Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Westminster dysfunctionality”

What if: Stop Brexit or Exit from Brexit

There is a growing demand for either:

  • A people’s vote on the final Brexit Deal. The options not yet clear but could include any permutation of:
    • Deal on Offer,
    • No Deal,
    • Continue Negotiation,
    • Abandon Brexit
  • Just abandoning Brexit as “too difficult”, undesirable or lacking a robust undisputed mandate.

But just calling for either of these options is insufficient. There is a danger of just reversing the current polarisation rather than healing the massive divisions in the country. (Never mind the divisions in the Conservative Party – until they are resolved the country will never have political peace.)

The question has to be asked, “what are the consequences of either of the above actions and how can they be managed?” It was failure to consider the consequences of a Leave vote (two years ago!) that has left us in our current mess. We want to get out of the mess, not just turn it upside down. Read more…

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Mundell worried about Structural Damage: Scotland & Brexit?

The Secretary of State for Scotland has said he is worried about “structural damage”. However he said this in relation to the second fire at Glasgow’s School of Art (The Macintosh Building); I have not heard him say anything similar about the constitutional fire that his happening on his watch.

The “Scottish Question” is becoming more poisonous as the Tory Government in Westminster seems determined to implement its policy of “Brexit at all costs” – the “Will of the People” apparently. Read more…

Parliament and “The Will of The People”

Since the referendum the Government (or the hard Brexit elements of it) have found a new “respect” for “The Will of The People”. A respect so strong that they seem to be completely enslaved to it – provided of course that the “Will” in question is the Will expressed on 23rd June 2016.

It raises some interesting questions about The Primacy of the House of Commons. Read more…

I agree with Tony

It’s worrying when it comes to this. I read an article by Tony Blair and find myself agreeing with it. My unease probably underlines why he is a voice in the dark and why his prescription – even if stated by a more acceptable voice (but who?) will be ignored.

And yet … Read more…

Any leadership to prevent this Brexit?

There was a Labour Party public meeting held this week-end in this Tory safe seat. Whilst in some ways it is heartening to see any political activity in the constituency that is well outside the marginals, it is also a bit worrying to see potential dissipation of effort. Arguably Labour should be putting its efforts into more marginal seats in the region, either defending seats vulnerable to loss or seeking to recapture winnable seats from the Tories.

Local officials seemed very chipper despite accepting that the Council Election results were a “disaster”. It was not quite so unrealistic as saying “one more heave”, but the view seemed to be that a few more heaves would capture the seat.

But by the time that has happened, the country may look very different. Read more…

A Parting of the Ways?

Today marked a number of partings of the ways. The most obvious is the imminent (in historical terms) departure of the UK from the EU.

But there is another parting which comes down to values. Read more…

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…

Copeland and the Search for Opposition

The Copeland by-election result is being played as “disastrous” for the Labour Party and is once again raising questions about the Labour leadership. In some respects the Labour Leadership is not the issue – but a search for opposition is.

In this respect we have to be careful about reading too much into the Copeland result. Read more…

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