Category Archives: #Brexit

Screw democracy!

"Oh Tony! I love it when you talk dirty...!"

“Oh Tony! I love it when you talk dirty…!”

Unsurprisingly, yesterday’s speech on Brexit by the discredited ex-pM Tony Blair has been met with vociferous condemnation – except from other seriously deluded people like Nicola Sturgeon and Tim Farron of course…

So, let’s look at the main points he was making in an attempt to resurrect his political corpse :

(1) ‘We didn’t understand what we were voting for‘ – Well I don’t know about you, but I knew exactly what I was voting for, and that’s taking this country out from under the jackboot of the Fourth Reich and all that is entailed in that!

(2) ‘I can honestly say that during all my time as PM there was no major domestic law that I wanted to pass which Europe told me I couldn’t‘ was Blair argument about the ECJ. He claimed that no-one could possibly use the ECJ as an argument for leaving the EU. Trouble is, Mr Blair, that you’re deliberately misrepresenting the facts. The ECJ might have never stopped you enacting one of your laws, but they sure as hell prevented us from not implementing one of theirs.

(3) Migration is not, according to Blair, a major issue. Well he would say that wouldn’t he? He’s the guy that failed to implement interim measures to prevent a flood of immigrants from eastern Europe. He’s the guy that went out of his way to flood the country with immigrants so they would all vote Labour. We don’t want to ban immigration, we just want it controlled by the UK instead of Brussels!

(4) ‘The two great achievements of British diplomacy of the last decades in Europe – namely the single market and European enlargement – are now apparently the two things we most regret and want to rid ourselves of.’ Well, he got that one spot on. These are exactly why many of us voted to leave. We don’t mind the single market and you don’t have to be in it to trade with it. China and America aren’t in the single market but it doesn’t stop them selling into it. And we definitely don’t want to be a region of Federal Europe.

(5) Scotland will go their own way – Well, to be honest, if the whole of the UK had had a say, Scotland would already be on it’s own way. Scotland voted to remain in the EU AND the UK. Give Sturgeon her second referendum. Polls in Scotland now reveal that less people support independence that last time round so go on. I dare you!

(6) ‘[Brexit] will not mean more money for the NHS but less‘ – absolute bollocks! We’ll be billions better off without the EU so how the hell does he work this one out? And let’s bear in mind that it was Blair who gave away the rebate that Thatcher fought so hard to get…

(7) ‘Negotiation should include the possibility of Britain staying in a reformed Europe‘ – Get real Mr Blair. The EU is NOT going to reform. You know that perfectly well and so do we.

(8) Brexiteers ‘will say leaving is inevitable. It isn’t.’ Er, yes it is Tony because once Article 50 is triggered, we on our way. There is no mechanism for cancelling it.

(9) Remainers should ‘rise up‘ against the government. Well, I thought we had laws against incitement to riot in this country and calls to overthrow the elected government were treason last time I looked, so Blair needs to watch his words carefully. We know Heath lied when he took us in and it seems to me that Blair’s interpretation of the facts is somewhat debatable?

Interestingly, the latest ICM polls reveal that there is a clear majority of 68 per cent of voters wanting ministers to get on with implementing the EU referendum result. Significantly, more Remain voters agree than disagree, at 42 per cent compared with 33 per cent.

A separate survey showed 74 per cent of the public view Mr Blair unfavourably, compared with just 14 per cent who like him. Remain supporters are also heavily against him. This would seem to indicate that Mr Blair’s scantily concealed launch of a new political party with him as it’s head brooks little popular support, but then that never did stop Teflon Tony.

There was a great comment from Caroline Lucas – a person with who I cannot recall a single solitary occasion of agreeing with until now. She said ‘To be perfectly frank it would be better if Blair butted out and left this debate to people who haven’t betrayed the trust of British people‘ Quite so!

But my final word on this goes to Norman Tebbitt, who simply said ‘Tony Blair should go back to doing what he does best – making money and crawling up the backsides of foreign governments.’ I think that sums it up nicely, Norman…

The Battle of Stoke

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Thursday next week could prove an interesting day for British politics with by-elections in Stoke-on-Trent and Copeland in Cumbria. Labour have held onto both these seats since before WWII, but according to latest news WWIII is erupting in Stoke…

UKIP leader Paul Nuttall, a working class grass roots scouser, is contesting the seat hoping to upset the Labour monopoly – and according to the latest polls he has a good chance of succeeding. In the referendum, 70% of the Stoke electorate voted to leave the EU. The incumbent MP Tristram Hunt is baling out of the Corbynistas to take up a post at the V&A in London. Presumably he doesn’t reckon much of Labour’s chances at the next election and like many others is quitting now whilst a lucrative job is in the offing. Who could blame him?

So Labour’s militant left is responding in the way it knows best. There have been violent demonstrations at UKIP meetings, the house that Nuttall is using in the constituency has had it’s address published on the internet – prompting hate mail and two break ins. In one case a female UKIP worker was terrorised when she was alone in the building. Death threats have been made against Nuttall and only today it has been reported that Farage and Nuttall were egged in the street on their way to a meeting. Typical Momentum tactics that we’ve seen before.

And just to prove that Labour really doesn’t have a clue, their candidate Gareth Snell is a rampant Europhile who has described Brexit as a “massive pile of shit” in a rant on Twitter. This is a clear vote winner in a heavily Eurosceptic constituency. In fact Labour are so out of touch that they’ve told their own leader to stay away because they think he’s “not an asset on the doorstep”. You couldn’t make it up…

In Copeland it’s a bit more laid back – but not a lot. The biggest employer in the region is the Sellafield nuclear plant. Corbyn’s Labour opposes the expansion of nuclear power. Another vote winner there then? And ironically the by election has been called because the sitting Labour MP Jamie Reed is leaving to take up the post of Head of Development & Community Relations at none other than Sellafield. Reed is a vociferous Corbyn critic and clearly realised his chances of deselection are pretty damned high.

I doubt we’ve seen the last of Labour MPs getting out while the going is good. With Corbyn in charge, they know the party is unelectable so why hang around waiting for the chop either from their own party or the electorate?

Nuttall should win Stoke easily whereas Copeland looks a little closer with the Tories hoping to take the seat. Whatever happens, it looks dismal for Labour. So are we watching the first death throws of a once major party? With the shift of UKIP to targeting traditionally Labour strongholds in the north of England, things ain’t exactly looking rosy…

and they’ve only themselves to blame!

The era of ‘post-truth’

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I was appalled to hear a politician talking the other day about ‘the post-truth era’ in relation to all the hoo-hah going on across the pond about Trump’s protestations regarding fake news.

‘Post-truth’ is not a new phenomenon. Wikipedia defines it as “a culture in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored.” It’s been going on for years and, ironically, it has taken the ascendancy to the presidency of a man who does the exact opposite to bring it to a head.

You might not like Trump, but the fact is that when he was campaigning he promised, amongst other things, to build a ‘great big beautiful wall’ across the Mexican border, suspend immigration from countries linked to terrorism ‘until we figure out what the hell is going on’ and to repeal Obamacare. He did all three of these in his first week and people are up in arms about it even though he did exactly what he said he was going to do – something unheard of in the era of post truth politics.

I remember recently having a spat with a fellow blogger about Cuba. Whatever I said made no difference. His opinion was his opinion no matter how I rebutted his arguments and answered his direct questions. He regards me as a pig he was trying to teach to sing. This is a classic reaction to post truth. The ‘facts’ I was being shown were to say the least unsubstantiated and politically motivated. They may well have been true, but the truth is that nobody really knows and if they were true then the reaction was still emotional rather than rational.

During the Brexit campaign we were constantly fed unsubstantiated opinion and speculation presented as truth. In the end, Project Fear turned out to be wholesalely wrong, but that didn’t prevent organisations like the BBC – which used to pride itself on being politically unbiased – presenting it as truth. We see the media across the globe doing exactly the same thing.

And now fake news is bring weaponised in all sorts of fields, political, diplomatic, and economic. Listen to CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and Russia Today relating the same news story and you get totally contradictory presentation of the so called facts. I suspect that none of them are actually presenting facts at all – just opinions and spin. As a wise man once said – ‘There are three sides to every story : your’s, mine and the truth!

Facts are facts. The problem is that nobody actually knows what they are any more…

Well, there’s a surprise…!

Supreme court judges arrive in London to deliver their verdict...

Supreme court judges arrive in London to deliver their verdict…

Actually, it wasn’t a surprise at all was it? It was, however, a spectacular waste of time, effort and money…

Everybody knew well in advance that the Supreme Court would reject the Government’s appeal on triggering Article 50. It was probably the UK’s worst kept secret. So what can we take away from it?

Well, it was a split decision so interestingly not all of the learned judges agreed. That aside, the government will now have to introduce a bill to parliament and take a vote on it. Labour, of course, want to obfuscate by banging on about detailed plans and protecting workers rights whilst at the same time knowing damn well they ain’t going to get detail and that nobody is suggesting that there will be any erosion of workers’ rights. And in any case does anyone know what Jeremy Corbyn’s position on all this is anyway?

David Davies’ statement on all this was simple : “It will be a very short bill!”

The only good thing to come out of all this is the ruling by the Supreme Court that the devolved assemblies in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland have no power over the UK government and cannot hold it to ransom. Sure, Westminster will listen to them but I’d like to be a fly on the wall in Holyrood when Sturgeon is told that there’s bugger all she can do to frustrate Westminster.

For me the whole sorry farce is worth it for that moment alone…

Get ’em by balls…

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So Theresa May gives her first full interview on Sky News. To be fair, May has never been famous for giving much away to interviewers. She has been described as the hardest PM to interview since Atlee, so although Sophy Ridge did her best, it’s not surprising that May stood firm and gave little away.

Much has been spouted by her political opponents about hard and soft Brexit and lack of stated government policy. May was pretty scathing about her predecessor – especially concerning his total lack of preparation for a leave vote. The point is that Cameron was so arrogant that a leave vote was unthinkable, so no need to plan.

Whilst all this going on, the then Home Secretary was doing a John Major who famously developed political tooth ache during Thatcher’s final hours and then knifed her in the back. May was keeping her powder dry and avoiding Cameron’s pressure to declare her position as his position which it now seems it never was?

Her position is now becoming clearer. She believes that control over immigration and law outweighs membership of the single market. I believe she is right. We will still sell to the EU without being a member because it is in both parties interests for this to happen.

This is the so called ‘cake and eat it’ option. Brussels says it won’t happen but May just might pull it off. She’s an accomplished politician and no what you think of her, she’s nobody’s fool. As Spiro Agnew once famously said ‘When you have them by the balls, then the head and the heart follow!’ so never mind grabbing them by the pussy, grab ’em by the balls.

Ironically the person with the most balls appears to be a woman. Brexit? Bring it on and watch the woman play hardball…