Sunday, March 31, 2019

Democracy...

Everyone loves democracy when the end result is in agreement with their wishes... when it isn't there is much muttering and discontent but the thought that the next electoral cycle will sort things out. A referendum sort of throws a spanner in the works and can only be sorted out by another referendum if things go all awry. With sixty percent of the populace wanting to remain, seventy percent of MP's  being remainers and even Mrs May probably really wanting to stay if she hadn't gone all robotic,  and like many of the Labour front bench, become enslaved by meaningless mantras, something has to give.

Meanwhile, the USA hints at the sunny uplands of a massive free trade deal, including financial services, and if the UK was really lucky in its timing we could sort of slide into the pending USA/India FTA, not to mention Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, large chunks of Asia and then there's the other Commonwealth countries... if Dr Fox suddenly pops up with that lot, no-deal might become almost a necessity and save the day for Mrs May and the Tories. It could happen. Tariff free EU imports for six months with the threat of penal tariffs if they don't agree to a FTA might sort things out there, with someone like Boris as PM... the country flooded with cheap food, cars, etc and that good feeling from calling the EU's bluff. Might work, might go all horribly wrong - we might find out shortly!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Another failure...

Monday looks to be crunch time, after the WA failed yet again, can parliament agree on something that will convince the EU to give the UK a longer extension? Most likely, May's deal plus confirmatory referendum. Many calls for a general election but not sure how that will resolve anything as Labour will use half-truths and the Conservatives have neither a leader nor an idea to coalesce around. A general election would be a terrible idea, anyway, as it would completely destroy democracy because it would be about Brexit, but both parties would also run on stuff that half the country would strongly object to. It may just come down to a vote on no-deal versus revocation at the last possible moment.

Last Chance for the WA...

Mrs May seems to have very little interest in the country at large, her main concern to have the legacy of leaving the EU with her deal signed off. Legal beavers have gotten around the Speaker's ruling by just bringing back the withdrawal agreement for a final vote, leaving the political declaration for another day... MP's weren't amused at this trickery and spent most of the day mouthing off but achieved little other than straining their vocal chords. Most of the time in parliament spent in arcane nonsense rather than doing something useful, the mother of parliaments reduced to a sad state of farce that continuous TV coverage exposes to a disbelieving public - if they felt disconnected from MP's at the beginning of the Brexit process by now they must be thinking they are living in a time warped parallel universe.

No-one thinks that the WA will win the day, unless an amendment to make it subject to a confirmatory referendum slips in - with nowhere else to go, the government might just back it at the last moment despite the threat of hard-Brexiteers exploding in rage. Mrs May won't yet step down, though, still more work to do but the EU's summer recess does give the Conservatives a few months to run a leadership battle.

That just leaves the question of who do Remainers support in the MEP elections. The LibDems are the obvious beneficiary but weak leadership and silly policies won't inspire many. TIG are yet a political party and Labour are not a remain party - Corbyn's reluctance to front the second referendum cause has pissed off many natural supporters. Meanwhile, Farage's Brexit Party might yet sweep through the country as May will still be the leader of the Conservatives and even a hard Brexiteer will be constrained by whatever extension May has signed up for.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

All change, no change...

MP's indicative votes had the confirmatory referendum and staying in a custom's union as the top choices but neither yet had a majority... MP's will narrow things down on Monday, may well end up with a demand for a long extension and second referendum. If people really want to stay they will have to get out and vote for the MEPs, the LibDems the only party with the remain message but they have a failed leader and a penchant for making up for the coalition years by being more left-leaning than Labour (another set of wealth grabbing policies that will reduce the country to nothingness) with an open immigration policy... do TIG have the time to set up a new party to run in the MEP elections?

Meanwhile, Mrs May has agreed to step down if her deal passes on the third attempt... otherwise she is going to do what? Boris her likely replacement. If the referendum plus May's deal gets through parliament then Boris will be in the curious position of having to promote May's deal which most Brexiteers think is worse than staying in the EU... or would Mrs May stay on until after the referendum? Mrs May defines the old quip about being promoted to your level of incompetence...

There are about two dozen really hardcore Tory Brexiteers who would rather eat their own heads than support May's deal. They were out in force yesterday, absolutely unable to get their heads around the legality of the exit date change, despite it already being done in international law, spewing forth a huge amount of venom... they have not aged with any kind of grace; Corbyn and co look positively lovely in comparison and you can see the kind of madness that Cameron had to keep in check... I say this as a Thatcherite so I can imagine the horror and angst amongst the Lefties. 

Neither have the DUP changed their minds, lucky they that the Tories don't have a majority, otherwise the backstop would be replaced with a new sea border. I have yet to see a NI or Eire politician who doesn't have a glimmer of stern conviction in the rightness of their thinking that makes them somehow robotic... give Blair and co a round of applause for taking the violence out of the situation there and see an echo in how much wealth peace in Europe has generated.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Boris Johnson running out of time...

Brexiteers have to accept that they are not going to get no-deal via parliament and because of the Northern Ireland border they are not going to find a better deal than that done by Mrs May. Once they get they head around this - if all the fuming hasn't burnt out all their brain cells - they have to move on to the only remaining step, a second referendum with remain versus no-deal. Now if Boris charges in with this and leads the no-deal squad and wins the second referendum, he would have to be the new PM. If Mrs May throws a fit at this idea she should resign and allow an interim PM for six months, with a year's extension to allow for a referendum and a period between the end of the referendum and actually leaving, to have up six months to sort out a no-deal exit if that wins through. The second referendum would be final and binding; anyone telling porkies during the contest would end up in prison.

On reflection, probably better to have a 21 month extension so if no-deal wins there is time to get all the trade deals signed up. If the EU thinks we are going to be flooded with cheap foreign food and medicine they are likely to forget tariffs and go for a FTA with unseemly speed but that long extension does remove the cliff edge fear from remainers and give business time to react. At the moment, Remainers are at close to sixty percent but with Boris and Farage scheming away it is not inconceivable that they can win through. If they lose then the  Conservatives have to switch to a youthful Remainer for replacement PM rather than Boris but it is all win, win, with a Marxist opposition, running around like headless chickens trying to support both remain and leave.

Post Brexit could be a real disaster for individuals...

Because the country does not have a written constitution, and has sort of relied on being part of the EU to restrain any real madness from politicians, if Brexit happens then the next government may well have five years to do absolutely anything it likes to the people in the UK. This assumes that the next government will have a decent majority so they can push through highly damaging laws that, in the case of Labour, will add up to theft of individual and business wealth so that the politicians can make the rest of the country completely dependent on them and thus ensure that they are re-elected. The mediocre will rise up and the clever people leave the country, ending in some Marxist utopia where only the politicians have access to real wealth, poor old Sterling left not much better than Monopoly money.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Where's Mrs May's Petition, then...

The revoke article 50 petition is set go over four million, breaking all records and repeatedly crashing the site. You would have thought that one of Mrs May's friends would have done a petition on her deal to see if there is popular support, especially as she is convinced that she knows what the British people are thinking. No?

Meanwhile, my best guess is that a second referendum will win out on the indicative votes on Wednesday but it will have to be remain versus no-deal to stop the Brexiteers going crazy... roughly a third of MPs and a third of the populace support no-deal. Mrs May would go all neutral for the six months it takes to organize the referendum, then stepping down... the new leader of the Conservative party probably a Remainer, have to be someone young enough to get into the youth vote - Jo Johnson?

If Mrs May was really clever she would redeem herself with the youth vote, not just by allowing a second referendum but also by letting 16-17 year-old's take part.

Friday, March 22, 2019

More of the same...

The EU has allowed a new deadline of April 12th if May's deal is rejected in parliament again, after that the UK will have to allow MEP elections if it wants a long extension. If May's deal is agreed then the UK will have until May 22nd to pass all the legislation needed... presumably if we get to April 12th and don't want to do MEP elections we will have until May 22nd to exit on a no-deal basis with no option to revoke article 50 because we didn't have MEP elections, required under EU law... or does the fact that we did not have MEP elections mean we can not be in the EU beyond April 12th even though they are not going to sit until July 1st? No, if we can stay in until the 22nd to pass legislation should be able to stay in to that date to leave on no-deal... you can sort of see it gives the UK/EU some wriggle room to do a no-deal exit on painless terms if both sides want to (perhaps a transition with similar payments to the previously agreed interim period?).

If the speaker allows a third vote on May's deal then it should be the final vote, either Mrs May comes up with a new concept or she lets parliament do so but given the utter hopelessness of the opposition leadership don't hold your breath. Commonmarket 2.0  would be an utterly pointless Brexit and a bit dangerous as we would have little say in EU laws but still have to obey them - as a (five year) transition period it might not be too bad, though.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Millions set to sign revoke article 50 petition

At the time of writing, nearly a million have signed the petition to revoke article 50 on the parliament site, despite numerous crashes and slowness of the confirmatory email. Worth joining in, not sure what database parliament it is using to confirm ID, most departments having access to both the driving licence/passport database and NI database, often cross-check them if you are trying to access government services. Requires name, email and postcode, so work that one out for yourselves. Find the petition here.

Over two million have signed the petition at the time of this update but it took about six hours for the confirmatory email to turn up and then had to wait until late at night until the site worked well enough to take the link... so probably a lot more than two million have tried to sign up. BTW I am not on the electoral role so they are not using that to confirm ID.

All jeer now...

I think many voters will find the idea that Mrs May knows what they are thinking somewhere between highly objectionable and laughable, I would imagine that if we really had a Big Brother State (which she would love) that had cameras in the TV then she would have seen a majority of the populace jeering at the TV screen when she just came out with the same old mantra.

I do absolutely agree with her that a Brexit that isn't based on her redlines is rather pointless but because of the NI border those same redlines can't exist... I just had a vision of Mrs May running around in circles like a dog chasing its own tail.

High drama, though, Parliament refuses her deal, EU refuses an extension as it does not want more of the same, Parliament rules out no-deal again, she refuses a ratification referendum and... she either does a disappearing act at the crucial moment (rather likely given past form)- no deal happens regardless - or Parliament votes to revoke article 50 and mass happiness breaks out in the UK!


Hopefully, the Conservatives can still redeem themselves with a new leader such as Boris Johnson and an iron chancellor, slashing taxes and rolling back the State... keeping the Brexiteers happy will be top priority post-May, getting back to core Tory values a priority.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Corbyn's People's Vote...

After meeting with other opposition parties - all of whom want a second referendum and appeared surprised that Mr Corbyn was more enthusiastic about a People's Vote - our future PM explained to reporters that he was really enthusiastic about a People's Vote as long as it was a General Election. Hard to know if you should scream or burst into tears... pathetic sums it up.

Meanwhile, Mrs May has evidently been told by the EU that she can't ask for a short extension with the option of it being turned into a long extension, has decided to ask for a short extension until the end of June. Despite being told there has to be a fundamental shift in policy or a second referendum or general election to get any kind of extension. She seems to think she can resubmit her deal to parliament a couple of more times, despite being told she can't do that by the Speaker, until everyone runs out of time again and are panicked into agreeing to doing something they don't want to do. Pathetic again.

Both Corbyn and May seem to share the same intransigence and indifference to the reality of the situation, neither will be able to offer the electorate anything they actually want should there be a GE, people will vote just to avoid things they dislike!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The End of Mrs May...

The Speaker has decanted that Mrs May can't bring her deal back to parliament for a third vote unless there have been some fundamental changes to the deal. The EU has said there will be no changes to the deal. The EU has also said there will probably be no extension unless there is something new on the table from Mrs May. The ERG hopeful that this means no-deal is more likely whilst the Remoaners think either revoking Article 50 or a second vote will need to happen. Mrs May has to act in an original and innovative manner but has shown no ability to do so during her political career. It would, of course, be a disaster for the feminine cause if Mrs May ended up like Mrs Thatcher, not quite all there at the end of her reign... just imagine such flakiness - to put it mildly  - coinciding with one of the most historical moments in the UK's fiscal history...

The only solution may well be to revoke Article 50 whilst simultaneously introducing a very tough, retrospective, residence test that would exclude people who have not been here for five years from access to welfare, social housing and the personal tax allowance. Exceptions made for front-line personnel such as nurses and as it would be non-continuous, Brits who have gone abroad and come back would not necessarily be caught by the test. Because the rules apply equally to Brits and foreigners, no EU permission needed.

When rough sleepers find themselves moved into social housing previously claimed by foreign families and low end jobs are suddenly vacated by foreigners who have been supported by tax credits and housing benefit, the pain of not doing Brexit will suddenly be lessened for the majority of leavers. The poorer end of society actually shocked that the government has listened to them!

Monday, March 18, 2019

Monster Raving Loony Party...

Whilst Boris and JRM tend to amuse the general populace, some of the more extreme Brexiteers being showcased by the media appear quite frightening, almost frothing at the mouth at the sheer outrage of not getting their way and surely more at home in the Monster Raving Loony Party... a poll showing Labour nicely ahead possibly not disconnected from these gentlemen gaining wide media attention. I say this as someone who thought Mrs Thatcher was wonderful; ever hopeful that Lord Tebbit might be wheeled out of retirement to sort out excessive government spending. So God knows what the populace at large think of them!

Saturday, March 16, 2019

May's third attempt could work...

Hints from the ERG and DUP that they might come onside with May's deal but with no-deal off the table will Remainers stay with the deal? Be hilarious if May finally got the Brexiteers' reluctant backing only to have the other side of her party deciding not to support it. That then leaves an extension or revoking Article 50 - will the EU chance no extension in the hope that Article 50 would then be revoked? Hard to believe Mrs May will come up with anything new on her deal, only option there is to agree to a ratification referendum, her deal versus remain, which the EU would happily agree to (they can still bring in an improved deal over what they offered Cameron). Overall then, best thing for the country is for May's deal to fail, win-win for Remainers.

Friday, March 15, 2019

People's Vote Down...

On the face of it, not much support for the People's Vote amendment but that was down to the nature of the vote - it was important for the original motion on the extension to get through, if the referendum amendment had passed then the Tories would have had to whip against their own extension, plunging the country into even more chaos. Let's hope that the EU insists on a ratification referendum if the UK wants a long extension. From these couple of day's voting, looks like there are a hardcore of 200 MP's who want a really hard Brexit, not enough to bring it to fruition. May's third vote on her deal next week likely to be undermined by soft-Brexiteers deciding to no longer support it because, ironically, no-deal will be off the table if the deal fails.

Time for the EU to step up with a better deal than they offered Cameron, thus heaping more madness into the mix.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

How to get harmony back...

No deal is off the table and Mrs May looked like she was about to eat her own head whilst some ERG members looked like they were about to explode in rage. Today, more amendments to the extension motion, a free vote so, again, anything can happen...

What should happen, a 21 month extension to the end of the EU's fiscal cycle. A change in EU law so that the UK does not need to have MEPs but can opt out of any legislation that arises. The EU then decides to negotiate the trade deal without the withdrawal agreement being ratified by the UK, a twelve month deadline for the final trade/withdrawal deal with the implication that the backstop will not need to be used because the trade deal will make it obsolete.

That extra nine months needed because once the trade deal has been agreed this can then act as an interim period to sort out roll-overs of existing trade deals and finalize other trade deals. It is also needed because there will need to be ratification referendum between the final deal and remain, the EU will need to insist on that if the UK is going to get that long extension. That's not all, if a suitable trade deal without the backstop can't be agreed then the second vote will be on remain versus no deal, keeping the ERG on side.

DUP happy, ERG kinda happy, PM happy as she would still have plenty of levers of power against the EU, Remainers happy as they would have a second vote...

Oh, one final twist, whilst the trade deal is going on, the government would have a second negotiation with the EU on improving the deal they offered Cameron, mostly centered on muting the attractions of freedom of movement by having a tough five year residence test. That would satisfy about 75 percent of the Brexiteers. 

Dr Fox doing the trade deal and Amber Rudd doing the improved deal for staying in the EU?

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Revoking Article 50...

With time running out and MP's likely to vote to take no deal off the table today (hopefully the original motion will be amended to actually make some sense), the next step seems to be to revoke Article 50 - no point having a General Election as Corbyn won't run on staying in the EU (dismal performance last night) and the Conservatives won't run with May at the helm; no point on a People's Vote on May's Deal versus Remain because the ERG can't now turn round and say they support May's deal, so no serious politician is going to lead the Leave side on that basis. So by a process of elimination all that is left is to Revoke Article 50, supported by roughly 60 percent of the populace. Mrs May would have to stand down after doing the deed but both she and Corbyn, for different reasons, look near the end of their tether and could benefit from hitting the nearest retirement home. 

Boris Johnson would have to saddle up pronto, save the country from chaos by bringing in a retrospective, five year residence test that barred access to welfare, social housing, the personal tax allowance etc, to placate the bulk of Leavers who dislike Freedom of Movement. Some nimbleness in rolling back the State and cutting taxes, including phasing out Council Tax, would steady the Tory ship and send Labour ever leftwards. Throw in some further reforms to the EU to allow the euro country to integrate further and it would all work out in the end.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

EU holds firm...

Predictably, given that no-deal is almost off the table, the EU is not giving any ground on the backstop despite the UK's negotiators shouting loudly at them, a trick that may perturb and even shock Conservatives in favour of Empire 2.0 whose fore-bearers did very well on the back of shouting at foreigners who did not speak English. Meanwhile, Labour is still trying to get out of supporting a second vote, preferring a pointless, very soft Brexit. The LibDems carry on whining about almost everything and TIG are trying to convince the world they are still, er, Socialists - expect the ex-Conservative trio to do a disappearing act any time soon.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Too many laws, too little enforcement...

The UK works as a lightly policed society because the civilised majority of the populace recognise that it's much more pleasant to have a rule based country than one where anything goes. If people aren't able to step up to life in such a society they need to be dealt with by the police and lawyers. The law, though, has been brought into disrepute by the sheer excess of minor laws spewed out by Parliament, most only there to justify the excessive salaries of the MP's. You end up with absurdities such as a council being able to fine you £5000 for changing a window without permission whilst people who enter the country illegally are not immediately thrown back from whence they came (the same councils perhaps using these fines to house and feed the illegal immigrants).

Whilst minor laws can come with outrageously high fines, serious laws are often accompanied with laughable prison terms - prisons where the criminals are allowed to replicate their outside hierarchy and commit even more crimes which largely go unpunished - knifing someone, for instance, very rarely getting decade long terms of incarceration. All this spews up rage under the veneer of civilised society, especially when such crimes creep out from the ghetto into mainstream areas. 

This all starts in the schools where the lack of discipline encourages youths to act out the stuff they see on social media and parts of the UK regress to third world status where gang members gain initiation by mugging/knifing innocents. With Brexit meaning much less government spending, school class sizes will have to increase and that won't work unless there is serious redress when kids play up. I am sure a lot of older Conservatives have fond memories of the cane and can't wait to get that going again...

Brexit is an opportune moment to roll back all these minor laws and concentrate on serious punishment for the important stuff... the current government has a disturbing penchant for rolling out endless laws that are so poorly thought out that they have repercussions beyond what they are supposed to fix and is largely unfit for purpose, albeit infinitely preferable to the Marxist inspired alternative... best hope at the moment, Boris Johnson will ride to the rescue (reigned in by a proper Conservative chancellor such as John Redwood).