• Punshhh
    877
    The principle of democracy is too important for us of the 'intelligentsia' to overrule the 'ignorant' masses
    Don't forget the ignorant Toffs and middle class Tory's, they out numbered those masses and they brought about the flawed referendum to begin with. They should have known better.
  • Chris Hughes
    117

    Despite being a remainer my view (now that no deal is ruled out) is that the 1st ref's result has to be honoured. People's views have not changed enough to justify a rerun. The principle of democracy is too important for us of the 'intelligentsia' to overrule the 'ignorant' masses.. — Tim3003
    According to Barnier in The Guardian, no deal is no longer ruled out. Perhaps Labour’s second referendum could have a third no-deal option. In the circumstances, it's not clear that a rerun is undemocratic. If the better informed decision is to remain then, as others here have pointed out, any grievance felt by leavers would be tempered by the consensus that we'll all be better off, economically.
  • Punshhh
    877
    the consensus that we'll all be better off, economically.

    Yes, leavers have accepted now that we will take an economic hit, accept a Trump deal and cock a snook at the Europeans. So if Brexit is cancelled we can all feel the glow of economic prosperity friendship with the Europeans and cock a snook at Trump.
  • Punshhh
    877
    I think this discussion should be widened out to consider what is going on here, alongside the commentary and discussion of day to day events.

    The reason I say this is because I am aware of a phenomena which is not being discussed in the media and by commentators. A denial amongst the chattering classes of the crisis. Also a consideration of the Tory project of the last 40 years and what it has done to our country.

    I have noticed a denial of and failure to comprehend the depth of the crisis we have been plunged into. This became particularly acute during the row in the House of Commons the day the commons opened again after the illegal prorogation of parliament. Let me illustrate, Geoffrey Cox and Boris Johnson, both people with great booming voices of a privelidged tone. Stormed the chamber (metaphorically) in a contemptuous aggressive tone, accusing the members of trying anything to prevent the government in its efforts to respect the referendum (an untruth). Then proceeding to say that parliament was broken and could perform its purpose( an untruth). Followed by an attack on a group of parliamentarians who took the action to nullify the prorogation of 5 weeks (contemptuous of the Supreme Court and the constitution). When a few opposition members called them out for disrespectful insightful language and breaking the good chap philosophy of politics established in this country. They were shouted down in the most callous way as humbug and having contempt for parliament and the government(accusing the victims of their attacks as attacking them( the psychology of transference)).

    In the media commentary afterwards journalists and MPs followed a line that the tempers and bad language were from all sides, the whole house needed to calm down etc, in reality they were in shock and denial of the abuse of the house that had just taken place by the government. This is when Ian Duncan Smith on behalf of the government, cursed and was spitting out expletives at the contempt of parliament for the government just trying to do its job(showing utter contempt for our politics and constitution).

    People involved in this episode (who were not members of this gang of people who had lost touch with reality) were in shock and trying to calm things down and resume normality. This included doing what people do to deflate a bully in our society which is by saying there is heated language on all sides, if we all calm down this would include the bully calming down without lashing out any more.

    This is the approach adopted by the people observing the outrage, as is human nature. But it fails to make the bully accountable for the damage they have done, or for them to stop bullying abruptly and behave correctly like everyone else.

    Even now people are saying that the dishonest behaviour is from all sides and are failing to hold the bullies to account. While in the meantime the bullies carry on damaging our constitution, our country, our and their integrity and creating more crisis.

    It is time for people of integrity to embrace the truth of what is happening here. The Conservative party is not anymore one of our 4 or 5 political party's vying for power in a descent and respectful( for our constitution) way. They have become this bully, they have no respect for, or integrity in, the institutions, the ways of doing things in our political system. The only reason that they are obeying the rules at the moment as we go into this election, is because it serves their purposes and is inline with their plan to hoodwink the population into doing what they want.

    This is an abuse and attack on our country by a political party which has lost its way, lost all touch with reason and integrity. Which has been beset with infighting in which the dominant bully has risen to the surface and inflicted this erotic spasm on the country. It is time people call it out for what it is, rather than just thinking its business as usual.
  • Amity
    848
    I have noticed a denial of and failure to comprehend the depth of the crisis we have been plunged into. This became particularly acute during the row in the House of Commons the day the commons opened again after the illegal prorogation of parliament. Let me illustrate, Geoffrey Cox and Boris Johnson, both people with great booming voices of a privelidged tone. Stormed the chamber (metaphorically) in a contemptuous aggressive tone, accusing the members of trying anything to prevent the government in its efforts to respect the referendum (an untruth).Punshhh

    I agree wholeheartedly. This episode shocked me more than I can say. This should be played back along with images of that Lying Tory. Go viral. It seems that works...

    Even now people are saying that the dishonest behaviour is from all sides and are failing to hold the bullies to account. While in the meantime the bullies carry on damaging our constitution, our country, our and their integrity and creating more crisis.Punshhh

    Yes. And the media are playing their usual part. Plans drawn up to influence the electorate.
    Passive consumption.

    ...This passive way of obtaining information means the instant emotional impact of an amusing meme or a shocking headline is likely to spread far wider and faster than any policy-heavy political speech – which helps explains the potency of an image of Jacob Rees-Mogg reclining on a bench in the House of Commons.

    ..In reality it’s not much more sophisticated than a Colgate ad – you need a really great message that connects with people and you need to pay to get it in front of as many people as you can.”

    However, he insisted no advertising can counteract widespread negative coverage: “If a major figure from outside politics – a Stormzy, for example – is using their huge online reach to speak with an authentic voice and mobilise their followers against you, then that can be worth as much or more than great ads, good targeting and a really big budget. Parties also have to accept that almost all of that will be happening completely outside their control, and it adds a huge degree of unpredictability to the online battle.”
    Jim Waterson
  • Chris Hughes
    117
    Dominic. Cummings.
  • Punshhh
    877
    Quite, and compounded by the finality of the cut off date of the article 50 process. Our political process is not designed for such deadlines on profound constitutional issues. It's like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, whereby if you don't fit it into the hole, by a point in time, you loose. Cummings knows that all he needs to do is distract you with jiggery pokery, including trashing the constitution and the economy if required, until the deadline is passed. It is despicable.
  • Punshhh
    877
    An interesting interview on Politics live today(BBC) with Anthony Seldon, who has written an in depth analysis of Theresa May's term in office. He describes her performance on Brexit as a failure because she not only made it into a party issue, rather than cross party, which was required. But a narrow sectional internal party issue. Resulting in the biggest self inflicted own goal in the history of British politics.
  • Tim3003
    127
    Perhaps Labour’s second referendum could have a third no-deal option. In the circumstances, it's not clear that a rerun is undemocratic. If the better informed decision is to remain then, as others here have pointed out, any grievance felt by leavers would be tempered by the consensus that we'll all be better off, economically.Chris Hughes

    If a referendum has 3 options, none will get a majority. Where do you go then?

    I think you misunderstand what leavers are all about. The idea that now they're better informed they'd vote to remain is flawed, as the unchanging Brexit opinion polls prove. Their choice is not based on being better or worse off, but on the politics of national identity. I think you'll find they would call your claim that their grievance at losing would be tempered by being better off insulting..
  • Tim3003
    127
    Also a consideration of the Tory project of the last 40 years and what it has done to our country.Punshhh

    I would answer your outcry simply: Welcome to populism! It's taking over the politics of the West, largely stoked by globalisation and the fears of immigration the easy movement of labour and refugees has stoked up in rich countries.. Boris's Tory party is just the UK manifestation of that, as is Trump in the US, Le Pen in Fance ... etc.

    On widening out the discussion: Globalisation/populism should I think have its own thread. This one is for Brexit isn't it?
  • Punshhh
    877
    Its not populism, although populism played a part. If it were that simple Le Pen and others like her would be in office now. Trump got into power because when the populism struck the US population was already hopelessly divided and he was a brilliant exploiter of the media. Which he used to divide and rule.

    In our country the seed of the Brexit phenomena was sown when we joined the common market in 1973 and had grown steadily among the Tory twits over the next couple of decades I know this because I was there as it was happening. The populism was exploited by Farage in a relatively small demographic. It's true that the Tory twits began defecting to UKIP, but it was not populism which infected them. They were already converted by the drip feed of the Tory poison administered by a group of hard right right wing Tory's. This gets quite murky when one starts looking at the power and wealth brokers behind the Tory's.

    Johnson is an opportunist who found himself in the right place at the right time. I suppose one could call him a populist, but Cummings is working through social media primarily and any populism is consequential. Now like Trump, it is divide and rule. People against Parliament is Johnson's catch phrase, but I don't see it having all that much effect, because the decision to leave was taken at the beginning of the process in the referendum. He is having to use such tactics now due to the laughable incompetence of the government in leaving the EU in a sensible way. The man can't even lie straight in bed let alone lead a populist revolution.

    I agree that populism as used by Farage capitalised on the fears of immigration and racism. I expect that he saw what the Tory twits were up to and thought that there was an opportunity for a snake oil salesman like him. To team up with them at some point, they don't seem to like him for some reason. I wonder why.
  • Punshhh
    877
    Interesting that Stormzy tweeted about Rees Mogg's comments about Grenfel, which went viral.
  • Punshhh
    877
    Yes, the article does lean slightly in Favour of Labour, but I recognise that reality. It is one of the numerous means used by the right wing elite and media to discredit Corbyn. The privelidged elites really do seem to be scarred of something, their tried and tested ways of slamming Labour and keeping them out of power while they practice their wealth creation, only for people who are in the know, are failing, there is a younger generation coming through who aren't aware of the slamming and discrediting of the Labour Party on their performance in the 1970's. Ever since the Credit Crunch in 2008, it has been going wrong for the Tory's. The death nail being when they had a group lobotomy around 2014/15.
  • Tim3003
    127
    Its not populism, although populism played a part. If it were that simple Le Pen and others like her would be in office now. Trump got into power because when the populism struck the US population was already hopelessly dividedPunshhh

    So what is your definiton of 'populism'? I see it as the politics of an - invariably figure-head lead - party whose one aim is power, and whose tactic is to use any democratic method possible to achieve it. This means such tropes as giving the people what they want (or seeming to), rubbishing anyone who picks apart their flimsy emotive arguments, indeed quashing all argument with ranting and changing the subject where possible; exploiting the public fear of immigration and justiying the necessary counter-measures in the name of national identity. Populists don't care a fig for tradition or convention - which makes BJ one - the end justifies any means. Because their targeted voters are basically uneducated, populists can u-turn, contradict their previous policies and just smile whilst doing so; secure that their followers still trust them. Populism is also usually a facade for right-wing economic policies so it finds a ready home with Tory right-wingers.

    Incidentally Le Pen is a classic populist. She's not in power because Macron is a much tougher and more skilful operator than Corbyn. Trump is clearly one too. Personally I'm not sure you can talk about 'populism' as a movement sweeping the world. That assumes some guiding force or creative aspiration. Surely it's just the fact of and the means of voters' primal fears being exploited by ruthlessly self-serving would-be leaders. Populists are above all opportunists, and the increased mass-movement of labour and goods brought by globalisation has thrown up their chance.

    Watching Trump pose as he signs into law some document or other he reminds me of a Roman Emperors, ruling by decree. I'm sure this is what he'd like if he could rid of that troubesome Senate..
  • unenlightened
    4k
    Brexit joke of the week.

    I think this is the bit where we’re meant to ask what they call their act, and for Johnson to triumphantly declare: “The Aristocrats!”

    Grauniad.
  • Chris Hughes
    117
    Brexit joke of the week.

    "I think this is the bit where we’re meant to ask what they call their act, and for Johnson to triumphantly declare: “The Aristocrats!”

    For any forumites who (like me) didn't get the joke, the Guardian writer (usually better than that) was lazily referring to a "joke" which I'd never heard of, but which, according to Wikipedia, is about a family pitching their act to an agent and describing at great length and with much swearing many disgusting and socially transgressive behaviours. The agent then asks the name of their act, and they say, The Aristocrats. That's the punchline. Hmm.
  • Punshhh
    877
    Nice article, chuckle.
  • Punshhh
    877
    exploiting the public fear of immigration and justiying the necessary counter-measures in the name of national identity. Populists don't care a fig for tradition or convention - which makes BJ one - the end justifies any means. Because their targeted voters are basically uneducated, populists can u-turn, contradict their previous policies and just smile whilst doing so; secure that their followers still trust them

    I think this sums it up quite well, but what I have been trying to say is that this course has only been adopted by the Conservatives as a last resort. Putting Johnson into No10 was their last throw of the dice, their last ace card(or so they thought), after the failure of their "strong and stable" Theresa May. Also I think we only got to this point due to the clash of two democratic outcomes, the referendum result saying one thing and the elected MPs saying something else. Resulting in deadlock. Johnson is supposed to break the deadlock by adopting populism and somehow trying to bypass or hoodwink parliament, so as to implement the result of the referendum. So if the referendum had not been called British politics would have carried on as normal with no populism.

    Unfortunately while being their greatest asset, Johnson is turning out to be their greatest liability. Today he was found to be burbling during a speech and swearing blind that there will be no checks of goods crossing the Irish Sea. This is clearly irrational and incoherent, as was pointed out by Chris Morris the BBC fact checker, today. Who pointed out that if there is going to be regulatory divergence, then the single market rules will require checks to establish compliance. Now Johnson said we won't carry out these checks, if the EU require it, they can do it. But the problem with this approach is that the border where the checks will be required is within the UK, i.e. The Irish Sea and this is not to mention tariffs either, which will require checks, in the UK.

    The flaws in his deal are beginning to show.

    Just a thought about Le Pen, I put it down to the rapid communication amongst the intelligentsia in France via "La Grande Conversation", who then adopted Macron as their representative in a remarkably short space of time. If only we had a grand conversation in this country, we wouldn't have got into such a pickle.
  • Punshhh
    877
    I think you misunderstand what leavers are all about. The idea that now they're better informed they'd vote to remain is flawed, as the unchanging Brexit opinion polls prove.
    I don't think you can presume that all leavers are this hardline. A significant proportion are likely to be less decided and are either concerned about the behaviour of the government, or are waiting to see how the campaign goes before deciding. There is plenty of evidence for this in interviews with the public on the media.
  • Tim3003
    127
    what I have been trying to say is that this course has only been adopted by the Conservatives as a last resort. Putting Johnson into No10 was their last throw of the dice, their last ace card(or so they thought), after the failure of their "strong and stable" Theresa May. Also I think we only got to this point due to the clash of two democratic outcomes, the referendum result saying one thing and the elected MPs saying something else.Punshhh

    I think your first point is probably true - of the leaver Conservatives anyway; and as they've overrun the Remainers they hold sway now.

    I've never believed the Tory claims of a Remainer parliament holding up the will of a Leaver public though. For a start the public is (or was) only marginally Leaver. And parliament would have accepted May's deal without the backstop, and did accept Boris's. Ok that majority may not have survived committee stages. But what do they expect in a hung parliament? MPs are as divided on the issue as the public, so they reflect the national view well. But populists only see in black and white so they blame MPs for being out of step. They reply that 420 constituencies voted leave, against 220 for remain. True but irrelevant.

    If MPs did echo the public views on every issue there'd be no point in having them! I've never believed that they should just parrot the views of their constituents. We elect them to use their experience and knowledge to govern on our behalf. If we're never going to accept their views can differ from the majority then we end up with government by referendum, which anyone can see would be absurd. The conclusion therefore is that referendums are a bad idea.
  • Chris Hughes
    117
    Re populism and immigration, it's a popular remainer trope that leave voters were manipulated and stirred up by leave campaigners. There was some of that, true, but it was riffing on existing grassroots concern about mass immigration.

    The UK host community was just about coming to terms with postwar mass immigration from colonies and the Commonwealth when EU free movement of people began, and large numbers of people came to the UK from Eastern Europe. Polls showed that concern about immigration was a main reason for the leave result.

    Mass immigration has always been imposed or facilitated by governments for economic reasons with no concern for the wellbeing of the host or immigrant communities.

    The referendum was, in effect, the first public consultation on mass immigration.
  • Punshhh
    877
    If MPs did echo the public views on every issue there'd be no point in having them! I've never believed that they should just parrot the views of their constituents. We elect them to use their experience and knowledge to govern on our behalf. If we're never going to accept their views can differ from the majority then we end up with government by referendum, which anyone can see would be absurd. The conclusion therefore is that referendums are a bad idea.

    I agree, the decision to call the referendum was a tragic mistake, Cameron should have denied the Eurosceptics in his own party the opportunity. I think the problem was that for electoral reasons Cameron along with Blair before him had waived the idea of a referendum actually happening to bring Eurosceptics in line. This had the unfortunate effect of giving people the idea that it was going to happen and by the time of the 2015 election it became evident to Cameron that the momentum for a referendum had become irresistible. Perhaps he could have stopped it in the run up to the election, but he was complacent in the thought that he would be returned in coalition with the Lib Dems and they would block it, or he could hide behind them in denying it.

    From the other side of the divide, UKIP had been thriving for a number of years on fears of immigration,due to the large numbers that entered following the accession of the A8 countries in Eastern Europe. The UK alone allowed unfettered access, expecting the other members to follow suit, but they didn't, they all imposed restrictions at the last minute. Thus the seeds were sown for the referendum in the mid naughties, which led to the defeat of Labour in 2010. By this time the strength of UKIP was threatening the Tory's and with the pressure from the hard right within the party, the cracks were beginning to show and the struggle to save the party began.

    Ultimately they put party before country, which laid the blame for the Tory Brexit firmly at their door.
  • unenlightened
    4k
    Ultimately they put party before country, which laid the blame for the Tory Brexit firmly at their door.Punshhh

    And that is an extension of the general irresponsibility of national government over decades that finds in the EU a convenient scapegoat for its incompetence and venality.
  • Tim3003
    127
    I don't think you can presume that all leavers are this hardline. A significant proportion are likely to be less decided and are either concerned about the behaviour of the government, or are waiting to see how the campaign goes before deciding. There is plenty of evidence for this in interviews with the public on the media.Punshhh

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-50043549

    This includes BBC polling (albeit from mid-October) on whether leavers/remainers have changed thieir minds since the referendum (3rd graph down): Of those who voted leave, 6% are now remain. Of those who voted remain, 27% are now leave (mostly, assuming a deal is agreed)...

    Also: "On average, during the last month, polls that ask people how they would vote in another referendum suggest that 88% of those who backed Remain would do so again. Among those who voted Leave, 86% have not changed their minds." Which doesnt seem totally to match the above for remain voters! Still, I think it confirms there's not that much change in the leave voters' views.
  • Tim3003
    127
    Thus the seeds were sown for the referendum in the mid naughties, which led to the defeat of Labour in 2010. By this time the strength of UKIP was threatening the Tory'sPunshhh

    Surely Labour's 2010 defeat was down to the crash and their spending almost bankrupting the country - also to the fact that no-one thought Brown was any good. The UKIP poll vote did not exceed 8% til 2013, when it went well into double figures.
  • Punshhh
    877
    Surely Labour's 2010 defeat was down to the crash and their spending almost bankrupting the country - also to the fact that no-one thought Brown was any good. The UKIP poll vote did not exceed 8% til 2013, when it went well into double figures.
    .

    Yes, in hindsight I think you were right to pick me up on that one. It was the article I was reading which made me over egg the influence of Tony Blairs policy on EU migrants. Although I do think it played a part. Gordon Brown was atrocious.

    This is the article, https://theconversation.com/the-huge-political-cost-of-blairs-decision-to-allow-eastern-european-migrants-unfettered-access-to-britain-66077
  • ssu
    1.6k
    Its not populism, although populism played a part.Punshhh
    As an outside observer, I think populism played a key part to this whole debacle.

    You see, populism is about making a divide, dividing people to be either part of the "common ordinary people" or then "the elites". The 'elites' were in favour of globalization, EU integration and "giving up independence". The 'elites' have totally forgotten the 'common people'. The 'elite' is evil. That is populism.

    And when populists are in power, the elite has to be naturally abroad. It's Brussels. It's the EU. It out there trying to take away your independence. That is Euro-populism.

    And a populist never, ever tries to reach a consensus. Giving something in exchange for pushing one's own agenda is something that a populist cannot stand. That is simply selling oneself to the enemy. Your supporters won't tolerate that. Because the other side is the enemy. Not perhaps an enemy you would shoot, but someone that you cannot come into terms and find a solution that both agree on. Nope, you either win or fall trying to win.
  • Punshhh
    877
    This includes BBC polling (albeit from mid-October) on whether leavers/remainers have changed thieir minds since the referendum (3rd graph down): Of those who voted leave, 6% are now remain. Of those who voted remain, 27% are now leave (mostly, assuming a deal is agreed)...

    I did see that article, I left not sure what to think, other than the electorate had not moved significantly from what it was thinking in 2016. Also the graph you refer to was taken between 4-7th of September which was before the illegal prorogation of parliament. Before Johnson's disgraceful behaviour. I have heard of some people saying they won't support him after that. The other thing I noticed is that there were 5 options in the Pole, 4 were versions of leave and only one was a version of remain, I don't know if that might have skewed the result.

    As I am embedded in the remain camp, it is difficult to judge what is happening in the opposing camp. I can speak for myself though. I voted remain, but would have been happy with a sensible deal and respectful alignment with the EU, while maintaining our international reputation and integrity. But for over a year now I have not been happy with the way the government has taken a wrecking ball to our institutions and reputation. So now I am vehemently remain.
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