Coming back after a month’s absence we find that the British political map has been redrawn. Now many of the changes were widely predicted – or at least hoped for – but perhaps few thought that so many would be realised so swiftly.
The Labour Party were shown to have fallen for their own spin that the traditionally industrial regions would always vote for them no matter how little notice had been taken of their opinions. In the real world seats like Bolsover were full of voters fed up with the Islington doctrines. One typical result being that Dennis Skinner was ousted after 49 years of being the MP for this rock-solid labour constituency.
And many of those MPs that had pushed their own agendas, rather than serve the people that they were elected to represent, got what they deserved. They wont be amongst those being sworn in to the new parliament next week.
Meanwhile the Brexit Party failed to get any of their candidates past the post in first place. This is not what many had hoped for – yet their effect on the result was far greater than either Labour or Conservative supporters – and the BBC – would admit.
Take our own constituency. The Conservative vote was up by less than 1.5% yet the well-liked sitting Labour candidate had a vote fall-off of almost 18%. Why? Because the Brexit Party took almost 14% of the vote. Not enough to do better than third overall but enough to sink Labour. So much for people who voted to leave the EU in 2016 having changed their mind, having died off or having been replaced by more intelligent first time Labour / Remain voters.
What next? A Conservative government with 162 more MPs than a leaderless Labour opposition certainly changes the game plan – especially after replacing dissident Conservative MPs with loyal party supporters and getting a new Speaker. Changes that should remove many of the obstacles to progress. And ones that will have already been noted by our European partners.
The May-Robbins-Johnson treaty with the EU is far from ideal – or even being desirable – but in practice the WTO option for leaving looks as dead as remaining. So neither side of the EU membership debate actually gets a clear victory. The outcome is coloured neither blue nor red but a muddy brown shade of compromise. Typical!
It’s 4 pm so nominations for candidates in next month’s general election have closed.
And after a short delay a full list of potential members of parliament for all 650 seats should be available to the voters. A list that should be notable if only because of the number of changes since the last national vote. Even without all the schemes for tactical voting – ie voting for someone you don’t like so has to disadvantage someone you like even less or just not fielding a candidate – there were around seventy seats where the previous MP is not standing.
Given that there are also seats where the previous MP is standing but has changed allegiance the total number of new MPs must be approaching a hundred. And that does not allow for the fact that the Labour Party has switched from – at best – neutral to firmly pro-EU. A move that that will change voting patterns that have been in place for decades in some pro-independence constituencies.
With the political turmoil of the past few years the 2019 result is going to be hard to predict – but it is quite possible that Friday the 13th will see the no end to the unrest …
The role of president of the European Central Bank (ECB) is vitally important for the prudent management of the euro. A tricky task when it is used in nineteen countries with widely-divergent economies.
Until last week the role was filled by Mario Draghi and under his management trillions of extra euros were created and mainly used to fund government borrowing and EU industries through buying their bonds. This was intended to have the effect of getting businesses to expand.
On Friday Christine Lagarde started her eight year term as ECB president – and set out with a commitment for further euro printing. But that was arranged by Draghi before he left. An unusual move in the circumstances – and one that was opposed by seven of the twenty-five strong governing council. A body that reflects that basic problem with the EU – the differences between the financial policies needed in, for example, Greece and Germany. It is also a body that Mde. Lagarde will need for help – since she lacks any central bank experience herself.
But that never stopped her at the IMF so the chances are that the euro will not fall into terminal decline – despite various predictions in recent years. Just as long as the Germans can keep their economy buoyant … and stick with the euro.
It’s November and the UK’s position with the European Union remains unchanged. Despite all the promises we are still paying the EU vast amounts so that they can spend our taxes on themselves and their pet schemes in Europe and on aid around the world.
Now the mythical leaving date has been moved to the end of January 2020. This gives the politicians just thirteen weeks to complete their scrutiny and implement some form of exit plan.
But the first six of these weeks will be spent campaigning in a general election. Then at least the next three will be spent getting the new parliament in place and taking a Christmas-New Year break. Then no more than four weeks will remain for the new balance of power to take control and finalise a plan.
Of course the numbers are critical in determining how these four weeks progress – if at all. The so-called Liberal Democrats (George Orwell’s fictional NewSpeak becomes fact!) intend to revoke our request to leave if they get the chance. And there are constituencies that voted to remain in 2016 where today’s voters think that this is acceptable practice. With a number of MPs switching their allegiance the party could gain seats – but perhaps not enough to have another female Prime Minister just yet [sorry Jo]
Meanwhile the Marx Brothers – and Sisters – say they will delay leaving yet again so that they can negotiate a better leaving deal and then campaign to remain through a second referendum. One that excludes the option to leave as a free agent under world trade terms. Considering that many Grandads from outside of Greater London who voted to leave in 2016 are also traditional Labour voters this approach seems doomed from day one. The only question is how many seats will Labour loose?
At the Shrine of the Dead Donkey the Conservative position is let’s back the May-Robbins-Johnson deal and move on. This policy could be good enough to convince enough voters and so add enough seats for a new government to have a working majority. Its major weakness is that it leaves the country shackled to our friends in Europe. And that man Barnier is already lined-up to extract the maximum punishment in the trade talks still to come. Given the time and effort spent to get to the current position – and what has happened with other trade deals – we could be suffering at the hands of the EU for many more years.
Finally we have the party that highlighted the problems created when widely divergent nations are tied to a common bureaucracy. In this election the Brexit Party will suffer from being seen as a one issue party – and from the Conservatives reluctance to spell out what their deal really means. The voting public are smart enough to treat Euro elections differently to domestic ones. So the TBP will not gain as many seats as they did earlier this year. However they have the possibility of gaining some and these could be critical in influencing the outcome of those four weeks in January.
It all depends on how well the implications – and shortcomings – of the current deal can be explained. And if the new parliament reverses the no-deal block that was imposed by political scaremongers in the last session.
Time to book some holidays away from all of this …
This weekend should, according to previous promises by our Prime Minster, be the country’s last as a member of the European Union.
And even though there are six remaining days for things to change, it seems almost certain that leaving at the end of October will become another promise that is broken.
True the lack of a majority in parliament has left the country with a government that is unable to govern. With an array of anti-exit political factions and vested interests against it any meaningful progress has become impossible – even the judiciary showed their bias.
Of course, for the many Grandads happy to support leaving without the far-reaching constraints demanded by the EU, this situation means that a bad deal has also been delayed – so far. But with many politicians demanding that No-Deal is taken off the table the chances of the UK actually escaping the spider’s web of EU control next week seem slim.
Obviously giving up on the present parliament and having a general election does offer a potential solution. But only if it results in a clear majority of MPs being in one camp or the other. Recent experience shows that another minority government could be the result – and then we are back in the same situation by Christmas.
The public’s view of our pseudo-democratic representatives must now have fallen to an all-time low – with plenty of justification.
In a surprise move a group of MPs – also ones opposed to leaving the European Union – have presented a case to the Royal and Ancient High Court of Lindisfarne to amend the calendar through a decree that October can no longer have 31 days.
A move that will end the existence the 31st of October in perpetuity – and to compensate will add an extra day to November.
The members involved stated that this was a long disputed issue that seriously disadvantages millions of British people no longer able to remember the rhyme about the number of days in each month. This was now seriously impacting the mental health of the nation and was costing the NHS millions. They are, therefore, demanding that the speaker of the house makes an order for the immediate acceptance of their Calendar Correction Bill – as soon as the court issue their verdict. This is expected by Wednesday at the latest.
These same members also stated that this urgent action is totally unrelated to any other matters that parliament is currently considering or in any way linked to blocking the UK from leaving the EU. To quote Our only interest being protecting the well being of the nation.
Update: Today the Lord Provost of the Lindisfarne Court announced that the case had been rejected and gave a summary of the grounds for its rejection. These were that the plaintiffs did not attend the court in person as required, that no victims of the supposed injustice were presented and that the High Court’s jurisdiction on such issues had been terminated by Act of Parliament in 1648.
As predicted last week, the new deal with the EU revealed today – and immediately accepted by Brussels – is the May-Robbins dead donkey treaty with some tweaks for the Irish issue but now with a divorce bill reduced to just £33,000 million! So it seems our all-new prime minister is actually Theresa May 2.0 underneath.
If that is not the case then a Baldrick-style cunning plan could be in play – based on a guess that our self-serving politicians will defeat the dead donkey for a fourth time on Saturday – and then a hope that the EU would loose their patience and say no to another extension. Thus exiting without a deal on 31-Oct-2019. But that seems like another flying pig scenario!
For the other political parties the latest deal has already been rejected as a step backwards and provided them with more fuel for revoking our Article 50 leave request; probably via a one-sided referendum. A view that might now just win out. If it does then the only bright spot would be a general election to follow with an opportunity to vote in a Brexit parliament that would invoke Article 50 again – if the EU had not blocked countries using that route by then.
That tangled web is entrapping us more and more …
Today the bookies are rethinking their odds that there will be a UK-EU deal agreed as soon as next week. Clearly someone thinks that a deal is near.
So while all the anti-no deal politicians ought to be happy at the expected news it is more likely that they will live to regret their feeble-minded efforts.
Why? Because the only deal the EU have ever supported is their one-sided treaty agreed to by the May-Robins gang. A treaty that even these same anti-no deal politicians rejected no less than three times. This is the only deal that is ready-to-go – and one already approved by the 27 EU members.
Grandad could be wrong and a complete replacement for the 600+ page treaty might be created in time to be approved next week. But pigs might fly. So what about a few quick edits on the existing treaty? Well the only edits so far covered relate to the Irish land border. Nothing else has been aired in public.
The logical implication is that the original treaty – the dead-donkey deal – will be tweaked for the Irish issue and then put to the UK parliament for a fourth time.
And, as before, if approved it will commit the country to a much despised Brexit-in-name-only future. A Pyrrhic victory that leaves the UK with the worst of no-deal and worst of remain without any advantages. And a general election will punish the culprits but come too late to undo the mess.
Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.
As the political wrangling reaches fever-pitch the mood amongst the general population seems to range from despair to barely contained anger.
How can so many of our elected representatives be so bad? Many – most – ignore their constituents’ choices and play juvenile games in an insulated metro bubble with zero regard for the well being of the nation.
At least the EU politburo is working towards an objective with a plan – even though it is flawed plan to create a European Empire ruled by a central cabal. Whereas every UK plan seems to be to try anything and hope we can all muddle through. All the time expecting that everyone involved will play the game with fairness and honesty. An ideal that cuts little ice in the 21st century.
The next few weeks are supposed to be our last under EU control .. but we have all heard that so often before.