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Brexit not running smoothly

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by WarDamnGator, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. LimeyGator

    LimeyGator Premium Member

    I think they've been nothing but on the ball with it all.

    They've been the most prepared, the most united and had been clear about what they wanted all along. It's now becoming quite the trend for Brexiteers to want to hoist their blame on the EU for not giving them exactly as they want, as if we're owed something by them. Pretty unreal, really, not least because if this was France or Germany going as Britain was staying, we'd be kicking with the other foot quite hypocritically.

    Sadly, it's pretty obvious that the EU has far stronger leadership than we do on the matter.

    I'm pretty sure they'd rather we stay but they aren't going to lay down and give loads of concessions. They, quite rightly, have their own bloc to consider.
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  2. LimeyGator

    LimeyGator Premium Member

    Thought you guys might like a small update as it continues to play out like a Shakespearean drama...

    So last time out, I wrote:

    So as it stood last week, the vote that had been put down historically twice was going to come back. Some had said it was going to be on 28th March!
    That was until the Speaker of the House rather fabulously (and I say that not in a partisan way, but one that is legal and based on procedure!) did this...

    If you didn't watch all 90 seconds, he essentially said the Government can't bring back the same rejected vote (by 149 votes) in the same term of Parliament. And let's be honest, any democracy - whether you're Leave or Remain - must know he's right! After all, if the People aren't allowed to revote, why should Parliament?!

    Anyway, it was huge.

    Then May went on a nationally televised... well, I should say address, but essentially it was a juvenile rant. Basically blaming MPs and telling the people she was 'on your - the people's side' (which is hilarious as most polls show the precise opposite to be true right now) It was at best, passive aggressive and really ill-thought out - she was universally bashed for it. I went from disliking her to loathing her in an instant, mostly because it's Parliament trying to hold her accountable - not simply block her. She has refused to look at the bigger picture and simply keeps trying to ram home her deal. Her days are now definitely numbered, mostly because of what happened last night.

    So she went to Brussels to beg for a delay, because we've been so inept. And they granted two, which is going to be so fascinating.

    The first is to May 22nd - providing MPs vote on her deal for a 3rd time and pass it. Options? May's Brexit, or No Deal. (i.e. disaster).
    But she wasn't expecting the other... that is April 12th (mostly because there are European Elections in May and Britain would have to take part if they are staying), if her deal is rejected a 3rd time. At which point an alternative has to be provided to grant this longer extension. May didn't ask for that - the EU proposed it. Why is it significant? Because the EU specifically mentioned the taboo of revoking A50. It wasn't an accidental slip, it was a subtle nudge, cleverly done.

    And in the past 48 hours, nearly 3m citizens have petitioned the Government for exactly that - the biggest and fastest ever online in the system. (And of course, May ignores it - in fact, so have the BBC which probably gives you a clue as to their true leanings... here is their front page right now. See if you can get a feel for what they subtly want? I'm sure they are balanced though!) :)


    And on Saturday a huge protest March is being held in the capital which should get a lot of profile, but who knows. The media, eh?!

    My view hasn't changed much but that alternative delay date probably all but kills May's 3rd vote unless she bends to the DUP and somehow bashes others in line. She's already tried to bribe them once, and some labour MPs with money for their constituencies (that's not corrupt though - it's just politics, so we're told...) so I wouldn't put it past her. She's absolutely desperate and I suspect she may be forced out within a month, but who knows.

    You couldn't write this!
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  3. WarDamnGator

    WarDamnGator GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 8, 2007
    I thought I saw a headline yesterday that they (Parliament?) voted on having a second referendum, but that was voted down. Did I read that right?
  4. GatorNavy

    GatorNavy Tally me banana Moderator VIP Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    Space Coast
    I laughed pretty hard when I watched this. Not to belittle the message, but I can't think of a better limerick deliverer than him.

    There was an Old Man with a beard
    Who said, 'It is just as I feared
    Two Owls and a Hen,
    Four Larks and a Wren,
    Have all built their nests in my beard.
  5. fastsix

    fastsix Premium Member

    Apr 11, 2007
    I don't know if this cartoon gets it right, but it made me laugh either way.

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  6. LimeyGator

    LimeyGator Premium Member

    Not quite. That bit is really complicated - it was an amendment vote last week. Labour were supposed to back it (they have publicly stated they would) but then they were whipped to abstain because 'the time wasn't right'. The absolute definition of stupid politics getting in the way of actually doing stuff.

    This was comedy genius and yet, it absolutely sums up our Government right now.

    Bercow is the most British sounding person I can think of, but I credit him - he's clearly got precedent and procedure at the forefront, rather than partisan politics. I like him.
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  7. GatorNavy

    GatorNavy Tally me banana Moderator VIP Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    Space Coast
    Nothing against him, I just thought his delivery was humorous and it made me think of limericks. BTW, we watch a lot of British TV shows, primarily mysteries, on BritBox and we have to use CC in order to understand everything. I could understand him completely so maybe I am getting better at it.
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  8. gatorknights

    gatorknights GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 8, 2007
    Gainesville, FL
    Thank you! I practically grew up on Python, and Mrs. GK is half British (the other half Canadian eh?). We would watch Hyacinth and then a hockey game and call it a night. That poor Richard...
  9. LimeyGator

    LimeyGator Premium Member

    Sounds like the perfect evening!
  10. gatorknights

    gatorknights GC Hall of Fame

    Apr 8, 2007
    Gainesville, FL
    Yep, we finished off with a "wrestling match". :cool:. It was pretty good.
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  11. LimeyGator

    LimeyGator Premium Member

    Around a million people marched today. Nearly 5 million have signed an online petition asking for A50 to revoked.
    The message was pretty clear - it's getting harder for May to ignore any compromise.
  12. ursidman

    ursidman GC Hall of Fame

    Sep 27, 2007
    @LimeyGator : extremely long read but if you have a chance could you let us know your take on this account of Aaron Banks and his role in Brexit. It may be slanted (is it?) but it reads as if Mr Banks is a cross between Roger Stone and Donald Trump - in short he seems utterly detestable.
    The Chaotic Triumph of Arron Banks, the “Bad Boy of Brexit”
    Banks dismissed much of the reporting about him as overheated Remainer fantasy—the product of journalists and media proprietors who had been “driven crazy by Brexit.” This argument echoes Trump’s claim that Americans who express concerns about his campaign’s communications with Russian officials are just displacing their rage over his defeat of Hillary Clinton. Banks said that he’d given money to a campaign in an entirely legal way, and now he was being punished for having been effective. All the criminal investigations were similarly motivated by politics. One could not trust the Electoral Commission to act fairly when it referred him to the National Crime Agency, he said, because the commission was filled with Remain supporters. Brexit itself was at risk, Banks warned me, because most M.P.s were Remainers, as were many powerful people outside Parliament.
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  13. LimeyGator

    LimeyGator Premium Member

    I read it all Ursidman - thanks for the link.

    Yes, he's now under criminal investigation and I'll politely leave it at that. It's a very detailed, clearly well researched article. Obviously, I get why there's such interest in the Russian ties towards the end, and that I have absolutely no informed opinion of, but the stuff about Brexit is bang on in my view.

    I always find it fascinating that people like Banks are happy quoting what he 'doesn't stand for' but gives little time detailing what he does stand for. This is where most people so invested in Leave fall down, imo. I ask myself: For what reason could a multi-millionaire businessman who keeps much of his corporate financing off shore, where it can't be scrutinsed and taxed (in the UK) as it should, be so emotionally invested in Brexit? For 'Sovereignty'? Really? The thing we already had? (Britain voted in favour of something like 95%+ of Eu resolutions over the past decade or so the Sovereignty myth is now well and truly debunked...). If anyone comes up with something other than power, influence and greed,... I've got time share to sell you! Britain was more a prisoner of itself than it was of the EU but a good portion of the country still like to think we rule the world.

    Some of his views are absolutely objectionable, in my opinion. "I'm not racist", but I am "tribal" is the absolute definition of trying to make his disgusting views seem legitimate. But he's clearly smart and knows how to ride the emotional wave of populism. His type will ultimately change politics (probably for the better in the long term, maybe not in the short) as we all up the urgency to be more informed about influencers, funding and fact.

    The bit about May not pushing the agenda so hard while Brexit is so contentious is absolutely spot on, imo. If a key member was outed as a criminal, the consequences would be gargantuan.

    In other Brexit news this morning, talk of May being ousted as PM is intensifying. Allegedly some of the party will back her deal if she steps down. Can't see it myself - but I suspect more bickering will ensue. Some talk of it being Michael Gove, which would be like running from one burning building to another, but with scorpions on the floor and Bjork on repeat over the intercom. He's hapless.

    A May to Gove transition would go something like this...

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  14. gator_lawyer

    gator_lawyer Premium Member

    Oct 30, 2017
    You guys should put Boris Johnson in charge. He's your Donald Trump. YOLO. :emoji_laughing:
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  15. ursidman

    ursidman GC Hall of Fame

    Sep 27, 2007
    Thank you LimeyGator. As others have noted your type of eye witness information is the best kind. What struck me in the article was the sense of an unseen and powerful hand influencing political events in GB very similar to the sense I get from observing the political events here in the colonies. Also, I get the sense that the leave/exit vote would be reversed if voted on today - or that could just be what gets through the media filters to me. thank you for your take.
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  16. homer

    homer GC Hall of Fame

    Nov 2, 2015
    What started it?

    I read Britain was tired of being ordered around by Germany. Especially about immigration?

    Was that not correct?
  17. LimeyGator

    LimeyGator Premium Member

    Don't joke about it. It could happen. He's not batting on a full wicket, if you know what I mean. You know he wrote two arguments for Brexit - one to Remain and one to Leave and only decided which to publish near the end after figuring out which horse to back? The one with the easiest path to the highest office. I kid you not...

    No worries. Yes, I think the unseen hand is an apt description. Our politics is certainly not above that level of corruption I'm afraid. More needs to be done to make it transparent and in the interests of the people. Without meaningful reform, it's going to continue for a while so at least maybe some good might come out of all this...

    You could literally write a book on the answer, Homer. Suffice to say, a steady diet of anti-European sentiment has been stoked through much of the UK Press for the past 30/40 years, completely unchallenged. That created a large part of the basis for Brexit - why Brits aren't more distrusting of the papers I will never know. They have long been used as a social conditioning tool on both sides of the political spectrum that people blithely swallow.

    Germany certainly hasn't 'ordered' Britain around. In fact, if anything, the opposite has been true in the context of the EU - Germany went 'all in' on the EU project, along with France. Britain never has done - it distanced itself from further EU integration, retained a special veto power that wasn't afforded to anyone else, got a big financial rebate on what it put into the fund each year (unlike the others) and also didn't have to adopt the Euro, amongst other things. If anything, Germany would love to have seen greater integration from the UK to add gravitas to the project. But as the tide has slowly turned (the UK £ was far stronger than the Euro for a long time. Now? So much the reverse!) and the EU has become much more economically formidable, our original heel-digging looks more misinformed. Throughout our involvement, Britain has had a great deal of special privilege as a key member of the EU - much to the chagrin of others (such as France who see it as special favours). But for some Brits, this whole 'being part of something' rather than 'ruling the waves ourselves!' was never ever going to be enough, regardless of the outcome. It was pride. Principle. Stubbornness.

    There is 100% still a delusion of self-importance (based on our imperial past) still lingering in the 'uppermost echelons' of British society. The supremely wealthy, the real 'elites' (a term that gets bandied around too carelessly nowadays...) A "we don't like being told what to do!" attitude was an empowering tagline to get behind and was sold as patriotism, very cleverly by Leave during the campaign... even if it simply wasn't true. I've stated in these forums before just how many times Britain voted with and proposed/influenced so many EU resolutions... it was nearly always (~95%, empirically), but that message would spoil the perfect utopia of our self-sufficient isolation that so many still have, despite evidence that we were getting our way the vast majority of the time and benefiting economically from it. So it was dismissed and for some reason, those dismissing it weren't calling them out enough during the campaign. Dismissing facts is so commonplace now, it seems.

    At the other end of the economic scale, so many Britons also felt the establishment had let them down. They saw the polished 'elite' serving themselves in Parliament and not listening to Joe Ordinary. That, I will grant, is a definite truth and a valid reason to be frustrated. Accordingly, so many voted to Leave purely because it was a jolly good two fingers up at David Cameron (who campaigned, very meekly, to Remain) as a protest at the Tory government that had imposed austerity on them for so many years.

    And furthermore, in addition to the elitely wealthy (who would never feel the pinch of the economic loss) and the disenfranchised (who certainly will, but have been conned by the likes of Farage/Gove/Johnson that it was all just a 'Project Fear') there are also some blatantly - I'm ashamed to say - British racists, pure and simple. They hated 'Johnny Foreigner', feeling threatened without knowing why. But Leave legitimised their prejudices and gave them enough taglines to get by on when challenged. It creases me up when I listen to them call into radio shows and eventually revert back to "Well, there's a lot of them walking around my high street!" when they originally claimed it was about sovereignty or something that sounded the part. The voting correlation between predominantly white areas (from some poorer areas in the north, right through to the extremely well-to-do 'Shires further south - both with very low levels of racial integration but with extremely different socio-economic backgrounds...) in contrast to the vastly more multicultural larger cities was absolutely stark: Those who lived in isolation were far more in favour of leaving than those who weren't. Why? Fear. Fear was stoked continuously - espeically by the likes of Farage and the Leave.EU party - not the official one but the one that was happy to play the race card most obviously. One of the best quotes that surfaced in all of this - and I find it still rings very true - "not all Leave voters are racist, but all racists voted to Leave".

    And to be honest, there were also a LOT of uninformed voters that bought into the lies that were sprinkled around. When you paste all these sections of society together, there was a lot of anger and a basis for the vote. Lies were allowed to carry unchallenged during a very ill-managed campaign on both sides (Leave was often baseless in fact, but swept up in a wave of emotion and clever denial of the threats - mostly economic - while Remain was very complacent and didn't make clear enough what people would stand to lose...), Brexit became a reality. And now as we teeter on the edge, the tide of opinion is swaying as the public became more informed. Even the Chancellor today said to Sky News - and I quote "a 'no-deal' Brexit would cause "catastrophic economic dislocation in the short term" and in the longer term leave Britain with a "smaller economy" and "poorer as a nation relative to our neighbours in the European Union". That is our second most senior ranking politician, who holds the purse strings. There's literally no ambiguity in that statement. But where was that being touted 3 years ago? Strange absence of reality, all around...

    The whole thing has frustrated the heck out of me, personally. I read 'The Economics and Politics of the EU' as a fairly large part of my undergraduate degree, but if I or most other moderates even remotely tried to talk politics during the campaign it was often shut down. I'm not bolshy enough to have my voice heard - sadly that only went to those on the extremes as it made for better TV. I'd like to think I was well enough informed to contribute but Politics in the UK has been degraded over the past decade to a point where civil discourse is longer encouraged. It's not about moderation, it's about partisan bickering for the sake of it. Anything less and you're just a wuss! It's maintained through a clever system of jazzy soundbites and voter manipulation, even if nothing has any basis in fact. Even Michael Gove - who looks a good bet to be our next PM at some point - positively taunted during the referendum that "Britain has had enough of experts!" - the post-truth era of politics was in full swing and he liegitimised any opinion so long as you like your own. A pretty dangerous path but oh so Dunning-Kruger... it's no real wonder that people are no longer able to think or listen critically, instead just espousing whatever well held views they already had...

    It's all a bit sad, really. Heaven knows where we'll end up, but the hatred on both extremes isn't going away any time soon. And perhaps most sobering of all is that we lost a brilliant young MP - Jo Cox - as a result of this whole situation. She was murdered a week before the referendum by an extremist Leave voter - a clear indication that our politics is broken. And yet nothing - no moderation, no compromise, no 'bigger picture' seems to have been learned. Theresa will plow on, regardless. One can only hope that whatever comes of this all, there are brighter days ahead, regardless of whether we leave or not...

    RIP Jo.

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  18. tegator80

    tegator80 GC Hall of Fame

    May 29, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    Limey, you are obviously passionate and heartbroken (disgusted?) with this mess. I have posted this before in passing but I will ask again.

    Did the voting to get into the EU follow the way it was for Brexit? In the US, we are going into the toilet because, beginning with Obama (maybe earlier) we decided not to legislate but instead have executive orders. It "gets things done" but once the POTUS leaves the office, the next person gets to undo it all. It is all a bunch of imperialism and not statesmanship.

    If there was the same majority vote referendum to get in, then the Brexit vote just undid the original knee jerk. But if there was much more in the vote to giving up "something" to become a "mainlander" it seems like the referendum should never have had so much power...or the vote should have been vetted WAY more than what it was.

    If it indeed was more of a "what-the-hey" vote to become a member then what I see was an attempt to social engineer the Britains without real conviction. And this is merely the lurch of the pendulum swinging violently back in the other direction. And to be clear, there is NOTHING I see here that tells me we aren't doing the exact same thing.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
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  19. LimeyGator

    LimeyGator Premium Member

    Britain joined the EEC (basically the earlier version of the EU) in the early 1970s. As I recall (I may be wrong as I haven't checked!), but my understanding is that it was not a widely held preference of the public at the time, but that was hardly surprising: We were rejected for membership at least once or twice prior to joining (it was originally set up in 1957) and it took a while to be admitted. Public sentiment would have been very heavily influenced by the fact that we were only 15 years removed from a huge war with Germany and Italy who were original members. Trust has never been our strong point, but pride - oh, we have plenty of that!

    It was Ted Heath's - a Conservative PM - Government that wrangled our way in. And I don't think sentiment has ever hugely changed. Joining the EEC back then was all about economics and trade (previously we'd been running, oops, I mean 'cooperating with' our Commonwealth slav... , I mean 'colleagues'... and that wasn't working out too swell in the 50s). It was a smart decision in hindsight. With the Maastricht Treaty in the 90s, the EU was formed and Britain managed to keep things at arm's length that it didn't like - again, though, I remember the news of the time and the cynicism. The EU has long been portrayed as the bad guys while Brits naively enjoyed the benefits of the trade it generated.

    I know this will raise a smile over your side of the pond (and so it should!) but Brits don't typically like being told they aren't top of the pile any more. Our history is rich with "success" and for a lot of people who live about 300 years ago in their heads, the modern economic platform is a hard sell for them. I think we do just fine - we punch above our weight for our size and I generally like the civil liberties (and lack of big or nasty bugs... god, that's one of the best things...) we are afforded by being British. But many do not, many will never be satisfied and that causes a collective heel drag by those who are wealthy and powerful.

    Sad times.

    That being said, something massive happened last night. MPs voted to more or less take control of the process, away from Theresa May. To be fair, after 3 years of flailing, I don't have any issue with it at all. Wednesday will see a series of 'indicative' votes to see if there is a preferred route out of this mess. May is under no obligation to follow through on it, but the media attention it will garner (and a refusal by her to deal with it) would be her death knell. If I was a betting man, there's a good chance she'll be forced to resign within the month...
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  20. LimeyGator

    LimeyGator Premium Member

    In case anyone cares any more (... I'm there...), a massive hour coming up for UK politics.

    May's vote on the withdrawal agreement is going to Parliament a third time. It's a loophole that allowed her to bring it again by splitting it into two parts, but it's aimed at getting more backing.

    Until Tuesday it looked like it'd be smashed down again but the last 48 hours has seen a bunch of MPs who voted angrily against it (saying it was worse than staying in the EU) now suddenly doing an about face. The hypocrisy is wonderful. They're allowed to change their minds, but the people of the UK aren't... (!).

    Anyway, as it stands, it'll be close but barring a shocker I'd expect it to be defeated by 40-60 votes again. It depends on how many Labour MPs revolt the party line and vote with the Conservatives or abstain.

    Ramifications are huge. If it passes, the UK will leave on the 22nd May but nobody knows what will happen.
    If it loses, I'd expect May to resign within 48 hours and we'll be looking for a new PM.

    Hold onto your butts... result will be known in 15 minutes or so!