#tories

Borixit

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If the EU had a mandate to force the British people toward a No Deal Brexit it couldn’t have done a better job if it had tried. The sheer arrogance and meddling from Brussels have only steeled the resolve of many UK citizens. Did it think for a moment these jabs, threats and ultimatums would enamour those residing in the world’s 5th largest economy? All they have done is given the lion cause to roar.

Britons have not been asleep at the wheel but the political classes on both sides of the English Channel have acted as though they have. A further delay to a resolution and a block of No Deal only compound the anger.

This is way more than a Brexit vote – any general election will be about the party who is prepared to execute on democracy.

Those that have done their utmost to thwart the referendum will have a target painted on their back when an election eventually arrives. The Brits don’t want to comprise and they have not forgotten the betrayal. They want out of the common market as David Cameron assured them ahead of the referendum! Brexit is Brexit.

While some might dismiss BoJo as some eccentric Etonian clown, the UK PM has torn the scab off British politics with the proroguing of parliament. For 3 years, the UK Parliament under the weak leadership of Theresa May dithered and floundered in carrying out its duty.

There is a slice of irony to see Remainers march in the streets to protest the proroguing of parliament.  They claim it is undemocratic when it was indeed they who did their utmost to block the will of the people. If we were to truly get to the bottom of the pet gripes of most Remainers, it would likely amount to having to form a line in the non-EU queue at customs of remaining members over any fear of major economic impacts.

Boris Johnson has played chicken with his own party members – who are Remainers – that they’ll be turfed from the party if they don’t back his plans. The flip side is that they will be crucified at the next election anyway. To side with Corbyn is suicide. To side with a Theresa May rehashed deal is a recipe for Torycide. An alliance with Farage is his only hope to end this mess, eventually.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage knows that the Tory & Brexit parties cannot split their votes as evidenced in the Peterborough by-election. With no proportional representation voting, we shouldn’t be surprised if Brexit party candidates are put up in every weak Tory constituency and where Tory Remainer incumbents currently sit. For that, Farage can negotiate a No Deal, let BoJo keep the top job and eventually convert his Brexit Party members to become a new look Tory party. Let’s face facts. The Brexit Party is predominantly about leaving the EU. If the job is done, what better way to inject much needed new blood into the Tories than get real Britons from all walks of life in parliament.

All the predictions made by Project Fear have failed to eventuate. No crashing economy or financial markets, no surge in unemployment and no British businesses gnashing teeth at what might come with life outside the EU. If anything the recent G7 looked very promising when reflecting on all of the FTAs which will probably be agreed on.

The latest trade stats between the EU and Britain make this argument pretty simple. EU members make up 7 of the Top 10 British export markets accounting for 37.4% of all trade. Top 10 account for 65.9% of trade. America accounts for £54.9bn while Germany is £36.5bn. Will British businesses fret at exporting more to America?

On the Import side, the UK matters much more to the likes of Germany at £68bn. The Dutch at £42bn and France at £28bn.

In short of the UK ‘s Top 10 importing nations, 8 are EU members. The Top 10 account for 65.7% of the total. Those 8 EU nations make up 48.1% of the total imports into the UK. On what earth would these Europeans seek to cut off their noses to spite their face? 7.13% of Germany‘s exports end up in Blighty.

One might argue that 10% of all UK exports end up in Germany Germany is the UK’s #1 importer and Germany is the #2 destination for British exports. For Germany, the UK ranks #11 importer and #3 export nation. Angela Merkel is not going to throw away a 1% GDP equivalent trade surplus in an economy in retreat. Not going to happen.

The behaviour of the EU has been so predictable. Recall Theresa May’s initial plan took the EU cabal 45 minutes to approve. That ought to have told everyone what a total dud for the UK it would be. How could we forget Emmanuel Macron imposing an October 31 deadline to have BoJo prorogue parliament and have the little Frenchman pull back his Napoleonic bravado seeing that the threat meant the EU had to throw more spanners in the works.

The British aren’t stupid. They didn’t get duped in 2016 by Brexit buses carrying slogans. 17.4mn wanted out. The taunts that people like Trump and Putin were Leavers and Obama and Trudeau were Remainers had the opposite of intended effect. The left tried to use the same tactics in the recent state elections in Germany. They used the idea of Nazism to shame people not to vote for the AfD in the Saxony election. Unfortunately, even malleable 18-29yo voters put the nationalist party top. If a second referendum were held, Leave would win by an even bigger margin.

If Jeremy Corbyn ever wanted to prosecute a case for No Deal he only had to do the obvious – make reference to Trump. True to form, he did. Does he honestly believe that signing a free trade agreement with the US would be a bad thing? Would British consumers and industry truly shun 25% of the global economy which would lower the cost of goods and services?

Corbyn promised to leave the EU at the last election but has since openly become a turncoat and proclaimed he will do his utmost to prosecute remain. At least he has finally become honest.

Let us not forget the facts of the referendum:

Leave vs Remain

Votes – 17.4m vs 16.1m

Constituencies – 406 vs 242

Labour Constituencies – 148 vs 84 (Does Corbyn honestly believe they’ve flipped back?)

Tory Constituencies – 247 vs 80 (Does BoJo really fear the remainers in the ranks?)

Regions – 9 vs 3

MPs – 160 vs 486

When The Guardian and the BBC are in full flight with attacks on BoJo we should take much comfort that their greatest fears will eventually be realised. The media hysteria on the risks of a general election. Australia’s own ABC has written that could Boris Johnson be the UK’s shortest-serving PM?

Theresa May called a snap election when she didn’t need to. She lost her outright majority because she overlooked the fact that the electorate was sick and tired of voting. It was stupid to do so. She was punished for it.

This time, Boris Johnson knows that the electorate is screaming to boot out those that have betrayed the people. Farage smashed the EU elections after only 6 weeks after forming the Brexit Party. His popularity is better than the Tories. Boris can’t be blind to this. Neither are the remainers in his party who are fighting tooth and nail to prevent it.

Yet can he the media stir up enough fake polls to get the 2/3rds majority to call an early election?

Prolonging this outcome only means the peons are busy sharpening their pitchforks so best work to side with the angry mob.

Brextension

Brexit is a total shambles. The delay timetable must be channeling British Rail. The Remainer PM Theresa May, instead of first negotiating terms with her own party and allies on a deal from the start and then taking to the EU, has repeatedly done the reverse. Then she wonders why she keeps losing support each time. Apart from the preposterous decision to rally support from Marxist Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, Theresa May has asked for yet another extension to Jun 30. EC President Donald Tusk is offering a year ‘flextension’. When will she realize that she has no authority?

Tory members have been cutting membership cards in half and posting to social media. This Telegraph letters page sums up the mood. The revolt seems less and less to do with Brexit per se and more to do with the peons feeling utterly betrayed by those they voted for. MPs who have backed the PM better start filling in their P45s. Voters will not let this slide.

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is rapidly gaining momentum, picking up disaffected voters. If he contests the EU elections his party should do very well.

The Tories are toast. For a party that should have its core in serving free markets and less government intervention it sure has forgotten its roots. For many Brits they didn’t leave the Tories. The Tories left them.

Unconditional Surrender

There is absolutely no way on earth that the 17mn who voted ‘Leave’ envisaged a Brexit plan that gave away money, took away voting rights, kept the country tied up in all current and future EU red tape, open borders and laws they’ll have no say over. On every level it’s a lose-lose. May’s plan virtually guarantees Britain will be worse off. No deal would make way more sense.

The UK is the 5th largest economy in the world. It should have been enough reason to negotiate FTA’s with anyone. Obama might have threatened that Brits would go to the back of the line, but who was he fooling? 17mn Brits thought otherwise. The people spoke.

Of course the Remainers will crow about their foresighted wisdom. Leavers will wonder why the Tory party room are prepared to back a deal that just looks so ridiculous. It doesn’t look like a negotiation took place. Unconditional surrenders have come with more  favourable T’s & C’s. If May is such good mates with Trump, why didn’t she take a leaf out of his negotiation tactics with the EU? EC President  Jean-Claude Juncker stumbled on the White House lawn after agreeing to sign an FTA with America in one day. Of course the Europhiles will argue the fine print will overwhelmingly protect EU rights, but the point is May never went into bat for her constituents. She sold her countrymen and women down the Thames.

Boris Johnson correctly summed up,

I really can’t believe it but this Government seems to be on the verge of total surrender. With every day that passes we seem to be getting more craven. We have already agreed to hand over £40bn for nothing – and certainly not a trade deal – in return.

We have agreed to become the punk of Brussels, signing up not just to their existing rulebook but to huge chunks of future regulation – even though we will have no say in drafting that legislation. We have agreed against all promises that the European Court of Justice will have a say in the enforcement of that regulation in the UK.

We have been so feeble in our preparations to leave the EU on WTO terms, and so unnaturally terrified of the consequences (greatly exaggerated by the scaremongers) that we have now said we will remain in the so-called customs union.

Which means that our trade policy will be run by Brussels at least until 2022, and – at this rate – long beyond that date. We will not be able to do free trade deals of any great value. We will not be able to take back control of our tariffs, our borders, our money, our laws. It is not even clear whether we will be able to set our own VAT rates – and yet we will have no one round the table to argue the UK case…”

With any luck, the bill will be blocked by Parliament. Leave Rebel MPs should vote against this travesty and look to file a no confidence motion to boot May. This is not what the people voted for. Regardless of whether people may or may not have changed their minds, everyone knew what was on the table and what the expected  outcomes. The ticket stated clearly in black and white,

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So May’s plan technically keeps the UK in the EU without being a member.  No doubt she has been promised a fat cat advisory role in Brussels when she is turfed, which she surely deserves to be.

We should not overlook the behaviour or Brussels with unruly members in the past. Austria, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Ireland etc. You can take it to the bank that the EU will go out of its way to punish the Brits. Easier to bully the UK which may yet sign  away their own rights as if they were the vanquished army in war.  This isn’t a negotiation but a total capitulation.

So much for protecting democracy and respecting the results of a referendum. Why bother holding it in the first place?

 

Mulligan Brexit again

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Rebel Tory MP Justine Greening is calling for a second referendum on Brexit to end a parliamentary deadlock. There was never any doubt that ‘leavers’ wanted OUT of the EU. It was pretty clear cut. “Leave the European Union ✅ or ❌” Not half in or any other form of compromise. At what point will politicians get it through their thick skulls that constituents do not want mulligan politics? If some don’t like the outcome, just keep swinging until can deliver the minority the result they wanted? Best of three? Why not conduct parliamentary elections this way? Swing and a miss!

UK PM Theresa May has shown utter incompetence in executing Brexit. She stupidly called an election which cost her a majority forcing her to side with the DUP just to hold onto power. She couldn’t read that the electorate was sick of voting as CM pointed out at the time. She was punished for it, despite the massive lead in the polls she had. One might almost think it was deliberate given the soft stance she has taken on Brexit and the total disregard for the referendum.

Despite jawboning last week there would be no negotiation post the resignations of David Davis & Boris Johnson she has had to cave in to hard line Brexiters (305 vs 302) on the Customs Bill. A narrow 303-300 vote to exit the EU’s VAT scheme post-Brexit was also reached. Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Peter Dowd said, “it took two years for the Prime Minister to reach her Chequers deal, but only two days for it to fall apart.” He is not wrong. May has bungled it so poorly one wonders if it isn’t deliberate.

What should be seen here is that politicians (from any party) voting against what their constituents put forward will be political suicide over this.  There is a genuine sense in the House of Commons that all of this will somehow wash over like politics has for decades.  While many might see the ructions inside the Tories as a godsend for Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn (to an extent it is), even he has to realise that almost 40% of his party’s voters wanted to leave, meaning the members from those areas that expressed their intent leaves mixed messaging for the party as a whole. Watch for a resurgence in UKIP.

In any event May needs to go. She should resign. It is unlikely that she will. She is even thinking of bringing summer recess forwards to reduce the chances of a no confidence motion although both Labour & Tory members have quashed the idea of this. 48 members must write letters to the 1922 backbench committee to call a no confidence motion and Theresa May would need to win over half the 316 seats held.

Yet we only need to look at drunkard EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and ask why any UK politician thinks there is merit in negotiating with an unelected mob that can’t walk in a straight line even when sober? Keep calm and Brexit hard.

Mulligan democracy?

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One disturbing development in politics is the promotion of mulligans. The idea of ‘that is the shot I would have played if I had another chance’. Sadly some people think that is fair game and even worse, democratic. The lead up to the Brexit referendum almost a year ago saw “leave” and “remain” go at it. Months of campaigning, panel discussions and other forums were largely irrelevant. Both sides accused each other of lying and spreading falsehoods but ask yourself in the history of politics – if you believed everything that came out of a politician’s mouth you’d be lying to yourself. To host a second referendum would basically say ignore democracy until you get the result you want. Maybe like a modern day prep school sports event – everyone is a winner at St. Barnabus’.

People were well aware of the issues of Brexit going in. The idea of people being too gullible is frankly condescending in the extreme. Many long standing Labour voters went for “Leave”. They weren’t voting Tory by stealth. They took a view. It wasn’t just about immigration. They were feeling pain in real time, the valid threat of their future economic security. The higher unemployment rates and withering opportunities aren’t scare stories from politicians but here and now. For example the people of the Midlands didn’t need stats, Farage or Boris to sway them. Just like those that voted Trump – they were feeling the pressure of harsh economic realities that weren’t reflected in rosy government stats that were waved in their face as a testament to their superior leadership skills.

While Remainers can whine about ‘fake’ figures of how much the EU takes every week from the UK, immigration or the number of regulations that affected Brits, financial markets proved over the 12 months since the vote that the ‘Leave’ outcome didn’t crash the economy or skewer asset prices. In fact the idea of a potential Corbyn Prime Ministership sent the pound and markets into panic. If he was to get in then Macron will get his wish of a financial center in Paris. Investment money would vanish out of the UK. It isn’t an idle threat but a reality. Capital is global.

Some argue that had the people who thought ‘remain’ would be a foregone conclusion bothered to vote then the UK would have stayed in the EU. Maybe. They were given a democratic opportunity to exercise a choice and they didn’t. Many of the 1,000,000 new voters who signed up since Theresa May called the snap election who didn’t do so before the referendum had a choice a year ago. Do we give them a free hit? How do we truly instill the realities of a true democracy if we have to attach L-plates to beginners? It doesn’t matter one jot if there were enough dormant or eligible voters to defeat the referendum if they don’t show up on game day. Is the Premier League football FA Cup given to the team that won the most games til the final but doesn’t show up because of their for and against stats?

It is an important question because the lesson should always be that people must take their vote seriously every time. Even John Cleese is understanding this. If they can’t be bothered when they have a chance to vote then  that is self inflicted and we should have no sympathy.

Theresa May gave voters a democratic chance to give her a mandate and she got thumped. There were two parts to this. Some young voters were surely lured by the offer of free education and a chance to reject Brexit by the back door. Theresa May was too arrogant to think the population would roll over and give her carte blanche to carry out her plans along with a biting austerity budget for good measure. A refusal to do a debate vs Corbyn, a slapdash manifesto and dreadful performances when she appeared sealed her fate. Corbyn came across as the warmer candidate and simply campaigned better. Still an election and a referendum are two different beasts. Just because more voted for Labour than expected doesn’t mean they want an end to Brexit. They did it to send a message to May.

Still the idea we propose a second referendum is a bad idea for democracy. Unlike elections, referendums are yes or no.

Don’t buy the argument that people were sold a pup. That the elderly are bigots, racists and have no concern for their kids or the youth. That the youth should have twice the vote of the elderly because they’re on the planet for longer or the elderly should have their voting rights cut. Saying people are stupid is not a valid answer. Why not have an IQ test for voters to determine voting rights??  If lessons aren’t learnt through bitter experience then why bother holding elections or referendums at all. If anything this election showed through the higher turnout (68.7%) that the lesson is being learnt and the electorate has told politicians they won’t be taken for mugs.

The referendum was held, Article 50 was passed as an Act of Parliament and our Dear John letter was handed to President Tusk. The UK would be a total laughing stock to divorce and then ask to remarry again. Corbyn will undoubtedly have a much stronger say in negotiations and has a vested interest to ruin what little legitimacy May has left. She is left with a divided party created by her unwillingness to listen. The Tories are toast with her at the helm and the DUP alliance smacks of desperation. A Diet Coke Brexit is pointless. We’re in or we’re out.

The Conservatives won the popular vote despite the shambolic display although Labour took 60% of the votes from UKIP. What we can say is that politics is not like it used to be. The electorate is fickle. Loyalty is no longer a given and abandoning core party principles will see politicians punished at the polls. May must step down for the sake of the Tories. as the HMS Tory takes on water under Captain May, more will seek to abandon ship until she walks the plank.

This miscalculation by May will go down as one of history’s biggest political failures. Do not be surprised if we do get a second referendum but be very worried about the precedent it sets for the future. Democracy is at stake and even arguing that it is in the interest of the people to take a mulligan on this issue is effectively saying their votes don’t matter. That referendums have no meaning. Of course the Remainers will cite opinion polls that give them the answer they want to hear but as we all know polls are useless these days. May had the biggest lead and highest popularity in living memory yet got this result.

TM is no MT

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Theresa May (TM) is no Margaret Thatcher (MT). The fact their initials are the opposite of each other is almost as eerie. Some look at the second ever female UK PM as a sort of MT Mk.II. TM isn’t. In fact her total lack of judgement to host this election is made even worse by the fact she isn’t resigning her position. Is she was the CEO of a multinational and presented a strategy that caused such damage to the brand as this election has she’d resign. Period. TM channeled the wrong MT (Malcolm Turnbull) in the election campaign who also suffers from the same belief of thinking he is more popular than he really is.

TM sold this election as a victory for her party yesterday. Her lack of humility was telling. Apparently she will “provide certainty’. Losing 12 seats while her arch enemy won an extra 29 doesn’t ring “mandate” from the people. Enlisting Arlene Foster’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to make up the numbers is patchwork and she knows it. This sign suggests that they can push hard on policy positions.

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The DUP want a soft border with the Republic of Ireland effectively diluting a hard Brexit, no change to same sex marriage or abortion laws, immunity for British soldiers in legacy cases, no border poll and a bump in its share of budget appropriations to offset a drop after Brexit. A mixed bag for May to negotiate.

While the election was interesting in the decimation of UKIP and the drubbing of the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon (who also sold it as a win), this was May’s Stalingrad. She thought she’d crush the Comrade Corbyn but didn’t bet on the resilience, resolve or resurgence in those who wanted to have a second shot at ‘Remain’. Now she leaves the Tories in a winter of discontent.

TM, you’ve lost your legitimacy – time to go.  MT would tell you the same.