Outside the marginals

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

Archive for the tag “Nigel Farage”

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

Read more…

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Intruding on private grief

As in good grief, what is going on?

Last Thursday’s momentous vote was a vote to begin divorce proceedings. Or, if you like, to move out of the house we share with 27 other countries.

It did not, though, come with any plan – let alone an agreement – as to where we are moving next or what our relationship will be in future with those we used to share our life with.

Asked a few days before the vote whether he had such a plan for the day after if the Leave campaign won Boris Johnson was brutally frank – in private at least. No was his answer.

He and other Leavers declared their hope that David Cameron would have one and would stay in office to implement it.

But Cameron was determined not to be the one tasked with clearing up a mess which, he believes, they created.

Besides he believes he would have no credibility doing so either at home – with the electorate who rejected his pleas to remain in the EU – or in Brussels – with leaders who listened when he assured them that he could and would win the referendum.
BBC News Website, 27 June 2016 | Nick Robinson Comment, UK suffers leadership gap in risky times

So how do we clear up this mess – “Project Farce” – as Nicola Sturgeon as termed it? Read more…

Post “The Day” Reflections

Ok, I think it’s a disaster and I am livid at what I see as the way both campaigns – but particularly Leave’s – were run. (Remain was inept, but Leave at times seemed deliberately devious.) If I had been active in the campaign I would also be feeling sore.
But the deed is done and we have to accept the result even if we can’t respect it. But there are a number of issues that bear closer examination.

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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…

So What? – Post-Election Ponderings

So some councillors and MEPs have lost their seats, some have gained or regained their seats. As a result some councils have changed control but there has been little change in the European Parliament. In due course the wheel will turn full circle and some of those seats will move back.

We expected the Liberal Democrats to get a hammering. And they have – councillors and MEPs (including some very good ones) are apparently responsible for all the evils of the Westminster coalition.

We expected UKIP to do dramatically well (much as the SDP did in the early days). And they have, at least in terms of votes; but under First Past the Post, few seats. Sunday was different as across Europe sundry sceptic and reactionary parties won seats.

We expected Labour to come back at the expense of the Conservatives. And in general they have – a bit. Across Europe the Conservatives (both European “Merkel” Conservatives and “Cameron” Conservatives) lost to Socialists and to “Others” – mainly sceptics.

In the UK, the BNP lost its MEPs, but elsewhere in Europe, the BNPs fellow travellers made gains.

Beyond that it is very hard to draw firm conclusions. We can postulate a few soft ones though! Read more…

Countering UKIP

The UKIP Euro campaign is well under way and has got the old parties rattled. So much so that they plan a joint reaction.

The first cross-party campaign to condemn Nigel Farage’s party as racist is to be launched this week amid fresh polls showing UKIP may come first across England in the European elections in May.
The Guardian (and others) 28 April 2014: Ukip condemned by cross-party group for running ‘racist’ campaign

I don’t like UKIP and see them as a symptom of our current political problems and the old parties reluctance to address these problems.

But, I would not be surprised if this campaign fails to hit home and actually back-fires, just as Westminster “bullying” of the Scots Nats backfires. Read more…

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