Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the category “Referenda”

Theresa’s Dictionary: Brexit

Every empress, or prospective emperor, has to give the appearance of having “the common touch”. In view of the restricted background of our new empress, I offer her a dictionary in the hope that studying it will help her understand the people she wishes to rule.

Brexit

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Two Fingers May

So it’s in the post – two fingers to the EU. And the Tory backbenchers will wet themselves with excitement and the Daily Mail will be ecstatic.

But Theresa May is giving  two fingers to more than the EU. Read more…

An Outside View

Sometimes it is sobering to read an outsider’s view of you. Today is one of those days. It does not help that I am already feeling depressed and not able to see a positive future.

Some people say that I only have myself to blame and it serves me right for being a small “l” liberal – although I can’t and don’t want to claim to be part of the “elite”. But early retirement does give me the luxury of time to follow current events and to read around a topic – and the internet means I have access to a wide range of views. The nihilists will claim that being informed makes me part of the “elite” and will delight at my discomfiture by recent events. That such people may be in a majority in “my country” I find incredibly depressing. Read more…

The Cliff Edge

Today the House of Commons is expected to roll-over and let the Government have a free rein over Brexit. The House of Lords is expected to “follow convention” and not oppose the Government a second time.

Theresa May is believed to be likely to trigger Article 50 as early as this week. This means that we start on an irrevocable journey out of the EU. The mood music from Davis and Fox is that that this will be a Hard Brexit, and Theresa May has confirmed that we will be leaving the single market (No “Norway” type relationship).

Looking over the cliff edge: Read more…

Laboured Opposition or Absent Opposition?

I find the Labour Party’s current stance on what is happening to the country confusing to say the least. They are meant to be holding the government to account but seem too paralysed by fear of UKIP to offer anything except abject abdication. “We will not obstruct the invoking of Article 50”!

They are of course reaping what they have sown. During the Miliband years (remember them?), they failed to tackle Cameron and Osborne as that dreadful duo laid the ground work for the right-wing coup* that is currently happening. The Language Battle was lost. Read more…

Reasons to be Fearful – 1,2,3

  1. Putin
  2. May
  3. Trump

Possibly in that order! Read more…

Will Democracy ever work for me?

Yes, I mean me personally. I got the vote in the mid 1970’s and democracy has never worked for me (talking UK). My vote has never made a difference and I have always been told that I must accept the “democratic will of the people”.

So I have, over and over and over again. Read more…

Enemies of the People

The country is split; horribly horribly split. This week’s High Court judgement has opened the split even more.

But dig deeper and it is not a Brexit vs Anti-Brexit split. It is a deeper and more dangerous split amongst the people of this country. The split is between those who have given up on the major institutions of the country (Parliament, Judiciary, City, “Mainstream Media”) – as well as the EU and all its institutions – and those who are still trying to have faith in some of the institutions.

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Can a General Election Trump a Referendum?

“We will vote in Parliament to block any attempt to invoke Article 50 until Theresa May commits to a second referendum or a general election on whatever EU exit deal emerges at the end of the process.”
BBC News Website, 24 August 2016 | Brexit: Owen Smith opposes Article 50 move without vote

It is arguable that we (“the people”) should have some sort of final say – particularly since it is becoming clear that “Brexit means Brexit” could be many different things – some of which will strike the Quitters as “betrayal”. In this context Owen Smith’s position raises an interesting and potentially disturbing question:

Can a party winning a general election with say 36% of the vote claim a mandate to over-ride a referendum that voted 52% in favour of a particular proposition? And if it can’t, where would Prime Minister Owen Smith then stand?

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Trump and Brexit

I would like to write him off, but Trump did win the Republican Nomination even though so many commentators said he was a joke.

Why did he win the nomination?

  • He has plugged into something that most commentators (professional and amateur) don’t understand
  • I suspect that his supporters hold “commentators” in contempt, so either,
    • they are not listening to the commentators saying what a danger he is, or
    • they are listening and what is being said just hardens their support for him

He put together a coalition of support in places where it mattered and won the nomination. To win the presidency (elected by an electoral college) he has to build a coalition of support in places where it matters – the swing states. Outside those marginals it does not matter what people think or vote.

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