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Rev Pesky

From josh:

Overall, people want to remain the EU?  What makes you say that?  

Now that most people see the 'Leave' argument was a pack of lies, the political confusion the referendum has caused, the possible falling apart of the UK as a result, and the non-existent benefits of leaving, I suspect a rerun referendum would result in a clear 'Remain' victory.

voice of the damned

Rev Pesky wrote:

From josh:

Overall, people want to remain the EU?  What makes you say that?  

Now that most people see the 'Leave' argument was a pack of lies, the political confusion the referendum has caused, the possible falling apart of the UK as a result, and the non-existent benefits of leaving, I suspect a rerun referendum would result in a clear 'Remain' victory.

But what obligation would this Remain victory place upon the rest of the EU?

josh

Rev Pesky wrote:

From josh:

Overall, people want to remain the EU?  What makes you say that?  

Now that most people see the 'Leave' argument was a pack of lies, the political confusion the referendum has caused, the possible falling apart of the UK as a result, and the non-existent benefits of leaving, I suspect a rerun referendum would result in a clear 'Remain' victory.

That’s not what the polling is showing.

Rev Pesky

From VOTD:

But what obligation would this Remain victory place upon the rest of the EU?

There would be no more obligation than there was for the first referendum. At the same time, I think they may decide (in the case) that letting the whole thing drop was not such a bad idea.

From josh:

That’s not what the polling is showing.

Polls have been wrong before. What the polls show is a varying line, with the difference between the Remain and Leave less than the Undecided. That's a poll that doesn't mean much.

In any case, it looks now like the UK will collapse into it's constituent parts. When May offered the open border to Northern Ireland, she opened up the field for everyone. The Scots voted strongly in favour of Remain, so they would probably be the first to go. The Welsh leader has also demanded the same deal as Northern Ireland got.

The Mayor of London also asked for the deal, but of course establishing a border between London and the rest of Britain would be impossible.

I know that history can't be changed, but looking back on it, one wonders what the hell Cameron was thinking. In the future the idiocy of this referendum will become a benchmark for political stupidity. 

 

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Rev Pesky wrote:

I know that history can't be changed, but looking back on it, one wonders what the hell Cameron was thinking. In the future the idiocy of this referendum will become a benchmark for political stupidity. 

Right up there with Joe Clark calling a leadership convention after receiving "only" 66.9% support of delegates in January 1983.

Rev Pesky

From Michael Moriarity:

Right up there with Joe Clark calling a leadership convention after receiving "only" 66.9% support of delegates in January 1983.

Certainly that stands out as a poor political decision, but in terms of overall effect, it was pretty much limited to the Tory party. The whole country wasn't likely to fall apart because of it.

​Here's some more on the UK:

Tory Remainers must find the courage to mutiny

The future of Northern Ireland happens to be the current obstacle to progress, but it encapsulates the fundamental contradictions that characterise the whole enterprise. Tory Brexiteers insist on the freedom to ignore rules set in Brussels, while denying that adherence to those rules is a condition of frictionless trade with the rest of Europe.

...In this game, all cannot have prizes. The DUP grasps that, and is determined not to be left out. Foster can reasonably claim to represent the will of some people: the 292,316 who voted for her party in June’s election.

...The DUP does not field candidates on the British mainland and cannot even speak for the balance of opinion in Northern Ireland, which backed remain by a margin of nearly 12 percentage points in the referendum.

​...Even the tactical alliance of Ulster’s unionist ultras and English sovereignty fetishists is incoherent. The hardest possible Brexit automatically generates the hardest kind of border in Ireland, which Foster’s party also opposes. When Tory radicals say World Trade Organisation rules obviate the need for checks along what would become the external frontier of the single market, they are lying. They just can’t admit that their plan has grievous economic costs and they are frightened because the prime minister has plainly understood that the “no deal” scenario would be calamitous.

It's an interesting point. The DUP, while its stance re: the EU is definitely a minority position in Northern Ireland, is the support for the Tories 'Leave' position in the British parliament. I think if I was a Northern Ireland voter I would be demanding a recall.

Meanwhile, the EU needs something to vote on by December 15, which is ten days away.  Better get busy.

cco

Rev Pesky wrote:

It's an interesting point. The DUP, while its stance re: the EU is definitely a minority position in Northern Ireland, is the support for the Tories 'Leave' position in the British parliament. I think if I was a Northern Ireland voter I would be demanding a recall.

Northern Irish politics are entirely sectarian. No NI election has ever turned on a policy issue other than the conflict, and since the community lines are essentially fixed and the peace treaty requires a permanent grand coalition, the real contest each election is the degree of violence the biggest party in each group endorses. It's not like DUP voters would suddenly vote Sinn Fein or LibDem or Labour.

Unionist

Funny that Britain can leave Europe, but it can't leave Ireland. Let the troubles continue!

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Unionist wrote:

Funny that Britain can leave Europe, but it can't leave Ireland. Let the troubles continue!

It is said that Ireland (backed by 26 other European states with a population of around 500 million) is now more powerful than Britain (on its own with a population of around 60 million). 

To your point, if Britain can't leave Ireland, it can't leave the EU...

NDPP

Going Underground: Ep 553

https://youtu.be/hY7o2KkfI8U

John Pilger interviewed

NDPP

dp

NDPP

dp

Rev Pesky

Reading the news on this issue is like watching a Keystone Kops movie. A lot of running around and nothing happening.

Here's a sample of the sort of dialogue issuing forth:

Davis admitted that the government was seeking regulatory alignment with the EU in some circumstances, but insisted that it would be UK-wide and that it did not mean retaining exactly the same rules as the EU.

“The presumption of the discussion was that everything we talked about applied to the whole United Kingdom,” he said. “Alignment isn’t harmonisation. It isn’t having exactly the same rules. It is sometimes having mutually recognised rules, mutually recognised inspection – that is what we are aiming at.”

One senses the level of desparation of the Tory government as the whole thing flies apart. All I can say is, they brought it on themeslves. There's no one else to blame.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
All I can say is, they brought it on themeslves. There's no one else to blame.

One thing that probably could have squared the circle, and prevented a lot of this mess, would have been a supermajority requirement for the referendum.  Personally, I think that a supermajority is appropriate for a referendum on large structural or procedural changes to governance, and had the UK chosen one I'd have supported it.

But I've also seen it claimed about a hundred times here on babble that such a thing is anti-democratic and just plain wrong.  So I guess I'd be alone in the woods, supporting it.  But if they'd set the bar a bit higher -- reasonably, I think, considering what's at stake -- then the Tories could have still thrown a sop to their xenopobic supporters ("We gave you that option") while also being able to say "Oh well..."

cco

How do you think a supermajority requirement would've played out under these circumstances, though?

"Well, a majority of us want to leave the EU, but we decided it takes 60%. Sorry, majority! Better luck next time. Vote Tory! We promise only to ignore you when it's in your best interests. 36% is enough to return us to power, but it'll take almost twice that to implement the policies we promised."

Remember Cameron called this referendum as the result of an election promise he made to take votes from UKIP and to shush the Euroskeptics in his own party. Given the British political climate (and the divide in both the Tories and Labour), a supermajority requirement followed by a simple-majority win likely would've resulted in both parties splitting, Cameron being deposed anyway, and a chaotic subsequent general election with the ballot question being wheher a majority was really a majority.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

cco wrote:

How do you think a supermajority requirement would've played out under these circumstances, though?

"Well, a majority of us want to leave the EU, but we decided it takes 60%. Sorry, majority! Better luck next time. Vote Tory! We promise only to ignore you when it's in your best interests. 36% is enough to return us to power, but it'll take almost twice that to implement the policies we promised."

Remember Cameron called this referendum as the result of an election promise he made to take votes from UKIP and to shush the Euroskeptics in his own party. Given the British political climate (and the divide in both the Tories and Labour), a supermajority requirement followed by a simple-majority win likely would've resulted in both parties splitting, Cameron being deposed anyway, and a chaotic subsequent general election with the ballot question being wheher a majority was really a majority.

All good points. Plus, I would guess that even more people would have voted Leave if they had known that their vote wouldn't change the result, because a super-majority would be necessary.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
How do you think a supermajority requirement would've played out under these circumstances, though?

Surely no worse than the threat of a "do over" in the painfully obvious hope of a different outcome the second time.

I don't disagree, in principle, though.  Definitely the "Leave" side would claim that they won, just as the BC-STV side continues to claim that they won the B.C. electoral reform referendum back when.

Folks will always have lots of objections to referendums that don't go their way.  See "Money and ethnic votes".

cco

There are varying degrees of legitimacy to those objections, from the totally illegitimate ("If you only count the group I think is important, we won") to the moderately illegitimate ("Lots of people didn't vote, and I'm going to assume if they had, they all would've voted for my side") to the borderline legitimate ("The other side illegally spent a ton of money and bussed people in") to the extremely legitimate ("My side won a majority of votes").

josh

The British have this all wrong.  Don’t they know they must vote and vote until they vote the right way?  Kind of like what took place in several countries in Europe when it came to membership in the EU.  That bastion of democracy and progressive economic policy.

Rev Pesky

From josh:

...the EU.  That bastion of democracy and progressive economic policy.

But..but.. but here I thought that all those PR voting systems - which every country in the EU has, except the UK -  prevented all that from happening. Nothing but true majority governments. 

​As opposed to the Westminster system of the UK which yields false majority after false majority.

In any case, you must surely allow Northern Ireland and Scotland to go their separate ways, given they voted in favour of remaining in the EU.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
In any case, you must surely allow Northern Ireland and Scotland to go their separate ways, given they voted in favour of remaining in the EU.

Didn't Scotland recently hold a referendum on "going their separate way"?  And didn't they choose to continue to align their interests with the UK?

Allowing Scotland (or Wales, or the City of London -- or townships, municipalities or individuals who voted to Remain) to stay in the EU without leaving the UK first doesn't really make sense.  The fact that lots of people there didn't endorse leaving doesn't really change that. 

Alberta couldn't reasonably become the 51st state of the Union without leaving Canada first, could it?

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Rev Pesky wrote:

From josh:

...the EU.  That bastion of democracy and progressive economic policy.

But..but.. but here I thought that all those PR voting systems - which every country in the EU has, except the UK -  prevented all that from happening. Nothing but true majority governments. 

​As opposed to the Westminster system of the UK which yields false majority after false majority.

Well, this really is a long story, starting with the Marshall Plan, but perhaps you will admit that PR voting contributed to the prevention of a Thatcher or Reagan in France and Germany, when that was all the rage in FPTP countries.

cco

France doesn't have PR. It did, in the past, but de Gaulle abolished it with the Fifth Republic. France has two-round runoffs, which are excellent at creating false majorities by restricting choices (ask Chirac or Macron, who claim massive endorsements of their platforms based on the fact they were the only non-Nazis on the second ballot).

That doesn't actually have anything to do with josh's point, however, which has to do with countries like Ireland, the Netherlands, and France having referenda on EU treaties, then when the answer is "no", either holding repeat votes or avoiding having a vote at all the next time. That issue is unrelated to PR. It's about politicians treating voters as a slot machine one tries until one gets the result one wants, which can be seen every bit as regularly in the FPTP world.

NorthReport

Reminds me of Quebec

Anyhoo, I believe in reducing or eliminating borders not creating new ones

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

cco wrote:

France doesn't have PR. It did, in the past, but de Gaulle abolished it with the Fifth Republic. France has two-round runoffs, which are excellent at creating false majorities by restricting choices (ask Chirac or Macron, who claim massive endorsements of their platforms based on the fact they were the only non-Nazis on the second ballot).

Thanks for the correction, I should have remembered that. But, of course PR only applies to parliamentary elections, not presidential.

cco wrote:

That doesn't actually have anything to do with josh's point, however, which has to do with countries like Ireland, the Netherlands, and France having referenda on EU treaties, then when the answer is "no", either holding repeat votes or avoiding having a vote at all the next time. That issue is unrelated to PR. It's about politicians treating voters as a slot machine one tries until one gets the result one wants, which can be seen every bit as regularly in the FPTP world.

I was actually replying to Rev Pesky's claim that the PR systems of european countries should have, but did not, protect them from the undemocratic nature of the E.U. bureaucratic state that brexit was a vain attempt to escape. At least, that's what I thought I was doing.

NDPP

Brexit Talks With EU To Proceed After Climbdown by UK Prime Minister

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/09/brex-d09.html

"The EU is setting an agenda in its own interests and not those of the UK..."

NDPP

"It looks like Brexit is betrayed & that we're staying in the single market & customs union, by another name, paying the heating money of our pensioners & the school meals of our children for Mandy's pension & are still not in control of our borders or courts. What's it all about Alfie?"

https://twitter.com/georgegalloway/status/939846006748917760

 

The Brussels Business  - Who Runs The EU (doco)

https://youtu.be/xMuUEd6w54E

NDPP

Imminent Risk of EU Control of British Defence Procurement, Industry and Training

https://www.ukcolumn.org/article/imminent-risk-eu-control-british-defenc...

"The European Union is now pulling out all the stops in a six-or seven-decades-old, recently resuscitated plan to unify all Europe's national militaries, regardless of the nations' status as member states or otherwise, into what is a single unit in financial, procurement and command terms, with single point control from Brussels. This plan is now openly being coordinated with the leadership of that other Brussels-based body NATO.

The sovereign people were asked in the July 2016 referendum whether the nation was to leave the EU or remain in the EU. There was no mention, either on the ballot paper or in the preceding campaign, of an amendment, clause or condition that our military and defence industry were - or would later become - a separate issue. 

Any attempts to dupe, conceal or overlook this matter will be a betrayal of all concerned and will constitute the gravest kind of circumvention of Parliament."

 

NorthReport

May Heads Back to Brussels After More Brexit Humiliation at Home

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-13/may-suffers-humiliati...

NDPP

Russia Spent Less Than A Dollar on Facebook Ads To 'Influence' Brexit Referendum

https://on.rt.com/8unz

"Russia spent 73p (0.97) on ads to influence the Brexit referendum..."

NDPP

Brexit Crisis Deepens After Tory Revolt on Eve of EU Summit

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/12/15/brex-d15.html

 

TMOATS 15-12-17 George Galloway on Brexit

https://youtu.be/M7plrxbsQ0Q

@1:30

NorthReport

Brexit: Britons now back Remain over Leave by 10 points, exclusive poll shows

Exclusive: The newly published survey gives Remainers their biggest lead since the 2016 referendum

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-second-referendum-l...

NDPP

BOJO Goes To Moscow

Johnson/Lavrov Press Conference

https://youtu.be/6PyF0wMFNvo

 

George Galloway TMOATS 22-12-17

https://youtu.be/osWjCCHUa2s

NDPP

'Labour Peer' Lord Adonis, Political parasites, the Irish 'Dirty War', MI5, Disappearing Documents,  and Brexit: George Galloway (TMOATS) 29-12-17

https://youtu.be/rjnlj1JZakw

NDPP

George Galloway - TMOATS - 05-01-18

https://youtu.be/01deQ_q9RQA

On Michael Wolff's book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House etc.

 

NDPP

George Galloway: TMOATS - 12-01-18 

https://youtu.be/oh_byLdN-4I

"Donald Trump has cancelled a visit to Britain next month. 'Some are wearing mourning-clothes...'

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

It's super that the InterTubes can host a video of someone reading their opinions, in case I'm illiterate.  But I kind of feel like video should be reserved for things I need to SEE.  Rather than things I need to read.  If this is all important stuff then surely we shouldn't get lazy.

voice of the damned

Leonid Bershidsky is normally a fairly sensible writer, but I think his sports analogy here is quite the stretch...

https://tinyurl.com/yckodc2k

Minus the tortured comparison, the argument basically comes down to "The original vote was unfair, because the voters didn't know that the EU would decide to play hardball on the negotiations."

To steal a phrase from a somewhat less sensible commentator, the EU's future negotiation strategy was a "known unknown" to the British people. It's not like the EU produced a signed document commiting itself to a dovish approach to negotiation, and then went all hawkish post-referendum; the voters surely knew that any insight they had into the EU's future strategy was strictly a matter of speculation.

And maybe there is something about UK politics that I don't get, but...FARAGE leading the call for a re-vote? That would be like if the 1995 Quebec referedum had gone Oui, and freaking Jacques Parizeau says "Well, you know, maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all".

voice of the damned

I actually think this movie scene makes a better metaphor for the Revote Movement than does a soccer game...

https://tinyurl.com/y93vbwb6

(Context: His wife lost their life savings at the casino's roulette table.)

 

 

Rev Pesky

In that the first vote was not binding, they don't need another vote to cancel leaving the EU. All the government has to do is say they can't get the agreement they want, and therefore will not be 'Leaving'.

Of course that is subject to EU approval, but I suspect after some grumbling they would go for it.

josh

voice of the damned wrote:

I actually think this movie scene makes a better metaphor for the Revote Movement than does a soccer game...

https://tinyurl.com/y93vbwb6

(Context: His wife lost their life savings at the casino's roulette table.)

 

 

Good movie.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
In that the first vote was not binding

That's somewhat ironic, in that the article vod linked to made the point that while the convention of giving the ball to the team with an injured player is "not binding", the whole "do-over" came about when Arsenal treated it as more of a formal rule than it was.  In other words, they chose to suck it up.

The "Remainers" could similarly acknowledge that while the vote was not formally declared "binding", by convention, if a majority directly votes for something, that's considered binding.  Or else what?  Everyone votes on a change to the drinking age and then the government says "Gee, thanks, your enthusiasm was adorable but we're just gonna go ahead and do what we wanted all along."?

Rev Pesky

The government could have made the outcome binding if they had wanted to. If one asks, well, why didn't they? the only conclusion one can come to is the government wanted the final say in whether it would come to pass or no.

I mean, what other reason could there be for a 'non-binding' referendum that that those proposing the referendum wanted it to be non-binding?

Here is the question for you to answer, Magoo:

We are holding a binding referendum, but we are going to say that it is non-binding because _______. Fill in the blank.

NDPP

Launch of DECLASSIFIED

https://twitter.com/markcurtis30/status/953626578277339136

"I am about to publish on this site hundreds of UK declassified documents and articles on British foreign policy towards various countries. This will be the first time such a collection has been brought together online. This is Britain's real role in the world since 1945..."

voice of the damned

Rev Pesky wrote:

 

Of course that is subject to EU approval, but I suspect after some grumbling they would go for it.

I think it's the precise nature of that grumbling on which a lot of this might turn.

Are we talking "Well, you really ticked us off there, Brits, but welcome back anyway"  grumbling, or "Well, you really ticked us off there Brits, so we're gonna ask that you adopt the Euro in exchange for getting let back in" grumbling? Innumerable possible degrees of grumbling in between, of course.

 

 

 

JKR

Rev Pesky wrote:

The government could have made the outcome binding if they had wanted to. If one asks, well, why didn't they? the only conclusion one can come to is the government wanted the final say in whether it would come to pass or no.

I mean, what other reason could there be for a 'non-binding' referendum that that those proposing the referendum wanted it to be non-binding?

Here is the question for you to answer, Magoo:

We are holding a binding referendum, but we are going to say that it is non-binding because _______. Fill in the blank.

 

I think MP's in the U.K. are always free to vote as they want so referendums there can never be binding on Parliament. The referendum there was a political tool, not a legal one, meant to support the partisan electoral interests of the Conservative Party from the growing popularity of UKIP.

Rev Pesky

From JKR:

The referendum there was a political tool, not a legal one, meant to support the partisan electoral interests of the Conservative Party from the growing popularity of UKIP.

I agree with you completely. The referendum was not about remaining in, or leaving, the EU. It was about tossing a sop to the populists within the Conservative Party; to try and prevent further erosion of their support on the right.

Idiot politicians at work.

Rev Pesky

From voice of the damned:

Are we talking "Well, you really ticked us off there, Brits, but welcome back anyway"  grumbling, or "Well, you really ticked us off there Brits, so we're gonna ask that you adopt the Euro in exchange for getting let back in" grumbling?

There's certainly a question as to what the EU would demand to just forget the whole thing. I presume the grumbling would be more than nominal. After all, the EU has it's own flank to protect. They're not likely to make it look easy to play games with EU membership.

As to the Euro/Pound, no small matter. Yet that could be the punishment for trying to gain re-entry after playing footsie with leaving.  That could be lose-lose for the UK. Their financial services industry depends a lot on their ability to manipulate their own currency, but if they do leave the EU, that industry would suffer a death blow. In that it is a very large part of the UK economy, it would hurt.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
We are holding a binding referendum, but we are going to say that it is non-binding because _______. Fill in the blank.

If I recall correctly, JKR is right; there is never anything legally binding on a UK MP.

But for what it's worth, here in Canada a promise is also not legally binding.  A contract is, with an exchange of values, but if I were to simply promise that when your kids turn 18 I'll pay their tuition for four years at the university of their choice, and then I totally renege on that promise, there's nothing in law that can enforce it.

At the same time, you'd probably have some choice words for me.  Probably wouldn't think I'm honest or trustworthy.  Probably wouldn't tell anyone that I'm a standup guy.

Legally, all UK MPs have to do is totally ignore the referendum.

Morally, all UK MPs have to do is pretty much demonstrate, on the record, that they're happy to waste the electorate's time with a referendum and then do exactly the opposite of what the results asked them to do.  Should be easy, right?

Quote:
Innumerable possible degrees of grumbling in between, of course.

I think their grumbling could go as far as saying "no, sorry, what's done is done".  Depends what's in it for them, I suppose, if the UK stays or doesn't, and how that stacks up against making an example so that other countries don't try to have their cake (all the benefits of EU membership) and eat it too (throw a bone to all their nationalists and malcontents and racists).

If I tear up my membership card in a dramatic fit of pique, I probably shouldn't assume my club is going to be so heartbroken that they'll scotch-tape it back together for me.

josh

if I were to simply promise that when your kids turn 18 I'll pay their tuition for four years at the university of their choice, and then I totally renege on that promise, there's nothing in law that can enforce it.

Not necessarily true.  If you were to rely on the promise by, say, not putting away money for college, you can argue detrimental reliance under the doctrine of promissory estoppel. 

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