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“Added impotence …”

Tweet of the day. That’s what Julia Hartley-Brewer says. She’s Tweeting about this Tweet:

Theresa May’s spokesman says the local election results “have given added impotence… I mean impetus,” to Brexit talks with Labour.

My position on Brexit is: I want it. As in: national legislative independence, no customs union, etc. I want Brexit in the way that the Brexit Party wants Brexit. As smooth as it can be but as unsmooth as it has to be.

But, my position on a Corbyn government is: I don’t want it. The second sentiment may well trump the first, for me, come the next general election. I don’t believe I’m the only one thinking like this. How odd that Corbyn and his pals, who have always wanted Britain out of the EU, may be the ones who end up keeping us in.

My hope is, if the Conservatives do now – to coin a phrase – succeed in failing to deliver the Brexit that they promised, that the Brexit Party will actually be a better bet than the Conservatives, come the next general election, to stop a Corbyn government. This because so many disappointed Labour Brexiters will be voting for the Brexit Party along with most of the formerly Conservative vote. So: No Corbyn government, actual Brexit. Two for two. I can hope.

Also: What if you are strongly pro-EU, but even more strongly anti-Corbyn. Might you also, in the circumstances just described, vote in a general election for the Brexit Party, if they looked like a better bet than the Conservatives to stop a Corbyn government? There presumably won’t be many such people, but maybe enough to make a difference.

Weird times.

24 comments to “Added impotence …”

  • Mr Ed

    What if you are strongly pro-EU, but even more strongly anti-Corbyn. Might you also, in the circumstances just described, vote in a general election for the Brexit Party, if they looked like a better bet than the Conservatives to stop a Corbyn government?

    Frankly, if you are in that category and Jewish, it might be a matter of, if not survival, of avoiding the need to emigrate.

  • TDK

    In my experience, supporters of Corbyn utterly refuse to accept the evidence that he wants Brexit. This is actually a prime specimen of “doublethink”.

    Second, I suspect the group strongly pro-EU, but even more strongly anti-Corbyn is vanishly small. Think of say, Nick Cohen. He hates the anti-semite Corbyn left and is a vehement EU supporter (regarding proponents as deranged). he ought to be a prime candidate. However if you read his columns from Standpoint during the past two years then you will note that he wholly subscribes to the idea that Brexiteers are wicked, fools or dupes. It doesn’t register that there might be any rational reason to not be in favour of the EU – consequently not one column deals with anything besides the Guardian caricature of a Brexist supporter, and as a result they are utterly unconvincing. I suspect Cohen is typical.

    Conclusion: Cohen can be rational about Corbyn but irrational about Brexit. Irrational hatreds are harder to shift than rational ones. I doubt very much that anyone in his position can set aside their prejudice and vote for a Brexit Party. He would vote Corbyn before Farage.

    Third: EU fans are not rational advocates of how the EU really is. They are in love with the idealised version. The anti-democratic nature, the corruption, the mistreatment of Greece, the failure of the Euro are minor features to be set against the vision. That’s why they don’t recognise the distinction between Europe and the EU. To them it is the same. And they will look at a Labour Party dominated by pro-EU MPs, a pro EU Momentum and decide to hold their noses and vote for Corbyn.

  • neonsnake

    Intriguing!

    I’m with TDK on the second point. Vanishingly small; I would also venture that they are inherently so anti-Farage that they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for him.

    The first point is very interesting though.

    I’m making the assumption that if May delivers her version of Brexit, then there’s no second chance – we’re stuck with it. That assumption is up for challenge, obviously. But when I say “forever” below, that’s what I mean.

    I’m also making the shaky assumption that the Brexit Party will not be a viable government (even though they may be viable MEPs). Very much up for challenge, but UKIP never garnered enough votes, and they were more than the single-issue party they were painted as.

    So on those two assumptions, let me flip the question somewhat:

    What if voting Labour next time would guarantee Brexit? I share the opinion that Corbyn wants out, myself.

    But we do get to vote him out 5 years later.

    So…would you rather stay in the EU forever, but avoid a 5-year Labour government?

    Or, get out of the EU forever, and deal with a 5-year Labour government? (with the associated risk of it being longer, but with at least the possibility to vote them back out again later)

  • Johnathan Pearce

    One potential reason why Corbyn and even his more “moderate” (whatever that means these days) colleagues want the UK to be stuck in a customs union/vassal state is that it effectively puts Northern Ireland into a different category to the rest of the UK. As Corbyn has long wanted to see Ireland united, and has associated with violent people and their apologists to that end down the years, he sees CU membership as part of any drive to drive NI out of the UK.

    Also, a lot of socialists are protectionists by nature, so keeping out cheap imports to protect domestic workers is also part of the idea. This does of course involve shafting low-paid people living outside the EU who want to export to the UK, but being a socialist never meant a particular grasp of logic, or for that matter, basic morals.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Patience, my UK friends. The EU is destined to collapse anyway, as a consequence of its ‘internal contradictions’.

    The UK’s real problems are the useless tossers you elect to Parliament, the dysfunctional political system, and the antiquated system of governance — not just talking about the House of Lords, although that would be a good place to start. The existential issues in front of the UK only tangentially involve the EU — the loss of civilizational confidence; the de-industrialization of the economy; the economic over-reliance on the contribution from the potentially mobile financial center in the City of London. Lots of opportunities to start building a better Britain, with or without separation from the EU.

  • Penseivat

    I love it when these politicians make a Freudian slip, like the time when an MP described Lofty Bercow as a ‘Parliamentary c•nt, ah, cult’.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    Working in a university (and recalling Breitbart’s famous dictum that politics is downstream from culture), Gavin Longmuir’s second paragraph has enormous resonance for me. In particular, the phrase “the loss of civilizational confidence”.
    The reason the relatively small number of real idiots in the universities are so influential is that loss of confidence among the rest.

    One could argue that, yet again, it’s just Britain in the lead and the rest will follow, I don’t know.

    What I do know is that nearly everything I value outside of my family and friends is a product of, for want of a better phrase, Western civilisation. We can no longer enunciate the values it has provided because they are so utterly taken for granted.
    Maybe this is why civilisations fail. Only when their key intangible benefits disappear are we able to notice them.

    We are all in the position of cargo cultists, before the end of WW2 and when it all comes crashing down, perhaps we’ll be out there, building models of the Houses of Parliament and the Capitol out of tin cans, constructing traffic lights from jam jars, building fires in abandoned power stations and shouting “respect the rule of law and disagree politely” as we are fed to some latter day barbarian’s dogs.

  • bobby b

    Brian Micklethwait (London)

    “My position on Brexit is: I want it. . . . But, my position on a Corbyn government is: I don’t want it.”

    Then no one on any side will ever love you, and you will eventually change your name to Bill Kristol.

  • Mr Ecks

    Jizz would be the all time fool of the Ages to join Treason May in pissing on the UK.

    He pisses for all time on 5-6 million former Labour voters.

    He joins forces–effectively– with the Party he has said so much bad stuff about–and proves he is a hypocrite and con man.

    We are already in a CU so the DUP would have no reason to give Mr IRA the GE he is desperate for (assuming Treason’s Crap to be superceeded by whatever shite Jizz puts up)so Tories stay in to 2022. Lots of time for his shower to disintegrate.

    And when the EU kick us–as that is what their “deal” shit is really about–he will get the blame along with Treason May.

    Jizz gets nothing from this “deal” except even more trouble than he has.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Gavin Longmuir
    The UK’s real problems are the useless tossers you elect to Parliament

    But don’t you think it is interesting to think why that is? Are the British people all stupid, and make stupid choices? I really don’t think so. The problem is the limited choices available to them, and some of the strange contradictions of democracy and politics — namely that the nature of politics is to grow and intrude on every aspect of life, the deceit of politics is “of the people, by the people, for the people”, and the lie of politics is that your vote matters and that you can make a difference.

    The problem is not the tossers, it is that the tossers have too much power. Famously Churchill said that democracy was the worst system except all the others. However, I don’t think that is true. The best system is the one that does the most to emasculate the inexorable growth of government. A bunch of slaveholding aristocrats from the backwoods of Virgina did a pretty good job, but two hundred years of attrition has washed away their good work.

    So too Britain, whose history is one of revolutions to hold back the burgeoning state, from Magna Carta, signed at the point of a sword, to the Glorious Revolution and its bill or Rights, to the execution of Charles I, and the restoration of an emasculated monarchy under Charles II and on through the transfer of power to the Commons, Britain’s history has been one of the burgeoning state growing little by little, followed by brief and violent overthrows of that power to put it back in its place. I fear that Britain might well have another such episode soon, and I really fear that the USA, where the Democrat party have gotten to the point that, as someone recently said, they have made actual politics impossible. (For example, the Democrats who constantly tell us that Trump is a threat to democracy, have in their aristocracy Clinton who recently said that the election was stolen from her — all evidence to the contrary. One wonders who is the real threat to democracy, such as it is.)

    Government power is like grass. It constantly grows and grows and grows until someone dramatically cuts it back with a violent scythe, only to leave it to start growing again.

    I’m no historian, but can anyone think of a time when the power of government was sent backward rather than forward without the guillotine to facilitate it? I don’t mean “slow the growth” I mean an actual substantial restoration of people’s rights and people’s self determination?

    I certainly don’t advocate such violent overthrow, though I can certainly appreciate that were I in Venezuela I’d be sharpening my pitchfork right now. But the unfortunate truth is that, although we aren’t there yet, the trajectory of the USA and UK is both far more toward Venezuela than Libertopia. And much as in Venezuela, the population’s senses are dulled to the glory of liberty in favor of the seductive promise of the nanny state, the golden cage.

  • Paul Marks

    The only thing that will stop Comrade Corbyn coming to power is the Conservative Party – but it must be a real Conservative Party NOT something led by Theresa May (who is, in effect, the chief ALLY of Jeremy Corbyn – opening the doors of power to socialism).

    People who think that some other party can stop the socialists do not understand how a “First Past the Post” voting system works. And people who think that supporting Mrs May is the way to stop the socialists do not understand that Mrs May has not “just” betrayed British independence (can we please stop using the absurd word “Brexit” which makes independence seem silly and meaningless), Mrs May is hostile to liberty generally – her first thought is always more government spending or more regulations, and freedom (including Freedom of Speech) is seen by Mrs May as the enemy.

    To save this nation it is first necessary to save the Conservative Party – to save it from Mrs May and other collectivists like Mrs May.

    As for the Euro elections – they are, of course, totally illegitimate. I will NOT be voting.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Fraser — Bravo! Those are some highly cogent observations — somewhat depressing, but accurate.

    “Famously Churchill said that democracy was the worst system except all the others.” The definition of democracy has changed over many decades in parallel with the growth of government. Democracy does not have to mean ‘universal suffrage democracy’ — culminating in the Democrats current push to allow convicted violent felons to vote from jail (!). Democracy in the days of the British ‘Rotten Boroughs’ and Virginia aristocrats was pretty limited — far from perfect, but arguably preferable to what we have today.

    Joseph Tainter’s study (“The Collapse of Complex Societies”) reminds us that every single one of the prior civilizations which have grown up on this planet reached a peak and then disappeared. He puts this down to the inefficiencies and overheads created by the inexorable growth of government, which eventually either collapses the society or leaves it open to external aggression. Today we can see that government over-spending (deficit financing) by most countries is unsustainable. These governments will eventually meet the Gods of the Copybook Headings and shrink (perhaps dramatically) — and then human beings will get to try again.

  • Flubber

    “To save this nation it is first necessary to save the Conservative Party”

    It cant be saved. Peter Hitchens correctly identified this years ago.

    The Conservative Party needs to die a spectacular messy death, pour encourager les autres, and a real conservative Party to arise in its place.

  • Alsadius

    Remember that British elections happen at the riding level, not the national level. Look at your local district and try to figure out who the better bet is to block a Labour(or LibDem, or SNP, or anti-Brexit Tory) MP. Ignore all the other races. National numbers are only useful to calibrate your own riding-level estimated outcomes.

  • Itellyounothing

    The issues with Britain’s current balance of power are simple.

    There isn’t any.

    Parliament has to appeal to the electorate once every five years on a manifesto that is not ever delivered. Nor do party feel they have to be.

    Then behind the scenes senior civil servants, back benchers and ministets are given the informal promise that if the deliver for various Billionaires they will get a comfy directorship.

    Treason May is selling us out right now to Huawei, Navantia and the EU while delivering SJW policies that her had no mandate for.

    Britons need a more regular vote like Swiss referenda which is entirely possible in a digital age as long Huawei don’t get there first.

    Make no mistake, more of the same from the same old suspects is voting for your own slavery.

    Incidentally for all its weaknesses, the Swiss do keep their establishment in check.

  • I suspect the group strongly pro-EU, but even more strongly anti-Corbyn is vanishly small. Think of say, Nick Cohen. (TDK, May 7, 2019 at 1:34 pm)

    SW1-style Labour-leaning pundits and north-England Labour voters are two very different groups. Sadly, the former group is not vanishingly small, but there are more than enough of the latter to swing an election.

    As for the Euro elections – they are, of course, totally illegitimate. I will NOT be voting. (Paul Marks, May 7, 2019 at 10:18 pm

    Paul I appreciate that it may be appropriate for you personally not to vote on May 23rd but in the EU elections, a low Tory vote and strong Brexit vote will, I trust, assist removing May. While my never-say-die approach will not say die if May gets rid of the Tories instead of vice versa, I of course agree that restoring the Tories via a genuine leadership vote (and a healthy amount of MP deselection) offers an obvious best bet for getting out of the current mess. I see a good Brexit-party vote as helping that (added impotence is just what May needs right now) and a poor one as hindering that (you know how the media would spin a poor Brexit-party showing).

    supporters of Corbyn utterly refuse to accept the evidence that he wants Brexit.(TDK, May 7, 2019 at 1:34 pm)

    Last four words needless.

  • Mary Contrary

    @Gavin Longmuir wrote:

    The UK’s real problems are the useless tossers you elect to Parliament, the dysfunctional political system, and the antiquated system of governance

    Agreed, these are at least among our principal problems. So, why do they persist? My theory is that one of the reasons we suffer them, and seem incapable of reform, is that our political system has been enervated by Europe. In a great many areas of government, if you’re serious about wanting reform you bypass Westminster altogether, and focus on Brussels. Conversely, if you wish to resist undesirable reforms, Brussels is also the place to focus your best efforts. I know, I’ve spent the last fifteen years doing just that, on behalf of my employer.

    Under such circumstances, why wonder that Westminster politics has become a form of Leftist performance art? Stripped of power and responsibility and reduced to vacuous posturing, how is it surprising that it shows no responsibility and only attracts the vacuous? A great number of those who might have sought to address the structural deficiencies of the Westminster/Whitehall system (including those with whom we would disagree with mightily on substantive policy, but might find some agreement on the enervating effects of our unaccountable Executive and overmighty Deep State), instead of working to fix it have departed for where the power is, and are instead working to build the Project.

    Brexit is no solution to what ails Britain. It is, however, the essential, irreplaceable first step.

    Unfortunately, the pro-Brexit forces seem to have little conception of the essential elements of what Brexit requires: Dan Hannan argues for remaining in the Single Market; even the magnificent Steve Baker came within a hair’s breadth of voting for May’s execrable Capitulation Treaty the third time it was offered. And those two gentlemen are the best of them. That being so, there can be no hope our politicians will quickly alight upon what needs to happen next.

    It’s going to be a long haul. So you might as well get used to the idea of a stint of Corbyn government; whatever compromises you tell yourself you need to make to keep him out, Labour will come to power in the end, and will do so before we’ve finished cleaning up the mess left by 40 years of the EU, and another 30 years of socialism before it.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Mary C: “My theory is that one of the reasons we suffer them, and seem incapable of reform, is that our political system has been enervated by Europe.”

    One of the knotty questions we stumble over so often is cause & effect. Did the EU enervate UK governance? Or did enervated UK governance lead to joining the EU in the first place? I tend to favor the latter. Looking at UK from the outside, the sad part is that there are so many analogs between the UK’s dismal politicians and those of other countries. Fraser Orr made an observation which is worth repeating:
    “Government power is like grass. It constantly grows and grows and grows until someone dramatically cuts it back with a violent scythe, only to leave it to start growing again.”

    Watching from the outside the UK’s discussion over separation from the EU, it seems glaringly obvious that Brexit alone will accomplish very little — it needs to be accompanied by a significant amount of Mr. Orr’s scythe swinging. Successful fundamental change in UK governance would be a grand role model for the world — because the rest of us face similar problems with how to rein in remote intrusive incompetent Political Classes. Good luck!

  • Mary Contrary

    Gavin Lonmuir wrote:

    One of the knotty questions we stumble over so often is cause & effect. Did the EU enervate UK governance? Or did enervated UK governance lead to joining the EU in the first place?

    Both. It’s a self-reinforcing cycle.

    It was only low morale caused by the doctrine of “managed decline” that led to us joining the EU. But the Parliament that swallowed Ted Heath’s lie that joining “involves no loss of essential sovereignty” would never have swallowed May’s Capitulation Treaty, entailing as it does the right for the EU to set UK laws and taxes, without our participation and without the UK having a right to withdraw from that arrangement. They would rightly have recognised this as the terms imposed on losers in war – and had in recent memory even turned their face against such impositions on an evil power they had defeated.

  • Derek Buxton

    Excellent comments most of which I would agree with. Especially the problem of far too big a Government, we do not need anything like there is inside their weird bubble. That leads to a higher cost of government to be paid for. Added to all that is the “civil service” obviously modelled on the French/Brussels idea, but utterly useless at giving good information to MPs who apparently need it. But of course, the civil service wants us to “remain”, it saves them working. We could instead cull the lot and start afresh by People in their place who actually know how the World and People the People in it work together. Low taxation would be a boost to working rather than the fake “living wage, mininmum wage and benefits”.

  • Fraser Orr

    Mary Contrary
    They would rightly have recognised this as the terms imposed on losers in war – and had in recent memory even turned their face against such impositions on an evil power they had defeated.

    It is worth pointing out that EU’s demanded reparations of £39bn is approximately twice the reparations the Allies demanded of Germany at the end of the Second World War.

  • Paul Marks

    Flubber – no new Conservative Party would rise in the place of the Conservative Party, why would it? Do you know hoe difficult it is even to run a ward – let alone a Constituency? Do you think these things are easy to do? Should the Conservative “tribe” collapse (and YES it may do) then all there would be is SOCIALISM, not some some new party.

    People such as Peter Hitchens have never stood for election or (I suspect) even really helped in an election campaign. Not run a Constituency Association – or even (to any great extent) worked in a campaign, or been part of the “life of the tribe” (which is the core of any successful political party).

    They know nothing about what they choose to write about – not good.

  • Paul Marks

    In real life things do not “evolve” or “emerge” on their own.

    People have to have the vision of what they want to create (work it out in their minds) and then WORK to bring what is in their minds, into the world. Lots and lots of WORK.

  • Paul Marks (his two comments immediately above) is right that creating and maintaining a party is work – hard work. Reconnecting the Tory party with its members and voters, cleansing it of those to whom both are “swivel-eyed loons” is the best option.

    That said, parties are hard to create and hard to kill in the Anglosphere – but not impossible. The Whig Party in the US and the Liberal Party in Britain both killed themselves. The current leader of the Tory party is walking along the edge of a precipice, seeking to throw herself and the party into it. Plan B could become unavoidable – but Paul is so right that avoiding the need for it through hard work (some of it by him, no doubt, and I daresay he feels he could use all the help he can get) is better if possible. A healthy Brexit vote in the EUlection would be a strong signal to dump May – but the mere fact she is not gone already speaks to the strength of the apparatchiks’ suicidal impulse. If plan B becomes the only option then so B it, but for now it helps also plan A.

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