popular sentiment, and fashionable opinion oppose, without hesitating, asking for permission, or offering excuses.

    There is too much power, money, prestige, status, and order tied to the UK remaining in the EU for a genuine, real Brexit to be fully enacted without substantial disorder.

    Brexiteers who thought that calling these snap elections was even possibly a good idea don’t understand multiple things, including that a real, genuine Brexit can only ever be achieved by a great leader whose heart is set on Brexit, whose heart can’t be persuaded by lucrative book deals, honorary University degrees, Goldman Sachs party invites, etc. A great leader is someone who is going to look at widespread riots, mayhem, bloodshed in the streets of many UK cities and calmly, confidently, unapologetically, and without a moment’s hesitation choose martial law and the ire of the global establishment instead of stable global financial markets and the Nobel Peace Prize if that’s what’s required to do what’s right, what’s best for the UK in the long-run.

    Don’t worry though. People tend to get the government they deserve so effective leadership is likely not in the UK’s foreseeable future and the UK will continue chasing its tail like most other Western democracies.

    The likes of Corbyn will be elected Prime Minister of the UK within a few decades max.

  • jim jones

    My neighbour has a wife with Alzheimers, he will vote against anyone who threatens to cut Social Care (like Mrs.May).

  • I think Lee Moore has it exactly correct.

  • Patrick Crozier

    “Theresa May happened.”

    You must forgive me, I have been pretty much out of circulation for the last couple of months. What did she do that increased the Labour vote so much?

  • Living in Scotland instead of down south has been relatively politically tedious for a long time. Today, for the first election in my entire life, the news here is better than elsewhere. Its an ill wind – but it is a pretty ill wind nevertheless. Of course, I suspect it could have been better still in Scotland with a strong Tory campaign. Nevertheless, while much of Scotland still threatens you, some of Scotland has just saved you from Tories not being large enough to remain the government.

    The Tories’ vote share is up from 2015, but Labour’s is up more. I feel sure Labour got most of the small reductions in Green and LibDem votes. That leaves UKIP; clearly their votes were going all to Tories at the start of this campaign and at least half to Labour by its end. All this confirms my respect for Dominic Cumming’s description of the real centre ground as opposed to the fiction believed in by the inhabitants of SW!.

    Swing voters who decide elections – both those who swing between Conservative/Labour and those who swing between IN/OUT – do not think like this. They support much tougher policies on violent crime than most Tory MPs AND much higher taxes on the rich than Blair, Brown, and Miliband. They support much tougher anti-terrorism laws than most Tory MPs AND they support much tougher action on white collar criminals and executive pay than Blair, Brown, and Miliband.

    Who wins elections depends in part on which party can better express their party’s side of this viewpoint. These people want free stuff. They also want to say what they think without getting arrested – what they think about islam, what they think about there not being enough free stuff because the immigrants are getting it, etc. There are high-minded ways Tories can appeal to this group – talk about free speech while Labour talks about free stuff. There are practical ways – Dominic’s ‘let’s spend that £350-million-a-week on our own things – like the NHS’ that his article repeatedly stresses was essential to pushing LEAVE over the top.

    I think you can all complete this discussion for yourselves as regards how Theresa May’s campaign failed to appeal to this in any way.

    I did not predict that a 28% lead would be reduced to a less-than-2.8% lead. Judge the following predictions in that light.

    – I predict Theresa May will not survive. There will be a new Tory leader in September (no great foresight required for this one)

    – I predict there will be a election either soon after the boundary changes next year or possibly before.

    – I predict the outcome will depend on whether her Tory replacement is the sort of Tory that can express a Tory reason why the real centre ground should vote Tory.

    – I predict that Corbyn will remain leader of Labour, and (party therefore) that Tory victory will remain very achievable.

  • Gary Wintle

    Why doesn’t he get a job?

    Has he heard of something called “work”?

  • Patrick Crozier

    So, rather than there being a battle over the soul of the Labour Party there is now a battle over the soul of the Conservative Party? Juncker must be pissing himself.

  • Gary Wintle

    Baby Boomers being greedy parasites and stealing from Gen X and Millenials via corrupt scams like Help to Buy may not have helped.

  • Lee Moore

    including that a real, genuine Brexit can only ever be achieved by a great leader whose heart is set on Brexit

    In the absence of such a paragon, I’ll take what I can get. Any kind of Brexit that’s going, even if it’s delivered by a snivelling careerist.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    I wonder how many other people had my experience? A few days after Easter, I had a dream in which the Conservatives just managed to scrape back into power. I took this to simply be some random subconscious ‘message’ about hubris, not an actual prophecy, but it seems to be coming true! If only I’d bet on a hung parliament, but my dreams are not usually so accurate!

  • PeterT

    This is the least bad outcome. I favour leaving via the EEA route (let’s not discuss this now) and this now seems almost inevitable. Arguably a slim majority for the Tories would have been preferable, if it was not for the fact that this would have allowed May to stay on. She claims to want to stay on, but I can’t imagine anybody besides herself believes this is feasible. I’d be happy to see her leaving downing street in the manner of Cersei.

    Also very nice to see the nasty SNP decimated in Scotland. Makes me feel better about being a Brit.

  • Lee Moore

    And one more thing. You will all have noticed the TOTAL collapse of UKIP, whose vote did not so much collapse as evaporate. UKIP is now a mere footnote in history.

    And yet, if you look at the actual scores, despite fielding fewer candidates UKIP still managed to clock up more votes than the Greens. Which, I am sure we will discover on the BBC et al, is mysteriously not a mere footnote in history, but deserving of regular slots on TV shows.

  • Charlie Suet

    PeterT – we will end up with a second election either later this year or early next. At the moment, terrifyingly, the odds are that the hard left will win it. The Tories will be in disarray – there is no saviour waiting to take over from May. The electorate have demonstrated that they don’t care about Corbyn being a dim-witted, anti-western, terrorist supporting economic illiterate.

    We will then have a couple of years of genuine, full-on socialism. Because socialism is never to blame for the damage it causes, everything bad will be blamed on Brexit, even if we go the EEA route as you suggest.

    This country is headed for disaster. We might end up sadder and wiser after it, but there are no other consolations.

  • EdMJ

    @PeterT – “I’d be happy to see her leaving downing street in the manner of Cersei.” Um, you remember Cersei was stripped naked for that, right? I don’t think seeing May like that would make anyone ‘happy’…

    The chanting of “Shame…shame…shame” and throwing of excrement I’d be fine with though.

  • EdMJ

    @Chip – “The left – in both the US and UK – is playing the long game.” And they make no effort to hide it. It’s no coincidence that the Fabian Society’s logo is a tortoise.

    “The logo of the Fabian Society, a tortoise, represented the group’s predilection for a slow, imperceptible transition to socialism, while its coat of arms, a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’, represented its preferred methodology for achieving its goal.” The wolf in sheep’s clothing symbolism was later abandoned, due to its obvious negative connotations.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fabian_Society

  • Stonyground

    I’m still stunned by the realisation that some 40% of my fellow citizens actually voted for what is effectively communism. Are there really that many people who don’t actually know how communist run countries always end up? Or are there just so many people who are just willing to vote for someone who promises to give them everything free and have no inkling that all that free stuff has to be paid for in some way? Maybe, as someone has mentioned above, they just wanted to give May a bit of a kicking for her presumption. Maybe they think that the whole thing is just a bit of a game.

  • Shlomo Maistre (June 9, 2017 at 7:48 am): “… a real, genuine Brexit can only ever be achieved by a great leader whose heart is set on Brexit” … . Lee Moore (June 9, 2017 at 8:15 am): “In the absence of such a paragon, I’ll take what I can get. …”

    A legally-hard Brexit (i.e. leave with no deal when article 50 runs out in 2019) can be achieved by the conflict between the EU’s “give us 60 billion – no, make that 100 billion” and “free stuff” (i.e. for Brits). Paying the EU’s golden handshake will be a tough sell for any party.

    It would be normal-working for something sensible to happen through the conflicts and paralysis of MPs rather than through their brilliant leadership.

  • John K

    Disentangling the UK from the EU after 43 years of membership cannot be done in two years. The best interim solution is membership of EFTA (which we left in 1973) and thus retain membership of the European Economic Area. This is the closest to a quick and painless Brexit you will get.

    I don’t fault Theresa May for calling the election, she was 25% ahead in the polls, and Labour was led by a man 80% of his MPs hated. I do blame Theresa May for losing the election. She campaigned badly and managed to alienate her core vote, older home owners. Corbyn, on the other hand, did well by offering lots of free shit. It is amazing how far you can get by doing this, but it is important to lose the election, otherwise you have to find a way to deliver the free shit.

    In the longer term, Theresa May will not lead the Conservatives into the next election. Boris Johnson, I think your hour may have arrived.

  • Stonyground (June 9, 2017 at 10:00 am): “… Maybe … they just wanted to give May a bit of a kicking for her presumption. Maybe they think that the whole thing is just a bit of a game.”

    From the start of the campaign until the exit poll, it looked safe to give can’t-lose May a kicking, and safe to give can’t-win Corbyn your protest vote. For twenty-five years, with emphatic examples recently, the Tory vote has been higher than the polls said, so it looked even safer than the average of polls was saying. I went to bed last night thinking the exit poll would be just one more example.

    (It was just a bit: the Tories have 319* seats not 314, Labour 261 seats not 266, and the very first declaration had the beeb noting that the swing to Labour was less than the exit poll said. But the polls-know-nothing lesson of the 2015 election was not repeated.)

    The remoaners absurdly insisted that lots of Leave voters would have voted differently if they’d known Brexit would win. We should not imitate them, but I think the start-of-campaign polls show how many of these Labour voters are retrievable by the Tories – just not by May. (As per my earlier post – BTW, the first paragraph of that post is about Scotland and then all the rest is about the UK. Rereading it just now I realise I maybe should have spelt that out.)

    *318 and 1 projected for any pedants reading this 🙂

  • Lee Moore

    I hesitate to say anything which might be (wrongly) interpreted as a pat on the back for Mrs May. She ran a shockingly bad campaign, and seems to be an empty suit. All the same for amusement I did just flick back through the results of the last few elections. It turns out that the Tory performance in 2017 in actual votes and share of votes is virtually identical to its performance in 1987, when Mrs T won a majority of 102. How nice a divided opposition is !

    I also noticed looking through the gains and losses this year that there were a small number of Tory gains from Labour including a couple from a long way back. Mansfield ! And they came within a fag paper of winning Ashfield. I wonder if anyone is going to do an analysis and see whether there is any correlation between electoral performance and whether the Tory candidate is a cheerful, friendly local human, selected by the local party; or an alien misanthrope parachuted in by head office to make up some quota.

  • Lee Moore

    *318 and 1 projected for any pedants reading this

    The 1 is Kensington, which has had 419 recounts and sent the poll workers home for a kip. So

    (a) it’s 318 and one very definitely still up in the air and
    (b) yes, the Tories really could manage to lose Kensington

  • Alisa

    I’m still stunned by the realisation that some 40% of my fellow citizens actually voted for what is effectively communism.

    What was the turnout?

  • Charlie Suet

    I’d imagine that Kensington would be a seat that Labour wouldn’t hold on to at the next election. But there are an awful lot of city types who need to take it on board that socialism is every bit as damaging to their interests as a hard Brexit (more so, on the whole).

  • Cal Ford

    “My comments were heavily criticized by multiple people here at Samizdata.”

    Not by me. I had also been saying why give Labour a chance when you already have a majority, and three more years of power left?

  • Alisa (June 9, 2017 at 10:40 am): “What was the turnout?”

    68.7% which, from memory, is 2% up on 2015 but 4% down on Brexit.

    This +2% and -4% net change may of course conceal some additional Labour energy and reduced Tory enthusiasm for May.

    I believe fraudulent voting in certain communities is an increasing problem (FYI, I know nothing specific regarding this election) but I also believe it is emphatically not the cause of this result – it only matters in seats Labour holds anyway.

  • PeterT

    Charlie Suet. I sincerely hope you are wrong.

    Remember the coronation of Michael Howard? I expect something similar but with either Hammond or (less likely) Davis in that role.

    May is delusional. I give her a week at most. No doubt there will be a meeting of senior Tories this weekend, sans May.

  • Alisa

    Thanks Niall. I must say this is not looking good.

  • Kensington, like Canterbury, is probably one of the very few seats where remoaner tactical-voting may play a role. It may also explain – in both directions – why the LibDems have fewer votes but a few more seats. The net effect is near-zero: this is the least important take-away from the election, though our chattering class will probably talk about it a lot.

    Of greater interest is whether the complete ignorance and uncertainty that Labour managed (unwittingly, I believe) to foster as to what its real views (if any) were on Brexit actually helped it?

  • Lee Moore (June 9, 2017 at 10:37 am): “It turns out that the Tory performance in 2017 in actual votes and share of votes is virtually identical to its performance in 1987, when Mrs T won a majority of 102. How nice a divided opposition is !”

    Indeed. The ridiculous Corbyn was in charge of Labour and the LibDems were the sole party trusted by the remoaners. But the votes May lost (and the votes the LibDems lost I’d guess) went to Labour, not to the anti-Brexit party.

  • staghounds

    Shlomo Maistre has more British domestic political knowledge than I, but like him I always believed that our Masters would find a way not to Brexit. Looks as though they may have.

  • Lets not forget that the Tories, especially the 1922 committee are an unsympathetic bunch whose sole purpose is to ensure that the leader of the Conservatives can deliver electoral success.

    With the electoral disaster of yesterday, there is no way that Theresa May will be leader by the next election, but I suspect that it is likely that they will keep the knives sharpened, but sheathed for the time being.

    None of the main figures wants to be tainted by a failure to agree BRExit terms and by definition a hard BRExit, despite the fact that a failure to ratify a BRExit treaty with the EU is likely.

    What I expect to happen is that Theresa May will be allowed to continue as PM for the next two years until BRExit is over at the end of March 2019, but then she will be told in the summer that she does not have the confidence of the party going forward and will be forced to resign.

    So by the Party conference in 2019 or at the latest 2020, she’ll be gone. She was always likely to be just a BRExit caretaker and this election farago has only confirmed that.

    It has also highlighted the danger of the outstanding boundary commission changes, which must be forced through before an election in 2020 (if they can survive that long even with the fixed term parliaments act in place).

  • Lee Moore

    re the boundary changes :

    1. a quick google indicates that the proposed boundaries get put into a draft Order in Council towards the end of next year, which has to be approved by both Houses of Parliament to take effect. So the Tory minority government has to survive for sixteen months or so, bribe the DUP to vote in favour, bribe any dissenting Tory backbenchers who are going to lose their seats, and then hope that the Lords don’t decide to put a spoke in the wheels.

    2. On the other hand, on the current boundaries, the Tories just got nearly 60 more seats than Labour for only a two and a half percent vote margin. So perhaps they may be OK with the current boundaries.

  • rfichoke

    That’s the case everywhere in the once free world. The biggest expenditures here in the U.S. are Social Security and Medicare. Woe to the politician who dares propose any kind of alteration to either one. They’re sacrosanct.

  • Mr Ecks

    John Galt–The question is can they survive to 2020?

    A lot can happen and Corbyn is still hated by the Blairites. He may not be an electoral liability at this moment but that will only cool the bad blood not get rid of it.

    May has proved she is an egregiously stupid (that 100,000 Viet girls nonsense was no fluke) charisma free freak. Can the Tories get by with two years of her gaffs?

    Sean Gabb suggests an informal deal with Corby. They bring in some of his ideas–say renationalise the railways or perhaps some utilities in exchange for going to Brussels as a united front ( my NB it would have to include control of our borders–) and saying that 80% of the British people are represented at the table.That would fuck the Commissars nicely.

    ZaNu would have to cost their plans and say where the money would come from. And young millenials might get to see nationalised industry in action. If they nationalised the renewable industry they would likely destroy it and create the bonus of leaving us with brown-outs. We would see how the millenials adjust to 1970s style candle power.

  • Paul Marks

    The Marxist Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, did not have to make the case against liberty – as Mrs May’s manifesto did that.

    The Red Tory love of “Radical Joe” Chamberlain approach has had its natural result. The election became about who could do more “good” for the people via government – an ideal discussion for the Labour Party.

    As for British independence first USE CLEAR LANGUAGE.

    In the name of reason stop saying “Brexit” – no one has any idea what that stupid term means.

    The independence of the United Kingdom means that E.U. law (the so called “single market”) is no longer valid in our internal affairs.

    If people want independence they should at least use the word independence – stop saying “Brexit”.

  • Mr Ed

    Guido Fawkes has listed 10 decent ‘as he puts it’ DUP policies.

    The DUP pledged:

    To reduce the rate of Corporation Tax to at least 12.5%;
    To freeze then cut or abolish the TV licence and reform the BBC;
    To cut the VAT rate for tourism businesses;
    To introduce a Trade Accelerator Plan including an enhanced range of initiatives to help support both new and existing exporters to explore new markets;
    To abolish Air Passenger Duty;
    To establish low tax, deregulated Freeports in economically underdeveloped parts of the UK
    To reduce the number of Government Departments and reduce the number of Special Advisors;
    To introduce a Civil Service Voluntary Exit Scheme yielding annual savings of approximately £100 million;
    To create new trade, investment and innovation hubs in key global markets;
    To introduce alternative models of public sector service delivery such as increasing the use of social enterprises.

    Cherry pick away, disregard the central planning bits as a compromise.

  • bobby b

    These are the policies of your Democratic Unionist Party?

    Your parties are very confusingly named.

  • Mr Ed

    booby b

    Nothing to do with ‘Democratic/Popular/Front’ or the party of slavery and the KKK, but a newish (1970s) party from Ulster. A sort of working-class, no nonsense party who actually know what it is to be facing an existential threat and to respond without cringing and apologising if their survival offends.

  • Stonyground

    “We would see how the millenials adjust to 1970s style candle power.”

    It wouldn’t be like that this time around, everything is electronic, you can’t just light candles and carry on like you could then. I was working at a garage in the seventies, we could actually take the cover of the petrol pumps and crank them by hand. Nowadays, without electricity everything stops.

  • “We would see how the millenials adjust to 1970s style candle power.”
    At least May will get her wish of disconnecting the Internet. We’ll soon see how those mediaeval cultists organise without modern technology to hide in!

  • Mr Ed

    May as Prime Minister today is like cowpox as an alternative to smallpox.

  • Brian Swisher

    But cowpox at least has the benefit of immunizing you against smallpox. I’m not sure May would immunize anybody against anything.

  • Mr Ed

    Brian,

    Just by being there, unpleasant as she is, she blocks the smallpox of the Labour Party, for now. Far better be healthier, but we are denied that, for now.

  • Cal Ford

    >Hung Parliament means less government. That is always a good thing. Get to watch these narcissistic 50-60 year old has-been Boomer clowns be exposed as the careerist incompetent hacks they truly are.

    Ecks is right, a hung Parliament is no bloody good at this point, and it’s extremely vulnerable. As Brendon O’Neill says:

    “But the weakness of hung parliaments, and the circling of the forces of anti-democracy, and the elite’s spying in this new arrangement an opportunity to undermine the mandate of last June means that Brexit has never been more fragile.”

    http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-return-of-two-party-politics-dream-on-general-election-result/19941#.WTscPLpPKYD

  • Mr Ed

    Well let’s hope the next issue isn’t ‘Angela Merkel, your Über is waiting for you…‘.

  • Sam Duncan

    “I hesitate to say anything which might be (wrongly) interpreted as a pat on the back for Mrs May. She ran a shockingly bad campaign, and seems to be an empty suit. All the same for amusement I did just flick back through the results of the last few elections. It turns out that the Tory performance in 2017 in actual votes and share of votes is virtually identical to its performance in 1987, when Mrs T won a majority of 102. How nice a divided opposition is!”

    Oh yes, Lee. I think that’s being missed by a lot of commentators. In terms of votes cast and share of them, it’s actually one the Tories’ best performances ever. Anything over 40% is tremendously good, historically. The trouble is, Labour won more than 40% too. In recent years, we’ve grown used to oppositions polling in the low 30s. Had Corbyn been the hopeless case we all expected him to be, it would have been a landslide. Despite the godawful “social justice” manifesto.

    Which doesn’t let May off the hook by any means; her campaign should have been all about showing his true, weaselly, anti-British, terrorist-sympathising, character at every turn. Maybe they thought it was too obvious to be worth mentioning. Turns out it wasn’t.

    “May as Prime Minister today is like cowpox as an alternative to smallpox.”

    You have the knack of a good simile, Mr. E.

  • Lee Moore

    Sam : her campaign should have been all about showing his true, weaselly, anti-British, terrorist-sympathising, character at every turn

    I think they could, and did, safely leave that to the Sun and the Daily Mail, with occasional reminders in interviews as Boris did, to make it harder for the BBC to just not report it. The fact is 40% of the voters didn’t care. Though the crimes of being a lifelong terrorist sympathiser and of being a blowhard, groper*, no-nothing are very different, it’s a mirror to the US election. Lots of people just don’t mind. Mrs May’s problem was that she was running on a platform of “strong and stable”, and went straight out and did a very good performance of “weak and wobbly.” We had an early warning of this with the NI fiasco in the Budget. It’s her nature. Folk could see that. She’s toast now, not because it’s impossible to run a minority government with DUP support, but because she’s lost all credibility and is a figure of fun.

    * strictly, a fellow who said women would allow themselves to be groped. Which is not quite the same thing.

  • the other rob

    Well, crap! I go away on business for three days and return to this clusterfuck?

    I’ve been out of touch with the fine details of UK elections for a decade or so but, despite the various “free shit or die” generations (both young and old) and the apparent effort to throw the election on the part of the Tories, I honestly expected people to hold their noses and vote accordingly. They didn’t.

    I’ve no idea how this will turn out. Best case scenario: David Davies turns out to be Maggie 2.0, worst case: UK Chavismo, actual outcome: not a clue.

    Best of luck.

  • Stonyground

    “Get to watch these narcissistic 50-60 year old has-been Boomer clowns be exposed as the careerist incompetent hacks they truly are.”

    This appears to have started already. Longrider has picked up on a story about a Conservative by the name of Crispin Blunt who is slagging off the electorate for not knowing the right answer.

    http://www.longrider.co.uk/blog/2017/06/10/its-our-fault/

  • bobby b

    “This appears to have started already. Longrider has picked up on a story about a Conservative by the name of Crispin Blunt who is slagging off the electorate for not knowing the right answer.”

    Every right-of-center blog – posters and commenters alike, including here – appear to agree with that thesis. The alternative seems to be that the 40%+ that voted for Corbyn got it right.

    You don’t always get the politician you’d like. Look at us in the USA. But it’s still the duty of every citizen to weigh choices and not be vacuous or venal. Clearly, a lot of us have been failing that assignment lately.

    Longrider notes that “the arrogance and hubris that they exhibit deserves exactly the result they got.” “They” didn’t get that result. The country – the voters – got that result.

    signed

    One of the narcissistic 50-60 year old Boomer clowns.

  • Lee Moore, June 10, 2017 at 1:06 am: “strictly, a fellow who said women would allow themselves to be groped. Which is not quite the same thing.”

    Even I was ignorant of Corbyn’s having made such a remark. (Funny how we all know that Trump once said something similar but most of us – I assume – did not know that Corbyn did too.) It has of course been pointed out that Corby’s closest collaborators, behind their PC mask, are a mostly male and somewhat crude group.

    BTW, by all means post a reference and/or exact quote, Lee.

    For the record, I was also ignorant of many of the items in Guido’s list of all the times Gorbyn sided with terrorists. For example, number 25 (laying a wreath on the grave of a Munich-olympics terrorist to show how sorry he was that Mossad had finally caught up with him) was news to me, though as Guido notes, the Sunday Times did report it. It was perhaps a pity Guido only posted this on the day of the election – few voters would have seen it.

    I know from reading Soviet defector literature that even those who know the communists lie to them are often fooled into believing things, or not suspecting things. And William Shirer makes the same remark of his years living in Hitler’s Germany. Even with the web, it seems it is hard to keep up with those things the chattering classes would rather downplay.

  • Lee Moore

    I think either you’ve misread my comment, or I’ve missed your joke Niall.

    Though the crimes of being a lifelong terrorist sympathiser and of being a blowhard, groper*, no-nothing are very different, it’s a mirror to the US election. Lots of people just don’t mind.

    There’s two crimes and two alleged criminals here, not one. Which is why one criminal and his crime are referred to as being a mirror of the other criminal and his crime. The point is simply that lots of people don’t mind about the sins of the horse they’re betting on.

  • To quote my very early comment:

    “The fact that Theresa May (a) denounced libertarianism, and (b) is now (surely) toast, is no comfort at all.”

    The more I think about this, the more comforted I am actually becoming.

    My original horror was based on the possibility, that the broadcasters were waving about because they mostly hate Brexit, that Brexit might not happen. But the fact that Corbyn is fine with Brexit means it will surely happen, and it was always going to be a kludge.

  • As for the notion that this was a Cunning Plan by May to shaft Brexit, what seems to me to disprove that is that she triggered Article 50, before the election. If she didn’t want Brexit, she would have held the election, and then deliberately screwed it up, and would now be using the result as an excuse never to trigger Article 50. Sorry if others have already made that point.

    I think the obvious is the truth, and I think the great virtue of May is that what you see and hear is what you get. By this I don’t mean that she never does a switch. What I mean is that whatever she says at any particular moment, she truly means. May thought she would win by a mile, just by denouncing “extremism” (i.e. the likes of us) and by banging on about stability, and that she could then do the thing that matters most to her, which is simply to be Prime Minister and to boss everyone else around. How she achieved that status didn’t bother her so much.

    Seriously, all the evidence (in the form of which seats she campaigned in towards the end of the campaign) is that the result was as much of a shock to her as it was to me and thousands of others.

    Again, apologies if all of this has been said by others.

  • Well, I didn’t vote because I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either of the offerings, so I guess I got exactly what I wanted.

  • I’ve no idea how this will turn out. Best case scenario: David Davies turns out to be Maggie 2.0, worst case: UK Chavismo, actual outcome: not a clue.

    This.

  • Plus of course the other thing that horrified me was how close Corbyn got to being PM and totally fucking my country, which right up to now had seemed like a reasonably okay place. And upon reflection, it probably still does, although rather less so.

    I hope Matthew Parris is right, that lots voted for Corbyn because they just assumed he could never win. Now a much closer look will be taken at him and at the policies he and/or his gang of will inflict upon us if he or anyone like him does win, for real, and this will cause the Corbyn tide to recede somewhat, and hopefully quite a lot.

    I suspect, although again this may be wishful thinking, that this Corbyn surge of enthusiasm may fade rather rapidly. I seem to recall Nick Clegg stimulating an earlier, smaller version of one of such a surges, based on what a nice guy he seemed to be, how “authentic” blah blah. Did him no good at all in the longer run. Can anyone remember that? If nobody can, that’s kind of my point. There is a hell of a lot more to the Corbyn project than there ever was to Clegg, but in terms of Corbyn’s recent media impact, I think the comparison is quite illuminating.

    The point is: authentic starts out lovely, especially when it stands next to a breeze block like May. First time voters, being conned for the first time, are particularly prone to adoring authentic. But after a while you (they) get to thinking about what this oh-so-authentic guy might actually do.

  • Lee Moore

    Brian M : what seems to me to disprove that is that she triggered Article 50, before the election. If she didn’t want Brexit, she would have held the election, and then deliberately screwed it up, and would now be using the result as an excuse never to trigger Article 50.

    And I’m happy to say that the bible of the remoaners, the FT, is jolly cross with her for triggering Article 50 and then screwing up the election. They say that now it’s been triggered legal inertia favours the forces of light not the forces of darkness (though they don’t quite put it that way.)

    In a weak and wobbly moment of my own, I did scuttle off and look at Article 50 to see what it actually says and was relieved to read :

    The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

    So if absolutely nothing else happens in the next 22 months or so, no Bills, no votes, no nothing, we’re out ! Blockers in the Commons or Lords can’t stop it except by forcing the government to revoke its Article 50 notice, or by changing the government, or by passing a law of some kind. A long snooze would do the job.

    I also wonder if some antimatter version of Gina Miller can drum up a legal case that the government can’t now withdraw its Article 50 notice without a Bill being passed, That would help gum up the works a bit.

  • Tomsmith

    The problem with the idea of a liberal free market saviour appearing and leading the conservatives in the kind of way we would like is that the Conservative party is full of people who would hate this to happen, both MPs and members.

    I think what will happen is exactly what the papers are saying- someone awful like Rudd will win next leadership, maybe with Gove or another half decent person as deputy. David Davis will most likely not be allowed to win.

  • Lee Moore

    I think what will happen is exactly what the papers are saying- someone awful like Rudd will win next leadership, maybe with Gove or another half decent person as deputy. David Davis will most likely not be allowed to win.

    Perhaps, but the members might cut up rough at another coronation and insist on an actual election. And then they would at least have to be offered two candidates. In any event Rudd is in too marginal a seat to have a shot.

  • Tomsmith

    Hope so. I had better join the party again in case of a vote.

  • Lee Moore (June 10, 2017 at 8:55 am), yes, Lee, I simply misread your comment; apologies.

    My later point in my comment – that I was ignorant of many of Corbyn’s terrorist-sympathising acts, though I knew of others – was a reply to your statement:

    “I think they could, and did, safely leave that to the Sun and the Daily Mail, with occasional reminders in interviews as Boris did, to make it harder for the BBC to just not report it. The fact is 40% of the voters didn’t care.” (Lee Moore, June 10, 2017 at 1:06 am)

    No, they needed to make all they could of it, to pile weight upon weight. It’s not a binary – “40% of voters didn’t care” (the rest did) – but a spectrum. Many people wanted not to have to care, so they could vote against May or for free stuff. Up to a point, many samizdatans wanted not to have to care, so we could tell May what we thought of her. May took things for granted when she should have been making it much harder for the BBC not to talk about it. Even 18-year-olds have a limited inattention span. 🙂 There would have been votes in every extra mention of it.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Hm…

    Senior Cabinet ministers are engaged in secret talks with Labour MPs to secure cross-party backing for a soft Brexit, it has emerged.

    Some of the most senior members of Theresa May’s team have been discussing how to force the Prime Minister to make concessions on immigration, the customs union and the single market.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/12/tory-labour-mps-plot-secret-deal-ensure-soft-brexit/

    It’s said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So is victory. Has the June 8, 2017 election result not very nearly achieved (and perhaps will more or less eventually achieve) what Theresa May campaigned for pre-June 23, 2016? Seeing what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.

  • Seeing what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.

    Once out, we are one government away from being able to tear up any agreements that were a terrible idea because once free of Brussels, one Parliament cannot bind another Parliament. Did you miss that bit?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Once out, we are one government away from being able to tear up any agreements that were a terrible idea because once free of Brussels, one Parliament cannot bind another Parliament. Did you miss that bit?

    No, didn’t miss that bit.

    “Once out” reminds me of the famous Spartan “if”

    With key Greek city-states in submission, Philip II turned to Sparta; he sent them a message: “If I win this war, you will be slaves forever.” In another version, he warned: “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city.” According to both accounts, the Spartans’ laconic reply was one word: “If”.

    Furthermore, once out you may be one government away from rejoining the EU too – whether on a formal basis or informally acceding to its treaties and effectively agreeing its main dictates.

    I predict nothing but the fact that Theresa May who campaigned to Remain pre-June 23 2016 somehow got herself to lead to the Conservative party and become PM months ago when Cameron stepped down does not speak well of the backbone and/or wisdom of those who pre-June 23 2016 fought for Brexit.

  • Well what can I say, Shlomo, I am an optimist as I am a child of the Thatcher era. And it will be a great deal harder to get us back in now, as I doubt the powers-that-be in the EU actually want the UK back in.