Britain Has a Choice

DougJ touched on Mad King Boris’ suspension of Parliament yesterday, and there are reports that he and his shitgibbons have planned all summer for a way to ram through a no deal Brexit on the population:

BuzzFeed News has learned that in the last few days, Johnson’s senior team — led by his chief of staff Dominic Cummings and director of legislative affairs Nikki da Costa — has explored a number of increasingly controversial proposals it could deploy depending on the success of rebel attempts to thwart Brexit. The ideas under consideration include the following:

* Attempting to disrupt a Commons debate on Northern Ireland power-sharing due on Sept. 9, a day which could be used by rebels to attempt to delay Brexit. It is described by Johnson allies as a “time bomb” set for them in the final weeks of Theresa May’s premiership.

* Determining whether Johnson would be breaking the law by ignoring any successful rebel legislation or refusing to resign in the event he lost a vote of no confidence.

* Using a variety of mechanisms, including a potential budget, to create new Commons debates and further reduce time for rebels to act.

* Using the prorogation of Parliament to “kill the bill” by rebel MPs and force them to table it again after the Queen’s Speech on Oct. 14.

* Creating new bank holidays to prevent the House of Commons from being recalled during the prorogation period.

* Filibustering any bill by rebel MPs attempting to force Johnson to delay Brexit when it reaches the House of Lords.

* Ennobling new pro-Brexit peers as a last resort to kill any such bill in the Lords.

* Exploring what the consequences would be if Johnson advised the Queen not to give royal assent to any legislation passed by Parliament delaying Brexit.

The measures were devised by the prime minister’s senior aides who have spent the summer in their Downing Street bunker war-gaming how to respond to potential parliamentary manoeuvres by MPs determined to block no deal. The rebels, by contrast, spent the August holidays debating whether they would back Ken Clarke as a potential caretaker prime minister in an unlikely government of national unity.

Number 10’s prorogation plan was ready to go and be put into action on Tuesday evening, just hours after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn agreed to a pact with the so-called Remainer “rebel alliance” seeking to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

The way I see it, the Brits have two options. The first is to simply take it in the ass and do nothing.

The second is to just shut it all down. Everything. General strikes, take to the street, the whole fucking thing. That’s the only thing that will work. You gotta bring the country to a near riot stance or nothing you do will matter, because Boris Johnson and the Brexiters are like Trumpers and the GOP- they don’t give a fuck about public opinion, they don’t care about threats, they don’t respect traditions or the law. The only thing they understand is force. SHUT IT ALL DOWN. Take to the streets, shut down the public transit, shut down the ports, shut it all down.

If you don’t, they will just do whatever the fuck they want. And they might anyway. But really, I think creating extreme discomfort is the only option.






171 replies
  1. 1

    You are assuming that the majority doesn’t favor these bully tactics. Is that the case? I have no idea.

  2. 2
    Kylroy says:

    @schrodingers_cat: If you ignore the larger UK and focus strictly on England, the majority might. As long as Scotland and Northern Ireland (and possibly even Wales) are in Parliament, the answer is a resounding no.

    By an amazing coincidence, a no-deal Brexit is likely to cause Northern Ireland and Scotland (and possibly even Wales) to leave the UK.

  3. 3
    B.B.A. says:

    As I understand it, a majority of Brits are pro-Brexit, either because they’re racist choads or because they think “the people have spoken” and it would be “undemocratic” not to do whatever Boris wants. So I don’t think there will be enough participants to make option 2 work.

  4. 4
    cheap jim says:

    Isn’t messing around with Parliament and keeping them from meeting the kind of thing that historically ends up with a monarch being beheaded?

  5. 5
    Redshift says:

    I am always skeptical of calls for a general strike (or similarly, boycotts) as “the only way” because they presume, and will only work if, “everyone” feels as strongly.

    The reason these things don’t happen isn’t because people are apathetic or uninformed; in the places where they happen things are much worse for people’s daily lives..

    The proposal is also lacking any explanation of how shooting everything down would stop a no-deal Brexit. All Johnson needs is for nothing to happen until November 1.

  6. 6
    Redshift says:

    @Kylroy: Wales voted Leave. The only regions that voted Remain were London, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

  7. 7
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @B.B.A.:

    As I understand it, a majority of Brits are pro-Brexit, either because they’re racist choads or because they think “the people have spoken” and it would be “undemocratic” not to do whatever Boris wants

    I can at least understand the first reasoning, but not the second. Democracy is not a suicide pact and Brexit is exactly why we have elected representatives to make decisions for us. Too bad the majority in the UK parliament are evil morons

  8. 8
    rikyrah says:

    I don’t believe for a minute that the majority are for Brexit. ESPECIALLY now, what we have learned, as to whom was involved with the complete ratphucking of the Brexit vote.

    Take a muthaphuckin’ clean second vote. Has always been the obvious choice. If Brexit wins, ok. But, I suspect that it won’t.

    NONE of the Brexit actors have done it in good faith. They have been lyin’ azz muthaphuckin’ con men from JUMP.

  9. 9
    Vhh says:

    @Kylroy: Would serve England right to lose via incompetence once independent countries (Scotland, Ireland, Wales) that they conquered bloodily. And the Irish pronlem would then likely solve itself. Little England, indeed.

  10. 10
    mozzerb says:

    It’s always been likely to come down to the question “will MPs have enough sense, guts, and concern for the country over their careers to stand up to the crazies?”

    So fingers crossed but I’m not all that optimistic.

  11. 11
    RepubAnon says:

    After the hard Brexit, Boris will be doing a bilateral trade deal with Trump. This will happen when everyone’s suffering maximum Brexit disruption. My guess is that as part of a broader “deregulation” push, Boris will agree to privatize the NHS- bringing US-style health care to the U.K.

  12. 12
    Vhh says:

    @Redshift: Wales’s climb from coal pit poverty a la Appalachia has been driven foreign direct investment which Brexit would undermine.

  13. 13
    Tony Jay says:

    Chances are that the list above was deliberately leaked by Cummings’ office to, a) show the hardcore Brextremist vote that Johnson is on their maniacal wavelength and, since he’s already in power, is a far better repository for their hopes and dreams in a General Election than Nigel Farage’s BXP brand, and b) convince the greedy but not insane wing of the Conservative Party that they have no other option than to bring down Johnson’s Government by supporting a No Confidence vote, which would flush their political careers down the toilet but also save the country from a No Deal disaster.

    I’m still of the opinion that Johnson is absolutely desperate to avoid being the Prime Minister who breaks the UK economy by forcing the country out of the EU without a negotiated exit deal, and his plan is to force the anti-No Deal majority to bring down his Government so that he can then campaign as the brave leader who totally would have made Brexit happen if only those traitorous Remainers hadn’t denied the democratic choice of 17.4 million people blah-fuckitty-blah and so on.

    He’s malicious, solipsistic and entitled as all fucking get out, but he’s not actually as stupid as he looks.

  14. 14
    Cervantes says:

    I do have to say that Johnson and the Brexiters are incredibly stupid. When it happens, the catastrophe will completely destroy them politically for all time. It will also likely lead to the dissolution of the UK. It is entirely unclear why they want that.

  15. 15
    James E Powell says:

    Curios to know, does the UK press/media love this as much as the US press/media loves Trump?

  16. 16
    catclub says:

    @mozzerb:

    It’s always been likely to come down to the question “will MPs have enough sense, guts, and concern for the country over their careers to stand up to the crazies?”

    So far the answer is no. They will do anything, ANYTHING, to stop Brexit, …. except allowing Corbyn as PM for two weeks is worse, and that they REALLY oppose. So they oppose the only visible solution at this point.

  17. 17
    Chris Johnson says:

    All this is pretty bonkers. Some of it reminds me of why Pelosi isn’t stupid (or at least, isn’t oblivious, and might know a lot more than she’s letting on)

    I’m not surprised by Boris’s move. Who was it who said he was a smart person acting stupid, and wrongly assumes Trump is likewise when he’s a stupid person trying to act like a smart person acting stupid?

    The thing is, they are both Putin puppets, so Boris KNOWS Trump will be made to play along with whatever the plan is. And Boris is ‘Bill Haydon’ out of Le Carre, right down to ‘a great agent has to have entertainment value’.

    I imagine Trump is losing even more of his damn mind lately. He’s making rules to assert that dead John McCain isn’t even an American, no matter what cost. Is McCain buried in a military cemetary? Is Trump fixing to insist that McCain get dug up and taken out of the country? The thing is, this is such a PETTY madness that it suggests Trump is on a super-tight leash.

    Lawrence O’Donnell fucked up, but he fucked up in an interesting way. What Pelosi knows and O’Donnell don’t, is that when you have a big chunk of the government actually traitors and conspiring with Russian billionaires that control media outlets, the Russian Putin-aligned billionaires are billionaires and control media outlets. To put it bluntly, what the fuck did he think was going to happen? These are not people to go ‘oh, you outmaneuvered me, jolly good show chap!’. He is probably too close to the center of the things and too public to simply murder, but I’d be really worried about his source: random banking suicides by strangulation and beating with a dead video camera are on the upswing.

    I’d also be worried about Trump’s life simply because I think it’d be easier for Putin to work with Pence. There’s no question that this is a giant end run around ‘democracies’, using the rot of post-Reagan-and-Thatcher politics to do it. Money’s at the bottom of it all. I’m very curious who in the UK is the equivalent of Trump and Epstein, except both those (especially Epstein) were super active in the UK as well. The British upper classes can be pretty nasty in the Epstein sort of way, it’s not all ‘head of a dead pig’ but that gives you an idea how the elites act on BOTH sides of the Atlantic (Skull and Bones have had a bunch of freaky initiation rituals too).

    Money, capital, and power. These things are used by people who make themselves out to be their own little private tyrant club. And you ain’t in it, as George Carlin said. And now they’re all increasingly obvious, and it’s guillotine time… because the whole thing is a lot like the reports of billionaires calling for special briefings, to get advice on how to compel loyalty of their servants and security when the rest of the world collapses into savagery. What’s most effacious? Do you make your security forces wear special shock collars which can execute them by remote control? What if you have to compel the loyalty of your security person when their family or children are going to die because they’re not on the property and the mob arrives?

    You’re the baddies, guys. There’s no mathematics that can protect you when reality sets in. Unless you are prepared to act in the interests of your populaces in an unironic way, you will not survive what you’ve set in motion. Putin, McConnell, Johnson, Pence, Trump… doomed, because they will not survive the destruction of the rest of us. I would dearly like them to die first, and not like Epstein, at the hands of each other. I would like them to die to JUSTICE.

    Too bad they’ve killed it, so I’ll accept ‘the malice of each other’.

  18. 18
    MattF says:

    @Vhh: My guess is that Little England is about to get littler. The ‘good’ side of this crisis is that other European countries, all beset by their own separatist movements, will see the benefits of the EU in a new light.

  19. 19
    Tony Jay says:

    @James E Powell:

    In answer to your question, last night the BBC political correspondent discussing this from outside Parliament signed off with words to the effect of “Whatever happens next one thing is for sure, the excitement will continue.”

    Yeah, they’re loving it. Clicks and eyeballs rule their world.

  20. 20
    DCrefugee says:

    I was in the UK when Teresa May ascended to be PM, and I’ve had occasion to work with some UK residents since the Brexit vote, and have asked WTF. The reaction I get is aimed at the EU and how UK residents no longer want the “others” to determine UK policy, economics, etc., however shortsighted that may be.

    Which confirms for me that the Brexit vote ultimately was akin to Trump’s election: vote this way or the others will take away what you have and there will be an Indian food/taco truck on every corner. As a strategy to disrupt both Yurp and the UK, it’s worked brilliantly, just as a similar strategy worked in the US to elect Trump. What a coinkydink. Putin’s efforts will have to go down as among the most productive and cost-effective cold war skirmishes to date.

    While UK residents are taking to the streets, Hong Kong protesters are showing us all how to do it. If major protests continue and grow in the UK, it won’t be long before they migrate here, especially after a couple more weeks like the last few.

    I’m old enough to have been politically aware during the ’60s, and vividly remember events like the ’68 Dem convention in Chicago and, especially, Kent State. One part of me hopes it won’t come to that, but another part says it’s inevitable. I fear those kinds of confrontations will not be dispositive, however, and that we’ll keep having to battle the current levels of authoritarianism, fascism, racism and corruption for a long, long time.

    The only thing I know for sure is that we all are watching as history is made.

  21. 21
    catclub says:

    @Vhh:

    Would serve England right to lose via incompetence once independent countries (Scotland, Ireland, Wales) that they conquered bloodily. And the Irish problem would then likely solve itself. Little England, indeed.

    It is interesting to me that Northern Ireland also voted for remain, but the DUP there had enough votes to join with the the Tories to make a
    majority. That is kind of mixed up.

    also on this: A

    nd the Irish problem would then likely solve itself.

    Would there be Protestant terrorists in a united Ireland, instead? Those orangemen don’t seem like a friendly bunch.

  22. 22
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Shit Hitler and Albino Hitler make quite the puppet show.
    And the good Germans just nod and pretend they see nothing.

  23. 23
    geg6 says:

    Can’t tell you how incredibly sad I find it that my country and the country of most of my ancestors have each lost their minds to racist, idiotic clowns (you keep saying Boris is not as stupid as he looks; I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean).

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    @Tony Jay:

    I’m still of the opinion that Johnson is absolutely desperate to avoid being the Prime Minister who breaks the UK economy by forcing the country out of the EU without a negotiated exit deal, and his plan is to force the anti-No Deal majority to bring down his Government so that he can then campaign as the brave leader who totally would have made Brexit happen if only those traitorous Remainers hadn’t denied the democratic choice of 17.4 million people blah-fuckitty-blah and so on.

    That sounds too plausible. Too bad the remainers appear to be so disorganized they will not be able to actually stop it.
    maybe best(worst) of all worlds – they bring down the government, and then no-deal Brexit happens anyway. ironic!

  25. 25

    Reading about this shit show almost makes me feel glad I live here. Almost. And then I hear about the latest embarrassment Donald Tяump has pulled out of his ass.

    I’ll say one thing though, watching the U.S. and Great Britain piss away everything that led us to the leadership of the world sure has put the lie to the old racist canard that there’s something unique about Nordic culture or Nordic blood that makes us more innately suited for democracy and civilization.

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    @catclub: I think the hegemony of the Catholic Church is broken for good in Ireland, and that was the great barrier to Irish unity. Some Protestant morons won’t get that, and unity won’t be bloodless— but the Irish Wars really are over.

  27. 27
    Amir Khalid says:

    @cheap jim:
    Britain has renounced that kind of punishment; there is no prospect nowadays of BoJo undergoing a judicially ordered height reduction. But I do agree that this course he’s on looks suicidally crazy.

  28. 28
    Tony Jay says:

    @catclub:

    They’ve spent two years gleefully conspiring with the Media and the right-wing of the Labour Party to dismantle Corbyn’s post-2017 Election reputation as a plain-spoken and honest campaigner for a fairer and more humane society and erect in its place a mute and bullet-pocked image of Duplicitous Jezza the Joo-Hater who has single-handedly propped up multiple Tory Governments because he secretly loves the idea of Brexit soooooo much.

    So it’s understandably hard for them to now turn around now that they desperately need Corbyn onside and admit they were full of shit and have been lying to the public for years. Politics, eh?

  29. 29
    mozzerb says:

    @DCrefugee: It was blatantly obvious even at the time that the major driver for Brexit was simply a desire to say “fuck off Johnny Foreigner”. It was a straight fight between traditional British pragmatism and traditional British xenophobia, and enough bullshit was loaded onto the scales to just tip them to the latter option. After three years of arguing enough people have probably sobered up that the vote would be narrowly the other way if held again, but many Brexit voters seem to have the same sparrows-and-curtain-rods mentality as Trump voters.

    The Opposition (all parties) have mostly been as useful as the proverbial chocolate teapot in arguing against this (and yes, Tony, that very much includes Corbyn’s Labour), but it’s last chance saloon time now which may slap enough sense into them to stop maneuvering and start all-out fighting.

  30. 30
    Aleta says:

    It’s a horrible attack.

    Someone, maybe Jay, posted this last night. There are a lot of trolls in the trwiiter responses to Grant; also these funny answers to one troll.

    Hugh Grant @HackedOffHugh
    Hugh Grant Retweeted Boris Johnson
    You will not fuck with my children’s future. You will not destroy the freedoms my grandfather fought two world wars to defend. Fuck off you over-promoted rubber bath toy. Britain is revolted by you and you little gang of masturbatory prefects.

    * Moggy
    
My next door neighbour in his nineties, lay in a field surrounded by dead and dying soldiers screaming in agony, it was hours before help came. He was shaking when he told me the story. He was 16 years old. He voted leave and wants to live long enough to see it happen.


    * ye chunky mangos

    ‏


my next door neighbour is 250 years old and stabbed napoleon with a rusty screwdriver. he would like to see the total collapse of the global order


    * Ted&Tedski
‏

    Bloody luxury!!! My neighbour is 801 years old stabbed Genghis Khan with a bronze age axe head and would revel in the glory of a universal war!!!


    * Erik Siegrist

(sigh)
    Right. My grandad, who witnessed the Big Bang, threw a rock at Lucifer as he fell as caught him square in his John Thomas, and he only wants to see reality collapse back into a singularity.


    (Not meant to make light of the terror that is this sick reality.)

  31. 31
    rp says:

    Reading about this shit show almost makes me feel glad I live here. Almost.

    If Trump loses next year and we take Congress (big ifs I know), a lot of the damage can be undone fairly quickly. If the UK goes ahead with a no deal Brexit (or even a Brexit with an ok deal), it will seriously damage them for a generation at least.

  32. 32
    catclub says:

    @MattF:

    but the Irish Wars really are over.

    I hope you are right.

  33. 33

    @schrodingers_cat:

    You are assuming that the majority doesn’t favor these bully tactics. Is that the case?

    If Johnson and company had majority support, they’d just push their position through parliament. They’re adopting the bully tactics because they lack popular support, and ignoring the rules and popular opinion are their only way of getting what they want. I think you’ll find this is a general rule. The only exception are cases like the US Senate, where our stupid rules allow a minority to block a popular position and the majority may need to bend or break the rules to overcome minority intransigence.

  34. 34
    rk says:

    The Brits are doing to themselves what they did to other countries which they controlled for hundreds of years. Destroy economies, cause widespread poverty and misery. You’d think the so called elites would spare their own country.

  35. 35
    laura says:

    Nostalgia for the post war deprivations, families gathered round the radio listening to the BBC after Sunday lunch, proud people getting by with just a wee bit of heat, weak tea and scraps of toast. Thim’s was the days!
    Brexit, and hard exit will not make England great again, but will undermine and destabilize yet another democracy and what Scotland and Ireland do remains to be seen. I cant see any upside to the coming chaos. But their version of owning the libs seems to be enough for the brexiteers, so there’s that.

  36. 36
    Calouste says:

    @catclub: “Would there be Protestant terrorists in a united Ireland, instead? Those orangemen don’t seem like a friendly bunch.”

    There will be, but they won’t find it as easy as it used to be when they no longer have the British army and police on their side.

  37. 37
    VOR says:

    I keep wondering who benefits from Brexit. We know Putin benefits from chaos in the EU, UK, and US. But who else? There must be someone, somewhere who is going to financially benefit from this mess. Who and how?

  38. 38
    catclub says:

    @laura:

    But their version of owning the libs seems to be enough for the brexiteers, so there’s that.

    At least until they find out that their insulin is on a dock in France. Then they will blame the libs for not stopping brexit.

  39. 39
    Tony Jay says:

    @catclub:

    It is interesting to me that Northern Ireland also voted for remain, but the DUP there had enough votes to join with the the Tories to make a majority. That is kind of mixed up.

    Sinn Fein’s seven elected MPs could take their seats in Parliament and blow Johnson’s 1 seat majority away, but they won’t because they refuse to sit in “Her Majesty’s” Parliament.

    OTOH, all it would take would be for a couple of ‘moderate’ Tory MPs to resign the whip over Johnson’s disgusting power-grab and suddenly he doesn’t have any legitimacy, but they haven’t, and the Media seem obdurately disinterested in asking any of them why they continue to place Party over Country.

    These fucking people.

  40. 40
    rp says:

    What would happen if Corbyn threw his support to the SNP or Liberal Democrats? Could they form a new government?

  41. 41
    MattF says:

    @VOR: The Chinese leadership probably thinks Brexit is a good idea.

  42. 42
    rp says:

    @VOR: Billionaires of all stripes who want to use London as a place to stash their assets free of EU oversight. It all comes down to money and corruption. (which is why I’d love to see Harris campaign as the anti-corruption, tough on white collar crime candidate)

  43. 43
    Sab says:

    @VOR: Isn’t London real estate where oligarch money is laundered? EU rules would inhibit such activities.

  44. 44
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Aleta:

    That’s not really Hugh Grant, is it?

  45. 45
    Tony Jay says:

    @mozzerb:

    The Opposition (all parties) have mostly been as useful as the proverbial chocolate teapot in arguing against this (and yes, Tony, that very much includes Corbyn’s Labour), but it’s last chance saloon time now which may slap enough sense into them to stop maneuvering and start all-out fighting.

    Please describe in broad terms exaxctly what you think Labour could have done to stop Brexit that it hasn’t done, giving due weight to the divisions within the Party, the relentless Media campaign to delegitimise its leadership, and the fact that in Britain the Party in Opposition has zero power to do anything but complain and vote against Government legislation.

    Oh, and I think I’ve got a pretty consistent track record here of saying that the only way Brexit was ever going to be avoided was with the last minute acknowledgement by 40 or so Tory MPs that they had to back Labour against their own Party. That hasn’t changed.

  46. 46
    mozzerb says:

    @rp: SNP?! In theory yes, in practice hell no. You’d hear the screaming clear across the Atlantic, coming from both north and south of Hadrian’s Wall. Support would have to be the other way around. Lib Dems? Not quite as impossible on a purely “stop no-deal, call a general election and/or new referendum, and do absolutely nothing else” basis, but any government formed to do that would probably have to have a figurehead PM.

  47. 47
    Tony Jay says:

    @MattF:

    but the Irish Wars really are over.

    Until the tit-for-tat killings start up again and suddenly everyone’s back behind the barricades wondering how the fuck this was allowed to happen again.

    That’s why the border issue is so incredibly important to the Irish. They know how fragile the Peace Treaty is and how much some elements on both sides would like to see it shattered so they can campaign on “Told y’so, did I not?”

  48. 48
    rp says:

    @Tony Jay: Corbyn could resign or throw his support to the lib dems.

  49. 49
    catclub says:

    @Sab:

    Isn’t London real estate where oligarch money is laundered? EU rules would inhibit such activities.

    I am a bit confused. I suspect that ALREADY a great deal of laundered oligarch money is in London real estate.
    So maybe EU rules have slowed that torrent down to only a freshet?

  50. 50
    catclub says:

    @Tony Jay:

    Oh, and I think I’ve got a pretty consistent track record here of saying that the only way Brexit was ever going to be avoided was with the last minute acknowledgement by 40 or so Tory MPs that they had to back Labour against their own Party. That hasn’t changed.

    I approve of this message. I only thought the necessary number is much less than 40. Cheers.

  51. 51
    PJ says:

    @MattF: In Ireland, religion is a veneer and shorthand for tribal politics. The hegemony of the Catholic Church was never the obstacle to Irish unification. In the 18th and 19th century, many politicians (or rebels) advocating for Irish independence were Protestant. But the British (mostly Scots) who settled in what became Northern Ireland just didn’t want to share any power with the native Irish, and they started loading up on weapons before WWI to prevent home rule (but still as part of the UK) coming to the entire island. “Papery” may still be a rallying-cry for die-hard Unionists, but the real crux preventing a unified Ireland is that they see themselves as British, not Irish, and in the past they have been willing to use organized violence to keep that identity. Whether they will in the future is an open question.

    Northern Ireland is less of an economic basket-case than it used to be, but it would be as much a drain on the Republic of Ireland as it is on the UK. That, coupled with the possibility of bombs going off in Dublin, would be enough for politicians to approach any unification with hesitation.

  52. 52
    catclub says:

    @Tony Jay:

    Sinn Fein’s seven elected MPs could take their seats in Parliament and blow Johnson’s 1 seat majority away, but they won’t because they refuse to sit in “Her Majesty’s” Parliament.

    Wow. I did not know that.

  53. 53
    Heywood J. says:

    Isn’t this what they voted for back in 2016? Give ’em what they want, good and hard.

  54. 54
    Tony Jay says:

    @rp:

    What would happen if Corbyn threw his support to the SNP or Liberal Democrats? Could they form a new government?

    No. The Lib-Dems have 14 MPs. The SNP about 35. Even combined with Labour’s 260+ the Tories and the DUP can outvote them by 1, which is why Johnson gets to call himself Prime Minister and form a Government.

    Bear in mind, even at their absolute peak popularity a decade or so ago the Lib Dems only got 50+ seats, they are not a Party that can form a Government except as a junior member of a coalition, and the only Party their current leader would consider going into coalition with is the Tories.

  55. 55
    kindness says:

    Good advice John. Kinda like what we would have to do if the Electoral College elects Trump in 2020 after losing the popular vote again. I’m sorry, yea I know it would not happen here. Too many fuckwits who value hate of their domestic ‘enemies’, too many Federalist ticks embedded in the judiciary and too many chickenshit Senators who are unwilling to actually do the right thing. Sadly…..money leads us and money lately is dumb as hell.

  56. 56
    Robert Harvey says:

    @Vhh: Actually, England did not acquire Scotland by conquest. A king of Scotland took the throne of England after the Tudor line became extinct. James VI/I could have refused the personal union that later became the United Kingdom.

  57. 57
    Betty Cracker says:

    @DCrefugee:

    Putin’s efforts will have to go down as among the most productive and cost-effective cold war skirmishes to date.

    It may be the single most effective covert operation in the history of the solar system.

  58. 58
    Calouste says:

    @zhena gogolia: It really is Hugh Grant.

  59. 59

    @Tony Jay:

    Sinn Fein’s seven elected MPs could take their seats in Parliament and blow Johnson’s 1 seat majority away, but they won’t because they refuse to sit in “Her Majesty’s” Parliament.

    And why should they? It sounds as Brexit increases the chances of a unified Ireland.

  60. 60
    oatler. says:

    Can’t think of a solution that doesn’t involve heads on pikes at the Tower of London (worked for the original Elizabeth).

  61. 61
    The Moar You Know says:

    The way I see it, the Brits have two options. The first is to simply take it in the ass and do nothing.

    The second is to just shut it all down. Everything. General strikes, take to the street, the whole fucking thing.

    They’ll do nothing. It wasn’t a massive majority, but a majority of them last time I was over there seemed pretty in favor of Brexit. Even in London.

    Of course, they are being lied to on an hourly basis as to what effect a no-deal Brexit will have on them, but they could find the truth easily if they wanted to. They don’t want to.

  62. 62
    Calouste says:

    @Tony Jay: The Lib Dems got about 50% more votes in the European elections than Labour.

  63. 63
    Tony Jay says:

    @rp:

    Corbyn could resign or throw his support to the lib dems.

    Uh…… what? Why…?

    That’s like saying Pelosi should step down or commit her caucus’ votes to a Bill declaring Zell Miller their choice in the Democratic Primaries.

    She – could – do those things… but why on Earth would she?

  64. 64
    Tony Jay says:

    @catclub:

    I only thought the necessary number is much less than 40. Cheers.

    I’m factoring in the roughly 6 to 10 Labour MPs who – might – reject the whip and vote against a Vote of No Confidence because they genuinely want Brexit to happen more than they want a Labour Government.

  65. 65
    Sloane Ranger says:

    @MattF: True. The objection from the Protestants is no longer about the Republic being full of evil Papists, the new complaint is that it is a snake pit of baby killing, gay marrying sinners.

  66. 66
    Tony Jay says:

    @Calouste:

    The Lib Dems got about 50% more votes in the European elections than Labour.

    After a very long campaign to paint Labour as a pro-Brexit Party and with a metric shit-ton of tactical voting to make sure that BXP goons didn’t sneak into constituencies where Remain had a majority. That won’t happen in a General Election, where any tactical voting is likely to favour Labour more than the Lib Dems.

  67. 67
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Once again, the mindvirus of religion causes divisions, and potentially violence.

    Cure this sickness before it cures Earth of us.

  68. 68
    Sloane Ranger says:

    Based on what I have been told by Brexiteers (unfortunately they are the majority in my age demographic and location), they form into 2 camps,

    Camp 1 – yes, things will be hard if we leave without a deal and this might continue for some time but, in the long term, it will be better since we will be able to trade freely with the entire world as a self confident sovereign nation able to respond quickly and flexibly to challenges as they occur.

    Camp 2 – It’s all exaggerated. There may be some minor disruption for a few days but, Europe will quickly come round.

  69. 69
    Tony Jay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It may be the single most effective covert operation in the history of the solar system.

    I see the Obamartian Infiltration is still keeping itself well under the public’s radar. Those guys are professional.

  70. 70
    Calouste says:

    @Tony Jay: Labour is a pro-Brexit party. Three-line whip on the vote to invoke article 50, remember?

  71. 71
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @catclub: It’s been known as Londongrad for years and years, probably a couple of decades now.

  72. 72
    mozzerb says:

    @Tony Jay: What could Labour have done? Seen which way the wind was blowing much earlier and taken a solid position, for example “it is clear that Brexit as currently proposed is likely to be a disaster for reasons R1 to Rverylargenumber, we will support a deal that minimises the damage (i.e. stay in the single market and customs union) if we have to, but the final deal should go to a second referendum”. Or hell, any policy that didn’t stay so firmly on the fence that it gave itself a wedgie. They may only have the ability to complain, but in the current circumstances that’s an opportunity to shoot in a target-rich environment, and they’ve apparently been to the Imperial Stoomtrooper Marksmanship School.

    Sorry, but Corbyn is a significant part of the problem here. Yes, there’s a relentless media campaign to delegitimise his leadership and most of it is bullshit, but any even vaguely leftish Labour leader is going to get that (look at what happened to Milliband). He’s a latter-day Michael Foot — a good bloke subject to vicious right wing press smears, but with a natural bent towards purity-pony-ness, and ultimately just not really very good at the actual leadership part. Yes, you do politics with the politicians you have etc, but if there’s a generational crisis on hand you need them to be able to measure up to it. Admittedly nobody much is doing that, but that’s not much help. Corbyn in recent days seems to be getting a clue, but he’s leaving it late. And he still has the problem that even within Parliament many people don’t trust him.

    The divisions within the party are also one of the reasons why they’ve been ineffective, since those divisions have fuck all to do with Brexit and arguing over them has thus got in the way of usefulness. And they’ve also been a handicap in terms of peeling off enough of those 40 Tories to make a difference.

  73. 73
    rp says:

    @Tony Jay: Because the UK is facing an existential crisis. If that’s the only way to stop a no deal Brexit and Corbyn doesn’t want that, shouldn’t he do it?

    If Pelosi resigning meant that we’d get rid of Trump and have, say, Steny Hoyer as President, I would certainly encourage her to do it. It would be the best thing for her constituents and the American people

  74. 74
    patrick II says:

    @catclub:
    The Catholic church being embedded in Ireland’s government and laws was a major sticking poin+ between Northern Ireland and Ireland proper. The church has since been discredited and it’s laws secularized. Divorce, birth control, and other laws have changed, diminishing differences. The old prods will be tough to convince, but I think the youngsters will be comfortable with a United Ireland.

  75. 75
    CliosFanboy says:

    @Calouste: Hugh Grant is a Leaver????

  76. 76
    Heywood J. says:

    If Pelosi resigning meant that we’d get rid of Trump and have, say, Steny Hoyer as President, I would certainly encourage her to do it.

    The slogans write themselves: “Gutless incrementalism for some, pusillanimous fake idealism for others! And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards mediocrity!”

  77. 77
    chris says:

    @VOR: A lot of the Leavers are quite wealthy, Rees-Mogg for example, and the EU is coming after their precious moneys. Simple as that and should be pointed out all the time IMHO.

    First proposed by the Commission in 2016, the legally binding rules, known as ATAD (Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive) were agreed swiftly to spur global efforts to clamp down on aggressive tax planning. The agreement followed the agreement among OECD countries on recommendations to limit tax base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), and made the EU a global leader in terms of the political and economic approach to corporate taxation.

  78. 78
    Tony Jay says:

    @Calouste:

    The EU made the triggering of Article 50 a precondition for starting any negotiations about withdrawal, and the Tories had the votes to force it through regardless of what the Opposition said or did.

    But if Labour had opposed it in March 2017 then the Party would have split and the 2017 General Election would have seen the Conservatives ruthlessly exploit the argument that Labour was rejecting the result of the Referendum to suck up votes in a lot of Leave-voting Labour constituencies and win the kind of majority the political ‘experts’ were predicting. May would have had a withdrawal deal wrapped up by mid 2018 at the latest and Brexit would have already happened.

    Instead, Corbyn whipped the Party to trigger Article 50, campaigned in 2017 on respecting the Referendum result but opposing any Tory Brexit, won the largest share of the vote any Labour leader had achieved in decades, took away May’s majority in the House of Commons, and after that provided the votes necessary to stop Brexit from happening over and over and over again in the face of horrendous abuse from the ‘Pure Remainer’ Parties.

    So tell me, who made the right political choice back in 2017, and what does ‘pro-Brexit’ mean in that context?

  79. 79
    AThornton says:

    @MattF: @MattF<

    The Irish Wars are over

    As long as the Peace Walls still stand and the Good Friday Agreement Holds and Northern Ireland gets billions in EU subsidies and there isn’t a hard border.

  80. 80
    J R in WV says:

    @Tony Jay:

    [Johnson] is malicious, solipsistic and entitled as all fucking get out, but he’s not actually as stupid as he looks.

    Yes, well, no one could possibly be as stupid as Boris de Pfeffel Johnson looks, could they? Cole picked one of a multitude of photos of de Pfeffel which demonstrate his stupid appearance. But still…

  81. 81
    Barry says:

    @Vhh: “Wales’s climb from coal pit poverty a la Appalachia has been driven foreign direct investment which Brexit would undermine.”

    And their lambing industry will go from next-day to whenever.

  82. 82
    Kent says:

    @RepubAnon:

    After the hard Brexit, Boris will be doing a bilateral trade deal with Trump. This will happen when everyone’s suffering maximum Brexit disruption. My guess is that as part of a broader “deregulation” push, Boris will agree to privatize the NHS- bringing US-style health care to the U.K.

    This makes no sense at all for the UK.

    What does the UK produce that the US would want to buy?

    1. Agricultural products? UK farmers send a lot of agricultural products across the channel to Europe. But while it might make sense to send fresh produce, eggs, milk, meat, etc by truck across the channel to France and Germany, it makes no sense to try to send those things all the way across the Atlantic to the US. North American agribusiness already has its supply pipelines in place from places like Mexico and Chile (for reverse seasons) and no one is going to want to buy expensive UK farm products from farther away.

    2. Pharmaceuticals. The UK has a large pharmaceutical industry but selling into the US market requires ENDLESS red tape and approvals by the FDA. No trade deal is going to open that up right away and big phama in the US will block it anyway.

    3. Financial Products like insurance, mutual funds, etc? Not likely that any trade deal will give UK financial companies any leg up over the giant US firms that dominate our markets.

    4. Cars and trucks? Bwa ha ha…Sure, try to sell as many Range Rovers and Minis as you want. Good luck with that.

    5. Petroleum? The US doesn’t need north sea oil.

    The ONLY markets that make sense for most UK products are in the EU. North American and Asian markets are frankly going to show little interest in anything the UK has to sell no matter how good the trade deal. That is the most ridiculous thing about all of this.

    I, for one, don’t see how any trade deal is going to ever make non-competitive UK products attractive to the US market. They are barely even attractive to the EU market at their doorstep.

  83. 83
    J R in WV says:

    @geg6:

    (you keep saying Boris is not as stupid as he looks; I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean).

    Boris isn’t stupid — he’s a Russian-controlled stooge doing what he is told. Trump is stupid, but it doesn’t matter as he must follow the script he is given by his Russian handlers.

  84. 84
    AThornton says:

    Ruth Davidson, leader of the Scottish Tory Party, has resigned. Looking more & more like Brexit will be shortly followed by Scexit.

  85. 85
    ET says:

    @B.B.A.: You may be right but the only place a hard core shut down has to really happen to make an impact is London and its direct environs.

    I will say that it wouldn’t surprise me that Johnson was planning this, took the PMship on purpose to get the no deal exit and plans to leave in 2020 and dump it into someone else’s lap. tRump wanted the presidency for ratings for his TV show, bolster profits for the tRump Organization, and ego – he had no real care for policies or governance. Johnson may only want the PMship for the hard BREXIT. What happens later isn’t something he really cares about particularly since he thinks the doom and gloomers are grossly exaggerating.

  86. 86
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Anyone else think they should’ve just left Boris stranded on that zipline?

  87. 87
    Tony Jay says:

    @mozzerb:

    What could Labour have done? Seen which way the wind was blowing much earlier and taken a solid position, for example “it is clear that Brexit as currently proposed is likely to be a disaster for reasons R1 to Rverylargenumber, we will support a deal that minimises the damage (i.e. stay in the single market and customs union) if we have to, but the final deal should go to a second referendum”.

    By the Blessed Ballbag of Saint Roderic the Fecund you have just described the actual Labour policy. No Tory Brexit, seek a compromise that minimises the damage, leave open the possibility of another referendum or a confirmatory vote. They’ve moved slowly in order to keep the Party in one piece because in the real world that’s the most important thing when it comes to actual votes cast for or against actual legislation. Hooting “Bollocks to Brexit” and “We want a People’s Vote!” is fine and dandy when you’re a small Party desperate to redeem its reputation after serving as footstools for Cameron’s Tories, but as an actual cohesive PLAN to stop Brexit it was, is and will remain completely useless.

    No offense meant, but I can’t see anything in your comment that can’t be filed under the Green Lantern Theory, and I’m sorry but the whole Brexit farce isn’t a comic-book crisis, it’s happening in the real world. Doing what works is much more important in the long run than striking a pose.

  88. 88
    Tony Jay says:

    @rp:

    Because the UK is facing an existential crisis. If that’s the only way to stop a no deal Brexit and Corbyn doesn’t want that, shouldn’t he do it?

    If Pelosi resigning meant that we’d get rid of Trump and have, say, Steny Hoyer as President, I would certainly encourage her to do it. It would be the best thing for her constituents and the American people

    The point I was making was that Corbyn doing either of the things you suggested wouldn’t stop Brexit any more than the ridiculous things I posited Pelosi as doing would get rid of Trump.

    Brexit/Trump won’t go away because people close their eyes and wish it were so, it takes grinding work and an actual plan.

  89. 89
    Peale says:

    @Kent: Yep. The UK makes Scotch, though….

    The problem is that after 30 or so years of WTO rules, the countries do pretty much all the trade they are going to do with each other. The US isn’t really going to be interested in doing any more than it always does – cuts to farm subsidies and eliminating rules that keep our industrial foodstuffs out of their markets.

    I agree that the main push for a trade deal from the Tory perspective is to blame the US for domestic policy changes they want to make but are afraid to.

  90. 90
    PeakVT says:

    The ideas under consideration include the following:

    Those are some truly banana republic-level options. What of the monarchy if Boris Johnovich goes there? If the monarchy will assent to anything, no matter how heinous, what’s the damn point?

    Of course the royals will continue to be wealthy no matter what happens. It’s the poor and working classes who will get trampled by this nonsense, even if Brexit is averted at the last moment.

  91. 91

    @RepubAnon:

    problem with that is – of course – trump can’t make a trade deal without Congress approving it, and there’s no way the Democratic-led House will vote for what will likely be a big scam. Pelosi is drawing a line on refusing any deal that threatens the peace treaty (Irish backstop), so Boris won’t likely get a deal with the U.S. done.

  92. 92
    Ruckus says:

    @Aleta:
    What all of these types of people, the brexit and the mega chodes don’t see is that no matter what they do the world is still the same size but the population isn’t. And that country boundaries are losing their importance because of that. There will only be two ways out. A war that kills enough people on all sides to something far smaller. Or working to restrain or eliminate those whose only propensity is for power and money over everyone else. Because the only way to live in a world that separates everyone by race, creed, religion and money is to live in a far less populated world. And that isn’t happening, the destruction is too great, too overreaching, and the wrong people always die first. The old world of even our grandparents is no longer. The world of total freedom to do whatever the hell you want, whenever the hell you want, to whomever you want is, and mostly actually always was never real. Generations used to be long enough for people to have some stability, no matter anything else, even if that stability was false. Now the shear numbers remove even that idea of stability and separation are at odds. And will never go back to the way it was, which was still shit, without massive numbers of deaths. The world effectively has become smaller. We know what is or supposedly is happening around the world in almost real time. That’s not going away and all the racists, separatists, can’t make it, or even realize that they have to to have their little gated communities of separation. China makes stuff that we want, need not actually being all that important. We grow food to fed those that make the stuff we want. It’s a symbiotic relationship that is not the way most people see the world. Because our forefathers had to do this in much smaller ways, in separate states/countries, maybe trading somethings with neighbors. Any more we are neighbors with the entire planet and something has to change in the way we deal with all of our neighbors.

  93. 93
    Calouste says:

    @CliosFanboy: Hugh Grant is the guy who called Johnson an overpromoted bath-toy. I think he might be more of the remain persuasion.

  94. 94
    Barry says:

    @Peale: “The US isn’t really going to be interested in doing any more than it always does”

    Steal the NHS funding would be highly desirable to US insurance companies, for a start.

  95. 95
    Kent says:

    @Peale:

    Yep, I’m sure Kaiser Permanente, AETNA, Anthem, Humana, CIGNA, and CVS would love to pick up the pieces of a privitized UK health system.

  96. 96
    Calouste says:

    @mrmoshpotato: No. They have left him there and bring over all the unsold tomatoes from Billingsgate market.

  97. 97
    jonas says:

    @B.B.A.:

    As I understand it, a majority of Brits are pro-Brexit,

    Only a razor-thin majority voted Leave in the referendum, even after the Leave campaign had spent millions of pounds in shady Russian money to blow sunshine up everyone’s ass about how easy it would be to get a “great deal” (sound familiar?) from the EU in which the UK would retain all the benefits of EU membership with none of the obligations, regulations, etc. There is a small rump of voters who want to leave even if it means a crash out that ends the world as they know it. That’s how much they hate having to see women in headscarves on the street. A larger number of leavers are only in favor of leaving with a deal, however, which is why Parliament has been so tied up in knots over this.

  98. 98
    rikyrah says:

    @rp:

    Corbyn has been useless. The Anti-Brexit people never had a real champion, as Corbyn is a phucking pro-Brexit delusional from the left.

  99. 99
    trollhattan says:

    @Heywood J.:
    The referendum was comically brief and the pro-Brexit campaign was a comical series of falsehoods.

    It was a bit like answering an ad claiming, “Lose twenty pounds in a day or your money back!” only to find out they were prepared to cut off your legs to achieve said weight loss. No, they shouldn’t have taken the bait.

  100. 100
    trollhattan says:

    @mrmoshpotato:
    It would have been a grand opportunity to introduce London to the pinata concept.

  101. 101
    Kent says:

    @Peale:

    @Kent: Yep. The UK makes Scotch, though….

    Except that artisenal single malt whisky distilleries are one of the fastest growing niche products in the US, following close on the heels of the microbrew revolution. Who needs to buy a $100 bottle of Glenlivit or Chivas when there are so many new American alternatives popping up. They can’t legally call them “scotch” but that’s what they are. For example, here’s one in Waco TX: https://balconesdistilling.com/

    Even something as iconic as Scotch Whisky is going to get a run for its money trade deal or no trade deal. Just like French wine as taken a pounding from CA wines over the past half century.

  102. 102
    jonas says:

    @DCrefugee:

    The reaction I get is aimed at the EU and how UK residents no longer want the “others” to determine UK policy, economics, etc.,

    This is essentially the equivalent of the “economic anxiety” meme. It really comes down to the fact that for a lot of English (as opposed to “British”) voters, the EU represents letting too many immigrants and refugees into the country. That’s really what it’s about. They may wave their hands and talk about some silly regulation or that, but at the end of the day, they’ll admit that there are just too many Poles, Romanians, and Muslims running around and they’re uncomfortable with diversity.

  103. 103
    Tony Jay says:

    @mozzerb:

    One other point I’ll make, I think you’re wrong about Corbyn “seeming to get a clue” recently.

    What is actually happening is that the Press and quite a few politicians are seeing that they’ve run out of road in their campaign to force Corbyn to resign in favour of a more ‘centrist’ candidate (Tom Watson has spent three years angling for this) and despite all the smears and the lies he’s still leader of the Opposition and the only person with an actual plan to get from here to the promised land of a new Referendum. Coverage has shifted, just a little, because attacking him is no longer a pursuit that all of his opponents see as worthwhile.

    Case in point. When Jo Swinson responded with instinctive contempt to Corbyn’s call for Lib-Dem support in a No Confidence vote and tried reaching past him to negotiate with Watson on splitting the Labour Party, she was operating on the understanding that Corbyn was everyone’s punchbag, was visibly stunned by the disappointed reaction of the Press and other Pure Remain parties and had to scramble to dodge accusations that her policy was No Corbyn more than No Deal.

    It’s not that Corbyn’s policy or style has changed, it’s that the Media are no longer so invested in lying about them now that Johnson is forcing the country into decision mode.

  104. 104
    Brachiator says:

    @Tony Jay:

    After a very long campaign to paint Labour as a pro-Brexit Party

    But this was easy to do because Labour’s official position seemed to be “constructive ambiguity,” never staking any clear position against BREXIT or definitely in favor of Remain.

    And yes this may have been smart, necessary, best strategy, etc, but the result was the same. Confusion. Plus, as with political parties everywhere, there are people who believe that you should vote Labour or Conservative no matter what, because loyalty to party is above anything else.

    This last sentiment also dashed any possibility that MPs would seriously consider country over party. They simply could not and cannot break with tradition. This gives Johnson a tremendous advantage. Shit, in an ideal world, a representative of the Queen would have made a quiet phone call to Number 10 Downing Street and said “BoJo best not come up here with his unkempt ass looking to suspend Parliament. Her Majesty might hit him with her purse. And she’s packing bricks.”

    and with a metric shit-ton of tactical voting to make sure that BXP goons didn’t sneak into constituencies where Remain had a majority. That won’t happen in a General Election, where any tactical voting is likely to favour Labour more than the Lib Dems.

    We will see what happens. Both Labour and the Conservatives will have to deal with any mischief brought about by the bullshit BREXIT party and by the idiot Lib Dems.

    And if the general election is held after October 31 when, presumably, the UK will have set a no deal BREXIT in motion, why would anyone who wants Remain even bother to vote?

    If the Conservative message is “we’re busy fucking things up,” that leaves Labour with “we will fuck things up better than the Conservatives.”

    And everyone will forget that the point should have been to not get fucked.

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @CliosFanboy: Where the fuck do you get that idea? The Grant tweet was addressed to Johnson.

  106. 106
    rikyrah says:

    @Brachiator:


    After a very long campaign to paint Labour as a pro-Brexit Party

    But this was easy to do because Labour’s official position seemed to be “constructive ambiguity,” never staking any clear position against BREXIT or definitely in favor of Remain.

    They allowed the Tory Party to suck up all the air. If they had been absolutely Pro-Remain, maybe something could have happened. They have been worthless.

  107. 107
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Kent: Even when I drank regularly, I could never understand how people could develop a taste for scotch. Different strokes, indeed.

  108. 108
    Momentary says:

    @Tony Jay: Tony Jay, you have the patience of a saint. And I’m not even a Corbyn fan.

  109. 109
    Tony Jay says:

    @Brachiator:

    I’m on the bus so I’ll keep this uncharacteristically brief.

    The attacks on Labour’s compromise approach to stopping Brexit were always more about damaging Corbyn and seeking partisan advantage than actually having a problem with the strategy. You can bet your bottom
    Dollar that if Watson or Benn or some other more ‘palatable’ leader had followed the same strategy the Press coverage would have been a lot more even handed, and its likely there would have been a lot of praise for their political nous and willingness to seek consensus.

    Always enjoy your comments. Cheers.

  110. 110
    vhh says:

    @Cervantes: They’re English, not Scots or Irish.

  111. 111
    Heywood J. says:

    @trollhattan:

    The referendum was comically brief and the pro-Brexit campaign was a comical series of falsehoods.

    It was a bit like answering an ad claiming, “Lose twenty pounds in a day or your money back!” only to find out they were prepared to cut off your legs to achieve said weight loss. No, they shouldn’t have taken the bait.

    Agree with all of that 100%. And yet:
    1. They voted for it, and elections have consequences. Whether they were dumb enough to get tricked into voting for it is about as relevant as Trump getting elected because enough maroons fell for enough Facebook memes. Until you figure out a way to keep idiots from participating in electoral democracy, this is what you get.
    2. The referendum was more than three years ago. They should either hold another referendum, or implement the one that was already voted on. Maybe the Leavers need to get one snapped off in their collective arses before they figure it out. Again, see Trump, Donald J.

  112. 112

    @Cervantes:

    It will also likely lead to the dissolution of the UK. It is entirely unclear why they want that.

    Perhaps, like certain automobiles, it’s more valuable stripped for parts?

  113. 113
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Heywood J.:

    “Gutless incrementalism for some, pusillanimous fake idealism for others! And always twirling, twirling, twirling towards mediocrity!”

    That made me laugh so hard I scared the dogs!

  114. 114
    Tony Jay says:

    @rikyrah:

    Jesus H Christ on a pedalo, Riky, the ‘something’ that would have happened if Labour had gone full remain was a split on the Party, Tory gains and a UK already wrenched out of the EU. That would NOT BE AN IMPROVEMENT!!!!

    I thought the ethos of this place was politics that works, not purity über alles. And yes, I’m aware that ascribing an ethos to this murder of barely house-trained jackals is laughable, but I’m not ashamed.

  115. 115
    trollhattan says:

    @Tony Jay:
    Is murder a collective noun for a jackal pack in the fashion of a crow flock? Because that would be cool!

  116. 116
    trollhattan says:

    @Heywood J.:
    “If I were in charge” I’d wring out a proposed Brexit agreement and offer it in a second up/down referendum. That’s clearly not going to happen but IDK why having people vote for a sack without knowing the sack’s contents is being held forth as the only thing keeping their democracy from dissolving into chaos.

  117. 117
    rp says:

    Jesus H Christ on a pedalo, Riky, the ‘something’ that would have happened if Labour had gone full remain was a split on the Party, Tory gains and a UK already wrenched out of the EU. That would NOT BE AN IMPROVEMENT!!!!

    If Labour had gone full remain before June 2016 Brexit likely would have lost and the UK wouldn’t be in this situation.

  118. 118
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @PJ:

    the real crux preventing a unified Ireland is that they see themselves as British, not Irish, and in the past they have been willing to use organized violence to keep that identity.

    In fact they were mostly Scotriah Presbyterians “planted” there in the early 1600s, & most strongly identified with Britain since the Treaty of Union (1707) wedded Scotland to England. It might be interesting if Scotland were to secede from the UK in the aftermath of “Breakshit” & then cut a deal with the Irish Republic to offer Northern Ireland, upon its eventual secession from the UK, a place in a loose tripartite federation in which the rights of the “tribes of Ulster” would be guaranteed by their respective coreligionists in the other two members. Just a thought.

    (Fun fact: The so-called “Scots-Irish” who largely settled the Appalachian backwoods were in fact transplanted Scottish Presbyterians who got fed up with life in Ulster & decamped to the New World starting in the early 1700s.)

  119. 119
    The Moar You Know says:

    Brexit/Trump won’t go away because people close their eyes and wish it were so, it takes grinding work and an actual plan.

    @Tony Jay: US Democratic Party motto: “I’m not work material. I will never be work material.”

    The problem with the Dem party in 2019, and frankly it’s been a problem for the last couple of decades, is that they’re addicted to the idea of a magic bullet. A one-stop solution in the form of a magical president who will usher in the second coming of FDR and make America a reasonable place to live.

    Republicans, for all their faults, understand this is bullshit. They run for every office, run in every election, never leave anything uncontested. If Dems had half the work ethic they’d be in charge of the entire fucking country, Deep South included.

    Exhibit A: without the Senate, getting rid of Trump is literally pointless. We have ten motherfuckers running for president and one (Hickenlooper) running for one of the four Senate seats we DESPERATELY need to break Moscow Mitch’s stranglehold on America. Where are the other three seats gonna come from? Fuck if I know. Fuck if the party knows. No recruitment, no investment, no deep bench. The next Dem president will fix it, I’m sure.

    We learned nothing from the last six years of Obama’s term in office. He did the best he could, but we need the Senate back. But hey, that’s hard – grinding work, as you note. Takes years to set up, years of work before you see the payoff. And we just don’t do that.

  120. 120
    Tony Jay says:

    @Momentary:

    I’m trying to explain British politics to people who have their own national crisis to deal with. Repetition helps.

  121. 121
  122. 122
    Heywood J. says:

    @trollhattan: Yep, totally agree once again, but they’ve played this string out for three years. Maybe Theresa May should have figured out some sort of less-catastrophic compromise, instead of dithering impotently for months on end.

    Now all the decisions will be made by a cynical clown who thinks his combs-his-hair-with-an-eel-pie look connotes “silly English eccentric,” rather than “escaped mental patient.” This was foreseeable.

  123. 123
    mozzerb says:

    @Tony Jay: Ah yes, I thought things would get LGMish at some point and the Green Lantern introduced. The point is of course not that speeches, interviews etc will magically create change, it’s that when speeches and interviews are the only tools you have to influence things, you have to make best use of them to try to move the needle on political opinion. No guarantees it’ll work, but the Brexit vote is a pretty good proof by example that it can work, because before Cameron’s too-clever-by-half gambit nobody much cared about Europe as a major issue except the ranty side of the Tory party and its tame press (or perhaps that should be the ranty side of the Tory press and its tame party). One dodgily-funded full-court press later, well here we are.

    And yes, that is more or less Labour policy — now. It’s been like pulling teeth to get it to that point, and there’s only been any real movement towards positive support for a second referendum in the last few months. I can understand and indeed agreed with caution and equivocation up to the election and some time after, but that approach is the flip side of Johnsonian bombast: in both cases, if it’s just a tactic you have to make a fine judgement on when to start moving away from it. The starting gun on that one fired some time ago when May was floundering and it needed a clear statement to counter the Tory framing — “we need SM and CU to save the economy (and stop the Irish border becoming a problem again), yes that’s flawed, but if Brexit has to be the only option …”

    I can see you feel like you want to go in to bat for Corbyn, and in other places I would too, but you also have to be realistic about his weaknesses. He’s simply not making a very good fist of this, and is personally toxic to both opponents and many colleagues. It doesn’t matter how unfair that is, it’s an important factor. As you said yourself, a different Labour leader would have been better treated, and that would have been a big help.

    Incidentally, the fact that “Referendum 2” has got so little traction is a sad sign of how the current lot of MPs on both sides (who aren’t ideologically committed to Brexit) can’t even do basic cynical politics right. It’s surely been obvious for some time that the only way to get any result through — May’s deal, no-deal, magical pony deal, A50 revocation, whatever — without getting your fingerprints on it and earning the enmity of a large chunk of the voters is to throw it back to them and say “you asked for this, here, YOU make the final call”.

  124. 124
    Tony Jay says:

    @rp:

    And if Obama had really tried or if Hillary had gone to Wisconsin America would likely have had Single Payer Healthcare and Donald Trump would be a scandal plagued host on Breitbart TV.

    See? I can repeat things I’ve heard that aren’t actually helpful or true as well. Shall we stop now?

  125. 125
    AnonPhenom says:

    Brexit is all about parking a New Singapore on the EU doorstep (a tax haven with low/no regulations and little, if any, social safety net/programs).

    There is too much money to be made (by the usual suspects) to let a silly thing like democracy get in the way.

    Baring a general strike before Brexit or a bloody revolution post-Brexit, the UK is phucked.
    OTOH, I’m oddly optimistic about a United/Federated Ireland and an Independent Scotland.

  126. 126
    Heywood J. says:

    Boris Johnson really reminds me of Boris Yeltsin, minus some of the alcoholism. But the principle is the same: a clownish puppet of the greedy oligarchs who really run the country, presenting a silly face to the public, in order to distract from the vicious, moiling chaos baked into their actual policies. It’s sad to think that Years and Years will likely turn out to be a documentary in most respects.

    That line from Yeats’ Second Coming plays on an endless loop in my brain: The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. Seems like just about every gubmint on the planet anymore.

  127. 127
    rp says:

    @Tony Jay: Sorry — I just don’t buy that you’re the one true voice on British politics and that everything you say should be taken as gospel.

  128. 128
    ruemara says:

    I… is that image real?

  129. 129
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Fanatical atheists have caused their share of trouble. It almost makes me think that fanaticism might be the real problem.

  130. 130
    Tony Jay says:

    @rp:

    Damn. That’s me told. I’d better send that expensive brass plaque back to the Nobel Prize committee and return the cheque.

  131. 131
    catclub says:

    @rp: Seems to me that Tony has lots of facts in his posts. No need to take those on faith.

    For a while, Bloomberg had a map of votes on various brexit issues. Virtually all the votes for brexit – were from the Tory’s,
    and virtually none from Labour. But there was a substantial
    number of tory votes in Parliament against all the things May had proposed – like the present version of Brexit on offer from the EU. (Or votes against a no-deal Brexit – I wonder why those were not binding?) I am off to see if I can find that link.

  132. 132
    noname says:

    @Ruckus: Are you feeling better?

  133. 133
    JR says:

    @Vhh: The Union was really just the English buying Scottish loyalty to their chosen monarch. The idea was to tie up all the Stuart craziness that brought on / was exacerbated by (two!) civil wars.

  134. 134
    catclub says:

    ha- found it – very interesting, but somewhat old now.

    Honeycomb map of parliament votes

  135. 135
    Jay C says:

    @AnonPhenom:

    Brexit is all about parking a New Singapore on the EU doorstep (a tax haven with low/no regulations and little, if any, social safety net/programs).

    Except that (AFAIK) unlike Singapore, the “new” UK tax haven is going to be populated by 50+ million folks who are probably not going to be particularly happy seeing their “safety-net” shredded as a result of Brexit: especially after a concerted campaign that focused obsessively on the social-program benefits that were supposed to ensue once the UK no longer had to fork over all that lucre to “Brussels”. A good deal of which they got back, of course, but never mind; at least they can have the satisfaction of Chucking The Bloody Foreigners Out (always, despite the incessant hand-waving and deflection, the bedrock ideology behind the Leave campaign).

  136. 136
    wasabi gasp says:

    A Trump era American prescribing a remedy for the United Kingdom is pretty fucking rich.

  137. 137
    JR says:

    @VOR: If you have a lot of loose capital you could probably gobble up a lot of devalued land pretty quickly.

  138. 138
    Brachiator says:

    @Tony Jay:

    The attacks on Labour’s compromise approach to stopping Brexit were always more about damaging Corbyn and seeking partisan advantage than actually having a problem with the strategy.

    Corbyn did what he thought he had to do. A Star Trek fan might call it the Corbynite Maneuver. But it wasn’t so much a compromise approach, but more a hard political calculation to placate Labour supporters who favored Leave.

    This still left Remain supporters without an effective champion.

    I do not blame Labour solely for this. Again, Brits can’t get out of the way of their traditions. This is why you had contradictory Indicative votes. Parliament voted that they did not want to leave with no deal, but the only concrete deal that existed was Theresa May’s deal, and no one could ever outline an alternative. Parliament was unhappy with the Irish backstop, but again no one could offer a reasonable alternative. And tradition prevented any meaningful method of actively pursuing and implementing alternatives.

    Labour could reasonably say that as the loyal opposition out of government, they had no responsibility to publicly offer alternatives. But again, this is like saying, “yes, we know the asteroid is about to strike and destroy our planet, but tradition requires that we have a picnic.”

    This same passive stasis kept moderates in the Conservative Party from doing anything, while Boris Johnson and the ERG were partying like it was 1799, preparing to unleash a no deal BREXIT no matter what.

    So now, there will probably be a general election. But nothing has really changed. BREXIT will likely be a disaster. Short term or long term. Companies are steadily making plans to leave, taking jobs with them. Somebody should be saying that the UK should remain in the EU or do everything it can to remain closely aligned with the EU.

    Instead, I heard some moronic Labour MP on the BBC last night say “Parliament voted to reject a no deal BREXIT and Boris Johnson should respect that.” What the hell does this even mean? Three years of noodling and all the BREXIT opponents are still yammering the same empty nonsense.

    Let’s see whether a general election might focus anyone’s attention on getting something done.

    ETA. The only thing sadder than Parliament might be the suspended Northern Ireland government. They refuse to meet even though BREXIT will affect them greatly and the UK will have to use direct rule to lay out new laws necessary to implement BREXIT. So, Northern Ireland will do nothing and then complain bitterly about what has been done to them.

    Tradition.

  139. 139
    TenguPhule says:

    @rikyrah:

    They allowed the Tory Party to suck up all the air. If they had been absolutely Pro-Remain, maybe something could have happened.

    Labour would have been split by the Tories and Britain would be toast.

    C’mon you’re usually smarter then this. Replace every mention about Corbyn in your head with Hillary Clinton. See what happens.

  140. 140
    TenguPhule says:

    @rp:

    If Labour had gone full remain before June 2016 Brexit likely would have lost and the UK wouldn’t be in this situation.

    LABOUR DID CAMPAIGN REMAIN.

    JFC, you talk about this subject and still appear not to actually know any of the actual details.

  141. 141
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    Corbyn did what he thought he had to do. A Star Trek fan might call it the Corbynite Maneuver. But it wasn’t so much a compromise approach, but more a hard political calculation to placate Labour supporters who favored Leave.

    This still left Remain supporters without an effective champion.

    The only way to have a chance to stop Brexit was to keep Labour together.

  142. 142
    Brachiator says:

    @Heywood J.:

    Boris Johnson really reminds me of Boris Yeltsin, minus some of the alcoholism. But the principle is the same: a clownish puppet of the greedy oligarchs

    Boris Johnson only pretends to be a clownish puppet. The only person worse than him is Nigel Farage, who pretends to be an open, jolly man of the people.

    But none of these villains are puppets. They are in deep with the rest of the thieves.

  143. 143
    Fair Economist says:

    The problem with Corbyn is not what he hasn’t done to block the Tories but that he has made it clear that he wants Brexit. He has packed the Labour leadership with Lexiters as much as possible, which has taken some doing as the MPs are overwhelmingly Remain. He has refused to put a blanket call for a confirmatory referendum even after it became abundantly clear that even the mildest Brexit would be traumatic. The last is the worst IMO as he is opposing good governance practices.

    He has been so untrustworthy I was expecting the Libs to pass them as the opposition party but then Swinson had to put her foot in her mouth by saying a 2 week Corbyn caretaker government during which he’d lack votes to pass anything was a bridge too far and so she would presumably rather have Brexit. At this point were I a Brit I would *want* a Clarke caretaker government as much as I despise his policies.

    The way out at this point is to have a Tory Remainer government run a confirmatory referendum on May’s proposal, with a “no deal or Remain” secondary question. The Tory Remainers will be happy with that as they keep their seats (and they are needed for a government in this Parliament) and Brexit gets settled, almost certainly in the right way. A general election is far to risky with the divisions on the left and the lack of a trustworthy lefy leader.

  144. 144
    Brachiator says:

    @TenguPhule:

    The only way to have a chance to stop Brexit was to keep Labour together.

    No one has stopped BREXIT yet. And the dishonesty of what “stop BREXIT” even means continues.

    And again, this is not solely Labour’s fault. Many British MPs live in a fantasy land in which the UK will soon return to its former glory, the EU will quickly roll over and grant Britain all the concessions it wants, making a formal new deal unnecessary, and Northern Ireland will get along just fine. Meanwhile, Britain will finally be able to keep out all the crappy foreigners, but elderly Brits will still be able to happily retire in Spain.

    And Boris Johnson and Donald Trump will go to the same salon to get their hair colored.

    But that’s the fantasy. Hard reality will soon kick everyone in the ass. So, let’s bring on the general election, and see whether Corbyn has a shot at coming in to save the day.

  145. 145
    TenguPhule says:

    @Brachiator:

    No one has stopped BREXIT yet. And the dishonesty of what “stop BREXIT” even means continues.

    I said it was the only way to have a chance. Until Labour actually forms a government, nothing can legally be done to stop Brexit.

    Step 1. Oust Boris

    Step 2. Get an extension from EU

    Step 3. General Election

    Step 4. Get enough MP seats running on “let’s make sure we really want to do Brexit”

    Step 5. Second Referendum

    Step 6. Get a Not Brexit majority at the vote.

    Step 7. Revoke Article 50.

  146. 146
    AnonPhenom says:

    @Jay C:

    Chucking The Bloody Foreigners Out

    Now, now. Let’s not confuse the method with the madness.

  147. 147
    cliosfanboy says:

    @Calouste: you misspelled “manure” :)

  148. 148
    Kent says:

    @TenguPhule:

    I said it was the only way to have a chance. Until Labour actually forms a government, nothing can legally be done to stop Brexit.

    Step 1. Oust Boris

    Step 2. Get an extension from EU

    Step 3. General Election

    Step 4. Get enough MP seats running on “let’s make sure we really want to do Brexit”

    Step 5. Second Referendum

    Step 6. Get a Not Brexit majority at the vote.

    Step 7. Revoke Article 50.

    Simpler and more likely scenario:

    1. The UK crashes out with a no-deal Brexit
    2. Economic chaos ensues precipitating a major recession in the UK
    3. The Tories collapse and some kind of Labor or Center-Left alliance takes power
    4. The UK negotiates its way back into the EU with some sort of Norway-style agreement.

  149. 149
    Another Scott says:

    The FT seems to have a good summary of what’s coming next week:

    […]

    Mr Corbyn confirmed that he would lead a bid to take control of the House of Commons order paper to allow MPs to pass a bill requiring Mr Johnson to ask the 27 other EU member states for an extension to the Article 50 divorce process.

    “We will try to politically stop him on Tuesday,” Mr Corbyn told Sky News. He said he hoped rebel Tory MPs would join Labour and other opposition parties to “legislate to prevent a no deal exit”.

    But the plan is fraught with risk and is by no means certain to succeed.

    Getting an anti-no deal Brexit bill through all its parliamentary stages before parliament is prorogued in the second week of September will be challenging.

    First, John Bercow, the Commons Speaker, needs to allow opposition MPs to hold an emergency debate on their planned legislation next Tuesday, mandating parliamentary time for such a bill.

    Mr Bercow is likely to grant this debate, given he has called Mr Johnson’s prorogation plan a “constitutional outrage.” The bill then needs to pass through all its Commons stages next Wednesday.

    Although Europhile Conservatives including big beasts such as former chancellor Philip Hammond are likely to back the bill, some Labour MPs from Leave voting seats could vote with Mr Johnson, suggesting the result could be close.

    Ruth Davidson, who quit on Thursday as Tory leader in Scotland, delivered a parting plea to Tory Eurosceptics to back a Brexit deal if Mr Johnson secures an agreement in October.

    The bigger problem could come when the bill moves to the House of Lords. Opposition peers would have to get the bill through all its stages before the end of the week. A weekend sitting is not excluded.

    The opportunities for Conservative peers to kill the bill by filibustering are considerable. “Peers can table as many amendments to a bill as they like and they have the right to speak at length on those amendments,” said Maddy Thimont Jack at the Institute for Government, a think-tank.

    Another problem is that no legislation could ultimately guarantee that Article 50 is extended.

    Some Tory MPs fear Mr Johnson would ignore the law and refuse to seek the Article 50 extension, forcing them to mount a legal challenge in the days running up to October 31.

    Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email licensing@ft.com to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found at https://www.ft.com/tour.
    https://www.ft.com/content/18afe070-ca59-11e9-af46-b09e8bfe60c0

    Alternatively Mr Johnson could respond to such legislation by telling the EU that Britain will adopt an aggressive policy of non-co-operation in the longer period of EU membership, including on a future budget for the bloc. This could encourage the EU27 to refuse an Article 50 extension at a summit on October 17.

    Mr Corbyn said he was holding back the option of tabling a no-confidence vote in the government — which could lead to him becoming leader of a caretaker administration to delay Brexit — until “the appropriate moment”.

    Tory rebels have indicated that they are not ready at this stage to try to topple Mr Johnson, although it remains an option for late October.

    To add to next week’s political drama, Labour and other opposition parties last night demanded a vote to record their opposition to Mr Johnson’s suspension of parliament. However legally MPs cannot halt a “prorogation”, which has already been approved by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister.

    Shadow chancellor John McDonnell acknowledged that MPs only had a handful of days in parliament in which to secure approval for the legislation to try to stop a no-deal Brexit. “It’s an incredibly tight timescale, we have to accept that,” he said.

    Mr McDonnell predicted that Downing Street would try to thwart opposition parties through a series of “bizarre” parliamentary mechanisms.

    One person close to the efforts to pass the legislation against a no-deal Brexit said: “We believe it can be done — our Achilles heel is the extent to which we have a ruthless, uncompliant government prepared to thwart what we want to do.”

    […]

    It seems obvious that Boris would ignore anything from Parliament that he could. If Parliament really wants to stop Brexit, then they need to actually do it, and/or bring down the government, and not depend on Boris to do so.

    Interesting days ahead… :-/

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  150. 150
    Chris Johnson says:

    It blows my mind the way people here, either in good faith or doing battle for their political side, absolutely refuse to see there is any possible argument for anything except Remain. The Russian meddling wouldn’t have got anywhere if the grounds hadn’t been well prepared, just as it wouldn’t have got anywhere in the USA if the grounds hadn’t been well prepared: and it’s the same recipe in each place.

    Globalization. The flood of money away from ‘most people’ and toward wealthy elites. In the UK, people are goaded to blame immigrants for their poverty and woes, but it would get nowhere if people weren’t absolutely desperate. In the US people are absolutely desperate. Most of my friends are desperate, and those that aren’t are wealthy elites (got some of those in my family, and they are ultra touchy about the poors coming around wanting anything from them)

    I cited ‘post Reagan and Thatcher’ but it seems I must spell it out; neoliberalism in the UK laid the grounds for both Corbyn’s rise, and for Putin’s ability to turn a reaction against globalism (in the form of the EU) into a catastrophic clusterfuck of a Brexit. The fact is, only a few countries do great in the EU. Germany’s a star. Greece? Ha. In globalism, most countries are trash and most people are trash and that’s just the economic truth, not to be challenged. Neoliberalism is the canonization of this while clinging to all the liberal values you can possibly find so long as they are not economic: that has to be hard Right.

    It blows my mind that people still argue this isn’t a thing, with the West increasingly in ruins. No, Remain was not going to save everybody and bring prosperity to all, because it was bringing prosperity to City of London and fuck everybody else. Globalism has extremely nasty costs and a profoundly reflexive knack for denying people’s directly experienced reality so long as the rich get richer. It was never going to survive forever, and it is not the final answer now.

    Putin’s one trick has been to ‘heighten the contradictions’ when they are already so great as to cause huge unrest and dissent. What he does, all he does, is jump in and manipulate all the actors in parallel, setting them against each other, and ensuring that nobody can do a thing towards fixing the real problems that produced this vulnerability in the first place. At all costs, nobody can have a ‘new deal’ or ‘social security’ or anything like that, because it suits Putin’s purposes better if everyone is too polarized to be able to take inventory of where we really are.

    And every time someone here or on Twitter or wherever, puts ‘economic insecurity’ in scare quotes and claims everyones’ motivations are pure and unalloyed racism (this, while the racism is BEING stoked on purpose because desperation has left people looking for someone to blame), you are doing Putin’s work for him.

  151. 151
    sdhays says:

    @Tony Jay:

    Please describe in broad terms exaxctly what you think Labour could have done to stop Brexit that it hasn’t done, giving due weight to the divisions within the Party, the relentless Media campaign to delegitimise its leadership, and the fact that in Britain the Party in Opposition has zero power to do anything but complain and vote against Government legislation.

    They could have managed to win the 2012 (?) election by defeating the Tories and Lib Dems who put the UK through a double dip recession.

    But that doesn’t involve blaming Jeremy Corbyn, so that must not be right.

  152. 152
    TenguPhule says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    It blows my mind the way people here, either in good faith or doing battle for their political side, absolutely refuse to see there is any possible argument for anything except Remain.

    Anything but Remain will be an epic clusterfuck for the UK the likes of which have never been seen before.

    The most OPTIMISTIC government scenarios the UK has involve food shortages, medical supplies running out and Boris Johnson running around with his trousers on his head.

  153. 153
    TenguPhule says:

    @Kent:

    1. The UK crashes out with a no-deal Brexit

    Well when Labour came up with the plan, they did so under the assumption that the government was still following the old rules of Democracy.

    Nobody expected Boris Johnson.

  154. 154
    Chris Johnson says:

    @TenguPhule: Remain continues the epic clusterfuck of the UK, post-austerity (which has been an OFFICIAL policy for many years). I am in no way contradicting you: any Leave will be a catastrophe, especially with Putin’s pet guy running things and making sure there’s no plan.

    My point is this: Remain is already a clusterfuck, a catastrophe. It is insulting and outrageous to pretend it’s okay: like a pants-on-head “LA LA LA CAN’T HEAR YOU” grade of response to what’s been done to the UK under austerity (which, austerity that is, plays along well with the EU and globalization in general). There is already catastrophe. What we’re facing (here and in the UK) is catastrophe PLUS clusterfuck, not just determined and well-managed intentional catastrophe harming people every day and making our lives a living hell.

    I don’t argue that it’s helping: it’s not. But I completely understand why people want to flip the table. They are being offered death and nothing else. What else can they do but flip out in ways that are easily manipulated by Putin?

  155. 155
    sdhays says:

    @Brachiator:

    ETA. The only thing sadder than Parliament might be the suspended Northern Ireland government. They refuse to meet even though BREXIT will affect them greatly and the UK will have to use direct rule to lay out new laws necessary to implement BREXIT. So, Northern Ireland will do nothing and then complain bitterly about what has been done to them.

    I still can’t believe the vote was so close in Northern Ireland. I mean, shit, people were getting blown up over the Troubles not at all that long ago. Why would anyone there be stupid enough to want to risk returning to that??

  156. 156
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris Johnson: Let’s start with the U.K. situation, can you tell us how the average person would benefit financially from Brexit?

    Now moving on to the US, the reason people use “scare quotes” around economic insecurity wrt Trump voters is because the voters who were actually economically insecure voted for HRC if of course their voting rights weren’t suppressed. So you see, fuckwit (you don’t mind if I call you fuckwit, do you? It is just so apt.), those Trump voters are a horse of a different color – primarily a sort of pale pink.

  157. 157
    TenguPhule says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    But I completely understand why people want to flip the table.

    Voting for Labour would have ended austerity.

    But “Socialism” “Taking back Control” “Bloody Foreigners”.

  158. 158
    TenguPhule says:

    @sdhays:

    I mean, shit, people were getting blown up over the Troubles not at all that long ago. Why would anyone there be stupid enough to want to risk returning to that??

    Have you seen the leaders of DUP?

  159. 159
    sdhays says:

    @TenguPhule: I don’t deny the reality, I just can’t comprehend it.

  160. 160
    terry chay says:

    @VOR: Putin will not benefit from Brexit as he’ll soon find out much to his dismay. That same zero-sum thinking that powers it (there are a lot of powers-that-be in the UK who think that since they are positioned well wrt to Brexit that they will benefit) is the same one that powered Moscow telling the KPD to riot in 1932 and not to form a coalition government against the Nazis in 1933.

    It is a mistake to think another’s misery will be to your benefit.

    @catclub: New EU rules regarding this don’t go into effect until 2020.

  161. 161
    terry chay says:

    @Betty Cracker: People always fighting the last war… In the Cold War this might have been effective (it was for the USSR in Vietname and the US in Afghanistan) if you ignore the blowback that such operations brought later (say the WTC bombing to take just one example), but while successful, it just may spell the end of Putin’s Russia. They are a second rate power (outside military) as it is, are nearly completely drained of human resources (hence all the nuclear accidents), have no real industry outside oil to speak of, and are constantly in turmoil. All the while what little of their wealth gets sequestered, in bulk, in other countries.

    They are an accident waiting to happen and Putins action’s will weaken those very same oligarchs, with whom, he synergistically depends on to maintain power.

  162. 162
    terry chay says:

    @rp: She’d have no trouble resigning either. Corbyn is not made of the same stuff and poor Tony Jay can’t see that because he has his head so far up Labour’s ass he can’t see daylight. In many ways, just like BoJo is a smart version of Trump, Corbyn is a smart version of Bernie Sanders (delta I do believe Corbyn thought that his positions would help Labour while B.S. could give a rats ass about his “party.”). Unfortunately for the UK (or fortunately for us), Bernie Sanders does not lead the opposition here.

    @Heywood J.: The difference is that the Brexit referendum was explicitly non-binding. It is the non-binding nature of the referendum that makes it so that the Pro-brexit dark money hasn’t been prosecuted for what it was.

    Yes, they should hold a second referendum. The referendum should be binding and should lay out the explicit choices at hand (leave without deal, leave with May’s deal, or remain). But since the outcome for that will probably be remain, or, at worst, leave with May’s deal, and either of those outcomes puts a lot of billionaires’ money subject to the new EU tax in January, I think the smart bet is they leave with no deal.

    Corbyn hopes to pick up the pieces of the disaster that will follow to grow Labour back into the majority. So far, this sort of waffling has only grown the LibDems, a party that put the Conservatives in power in the last go around.

    The one thing I can’t figure about him is if his pro-Brexit view is a belief he holds or if he feels it is one he must hold to sweep up disaffected Conservatives and bring ex-Labour back into the fold. I’m thinking the latter, but after recent polling and elections, I’m beginning to wonder if he doesn’t have his marching orders too. Probably useless paranoia.

    In any case, big picture, maybe no deal Brexit is a good thing. A lot of these masters of the universe think they are above it all and the hard reality is nobody is above an economic depression or a world war. At this point, with global warming and overpopulation, it seems that anything that hastens some sort of reckoning may be necessary to prevent some worse inevitable reckoning down the road.

    @rp: In Labour’s defense, Brexit would have been avoided but Labour would have gotten creamed in the next election.

  163. 163
    unknown known says:

    @Tony Jay:

    They’ve spent two years gleefully conspiring with the Media and the right-wing of the Labour Party to dismantle Corbyn’s post-2017 Election reputation as a plain-spoken and honest campaigner for a fairer and more humane society and erect in its place a mute and bullet-pocked image of Duplicitous Jezza the Joo-Hater who has single-handedly propped up multiple Tory Governments because he secretly loves the idea of Brexit soooooo much.

    And what can I say, it has worked. He has a 70% disaproval rate. That’s a helluva handicap for anyone looking to win an election. Now to be fair, while they have absolutely all had a slant against him, a leader with more raw charisma wouldn’t be this badly underwater. In an ideal world, his ideas would be enough. We do not live in that world.

    Please describe in broad terms exaxctly what you think Labour could have done to stop Brexit that it hasn’t done, giving due weight to the divisions within the Party, the relentless Media campaign to delegitimise its leadership, and the fact that in Britain the Party in Opposition has zero power to do anything but complain and vote against Government legislation.

    I agree that he needed to start out playing a somewhat ambiguous hand, but what he’s not been able to do is articulate any coherent STORY about the EU that is persuasive to a plurality of the population. To be fair, no remainers have. But there ARE stories like that which a really gifted communicator could have picked up. Look at what Liz Warren seems to be able to talk Americans into.

    It would probably have to be some variation on “look the EU just isn’t this demonic thing it’s painted as, and we have a veto on everything it does, so it’s just not true that we are giving up any meaningful control. Still, it’s not perfect, and people have said that they are unhappy with it, so here is some change that we are going to make to our status within it, that pulls us a bit further away, at least for a while.” It would take a much greater talent than I to fill in those blanks, but as the Pod Save America folks are fond of pointing out, you have to actually go out and make your case otherwise you lose regardless.

    But instead there has been a communications vacuum. Labour’s position has just been procedural wrangling about the exact order with which different maneuvers would be run through. That’s not a persuasive story.

    In terms of what they can do right now, it would be to sit down with the various non-Tory parties and hash out a deal to avoid splitting the remain vote, and to make it known to the Tories that if they do pull an election, the remain vote will not be split. Yes, that would be absurdly hard. Yes that would involve convincing the Lib Dems to go along, despite a river of bad blood between the two. But they are the two leading leftist parties. If they can’t get over their shit when the countries back is up against the wall, then we… well we don’t DESERVE to be screwed, but we will be.

  164. 164
    TenguPhule says:

    @terry chay:

    Corbyn is not made of the same stuff

    Corbyn isn’t an idiot. All of the proposed “replacements” are either A) Morons or B) Assholes who’d fuck up, then blame Corbyn for their failure.

    He’s beaten all of the challengers in Labour twice by overwhelming margins. Unless you want Labour to try being Tory-lite, he’s their elected leader.

  165. 165
    TenguPhule says:

    @terry chay:

    Probably useless paranoia.

    Could have shortened your entire post to this and saved some electrons.

  166. 166
    TenguPhule says:

    @unknown known:

    “look the EU just isn’t this demonic thing it’s painted as, and we have a veto on everything it does, so it’s just not true that we are giving up any meaningful control. Still, it’s not perfect, and people have said that they are unhappy with it, so here is some change that we are going to make to our status within it, that pulls us a bit further away, at least for a while.”

    THIS IS BASICALLY WHAT HE SAID DURING THE FUCKING BREXIT CAMPAIGN. FFS, at least do your homework on this.

  167. 167
    TenguPhule says:

    @unknown known:

    In terms of what they can do right now, it would be to sit down with the various non-Tory parties and hash out a deal to avoid splitting the remain vote, and to make it known to the Tories that if they do pull an election, the remain vote will not be split. Yes, that would be absurdly hard. Yes that would involve convincing the Lib Dems to go along, despite a river of bad blood between the two.

    /Facepalms

    :Look, if you want to insist on demanding Corbyn do exactly what he has already done and then blame him for Tories and Lib-Dems preferring to go on a long pork diet instead, I don’t know what else to tell you.

  168. 168
    JAFD says:

    @Kent: Well, I just this week ordered a pile of books, some for me and some for presents, from a speciality publishing house in England, and have ‘wishlists’ made out for various hobby items, ready to zap off…
    Checking the exchange rate occasionally – it was 1 GBP = $1,2725 on Paypal for my order. Wondering if it will go below 1 to 1

  169. 169
    Raoul says:

    @rk:

    You’d think the so called elites would spare their own country.

    The elites have condos in Toronto, cute little farmhouses (little = 6 bed/5 bath) in Provence, and maybe a pied a terre in Sydney or Singapore. London gets shitty for 20 or 30 years, meh. It’ll be like Buenos Aires — fun to jet in for a weekend knees up, but don’t actually spend time there. Blech.

    They don’t give a shit about where the claim to ‘live’. This is the case with UK, US and quite a few other global elites. We’re just the help. All of us not in the 0.25%.

  170. 170
    unknown known says:

    @TenguPhule:

    THIS IS BASICALLY WHAT HE SAID DURING THE FUCKING BREXIT CAMPAIGN. FFS, at least do your homework on this.

    Well then he did a really fucking terrible job of it, because I lived in the UK through the entire campaign, paying more attention to politics than the average person (though not wonkish levels) and none of that came across.

    Look, if you want to insist on demanding Corbyn do exactly what he has already done

    Evidence for this? There has been tactical cooperation between the LD’s greens and Crymu to only run the strongest candidate in some local by-elections, and wouldn’t you know it, it worked. Labour ran their own candidates in those elections. So please point me at Labour making serious and successful efforts to do the same.

  171. 171
    TenguPhule says:

    @unknown known:

    Well then he did a really fucking terrible job of it, because I lived in the UK through the entire campaign, paying more attention to politics than the average person (though not wonkish levels) and none of that came across.

    Blame the fucking British media for that. They basically ignored him in favor of Boris Johnson acting like a prat and Tories promising Leave the moon.

    Evidence for this?

    What the hell do you think the negotiations between Labour and the other minority parties AND the Tory rebels in the last week were about?

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