WHY, OH WHY, DID NO ONE THINK OF THIS BEFORE THE REFERENDUM?
I suppose the answer is that David Cameron promised an EU referendum in order to dissuade members of the Conservative Party, MPs and voters alike, from switching to UKIP.
His argument, as I recall, was that if people voted UKIP the likelihood was that they would get but a few MPs, who would be in opposition and who would have no power to offer a referendum. MPs crossing the floor might or might not be re-elected. (In the event only one of the floor crossers was reelected and he subsequently left UKIP and sat as an independent MP.)
However, if people voted Conservative, he, their prime minister, would call a referendum on Britain’s (and Gibraltar’s) future in the European Union.
Of course, Cameron didn’t believe for a second that he would have to actually call a referendum. When he was making these promises, the polls showed very clearly, that a Labour win was on the cards.
And even, had Labour not won, for the Conservatives to form another government they would have needed a coalition with the Lib Dems, and Cameron knew that Nick Clegg would make coalition dependent upon there being no referendum. (Clegg subsequently lost his seat in the 2017 election called by Theresa May to boost her majority, which left her in minority government, dependent for her existence on a hastily arranged, ill-advised and very expensive confidence and supply arrangement with a party from Northen Ireland. A party which back Brexit, against the will of the Northern Irish people.)
Smug, and satisfied as ever, Cameron thought he had it all in the palm of his hands.
No one had reckoned what a chaotic, useless and ultimately disastrous campaign Ed Miliband would run. He started off looking like little could stop him from becoming the next prime minister and ended up resigning and returning to the backbenches.
But Cameron, in a way, had also lost. He was left with little alternative but to call a referendum.
Still, the Eton boy, Oxford and Bullingdon culture pertained. He would win. Nothing would stop him. (And when Nicola Sturgeon reminded him that he might lose, he told her not to be silly.)
So, then he lost, and although he had previously promised to stay on and sort out the consequences of his referendum, he resigned as prime minister, and although he had further promised to stay on and serve his constituents, he resigned his seat in parliament, and took to a seriously expensive shed (£25,000) at the bottom of the garden to write his memoirs. (Apologies to Jacob for the comma before “and”.)
Being so sure of himself, as is his way, Cameron had failed to think about the consequences of his original plan and consider that it might, just might, go wrong.
And so today, having gone through 3 years of chaos with Theresa May dithering, holding an unnecessary election, losing cabinet members, signing an agreement with the EU, which was then rejected three times in parliament, and finally resigning to be replaced with something even worse… we are facing a hard Brexit, where there will likely be massive job losses, losses of rights, rising prices, falling standards, chaos and possibly riots. And, although it probably won’t initially affect the mainland, a possible return to civil war in Ireland.
Ironic, isn’t it, that this whole project was designed to keep the Tory Party together.
A thick posh boy plan gone horribly wrong.
The Tory party is split like never before, indeed some Tory MPs have crossed the floor and some are threatening to bring down the Tory government. A Tory ex-Prime Minister is threatening to take the government to court. Labour is split, and has lost MPs, and is utterly unfit for purpose. UKIP has split and largely been replaced by a party which has no policies except getting the UK out of Europe. The UK is split by countries and may end up dissolved. And Ireland is facing civil war.
Bravo, Dave, you wanted your legacy to be the “Big Society” (whatever happened to that?) and now it will be the probably break up of your precious union and of your party.
You complete and utter roasted posh boy wally!
Some hastily scribbled notes on the latest developments.
So we have eight-and-a-half months before we leave the EU. The last six of these are supposed to be for the consideration of the agreement between the UK and the EU negotiators by the Brussels parliament and by the parliaments of the 27 remaining members (including some regional or devolved parliaments).
So with effectively two-and-a-half months to go, the UK cabinet finally came to some sort of fractious agreement about a negotiating position, and, in keeping with the conduct of everything this Westminster government has done since Mrs May came to “power”, everything has fallen apart within hours.
Not only has David Davis resigned as Brexit Secretary, but two of his junior ministers have also gone. The department has been left even more rudderless than it was last week.
By anyone’s standards, the UK is in a bit of a laughing stock. In the two years since the referendum, until Friday, it had come up with no real suggestions about how to exit the EU. Friday’s agreement, unbelievably, was hailed as a success by May who then announced that the EU must now respond.
Probably before they do, though, they will want to read the proposals and meet new ministers “responsible”.
So far we know that Dominic Raab, a junior Housing Minister for the last few months, has been promoted to the Brexit cabinet post, arguably the most important job in government at the moment.
We don’t know a lot about him, especially in Scotland, because he’s an English MP and has been a relatively junior minister in English departments.
However, we do know that he is a solid Brexiteer, apparently trusted by the right wing of the party. In an earlier post at the English Ministry of Justice, he attempted to repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a British Bill of Rights. He failed, it is said, because he couldn’t come up with a plan that was legally literate. He was, they say, a slogans man. So Brexit means Brexit will be right up his street.
He also was a member of a Facebook Private group that advocated abolishing council housing and bringing back the workhouse.
That May appointed a man with views like that as a Housing Minister says a great deal about what kind of vision May has.
Raab is quoted as saying: “Food banks are not about poverty but people with a cashflow problem”. So that’s OK then. (Maybe people would have fewer cashflow problems if Esther McVey would get her head out of lying backside and sort out the horrific problems of Universal Credit.)
So, like I say, about 10 weeks to go before the final proposals have to be made and to call the government “chaotic” would be to compliment them.
I suppose that the next question is: What about Boris and his well-reported comments on the plan being a turd? I mean you can say what you will about Davis being lazy and incompetent, but at least when push came to shove he had the cojones to resign.
What about BoJo? Will he be gone by the end of the day? The BBC reports that he has gone into hiding and even the Whips can’t find him.
On the plus side, if he resigns it would mean that he won’t be obliged to meet with the Orange Moron this week.
TRY THIS ON FOR SIZE
It’s not an unreasonable interpretation, and I don’t doubt that it’s true, particularly when you consider where the majority of Leave votes came from. But, as you may remember, there were no questions on the ballot paper about levels of general satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Just a simple “Leave” or “Remain”.
What Mrs May is saying, it seems to me, is that in England and in Wales, with administrations run by the Tories and Labour respectively, people are fed up. Britain doesn’t work for them. They are not listened to. No one cares. Queens live in palaces, MPs get pay rises, Lords continue to be paid for sleeping while pensioners have to pay the bedroom tax, kids are hungry, and people sleep in the streets. They are dissatisfied, and because the tabloids have told them for years that everything,
that was wrong with Britain was wrong as a result of the UK’s membership of the European Union, and foreigners/immigrants being here, they chose to vote to leave.
Mrs May might like to take a lead from the administrations in parts of Britain which did not vote to leave the world’s biggest trading block: Gibraltar, Northern Ireland and Scotland, if she is looking for inspiration on how to make things work for people who didn’t go to Eton or Oxford; maybe those who don’t have titles, aren’t royal or indeed who hold other “celebrity status”.
And given that both Northern Ireland and Gibraltar have close cross-border ties with their “foreign” neighbours, and therefore have a desperate need to stay attached to Europe, if I were her, I should concentrate on how things are done in Scotland.
Mrs May indicated yesterday in a nervous jittery stammering tv interview that there was little chance of the UK remaining in a single market with Europe, the result of which was that the pound lost 1% of its value. This may be seen as another disappointment for people who haven’t been listened to.
You see, that WASN’T what folk were led to believe, at least by the ever hopeful Mr Davis.
And you could understand, given the current mess of the English Health Service before the worst of the winter has actually happened, that people may be wondering where the £350 million a week that it was promised on the side of that bus, has gone.
If I were Mrs May I’d start delivering. Reducing tax for the better off and imposing bedroom tax on pensioners, allowing people to die after 30+ hour waits on trollies, having to depend on the Red Cross for medical care isn’t what folk were expecting. And frankly, an extra few million for mental health issues that apparently affect 25% of the population, is a slap in the face to the sufferers and clinicians alike.
Oh, and for those that thought that all would be well with their workplace, here’s a little reminder of the way the trade secretary’s mind is working (if you can read that without choking with laughter).
Aye, that’s your job that will be deregulated. Enjoy!