We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

1642

Samizdata has no ‘official position’ on Brexit. Some of the samizdatistas support it, others do not, and for reasons I fully understand. Fine by me, it is not a ‘libertarian’ issue and opinions held in good faith vary on the likely aftermath either way.

So my view is just my view. And my view of where the UK finds itself is no longer a matter of “is Brexit a good idea?” but rather if, in view of the obvious attempts to roll back the result of the referendum, has the state de-legitimised itself? Has Parliament become a self-serving enemy of the people it supposedly represents? And if so, what can be done about it?

“This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.”

They didn’t have to say that, but they did. They didn’t have to hold the referendum, but they did. So clearly voting will have been demonstrated as pointless if we do not in reality end the political control of the EU & its associated institutions after a majority voted to do precisely that. If leaving the EU proves to have been a terrible idea, then by all means hold another vote on trying to rejoin the EU later. But implement the result of the referendum first. Otherwise, next time a party gets a majority in Parliament, if I don’t like the result, I say we skip the whole tiresome implementation phase of a government taking power & just hold more votes until the correct result is achieved.

Absurd, of course. But that is what some people want regarding the referendum and they are working hard to achieve that. This is what de-legitimisation looks like.

Well, in my view, if we have not left the EU on the 29th of March, more voting on the issue is worthless. But votes are not the only way to express a political opinion. Demonstrations are of course peachy, but they are also easy to ignore and will be mis-characterised as ‘far right’ by the media no matter who else turns up. That said… I recommend purchasing some Yellow Vests. I am buying five as I have friends who tend not to plan ahead.

Tax strikes, on the other hand, attack the very foundations of the state. If 1,000 people do this, they will get dragged into court and made a public example of. However if 100,000+ do it, the entire system will come unglued, and we now have a real rebellion with teeth.

I never thought I would have to write this article, but here we are. I am not musing on the future, this is what is staring us in the face right now.

60 comments to 1642

  • This is how things have been going for twenty-odd years. This is why I started blogging years ago. This is how things were always going to end up.

  • Behind Enemy Lines

    I’m not fully across constitutional principles in the UK. Does the Queen have reserve powers that could be drawn on to force this through? Parliament has already made it clear they refuse to honour the referendum, so – apart from replacing them – I don’t see this being achieved any other way.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Every now and again there are calls from certain quarters to make it compulsory to vote, as is the case I understand in Australia. At the same time, some people call for people as young as 16 to be allowed to vote (even though the school-leaving age has been ratcheted up and one cannot learn to drive until 17, drink booze until 18, etc, etc). And politicians are wont to say things such as “make your vote count” and from time to time, people intone that democratic freedom was protected and advanced at great cost…..the 1832 Great Reform Bill, the 1867 Bill, Suffragettes, Catholic Emancipation of 1829, blah, blah, blah. This episode shows what a load of bollocks this all is.

    If the UK does not leave the EU in any sense that matters, and for the foreseeable future, the UK is in the Customs Union, under the rule of the European Court of Justice, and we have to get permission from people as corrupt and unpleasant as Jean-Claude (“where’s my wine?”) Juncker, then all these fine words and actions about the democratic franchise will be shown to be so much cant.

    Now with some classical liberals such as myself what matters even more than allowing majority opinion to prevail is the rule of law. There is such a thing, to be sure, as the “tyranny of the majority”. And it is also undoubtedly true that some of the checks and balances of the UK system of government have been eroded by a succession of governments. All true. There is also the old Edmund Burke argument that we elect MPs to use their judgement on our behalf, not to slavishly follow a narrow set of instructions. However, on a great constitutional matter, such as the UK’s involvement in a trans-national entity such as the EU, one that is acquiring ever more power via qualified majority voting and the rest, there comes a point where if majority voter opinion is thwarted by MPs in the Commons, the latter must be overcome.

    As Perry says, we live in dangerous times. Already, I would argue that to some extent the police in the UK have become delegitimised because they no longer focus on the core roles of protecting life and property, and there are signs of restlessness there. HMRC’s ever more intrusive powers and crap ability to handle citizens’ complaints are already undermining respect for the power to tax. The UK has been for many decades a place where the citizens had a remarkable faith in the basic good sense and fairness of officialdom and government, although that has eroded. A non-Brexit outcome will accelerate this erosion.

    Far too many MPs, it seems, seem to calculate that by frustrating Brexit, they will wear down the public, encourage apathy and a desire to be done with the whole thing. I hear that sentiment constantly. It may even be effective – in the short run. But the longer term damage to legitimacy will not be easy to restore. To some degree, then, the UK is becoming more Italian, without the wine or the garlic.

  • Confused Od Misfit

    Au barricades, mes amis!
    Au barricades!

  • Mary Contrary

    PAYE.

  • Phil

    Council tax.

  • Mr Ecks

    PAYE–Since we no longer live in a democracy.

    Strikes against the employer unless he gives the workforce your wages without any tax/NItax deductions. But promise said employer that if the states costumed thugs turn up to victimise him/her then the newly “empowered” workforce will turn out to fight with said state thugs–if state thugs try to use violence to enforce their masters dictat.

    After all: No taxation if only corrupt “representation”.

  • Mr Ecks

    “Far too many MPs, it seems, seem to calculate that by frustrating Brexit, they will wear down the public, encourage apathy and a desire to be done with the whole thing. I hear that sentiment constantly. It may even be effective – in the short run”

    In addition to the bungling socialistic failure of Western states the Globo elite intend to impoverish mundanes as part of the plan to rule. The Green freakshow is the excuse. Which is why they are indoctrinating kids with the shite from the cradle up.

    That is what Macron is about and what the YJ know.

    So understand that well off types can stand the economic pressure better for now but it will get to them too sooner or later. This is why we can’t quit and can’t afford to lose.

    We can’t go back to touching our forlocks and handing over the cash. Because the demands are going to grow and grow. Can’t pay? Can’t live except by sliding to the gutter? Your problem pleb. Or decent middle-class soon to be pleb.

    We can’t think re Brexit–“Well it was a nice try but I can hope to enjoy my personal life as much as I can”. They are coming for your fucking personal life. Lie there and they will kick us until we are dead and I don’t just mean metaphorically.

  • Confused Od Misfit

    The government of GB is only concerned with its own survival.
    The police forces of GB are concerned only with signalling their own virtue.
    The concerns of the citizen are secondary.
    Your masters know best.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Here’s a new term for the Remoaners- Demophobe! (Democratiphobe seems too long!) A demophobe is anyone who hates anything like democracy, for any reason.

  • Stonyground

    I seem to recall that fuel blockades were pretty effective a decade or two ago. I don’t now recall exactly when this happened but Tony Blair was PM.

  • The Pedant-General

    ” if I don’t like the result, I say we skip the whole tiresome implementation phase of a government taking power & just hold more votes until the correct result is achieved.
    […] This is what de-legitimisation looks like.”

    That’s what the EU always does and has always done. It’s why I voted leave.

  • CaptDMO

    (Nicholas) Ooooo…Demophobe!
    I’M a Demophobe (irrational fear or hatred? I think not)
    Math.
    50% of folks are stupider than the other 50%.
    Automotive filters.
    ONE type can be cleaned of all the contaminants once they are choking the free flow of air/oil/fuel.
    Another type is simply discarded, and replaced.
    NONE has an option for negotiation, once they’ve INEVITABLY been choked with detrimental contaminants. NONE can be removed, and ignored entirely….for long.
    (insert here: all sorts of trite, meaningless philosophical and “debate” observations concerning the French revolution, US war for independence, war between the States, The Great War, and WWII)
    IMHO, T’was ever thus.

  • Michael Taylor

    Gilet Jaunes? No thanks. This parliament is disgraceful, but we have the means to kick them out, which is exactly what will happen at the earliest opportunity – be in no doubt.

    Thinking to solve the problem by violence against people and property in the street. No way. It is incredibly stupid and immature. We’re not French, for goodness sake.

    https://www.the-american-interest.com/2019/01/21/the-problem-with-no-name/

  • We have a Parliament that represents itself, not the people that elected them. If they are so short sighted as to think that we will somehow forget that they have repudiated any claim of legitimacy come the next General Election, they are in for something of a surprise.

    Such milquetoast actions as the Brexit March or protests outside Parliament might grab a few headlines or a brief news piece, but by-and-large the MSM is controlled by those who simply view the vote by the plebs to Leave the EU as wrong-headed, jingoistic and bigoted. So expect any such protests to be censored and derided.

    Those who would deign to rule us have forgotten that they do so by our consent and under our forbearance. To ignore that (and to do so with breathtaking contempt) is to threaten the very institutions which make this country governable.

    I suppose the real question is where do we go from here?

    We don’t have a history of mass action, riots and street violence, that’s more of a French thing but the “Yellow Jacket” protests in France have had a certain amount of visibility if nothing else.

    The only protests which have had any effect on the government in recent years were the fuel protests of the early 2000’s (strangely melodic, since that is shared with the Yellow Jackets of 2019), thus I suspect that our best approach would be similar disruption based upon the core infrastructure of this country, refineries, power stations, road and rail networks, ports, etc.

    In terms of the bureaucracy, it would be relatively straightforward to drown the bureaucracy in its own processes by submitting marginal or irrelevant requests, complaints, appeals and small claims cases over their day-to-day operations. This includes the withholding (as far as possible) of tax payments at every level.

    I’m sure there are more, but being a very reasonable people it is difficult to get into the mindset of “The Unreasonable”, which is where we appear to be heading.

    If Parliament refuses to act in a legitimate matter then it would be relatively easy to make this country ungovernable.

  • James Strong

    I suggested the idea of witholding tax some time ago, but it was explained to me that such cases don’t go before a jury.

    A peaceful ‘crime’ that requires a jury trial is the way to go. In a random 12 person jury there’d be a strong chance of finding at least 3 who are so angered by the way Parliament had betrayed the people that they wouldn’t convict a defendant.

    I hope that The Brexit Party and UKIP can work together and not fight each other, and I hope The Brexit Party is working on getting hundreds of candidates for a General Election.

    Violent protests are not the way forward.

    Few people loathe the RoP more than I do, but overnight events in Christchurch have only damaged the way my views are perceived.

  • James Strong

    What has really angered me, to an extent that it intereferes with my day to day life, is the deceit.

    I know it is often said that politicians lie, but to many people that is just an empty cliche.

    What we have seen here is hundreds of MPs getting elected on a set of promises and then doing everything they can to break those promises.

    My disgust at their actions and my contempt for them is very deep.

  • The leaflet Perry quotes is one of a great many places in which they have put themselves immensely on record. On record when they campaigned against it by insisting to us that voting leave meant leaving the market. On record last election when 84% of the votes were cast for parties explicitly promising Brexit and the one that promised to fight it had a dismal result. On record when they themselves voted for what they now want to delay. Etc.

    If you’ve read my last comment in the prior thread and my comment before it, you know that, with a majority of Tories voting against asking for an extension, and (IIUC) the minister whose job it is to approach the EU for it being one of them, I’m still quoting Churchill on optimism – but I think motivating our friends and warning our enemies a very good idea.

    So, if my existing hopes fail and the Tories do not flip to the side of right, then I note the various suggestions and, on a much more prosaic point ask, what should our party be called (indeed, be?)? ‘Democratic Unionist’ is a reasonable term for people who want to respect a vote and preserve the UK, but can anyone come up with a better. The Tories gave us the Brexit vote to solve their Ukip problem. Without neglecting all other ways of focussing their minds back to reality, how do we best convey to them that they are about to have that problem back in far graver form?

    Demophobe (Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray, March 15, 2019 at 6:19 am): much fairer than the PC rubbish words they dump on us; perhaps useful to use in discussion.

    1642 – I get the allusion, but in today’s world something more topical – I offer ‘Seeing Yellow is followed by Seeing Red’ merely as example of my meaning, not of my wit – may be more the slogan we need.

    “Shame they cheated us over Brexit, but at least I can enjoy my personal life”. Problem: they are coming for your personal life.

    Mr Ecks (March 15, 2019 at 12:59 am) made a good point, which I have written in shorter (and more family-friendly 🙂 ) form. I invite anyone who can to express it in a yet shorter and more pointed form.

  • As Cromwell said to the Long Parliament when he thought it was no longer fit to conduct the affairs of the nation.

    “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”

    If they will not govern by the will of the people then they should at the very least be dismissed that we might have a General Election and choose others who ARE WILLING to abide by the will of the people.

    The simple choice is democracy or blood on the streets. There is no other alternative.

  • Stonyground

    My comment from an earlier thread.
    I’m less confident about the establishment parties getting a kicking come the next election. In the wake of the expenses scandal I was shocked to see how many of the worst offenders were returned to office. My thought was, what would these people have to do not to have a great mass of sheep voting for them? I would like to think that we now have the answer but I’m not particularly hopeful.

    On the subject of violent protests, I don’t really see myself as the type to indulge in that kind of thing. We have to do something but I’m not sure what.

  • Snorri Godhi

    The British Yellow Vests should surround Buckingham Palace (peacefully of course) and refuse to leave until the Queen has dismissed the Commons and called a new election. That’s what Queens and Kings are for!

    The government isn’t going to make any friends if they use violent means to disperse the crowd.

    I also like the idea of sabotage aired by John Galt and James Strong — though they did not use the word “sabotage”.

  • This parliament is disgraceful, but we have the means to kick them out, which is exactly what will happen at the earliest opportunity – be in no doubt.

    Do we, I wonder? I most certainly have doubts. We may have a perfect storm with Corbyn making voting Labour to punish the Tories too ghastly to contemplate, in conjunction with near complete control of who does/does not get selected/deselected as a Tory candidate in the hands of the very same Tories who authored this astonishing situation. The system is more broken than you seem to think. I’d love to be wrong but I don’t think voting is going to do it. We’ll know soon enough.

    Thinking to solve the problem by violence against people and property in the street. No way. It is incredibly stupid and immature

    Yeah whatever. I think we may be rapidly approaching the stage where wise and mature do-nothings are just going to be ignored. I hope it doesn’t come to a ‘push of pikes’, so to speak, but if it does, I know whose side I’ll be on & I have no intention of sitting it out behind a keyboard.

  • Mr Ecks

    There is a considerable difference between an expenses scandal–we always knew they were petty crooks–and announcing “Fuck Off” to democracy and the increasing of EU tyranny.

    There is no half-way with the EU. If you are not out they want control on behalf of the Globo elite . You can’t just –as Mr K quotes/confirms above–go off and enjoy your life and forget politics. Any more than buggering off to the countryside would have saved us in 1939. The shite-scum of the EU are coming for your money and your quiet enjoyment of your life. Ask the YJs . They have sussed what Macron and the greenfreaks are about.

    Also for the “we aren’t French” nonsense. Antifa scum trying to discredit the YJs have done most cop-fighting. But some YJ have defended themselves against thug cops –as should we all. The vast majority of YJ action is peaceful but disruptive.

    We can’t just rely on the ballot box. If her BRINO gets thro the DUP will bring her down. But I hope the DUP/ERG can find the guts to topple her if the extension shit can’t be halted. They have nothing to lose. She has nigh on killed the Tory Party (and Jizz has fucked Labour) and if the ERG are willing to fight they will survive to be re-elected.

  • We may have a perfect storm with Corbyn making voting Labour to punish the Tories too ghastly to contemplate, in conjunction with near complete control of who does/does not get selected/deselected as a Tory candidate in the hands of the very same Tories who authored this astonishing situation.

    I suspect this is all a bit moot. I can’t see the Tories (under Treason May or any of the other likely successors) going for a General Election until they have to. There is too much bad feeling.

    I also can’t see Jeremy Corbyn lasting until the next General Election. It’s possible, but I can’t see it personally. I doubt the chancers like John McDonnell will be able to lose Corbyn and place themselves in his position either.

    Jeremy Corbyn has pissed in the soup of at least 1/3rd of Labour Party members by coming out in favour of both his own cobbled together version of BRINO and ALSO in favour of a second referendum.

    I have no idea who I would vote for at this point. Yet another spoiled ballot Like 2016 Scottish Parliament elections seems like my only realistic choice next time around.

    I doubt that the political landscape will have changed much by 2021.

  • Mr Ecks

    PdeH–UKIP/Farage are waiting. If you put them in one time you will get a real Brexit. If you don’t like the rest then you can vote them out later because they ARE democratic and WILL abide by your vote. They’ll go when voters tell them to. Neither Jizz nor BluLabour EU-sucking scum can say that any longer.You can no longer be sure of that with the others –once a vote means nothing it won’t stop with Brexit.

    You know with near-mathematical certainty what the existing parties will do. Do you really mean that given the choice of two turd parties or a real Brexit–with the option of getting rid of the party you voted for if they are not good otherwise you would not take a chance on UKIP/Farage?

  • Mr Ecks

    John Galt–I think you mean Labour Party potential/traditional supporters/voters.

    The 400,000 LP members are the Marxist maggots infesting Labours bloated corpse. They are the scum decent Labour voters have kept down for 100 years. Millitwat gave them the chance to crawl up Zanu’s back passage and they all think its 1917. It isn’t.

  • @Mr Ecks: Yes, I understand that the entryists of Momentum have taken over the Labour party and are in the process of ousting the Blairites. I’ve seen that first hand, but I think the bigger picture is that the wider electorate will come to realise that:
    1) They can’t vote for Labour with Corbyn currently in charge
    2) Labour have completely disconnected from their working class base
    3) Labour platform is essentially irrelevant nonsense and unicorns

    In terms of “Peak Corbyn”, I think we’ve had that already in 2017. We’ve literally got the worst PM in living memory and the Tories are still about 5 points ahead in the polls once “Don’t Knows” are excluded (roughly Con 40%, Lab 35% and Lib Dem 10%)

    I suspect another reason for the Tories to hold off for as long as possible is that they know that during the BRExit period (assume we end up with some fudge with May’s BRINO deal being forced through) they are wide open to other parties like UKIP and The Brexit Party pulling away their vote in the marginals, although I suspect that Labour will see similar dilution of their core vote, quite where they will go is unclear.

    Will Labour votes desert to the TIGs? It’s possible, if they can find some centre left proposals to stand behind, but with candidates like the execrable Anna Soubry being inevitably brought to the fore during campaigning, I doubt they’ll get much of a draw. In fact, I’m not even sure they will make it to the election at this rate.

  • Jas

    In terms of any general election, there needs to be some kind of coordination between the pro-brexit parties, there’s absolutely no point in splitting the anti-mainstream party vote, the usual tw**s will still get voted in. Who is going to lead this? There is where my heart sinks. The current crop of ‘right-wing’ or fringe party leaders are either a bit loony or just big egos, with not much sense of leadership, planning, or long-term thinking. There has to be brains behind this.

  • In terms of any general election, there needs to be some kind of coordination between the pro-brexit parties, there’s absolutely no point in splitting the anti-mainstream party vote, the usual tw**s will still get voted in.

    To be honest, I am open to suggestions especially as far as by constituency tactical voting, but given that I feel we should punish the Tories while still keeping Labour out of power, I’m not sure how that should be achieved.

    I’m genuinely open to suggestions.

  • morsjon

    Farage should hang his head in shame for splitting the right (by which I mean UKIP and the Brexit Party). The Tommy Robinson thing was just an excuse.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    I would hope that pro-Brexit Tories such as Steve Baker, a friend of mine, can do deals with UKIP types and others so that in tight-fought marginal seats, the vote isn’t split to let in Labour, which is my great fear.

  • @JP: Under the current leadership of UKIP, I’m not sure that cozy deals with Tories, irrespective of their stance on Brexit, would be as acceptable as under previous leadership.

    Hopefully pragmatism will prevail, but I’m doubtful myself.

  • Bobby b

    PdH said ” . . . it is not a Libertarian issue.”

    That confuses me.

    Entry into the EU took GB’s entire governmental apparatus and placed it under – subservient to – an entire additional governmental structure, adding all of its additional and controlling laws and regs and power structure.

    Brexit would wipe out that complete governmental hold over GB.

    How is this not the quintessential libertarian issue for GB?

  • The British Yellow Vests should surround Buckingham Palace (peacefully of course) and refuse to leave until the Queen has dismissed the Commons and called a new election. (Snorri Godhi, March 15, 2019 at 11:21 am)

    Causing inconvenience to the Queen because parliament is misbehaving is not an effective tactic.

    Expressing support for the Queen’s ability to prorogue parliament, or dismiss it (i.e. an election), might be one way to count heads. A web petition, marches, whatever, all formally for the entirely proper purpose of expressing support for the monarch’s emergency powers, might be hard (or embarrassing) for our enemies to oppose. However the idea, and the precise phrasing of whatever is being signed up to, should be focus-group tested first.

  • Stonyground

    I totally agree that the current acts of villainy are worse than those of the expenses scandal by several orders of magnitude. My worry is that the great mass of people are not that interested in politics and don’t see the situation to be as bad as we know it to be. We can hope for a hung parliament with leave MPs holding the balance of power I suppose.

  • Patrick Crozier

    @BobbyB What if the result of leaving is that we have less freedom? That – as I understand it – is the argument of libertarian remainers.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “How is this not the quintessential libertarian issue for GB?”

    I’m not sure to whom Perry is referring, but some possible arguments that could be advanced in that line are:

    Immigration and the free movement of people is a free market issue. The idea of raising barriers to keep out cheaper competition, thus protecting jobs and wages, is pure Protectionism. It’s the same justification that was used for the trade union closed shop. It’s no use opening up free trade in one set of markets only to shut it down in another.

    We want the maximum trade freedom we can get. Since more of our trade is currently with Europe, then if trade barriers are unavoidable it’s better to have them with the rest of the world than with Europe. We can’t tell Europe what to do so it’s not as if we could get rid of them entirely as we’d wish. So what’s the least bad option?

    We’re affected by Europe’s rules and regulations, whether we like it or not. If we want to trade with them, we have to do so in compliance with their regulations and standards. Those rules are designed to suit European manufacturers. If we’re on the inside, we can have a say in what those rules will be, and sabotage the worst of them. Outside, we have no influence.

    And as far as layers of unwlecome government go, we’ve already got that. As far as politicians pursuing the interests of themselves and their donors, we’ve already got that. A lot of the worst of the EU crapocracy was done at the instigation of British politicians. Our government is as Green as the EU, as socially liberal and equality-minded, as politically correct, as enthusiastic about security theatre, and almost as corrupt. The people running Britain are just the same. They like the EU. They agree with the EU. They want to do all the same things the EU does. So you’re not gaining anything. None of the things people are complaining about are going to stop – it’s just they’ll no longer be able to blame it on the EU. And while it’s theoretically more true that we can at least vote them out – the bigger point here is that we never do. People will vote for a party they don’t like and don’t believe in because otherwise the other party, who are even worse, would get in. It’s pointless.

    Personally, I don’t believe that such arguments are strong enought to mean we should remain. But I do think there’s enough of a point here that anyone who thought that the Brexit vote was the end of the fight was being naively optimistic. It’s only one small step in the right direction.

  • Itellyounothing

    Grrrrr!!!!

    It’s like someone is trying to ensure a nationalist populist movement.

    Still at least the Army have even more reason to hate UK politicians…..

    Like most people I want a peaceful life, but nobody with power seems to get that does not require anything from them other than silence and inactivity…..

  • The British Yellow Vests should surround Buckingham Palace (peacefully of course) and refuse to leave until the Queen has dismissed the Commons and called a new election. (Snorri Godhi, March 15, 2019 at 11:21 am)

    Any monarch doing this wouldn’t be monarch for very long. It is one of those rather romantic British constitutional powers which only exists on the proviso that it is never used.

  • Snorri Godhi

    In response to John Galt:

    Any monarch [dismissing the Commons] wouldn’t be monarch for very long. It is one of those rather romantic British constitutional powers which only exists on the proviso that it is never used.

    I should first explain that Sun Tzu has a deep influence on my thinking; so deep that i do not even realize it until i think about it.

    What this means in this instance is that, when i say that “we” should put pressure on the Queen, i do not necessarily think that the Queen would act. Rather, the objective is to shame May into resigning — before a Brexit delay can be finalized.

    As for Niall saying that we should not inconvenience the Queen: no inconvenience is suggested. The way in+out of Buckingham Palace should be left open. Every time the Queen shows up, everybody should cheer wildly. She should be the figurehead of the Yellow Vests — unless she rejects the role, in which case she deserves all what’s coming to her.

  • Bobby b

    NiV: I get what you’re saying, but it still strikes me as anti-libertarian in the extreme to say “our multiple layers of government aren’t acting as we would like, so let’s keep adding layers above them until we get to a layer that agrees with us.” The libertarian view, in my mind, would be to minimize the layers of government that can grant or deny me permissions, and then work to effect that smaller velvet grip.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “but it still strikes me as anti-libertarian in the extreme to say “our multiple layers of government aren’t acting as we would like, so let’s keep adding layers above them until we get to a layer that agrees with us.””

    It would be. But do you gain anything by replacing one branch of government that doesn’t agree with us with another that doesn’t agree with us? Does that gain you anything that’s worth the pain?

    I sometimes suspect people had this implicit idea in the back of their minds that British politicians would not be doing any of this EU nonsense if it wasn’t for those nasty politicians from the EU forcing them to do it. But they’re the same class of people! The EU is run by the governments of Europe, which includes the British government. Our politicians *invented* a lot of this shit. They wanted this all along. And they fully intend to carry on doing it to us, whether we’re in the EU or not.

    So unless this is just the first step, with the next one being to replace the British politicians too, you’re no further forward. It hasn’t achieved anything.

    The argument is not saying that the layers of EU bureaucracy are in any way a good thing. It’s saying that they’re no different from the layers of British political bureaucracy and nothing’s changed!

    Personally, I think we *are* a step forward, and even if there’s no material benefit from it yet, it’s still a smaller mountain to climb. Nevertheless, I understand the point of view.

    Both major British political parties are fundamentally Protectionist in their thinking, and that’s so to a great degree because much of the British public are still Protectionists, because most people have virtually no education in economics. Walling out the EU doesn’t fix that. The enemy is already inside the walls here with us, and firmly in charge.

  • Bobby b etc… Nullius in Verba nails many of the reasons why not all people with a libertarian bent in the UK are enthusiastic about Brexit. In short, they see the EU as a check on some of the most authoritarian elements of the British state. Plus there is the freedom of movement issue.

    It is not a view I share, but it is a view I understand & do not think is entirely without merit. For example, I too support freedom of movement (and if that is you main reason to support Brexit, I am not your guy. I support Brexit in spite of that, not because of it). But on balance I think the bad aspects of EU membership outweighs the good by a significant margin. But it is not true that one simply can’t make a cogent broadly libertarian ‘real world’ argument that the EU is on balance a moderating influence.

    That said, some of the reasons even a few of my friends offer against Brexit are emotionally driven tosh. But there are also very reasonable points to be made why this could end badly.

  • Flubber

    “they see the EU as a check on some of the most authoritarian elements of the British state”

    Obviously not paying any attention to the EU’s rampant censorship off the web then…

  • Mr Ecks

    PdeH–Sean Gabb put this idea in voice –not saying its his idea but he was voicing it some years ago–that the EU were some sort of protection against PC cockrot such as anti-smoking (eg-the French taking no notice of anti-smoking etc)and anti-porn. The Euro-trash being so much more sophisticated than us.

    Being stuck in the fucking EU hasn’t stopped the FFC’s anti-porn cockrot or indeed anything. THERE IS NO VALUE WHATSOEVER IN THE EU. NONE.

    Libertarianism is NOT what exists today and Lib theory is–in many areas–not only NO use in a semi-tyrannical world but actually very dangerous.Dangerous as trying to apply it it leads to LESS freedom. Importing migrants who will gladly kiss the arse of tyranny in exchange for cash for example.

  • Jack the dog

    Demophobe is good because it implies hatred of the demos. Exactly what we have seen.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Joseph de Maistre explained why Brexit by popular referendum in a democracy would always be a failure centuries ago.

    1.

    No government results from a deliberation; popular rights are never written, or at least constitutive acts or written fundamental laws are always only declaratory statements of anterior rights, of which nothing can be said other than that they exist because they exist.

    2.

    But, it has been said in reply, what does it matter to the nation that representation is a vain honor, if this system establishes public liberty?

    This is irrelevant, for the question is not whether the French people can be free under the constitution that has been given to it, but whether it can be sovereign.

    3.

    God has warned us that he has reserved the formation of sovereignties to himself by never entrusting the choice of their masters to the masses. Never do they get what they want; they always accept, they never choose. If the phrase is excused, it could even be called an affectation of Providence that the very attempts of a nation to attain its objects are the Providential means of frustrating it. Thus the Roman people gave itself masters whilst thinking it was struggling against the aristocracy following Caesar. This is the epitome of all popular insurrections.

    4.

    No nation can give itself a government; only, when such and such a right exists in its constitution and this right is unrecognized or suppressed, some men, aided by circumstances, can brush aside obstacles and get the rights of the people recognized. Human power extends no further….

    http://maistre.uni.cx/considerations_on_france.html

    But man fools himself.

  • And how do we kick out the remain-centric uncivil service? The silent, behind the scenes, unelected government?

  • Mr Ecks

    The vast bulk of the CS is ordinary folk doing jobs they mostly hate in offices. Their numbers are actually being reduced slowly.

    The Deep State is the 5000 odd Senior Civil Service cunts. How to get rid?

    P45s all round using “Gross Misconduct” charges to get them out sans compo and pension.

    Lots of tribunals sez you. Once again Tommy Robinson shows the way. If the Old State can manage to fix his cases so blatantly a New State can fix it for ex-SCS Grandees also. And add massively inflated court costs on them for insult+injury good measure.

  • Mr Ecks

    Shlomo–Twaddle. Loading nonsense upon an already groaning table of difficulties.

  • Libertarianism is NOT what exists today

    Really? I hadn’t noticed 😆 Theresa May is PM, so no, libertarianism is not what exists today. Frankly I’d settle for conservatism existing today, but we don’t even have that as May is a Blairite by any reasonable definition.

    Importing migrants who will gladly kiss the arse of tyranny in exchange for cash for example.

    Nah, there are more than enough home-grown troughers and the biggest abomination of all, the NHS, predates mass immigration. I do not share your obsessive fear of immigration. And quoting Gabb is a bit like quoting Von Daniken in support of an archaeological theory, not even interested in going there.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Obviously not paying any attention to the EU’s rampant censorship off the web then…”

    Which is of course fully supported by the British government, and will be implemented whether the EU makes us or not.

    From the Wikipedia article on the Copyright Directive:

    “In 2018 support in the European Parliament was led by the European People’s Party group and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, the parliament’s two largest groups. Major national parties in support include Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union and their coalition partners the Social Democratic Party, the United Kingdom’s ruling Conservative Party and opposition Labour Party, and Poland’s main opposition party, Civic Platform.”

    Do you think that British publishers aren’t lobbying government just as hard? Do you think the British media want to be left out? Do you think British politicians are not just as susceptible to their Protectionist arguments?

    British Protectionists do this stuff through the EU because it gives them greater leverage, but if we drop out of the EU then they’ll just cook up their own home-grown version. And while the European Parliament has loud voices like UKIP arguing against it (for now), working to water it down, UKIP are not present in the British Parliament. How much worse do you suppose it could it be?

    Like I said, people seem to have this weird idea that the British political classes aren’t in it up to their necks, and that if we didn’t have the nasty foreigners in the EU forcing us to do it, we’d be free to be all liberal and enlightened. But haven’t you seen what British MPs have been saying about taking down ‘extremist’ content, and ‘trolling’, and ‘cyber-bullying’, and ‘discrimination’, and ‘hate speech’, and so on? It’s a politically popular idea.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Nullius in Verba has it right: the heart of the UK’s problems are home grown. Blaming everything on the EU was never particularly realistic. Separation from the EU was always going to be the beginning of a long road — which is why it was so foolish for the separatists to be triumphalist in their narrow referendum victory and do really silly things like demean some of their fellow citizens as “Remoaners”. Post-separation, Brexiteers are going to need the help and commitment of the entire population!

    What’s to be done?, as Lenin once said when reality refused to match theory. The low-hanging fruit would probably be a mass movement to refuse to pay the BBC License Fee, thereby (hopefully) waking up the entrenched powers. As Perry pointed out at the beginning, it would have to be a mass movement — otherwise the handful of doughty citizens would simply be squashed.

    It will be a real challenge to wrest the iron rice bowls from the greedy hands of the current Ruling Clique … and to do it peacefully. And that is a general problem in the democratic West, not just for the people of the UK. Sadly, the default path for a Ruling Clique which has created a substantial level of government-dependence in the population is Argentina … or Venezuela.

  • Patrick Crozier

    “And how do we kick out the remain-centric uncivil service? The silent, behind the scenes, unelected government?”

    When I am in charge I will reduce the salaries of the top three rungs of the civil service to £0. If the civil service is unable to fill those positions I will look elsewhere.

  • Any monarch doing this wouldn’t be monarch for very long. (John Galt, March 15, 2019 at 6:40 pm)

    Just for the record, I note that this is not correct. Any monarch doing this would bring on a constitutional confrontation in which the question of who, and whose cause, was better liked by the public and by those with self-effecting power (e.g. the army, and to a lesser extent, ordinary police constables) would be one factor. The other major factor would be the willpower of the sovereign versus the will power and ability to cooperate of the MPs in parliament (I remark the latter is not much in evidence at the moment). The degree to which the monarch’s intervention were obviously self-limited – e.g. if it were merely to prorogue for a few weeks or to force another election to validate or invalidate what parliament was doing, would also matter.

    The government isn’t going to make any friends if they use violent means to disperse the crowd. (Snorri Godhi, March 15, 2019 at 11:21 am)

    If they could spin it as saving the Queen from inconvenience then they might. That is why I said any such protestors would be wise to do so where it would annoy MPs, not (appear to) inconvenience the Queen. The message is the same in either case – and would in any case need to be on the web and argued for all over the UK.

  • the heart of the UK’s problems are home grown. Blaming everything on the EU was never particularly realistic. (Gavin Longmuir, March 17, 2019 at 2:24 am)

    Though this sadly has much truth, it is also irrelevant. It’s like saying that blaming all the US’ PC-inflicted woes on the lack of a border wall was never particularly realistic – also true and also irrelevant (and not just because supporters did not in fact make that claim).

    – The wall has become the topic on which the US deep state will fight, and therefore on which they can be made, in the military sense, to ‘stand and be beaten’. It is an actual thing and so can be seen to be there – or not there.

    – May’s deal is an attempt at Brexit-in-name-only – an attempt to avoid the possibility of the UK’s SW1-establishment being compelled to ‘stand and be beaten’. That is how the deep state works, promising things, doing them in name only, redefining meanings, retaining their power to see that only things they want happen. May’s deal (perhaps) has failed, so now Brexit-or-not is becoming the issue on which they will “stand to be beaten”.

    “I do not see how they will get rid of Mr Burke.”

    So said an insightful enemy in the mid 1780s, who was well aware of how powerful the interests against Burke prosecuting Warren Hastings seemed to be in the UK political scene at that time, but who also understood very well the actual mechanisms of politics and the limits of what could be achieved by them.

    In the same way, I not only have short-term hopes (see e.g. Natalie’s recent post or the occasional comment of mine). Longer-term (if it comes to that), I do not see how they will get rid of Brexit. And I very much do see that (for example) one kind of Tory party would emerge from successful defeat of Brexit and another kind from successful achievement of it. The fight for Brexit has the power to achieve more than itself – it has the power to remedy Gavin’s and NiV’s point.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “May’s deal is an attempt at Brexit-in-name-only – an attempt to avoid the possibility of the UK’s SW1-establishment being compelled to ‘stand and be beaten’. That is how the deep state works, promising things, doing them in name only, redefining meanings, retaining their power to see that only things they want happen. May’s deal (perhaps) has failed, so now Brexit-or-not is becoming the issue on which they will “stand to be beaten”.”

    Sure. So long as everyone understands the victory will be merely symbolic, and it’s only one battle, not the war.

    The function of the EU (for the SW1 set) is to enable interests to be protected, regulations to be imposed, economic competition to be excluded, and control over society to be maintained with limited accountability to the electorate. It’s good cover. If they want to pass some law they know is going to be unpopular, they get their puppet the EU to impose it, and then tell the people “It wasn’t us, guv. The EU made us do it.” Brexit rips aways the mask, but it doesn’t change the nature of the beast. It just means they have to work a bit harder, and find other ways to disguise what they’re doing.

    But I don’t think it’s Brexit per se they’re currently fighting. They’ve lost that battle. There’s no realistic way they can stop it and survive politically. What I think they’re fighting to avoid is *the blame*. They want to be able to hold up their hands to all their friends and sponsors and say “It wasn’t me! It was them! They made us do it!” They put up proposals knowing full well they’re going to be defeated, so that they can say “It wasn’t me! I tried, I really did! They stopped me!” They announce last-ditch attempts to get concessions, knowing they’re going to be refused, so they can say “It’s the EU, they’re being intransigent!” The EU are likewise saying “It’s up to the British to say what it is they want. It’s up to the British to make some new proposals, to find solutions to the impossible problems Brexit sets. It’s not us being intransigent, it’s the British being unreasonable!” It’s all about blame-shifting.

    It’s all very civil service/bureaucracy.

    There will be some form of Brexit. Someone will be left with the blame for the failure to stop it. And business will carry on as normal. All the stuff the EU used to do, the British government will now have to do on its own, no doubt whining and groaning that it’s all Brexit’s fault because we still have to go along with our major trading partners but no longer have any inside influence to stop bad policies being enacted (as if they had ever wanted to).

    And then their next big fight will be to make sure there is as much disruption and damage as possible (without doing anything so obviously that they could get blamed for it), to ensure everyone knows it was a really bad idea and they were right all along, so nobody ever tries anything like it again.

  • Edward

    Pride! Thou shouldst be living at this hour!

  • Paul Marks

    The majority of Members of Parliament are indeed enemies of British independence.

    They can say “we support Brexit” – but as Prime Minister May CORRECTLY said “Brexit means Brexit” (just as oipizy
    means oipizy) it is a meaningless word, that “means” whatever the establishment elite want it to mean.

    Prime Minister May wants to keep us under the rule (the “Common Rule Book”) of the European Union – whilst PRETENDING that we have left the European Union (a few “MEPs” and so on lose their jobs – but otherwise things remain the same, the E.U. remains in charge).

    To many Members of Parliament this is not enough – many Members of Parliament want to degrade and humiliate the British people, NOT give us the illusion of leaving the European Union (the policy of Mrs May), but make us crawl on our bellies and kiss the boots of our E.U. overlords.

    It is clear that such Members of Parliament should be removed – by the hard work of DESLECTION.

    As for supporters of European Union rule of this country – I do not share the tolerant opinion of Perry in relation to such people.

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