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What should we be doing while they make art?

Let’s be honest, the huge size of the People’s Vote demonstration and the huge number of signatories on the petition to revoke Article 50 are both very impressive. They show that millions of people want very strongly to remain in the European Union.

But of course they will have very little effect on whether Brexit actually happens or not. Don’t mistake me, I am seriously afraid that it will not happen – which will send a signal to every supporter of every cause, whether related to Brexit or not, that trying to gain their objectives by democratic means is pointless. However the million marchers and four million signers are not the reason for my fear. They are not doing anything significant to stop Brexit. They are performing for each other. We should rejoice that they thus distract each other from actions that might have more effect.

Why do I think these great manifestations of opposition to Brexit do so little to stop it? Because the people who can stop Brexit know that the marchers and signers can do and will do nothing for them. Those people are MPs, mostly but not entirely Conservative MPs.

Not one Conservative MP stands in danger of losing their seat because four million people who would never vote Tory anyway sign a petition. Quite a few Labour MPs do stand in danger of losing their seat because it is beginning to dawn on habitual Labour voters who voted for Leave in the referendum, who disproportionately live in marginal seats, that their victory in the referendum might be stolen from them. John McDonnell can work this out, and he can tell Jeremy Corbyn. This is why both of them were conspicuously absent from the People’s Vote march. Meanwhile I do find something ironic in all these “Revoke Article 50” petition-signers thinking that the government should do something just because a lot of people have said that they want it.

I said on the 18th that No Deal would be the best option for Theresa May. I am no longer sure that May will be in power long enough to get to choose her best option, but the same calculation applies to her successor as Conservative leader and (possibly interim) Prime Minister. As I said in that post, the most committed supporters of the Conservative party are exactly the group who want Brexit most. Their anger is to be feared by the people with whom power to stop Brexit rests. It is scant reassurance to worried Tory MPs to say that Tory Brexiteers are scarcely likely to vote for Corbyn the extreme left-winger or for the Europhile Liberal Democrats or Independent Group. In fact Tory Brexiteers don’t even have to vote for UKIP or Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party in order to punish Conservative MPs for failing to honour the referendum result. All they have to do is slack off. The Conservative party is desperately short of active members, particularly young active members who are physically capable of going house to house delivering leaflets and talking to potential voters.

Which brings me to the question I asked as the title of this post. I have thought of one suggestion for something Conservative Leavers can do to secure Brexit: tell your MPs and your local Party chairmen and chairwomen that the Tories had one job, as the meme goes, and if they cannot bring themselves to do that then you cannot bring yourself to pound the streets on the Party’s behalf in the coming General Election.

Note the mildness of this threat. That, I believe, is what makes it effective. It is literally no effort for you to carry it out. It is less effort than not carrying it out.

I know that many local Conservative Associations have been working to deselect overly pro-Remain MPs. I think it is too late for that strategy. Brexit does not need more formerly-Conservative Independent Group MPs, it needs scared Conservative MPs.

There is my suggestion. But it only applies to members of the Conservative party, which I’m not. I honestly wish I had joined months ago so I could credibly make this threat now.

I throw the question out to you, dear readers. During WWII Churchill used to write “Action this day” in his own hand on documents. What action can we take today that will make betrayal of the referendum result less likely? I do not exclude performative art of our own, such as this petition to honour the referendum result, but in the end such things do not apply any new incentives to those who have power. What would? What should we be doing?

48 comments to What should we be doing while they make art?

  • Jon

    I’m sort of reminded of Obama’s position on Russia- that their behaviour was a manifestation of their relative weakness, sort of a national small man syndrome.

    Although the remainers have the bulk of the media, the big business establishment etc sewn up, all they can do is squawk- which they do, all day, every day.

    All any of us really have is a vote, though. The only thing we can do is not vote for people who lie. Either we set up a new party (and from what I’ve read libertarians are like the far left in their ability to disagree with each other in ways which drives everyone else to the pub, so people will need to accept quite high levels of perceived intellectual impurity in their co-members) and beat them in the marketplace of ideas, or we just stay home and get authoritarian lefties or authoritarian tories.

    There really is only one option.

  • Mr Ecks

    Absolute nonsense Natalie. They played the four million signatures game in June 2016. Bogus then as now. Multi-email address foreign signings and auto-runs. Hundreds of thousands, maybe a million plus (as they sense either some kind of betrayal or remains last gasp are at hand) yes–no 4 million.

    The March? The last one had 250 thousand–doubts about that myself. The EUBBC boosted it 3 fold. Took 4 months for the lie to be exposed. Today they have boosted it four fold. A rerun of the last March with the same tiny handful of losers trucked in and the rest are London progs.

    OH and some of the morons were claiming Official Met estimate of 2 million. Strange that since they don’t do such estimates any more.

    I’m sorry that someone as otherwise sharp as you fell for their bullshit.

  • Mr Ecks

    Go on twitter and tell them their fate. Go on GAB too but not many MPs on there. So Tweet. Tell them dole queue beckons them. Get to DUP/ERG and tell them GE if revoke or 2nd vote or eea or Common Market . The last 2 are Remain in clown suits. Tell the bastards they are finished. Email those you can reach directly–tho’ they don’t see them save thro flunkys.

    Go out and buy a pair of Yellow Jackets. Just so they know what is coming.

    In truth I think they must all have been told enough times which is why I don’t think revoke or 2nd will go thro’. All the 2Gove as emerg PM” crap amounts to is desperate Tory MP trash trying to appease both sides in the HoC to stay afloat and avoid the GE that they have called down on themselves.

    Also –what if the EU says no to any Gove re-negos. They have agreed WA and if they show yellow themselves that will encourage ALL their foes. What if they say say “Your PM negotiated the WA, we have signed –it is that or no deal”.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Mr Ecks, a million signatures and 250,000 marchers are still big numbers, certainly bigger than any pro-Leave petition or march has got. My point is that it doesn’t matter. The two numbers that matter are (a) the number of votes cast on 23/6/16, which is a powerful card to play but a diminishing one, and (b) the number of MPs who will vote for Brexit in the next few days. That is the crucial number. While the Remainers are posting videos of the march to each other and issuing triumphant updates about how many people have signed their petition, we should be doing something to affect (b).

    As it happens I began to think that figures for attendance at lefty demos were exaggerated when I was attending them myself. This was a very long time ago. It is an interesting subject but now is not the time.

  • bob sykes

    So, the UK is most likely to stumble into a No Deal Brexit. Astonishing, to a Yank with English ancestry. One has to wonder if the Article 50 notice of withdrawal might not be revoked.

    Trump has suggested more than once that a mutually lucrative trade deal between the UK and US is possible. I don’t think the UK/US trade volume would be sufficient to offset UK’s trade with the EU, but it might be useful. No one in Britain seems to have noticed the offer.

    Dr. Richard North at EU Referendum is tearing his hair out.

  • Mr Ecks

    North wants EEA remain-in-a-clown suit. And ego boosting for Dr North.

    Natalie–yes they have more out whining. They LOST. The idea that winners should be out demanding the scummy state keep its largest promise EVER–not some election bullshit–is an alien concept. But we will learn. I understand road blockades are already beginning although nothing will ever be said in MSM.

    The fact that they habitually lie and deceive–true to their evil leftist origins says more than the rather small numbers they can field. There are likely 2-4 perhaps 5 million London Bubble Prog remainiacs. Mostly around London and the Home Counties. So what? Leave can more than match that–we simply should not need to. We WILL match the bastards come GE day tho’. Their 16 million is long gone. They have lost decent democrats who abide by results and decent folk who have seen their antics across 2+ years. Plus those of their EU masters and Treason May and the HoTraitors scum.

    Remember that the last Pro-EU Demo in Sunderland attracted 6 people.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Trump has suggested more than once that a mutually lucrative trade deal between the UK and US is possible. I don’t think the UK/US trade volume would be sufficient to offset UK’s trade with the EU, but it might be useful. No one in Britain seems to have noticed the offer.”

    Current trade levels are based on current prices. If the prices change, so will the trade levels. A deal with the US is likely to lead to rising trade. And I expect the US can supply us with anything that the EU currently supplies.

    I suspect it’s not so much that they haven’t noticed it, it’s that they can’t exactly acknowledge it without messing up their arguments for getting a deal with the EU. One of the problems with any negotiation is that while it’s going on you don’t want to let the other side know what you’re really thinking, what your plans are, what your contingencies are. We’re holding out the offer of continued lucrative trade with Europe, in exchange for continuing free trade with them – it would somewhat tarnish that offer if we were to mention that we were planning to switch a lot of that trade to the US, and it was a lot less lucrative than they were imagining.

    In addition, you have to bear in mind that much of the Tory Party is heavily Protectionist in their thinking. Keeping US competition out of their home markets is part of what it has always been about, and it’s hard to change that mindset quickly, even if they want to. Plus, they’re probably not keen on associating themselves with the Trump ‘brand’. There’s a lot of vitriolic opposition – it’d be like Tony Blair and George W Bush all over again.

    And very importantly, we have to bear in mind that this is Trump we’re talking about, and we don’t have a signed-and-ratified deal yet. Trump is a hardball negotiator, and of course he’s going to make an attractive sounding offer, so we’ll be more willing to reject the EU alternative, which will put us in a weaker position when we’re negotiating with him. It’s one of the things that is most important to bear in mind about Trump – he doesn’t always mean everything he says in the stuff he puts out on Twitter. It’s the opening round in the negotiation, not his actual position. He’s aggressive as a prelude to being friendly. He’s friendly as a prelude to aggression. Sometimes. You can’t tell – if you could, it wouldn’t work. So while I think he is indeed interested in a deal and it is indeed in his interests, it’s also true that “business is business”, so you’d have to be an idiot to walk into a negotiation with Trump thinking it’s going to be easy. ‘Special relationship’ be damned, the Americans look after themselves first. So the British government are not going to give too much away before the negotiations even start by being super-enthusiatic about it. Let’s see what you’re actually offering, first.

  • I suspect the only way the result of the referendum will be implemented is if a critical mass of people are willing to bring the country to a standstill, over and over again. Not middle class wankers from leafy shires promenading past Downing Street, or Farage going for a country walk, but rather people with vehicles disrupting the road & ferry network. Tax strikes (council tax if you are PAYE). Things like that. And things may end up escalating from there in ways my lawyer suggests I leave unspoken but who indicates generalised references to 1642 should be fine.

    I suppose we’ll soon see if all the people planning & organising ‘special events’ are actually up to the task. Not sure either way.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I suspect the only way the result of the referendum will be implemented is if a critical mass of people are willing to bring the country to a standstill, over and over again.”

    The left tried that in the 1970s. Continual strikes. 3 day weeks. It didn’t make them or their cause very popular. We voted Maggie in, instead.

    The simplest and most direct method of sending a message would be for every Leaver in the country to join UKIP. If they suddenly had 15 million members, promising to all vote UKIP for the next four or five elections, that would certainly get the politicians’ attention!

    It’s not going to happen, though. The more typical British reaction is cynicism and apathy.

  • Mr Ecks

    They are doubtless warming up Bliars Civil Contingences shite.

    But as I keep saying doing nothing is NOT an option. Macrons greenfreak taxes show what is planned. They intend to flop most folk lower than whaleshit. The poorer we are the less we can resist. If we do nothing then they will keep kicking and kicking away at us.

    Next up is the EU attack on the Internet followed by the FFC ‘s own plans.

  • Mr Ecks

    NiV–The British were not in much sympathy with Unions whose leftism was not popular. If the British can’t now see that democracy dying is a bad thing –you can forget any future other than misery.

  • bobby b

    You’re about to have a massively-attended hard-fought national referendum overturned by the losers because “they know better.” I think you’re somewhere beyond crafting a good PR campaign.

    Imagine, in the USA, if our opposition had managed to put together a successful plot to remove Trump from office on 25th-Amendment “unfit” grounds. I doubt we’d be looking for ways to threaten the political futures of the plotters.

    Perry’s thoughts represent a starting point. You’re in the middle of a coup.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “NiV–The British were not in much sympathy with Unions whose leftism was not popular.”

    The leftism itself was reasonably popular – the *effects* of it were not.

    “If the British can’t now see that democracy dying is a bad thing –you can forget any future other than misery.”

    Every time people see the government do something they don’t like, they always declare democracy to be dead and a brutal Orwellian Dystopia just around the corner. I’ve heard people saying the same thing over and over again for the past 40 years. Hell, George Orwell himself was saying it.

    It’ll be like every other crisis. The deadline will pass. Whatever happens will happen. There will be a few weeks of milling around and confusion while everyone sorts out what the new rules are. And then everything will go back to normal, same as it ever was. In five years the news cycle will have moved on and nobody but a few die-hards will even remember it. Only the statisticians will be able to tease out of the data what difference it actually made.

    And nobody is going to hold a revolution, or start a civil war, or do anything more serious than maybe march about in the streets waving placards and singing songs. Because most people don’t understand what the arguments are really about, don’t care, and just want it all to go away. Whether it’s the bureaucrats in Brussels or the wankers in Parliament running the show makes no difference to them. They’re all the same. If the schools and hospitals and bin lorries are still running, and they will do whether we’re in the EU or not, they don’t care. I’m sorry, but they don’t.

    The country could have voted UKIP at the last election. It didn’t. They could all join UKIP right now. They haven’t. The people don’t care anywhere near enough for that. They are, at best, mildly irritated.

    If you could start a coup that easily, the left would have already done it.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Sometimes the very triviality of a useful action makes one reluctant to do it. Whatever your opinions as to what dramatic actions may be necessary in the future, do not be embarrassed to take an undramatic action now.

    Email your MP. If they are Leave, give them a little conditional love. “It is only because you have been so firm in supporting the referendum result that I haven’t given up on [insert party name here] entirely.” If they are Remain, do not give them an opportunity to think of themselves as heroes by threatening riot or mayhem. Just say that as someone who is considering how to vote in the next General Election you could never bring yourself to entrust your vote to an MP who wouldn’t keep faith with the biggest vote in UK history.

  • Mr Ecks

    If your glib gobbed garbage was true NiV we’d still be getting whipped by the Pharoahs. Why hasn’t everybody joined UKIP? Why didn’t everybody surround Charles 1st’s gaff in 1642? Would have stopped it right away that would.

    It doesn’t need everybody nor is everybody capable of creating change. Remain has a lot of middle class mouth behind it. You know the kind of squeaky wheels that get the NHS grease over poorer less articulate people. But that just makes them noisy and entitled. Not the victors.

    Persuaded any Jihadi’s lately?

  • pete

    Most of the marchers yesterday looked and sounded like educated, white, middle class ‘liberals’, and most of them don’t live in Labour constituencies anyway.

    They are affluent because they’ve done well in the capitalist system they claim to dislike, so they live in Tory areas, well away from the working class they claim to admire, and from much of the diversity they tell everyone else to celebrate.

    Labour has little to fear from these marchers.

  • First, Brexit means Brexit. The campaign was fought, the vote was held, turnout was high, and the public gave their verdict. There must be no attempts to remain inside the EU, no attempts to rejoin it through the backdoor, and no second referendum. The country voted to leave the European Union, and it is the duty of the government and Parliament to make sure we do just that. (Theresa May during her campaign to become Tory leader; it was a samizdata quote of the day).

    How tactfully or otherwise should I remind my MP of this or many similar statements?

  • I noted Perry’s point above but I see it (rightly? wrongly?) as slightly longer term than Natalie’s post about what immediately-feasible action could influence votes due in the next few days.

    If the ‘second referendum’ petition has 5-million signatures – then it is doing no better than last time. “Petition for EU referendum re-run hits 3.7 million as David Lammy MP calls for parliament to block Brexit” was the headline in the Telegraph on Monday 27th June 2016, and soon after it reported 5 million. It then emerged than many of the signatories had suspicious IP addresses, but I’m sure they’ll assure us that this time all the signatures are genuine. 🙂 All this means is that while many a remainer-voter has moved on, the remoaners are still moaning. They have had lots of time to prepare since then, so if they only have 5 million now, the headline should be “remoaner petition number unchanged from two years ago”.

    However, the media told us 2 million people marched to stop the Iraq war in 2003. Later on, the beeb said “maybe it was not quite 2 million” or “a million and a half” or (lowest I ever heard for my license fee) “more than a million”. In fact it was 800,000 (definitely more than 750,000, well under 850,000). A few months earlier, the 3rd (and largest) countryside march got 400,000. The media (at best) reported it as 400,000. So if we march we must anticipate our actual numbers being a bit underreported and our enemies’ numbers being much over-reported.

  • Sam Duncan

    “Imagine, in the USA, if our opposition had managed to put together a successful plot to remove Trump from office on 25th-Amendment “unfit” grounds. I doubt we’d be looking for ways to threaten the political futures of the plotters.”

    An apt comparison. The anti-Trump hysteria is very similar to the Remoaners’, and the planting of memes (in the original Dawkins sense) into the public discourse – “Russian collusion”, “the people were too stupid to know what they were voting for” – almost identical.

    “Next up is the EU attack on the Internet followed by the FFC ‘s own plans.”

    Yep. No wonder they want a “delay”. If we leave on Friday – properly leave – we deftly avoid the Copyright Directive. Can’t have that.

    I re-read the speech Mary-Ellen Synon gave to the Bruges Group back in 2015 last night (no link; I have a local copy), in which she predicted what would happen if we won a referendum to leave, based on Ireland’s two experiences of attempting to defy the EU. It’s not 100% accurate – she assumed Cameron would stay on as PM, and a vote to leave is substantially different to a vote against policy, so the tactics had to be modified slightly – but it’s close enough to be chilling.

  • Mr Ed

    We should realise that were are getting to the end of The Lord of Rings, but since Frodo left the Shire, the Ringbearer has been Gollum.

  • Gary K

    I suspect the MP’s have staff that can do maths.

    Out of 46.5 million eligible voters in the UK, only 17.42 million(37.5%) voted for leave.

    Thus, for every one voter that wants out, there are about 2 that either want to remain or don’t care one way or the other.

    Doing nothing is the safer bet.

  • Imagine, in the USA, if our opposition had managed to put together a successful plot to remove Trump from office on 25th-Amendment “unfit” grounds. I doubt we’d be looking for ways to threaten the political futures of the plotters. (bobby b, March 24, 2019 at 3:14 pm)

    If a not-yet-successfully-done-and-dusted plot were teetering on the upcoming votes of some RINOs and the willpower of some Republicans, you might want to make as clear as possible what political futures would result from which behaviours, whatever broader futures might also attend.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Gary K, I do expect that the MP’s have staff that can do maths. Thus they know that is not the calculation that matters. The calculation that matters to an MP in a First Past the Post voting system is “will more people in my constituency vote for me than for my nearest rival”. The Leave vote is much more efficiently distributed across the parliamentary constituencies than the Remain vote is. The Labour Leave vote is particularly important, because those voters are disproportionately situated in marginal Labour constituencies. The Labour MPs sitting in those constituencies clearly have made that calculation. That is one of the things that gives me hope.

  • bobby b

    Niall Kilmartin
    March 24, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    “If a not-yet-successfully-done-and-dusted plot were teetering on the upcoming votes of some RINOs and the willpower of some Republicans, you might want to make as clear as possible what political futures would result from which behaviours, whatever broader futures might also attend.”

    There may well be some point in doing that here. The difference, in my mind, is that Trump would likely win re-election if we held a vote today, while Brexit might well lose.

    I think your pols have made a calculated decision that the numbers have shifted enough so that they will weather the storm if they renege on the referendum. The only thing that’s going to affect that calculation will be polling numbers showing that Leave still massively wins, not individual entreaties to their better natures and senses of honor. From my far remove, I’ve not seen such polling.

    That’s why I think Perry’s response is more correct than not. Several million well-written notes aren’t going to have the impact of more millions showing that they’re passionate enough about this to cause a significant rift in society’s functionings.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Oh, yes, the great Remoaner petition. According to the Telegraph yesterday, Jacob Rees-Mogg has signed the ‘revoke A50’ petition over 8,000 times. Also, Idi Amin has apparently managed to sign it 700 times despite being dead. Nothing remotely suspicious there, then.

    The Facts4EU website has prepared four one-page PDFs styled as faux ballot papers, to print off and send to your MP to make the point that if they block a full and timely Brexit, your vote is lost to them permanently. Instead you would vote for any pro-Brexit candidate irrespective of normal party allegiances, or simply for the candidate most likely to oust them (even if that candidate is also anti-Brexit, because that won’t matter by then). It might be worth speculating a first-class stamp on doing so (emails are more easily ignored than hard-copy stuff arriving in the post) or it might not.

    My own view, for what it’s worth, is that I fear the remainder of the month is rather more likely to play out like this:

    Government manages to bypass the Speaker to present the WA for a third ‘meaningful vote’. Commons votes it down by a reduced but still emphatic margin. EU expresses ‘deep disappointment’ at result, announces the extension is off, and proceeds to ‘light the blue touch-paper and retire to a safe distance’ by stating that the EU will now assume ‘no deal’ is to go ahead.

    Commons goes batsh1t crazy at prospect, seizes control of process via Cooper/Boles-type amendment selected by biased Speaker despite having been voted down before, votes by narrow-ish margin to revoke Article 50 altogether, mere hours before deadline. May ‘reluctantly’ bows to will of Parliament and notifies Brussels that their second-best goose will continue to lay golden eggs for them.

    The NASA Curiosity Rover picks up a strange sound later identified as collective noise of Remainers cheering themselves hoarse. Economy receives short-term boost from subsequent sales of throat lozenges.

    Leavers inundate pro-Brussels MP’s with emails and letters, couched in terms ranging from the anatomically improbable to the frigidly polite, saying they will never vote for that person or party ever again. MP’s respond with “See if I care: when I get kicked out I’m following the likes of Kinnock and Mandelson to Brussels where I get a cushy sinecure of a job, a generous expense account, a juicy pension, no accountability to voters and no possibility of being sacked … all paid for by you suckers! Yeah, bring it on! Like we were ever going to let you plebs succeed in doing a Dr Beeching on our favourite Gravy Train!”

    Forever afterwards, attempts by the UK to criticise the lack of democracy in other countries are met with the riposte “Well, so what if Mr Strongman fixed the elections? You’re fine ones to talk – the largest vote for anything ever in the history of your country and your ruling elites cheerfully stole that, so you had better just shut up about our elections!”

  • Itellyounothing

    No polling has calculated how many previous remain voters are fearful that this is an obvious breach of democracy.

    Shy Tories confounded many a pollster, shy democrats are not to be discounted…..

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Sam Duncan: “I re-read the speech Mary-Ellen Synon gave to the Bruges Group back in 2015 last night (no link; I have a local copy), in which she predicted what would happen if we won a referendum to leave, based on Ireland’s two experiences of attempting to defy the EU. It’s not 100% accurate – she assumed Cameron would stay on as PM, and a vote to leave is substantially different to a vote against policy, so the tactics had to be modified slightly – but it’s close enough to be chilling.

    BrexitCentral published a summary here – it’s like she had a crystal ball.

  • Happened at the Brexit Betrayal March. c. 5000 marchers versus maybe 300 counter demonstrators turned into a few hundred versus 15000.

    Clown World

  • Fraser Orr

    @Nullius in Verba
    I suspect it’s not so much that they haven’t noticed it, it’s that they can’t exactly acknowledge it without messing up their arguments for getting a deal with the EU.

    FWIW, I think that is exactly wrong. The core problem is that Britain is negotiating with a partner that wants nothing more than the destruction of Britain for political reasons, even though doing so is economically disadvantageous to both. Politics always trumps economics when politicians run the show.

    So May goes into a bad faith negotiation and the first thing she says is “we can’t accept no deal, so any deal will do.” It is the worst possible negotiating position she could possibly have had.

    Negotiating an alternative set of deals with, amongst others, the USA, would have put her in the position of saying “you will not achieve your political end of crushing us because we have options, so you might as well negotiate on an economic basis, moreover, we don’t actually NEED a deal with you because we have options.” This is a MASSIVELY stronger negotiating position, even if the deals with the US/NZ/CAN/AUS were just beginning to be negotiated.

    So having a deal, or even the promise of a deal is massively advantageous, and it is absolute amateur hour that they did not do so.

    One of the problems with any negotiation is that while it’s going on you don’t want to let the other side know what you’re really thinking, what your plans are, what your contingencies are.

    Perhaps, but it is pretty damned important that they know that you have options, even if you are bluffing. Saying “please make a deal with us because we have no other options” is utterly pathetic.

    And very importantly, we have to bear in mind that this is Trump we’re talking about, and we don’t have a signed-and-ratified deal yet.

    Trump wanted to make a deal because his mommy is from Scotland. All that was needed was for Prince Andrew to take him on a round of golf at the Royal and Ancient, and a big fancy dinner party at Buck house. Imagine that. Prince Andrew actually being useful for once? Imagine a bit of flattery from the Queen actually advancing the cause of Britain for once? Of course that is made a lot more difficult by the self destructive behavior of the British people in their protests against him before he even came, and the audacity of Bercow to let everyone know that he wouldn’t be allowed to speak in the Commons before he had even asked!!! An outrage of insult.

    Now, that, in fairness, is not May’s fault. That is the British people’s fault.

    Trump is a hardball negotiator, and of course he’s going to make an attractive sounding offer, so we’ll be more willing to reject the EU alternative,

    Ah, this seems to be where we differ. Why does it have to be an alternative? A good deal with the US/AUS/CAN/NZ would lead to a MORE favorable deal with the EU, not a less favorable one.

    Fundamentally the problem though is this: you have to negotiate Brexit, so you don’t form the negotiating team exclusively out of people who are passionately opposed to it! It is like the Celtic manager choosing Rangers’ line up for an Old Firm game.

    Who could possibly have anticipated that that would go wrong?

  • Paul Marks

    If the United Kingdom does not leave the European Union (really leave – not the fake “Brexit” of Prime Minister May) then the Conservative Party will be in terrible trouble, and will deserve to be in terrible trouble. More importantly this country will be in terrible trouble – as the people will have voted for independence from the European Union, but will still find themselves under the rule of the European Union.

    This would be truly terrible position.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “The core problem is that Britain is negotiating with a partner that wants nothing more than the destruction of Britain for political reasons, even though doing so is economically disadvantageous to both.”

    They don’t want Britain’s destruction. They want a deal that allows them to continue their Protectionist racket, that continues Britain’s economic contributions, that maintains their borders and regulations without leaks and without exceptions. In return for which, we get to be members of their customs union and regulatory cartel. But it’s the nature of deals that you don’t get to pick just the bits you like, and leave out all the bits your partner likes. You either agree to their demands, or you pay a heavy price, or you don’t get a deal. That’s not unreasonable – that’s just how deals work. They’ll bend on some stuff, for a price. But they’ve got absolutely no intention of compromising their own Protectionist barriers for our convenience. They’ve got no intention of giving any other countries the impression that you can get just the bits you want without paying a very heavy price, either.

    And the Tory party are funded by businesses for the purpose of promoting the Protectionist interests of British business, who desperately want to be inside the customs union. So the aim of the negotiation is to find a way to do that without breaching the EU’s protectionist barriers. The EU doesn’t think that’s possible, because of the Ireland situation, but are willing to listen to suggestions. The problem is that the only practical answer to that is for Ireland to leave the EU too, which is not on the table. The Irish won’t let them put a customs border between the mainland and NI, or between NI and Eire, and the EU won’t allow different customs rules without a border, so the ONLY solution satisfying all the above constraints is for the UK to stay in, subject to all the rules but not taking part in their definition.

    I think the EU think that’s effin stupid, a horribly bad deal for Britain, but then they think Britain leaving is stupid, and that this is what you get when you make stupid decisions.

    Given that the backstop arrangement is unacceptable to the British Brexiteers too, that adds another constraint, and now no solutions are left. It’s an impossible problem. It’s like asking for a number greater than a thousand and less than ten. You can’t do it.

    So May is left in the position of having to face the Party’s financial backers and say “I couldn’t do it.” But to be able to credibly make that case, she has to fight to the end. If there’s any possibility, any option left unexplored, they’ll point to that and say she didn’t try hard enough. So they’ll keep on trying to ram through one of the only two deals the EU is willing to make – either May’s deal, or cancel Brexit.

    “Negotiating an alternative set of deals with, amongst others, the USA, would have put her in the position of saying “you will not achieve your political end of crushing us because we have options, so you might as well negotiate on an economic basis, moreover, we don’t actually NEED a deal with you because we have options.””

    And the EU would say: “OK, you go ahead. Bye bye.” The only reason they’re negotiating with us is they want exclusive access to our money and our trade. They want us inside the wall’s they’re using to keep out US competition. If they have to compete with the US in the British market, or worse, if the US can use trade with Britain to sneak goods inside their walls, that defeats the entire purpose!

    “Saying “please make a deal with us because we have no other options” is utterly pathetic.”

    It’s kind of like negotiating with a girl for her to become your girlfriend. Saying she’s the only one for you is usually a better negotiating tactic than telling her you already have several more girlfriends on the side so you’ll do fine if she says no. You may be rich and handsome, but that’s nowhere near as attractive an offer if she knows she has to share. Girlfriends are very Protectionist thinkers, too. 🙂

    “Trump wanted to make a deal because his mommy is from Scotland.”

    Mmm. I can’t think of anything polite to say to that. So I’m saying nothing.

    “Of course that is made a lot more difficult by the self destructive behavior of the British people in their protests against him”

    I doubt it even registers compared to the normal background noise of protests. If he still wants to help America succeed despite Americans protesting, why wouldn’t he think of us the same way?

  • Flubber

    NiV… you know bugger all about women.

    Try leaving your basement once in a while.

  • Mr Ecks

    Please sign–the link in the text is to Reddit or summat:

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/243319

  • Myno

    Is it the case that we are not seeing real data in the polls that are presently being conducted and reported in the enemy press? Would it be advantageous to conduct our own polling, if the results were expected to be dispositive to the GE danger faced by Remainiac Torys? How much does it cost to run such a private poll, to hire some smarties to do it right? If the results were indeed “shocking” to the PTB, would it not be a worthwhile contribution to our arsenal?

  • Myno

    Realized it’s a bit of a tricky thing, to conduct a poll, without appearing to re-vote the issue. But one presumes (from several thousand miles distant) that polls are being done, but without the benefit of careful wording to allow the GE consequences of treason to be made evident.

  • Itellyounothing

    We would have seen the Independence voters sold out already if the MPs currently sitting did not already know how much misery awaits them….

  • Nullius in Verba

    “NiV… you know bugger all about women.”

    Yeah, so I’ve heard. Women like it rough. They like it if you knock them about a bit – it keeps them interested. They love it when you have lots of other girlfriends you’re shagging at the same time, and you wind up infecting her with all the venereal diseases you’ve caught from being such a manly stud. That look on her face when she finds some other girl’s knickers in her bed – it’s so precious! It makes them try even harder to keep hold of you. Women love men who are hairy and smelly and piss on the toilet seat. Woman love men who are Real Men.

    Ha. Ha.

    “polls are being done, but without the benefit of careful wording to allow the GE consequences of treason to be made evident”

    “… the benefit of careful wording …” I think there was a ‘Yes Minister’ sketch about that…

  • Roué le Jour

    NiV
    Your mastery of the strawman argument is without equal.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Your mastery of the strawman argument is without equal.”

    Thank you! I’m sure it would be, if I ever chose to use one.

  • As we are trying principally to end a relationship, not start one, the accuracy of Flubber’s assessment (March 25, 2019 at 2:59 am) of NiV’s skills in that latter area is as beside the point as NiV’s own argument (March 24, 2019 at 11:54 pm). Staghound’s analogy – asking for a divorce, then leaving it to your spouse to file the papers – is more relevant, but a closer analogy still would be asking for a divorce and telling the family lawyer to handle the details, when said family lawyer works with the spouse and takes the spouse’ view of things. (Another analogy is Boris having Gove handle his leadership election campaign, only to discover that Gove had other plans – and an astonishing lack of that most minimal form of political honesty: picking up the phone and saying, “I’m about to betray you” before betraying.)

    However,

    “Assuredly, beloved”, interposed Hwa-mei dextrously “But our immediate need is less to describe Ming-shu’s hate in terms of classical analogy than to find a potent means of baffling its venom.” “You are all-wise as usual”, confessed Kai Lung with due humility. “I will restrain my much too verbose tongue.” (‘Kai Lung’s Golden Hours,’ Ernest Bramah)

    Natalie has suggested one argument to influence MPs in this week’s votes. My own thought is, who will be the next leader of the Tory party? Am I right (are many pundits, including politically correct ones, right) that a Tory leadership contest will come soon, will extend to the wider party and will be won by a Brexitter? Conversely, are actual arguments vain because MPs will at best count letters (how many on each side) but have little time to read them during this busy week?

    I continue to feel that the current state of uncertainty makes Perry’s suggestion a very slightly longer term issue, but I may be wrong – and the uncertainty may not last long.

  • staghounds

    NIV understands the way this works. No one important wants Brexit enough to make it happen, especially the MPs. The mass of people don’t care enough to force your Masters to do anything.

    Any fool could see that your Brexit was stolen the day after the votes were counted, when David Cameron did not file an Article 50.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Staghounds analogy – asking for a divorce, then leaving it to your spouse to file the papers – is more relevant”

    Fair point. Maybe it’s more like asking for a divorce, but still wanting access to the jointly-owned house and to keep the same conjugal rights (but with the freedom to play the field too).

    The point remains. The EU is in it for the money – they get exclusive access to our lucrative markets. That’s what all the rules and regulations and tariffs are about – to keep out the competition, so EU manufacturers can make a killing selling to a captive market. The big fat wad of money they can make from that is what we’re offering to induce them to deal. Telling them that we’ve already given half of it to the Americans isn’t going to improve the situation.

    “Natalie has suggested one argument to influence MPs in this week’s votes.”

    Yes. Lots of people are no doubt writing letters to *say* they’ll never vote for them again, but talk is cheap. How to persuade them that you really mean it, and that you really matter?

    The Conservative Party has 124,000 members, and lots of corporate sponsorship. The Labour Party has 512,000 members, and union backing. UKIP has about 23,600 members as of last year. Their conclusion will be that only a tiny fraction of voters care that passionately. And they’ll be getting a lot of letters from remainers too; making the same demand, the same threat not to vote for them ever again if they vote wrong, made just as passionately.

    And I’m sure there are remainers considering other methods, buying yellow jackets and so on. Anything you can do, so can they.

    If people were to use UKIP membership as a petition, and they got 4 million new members in the next couple of weeks, that would send a message it would be very hard to ignore. It would be a hell of a lot easier and cheaper to do than street protests or disruption. It would prove that it’s not just a tiny ineffectual minority who care.

    But democracy is hard. Most people are just not very interested in politics.

  • Ellen

    The entire Western world is currently engaged in a great experiment to see if their votes mean anything. In Britain, it’s Brexit. In the USA it’s whether electing Trump is something the two-headed party can allow. In France, it’s the yellow-vest protests. Everywhere, it’s whether or not we’ll let those idiot Greens turn out the lights. And let’s not mention Islam.

    So far, Trump seems to be working, at the bare minimum as shock therapy. We’ll know more come the 2020 elections. Brexit? That’s what we’re talking about here. But it’s all of these questions, not just one of them.

  • Mark

    Most people aren’t interested in politics, this is true, which is probably why those who are think they’re so smart and superior.

    This is a pretty naked betrayal and people can see it. There seems to be a remainiac assumption that the referendum was somehow a fluke, that the vote was “soft” and can be overturned by “politics”. Is it just me or are those advocating a second referendum doing so because – like the first – they are taking it as read that they will win?

    Maybe they will, but what is the question? In or out? No, can’t be that simple. “Politics” remember, we will have to vote to stay or accept some “deal”. And let us not forget that we (well those who voted leave) are too stupid to understand a simple binary question. So maybe asking us to vote on a complex deal might not be a good idea. Are remainiacs so sure they will be setting the question. After all, there is an electoral commission which is nominally independent.

    Will this “deal” be signed by the prime whoever and the EU before we are allowed to vote or will it be after?

    How will project fear work this time round?

    We know what the “deal” the EU wants looks like. Would you really want a “people’s vote” on it. I should think we could do a pretty good project fear of our own.

    And why do remainiacs always think a delay is to their advantage? The Euro continues to remorselessly grind the economies in its grasp (which aren’t Germany) to nothing. “Populism” and overt anti-EU feeling grows. Who knows what the toytown parliament will look like in June. Rubber stamp just for show of course, but if the politburo has to blatantly ignore it on some issue, maybe that will wake a few more up. And who knows what parliament here will look like if there’s an election. I would not expect a leave majority. Likely a remain majority among MPs overall but divided between parties who loathe each other nationally but want to stay while being able to blame the others should it go wrong (from the remainiac point of view of course). Well that’s worked so far hasn’t it?

    The EU is fighting for it’s very survival on multiple fronts and the more remainiacs delay, they keep one front festering.

  • Itellyounothing

    If Corbyn’s clowns stop the Independence Leaving Date amendment today, I am now quite prepared to give him five years of wrecking the country and confiscating Billions of Phil Hammond’s mates in exchange.

    Come on Crazy Socialist Grandpa Tramp. Do something useful.

  • Itellyounothing

    The billions cash, not Phil Hammond’s billions of mates.

  • David H Bolton

    It seems the numbers on the march were inflated. What a surprise. Fullfact has the numbers at between 312,000 and 400,000.

  • Itellyounothing

    It seems the numbers on the march were inflated. What a surprise. Fullfact has the numbers at between 312,000 and 400,000.

    If they couldn’t muster 300,000 to 400,000 in London (Remain Central) this would all be over already.

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