Outside the marginals

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

Archive for the tag “EU referendum”

On the Precipice; No one likes us, it’s OK

What will happen on Thursday 23 June 2016 – the day of the EU In/Out Referendum promised to the Euro-septics? More importantly what happens afterwards?

We are told it’s going to be OK. The remain team’s warnings are overblown and can be dismissed (“dismiss” is the Leave team’s reflex reaction to anything Remain says) and we will have freedom! (Think Braveheart – staring Nigel Farage and Buffo Johnson) Read more…

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What If: (best move for #Remain)?

Today we are told that Cameron and Osborne are for a while stepping back from the Remain campaign:

Labour may be taking centre stage today, but Chancellor George Osborne has still been on the campaign trail in Liverpool. He was asked by the BBC whether a degree of panic within the Remain campaign had prompted the “Labour fightback”.

“We want to make sure as we approach this vital vote… that all the voices are heard, not just the Conservative government voices – important as they are – but also the voices of the Labour Party, the voices of the union movement,” he said.

“So you will hear lots of these voices now in the final run in to this referendum because people need to know that all sorts of different political parties, all sorts of different political opinions, all the unions, businesses, the works, we all agree on this.”
BBC News Website, 13 June 2016 | EU referendum campaign latest: Vital that all pro-EU voices are heard, says George Osborne

Which makes me wonder; what might be the best thing that could happen for the Remain Campaign? Read more…

Law of Unintended Consequences: “Kicked out of Europe”

There is a certain (morbid) fascination in both counter-factual history and trying to anticipate the effect of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The latter usually kicks in when someone tries to bring about an effect, but something contrary happens. Politically the chancellor might cut taxes to “boost the economy”, but instead just finds that the rich get richer and tax revenues go down. We might think that those are anticipated consequences even if we believe the chancellor when he says those were not the intended consequences.

So what are the consequences of the fan violence last night in the Marseilles stadium last night after the England-Russia football match?

Some can be anticipated and have happened. Read more…

An Argument to Remain – at last?

Today a non-hysterical argument was finally made for remaining in the EU.

It stands in interesting contrast to the “Vote Leave to get a Drier Conservative Government” argument that we are increasingly seen put forward by the Quitters. (Dry? Think Thatcher and Wets vs Drys) Imagine Gove, Grayling, Patel, (Boris) Johnson, and the likes of Rees-Mogg, Bone, and Farage forming a “caring conservative” government with more cuts in taxes (particularly for the richer who are meant to pay taxes but funded by doctrinaire cuts in services) and a bonfire of regulations that protect us. Read more…

What a way to decide!

I don’t like to say that the “British People” – averaged out – are incapable of making big decisions, but the various Quit/Stay campaigners are making it very difficult and illustrating why referenda are not necessarily a good idea. Read more…

Shrill refusal to recognise the obvious

The US and the EU are on the verge of concluding a comprehensive trade deal – TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership). Personally I don’t like it (I think it gives too much power to corporations and am worried about the possible impact on the NHS – despite assurances to the contrary.)

But this does not push me towards the Leave camp. Most members of the leave camp are the sort of people who would welcome the aspects of TTIP that I dislike!

It has however taken years to negotiate. So realistically what will happen if we leave the EU? Read more…

Referenda as a decision making process

It’s not that I don’t think “we” should not be in charge of our destiny but, a week in to the EU Referendum campaign, I am really wondering if referenda are a good way to decide key decisions.

But with 16 weeks to go I can’t see things improving. Read more…

The Key Question

Animated BrexitIf we can clear the decks of the quibbling about the Cameron renegotiation we might then examine the key question:

Is the EU as it is now, sufficiently worthwhile, on balance, for the UK to decide that remaining is better than trying to quit?

It is not very appetising which-ever way you look at it. Read more…

Cameron should keep out of the Remain Campaign

David Cameron’s “reforms” are so pathetic and he is so “invested” in them that the net effect of his involvement could damage the “Stay” / “Remain” / whatever it is called campaign.

Animated BrexitHe announced that he would only serve two terms as Prime Minister – not necessarily to the relief of all (the old Thatcher era mantra of “hold on to nurse for fear of something worse” applies). He is a lame duck Prime Minister and the “EU deal” is so miserable that he will have to work very hard to make it look like a suitable legacy for his prime minister-ship. This will be a distraction – sort of “noises off”.

He should step back now and get on with governing the country – as it is, it looks as if many of his cabinet are more interested in leadership manoeuvres over the next four months than running their departments.

His “reforms” are irrelevant to the decision on 23 June. Read more…

The Unspun Spun

There is always a difficulty when an individualistic backbencher becomes party leader. To lead you have to show some sensitivity towards those to be led.

This means compromising – which is difficult when you have been elected because you are different and authentic.

Media management and authenticity do not go well together, but without some management you end up spinning.

We have seen a few instances where the media management has been a bit lacking. Read more…

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