Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 04, 2019

A Brexit Thread

I give way to the Leader of The House of Commons the right honorable Jacob William Rees-Mogg.

source (vid) - bigger

The Parliament of the UK just voted 329-300 for the preliminary approval of a bill aimed at preventing a no-deal Brexit. The bill requires the government to seek an extension to Article 50 if it does not have a deal for the UK’s exit from the EU. There is now a discussion about various amendments to the bill which will then need a second and third vote to become law.

Even if the bill becomes law it is is not assured that the Boris Johnson government would follow it.


Posted by b on September 4, 2019 at 16:37 UTC | Permalink

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The reason trucks will be stuck in queues for days is simple. If england leaves the EU without negotiating some solutions to issues raised by the change of england no longer being in the 'eurozone' trading area, every truck entering or leaving england will have to hand in a customs declaration and pay whatever tariff the particular class of goods the truck carries is due to be charged.

england has always had duties or tariffs on goods it imports from nations outside the eu (the same as just about every other nation state).

Now while it could in theory, just wave all trucks through not collecting duty on any trucks from the EU; within days smarties would be shipping in goods from outside the EU that had been routed through France, Belgium or the Netherlands. As long as the importer could show the EU country that these goods aren't going to be used or sold inside the EU which is easy as the carrier can grab proof as he drives the goods onto a ferry for england they won't pay any duty and suddenly england primary (farming) and secondary (manufacturing) industries are being undercut by goods which tariffs have usually protected them from - including american stuff that has been subsidized with state and federal handouts for drought/hurricane/vote for me nonsense.

No economy could withstand the pressure that would be caused by such a distorted market and that is only the beginning. Many of the grumpy old dingbats who want a no deal brexit want that because they reckon then england can stop the 'fuzzy wuzzies' getting into 'their' nation - forgetting of course that there are far more englanders and their descendants smeared across this planet than there are fuzzy-wuzzies and their descendants in england.
No inspections would also mean that right from day one of brexit truckloads of desperate humans from across the planet will be stacked into containers and shipped into england - so there goes that excuse.

According to the copious leaks outta the public servants, the tory ninnies have devoted zilch resources to recruiting sufficient staff, or upgrading systems to speed up the essential manual inspection process at england's borders.

Brexit need not mean no deal, a gradual exit could be negotiated but that wouldn't suit the slimy types who have funded the propaganda behind brexit tory style because if anyone bothers to cast their memories back to march 2017 when the maybot sent out the article 50 'intention to leave the EU' thingy, they should recall that the first thing EU boss Tusk said was that the most intolerable type of england for them would be one where england set up a low or no tax regime next door as that would attract dodgers setting up schemes to avoid paying the tax they owed to EU nations.

A fair enough point when one considers that so-called 'British Overseas Territories' currently sluice more than 80 of all corporate tax 'avoidance' through their banks - setting up england as a tax haven next door to the EU would mean that not only would euro countries dip out collecting most of the taxes owed on corporate profits, now they would lose a huge chunk of indirect tax, aka consumption tax or VAT, once the sleazos crafted schemes of avoidance.
It is only a matter of time before the EU legislates to bar member states or their dependencies from having tax havens at all, which is why Cameron was lured into going head down bum up to facilitate a quick brexit.

The one thing the tories most want - for them and their backers, is to cease paying any tax on anything anywhere is the thing the rest of the EU is most determined to prevent, this is the crux of why the english tory government cannot reach agreement on a deal with the EU, why they never will, and why a change of government in england could give ordinary englanders the thing they claim to want most, a trouble free departure from the EU.

Jeremy Corbyn is determined to ensure that the current brit tax avoidance industry ceases. I suppose one could argue that his interest is chiefly in preventing UK tax avoidance, but unless he really needs a weapon to slap EU member states around the head, he will be most likely to close the entire shady bizness down because history has taught us allowing tax avoidance for any state ultimately means tax avoidance everywhere as the greedies make sure to route all invoices etc thru whatever country can create tax loopholes.

Posted by: A User | Sep 5 2019 7:24 utc | 101

lol @ the pic!

Posted by: mikk | Sep 5 2019 7:38 utc | 102

I just want to say as an American, that watching this I feel somewhat less embarassed by the pitiful state of our own political circus. I think I am finally starting to understand it a little, thanks to the many helpful commenters here.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 5 2019 7:42 utc | 103

Back in 1689, the Earl of Shaftesbury declared, "The Parliament of England is that supreme and absolute power, which gives life and motion to the English government".
Finally, as a non-USian, I wish that all Americans would fuck off telling other countries how they should run themselves until they've sorted out that shithole of venality, corruption and viciousness aka the US Congress.
Posted by: Ghost Ship @ 49

Mr. Ghost ship.. i wonder if you understand the governed in America, Briton, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia and many other places are in a humanity, specific to each government, common situation. The governed in each are trying to get those who have the control over the awesome powers inherent in governments to respect the freedoms and the human rights of those such governments governs. <=Its not that anyone is against their government in any way, or even that the governed are against a government run by a special wealthy few, it is that the governed want and are entitled to expect that whatever government; does the governing, that such government will unconditionally respect the human rights of the governed, and reflect in their governing actions, the economic and political wishes of the governed, instead of promoting the needs of the elite over the needs of the governed masses. The governed expect their governments to do the things that make the quality of life for the governed to be better, instead of abusing the governed by privatizing government services and franchising to private interest, the public goods and starting wars, for the governed to go fight in far away place. None of these kinds of things serve interest common to all.

The governed expect those that use the structure of governments to govern them: to improve the quality of life for the governed masses and to avoid foreign wars instead of spending public resources to instigate them. Western governments, especially those that operate as top down controlled (like Republics, or Kingdoms and such) have for too long failed those expectations, they promise democracy, but have established into law, procedures and methods, captured the media distribution outlets and used them to promote psychologically engineered propaganda, established gating procedures that deny the masses decent educational and employment opportunity, have entrenched and cloaked themselves in secrecy, and have programmed the entire governed society to adopt things completely foreign and often antithetical to the needs of the governed masses. For too long the power of the people to decide for themselves has been denied by the elites in control of the governments. Its subtle but the power inherent in the masses has been removed to the few and the agent of that removal has been these elite controlled governments.
The few have used government to sequestered for themselves a protected exalted own-everything rule-everything[set of social and wealth clubs, that admit only elites, and issue to each member a get out of jail free card.

Your wish to keep the discussion of the Bexit issue contained within the UK nation state is a case in point. The suppression of discussion concerning human rights and the right of self determination is exactly the fault of the nation state system because dividing humans into containers, serves to allow the elites to deny each human confined within, his or her say, his or her rights, etc.and it allows the elites to control the thinking processes of the governed. The problem is just your wish, that non UK contained humanity remain quite while the elites at the UK figure out what to do with the Brits contained within the human container (United Kingdom).
As I see it, human rights are superior to nation state rights. Thank you for the opportunity and privilege to disagree.

Posted by: snake | Sep 5 2019 8:38 utc | 104

For those who missed it, the Daily Mash also has this covered

Posted by: Stubbs | Sep 5 2019 9:30 utc | 105

The No Deal Brexit Charade No Backstop No Problem Iain Davis

Posted by: Nick Bailey | Sep 5 2019 10:37 utc | 106

There will be a general election, just not before an extension.

There will be an extension, as the alternative to Boris Johnson asking the EU is a non confidence vote and MPs forming a caretaker government asking the EU.

The general election will be about BREXIT, as an extension is not a deal. The British public maybe split about BREXIT but they are not split about a Non Deal Brexit.

Boris Johnson will have to run on a non deal Brexit, while Corbyn will run on a deal exit.

The conservatives presumably would have been able to solve their EXIT if they had agreed - as was offered - to include all of Ireland into the EU economy for the negotiation period after exiting. Britain minus Northern Ireland would have been free to do any trade deals they wanted, after that. They could not do this because of the DUP, their majority depended on. They would presumably also have been able to do a Brexit deal had they cooperated with Labour.

In terms of politics it is Corbyn 1 Boris Johnson 0. There are no good options for Boris Johnson now. He has lost parliamentary majority.

British democracy is doing fine.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 5 2019 10:58 utc | 107

It seems obvious to me that ruling out a no deal Brexit is to enter negotiations with no leverage at all. It is akin to haggling for an item after telling the vendor that you must have that item at all costs, totally insane. I also think it obvious that the remainers know that and their only purpose is to kick the can further down the road. We have had three years to prepare and those years have been deliberately wasted by a pro remain prime minister, the resulting uncertainty has cost the UK more than any hard Brexit would have done.

The EU, having already lost the Russian food market due to their slavish obedience to the western globalist oligarchy cannot afford to lose the UK market as well. They sell far more to us than we sell to them, they need us as much as we need them.

The only really awkward subject is the Irish border question, in my view the only possible resolution to that one is a united Ireland, either in the UK or in the EU.

Posted by: MarkU | Sep 5 2019 11:17 utc | 108

Posted by: somebody | Sep 5 2019 10:58 utc | 105

"Corbyn will run on a deal exit."

--Corbyn will run on a deal exit (that he is utterly disingenuous about) and he will parade his emotional vacuous nonsense about and somehow some people will still support him.

The House has stuck Itself in the corner of a round room. [doing fine...]

Posted by: Anacharsis | Sep 5 2019 11:37 utc | 109

Ash Naz #68.

Those 17 million people are now fewer than 8 million (polls showing substantial drift to the remain camp by exit voters of 2016, substantial regaining of sanity, and significant mortality of the senescent 2016 voters from the electoral roll (doubly reinforced by 16-17 yo in 2016 now eligible (and 93-98% remain per polls)).

The British parliament should tell those 8 million to fuck off to the USA which is what they are bringing about behind the "bring back sovereignty" rubbish. Good riddance to them.

Posted by: Plod | Sep 5 2019 12:15 utc | 110

Vk: demos means people.

Jackrabbit: I have to agree and those are big illustrative examples of how voters, people in general whether they vote or not, as well as any majority of people are not represented or respected in the many different countries claiming to be democratic.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Sep 5 2019 12:46 utc | 111

Posted by: MarkU | Sep 5 2019 11:17 utc | 110

"It seems obvious to me that ruling out a no deal Brexit is to enter negotiations with no leverage at all. "

There was never any leverage to begin with. A country of 66 million threatening to close its market to an entity of 450 million (EU) - maybe more with Canada and Mexico - with a future perspective of a market of 330 million (US) plus higher cost of transport or competing with China on the world market is not leverage.

Having an industry integrated into EU supply chains hollows the threat completely.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 5 2019 12:56 utc | 112

Snippets of a conversation from one hundred years in the future:

I don't understand why we need a constitution. After all, Britain has the Koran.

Posted by: morongobill | Sep 5 2019 13:56 utc | 113

Posted by: morongobill | Sep 5 2019 13:56 utc | 113


Sounds interesting but is not likely to happen to non Islam citizens as there is no precedent for sharia in Britain.

If you have an Islamic marriage it has already happened in British courts.

British common law is messy but has an impressive tendency to work.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 5 2019 14:42 utc | 114

Brexit possible outcomes:

UK revokes article 50. “Accepted up until the very last minute” - Macron.

UK + EU ratify the Withdrawal Agreement.

UK crashes out without a deal.

other > .. UK + EU agree to an extension of the 'crash-out' deadline.

Which does not change the situation, merely buys 'time', and might not even happen.

The Lords might not accept the bill preventing no deal, the Queen might intervene, not give Assent (prob. not? idk how this level works ..)..

update: House of Lords states it will go thru.

Bojo might refuse to request an extension on some arcane grounds, be facing vote of no confidence, other, or might quit.

The EU has to agree to a time extension. The sound bites are not in favor, various are getting fed up with prolonging the agony of uncertainty. Macron fears ‘owning’ a crash-out, but I reckon by now he can garner quite some support and Merkel will find it hard to argue for / impose another extension. In any case, the EU will deem a short, ex. 3 months, extension completely useless, as no agreement can be reached in that time span. Too many political games and lies are being used in the UK, irrelevant to EU ‘unity’ or whatever it likes to praise itself for — the game-playing is ostensibly despised.

Lastly, possibly Bojo could himself veto his own request for an extension (UK still a member of EU!), or could prod one or another of the 27 member(s) to de facto veto an extension.

Show-Down-Time coming up quickly. Problem: nobody wants to own it.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 5 2019 14:42 utc | 115

Corbyn's morning message:

"This is incredible.

"When we've stopped No Deal we need a General Election. So make sure you can actually vote in it.

"Register to vote today:..."

As reported above, the Lords have said No Deal will go through; so, step one's accomplished. Next will come the vote on the General Election. It should be noted that Craig Murray's pushing for Scotland to vote on Independence prior to the UK General Election, which is an important issue that deserves watching. BoJo's brother's resigned his seat--Ouch!! So, we'll need to wait and see what the late afternoon and evening bring.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 5 2019 15:39 utc | 116

this article got me to thinking of the parallels with the uk leave vote and hong kong protesters... it seems both britian and hong kong have lost the prestige they have associated with their home base from an historical point of view.. they want it back and this is how they are going about it... i don't think it will work.. they both suffer from a changing world that is leaving them behind.. on the other hand, if the uk is able to leave, it might reinvigorate the country to get it's shit together... at present it is falling apart...

A 'pure product of the British elite': How Europe sees Boris Johnson's Brexit manoeuvres this is a cbc article from today.....

Posted by: james | Sep 5 2019 15:53 utc | 117

There's plenty of nonsense among the previous comments.

The fact is that the UK population was lied to in the 2016 referendum campaign. They voted in favour of a theoretical Brexit, a Brexit that could not exist: a unicorn and rainbows Brexit. If people had been told the truth - including thousands of job losses and the breakup of the Union, i.e the consequent departure of Northern Ireland and Scotland from the UK - the result might have been very different.

Following the referendum on the theory of Brexit, we need a new referendum on the reality of Brexit - meaning, the real choice between the 2 options we can actually achieve; specifically, Teresa May's deal and remaining in the EU. Given those 2 choices, I think most people will choose to remain: they would think it unacceptable to be aligned with the EU economically without any say politically.

Posted by: geralds | Sep 5 2019 16:22 utc | 118

Seems that yesterday was the final straw for the Boris.
He was going to need a 2/3 majority in the UK parliament to be able to call a General Election.
And he was never going to get that kind of majority.
Daniel Hannan tweeted
“The worst constitutional outrage of all is for MPs to refuse a dissolution, keeping in place a government they have calculatedly undermined, for the sole purpose of undoing a referendum result they had promised to uphold. Do they take us all for idiots?”
To which I tweeted in reply

chris m @meiji1869

Sep 4
Replying to
Corbyn not agreeing to calling a general election, (at this particular moment), would be the smartest thing he's done in his entire life.

Corbyn (notwithstanding the usual rhetoric, ie him always demanding a GE asap) would have been an idiot to have agreed to such a GE.
besides as everyone well knows the Labour Party is well down in the pols (although things can change in an election campaign, very much doubt that Labour could possibly win (they have about 10 to 1 chance with bookmakers,currently
although I assume that their best hope would be to end up in a coalition government with the LibDems (a much higher chance) and under those circumstances the campaign to leave the EU would be well and truly over.

Always thought of the Boris as a sort of opportunist.
His problem was that he needed to take his opportunity when it arose, and that was 3 years ago when there was a vacancy for the leadership of the Tory party, and hence a new PM.
Boris skipped his chance (when he was odds on favourite).
This opened up the way for Theresa May ( a remainer) to take charge.
Her calling a general election when the Tories already had a decent working majority was perhaps the dummest thing she could have done.

That is why we are currently in the present mess.
All the Boris has done in recent days have been to make things worse.
(delaying opening of Parliament, and finally the expulsion of various MPs
(inc some who have served the country, as ministers, well over the past 30+ years)

Posted by: chris m | Sep 5 2019 16:30 utc | 119

Commons to vote Monday on GE according to this tweeted vid:

"Jacob Rees-Mogg @CommonsLeader announces Monday's business - including another vote on an early general election."

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 5 2019 16:37 utc | 120

ps technically speaking a lot of people (such as myself) support the Boris in his endeavours to leave the EU.

technically that is.

although there is always another side to oneself
that secretly hopes to win (ie leave)
and another side that hopes the opposite.

and that perfectly describes the current situation.

ie UK votes to leave; then proceeds to make a complete cock-up
of the entire leave process (and probably ends up staying in after all)

Posted by: chris m | Sep 5 2019 16:49 utc | 121

@121 nobody

That is the Pakistanis who marry first cousins, causing all sorts of birth defects that end up costing the NHS millions.

Posted by: TJ | Sep 5 2019 17:03 utc | 122

@127 nobody

From your 121

Thousands in UK born

Perhaps you know of thousands of Royals born of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert by some Steampunk Victorian in vitro fertilisation clinic, I however have not been able to find them, perhaps you can let me know where they are all hiding?

Posted by: TJ | Sep 5 2019 17:49 utc | 123

TJ | Sep 5 2019 17:49 utc | 128

Good guys with a pleasant character stay fair even if they are outwitted.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Sep 5 2019 18:15 utc | 124

Good article recapping recent events while spotlighting the massive surge in voter registration--Corbyn's tweet on the matter is an attempt to keep that momentum up, not get it into motion. The Stop The Coup Petition has garnered well over the required number of signatures for Parliament to discuss the issue, which was added to Monday's business. An intriguing poll asking deal or no deal is also linked that merits investigation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 5 2019 18:28 utc | 125

@ somebody (113)

I specifically mentioned food imports, something which you have chosen to ignore. If a point cannot be made fairly then perhaps it is not a valid point at all.

Posted by: MarkU | Sep 5 2019 19:56 utc | 126

Posted by: MarkU | Sep 5 2019 19:56 utc | 131

Sure, EU exports a lot of agriculture to Britain.

You have to wonder though who will be on the receiving end of Brexit - the UK consumer or the EU producer. Some 73% of food imports in Britain come from the EU and

UK exports and imports of agri-food products from third countries benefitted until now from the terms negotiated by the Union with its trade partners (EU international agreements). When the UK is no longer a Member State, it will no longer be part of these agreements.
in a no deal scenario, international agreements concluded by the EU will no longer apply to the UK. Free trade agreement provisions remain unaltered for the EU (e.g. market access, tariff rate quotas) and EU traders need to check rules of origin as UK ingredients will no longer be considered EU origin. Only a future EU-UK agreement could change some modalities regarding bilateral agreements.

Half of the food in Britain is imported.

I don't think the EU feels particularly threatened by a British threat to shop elsewhere.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 5 2019 22:23 utc | 127

@121... so they will try again with a GE scheduled for a different date?

Posted by: ptb | Sep 6 2019 0:50 utc | 128

ptb @133--

That's how I read the situation. We'll find out Monday!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 4:29 utc | 129

An election would be the normal next step but remainer MPs may be attempting a policy of "stay and revoke" where they keep the existing government & PM in place and just control it and, in time, instruct the PM to revoke Article 5O. Other options such as replacing the government without an election or instructing the Speaker to Article 50 also fit into This strategy.

This following LSE article from March 2019 sets out the intellectual and legal justification.

We can and should Revoke Article 50.

Such a "hidden" or "unelected" government could be in power for the next two years (because of the fixed term parliament act). The majority of MPs want to remain and many MPs will be losing their seats anyway, so why not?

In my view such a strategy will have severe unintended consequences so I would like to see an election called on Monday. But Labour is split on the issue between those led by Corbyn, who want an election, and those led by Starmer, who is obviously following a "stay and revoke" strategy.

(Many might be puzzled at the apparent absence of Tom Watson during this contentious period? In my view he is the "stay behind" asset, the "clean skin", and will not involve himself in the current controversy so that he remains untainted by any fallout.)

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 6 2019 9:08 utc | 130

My post @130 would have read...

"... or instructing the Speaker to revoke Article 50 also fit into this strategy.

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 6 2019 9:13 utc | 131

@121... so they will try again with a GE scheduled for a different date?

Posted by: ptb | Sep 6 2019 0:50 utc | 128 + karloff 129.

They still won't get it the second time round. The opposition parties are set against it. And Johnson no longer has even a simple majority. It's the same blank wall as May faced. Johnson and his guru Cummings have been looking pretty shaken up the last couple of days. A change of policy is what is needed, not simple determination to bash on.

Posted by: Laguerre | Sep 6 2019 9:54 utc | 132

This fear of a no deal scenario is unwarranted. There always existed an option for a smooth post no-deal transition if wanted (I dont support free trade agenda whether in EU or not). To abandon no deal preparations was sheer treachery as is ruling out no deal option. Unforgiveable

Posted by: Nick Bailey | Sep 6 2019 10:11 utc | 133

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 6 2019 9:08 utc | 130

"In my view such a strategy will have severe unintended consequences"

--Absolutely. When it is genuinely difficult to figure who is shooting whoseself in the foot more catastrophically... the Citizen's servants have lost the plot.

Posted by: Anacharsis | Sep 6 2019 10:22 utc | 134

Laguerre @132

What you are describing is a hidden "unelected government" maintaining the existing "legitimate but powerless government" as a "puppet" or "figleaf" behind which real power is actually wielded by what would be described as "the remainers". In other countries, such machinations often lead to civil war.

It would be far preferable for "the remainers" to openly take power (i.e. form a government) than to go down this path. But, they won't do this because it would be apparent to all that such a government hasn't been elected, would lack legitimacy and consequently could not persist for long (which is why they are attracted to the idea of maintaing the current Conservative government as a "puppet" or "figleaf").

Nothing good will come of this for the UK or for the EU. Calling an election on Monday is the only sensible course.

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 6 2019 10:30 utc | 135

Josh @10 YES!

Posted by: Jayne | Sep 6 2019 13:53 utc | 136

Laguerre | Sep 6 2019 9:54 utc | 132--

"The opposition parties are set against it [an election]."

I think you're mistaken. Why would Corbyn promote registering to vote so prominently if not to do his upmost to gain a majority for Labour and a controlled Leave? Three out of the first five of Corbyn's Tweets this morning are all about registering to vote and the election

1--"When No Deal is off the table, once and for all, we should go back to the people in a public vote or a General Election to decide our country’s future."

2--"Boris Johnson doesn't want you to be able to vote. Make sure you can."

3--"It takes two minutes [to register to vote], no excuses.
➡️Share ➡️This ➡️Video ➡️
🗳 …"

IMO, Corbyn may not like Leave, but it's the expressed will of the people, and he most certainly loathes the Tories and Neoliberalism far more and knows repairing that damage is more easily done outside the EU than within. Pragmatically, he wants to do all he can to improve Labour's odds of winning a majority through the GE so he can govern unencumbered.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 16:17 utc | 137

karlof1 @137

Corbyn is a leaver who would prefer a negotiated brexit. Corbyn has a long history of wishing to leave the EU and is strongly associated with Tony Benn (sadly passed) who was a strong campaigner and intellect against the EU.

Corbyn is under pressure to agree to campaign only for remain; so far he has always come up with a form of words that keeps a negotiated brexit as part of Labour policy even though this is in direct contradiction of Starmer's policy statements. Starmer is the lead person of the remain group of MPs who are pressuring Corbyn.

Labour MPs are split on the issue but a majority appear to be remainers. However, the minority of Labour MPs in favour of leaving the EU are not insignificant and can't be ignored.

Corbyn would like an election as soon as possible but Starmer almost certainly has a "stay and revoke" position.

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 6 2019 16:46 utc | 138

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 16:17 utc | 137

Corbyn may not like Leave, but it's the expressed will of the people, and he most certainly loathes the Tories and Neoliberalism far more and knows repairing that damage is more easily done outside the EU than within.

"When No Deal is off the table, once and for all".....a controlled leave.

I can't imagine why anyone is still talking in terms of a "deal". If there ever was a deal on the table, there certainly no longer is. Especially now that so many MPs have broadcast to Brussels that under no circumstances will they leave with no deal.

And Corbyn is one of those broadcasters. If he's serious when he offers the voters the prospect of a Brexit deal ("When No Deal is off the table, once and for all, we should go back to the people in a public vote or a General Election to decide our country’s future."), that sure does nothing to improve my already low opinion of his political intelligence.

Of course it's possible that in his mind he's 100% Remain, and is just being a typically cynical and deceptive politician.

Posted by: Russ | Sep 6 2019 16:47 utc | 139

Posted by: Russ | Sep 6 2019 16:47 utc | 139

"Of course it's possible that in his mind he's 100% Remain, and is just being a typically cynical and deceptive politician."

--Ockham's razor. (However, ADKC @ 138--& 130--does have a fair point in saying: "Corbyn would like an election as soon as possible but Starmer almost certainly has a "stay and revoke" position.")

Posted by: Anacharsis | Sep 6 2019 17:17 utc | 140

ADKC @138--

Thanks very much for your reply! My neglect of Starmer reveals my lack of knowledge of UK's political actors, which I find impossible to follow close enough since I don't live there. So, what of all these youngsters registering to vote? Does anyone have a clue how they'll vote? By inference, Corbyn seems to think he knows which is why he's so strongly behind their participation. I don't know for certain but I get a sense that those in the UK understand the crucial significance of the current Political Fight and its relation to their personal wellbeing and future, meaning 90+% will vote.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 18:19 utc | 141

Not for Labour...

Posted by: Anacharsis | Sep 6 2019 18:34 utc | 142

As usual I am really late, don't have time to go through all the comments, so risk repeating what others have said. The problem of no deal Brexit is not primarily tariffs, it is the treatment of VAT (sales tax). If the UK reverts to the VAT deferment system which was in place before the UK went into the EU, this will cause bankruptcies amongst the Mittelstand, and hence the strengthening of the Big Boys, as it immediately takes 20% out of all importers’ cash flow, which will fatal for some.

Posted by: Montreal | Sep 6 2019 18:41 utc | 143

Anacharsis @142--

I infer you're replying to my query. Do you have any evidence to back your assertion?

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 18:43 utc | 144

Karlof1@ 144
It is not just those in Oregon who don’t have the first idea of how the UK as a whole sees Corbyn. Over here we don’t either, the water has been so badly fouled. The MSM and especially the BBC in the UK have for years poured so much shit over his head that you would think he was a new Mussolini. But probably the younger crowd nowadays don’t read the MSM. I know that my son and his friends (in their thirties) will vote Corbyn.

Posted by: Montreal | Sep 6 2019 20:32 utc | 145

Montreal @145--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, I've known of the despicable BigLie Media smear campaign and the institution of government run disinformation NGOs like the Integrity Initiative for awhile, all in a very clear attempt to keep Corbyn and a revitalized Socialist-minded Labour Party from regaining power. Characterizing what's happening as merely a Political Fight doesn't quite illustrate the magnitude of the overall stakes with Revolution perhaps being a better term, or maybe even Civil War with all the present day echoes of Cromwell and the multilayered duplicity involved. IMO, even the Corbyn-haters need a Corbyn government for their own wellbeing, but they're too blinded by the pseudo hatred to understand.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 20:57 utc | 146

Karlof1 @ 146
There has been so much happening over the last few years which horrifies me. There was a programme on BBC Panorama last night about modern slavery in Britain. Hoorah! But you have to be blind not to know what is going on.

In my post 146 I forecast the disaster that a no deal Brexit may cause the importing trades - food, steel, timber etc. I know the Government is not prepared for this.

Continuing what I have written here before, the divisions in Britain that Brexit has highlighted are to some extent very ancient and are - indeed - racial divisions. “The first Civil War was fought largely between the chivalrous nobility and their retainers and the anti-chivalrous mercantile classes with their artisan supporters. The Anglo-Saxon-Danish south-east was solidly Parliamentarian and the Celtic north-west as solidly Royalist.” (Robert Graves).
These same divisions are apparent today between Remainers in the south-east and Brexiteers elsewhere, and they are irreconcilable because they are not based on logic.

Posted by: Montreal | Sep 6 2019 21:37 utc | 147

Montreal @147--

Thanks again for your reply! Given what you wrote about those "same divisions" still existing, what do you make of this item Corbyn retweeted earlier today? To me it seems innocent enough although it does invoke what on the surface seem Class divisions. IMO, Corbyn seems astute enough to know about the shortfalls of No Deal which is why he's been doggedly adamant that there be a deal, although it seems doubtful every interest can be protected from harm even with a deal.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 23:20 utc | 148

karlof1 @141

I enjoy your posts and have been following your involvement with the Sanders campaign (points I would like to pose to you but never get the time, e.g. really shocked at Sanders "US should fund abortions in developing countries" statement and what it would lead to - to me this again shows that Sanders is completely out of his depth on issues beyond the US and has no understanding of the rest of the world).


Kier Starmer has only been an MP since 2015. From the moment of his election he was touted as a future leader of the Labour Party. Previously, Starmer was Director of Public Prosecutions and it appears he was very motivated in taking action against Assange - to my knowledge he has never expressed any support for Assange and I imagine he would be more than happy to hand him over to the US. Nothing in his past history would indicate that he would be a champion for ordinary people - really a much more suitable candidate for the Conservative Party leadership I would have thought (apart from his position on the EU).

"what of all these youngsters registering to vote? Does anyone have a clue how they'll 90+% will vote?"

It was assumed that the influx of people into the Labour Party to vote for Corbyn in 2015 was a mass of young people. There was a Junior Doctors dispute/strike going on at the same time - it was easy to believe that these radical young Junior Doctors were all involving themselves in politics and the Labour party - this turned out not to be the case. It now seems that the mass of new members were just returning (previously disillusioned) activists. Momentum, the radical young group supporting Corbyn is rumoured to have an average age of 60 and has been a great disappointment.

It is also believed that young people are much more likely to vote to remain in the EU - so you should not conflate young people being Corbyn supporters and being brexiteers.

There is a big increase in the suicides of young people in the UK - a possible indication that there may be a tendency for a f**k you vote i.e. to leave the EU amongst young English, to stay in the EU (and leave the UK) amongst young Scots, etc.

Regardless, the points above about young people in the UK are just assumptions and no-one really knows and those that claim to do so are just trying to recruit young people to their political side.

"I get a sense that those in the UK understand the crucial significance of the current Political Fight and its relation to their personal wellbeing and future, meaning 90+% will vote."

This is too difficult to explain, but it won't work out the way you assume. However, it will not be the case that "90+% will vote"; it will be closer to 60% and may well be lower - demoralisation is at play.

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 6 2019 23:25 utc | 149

ADKC @149--

Thanks for your reply! And for the additional political context. Youth suicide is on the rise here, too, likely similar is cause as to UK. Monday's Parliament should be an interesting watch. I agree Sanders has big problems with his foreign outlook, but his domestic plans are decidedly anti-neoliberal. I'm sure we'll have lots of discussion over the months as our election cycle builds.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 7 2019 1:48 utc | 150

Regarding the latest developments regarding Boris Johnson.

Johnson is acquiescing to the remainers. There was no fight in stopping the bill to prevent the anti-brexit bill in the Lords. It was assumed that Johnson had reached an agreement to call an election with Labour on Monday; this appears now not to be the case. The only possible conclusion is that the Johnson government has been defeated and is giving up. Incrementally Johnson will give in to everything the remainers want; his only alternative is to resign. Johnson may imagine that he can pull a rabbit out of the hat at the last moment but this is a delusion; he has no power anymore and is now just a puppet.

If Johnson resigns now he will be still be humiliated but this is nothing compared to the humiliation that awaits him in the coming months. Johnson will be led all the way to revoking Article 50 and when he has served his purpose he will be discarded anyway. This will be worse (or more fun, depending on your view point) than the humiliation of Tsipras in Greece.

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 7 2019 7:50 utc | 151

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 7 2019 7:50 utc | 151

He will resign. Only interesting part is if he will remain the leader of the Conservative party.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 7 2019 8:27 utc | 152

somebody @152

No. The really interesting part is the complete diminution of the UK democracy and how that will play out in the years to come for both the UK and the EU. Before Brexit the UK was a if cheese in the EU, now it will be a vassal.

This will have severe unintended consequences that will take years to play out.

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 7 2019 9:30 utc | 153

My post @153 should have read "...big cheese..."

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 7 2019 10:27 utc | 154

ADCK @ 153
That’s a glass half empty frame of mind !
The less powerful England has the less damage and death it can cause round the world. Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran ect ect.
Particlaly if we can avoid jumping out of EU and into bed with Trump/US.
With Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister there’l be less money wasted on the arms industry, less money hemoraging out of the country in tax havens and selling off the basic assets and Infrastructure, less jobs lost/ factory’s closed down due to the rich exploiting cheap labour abroad, a win win for everyone including the rest of the world. A win for Americans as without Trumps U.K. support he’all be less likely to war with Iran or Venezuela! Surely that’s ‘good’ not. ‘Servere’

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 7 2019 10:43 utc | 155

For the sake of the country, if Jeremy Corbyn could put together a coalition, he would be within his rights to go to the Queen and inform her that he has a majority ! She would then be obliged to install him as the new prime minister with that coalition govenment. The Tory parliament now have no majority ! it’s over !
The above would be for the best for ALL concerned, mr Corbyn would then be able to negotiate with the EU in good heart and sincerity unlike the Tory led last 3 years of deliberate time wasting. We can all then get back to reality and sanity.
Most inportantly this could be done in days instead of waiting weeks or months for a general election. Which he would no doubt call in the fullness of time.

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 7 2019 11:16 utc | 156

@ karlof1 | Sep 6 2019 18:43 utc | 144

I see what I see and read what I read (fairly broadly), but…
If you’d like a more “objective” picture of current trend, search for and read:
Commons library briefing 9 August 2019 SN05125
[it’s pdf]
Obviously Labour has the largest contingent by far, but has been dropping substantially since 2017. [There are at least two apparent reasons for the dropping in membership: 1) the perception that the vote of the people does not matter and that MPs choose to pursue their own personal agenda instead of that which the voters have chosen; and 2) the antisemitism problem.]
Lib Dems have seen a marginal rise since 2017 & likely the same for SNP & Plaid Cymru. Greens & UKIP down a bit in the same period.
More directly to your point about “youngsters registering to vote”: among ages 18-24, Greens, Lib Dems & Tories are near equal amounts and make up the largest blocs at that age. Labour, SNP & UKIP have less of a portion at that age.
Since there aren’t really any novel variables to account for since 2017, I don’t see that the current trajectories shown in the commons briefing noted above necessarily have any reason to change course.
Labour seems to have been caught as culprit for disaffected voters to blame, with the penalty being the declining membership since 2017. [Thus, more motivation to the very public and dramatic machinations reeking of desperation (or cleverness?—take your pick…) to try to shift that blame onto the current government, and most particularly visible in the person and actions of Starmer, who—ironically—calls Johnson “disingenuous”.]
[Also ironic is that the opposition to the current government just declined their very best chance to use fresh and raw anti-Boris sentiment to defeat him outright, instead quite literally electing to let weeks go by, which has already blunted the weapon potential of that immediate sentiment.]

Posted by: Anacharsis | Sep 7 2019 18:17 utc | 157

Anacharsis @ 155
Thanks for that perfect example of fake news and total misinformation with just a hint of desperation!

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 7 2019 18:32 utc | 158

I reckon there'll be a good old vote of confidence next week. One that's set to fail, paving the way for an immediate snap election. It will be devastating for every party except the Tories, an utter defeat for the United Front of Waffling. Johnson will then have accomplished in less than half a year what the old hag "We'll deliver Brexit" May failed to achieve in two years.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Sep 7 2019 23:03 utc | 159

Scotch Bingeington@159
If you really believe that you should find a bookie: the odds against would be astronomical.
Johnson would appear to have been snookered, and the blame is entirely his own.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 8 2019 0:03 utc | 160

as a canuck, it is hard to follow the in's and out's of this brexit dynamic... it seems to me folks would be smart enough to see how the conservatives under may and boris have played while rome burned.. that is what it looks like to me.. for that, i can't see how people are going to want to continue to support a party like that!

Posted by: james | Sep 8 2019 0:11 utc | 161

Johnson wasn't snookered. He tried shabbily as possible (on the Trumpscale of shabby I give him an 8 of 10) to pull a series of fast ones that couldn't possibly work in politics, reality or political reality and rather easily out manoeuvred when he lost his majority of, uhm, 1 was it?

What part of Blighty imports 50% of its food, and 70% of that comes from the EU?

Is it the part where the pound threatens to fall to 1:1 exchange parity w the USD and worsening also against all majour currencies including the Euro?

That post-Brexit unleverageable trade deal with the US, already sort of ignored by the Brexperts on MoA as a consequence of no deak especially gets more costly for every penny lost in exchange with the dollar. Ditto in relation to all currencies including the Euro. The EU sells Blighty 70% of its imported food. This doesnt concern you? No because you are either rich or unaffected by the reality. So pontificating is free.

At best in the event of no deal, English working class poor and elderly on fixed incomes will take full brunt of rising prices for imported food and all imports from nations where the pound falls relative to exporters currency. This even if none of the border issues, delays and shortages occur as a result of no deal.

So afaic, BoJo can go fuck all for all I care.

Sooner the better.

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 8 2019 0:48 utc | 162

Mark @152

From my posts you will see that I am describing a "stay and revoke" strategy that the remainers intend to follow. Another aim of this policy is to keep Corbyn from winning an election/becoming Prime Minister. It is the "stay and revoke" strategy (of which humiliating Johnson and using him as a puppet is part of) that is what will cause severe consequences.

The very same people that are set on humiliating Johnson are the same ones that have humiliated Corbyn, made Corbyn turn his back on long term comrades, that will do everything they can to keep Corbyn out of power, and will keep that British militarism going and free from any interference from the likes of Corbyn. What on earth do you think all those fake allegations about anti-Semitism are about? Do you think that they is any non-western aligned country that Benn wouldn't be prepared to free with a copious amount of bombing?

This humiliation of Johnson will backfire. It is not the policy that Corbyn wanted to follow, his comments are much more circumspect than you might assume. Corbyn would prefer an election now (as would I) but he is prevented from pursuing this at present.

Why do you fail to see 👀 what the consequences of a "stay and revoke" strategy are likely to be? It's appalling.

Your post @156 just indicates that you don't know what you are talking about. There is no way any of the other parties will agree to allow Corbyn to be Prime Minister, it's not a secret! It suits those parties to maintain a weak bumbling Johnson in place with no power, because they also get to keep Corbyn out.

(And Anacharsis @157 is a perfectly legitimate comment and does not deserve to be dismissed as you appear to have done @158).

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 8 2019 2:55 utc | 163

ADKC @ 163
Thanks for your reply, Very considerd and logical.
We need to be very carefull at the moment where we get the information from on which to base our views. There are so many personal agendas at play at present. I recommend we asses the pure facts.
I take your point about the faction within the Labour Party who would be the warmongers, but far from increasing in power, they are slowly being purged ( thankfully) today’s news is MP M Mann has left the Labour Party that is a major plus for Jeremy Corbyn supporters and a strong indicator how the internal balance is moving away fro the pro Israel lobby.
Re Boris Johnson’s trickery ! We all know his present early election ploy was yet one more trap set for Corbyn (yawn)
So Boris Johnson as of yesterday has lost yet another cabinet member -Amber Rudd the Tory’s are imploding !
With no majority he can no longer call the shots ! He will have to go cap in hand to ask EU for a further extension to the 31/10/19 leave date or go to prison for contempt of court ! End of story ! He could of course resign.
The pure lie’s regarding Corbyn are now clear to see, an orchestrated decept from Tory elite, Israel lobby groups and facist grunts including Trump.

Posted by: Mark2 | Sep 8 2019 7:00 utc | 164

Mark @164

John Mann hates Corbyn and his associates. He has made it clear that he regards Corbyn as unfit to govern and that antisemitism is rife on the left. John Mann is clearly politically biased. It would seem to be good news that he is leaving, but it is not!

Mann has only resigned as an MP to take up a new full-time beefed up position as the government's "antisemitism Tsar". Mann has not resigned as a member of The Labour Party.

John Mann's new appointment is a blatant political move but his role is likely to be regarded as politically neutral so he will be free to call out antisemitism wherever and whenever he sees it. With a delayed election he will have plenty of time to be accusing anyone he likes of anti-semitism and he is likely to continue to do this during the election campaign. And, should Corbyn win the election, Mann will seek to prevent him becoming Prime Minister.

Just consider the implications of what Mann has been saying in the last few days:

"I'm not retiring, far from it...The role will allow me to devote 95 per cent of my life to fighting the war against antisemitism, rather than the five per cent I was able to devote while working as an MP."

"It's my party. I want to see Corbyn resign from the leadership. And I want all the antisemites out. But I'm not resigning. Absolutely not."

"I will carry on this fight from within."

"The people you should be attacking are clearly the antisemites and also those who are still silent on the issue."

"The Jewish community is the canary in the cage for humanity - whether you like or not."

This is the intellectual justification to prevent a government deemed "antisemitic" from taking power.

I can see your optimism about Blairite MPs being "slowly purged" but there are far more Blairite MPs in place that at any time during Blair's tenure. From the moment Blair took the Labour leadership he grabbed control of MP selection; what the MPs in situ represent is the rotten fruit of some 25 years of MP selection. It may well take Corbyn (with the internal opposition he faces) far longer than 25 years to replace these MPs with those that are more sympathetic to his position.

When you say that Johnson "will have to go cap in hand to ask EU for a further extension to the 31/10/19 leave date or go to prison for contempt of court! End of story! He could of course resign" you are advocating for a "stay and revoke" strategy. This is a constitutional abuse - it is not justified by Johnson's inept machinations - it is a fundamental mistake for Corbyn and the left to go down this path. There are two targets in this strategy, one is to blow up Brexit, the other is to destroy Corbyn. The remainers will be able to continue this charade for the next two years; at the end of it Brexit will be finished, Johnson will be destroyed, as will Corbyn, Labour will be gutted to form a new Blairite centre party. But worse, there will be long term damaging unintended consequences for both the UK and the EU.

The longer an election is delayed the better it is for Remain (i.e. no brexit of any sort) and the worse it will be for Johnson AND for Corbyn. Ask yourself, now that these MPs are in control:- Why don't they just openly form an unelected government? Why don't they just foist a "People's Vote" on Johnson?

The answer is that they want to have power but not be seen to be responsible and they want to move towards creating the situation that would allow the revocation article 50 without an election or a "People's Vote".

Your view that the "pure lie’s regarding Corbyn are now clear to see" is, unfortunately, over-optimistic. It is not at all clear that the electorate will perceive it that way; in my view, there is likely to a significant "punishment vote" directed against the establishment but any correlation with your (or my) view is likely to be coincidental. At present, the punishment directed at Johnson appears to be gaining him votes (please think about that for a moment). Similarly, it might be that Corbyn will gain votes if he gets accused by the "establishment" of antisemitism (to be clear, I am not suggesting that this group of voters will have any position or interest in antisemitism - it will be an anti-establishment protest vote).

Anyway, I think the path is now set. An election will not be agreed on Monday. Next week Johnson will be further punished and humiliated by the remainer MPs. As a result, Johson will gain in the polls and the election will be even further delayed. I think "stay and revoke" is where we are, but it really means that a hidden cabal is running things and nothing good will come of this.

My last post on this thread.

Posted by: ADKC | Sep 8 2019 12:39 utc | 165

Pretty obvious what has occurred with this. After dilly-dallying around for the last three years the EU fifth column in the UK Parliament have now been forced to play their hand and put their all the cards on the table. They are now out on the open, fully exposed for all to see. No hiding their colours now!

The Remainers want to stay with the EU one way or another. Hence the legislation they think they can push down the PM's throat. OK. They have their legislation in train and are making the attempt.

The Remainers want to avoid an election. They know they will lose horribly if one is called presently. The PM will be returned and the Parliament will become majority Exiteer. It will be a Conservative Party and Brexit Party majority, guaranteeing a no-deal Brexit (that is, a real exit from the EU). The "rebels" will be out, having lost their jobs and their present careers. The Labour Party will be wrecked for some time to come (a big internal split and no chance of returning to the Treasury Benches for multiple election cycles). OK. So the Remainers do not want to go to election and hence will prefer not to call for a confidence vote at this point.

That leaves the PM holding his high cards and ready to play. How will he use them? That is the question. Here is ONE of the options open to the PM. Do nothing.

Let the pending extension compulsory deal legislation wend its way through both the Commons and the Lords. Eventually it comes back to the government and when it does, he merely sits on it and does nothing with it. He lets the clock run out. Result- no deal Brexit.

In the British Parliamentary system Parliament is an advisory body. It is the government which holds the power to govern. When legislation passes both Houses (Commons and Lords) it is returned to the government (that is, to the PM and his Cabinet) and then the government has the right (but not the obligation) to forward it to the Monarch for Royal Assent (which does not have to be granted, although the convention is that it normally is). Should the PM fail to send legislation to the Monarch for Royal Ascent, the Monarch never receives it, does not sign it and it does not become law. Then it is not binding upon the PM or anyone else. It is not law.

Let's assume that ultimately this is what the PM decides to do. Then the Remainer fifth-column has a definite problem. When the clock runs out, they lose. So they need to do something, but what? They can put a no-confidence vote to the Commons, but the outcomes of this are not good for them whichever way that goes. If they win, snap-election. If the don't win, clock runs out. PM wins either way.

What about a coup? If they try to seize power, say via formation of a cross Party coalition frustrating an opportunity for the people to have their say via an election, then they will be facing total slaughter at the next election (when it finally arrives). There will be huge bitterness and possibly violent unrest throughout the country in the meantime.

So, the question is, what is the PM about to do? Does he save the Conservative Party and become a historical figure (approaching Churchillian status as THE Saviour of the Conservative Party and of British Democracy to boot), does he chicken out and go the way of May or, worse for him, does he sell out (obtaining a slightly altered version of the May non-deal and bringing that back to the House of Commons)? !


The PM is a fascinating person and not at all the buffoon that so many like to paint him to be. His family background includes British Royalty, German nobility and even Turkish merchant (culminating with a famous Turkish jounalist/patriot). He is multi-lingual and extremely well educated, graduating from the highest educational establishments. He is hugely ambitious and has a supportive family (an under-rated yet major asset).

Most interesting times indeed. What a show This is going to be a fun few weeks!

Posted by: Siotu | Sep 8 2019 21:34 utc | 166

Does British law forbid retroactive laws like ours does? They voted. Article 50 was invoked. They left on whatever that first date was. All lawful. Now the parliament tries to retroactively change what has already lawfully happened. October 31 is already a double jeopardy deadline. As with votes, they can keep this up indefinitely.

Posted by: Just passing | Sep 8 2019 21:58 utc | 167

Posted by: Siotu | Sep 8 2019 21:34 utc | 166

In the British Parliamentary system Parliament is an advisory body. It is the government which holds the power to govern.


Not since Oliver Cromwell.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 8 2019 22:10 utc | 168


You are wrong.

The power to govern is vested in Her Majesty's Government, not in the House of Commons, not in the House of Lords (both of which may debate, pass, defeat or amend but do not govern, hence really are advisory).

It is the task of the government to forward legislation to the Monarch to seek Royal Assent. Hence the option for the prevention of some pieces of legislation from becoming law (if it never gets delivered to the Monarch, then Royal Assent can't be granted). The method has precedence and was employed by the last Labour Government for instance. Weren't you paying attention? Passed you by, didn't it...

Anyway, this approach is ONE of the possibilities the PM has at his disposal. Latest news suggests he is not using it after all and the Royal Assent process may have been initiated already. If so, then things get very most interesting indeed. The remaining options (assuming he chooses any of the obvious ones) are much more confrontational and a lot riskier (just not as confrontational at this stage of the game).

Posted by: Siotu | Sep 9 2019 5:56 utc | 169

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