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]

Samizdata quote of the day

It really is astonishing. For quite some time, the Tory leadership’s bizarre actions made me suspect May & the party grandees knew something we didn’t. They were playing a diabolically cunning long-game, weaving some devious ploy unfathomable to mere mortals such as us. But I now realise I was mistaking a room full of well educated but basically stupid château-bottled shits for genius supervillains. And as I started adjusting my expectations of their smarts downwards, they kept coming up with displays of ineptitude & Westminster-bubble insularity that have me in a near perpetual state of amazement.

– Perry de Havilland

126 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Jim Jones

    Conservative MPs must know what they are doing, am I right?

  • Honestly Jim, I suspect most of them have not a single clue.

  • llamas

    Gracious Host – for the benefit of those of us far away, would you please supply some context for the image?

    llater,

    llamas

  • Rev. Spooner

    Judging from the placard on the right side of the image, at a guess it’s a from a whingfest following reporting from the Mueller investigation into The Don(ald), Supervillian Extraordinaire and Evil Brains Behind Everything Ever.

  • neonsnake

    On the bright side, it puts paid to every single last conspiracy theory about a New World Order.

    You think this shower of twats is part of a shadowy cabal running the world? They couldn’t even run a bath.

  • Douglas2

    I’ve seen reference to the sign being from an early November 2018 protest in Chicago when Sessions recused himself as Attorney General from supervising the “russian collusion” investigation:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/FunnyandSad/comments/auctlk/ive_failed_you/eh888pv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x

  • bobby b

    Hanlon was correct.

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

  • William Newman

    “puts paid to every single last conspiracy theory”

    You misspelled “complicates”, hope that helps.:-)

    Besides the semiserious point that some sorts of conspiracy theorists seem to enjoy adding epicycles to their conspiracy theories, seriously, what makes you think that a shower of twats and a conspiracy are particularly incompatible? Look at some of the doofosity exhibited by people around Charles I long ago, or around Climategate or Journolist or Hillary or Strzok more recently. Just being genuinely afflicted with dimwittedness, tonedeafness, meanspiritedness, ignorance, hubris, and/or addiction to cant and selfdelusion and flattery does not seem to be incompatible with also being revealed beyond a reasonable doubt (as by leaks of various sorts, of correspondence in a captured baggage train back in the day, or various electronic security breaches more recently) to be really truly engaged in surprisingly elaborate and/or gung-ho explicit conspiracies with explicit hidden agendas.

  • Stonyground

    I heard on the radio news that some government think tank has suggested that better social care for the elderly would save the NHS billions of pounds. I would expect that this is probably true. The bit that I don’t get is that this improved care would need to be funded and the funding should come from higher taxes. Why couldn’t it be funded from the massive savings that are being made? Are these people just not very bright? Or do they just think that we are so stupid that we won’t see the hole in their plan to take even more of our money?

  • Gracious Host – for the benefit of those of us far away, would you please supply some context for the image?

    No idea, but it does express the sentiments many now feel towards the Tories.

  • Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    Yes indeed, but in this case I think we are seeing a great deal of malice and stupidity from the Tories. What we’re not seeing is cunning or wits. To me the amazing thing is the sheer ineptitude, and the self-destructive obliviousness to what is happening outside Westminster. The grandees & PM really seem to believe that what 650 MPs want is all that matters, and I now realise that they’re not even good at manipulating that.

    Not that Labour is any better. They are bleeding support to Brexit Party (from Labour leavers) & LibDems (from Labour remainers).

  • Fraser Orr

    @Stonyground
    Why couldn’t it be funded from the massive savings that are being made?

    Ah, you are making the mistake of applying common logic to government funding. No, budgets are never cut, it isn’t like the money belongs to the tax payers. When they talk about “savings” they don’t mean “savings for you” they mean “savings that can be redirected to buy more votes.”

    It is the fundamental logic of politics. People often say that government programs are shockingly inefficient and unable to meet their goals. In fact I have said that many times. But that is a mistake, the problem is that we don’t understand what the goals actually are. Mainly that is because politicians lie about the goals and, for some insane reason we believe that bunch of amoral, narcissistic grifters.

    For example, the goal of the NHS is not to give Britain great healthcare, no, the purpose of the NHS and, in fact, all government programs, is to serve their masters in Westminster and Whitehall. The goal of all government programs is to expand the budget and power of Whitehall departments and to get MPs re-elected. Surgery, chemotherapy, GPs are merely a means to an end.

    Measured in that way, with the inexorable growth of government budgets and 90%+ re-election rates, nearly all government programs are an astonishing success.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Speaking for myself, i lost fairly soon any hope that May and her henchmen knew what they were doing.
    But i don’t brag about it: i reckon that it was just a lucky guess. Or more precisely, a guess that was unfortunately accurate.

  • Roué le Jour

    If I might interject my own tin foil hattery. Elected politicians are just human shields for the bureaucracy that really runs the country. The bureaucrats want to remain a part of the EU and the puppets are doing as they are told, even if it means marching off a cliff.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Roue le Jour: “Elected politicians are just human shields for the bureaucracy that really runs the country.”

    From time to time, people point out that bureaucracies often are quite productive for their first one or two decades, and then the bureaucracy’s objective gradually transmogrifies from achieving something of value to maintaining & growing itself. NASA is one of the poster children — going in early days from successfully putting a man on the moon to wasting immense resources on a misbegotten Space Shuttle. There are many examples of the baleful effect of bureaucracy in private industry too.

    The frustrating thing is that human beings can come up with ways to compensate for this well-known tendency of bureaucracies, and more generally to prevent the growth of a self-serving Political Class largely beyond democratic control. But embedded bureaucracies and embedded Political Classes occupy the commanding heights and fight tooth & nail to prevent any changes which threaten their position. Things will have to get a lot worse before there will be an opportunity for meaningful reform.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Gavin, you write,

    “… human beings can come up with ways to compensate for this well-known tendency of bureaucracies,”

    How? Do you mean work-arounds?

    “and more generally to prevent the growth of a self-serving Political Class largely beyond democratic control.”

    How?

    Short of revolution, anyway. Our Framers tried, but “the ship has gone right off the rails,” to paraphrase P.M. Hacker, and has taken on a lot of water. I don’t know of any democracy or democratic Republic that hasn’t eventually fallen to its governing regime, although that might well be my own ignorance.

  • bobby b

    OT question:

    The big scandal appears to be EU non-Brits in the UK not being able to vote.

    My question is: who do they get to vote for? Are they voting for the EU reps for their own countries, out of convenience so they don’t have to go home to vote? Or, are they treated just like UK citizens and given the right to vote for UK representation even though they’ve not been granted citizenship?

  • Julie near Chicago

    Which, she noted grumpily, is currently an idea getting more attention from “libertarians” than you’d expect. And, of course, from the usual suspects here as well.

  • Paul Marks

    I would not have used the language that Perry uses here – but his position is accurate.

    Mrs May is horribly deluded – an establishment puppet, who believes everything the Civil Service tell her.

    And YES most Conservative Members of Parliament voted that they had “confidence” in Mrs May only last year – anyone who voted for Mrs May last year must be considered to have fundamentally bad judgement.

    Full disclosure – I have been active in the Conservative and Unionist Party for some 40 years, and I am known, in my own humble way, as a enemy of Mrs May (in the internal tribal divisions of the party). I despised Mrs May even when the lady was Home Secretary (over her pro censorship policies and general collectivism), so I might be considered to be biased against the lady.

    At least I no longer need to “like” Mrs May on Facebook – which I did for the reason of having her name light up when I typed it, (so that my attacks upon the lady and her policies would be recorded).

    But there remains the problem of all those Conservative Members of the House of Commons who backed Mrs May only last year – when it was already obvious that Mrs May was seriously deluded.

    I repeat – this casts serious doubts over the judgement of many Conservative Members of Parliament. But I hope they have learned their lesson – we will see on October 31st 2019.

    We must LEAVE the European Union on October 31st 2019 – there must be no sell-out surrender “deal”. The United Kingdom must be INDEPENDENT – not independent-in-name-only as the BBC and the rest of the establishment want.

  • Alex

    The UK won’t be leaving Paul, not in any meaningful way. The cause was lost in the pyrrhic victory of the referendum. The majority of MPs don’t care or are actively seeking to prevent independence.

  • Meh, UK is indeed leaving, it is just a matter of when. In the end, it will not matter what this particular load of MPs want.

  • Myno

    OT but in reaction to the discourse on bureaucracy. I have begun arguing that free market solutions are necessary replacements for government solutions precisely because they offer the only way to supplant bureaucracies that inevitably become… well, fraught. If your product or service is provided better by a competitor, possibly because they have a more streamlined, less ossified structure, then the aging tangle that can’t compete is (relatively easily) discarded on the trash heap of old failed businesses, and the world goes happily onward.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    But I now realise I was mistaking a room full of well educated but basically stupid château-bottled shits for genius supervillains.

    Facts:
    1. Prior to June 23 2016 Theresa May campaigned for the UK remain in the EU.
    2. After losing the June 23 2016 Brexit Referendum Theresa May somehow became Prime Minister of the UK, despite her stance opposing Brexit.
    3. The UK remains part of the EU today May 24 2019.

    I’m not saying Theresa May is a genius. But Theresa May has achieved precisely what she campaigned for prior to June 23 2016. Theresa May’s IQ is ENTIRELY besides the point.

    She won and the 17,410,742 of you British people who voted for Brexit lost.

  • Itellyounothing

    No technically, Farage won. With no formal position in government, he force a Uturn on a referendum, was part of a coalition that delivered victory and has now dispatched the biggest remaining obstacle using nothing more than the political equivalent o a fleet-in-being.

    He might still loose. But few from beyond the houses of parliament achieve such influence…..

  • Shlomo Maistre

    No technically, Farage won. With no formal position in government, he force a Uturn on a referendum, was part of a coalition that delivered victory and has now dispatched the biggest remaining obstacle using nothing more than the political equivalent o a fleet-in-being.

    He might still loose. But few from beyond the houses of parliament achieve such influence…..

    To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle, as the old saying goes.

    Before June 23 2016 Theresa May fought for the UK remain in the EU.

    Before June 23 2016 Farage fought for the UK to leave the EU.

    The UK is still member of the EU.

    Farage indeed wields great influence and has achieved much success in life. But when it comes to the UK’s membership status in the EU, has Farage won or has May won?

    To ask the question is to answer it.

  • But when it comes to the UK’s membership status in the EU, has Farage won or has May won? To ask the question is to answer it.

    Imagine for a moment that I pushed Shlomo off a tall building. No doubt people on the various floors he goes hurtling past will recall he was saying “See? I’m fine! Yup, I’m still fine! Did I mention that I’m still fine?”

    Westminster Voting Intention:

    LAB: 26% (-3)
    BXP: 25% (+1)
    CON: 22% (=)
    LDM: 12% (+1)
    GRN: 4% (+1)
    UKIP: 2% (=)
    CHUK: 2% (-1)

    Via @OpiniumResearch, 17-20 May.
    Changes w/ 14-16 May.

    Brexit Party has been in existence for about 6 weeks now.

    UK will leave the EU, Farage’s success thus far makes that certain. How long will it take? Not sure. I also didn’t count how many floors that building had when I rather unkindly gave Shlomo a shove, but I also know how that is going to end, just not when.

    The outcome is pretty much certain now, it is just down to timing really 😉

  • Rudolph Hucker

    There’s no need to ask President Juncker that question.

    EU Commission President Juncker told CNN yesterday that populists and nationalists are stupid because they love their own country.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDK5NRz8W-s

  • llamas

    Shlomo Maistre has the matter in a nutshell.

    Nothing but Re-Speck for Nigel Farage and all he has achieved. Talk about impossible odds . . . . . but this is turning out to be a fight that he can’t win.

    In truth, it don’t matter who takes the place of the late and minimally-lamented Mrs May. Even if Nigel Farage were to become PM tomorrow, I’m now fairly-certain that any sort of real Brexit may never happen, and if it does, it will be several more years coming, and a watered down BINO-type deal at that. With the opposition to exit as substantial as it is, and so concentrated at the seats of real power, no matter what plan is proposed for exit, enough objections can always be found or invented to cause enough on the exit side to waver and scupper the deal. Three years after the referendum, you’re no closer to Brexit now that you were the day after the referendum was decided. In the immortal and never-truer words of Sir Humphrey – why would we change now, when it’s worked so well?

    And all of the major UK bookies appear to share my opinion.

    llater,

    llamas

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Farage indeed wields great influence and has achieved much success in life. But when it comes to the UK’s membership status in the EU, has Farage won or has May won?”

    Farage has won. They’re just being a bit slow about paying up.

    Britain *will* leave the EU. They have no choice. The government is in disarray, the Prime Minister has been forced to resign, very likely to be replaced by Boris (if he even wants it, which he might not), and the Brexit party leading the polls, slamming the Conservatives down into fourth or fifth place, has made the voters’ and Conservative party members’ views clear. No other alternative is feasible. It’s almost certainly going to be a no-deal Brexit. The fight now – as it has been for some time – is entirely about who gets the blame. They’re all wriggling to pin the blame for it on somebody else.

    The Conservatives have been caught in a conflict between the protectist big business interests who fund them, and the ordinary party members who vote for them. The voters won, using Farage as a stick to beat them with. No other PM is going to want to back the deal May negotiated, and no other deal is going to be accepted in Brussels, and they’re not going to grant any more extensions without some prospect of getting what they want. It’ll be a ‘no deal’ exit. The only question remaining is whether the new PM has the grace and sense to announce that early, or whether they’re going to spend the next 6 months wrangling about it while they wait out the clock.

  • llamas

    @ our ever-gracious and -generous host, who posted Westminster voting intention polling.

    I am sure that the polling is accurate, and clearly shows that a majority of voters intend to vote for a party or parties that state a strong Brexit position. That’s wonderful.

    It’s also the precise situation you were in the day after the 2016 referendum – a majority of voters put their intention into action and clearly voted for Brexit. And yet – here you are, not a step closer to the result that was clearly mandated – and promised.

    You can vote, or express your voting intentions, until you are blue in the face. But until the day the Brexit party has an unassailable majority in the HoC, it’s not going to happen. Remember – every other party that promised to deliver Brexit if that’s what was voted for, has reneged on their promises, and many have never seriously deviated from their prior support for Remain. That’s not going to change. I draw your attention once again to the Sir Humphrey quote, above.

    Respectfully,

    llater,

    llamas

  • Fred Z

    Shlomo has forgotten that one battle rarely determines the outcome of a war. The final outcome doesn’t seem so certain as Shlomo falling to earth or the Remainers having achieved total victory. Both sides will have more gambits to play.

    I predict that if Brexit gathers strength the EU will suddenly start offering tempting concessions. Really, what is EU taxpayer money for if not to bribe voters?

  • Nullius in Verba

    “It’s also the precise situation you were in the day after the 2016 referendum – a majority of voters put their intention into action and clearly voted for Brexit. And yet – here you are, not a step closer to the result that was clearly mandated – and promised.”

    The day after the 2016 referendum nobody knew exactly what sort of Brexit was meant, or was possible. The question on the referendum was ambiguous. I saw multiple conflicting versions of what a post-Brexit world might look like. Nobody knew what Brussels would or would not accept. And the vote was close – almost half the population were not happy, and Parliament is supposed to represent the interests of the losing side, too. And then when they called another election hoping to get a stronger mandate, they instead got a weaker one, and UKIP lost out massively.

    So the last two years have been about finding out whether a compromise deal is possible. We have just concluded that it isn’t. Brussels made clear the limits of how far they were prepared to go. Parliament has made clear they’re not willing to meet it. The electorate have reaffirmed the mandate. And the PM has finally, grudgingly recognised that a deal is impossible now, and has surrendered.

    Whoever replaces her is not going to be stupid enough to push the same deal. I think the most likely is that the new PM will take the opportunity to recognise the reality, declare a clean break, announce a no-deal Brexit, and propose we spend the remaining time making preparations. It’s possible that if we get a fanatical Remainer, they will instead try it from the other direction, find out what the best deal they can get out of Parliament is, and then go and get it turned down by Brussels. They want to be able to tell their protectionist party funders that they did everything they possibly could. The question, therefore, is whether those backers still think a deal is possible.

    The pieces are still on the chessboard and the lone king is doggedly being chased around by a rook, queen, and two bishops. The game is still going, and somebody doing something terminally stupid to ‘snatch defeat from the jaws of victory’ is always possible, but the outcome is in little doubt. We know now that a deal acceptable to both sides is not feasible. It’s just a matter of time.

  • The question on the referendum was ambiguous.

    No, not even slightly

    And anyone who says “we didn’t know what we were voting for” must have slept through the campaign. We leave under WTO terms. But not because Farage said so, but because Cameron, Osborne and a whole pantheon of Remain grandees said so. They intended it was a warning as to why UK should *not* leave, but it was absolutely clear what leave meant: leaving the control of EU regulations & institutions when not trading with the EU. That was what the REMAIN side’s grandees told us.

    And the vote was close

    48% vs 52% isn’t a landslide but it also really isn’t that close.

    We know now that a deal acceptable to both sides is not feasible. It’s just a matter of time.

    I agree completely.

  • Itellyounothing

    Who knows, but the more suicidal it looks to present BRINO instead of independence, the better.

  • Who knows, but the more suicidal it looks to present BRINO instead of independence, the better.

    Yes, there is something to be said for that 😆

  • Nullius in Verba

    “No, not even slightly”

    We have an interlocking set of dozens of organisations, agreements, treaties, jurisdictions, partnerships, cooperations, regulations, and memberships. The question was unambiguous on exactly one of them, and left all the others up in the air.

    “And anyone who says “we didn’t know what we were voting for” must have slept through the campaign.”

    I heard half a dozen different versions during the campaign. We could do this. We could do that. Best case is this. Worst case is that. The Remainers, of course, identified the option they thought was the most alarming, and hyped that one up to scare everyone with. But there were plenty of people on the Leave side pointing out that not only was that not as bad an outcome as claimed, it wasn’t even the only option. The examples of various other nations outside the European Union but with various deals and relationships with them were cited. Whether all the dire outcomes foretold would happen depended on what possible deals could be struck.

    That’s still as true today as it was then. We’ve not even started negotiating on a trade deal with Europe. They wanted to get the separation agreement dealt with first before they would begin to talk about that.

    But none of that was on the referendum ballot. We’d leave the EU, agreed, but what it would be replaced with was up for negotiation (with the EU and with everyone else). Since that would require the EU’s agreement, and they hadn’t said anything yet about what they would or would not agree to, nobody on our side could make any definitive or authoritative statement on what the eventual outcome would look like. Only that if no agreement could be reached, the worst case would be that we could opt for WTO rules.

    That was my understanding at the time. And what’s happened since seems to have confirmed that. So if I was asleep and just dreaming it all, I can’t have been the only one to have dreamt it.

    “48% vs 52% isn’t a landslide but it also really isn’t that close.”


    It looks close to me.

    “Who knows, but the more suicidal it looks to present BRINO instead of independence, the better.”

    That’s how I interpret the current situation. I think it was the polls giving it to Nigel that finally made clear to them the nature of the ‘suicide’ the Conservatives were committing.

  • We have an interlocking set of dozens of organisations

    So what? The question was not at all ambiguous.

    It looks close to me.

    A great many elections are won by far smaller margins. Like I said, not a landslide, but certainly a clear win on a high turn out.

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    Never attribute subtlety and cunning to those who are simply stupid (or simple and stupid).

  • neonsnake

    “we didn’t know what we were voting for”

    In fairness, I’ve made that claim on here, and it doesn’t go down well, so I’ll attempt to explain what I mean by it.

    (disclaimer: I’m one of the “we”)

    Firstly, I wonder if every one of the people who voted really understood the ins and outs of the EU, and what “leave” meant. I did (and I’m sure the populace of Samizdata did), but I harbour suspicions that a number of people voted on emotion. I level that accusation at both sides equally (be very clear on that), due to a general feeling that a number of people are not sufficiently well-versed in politics to truly understand it. There’s many aspects that I do not understand, and I contend that your average Joe/Jane does not spend his time reading up on all matters political, and gets his or her info from the BBC/Daily Mail/Guardian/Express (delete as applicable), and that’s good enough for him/her.

    So that’s one aspect – but now I propose to put it to one side.

    Let’s for now assume that every voter, in both camps, really knew their stuff.

    Then we get to: I honestly believe that every individual voter (assuming they knew their stuff), knew their own reasons for voting. For me it was sovereignty. For someone else, it was economic, for someone else it may have been immigration. For someone else (likely most people), it was a mixture of several things. What we didn’t know – and this is the bit that appears to be controversial – is how we get from here to there. For some people, they believed it was no deal and WTO rules. For others, it was a deal. For some, it was Norway-plus, for some it was staying in the single market and restricting immigration. And so on. These were all mooted by various people on the Leave side.

    As individuals, I can believe that we knew what we were voting for. As a block, I suggest that “we” were not in agreement – which can be stated as “we didn’t know what we were voting for”, because we didn’t know the outcome.

    Finally; I’ve had the argument of “You didn’t know what you were voting for” hurled at me. I, after some thought and soul searching, conceded that it is fair.

    I also contend that “Remainers don’t know what they were voting for” – on the theory that what the EU is today might not be what it is tomorrow, and by my understanding isn’t what it was in 1973, or 1975, or 1992. I’m sure other people can elaborate on that.

    I’ve tried to be as “non-contentious” as I can in my explanation. Hopefully that’s helpful.

  • Different people want different things when they vote Tory or Labour or LibDem, and they do not know what in fact they are voting for, or which of the promised things will be done or even attempted, or how any will be achieved. I think I am right in saying we none of us liked Theresa May when she became leader, but Perry’s picture’s banner so well expresses that we did not know just what a vote for her was in fact voting for. I know Labour voters who, in voting for Corbyn, have sadly little idea what they are voting for. The referendum by contrast was a far more precise question – a thing to be done or not done – and almost immediately triumphs over May/Corbyn as regards knowing better what one was voting for and how it would be achieved.

    Even when politicians mean what they say, and a policy’s official name is not a deliberate misdirection of what they hope it will do, the details of Tory or Labour policies may be little known to those who vote for them. As Dominic Cummings rightly points out, this was also true of the referendum, but not of Leave voters more than others.

    Lots of people said to me ‘when are you going to set out the details of the UK-EU trade relationship if you win?’ What would have been the point of that?! Approximately nobody knows anything about the important details of how the EU works including the MPs who have spent years talking about it and the journalists who cover it – indeed, often those who talk about it most are the most ignorant (and most overconfident). This is still true six months after the vote – imagine how much more true it was in the six months before the vote.

    I am not aware of a single MP or political journalist who understands the Single Market – its history, its nature, its dynamics, its legal system, the complex interactions between law, economics, business, history and so on. Cameron, Osborne and Clegg certainly don’t. Neither does Bill Cash. Neither does any head of the CBI. Neither do Jon Snow, Robert Peston, Evan Davis or John Humphreys so they do a rubbish job of exposing politicians’ ignorance.

    The number of people who do is tiny. In our campaign there were two – Oliver Lewis and Richard Howell – who understood a large fraction of it and the common misconceptions. They constantly had to explain to MPs, MEPs, and journalists why their ideas were misunderstandings.

    In comparison to most elections, the Brexit vote was exceptionally clear and the choice it gave us exceptionally precise. You can certainly echo Dominic’s accurate description above – but only on grounds that deny the UK electorate ever knows what its voting for, or the politicians what they are doing, or the journalists what they are talking about. So as a diagnostic point, it is quite valueless.

  • neonsnake

    I note that you’ve edited the previous last paragraph back out, but I’m curious; do you believe that I’m a Remoaner? That I’m being dishonest in some sense?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Perry de Havilland,

    Imagine for a moment that I pushed Shlomo off a tall building. No doubt people on the various floors he goes hurtling past will recall he was saying “See? I’m fine! Yup, I’m still fine! Did I mention that I’m still fine?”

    Westminster Voting Intention:

    LAB: 26% (-3)
    BXP: 25% (+1)
    CON: 22% (=)
    LDM: 12% (+1)
    GRN: 4% (+1)
    UKIP: 2% (=)
    CHUK: 2% (-1)

    Via @OpiniumResearch, 17-20 May.
    Changes w/ 14-16 May.

    Brexit Party has been in existence for about 6 weeks now.

    UK will leave the EU, Farage’s success thus far makes that certain. How long will it take? Not sure. I also didn’t count how many floors that building had when I rather unkindly gave Shlomo a shove, but I also know how that is going to end, just not when.

    The outcome is pretty much certain now, it is just down to timing really 😉

    The British people voted to leave the EU in June 2016 and the UK is still a member of the EU THREE YEARS LATER.

    It is unclear to me how great success at the EU MEP elections for Brexit party could achieve Exit for the UK when the Referendum 3 years ago that was written explicitly to achieve that very thing and in which a majority of the British people voted to Leave the EU did not. Maybe you can help explain?

    The question on the ballot in June 2016:

    “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? The government will implement what you decide.”

    It did not say:

    “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union? The government will implement what you decide, pending EU MEP elections in 2019.”

    I do not doubt that the British people want Brexit. Maybe the British people are not going to get what they want. But your faith in democracy is touching.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Perry de H. “The outcome is pretty much certain now, it is just down to timing really”

    Yes, the eventual outcome of the Brexit situation is pretty much certain. Then the interesting part begins. Because Brexit does not change the fundamentals.

    Post-Brexit, an “independent UK” will be a small over-crowded rainy island off the coast of Europe with a budget deficit, an inability to grow enough food to feed itself, a divided population, and a Political Class which has demonstrated its dysfunctionality to the world. Most of the remaining manufacturing industry is foreign-owned — Japanese, Indian, American, European. A good part of the high-end real estate is foreign-owned — Arabians, Russians. The major international earner (the City of London) is potentially highly mobile. And no country in the world is straining at the bit to do business with an “independent UK”. Not trying to be negative here; just looking the facts straight in the face.

    Personally, I am all in favor of eliminating layers of government, moving government closer to the people, and preventing the growth of a Political Class with its attendant costly bureaucracy. Brexit could provide an opportunity to move in that direction. From an outsider’s perspective, it is obvious that if the UK is to make a success of its soon-to-be “independent” status, there will have to be fundamental changes in governance — not just shuffling the leadership of the Tory Party. It is time to start thinking about what needs to happen after Brexit.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Perry de Havilland is citing poll numbers to suggest that Brexit will happen both on a formal, legal basis as well as in a practical, effective sense. Maybe he is right that it will happen (I do not expect it to).

    But what is perplexing to me is why Perry thinks that the EU MEP election results now in 2019 impacts whether or not the UK Exits the EU.

    Either the British government has an obligation to implement the decision of the June 2016 referendum or it does not have such an obligation. If it does have such an obligation then why on earth does it matter what the results of this EU MEP election is?

    If the Brexit Party gets only 5% of the vote will Perry agree that Brexit Referendum is null and void?

    The Brexiteers need to get their messaging straight.

    If the outcome really is pre-determined – the UK will definitely Exit the EU – then there is no need to vote for the Brexit Party and no need to fight for Brexit.

    If the outcome is not pre-determined then it is critical that the pro-Brexit camp maintains absolutely on one message: the outcome of the 2016 June Referendum must be implemented by the government PRIOR to any other election mattering regarding the Brexit issue. Period. End of story.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “The British people voted to leave the EU in June 2016 and the UK is still a member of the EU THREE YEARS LATER.”

    With respect, so what? The question asked in the referendum, if you’ll note, SETS NO DATE.

    So two years, three years, ten years – so long as we leave at SOME time, the decision of the referendum will have been implemented.

    That’s the sort of thing I mean by ‘ambiguous’. It’s explicit about just one tiny piece in a vast and pervasive change. All the details about the ‘When?’ and ‘How?’ and ‘Which bits?’ and ‘Replaced by what?’ are left hanging. Everyone assumes they know what it means, and then get upset when they discover that other people think it means something totally different. 🙂

    If someone says they understood it to mean that we leave the EU in 50 years time, and we do, you can’t argue about them having done exactly what they said they’d do! It’s all about the things left unsaid, and taken for granted.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    “The British people voted to leave the EU in June 2016 and the UK is still a member of the EU THREE YEARS LATER.”

    With respect, so what? The question asked in the referendum, if you’ll note, SETS NO DATE.

    So two years, three years, ten years – so long as we leave at SOME time, the decision of the referendum will have been implemented.

    Bob believes in God and Joe does not.

    Joe: “Bob, if there is a God let there by lightning strike in that park over there.”

    Bob: “Ok, yes I agree!”

    *3 hours pass, no strike of lightning*

    Bob: “This proves nothing! So long as lightning eventually strikes in that park, it shows that God exists! Maybe it will happen tomorrow, maybe next month, maybe a decade from now and maybe a millennium from now!”

    Belief in democracy is… a matter of faith. Truly amazing the power of belief.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    “The British people voted to leave the EU in June 2016 and the UK is still a member of the EU THREE YEARS LATER.”

    With respect, so what? The question asked in the referendum, if you’ll note, SETS NO DATE.

    So two years, three years, ten years – so long as we leave at SOME time, the decision of the referendum will have been implemented.

    That’s the sort of thing I mean by ‘ambiguous’. It’s explicit about just one tiny piece in a vast and pervasive change. All the details about the ‘When?’ and ‘How?’ and ‘Which bits?’ and ‘Replaced by what?’ are left hanging. Everyone assumes they know what it means, and then get upset when they discover that other people think it means something totally different. 🙂

    If someone says they understood it to mean that we leave the EU in 50 years time, and we do, you can’t argue about them having done exactly what they said they’d do! It’s all about the things left unsaid, and taken for granted.

    Ok this is a great point. I have been convinced. I believe that the EU will not exist in one thousand years. I cannot prove this to be true but I believe it to be true. when the EU no longer exists the UK will certainly no longer be a member of the EU. Therefore, even if the UK does not Exit the EU prior to the EU’s dissolution, the UK will indeed one day no longer be a member of the EU!

    This is a great solution to make EVERYONE HAPPY!

    Now pro-Brexiteers can sleep well at night knowing that they have won and those who voted to Remain can sleep well at night knowing that the UK is still at this moment a member of the EU!

    Someone should give Nullius in Verba the Nobel Peace Prize! This is groundbreaking achievement in political statecraft!

  • But what is perplexing to me is why Perry thinks that the EU MEP election results now in 2019 impacts whether or not the UK Exits the EU.

    Seriously? Polls predicting elections are often wrong, but elections are not by definition, they are what they are, the way the system legitimises itself. If Brexit Party crushes the Conservatives in the Euro elections, the threat from Farage, his ability to actually get people out and vote, is not just hypothetical, it is demonstrable. This has very profound political consequences for the next vastly more important General Election.

    If the Brexit Party gets only 5% of the vote will Perry agree that Brexit Referendum is null and void?

    Yes, clearly, the referendum itself becomes a historical footnote, and for that to happen it probably means people who want Brexit have given up on the democratic political process. We then move into 1642 territory & Brexit itself becomes a sideshow as politics continues by “other means” in the Clausewitzian sense. Looks like that will not need to happen I am pleased to say.

    If the outcome really is pre-determined – the UK will definitely Exit the EU – then there is no need to vote for the Brexit Party and no need to fight for Brexit.

    You have far too smart a fellow to have written that without having had too much (no doubt excellent) brandy first, so I’ll be nicer than it deserves: this is an ongoing political fight and pressure needs to be continually applied. The evidence is that the required pressure is not just available, it is indeed being applied (by Farage, who now has two prime ministerial scalps on his belt). That is what makes some form of meaningful Brexit now highly likely.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Joe: “Bob, if there is a God let there by lightning strike in that park over there.””

    Joe should have said: “If there is a God and prayer works, let there be a lightning strike in that park during the next thirty seconds.” If you can’t even manage to set proper unambiguous conditions on your test, you don’t deserve to win the argument!

    “Belief in democracy is… a matter of faith. Truly amazing the power of belief.”

    It’s nothing to do with belief. It’s to do with the plain and precise meaning of what was agreed to. Everyone is assuming there was a particular time limit set. But there wasn’t. The assumption is something you just made up.

    As things stand, we leave on the 31st October 2019. So as far as I’m concerned, if we do leave on that date, the referendum promise will have been kept.

    If your argument is that they won’t, what’s your evidence for that? How do you think it’s even feasible? Is it just impatience and frustration talking? Or do you have an actual reason for your pessimism?

    “Someone should give Nullius in Verba the Nobel Peace Prize! This is groundbreaking achievement in political statecraft!”

    Why, thank you! When, sometime during the next thousand years, I receive my prize, I’ll be sure to remember your recommendation!

    Wait for November. Is that so hard?

  • bobby b

    ” . . . but elections are not by definition, they are what they are, the way the system legitimises itself.”

    The Referendum was an election.

  • The Referendum was an election

    But it was not an election between parties, which is why it has very different political significance than the Euro elections. This is why many in the anti-Brexit wing of the Tory party couldn’t see the risks involved with trying to ignore the Referendum as they’re incapable of thinking outside the Tory/Labour political paradigm (which takes me back to the thesis these chaps are far less intelligent than I gave them credit for).

    But the five and a half hat sizes in CCHQ do understand what Farage doing well at the Euro elections means, even if the Referendum was a tad too abstract for their tiny little minds. There is nothing abstract about the latest iteration of “kaiju Farage”, not now that he’s standing in front of sold-out rapturously cheering political rallies, talking not just about Brexit or winning elections, but also the need to bulldoze establishment institutions like the BBC & Civil Service.

    Interesting times 😆

  • Everyone is assuming there was a particular time limit set. But there wasn’t. The assumption is something you just made up. (Nullius in Verba, May 24, 2019 at 9:03 pm)

    Wow! That is rich !. 🙂

    I guess if you voted for a party based on something they put in their manifesto and then they explained that the words “will actually be done within a finite time” were not included then you will be OK with it.

    That the treaty says “Issue article 50, leave 2 years later” was known and was said. We had a right to think the March 2017 issuance of article 50 was already late in terms of “The government will do what you choose”, not “The government will eventually get around to doing what you choose”, but one could defend that. From then on, the timeline was quite clear and a video like the one Natalie linked to could be made specifically of promises we would leave at the end of March.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Perry de H.: Farage is talking about “the need to bulldoze establishment institutions like the BBC & Civil Service.”

    Good! Glad to hear that someone is looking beyond separation from the EU towards what then has to happen in order to make Brexit a success.

    But here is where I think Neonsnake is raising a good point — What did the 37% of UK citizens who voted for Leave have in mind? How many of them are on-board with a Farage-type agenda of fundamental change to the UK? Equally important in the divided UK, how many of the 35% who voted to Remain in the EU and the 28% who chose not to vote can be persuaded to join in Farage’s mission once Brexit is a fait accompli? There is going to be a need for a lot of outreach, and serious efforts to build the kind of solid majority that can put the UK on a better path.

  • I don’t think anyone associated with Farage ever thought this will be easy 😉

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Perry,

    If the outcome really is pre-determined – the UK will definitely Exit the EU – then there is no need to vote for the Brexit Party and no need to fight for Brexit.

    You have far too smart a fellow to have written that without having had too much (no doubt excellent) brandy first, so I’ll be nicer than it deserves: this is an ongoing political fight and pressure needs to be continually applied. The evidence is that the required pressure is not just available, it is indeed being applied (by Farage, who now has two prime ministerial scalps on his belt). That is what makes some form of meaningful Brexit now highly likely.

    If the outcome really is pre-determined – the UK will definitely Exit the EU – then there is no need to vote for the Brexit Party and no need to fight for Brexit.

    If the outcome is not pre-determined then it is critical that the pro-Brexit camp maintains absolutely on one message: the outcome of the 2016 June Referendum must be implemented by the government PRIOR to any other election mattering regarding the Brexit issue. Period. End of story.

    Read that carefully again.

    Nigel Farage is great at PR and great at campaigning against the EU. But he is not wise.

    Nigel Farage should not be participating in the EU MEP elections because doing so legitimizes the whole charade.

    Nigel Farage should be leading a public boycott of the EU MEP elections and encouraging every British person who voted for the UK to Leave the EU to likewise stay home and not vote. This is the only course of action that insulates the result of the June 2016 Brexit Referendum from the vagaries of politics going forward – until Brexit is DELIVERED IN FULL. He is playing a dangerous game and pro-Brexit folks are not preserving the legitimacy of the June 2016 Referendum by participating in or voting in the EU MEP elections of 2019 after Brexit won in 2016 June and has still not been delivered.

  • bobby b

    “How many of them are on-board with a Farage-type agenda of fundamental change to the UK?”

    It seems to me – an ignorant furriner – that what Farage is offering is more of a brake on fundamental change to the UK than anything else.

    Farage seems to be getting the support of people who don’t fervently believe that the traditional UK sucks and needs to be completely torn down and rebuilt.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    If in the future the UK does not leave the EU and public support for Brexit wanes a bit, then boycotting the EU MEP elections in 2024 or whenever the next ones will be will just look like sour grapes and look like disaffection over the likely results of such EU MEP elections in this scenario.

    Hopefully support for Brexit does not wane.

    Hopefully the UK does in fact Leave the EU.

    But if support for Brexit does wane and the UK does not Leave the EU either effectively/practical sense or legally/formally then boycotting the EU MEP elections will look childish. Nigel Farage and pro-Brexiteers are 1. legitimizing the EU by participating in these elections and 2. compromising the integrity of the result of the June 2016 referendum which has yet to be delivered by the government. Very dangerous and very unwise.

    The Queen is privately weeping.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    If the Brexit Party gets only 5% of the vote will Perry agree that Brexit Referendum is null and void?

    Yes, clearly, the referendum itself becomes a historical footnote, and for that to happen it probably means people who want Brexit have given up on the democratic political process. We then move into 1642 territory & Brexit itself becomes a sideshow as politics continues by “other means” in the Clausewitzian sense. Looks like that will not need to happen I am pleased to say.

    Perry if the Brexit Party gets only 5% of the vote why would that render the result of the June 2016 Referendum null and void?

    Polls, elections, slogans, opinion columns, backroom dealings, threats from the EU, etc. NONE OF THIS MATTERS.

    At this time and forever until Brexit is delivered the one and ONLY argument in favor of Brexit is the June 2016 Referendum result.

    Once that is fully delivered by the government then AND ONLY THEN is it relevant to see what people actually want. This is the perspective you, Nigel Farage and everyone in favor of Brexit must have in order to ensure maximum chances of achieving Brexit.

    Until the government delivers Brexit the only argument you need is that the 2016 Referendum has not yet been delivered. This is an argument that is on firm, solid ground not subject to the vagaries of politics, the impact of the global establishment intimidating the UK, and the fluctuation in public opinion on the matter.

    Pro-Brexit people voting in the EU MEP elections or worse participating in them by standing for election is compromising the integrity of the June 2016 Brexit Referendum result.

    In previous comment of mine:

    “But if support for Brexit does wane and the UK does not Leave the EU either effectively/practical sense or legally/formally then boycotting the EU MEP elections will look childish.”

    should say:

    But if support for Brexit does wane and the UK does not Leave the EU either effectively/practical sense or legally/formally then boycotting the EU MEP elections in 2024 after having participated in 2019 will look childish.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “That the treaty says “Issue article 50, leave 2 years later” was known and was said.”

    And it was also known and said that a short extension could be asked for and granted, although it would take exceptional circumstances to get the EU to agree.

    People can only do what is in their power to do. They can only tell you what they intend to happen, and what they expect to happen based on their own actions. But nobody can control the actions of others, and if those others block what you intended to happen, then your plan won’t deliver what you said. That’s the way the world works, and we all know that. The plan was that they would negotiate the best deal they could get with the EU, and have Parliament agree to it ahead of the March deadline. They negotiated the treaty. They presented it to Parliament. And Parliament said “No.”

    So they said “Do you want a no-deal Brexit?” And Parliament said “No” to that, too.

    So as far as May is concerned, she did everything *she* could do to achieve the result by March, but it turned out the task was impossible. The requirements set by the EU are not currently acceptable to the Brexit supporters, but neither did Parliament want to give up hope of a deal. They got the extension on the basis that maybe if she did enough arm-twisting and compromising, one side or the other would back down and they could still get a deal, or an agreement on no deal. However, Farage put paid to that by making clear what the electorate thought, and pointing out the damage that the Conservatives would take if they tried.

    As for the question of whether by delaying they have broken the promise to deliver Brexit, the only truthful answer can be “Not yet”. No time limit was set – nor could they have honestly set one, given that it was not solely their decision to make. We’re still set to leave. Even if we asked for and got another extension, we’d still be set to leave. Only if they pass legislation to *cancel* Brexit could they be said to have broken their promise. (And given the now very clear political price if they do, I don’t believe there is any plausible possibility of them doing so.) Nor, to be fair to them, do I think they ever had any intention of breaking the promise. They might have been more willing to accept a bad deal than we’d like, but if they had intended to subvert the referendum decision entirely I’m sure they could have done so very easily and much more effectively.

    As far as I’m concerned, it was an honest attempt to achieve something that turned out to be impossible. The result is now very likely to be no deal. And a few additional months delay getting there is of no particular consequence.

    However, I see no point in arguing the point any further. We’ll all find out in November, or more likely when the new PM is appointed.

  • Pro-Brexit people voting in the EU MEP elections or worse participating in them by standing for election is compromising the integrity of the June 2016 Brexit Referendum result.

    Good lord, you *really* don’t understand politics!

  • Gavin Longmuir

    bobby b: “It seems to me – an ignorant furriner – that what Farage is offering is more of a brake on fundamental change to the UK than anything else.”

    As another ignorant furriner, I have to notice that, not so long ago, there was a discussion on this very blog about the BBC and its Left-wing Politically Correct bias. It was rather clear from the discussion that no-one here expected any serious action against the BBC — not even from the ruling Conservative Party who have been in the BBC’s crosshairs for ever. Now Perry tells us that Farage wants to bulldoze the BBC! That is fundamental change! It would be a direct assault on the Oxbridge-credentialed metropolitan set who constitute the core of the UK Establishment.

    And if Farage goes after the Civil Service too, as Perry says he is proposing to do, he really is pursuing fundamental change in the governance of the UK. Remember that the government is not the country. Maypole dancing and warm beer are not the things which require fundamental change.

  • bobby b

    “Nigel Farage and pro-Brexiteers are 1. legitimizing the EU by participating in these elections . . . “

    Of course, forcing the EU Parliament to listen to the speeches given by Farage et al. over the next year might be enough of a torture to cause the EU to sweeten the UK’s exit deal.

    (I’ve always enjoyed Farage’s speeches to the EU. I doubt the EU shares my enjoyment.)

  • bobby b

    “Nigel Farage should be leading a public boycott of the EU MEP elections and encouraging every British person who voted for the UK to Leave the EU to likewise stay home and not vote.”

    He needs this election – and the good showing that he’s likely to get out of it – to keep his Brexit troops rallied. A boycott would be meaningless – someone will still win, and then life could go on politically as usual. By cementing his people and will into place and by giving his people the morale boost of humiliating the Remain status quo, he keeps momentum for the ongoing fight. It’s not useless to make a showing of power.

  • bobby b

    “As far as I’m concerned, it was an honest attempt to achieve something that turned out to be impossible.”

    I saw it more as an honest attempt to achieve compromise.

    But compromise is something you do before you call the question to vote. Once compromise failed, the referendum was held. You don’t get to try to reach a compromise again, after you’ve held and lost the vote.

  • Patrick Crozier

    “Kaiju Farage”. Cool.

  • Julie near Chicago

    “Oh good, I won!”

    No! Do-over! Win two out of three.
    No! Do-over! Win four out of seven. …
    No! Do-over! Win 8 out of 29!

    See? I win!

  • Mr Ed

    NiV,

    The question on the referendum was ambiguous.

    To be kind, that’s what lawyers call, in court, a wonderful opportunity for comment.

    To be fair, it is utterly misconceived.

    I won’t bother responding to anything you say, ever again.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “To be fair, it is utterly misconceived.”

    Ah. There’s nothing like a reasoned and detailed argument, is there?

    “I won’t bother responding to anything you say, ever again.”

    So I guess there’s no point in asking ‘Why?’ 🙂

    “I cannot praise a fugitive and cloister’d vertue, unexercis’d & unbreath’d, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortall garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather: that which purifies us is triall, and triall is by what is contrary.”

    Milton, Areopagitica, 1644. Addressed to Parliament.

  • neonsnake

    The question on the referendum was ambiguous.

    Did it mean “deal” or “no deal”? Did it mean staying in the single market, or not?

    The question may have been unambiguous, in the strictest terms. But the outcome, which is what NiV is properly referring to, was absolutely ambiguous.

    Cameron: “The British public would be voting if we leave would be to leave the EU and leave the single market.”

    Hannon: “To repeat, absolutely nobody is talking about threatening our place in the single market”

    Banks: “Increasingly the Norway option looks the best for the UK”

    Paterson: “Only a madman would actually leave the Market.”

    Farage: “Wouldn’t it be terrible if we were really like Norway and Switzerland? Really? They’re rich. They’re happy. They’re self-governing.”

    Three weeks after the referendum, only 35% of “us” expected that we would leave the Single Market (ergo WTO rules).

    There is zero value in attempting to pretend otherwise. It’s demonstrably untrue.

    When you enter into a negotiation, there’s a tendency to believe that you’re in the weaker position. I’m not interested in elaborating on that, it’s just a fact.

    There are also times when this is genuinely true, and that is the position we’re in with the EU. I’m sure that all the armchair negotiators believe they could have done a better job, but probably not. The deal that May came back with possibly was the best that could have been negotiated. Whatever. No one will ever know. So we enter the world of “no deal”, but that contradicts the promises of some of the Leavers. And “no deal” has consequences – primarily exchange rates at the moment. Have you noticed that stuff is getting more expensive? That’s not profiteering, that’s just reality. I’ve had to put my prices up. Soz. I hope it will settle once things are “certain”, but I’m not 100% sure. Doesn’t matter to me, fine. I can absorb the cost. But not everyone can.

  • Runcie Balspune

    I’m sure that all the armchair negotiators believe they could have done a better job, but probably not.

    It is worth pointing out that May’s grand strategy of securing a deal was having a mandate and a better position in parliament, and to be fair, I doubt anyone thought that the last election would be anything but a “naughty walk though a cornfield” and not ever result in Corbyn actually _gaining_ seats. In truth it was May’s fault this happened in her stupid campaign, but to assume this was part of the grand plan is preposterous, with a commons majority there would never have been a “no deal” removed from the table and we’d have left by now.

    the sad fact is that May and Corbyn have proved the Stupid Party and the Nasty Pasty have effectively swapped over.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    “Nigel Farage should be leading a public boycott of the EU MEP elections and encouraging every British person who voted for the UK to Leave the EU to likewise stay home and not vote.”

    He needs this election – and the good showing that he’s likely to get out of it – to keep his Brexit troops rallied. A boycott would be meaningless – someone will still win, and then life could go on politically as usual. By cementing his people and will into place and by giving his people the morale boost of humiliating the Remain status quo, he keeps momentum for the ongoing fight. It’s not useless to make a showing of power.

    Huh? Does UK’s membership status in the EU really depend on the extent to which pro-Brexit people are “rallied”? You will say “of course it does!” but how do you know? May has achieved great things for her pro-Remain wishy-washy Tory constituency – were her troops super rallied these past 2 or 3 years?

    Nigel Farage is excellent at PR and campaigning against the EU. Unfortunately when you are a hammer every problem looks like a nail.

    The EU is not preventing Brexit so why go make speeches at the EU Parliament? Yes it makes life more difficult for the EU but it does NOT deliver Brexit. The EU is not preventing Brexit; the British government is preventing Brexit.

    To deliver Brexit what is required is a pro-no deal Hard Brexit Prime Minister and government that has a spine that makes the Iron Lady look spineless by comparison. Nigel Farage should be publicly demanding the next Prime Minister be himself or someone similarly in favor of a no-deal Hard Brexit.

    Instead he is playing directly into the hands of the EU. The EU wants the pro-no-deal Hard Brexit people in Brussels making speeches NOT in Number 10 Downing Street making decisions.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I’m going to repeat that (slightly modified) line because it’s the best line in this comment thread

    The EU is not preventing Brexit; the British government is preventing Brexit. The EU wants the pro-no-deal Hard Brexit people in Brussels delivering speeches NOT in Number 10 Downing Street delivering Brexit.

    And don’t you ever forget that.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Perry,

    Pro-Brexit people voting in the EU MEP elections or worse participating in them by standing for election is compromising the integrity of the June 2016 Brexit Referendum result.

    Good lord, you *really* don’t understand politics!

    Since June 2016 everyone has had certain jobs.

    The EU’s job has been to make Brexit incredibly painful and difficult for the UK. The EU has been doing its job.

    Theresa May’s job has been to make it look like she wants Brexit while also making sure that Brexit does not happen on her watch. Theresa May has done her job.

    I suppose Nigel Farage wants the same job he had PRIOR to June 2016, which was to convince British people to want the UK OUT of the EU. That is a fine job and Nigel Farage is very good at it.

    The job of delivering a No Deal Hard Brexit is also available. I’m not sure anybody on earth really wants that job. But if Nigel Farage wants the job of delivering a No Deal Hard Brexit then he should be informed that there is no such job available in the European Parliament; that job is available only at Number Ten Downing Street.

    Nigel should go be Prime Minister if he really wants to deliver Brexit to the British people instead of simply campaigning for Brexit.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Nigel should go be Prime Minister if he really wants to deliver Brexit to the British people instead of simply campaigning for Brexit.”

    Good plan! And as I said on one of the previous occasions this argument came up, if the British people wanted that, they should have voted UKIP or some other form of ‘Brexit Party’ into power at a general election. They could have. They didn’t.

    The electorate use elections to send messages about what they really want. Ultimately it’s not up to politicians – it’s up to us.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Ultimately it’s not up to politicians – it’s up to us.

    Ok so did you vote for or against Theresa May’s Brexit plan? Oh, you didn’t vote? Maybe you aren’t an MP? Oh, and you think you and the collective “us” matter? That’s really cute.

    The British people voted for the UK to Exit the EU in June 2016. In the general election after that they voted for Tories and Labor – both of these parties at the time promised to carry on in delivering Brexit. They have not done so.

    Apparently the “us” in your equation is missing a key ingredient: the politicians who actually approve the Brexit Deal in westminster.

    Sometimes at great moments in history the masses don’t get the job done. Actually, the masses never get the job done but that’s only obvious in great moments when what is required is a Great Leader.

    Nigel Farage claims to want to deliver Brexit but he is going to the European Parliament to delivery speeches instead of Number Ten to deliver Brexit.

    You can blame “us” for not getting Brexit. But even if every British citizen wants Brexit, votes for Brexit, and supports the Brexit Party Brexit will still NOT HAPPEN.

    what is required is not for everyone to want Brexit; what is required is a Pro No Deal Hard Brexit Man In Number Ten. Period.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    The electorate use elections to send messages about what they really want. Ultimately it’s not up to politicians – it’s up to us.

    Exactly correct. Elections are used to send messages. Let me tell you a secret: sending messages does not deliver Brexit.

    If Brexit is going to happen both on a formal, legal basis and also in a practical, effective sense then there is going to have to be a a Pro No Deal Hard Brexit Man In Number Ten that has a Steel Spine. Period.

    Read your Thomas Carlyle.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Nigel Farage claims to want to deliver Brexit but he is going to the European Parliament to delivery speeches instead of Number Ten to deliver Brexit.”

    Yes, because he knows we won’t vote him into Number 10. We had the opportunity. We declined.

    You keep on talking as if it was *his* decision not to become Prime Minister. It wasn’t. It was ours.

    “You can blame “us” for not getting Brexit. But even if every British citizen wants Brexit, votes for Brexit, and supports the Brexit Party Brexit will still NOT HAPPEN.”

    ?!!

    This makes no sense. If everyone wanted Brexit (which by definition would include the politicians, them being British citizens), then it would happen. Obviously.

    The British electorate can get any policy into effect they like. You just create a party that intends to implement that policy, and then everyone votes for it. They become the government and can do what they like. We could set up a Libertarian UK Party that stood for liberty. We could set up a Brexit Party. We could set up an internet-freedom ‘Pirate Party’ to reform copyright and IP laws. You can do anything you want.

    But the fundamental problem all such schemes run into is that most people choose not to vote for them. They’ll stupidly vote for the Party that promises them the most sweeties, or throw a tantrum and punish the incumbent Party that failed to deliver all the sweeties they wanted, or blindly vote for the Party they’ve always voted for. And then they whine about how none of the politicians will do what they want, and they’re all dishonest, and there are no parties representing their desires. The truth is we picked them. The truth is we’re free to replace them. The truth is that we get the government we deserve, good and hard.

    “If Brexit is going to happen both on a formal, legal basis and also in a practical, effective sense then there is going to have to be a a Pro No Deal Hard Brexit Man In Number Ten that has a Steel Spine. Period.”

    Nonsense. There’s no evidence whatsoever that they’re not going to deliver Brexit, or even that they don’t intend to. The process was always going to be to try to negotiate a deal first. If/when either side conclude that no deal is possible, they’ll be forced to ‘no deal’ by default.

    It’s a delay, while they dither; not a cancellation. I have no idea where this belief comes from, that they’re not going to do it. It seems like paranoia to me.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Nullius in Verba,

    This makes no sense. If everyone wanted Brexit (which by definition would include the politicians, them being British citizens), then it would happen. Obviously.

    Is that so? Let me offer a hypothetical.

    Let us say that the PM of the UK desires Brexit but only a soft Brexit with a nice agreement with the EU. And let us say that everyone in the UK wants Brexit also. Some people want a Hard Brexit. Some people want a Soft Brexit. Of the people who want a Soft Brexit there are about 3 or 4 main variations of a Soft Brexit desired by various folks.

    The PM cannot get a deal for Brexit passed through Parliament and, since the PM does not desire a Hard Brexit, she does not implement a Hard Brexit. In this case, does Brexit happen?

    The answer is no. Even if EVERYONE in the UK wants Brexit that is OBVIOUSLY not enough for Brexit to happen. You thinking otherwise just shows that you have not thought through the situation in a logical way.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Nullius in Verba,

    “Nigel Farage claims to want to deliver Brexit but he is going to the European Parliament to delivery speeches instead of Number Ten to deliver Brexit.”

    Yes, because he knows we won’t vote him into Number 10. We had the opportunity. We declined.

    You keep on talking as if it was *his* decision not to become Prime Minister. It wasn’t. It was ours.

    Let me explain to you a few things you do not understand.
    1. Nobody is voted into being PM in the UK – it is a different system than the USA, maybe you should research it sometime.
    2. I never said that Nigel Farage should run for Prime Minister or get people to vote for him to be PM. I said he should go be PM or get someone else who is a Pro No Deal Hard Brexit man to be PM. Read more carefully next time.
    3. The reason why you are going to not get Brexit is that the other side asks the same question again and again and again and again until you give the right answer (Remain) while you & your side take the voters at their word the very first time.
    4. In the last general election in the UK the Tories and Labor ran on platform of abiding by the result of the Brexit Referendum. They won many seats. Most seats in the UK House of Commons went to the parties who vowed to uphold result of Brexit referendum and implement Brexit. They were elected and then failed to deliver on this promise. They failed to deliver Brexit. They failed the British people. As a result the Tories have lost credibility and should be targeted where they derive their power from and where they failed to exercise the will to deliver Brexit. That place IS NOT the EU Parliament; that place is in westminster.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Nullius in Verba in 20 years after Brexit In Name Only has happened will probably claim that he was right all along. Ignorance really is bliss.

    The key takeaway here is simply this:

    The EU wants the pro-no-deal Hard Brexit people in Brussels making speeches NOT in Number 10 Downing Street making decisions.

    Pro No Deal Hard Brexit people should put together a political party to win seats in the House of Commons and ultimately have a Pro No Deal Hard Brexit Prime Minister. There are many creative approaches that I can think of to achieve this.

    One for example is to put together a party list of candidates that include everyone across the political spectrum – people who voted for Remain and people who voted for Brexit, Keynesians and Laissez-faire free marketeers, socialists and libertarians, environmentalists and bankers, feminists and mens rights activists, civil libertarians and national security hawks and pacifists and neoconservatives and internationalists and people who want to abolish the BBC and people who want to increase funding to the BBC three-fold, people who support expansion of the NHS and people who want to privatize it.

    Take this incredibly diverse list of candidates and go to the British people and say:

    “Look we disagree on almost every issue. Our list of candidates don’t just disagree on every issue but our list of candidates include people with almost every possible position on every political issue that exists. we despise each other, we hate each others’ policies and we do not want each other to be in power in this country. But there are three things that unite us:
    1. A No Deal Hard Brexit is necessary for the UK to be a democratic country
    2. A No Deal Hard Brexit must happen immediately
    3. After OUR POLITICAL PARTY implements a No Deal Hard Brexit we will disband and return to our corrupt parties – Tories for some of us, Lib Dems for some of us, Greens for some of us, UKIP for some of us and Labor for some of us – and fight for the policies we each believe in.

    Vote for us to let us have these debates in the House of Commons instead of in Brussels. Let the UK be a free, independent, sovereign nation.”

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Maybe the idea above is bunk. Not sure. But there are many other creative ideas I can think of to achieve the overall goal – to have a No Deal Hard Brexit. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Now.

    the goal MUST BE EXPLICITLY that the next PM of the UK is Pro No Deal Hard Brexit. That is what matters and that is all that matters.

    But what I know for sure is that Pro No Deal Hard Brexit people running for seats in the EU Parliament is playing directly into the hands of the EU.

    The EU is not preventing Brexit; the British government is preventing Brexit.

    The EU wants the pro-no-deal Hard Brexit people in Brussels making speeches NOT in Number 10 Downing Street making decisions. Please do not give the EU what they want for god’s sake.

  • bobby b

    “Maybe the idea above is bunk. Not sure.”

    Didn’t you just describe the Brexit party? Wasn’t this EU election their way of becoming – of being taken seriously as – exactly that pro-hard-Brexit coalition you described?

  • neonsnake

    Vote for us to let us have these debates in the House of Commons instead of in Brussels. Let the UK be a free, independent, sovereign nation.

    I think there are two things which we need to overcome.

    Firstly – the need to explain to Remain-voting Joe and Jill Average exactly the importance of being a sovereign nation. When you’re only one voice in 46million voters, it might not feel like sovereignty means a great deal, especially with the nation as divided as it currently is. Leaving aside the possibility of the Brexit Party as a Parliamentary candidate for the moment, neither of our main parties have given “us” cause to believe that they represent the nation.

    Secondly (or maybe firstly, thinking about it) – to get people to vote for such a party as you describe, we’ll need to calmly and soberly explain why No-Deal Brexit isn’t the “cliff-edge catastrophe” that the nation was led to believe it was – by Remain, by every Leave campaigner to say “cake and eat it”, and by the current parliament who voted to take No-Deal off the table.

    I can’t remember where I saw it, but whereas early polls put Leavers very much in favour of a Deal, I’m reasonably sure that very recent polls put Leavers in favour of No-Deal ( if the alternative is No Brexit, obviously). I think it was 90%-ish in favour. But that still leaves all the Remainers and 10% of Leavers needing convincing that No-Deal isn’t going to be a disaster.

    No-Deal might be easier if a few questions could be answered first – eg. what tariffs will we have? None (unilateral free trade)? WTO? Exactly what is the plan? How we will we deal with customs? What will immigration look like (eg. points based, job-based etc)? And so on. There’s obviously a lot more, but those are the common points raised against No-Deal. Simply answering those might help matters (not “our” place here to answer them, of course).

  • Nullius in Verba

    “No-Deal might be easier if a few questions could be answered first – eg. what tariffs will we have? None (unilateral free trade)? WTO? Exactly what is the plan?”

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/temporary-tariff-regime-for-no-deal-brexit-published

    “How we will we deal with customs?”

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/customs-procedures-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/hm-revenue-and-customs-simplifies-importing-from-the-eu-as-part-of-no-deal-preparation

    Apparently there are hundreds of pages of the stuff.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Further more speculative discussion here:
    https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/IfG_Brexit_customs_WEB.pdf

    But it’s hard to summarise as a pithy soundbite for Joe and Jill. Although I’d be interested to see the result if anyone wanted to give it a try.

  • neonsnake

    hundreds of pages…hard to summarise as a pithy soundbite for Joe and Jill

    Quite – when all they’ve heard is “Cliff-edge! stock up yer larders!”

    I’ve certainly not read more than a couple dozen (at most!) of the official reports. I’d doubt that many people have the time, inclination or understanding to do. I’ve no idea how a motivated person would get that message out.

    Likewise, I’ve no idea how to summarise, but I think it would go a long way to reining in some of the doubt and worry.

    We’re still split almost exactly down the middle; I’ve no real sense of which way a second referendum would go. I’m less confident in ruling out the possibility of one now than I was a few weeks ago as well.

  • Alex

    What’s the point of a second referendum? Why should voters with at least half a brain trust that the chosen option will be carried out? Fool us once…

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Didn’t you just describe the Brexit party?

    No. The Brexit Party is running for spots in the European Parliament – that’s the exactly wrong place to go to. It should be boycotted by everyone who wants Brexit. Nigel Farage and other No Deal Hard Brexit folks should be running for House of Commons.

    But nope. Nigel Farage is doing exactly what the EU wants – going to the European Parliament to make speeches instead of Number Ten Downing Street to make decisions.

    Sad.

  • MadRocketSci

    (In response to the unelected bureaucracy posts waay at the top)

    I once proposed an interesting alternative form of government. (It’s a fantasy, like all alternatives are outside of a few pivotal points in history where you find yourself in command of a victorious army. Oh well, king for a day… I’m dumping it here because libertarians might find it interesting):

    In order to prevent the government from turning into a mass of self-interested cancerous bureaucracies for the functions that are inevitably natural-monopolies or commons, you could instead have competing organizations : at least two for every government function. The legislative branch would set these organizations up, and create governing rules, set the payscale, but they would have no control over funding.

    The legislature in this imaginary government can set *tax policies* and *tax rates* but where the funding goes for each program is decided individually by each taxpayer. Perhaps a long and complicated tax payment form. Each taxpayer can pay for the organizations he thinks are doing the most good in the proportion that he thinks is reasonable. If congress has provided no options that he believes serves his interest, the taxpayer has the right to burn his tax contribution (any amount of it) in protest. He doesn’t get it, but no government program or corrupt politician gets it either.

    This arrangement seems stable to me against several perverse incentive failure modes. Congress would provoke rebellion if they tried to raise taxes too high, and nothing would get funded. Organizations would have to do their jobs to compete for funding. New organizations could be started to bypass old bureaucratic growths. One of the principal drivers for the culture wars: Taxing one tribe to pay for another, taxing someone to pay for what he opposes, would be short-circuited. One group could give all their money to a space program (one of N), another to the military (one branch of N), another to a charity that serves their interests as opposed to someone elses.

  • neonsnake

    What’s the point of a second referendum? Why should voters with at least half a brain trust that the chosen option will be carried out?

    Because the people advocating one are hoping that the chosen option is one that doesn’t require being “carried out”, as such.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “What’s the point of a second referendum? Why should voters with at least half a brain trust that the chosen option will be carried out?”

    I think the point is that there’s more information available now, so they can ask a better question. A lot of people thought we could negotiate a deal. It turns out we can’t, and the consequences are going to be messy – in the short-term, at least. And the MPs are worried that if they implement ‘No Deal’ as it currently stands, they’re going to get shouted at by several million people saying “No! That wasn’t what we meant!”

    So this is the equivalent of that message your computer puts up: “Format C: Are you sure? Y/N”.

    It’s not about stopping it happening. It’s about making sure the blame for what happens when they do falls squarely and unequivocally on the people asking for it.

    It wouldn’t work, of course. When it all goes wrong, millions of people will shout: “No! That wasn’t what we meant! You made it all go wrong deliberately!” But since nothing is going to go wrong, we don’t have to worry about that, do we?

  • No. The Brexit Party is running for spots in the European Parliament – that’s the exactly wrong place to go to.

    On the contrary, winning the Euro elections is how they’ve proved they’re a major political force to be reckoned with. Opinions polls count for little as they are often wrong, only actual votes can be believed. Anyone sympathetic to the Brexit cause who previously thought their vote was wasted on a mere protest party has now been disabused of that notion.

    Nigel Farage and other No Deal Hard Brexit folks should be running for House of Commons.

    And they will be. The first shot is the Peterborough by-election.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    On the contrary, winning the Euro elections is how they’ve proved they’re a major political force to be reckoned with.

    They proved they are a major political force to be reckoned with in June 2016.

    Anyone sympathetic to the Brexit cause who previously thought their vote was wasted on a mere protest party has now been disabused of that notion.

    Irrelevant.

    The EU wants the Pro No Deal Hard Brexit People to be making speeches in Brussels not making decisions in Number Ten Downing Street.

    Nigel Farage could have channeled all the energy behind him into actually taking seats in the House of Commons that might actually lead to himself or another Pro No Deal Hard Brexit Man sitting in Number Ten Downing Street. Instead he channeled much of the energy behind him into taking seats in the European Parliament which is (or at least should be) considered by Pro No Deal Hard Brexit people to be completely irrelevant regarding the task of DELIVERING BREXIT. The EU is not preventing Brexit; the British government is preventing Brexit.

    A lot of the people who voted for Brexit Party in the EU MEP 2019 election will say: “well, I’ve finally given the Tories the kicking they deserve. I’m sure they have gotten the message. I’ll come back home and vote Tory this time, since I’m sure they learned their lesson”. This is how a lot of people think.

    Nigel Farage should have offered these people the opportunity to vote for the Brexit Party into ONLY the place that hurts the Tories the most and only also the place that enables the No Deal Hard Brexit people to actually deliver No Deal Hard Brexit instead of simply campaigning for it. That place is in westminster House of Commons not in the European Parliament.

    The EU wants the Pro No Deal Hard Brexit People to be making speeches in Brussels not making decisions in Number Ten Downing Street.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Nigel Farage should have offered these people the opportunity to vote for the Brexit Party into ONLY the place that hurts the Tories the most and only also the place that enables the No Deal Hard Brexit people to actually deliver No Deal Hard Brexit instead of simply campaigning for it. That place is in westminster House of Commons not in the European Parliament.”

    OK. I’m fascinated, now. How does Nigel Farage go about calling a general election, to do this?

  • neonsnake

    Nigel Farage should have offered these people the opportunity to vote for the Brexit Party into ONLY the place

    Sorry, you’ve lost me. When should he have done this?

  • Mr Ed

    Re: the Brexit Party.

    A long time ago, some business, possibly an airline, used the slogan ‘We never forget that you have a choice.’.

    The ‘grim’ reality that that slogan represents might just be dawning on some of the UK’s political class, for the very first time.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    OK. I’m fascinated, now. How does Nigel Farage go about calling a general election, to do this?

    I never said that he should call for a general election. I said that he should be giving the opportunity to British people to vote for the Brexit Party ONLY for the place that allows the Brexit Party to ensure the Prime Minister is Pro No Deal Hard Brexit. That place is the House of Commons not European Parliament.

    Since June 2016 everyone has had certain jobs.

    The EU’s job has been to make Brexit incredibly painful and difficult for the UK. The EU has been doing its job.

    Theresa May’s job has been to make it look like she wants Brexit while also making sure that Brexit does not happen on her watch. Theresa May has done her job.

    I suppose Nigel Farage wants the same job he had PRIOR to June 2016, which was to convince British people to want the UK OUT of the EU. That is a fine job and Nigel Farage is very good at it.

    The job of delivering a No Deal Hard Brexit is also available. I’m not sure anybody on earth really wants that job. But if Nigel Farage wants the job of delivering a No Deal Hard Brexit then he should be informed that there is no such job available in the European Parliament; that job is available only at Number Ten Downing Street.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Sorry, you’ve lost me. When should he have done this?

    He should have started offering his party up to the British people starting a few weeks ago just as he did when Theresa May failed yet again to delivery Brexit in full.

    But instead of saying vote for us into the EU Parliament so we can campaign for Brexit more he should have said vote for us into the House of Commons at the next General Election so we can DELIVER BREXIT.

    Nigel Farage is excellent at PR and very good at convincing the British people to support Brexit. Unfortunately when you are a hammer every problem looks like a nail.

    The mandate to deliver Brexit has been achieved. Now is the time to deliver Brexit.

  • neonsnake

    What is “Brexit in full”?

    vote for us into the House of Commons at the next General Election so we can DELIVER BREXIT.

    I don’t think it’s an either/or. Who knows when the next GE will be? For all we know, Boris Johnson will be next PM, and we won’t get another GE until 2022. In the meanwhile, he’s ensuring he’s staying in the public eye, in a Brexit related “official role”; otherwise one could (arguably) accuse him of doing bugger-all other than loudly complaining for the next 3 years – at least this way, he’s got a “proper job”.

    Good PR, right?

    The mandate to deliver Brexit has been achieved. Now is the time to deliver Brexit.

    Sure. But Farage doesn’t have a mandate to do that.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Now that you mention it, though, I think that it makes a lot of sense for Nigel Farage to be publicly and loudly calling for general elections to be held immediately. Of course he cannot force it to happen. But that is not the point. Think about this message:

    Nigel Farage says loudly and publicly:
    1. The Tories promised to implement the result of the June 2016 referendum. They failed to do so. The Tories ran in 2015 general election on platform of delivering Brexit to the British people. They failed to do so. The Tories have failed to deliver Brexit again and again and again. The Tories will NOT deliver Brexit.
    2. There should be general elections so that the British people can vote into power the Brexit Party because the Brexit Party will deliver Brexit.
    3. A No Deal Hard Brexit must be delivered now. Not next week. Not after another round of negotiations with the EU. Now.
    4. Once the Brexit Party implements a Full No Deal Hard Brexit the party will disband.
    5. The Brexit Party will, unlike Labor and unlike the Tories, keep our promise to deliver Brexit, since that is our sole mission.

    Say that again and again and again on every news program in the country: “the Conservative Party will never deliver real, genuine Brexit. NEVER”

    The Tories then have a choice:
    1. Prove Nigel Farage correct
    2. Deliver a real, genuine Brexit

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I never said that he should call for a general election. I said that he should be giving the opportunity to British people to vote for the Brexit Party ONLY for the place that allows the Brexit Party to ensure the Prime Minister is Pro No Deal Hard Brexit. That place is the House of Commons not European Parliament.”

    OK. How will Nigel give the British people the opportunity to vote without there being a general election for them to vote in?

    The next general election is due in May 2022. Nigel’s already declared his intention to put up candidates. But 2022 doesn’t answer the immediate need. So what, exactly, do you want Nigel to do that he hasn’t already done? How can the people vote him into Westminster if there’s no Westminster election for them to vote in?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Sure. But Farage doesn’t have a mandate to do that.

    who does have a mandate to do that? How does someone earn the mandate to deliver Brexit? Did Theresa May have a mandate to delivery Brexit? According to who?

    I never said that Nigel Farage has a mandate to deliver Brexit. I said that there is a mandate to deliver Brexit. why should Nigel Farage not fight to be PM or have a similar Pro No Deal Hard Brexit Man in number 10?

    The answer is that Nigel is doing what he knows how to do, which is not backroom deals and actual governance. He is excellent at PR and campaigning at the EU. Unfortunately, though, when you are a hammer every problem looks like a nail.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    OK. How will Nigel give the British people the opportunity to vote without there being a general election for them to vote in?

    I’m glad you are asking this question. According to wikipedia:

    The next general election in the United Kingdom is scheduled to be held on 5 May 2022 under the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. The election may be held at an earlier date in the event of an early election motion being passed by a super-majority of two-thirds in the House of Commons, or a vote of no confidence in the government which is not followed by a vote of confidence within 14 days.

  • neonsnake

    Did Theresa May have a mandate to delivery Brexit? According to who?

    Yes, according to the Tory party, who the country voted in, and who voted her leader, on the mandate of the referendum.

    Why hasn’t she achieved it?

    Because she’s been going for a Deal, which is what was mostly talked about pre-referendum, and it turned out to be much more difficult than she thought, bless her.

    Honestly, I suspect she did the best she could; I doubt the armchair negotiators could have done better.

    We’re now faced with “remain, bad deal, no deal” as a choice. I’m not going to put money on any of these.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    But 2022 doesn’t answer the immediate need

    Huh? I never said that No Deal Hard Brexit will happen tomorrow or immediately. In fact I do not think Brexit will ever happen.

    But what I did say is that the message from Nigel Farage and all those in favor of a No Deal Hard Brexit must be that a No Deal Hard Brexit must happen immediately. The sooner the better.

    And I have also said that the job of implementing a No Deal Hard Brexit is not available in the European Parliament. That job is available only in Number Ten Downing Street.

    So what, exactly, do you want Nigel to do that he hasn’t already done

    You are confused. I have said again and again that the primary error Nigel has made is that he has been doing something – running for European Parliament – that is exactly what he should not be doing. Reread again.

    How can the people vote him into Westminster if there’s no Westminster election for them to vote in?

    The general election will come. Nigel Farage should have made sure that all the Pro No Deal Hard Brexit Energy was unleashed in the next UK general election – not in the European Parliamentary elections, since we all know that it is not the EU preventing Brexit – it is the British government preventing Brexit.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Yes, according to the Tory party, who the country voted in, and who voted her leader, on the mandate of the referendum.

    Exactly my point! She had a mandate to deliver Brexit. She ran in the 2017 UK general election on such a platform. She has failed to deliver Brexit. Nigel Farage should be fighting for seats in the place where if Pro No Deal Hard Brexit people have enough seats then No Deal Hard Brexit people can be implemented: the House of Commons and 10 Downing Street. Not in Brussels.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I’m glad you are asking this question. According to wikipedia:”

    Thanks. But that doesn’t answer the question. What does Nigel actually do?

    Does he control a 2/3rds super-majority in the House of Commons? Does he call and win a vote of no confidence? (If so, how?) Or does he wait until May 2022?

    How does Nigel become Prime Minister before October 2019?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    What does Nigel actually do?

    Nigel is running for the European Parliament. This is exactly what the EU wants him to do.

    what you mean to ask is what should he do. I have said that the job of Delivering No Deal Hard Brexit is available – not in European Parliament but in Number Ten Downing. Neither you nor anyone else in this thread seem to disagree with this statement, though you seem strangely certain that running for seats in the EU Parliament is a productive course of action towards delivering Brexit, in spite of the facts that the EU Parliament has not, does not, and cannot prevent Brexit while the House of Commons has, does, and will prevent Brexit. Strange

    If I was Nigel I would probably retire from politics and return the private sector because I don’t think the British people will ever really get a real genuine Brexit no matter what they want. But I could be wrong.

    If Nigel Farage wants to deliver Brexit or help Brexit be delivered then he and his Brexit Party should run ONLY for seats in the House of Commons in order to get as many seats for the Pro No Deal Hard Brexit folks as possible in order to maximize chances that someone who is Pro No Deal Hard Brexit sits in Number Ten Downing Street (whether that is Nigel Farage or more likely someone else entirely).

    But I’m not in the business of dictating what Nigel does with his life. I am in the business of pointing out when his actions do not appear to be helpful to delivering the Brexit he and so many others have fought for decades to achieve. Running for the European Parliament after June 2016 and before Brexit has been delivered by the UK government certainly falls into this category.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Does he control a 2/3rds super-majority in the House of Commons? Does he call and win a vote of no confidence? (If so, how?) Or does he wait until May 2022?

    Another excellent point.

    Nigel Farage and others like him should not be focused on getting two-thirds of the House of Commons to be held by Pro No Deal Hard Brexit people. Much better for him to focus on using the Pro No Deal Hard Brexit Energy in the UK to get seats in the EU Parliament.

    what use could there be in having the power to vote for no confidence or deciding who will be Prime Minister when instead the Brexit Party could be scoring millions of views on youtube streaming speeches from the European Parliament.

    Genius.

    This is the kind of thinking that led to Theresa May someone who fought for Remain to somehow become Prime Minister after the June 2016 Brexit Referendum was won by the Leave side.

    why should the Pro No Deal Hard Brexit people change what they have been doing when it has clearly been working so well?

  • neonsnake

    She has failed to deliver Brexit

    Why do you think that is?

    (Straight question)

    Because she didn’t want to?

    Or because she had no mandate to deliver No Deal Brexit?

  • Nullius in Verba

    “If Nigel Farage wants to deliver Brexit or help Brexit be delivered then he and his Brexit Party should run ONLY for seats in the House of Commons in order to get as many seats for the Pro No Deal Hard Brexit folks as possible in order to maximize chances that someone who is Pro No Deal Hard Brexit sits in Number Ten Downing Street (whether that is Nigel Farage or more likely someone else entirely).”

    Mmm. So am I understanding this correctly? You aren’t proposing any plan that will *actually* get Farage into Number 10. You’re proposing that if he *campaigns* to contest the general election in 2022, that this will somehow result in the Tories putting a pro-Brexit PM in Number 10, or that in 2022 the Brexit Party will become the government and implement Brexit then. And that somehow (I’m still not clear how or why) campaigning in the European election right now somehow reduces the Brexit Party support in the general election in 2022. Is that what you mean?

    The Tories would reply that based on current polling, Nigel taking the Tory vote will result in Corbyn becoming PM. And he’s less Brexit than Boris. Plus, he’s an old-school socialist. Is that really what you want? By 2022 it will be all over, nothing that happens in 2022 can possibly affect what’s going to happen in 2019, and if the voter’s attention span is so short they can’t wait until October, why would they think the voters would still care two years later? And if Nigel hadn’t stood in the Euro elections, why would anyone think he even had a chance?

    I don’t know. I still don’t understand where the belief comes from that they’re not going to deliver Brexit, but I understand the proposed responses to that even less.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    She has failed to deliver Brexit

    Why do you think that is?

    (Straight question)

    Because she didn’t want to?

    Theresa May fought for Remain prior to June 2016. She fought for UK to Remain in the EU because she said she thought it was the best course of action for the UK’s interests.

    You may think she changed her mind about what is best for the UK’s interests. I don’t.

    Or because she had no mandate to deliver No Deal Brexit?

    The 52% who voted for Leave in June 2016 thought that Leave would be better course of action than Remaining in the EU for the UK.

    You may think that the 17,410,742 people who voted to Leave the EU were opposed to a No Deal Hard Brexit. I make no presumption about their inner thoughts.

    Theresa May had a mandate to deliver Brexit, she had a democratic obligation to the people of the UK to deliver Brexit, she promised to deliver Brexit. She did not deliver Brexit.

    There is obviously no doubt that a No Deal Hard Brexit is Brexit. There is also no doubt that remaining in the EU is not Brexit.

    You and I can argue until the cows come home whether a No Deal Hard Brexit or Remaining in the EU is better for the UK’s interests. But what is at stake with whether or not the UK Leaves the EU is not only the UK’s interests but the credibility of its status as a democratic system of government.

    Going to the European Parliament changes nothing except Nigel Farage’s youtube views. The place to deliver a No Deal Hard Brexit is certainly not in Brussels; it is in Number Ten Downing Street.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Mmm. So am I understanding this correctly? You aren’t proposing any plan that will *actually* get Farage into Number 10. You’re proposing that if he *campaigns* to contest the general election in 2022, that this will somehow result in the Tories putting a pro-Brexit PM in Number 10, or that in 2022 the Brexit Party will become the government and implement Brexit then. And that somehow (I’m still not clear how or why) campaigning in the European election right now somehow reduces the Brexit Party support in the general election in 2022. Is that what you mean?

    Huh? No.

    what I mean is what I said. Do you dispute that the there is a job available to deliver Brexit? Do you dispute that that job is located in Number 10 Downing Street?

    I do not claim to have a perfect plan for Nigel to follow to deliver brexit to the British people. I hope Brexit happens and I think it would be wonderful for the UK, but I do not think it will happen.

    Do you dispute that the there is a job available to deliver Brexit? Do you dispute that that job is located in Number 10 Downing Street?

    The Tories would reply that based on current polling, Nigel taking the Tory vote will result in Corbyn becoming PM. And he’s less Brexit than Boris. Plus, he’s an old-school socialist. Is that really what you want? By 2022 it will be all over, nothing that happens in 2022 can possibly affect what’s going to happen in 2019, and if the voter’s attention span is so short they can’t wait until October, why would they think the voters would still care two years later? And if Nigel hadn’t stood in the Euro elections, why would anyone think he even had a chance?

    If Donald Trump listened to the polls he never would have run for President in the first place.

    But I never claimed to know exactly all the little things and backroom dealings and political deals behind closed doors that Nigel Farage should do to deliver Brexit. I simply said that the job of delivering Brexit is not available in the European Parliament; it is available in Number 10.

    I do think that running in the European Parliamentary elections is a huge waste of the Pro No Deal Hard Bexit energy available to Nigel Farage because seats in the EU Parliament cannot translate into delivering Brexit.

    But then again, I was the crazy guy who said long ago that never in ten million years would Brexit be delivered with Theresa May in Number Ten. So what do I know?

  • bobby b

    Shlomo Maistre
    May 27, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    No. The Brexit Party is running for spots in the European Parliament – that’s the exactly wrong place to go to.

    I understand that. But, there are no UK Parliamentary elections in the immediate future, and they’ve now established their credibility and reach through their performance in the EU election so as to be in very good shape to do well whenever the next UK election occurs.

    Had they formed their new party and then sat back and waited for the next UK election, they stood a very good chance of disappearing into obscurity. As it is, they’ve established themselves now, when the time was ripe, and have made an eventual Brexit PM more of a possibility.

    In other words, given the constraints of which elections were available now, they seem to be doing exactly what you prescribed above.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I understand that. But, there are no UK Parliamentary elections in the immediate future

    True. Also does not falsify my point. I never said there are UK Parliamentary elections in the immediate future.

    and they’ve now established their credibility and reach through their performance in the EU election so as to be in very good shape to do well whenever the next UK election occurs.

    Not convinced. The Pro No Deal Hard Brexit folks have let off a lot of steam now. They think they have “taught the Tories and Labor a lesson to actually deliver on their promise to Leave the EU”. Nigel Farage should have held his fire for the election that gives his party the opportunity to actually win seats in the legislative body that actually can implement Brexit. That body is called the House of Commons, not the European Parliament.

    Had they formed their new party and then sat back and waited for the next UK election, they stood a very good chance of disappearing into obscurity.

    That’s absurd. The opposite is in fact closer to reality.

    The more the Tories promise to deliver Brexit and fail to deliver Brexit, the greater the democratic deficit becomes and the more potent the Shlomo Maistre-approved message of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party would have become and the greater the showing in the next UK general election would have been for the Brexit Party where it counts – in the UK House of Commons – not where it helps youtube clicks which is the European Parliament.

    But is Nigel Farage interested in delivering Brexit or campaigning for Brexit?

    “In other words, given the constraints of which elections were available now, they seem to be doing exactly what you prescribed above.”

    K then maybe you should reread my many glorious comments here.

    The EU wants Pro No Deal Hard Brexit people to be in the European Parliament delivering speeches not in Number Ten delivering Brexit. Apparently, Theresa May figured out how to achieve what she fought for pre-June 2016 (Remain); maybe one day someone who is in favor of a No Deal Hard Brexit will figure it out too. I’m not holding my breath though.

  • bobby b

    Shlomo Maistre
    May 27, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    That’s absurd. The opposite is in fact closer to reality.

    The more the Tories promise to deliver Brexit and fail to deliver Brexit, the greater the democratic deficit becomes and the more potent the Shlomo Maistre-approved message of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party would have become and the greater the showing in the next UK general election would have been for the Brexit Party where it counts – in the UK House of Commons – not where it helps youtube clicks which is the European Parliament.

    Ok, at least we’ve established that this is essentially a tactical argument.

    I believe that, without pulling off this rather huge rise-up-out-of-nowhere-in-three-weeks move and doing so well in the EU elections, the Brexit Party would spend the next months – years? – fading away. People need victories to goad them into fighting for more victories. You don’t motivate millions of people for a prolonged period with speeches. You need to resoundingly win something, preferably against the odds.

    Like the Brexit Party just did.

    Farage has just cemented in place a huge base of power with this election – and I doubt he did this so that he could go back and make speeches to the EU-crats. You say he ought to be making those speeches at #10. I say that this is the most direct way for him to get to #10 to make those speeches.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Do you dispute that the there is a job available to deliver Brexit? Do you dispute that that job is located in Number 10 Downing Street?”

    Yes. Obviously. Because until a general election is called, the job of PM isn’t available.

    You say “The place to deliver a No Deal Hard Brexit is certainly not in Brussels; it is in Number Ten Downing Street.” but you propose no route for Nigel to get there.

    “You and I can argue until the cows come home whether a No Deal Hard Brexit or Remaining in the EU is better for the UK’s interests.”

    But that’s not the question! The question being debated is whether a No Deal Hard Brexit or a With-A-Deal Soft Brexit is better for Britain, and whether the latter is achievable in the 3 months between July and October. The question is whether with enough arm-twisting, threats, bribes, compromises, and brinksmanship the Tory PM can get a deal passed in Parliament, or whether he either can’t or doesn’t intend to try, and we go for No Deal. That’s what they’re arguing about. There will be a short delay until October to determine for definite, once-and-for-all whether a Brexit-with-deal is possible or not. That’s all it is.

    And there’s absolutely nothing Nigel can do to directly affect that. The Euro election was just to provide the Tories with a more prominent opinion poll of voters intentions and will, to persuade them to hurry up. As such, it’s far more effective than any nebulous ‘campaigning’ for the 2022 election. The Tories already know what the consequences are. Their problem is that they don’t know whether the chaos of a Hard Brexit is better or worse than the conditions the EU require for a deal on a soft Brexit. For the Tories, cancelling or putting off Brexit any further is an even worse option.

    Nigel can’t get into Number 10, and has very limited influence on who will. The job’s not available to him. Brussels is the best he can do.

  • Paul Marks

    It is carrying on Perry.

    Many senior Conservative Party politicians are STILL talking about “blocking a No Deal Brexit” even if bringing down a “No Deal” government means that JEREMY CORBYN becomes Prime Minister.

    God Damn Philip Hammond and the rest of them – God Damn them to Hell.

    And as Charlton Heston said to the film censor (in a successful defence) “my character is not swearing at the end of the film Planet of the Apes – because the words are meant LITERALLY”.

    Some of these people have learned nothing Perry – they remain both stupid and evil.

    The next few months will decide whether this nation continues to exist – people such as Mr Hammond and his fellow creatures of the European Union, must be defeated.

    The summer recess should be extended to November 1st 2019 – Parliament can indeed be “Prorogued”.

  • bobby b (May 27, 2019 at 8:34 pm), you are of course correct that it would have been ridiculous and self-defeating for the Brexit party not to have contest the EU elections. Today, that point is very obvious over here, both to those who like them and to those who don’t. The result is an education to the UK political establishment and was also a great way of emphasising the ineptitude of said establishment, who found themselves outperformed in an election that only their failure had caused to happen.

    Buried in a large (10,000 voters) post-vote opinion poll are some interesting facts. Of those who voted last Thursday, 50% desired to Leave and 46% desired to Remain (4% don’t-knows). However 50% of those who voted last Thursday had voted to Remain in 2016 and only 45% had voted to Leave back then.* Thus last Thursday’s voters were a 2016-Remain-skewed subset of voters. Another question in the poll showed that twice as many of them had switched from Remain to Leave as from Leave to Remain in the intervening years.

    Turnout was – as in all prior in EU elections here – far less than 50% and was half the Brexit-referendum turnout. So half the people who voted in 2016 decided not to vote this time. Other things being equal, demographics and standard UK voting patterns would predict a stronger Leave majority in those who do not bother to vote in a low-turnout election than in those who do. (Obviously, the poll’s suggestion of a 2016-Remain-skewed sample already supports this but my point is that it understates it – if other things are equal.)

    *(The 5% who did not report voting in 2016 for either Leave or Remain were 1% ‘can’t remember’ and 4% who did not vote – non-UK citizens of the EU who could not vote in the 2016 referendum but can vote in EU elections, persons too young to vote in 2016 who can vote now, persons – rare these, I would think – who did not bother to vote in the high-turnout 2016 referendum but did bother to vote in the low-turnout 2019 EU election, etc.)

  • Nigel Farage says loudly and publicly:
    1. The Tories promised to implement the result of the June 2016 referendum. They failed to do so. The Tories ran in 2015 general election on platform of delivering Brexit to the British people. They failed to do so. The Tories have failed to deliver Brexit again and again and again. The Tories will NOT deliver Brexit.

    He says this all the time. I was at the party rally on 21st May & Farage explicitly stated in some detail why Boris Johnson cannot be trusted to get the job done.

    2. There should be general elections so that the British people can vote into power the Brexit Party because the Brexit Party will deliver Brexit.

    Pointless as he cannot force the government to call an election. Also, BXP still needs a few months to get all the people they need lined up for a GE. It was nothing short of miraculous they managed the non-trivial task of getting viable candidates & a campaign together for the Euros (thereby establishing BXPs credentials: ‘merely’ winning the Referendum gave Farage personal kudos, but he was just one of many in the Leave campaign, some of whom are now ‘enemy’ Tories. Also, UKIP ‘went peculiar’ the moment he unwisely looked away thinking the job was done. So Farage needed to prove he has a viable new party, and he has now done that in spades. He is attracting very different people this time as well as those he had before). By the last quarter of this year BXP will be ready if things come unglued & a GE gets called, but probably not before.

    3. A No Deal Hard Brexit must be delivered now. Not next week. Not after another round of negotiations with the EU. Now.

    Farage says this daily.

    4. Once the Brexit Party implements a Full No Deal Hard Brexit the party will disband.

    Hell no. Farage is quite open about wanting to not just secure Brexit, but to also incinerate the institutions that have worked thus far to thwart Brexit after the referendum. When BXP gets into power, BBC & Civil Service will get torn apart (probably defunded) & lustrated respectively, to name but two of the most widely hated targets. At the party rally on 21st May, that was one of the sources of the loudest cheers. I was surprised it wasn’t more widely reported. Well, not that surprised 😉

    5. The Brexit Party will, unlike Labor and unlike the Tories, keep our promise to deliver Brexit, since that is our sole mission.

    That is indeed the core around which is all turns, but because it begs the question in the minds of so many supporters “why the buggery-bollocks is any of this shit even necessary?”, it can no longer be the sole mission & rightly so. That is why BXP has broader appeal to people who feel they have been fucked over (& they have). The establishment has de-legitimised itself & the result is the second coming of Farage.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I’ve made my perspective clear I think.

    Nobody here seems to really agree with me on many of my points.

    I hope I’m wrong and that Brexit – a real, genuine Brexit – happens both on a legal, formal basis as well as in a practical, effective sense.

    But one point I have not made yet.

    I don’t consider this election result much of a victory for the Brexit Party.

    Labor and Tories have had the power to deliver Brexit, promised to deliver Brexit, and then failed to deliver Brexit again and again and again. So therefore, anyone who votes for Conservative Party or Labor Party in these 2019 EU MEP elections almost certainly is against Brexit at this point (and certainly against a No Deal Hard Brexit). But let us call these voters “agnostic” or “unsure” to portray these results in the most favorable light possible for the Brexit Campaign.

    Now I understand that the Brexit Party only had a few weeks to put everything together for the election – and I have no doubt they did a great job in doing so.

    But at the end of the day all that matters with respect to the elections are not how quickly everyone had to get their parties ready for the election day or how hard they worked or how quickly they got their list of candidates together. The real thing with regard to the election that actually matters are the results.

    35% of the voters voted for a clear pro-Brexit party – 31% Brexit Party and 3% UKIP and 1% DUP.

    38% of voters voted for a clear pro-Remain party – 20% for Lib Dems and 12% for Greens and 3% for Change UK and 3% for Scottish Nationalists.

    And this is considered a great Brexit success? Really?

  • You clearly don’t have a clue how the UK’s FPTP Parliamentary system works, Shlomo. Look at how many constituencies Brexit Party was the single largest party. That is all that matters in a GE.

  • Gavin Longmuir

    Niall K (May 27, 2019 at 9:39 pm) — Thanks for that link to Lord Ashcroft’s poll. Very interesting!

    As you pointed out, turnout for the European elections was only about half of that for the 2016 referendum. Compared with the 17.4 Million who voted Leave back then, only 5.2 Million voted for the Brexit Party (maybe boost that to 5.9 Million, if we add in UKIP and some other clear Leave organizations). Do you have any insights into the motivations of the absent ~12 Million people?

    Lord Ashcroft’s poll covered only those who chose to vote, not those who decided not to vote. His poll indicated that 39% of the voters did so by post — which suggests that the act of voting would not have been too much of an imposition for most of the non-voters. Lord A’s poll of voters indicated a lot of dissatisfaction with Parliament (hardly surprising!). Just wondering if there is any data to show if the ~12 Million missing Leavers were also expressing displeasure with the denizens of Westminster, or whether something else was in play?

  • Nullius in Verba

    “And this is considered a great Brexit success? Really?”

    “Among all those voting in the European elections, 50% said they had voted to remain in the referendum and 45% to leave; now, 50% said they wanted to leave, 46% said they wanted to remain, and 4% didn’t know.

    The subset voting in the Euro election were mostly Remainers back in 2016, but are now mostly Leavers. What’s not to like about that?

  • Bulldog Drumond

    Just imagine this election was a General Election. How does the math for FPTP work out?

    https://twitter.com/LesleyKaton/status/1133277284981518336

    Brexit Party crushes *everyone*

  • neonsnake

    Overall, 89% of Euro-election voters who voted Leave still want Brexit to happen – 55% of them with no deal

    (From the article Niall linked to)

    Well, that gives the lie to my earlier assertion of 90%, then!

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