From The Post:
Breaking news: With just 73 days to go until Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union, lawmakers voted down the withdrawal deal that had been painstakingly negotiated between Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Union. May has until Monday to come back to Parliament with a Plan B.
Optional musical accompaniment:
What happens now?
I counter your musical selection with my own:
They should put it to a revote.
I’d be good with tar and feathering Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Niall Farage (?), David Cameron and the lot of them. Wankers. Henry VIII would have known what to do with them. To the Tower.
Second referendum. Ends in Remain.
Unknown and unknowable. Best guess is that the middle class gets fucked hard.
@Yarrow: I hope so….been sorta betting on that for a while.
Is there anyone in leadership in either major party that will advocate for a second referendum?
@David Anderson: A good choice!
@Yarrow: Seems to me that would be the sensible outcome, but will it happen? The Brits have a stupid problem similar to ours here in the States.
J R in WV
PM May seems to be more stupid than Pres. Drumpf — as hard as that is to believe!!!
ETA: Personally, I think the EU is the best thing to ever happen to Great Britain. People lied about the benefits and the costs, and people didn’t believe their fellow (more stupid than believed before) voters would vote for such a stupid agenda. Then they did, and here they all are! In Stupidville, GB.
And it wasn’t close, either. 432 to 202. Over the cliff we go… tra la.
@stan: @Betty Cracker: Well, no way to tell, but crashing out of the EU is very unpopular, so I’d guess they’ll figure it out somehow. Corbyn is not being any help in that regard, however.
I hope that this will lend support to the Remainers, and that the country will decide to pull back from the cliff of national suicide.
The chorus of Russian-supported grifters who pushed this monstrosity are saying that a decision to Remain would be a rejection of popular democracy — in fact, Putin himself has made this claim.
But in fact, the original Brexit vote did not reflect popular democracy at all. It was funded by a hostile foreign power, and relied on non-stop lies and misrepresentations to gain its votes.
The UK now has a chance to undue the damage inflicted on it by a calculated influence operation, spearheaded by the Kremlin and its puppets like Farage and Trump. I hope it will do the right thing.
If you’d like more context about what’s happening, visit the Guardian’s liveblog.
Corbyn, backed by former Lib Dem leader Vince Cable and others, has tabled a vote of no confidence in the government. Parliament will debate that tomorrow at 7 PM, and if it passes, we go to a snap election. Please remember that Corbyn is not really opposed to Brexit, either, which is why the opposition/push for a second referendum has been so disorganised– the major opposition party can’t get behind the idea.
My best guess is that Article 50 gets extended and this all gets kicked into slightly longer grass, meaning we are facing these issues again in another two years or so.
Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, basically begged the UK to cancel Brexit just now. That’s an option, too. Just… not doing it.
It’s fun, being a US expat in the UK. I drink so much more than I used to!
I would suggest adapting the ‘Wife Swap’ plot here. Our congress goes over to the UK to fix Brexitt and their parliament comes over here to reopen our government. It could hardly produce worse results.
I did read somewhere that there is significant popular support for another referendum.
The other out is the MPs can just say ‘the first referendum was technically non-binding’ and then vote to stay and then have May drop the Article 50.
When they say that, pelt them with eggs, rotten veg, and send them to the Tower. They deserve prison for what they have put the UK through.
@R-Jud: Note that the verb ‘to table’ is a contronym: it inconveniently means two opposite things, either ‘delay action’ or ‘act on now’. But presumably not both at the same time.
Actually Parliament should get up off its arse and do its job, which is to be the sovereign power in a elected representative democracy. The original referendum should never have been called in the first place, its result only used as an indicator of public feeling like a very large well-run opinion poll to aid future government actions and legislation. Instead it was taken as Holy Writ and the result has been two years and more of messing around, embarrassing failures of Government, pointless negotiation, outright lying and prevarication by politicians who should have been doing their jobs instead.
There are reasons the pols did that, the Leave vote was strong and crossed party boundaries more than a lot of the leaders liked and trying to keep their UKIP-curious supporters from abandoning them at the polls they gave in and acquiesced. Now we’re staring into the abyss and it’s clear there are no ‘sunlit uplands’ ahead as the mechanics of disengagement from the EU have been made clear and still not implemented or paid for, folks are still wittering on about a ‘People’s Vote’ and other rainbow unicorn-droppings as a solution to a mess the original ‘People’s Vote’ got us into.
Interesting times ahead.
Optional? More like Mandatory musical accompaniment.
May seems hopelessly incompetant. Had Brexit been in Thatcher’s wheelhouse roasting sparrows on curtain rods would have commence long long ago.
@oldster: My thoughts exactly. In both US and UK there’s an understandable reluctance to admit that democracy was f*ed with pretty easily, that we don’t know how to stop it from being f*ed with again, and reluctance to cancel the f*ed with results because that would remove any remaining confidence in democracy.
Putin has them at each other’s throats the same way he has us. The Know-Nothings will revolt if they Remain and May and her party care much more about their careers and hanging into all that sweet laundered money to do the right thing. Cornyn is no Nancy SMASH. They’re fucked.
@R-Jud: I don’t think the EU is willing to grant an extension. I think they (rightfully) see it as just kicking the can down the road, where holding to the original timeline might at least pressure the UK into doing what they obviously need to do which is hold another vote.
And I don’t see the problem with another vote. It’s a noble thing to change your view of something once you’ve acquired more information. Well, the UK voters have acquired a lot more information. Make May’s plan the referendum. If voters approve it, then the exit is not only affirmed, but so is the plan to do so. If May’s plan is rejected, then exit is rejected and no plan is needed.
Isn’t that the very same reasoning behind the no confidence vote and snap election?
As a Brit (live in the USA and have citizenship) I will still be looking at setting up Irish-EU citizenship. I just have to dig up the documents from the archives for that side of that family.
@oldster: Me too. We’re in the same fight, as you noted. I’ll never forget that slimey fuck Farage over here fomenting Trumpism and Trump over there boosting the Brexiteers. All fruit from the same rotten tree.
@Yarrow: I thought it was a referendum not a law. Would a whooopsy never mind work here?
@Martin: My understanding is there are logistical/legal differences between setting up a snap election and setting up a second referendum. The former can be sorted out in as few as five weeks; the latter takes at least 10.
ETA: As of today, we have 10 weeks and 3 days.
Perhaps. But she really is in a no-win situation. Going against a public vote should be inconceivable to a politician in a democracy. What the public asked for is vastly more difficult than realized, and the EU is under no obligation to make it easier. That Corbyn is on the other side is hardly helping matters – both in terms of his own incompetence but also that I can’t fault any Briton for not wanting to rush into his shitty arms.
There are lots of problems out in the world that don’t have any good solutions – just a choice among bad ones. This is one of those problems.
@Mary G: Well May is about to become an ex-Prime Minister. It’s really hard to see how she can have the confidence of Parliament after such a resounding defeat. But I don’t think she was stupid. I think she was so stubborn about Brexit that she had to see it through. Unless she’s a True Believer in it, Then she’s stubborn and stupid.
@Mart: There was a pledge from the PM to follow the result of the referendum. That’s all you need.
May will have to ask the EU to extend the Article 50 deadline. But there is only a window of two extra months, as the elections for the EU parliament are coming up at the end of May (May 23 – 26). If the UK isn’t out by that time, they’d have to elect new MPs to the EU parliament.
What do you mean, optional? It say it is prescient.
@R-Jud: The no-confidence vote, if it passes (and it probably will) means May must try and form a new government which can command a fresh majority of the House but she only has a few days to do this. If she decides she can’t then she will go to Buck House and ask (actually demand but she’s being polite) for Parliament to be dissolved at which point all the MPs stop getting paid and the machinery for a snap election grinds into motion.
The chances of her getting a new majority are slim, fat and none. The one crazy suggestion I saw was for her to go into coalition with the SNP promising THEM another Referendum on Scottish independence within the year, intending that a separate Scottish nation would rejoin the EU ASAP leaving England and Wales to go it alone as an Atlantic version of North Korea. She’d survive with the support of the third-largest party in Parliament, 35 seats and she could stick two fingers up to the odious DUP as a bonus. The problem is that Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP leader in Westminster, hates the Tories and knows that if and when Britain leaves the EU a second Independence referendum is a certainty, sooner than later. She doesn’t have to cozy up to May to get what she wants, it will come to her in due course.
Sometimes I look at our country, and the way we are currently stuck — every week we go over and over that Trump is doing what makes Putin happy. Josh Marshall put together a video of two years’ worth of clips of Republicans saying there was no collusion, and while there are minor changes in wording over time, it’s basically an endless loop.
Then I look at Brexit. It’s obvious it’s a rotten idea but again, everyone seems stuck.
It’s like these two nation states are all the dysfunctional individuals I have ever known and finally learned in mid-adulthood to steer clear away from.
You know the type — the people who get themselves in bad spots and can’t seem to get themselves out of them but in the mean time, they do everything they can to suck you into their drama. They have a million excuses why they a victims but won’t take any advice or action.
The US and Britain need therapy.
Given the death rate in the UK and the difference in support between Leave and Remain amongst older and younger voters, the ~1.25M gap between the votes should be gone by now, even if nobody changed their mind. It’s the younger people that will have to live with most of the consequences.
it was a rotten deal
@R-Jud: Oh, no doubt there are. I was just commenting on the rationale behind ‘oh we can’t vote a 2nd time, the voters have spoken’ and ‘oh, parliament doesn’t like this person the voters picked, let’s choose another right now’. In fact, I’d argue the voters have learned more about the challenges of exit than they have about May’s ability to execute a plan, and that the former is more deserving of a referendum than the latter. That it’s happening the other way around is really a function of a rigid system that doesn’t allow for unanticipated problems to be resolved in a reasonable way.
Not that the US is in ANY position to judge on that front.
I’d also argue that if you scheduled the referendum now as I described – whereby you either get an end to exit or approval of a plan, the EU would give you the 10 weeks. That’s the result they want, after all. The EU doesn’t want the UK to exit. They just want the UK to come up with a fucking plan that can be implemented one way or another.
I think the EU is against a second referendum, as are Conservative Party hardliners. And probably the DUP as well (Northern Ireland conservatives).
There are few good options. Maybe no good options.
@Stuart Frasier: There are reportedly a tranche of Remain voters who see the vote they lost as definitive and if asked to vote again will vote Leave this time as that was actually the expressed will of the electorate and it shouldn’t be overturned by a process of voting until the right result turns up out of the blue. How many people think this way I don’t know.
@Robert Sneddon: Thanks for the additional detail in that comment and your previous one at #16. I’m ashamed that after 13 years living on this side I still have a pretty superficial understanding of how elections in this country work. That’s probably because I can’t vote here, as I’m a resident with ILR status rather than a dual citizen, and so have never become quite as involved in educating myself about it.
I think the whole thing needs to be re-negotiated. I know just the guy, he’s the world’s greatest negotiator — EVER!! — but he’d have to take permanent leave from his current position, and he’d need his two supercharged helpers. I think the helpers are named Dense and McYertle? Anyway, they’d have to go on permanent leave as well.
@Martin: SRW1 at comment 28 notes an article 50 extension would probably only apply until May 2019, so that makes a second referendum more feasible, if one of the major parties could be arsed to support it.
I think what’s happening now at 10 Downing Street is blind panic. May never had a plan B. The negotiated plan was all she had, so she rolled the dice on that — and lost.
May is incredibly stupid: she would rather go through with Brexit and cripple Britain than change course and let her party seem irresolute. She will fight a second referendum to the end.
@SFAW: And he’ll be available soon.
I do not see how it was honorable to go through with Brexit when it was such a horrendous decision. This seems to have just been the political class trying to save their own careers without any longterm concern for the UK.
May never ever brought up the possibility of a second referendum. Screw her.
Nah, they just need Geoffrey Rush to explain that “It’s more of a set of guidelines than rules.”
OT: Oh Oh shut the fuck up Yertle. You could end this fucking shutdown today but you refuse to squeeze the President here. It’s time to ask why.
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
Then they’re stupid.
@Elizabelle: The impression I get is that there was no constituency for the dull work of ‘thinking about tomorrow’.
Mike in NC
Waiting to hear if Fat Bastard has called PM May to congratulate her on a yuuuuge win!
@Robert Sneddon: I’m envisioning a situation where Scotland secedes and remains with the EU, you now not only have a hard border between N and S Ireland but also between England and Scotland. Plus, with Scotland as the only remaining EU nation with English as the primary language, the EU retains English as a principal language but it’s fucking scottish english, which nobody can fucking understand anyway. Americans will go to Europe and it’ll be the elevator skit everywhere.
And it crashed in flames, lost by over 220 votes, roughly 200 yes to 420 no. May’s next (last? I dunno news didn’t say) to introduce an alternative plan is Monday. I doubt much can be done to save the situation by Monday.
And this mess is due to a non-binding popular resolution, called as a political stunt by the arrogant and irresponsible Cameron.
Has something in common with our Trump Wall and shutdown crisis.
Shows the complete banckruptcy and failure of the current version of conservatism as a governing party and philosophy. Also decay of our current cherished savvy and CW political institutions in UK and US.
Optional film accompaniment (for this and all of Brexit):
“Hang on a minute, lads… I’ve got a great idea!”
From your keyboard to FSM’s noodle-y ear-like appendages. [I can never remember how to spell “orecchiette.”]
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
Why can’t everybody just cut the bullshit and admit that this was a Russian active measures campaign?
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
Would the UK government allow Scotland to secede?
@Robert Sneddon: There’s no point on another vote for stay/leave. The vote needs to be on do we do this leave plan, as presented, or do we stay. The implementation of leave is more meaningful than the intention of leave, and the implementation is what should be voted on. If voters can’t agree on the implementation, then the intention of leave is meaningless.
Ideas are easy. Execution is hard. Often really really fucking hard.
There were punk bands that had really good musical chops. The Clash comes to mine. The Sex Pistols though? Nope. Sid didn’t even know how to play bass their first tour. Someone hiding behind the amps was actually playing.
Punk was OK. I was still a rocker so the idea that I needed to toss my tastes aside for punk to reign was not gonna happen. I do wish I had gone to some of the Mabuhay Garden shows in SF though. Life in the 80’s was indeed different. The joke is really on me as I thought no one would ever be worse than Reagan.
@??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??: More notably, is the UK government competent enough to stop them from leaving?
@R-Jud: uhoh. Stock up on wine.
Put May and Trump on an ice floe and push it way away from land?
ETA: Aren’t they birds of a feather? “Nationalists”, I mean.
Do or have they had their own inquiry about Russian meddling with the Brexit campaign and vote? Who’s their Mueller?
Vaguely on-topic (because England!) we saw “The Favourite” last night. Splendid acting, wonderfully shot, and some very, very naughty characters. And bunnies.
Oh, we know how to stop it dead in its tracks, But that would be one hell of a casus belli.
@??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??:
Yup. They held a vote just a couple years ago and voted to remain. After Brexit it’s quite possible a second vote would go the other way. What I don’t know is whether Scottish oil revenues are still strong enough for them to be viable economically.
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
May’s current ruling coalition? Probably not. But I suspect Her Majesty’s Royal Armed Forces are competent enough. It would be a total disaster that would further plunge Europe into chaos.
So Barr says the Mueller report won’t be made public.
Meanwhile, here’s Mueller giving the commencement address as his granddaughter’s high school (I saw this in Vanity Fair):
@??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??: The “United Kingdom” is primarily the union of the Scottish and English kingdoms, which happened when James VI of Scotland also became James I of England. I am sure that many changes have been made to the deal between the constituent parts over the centuries, but if Scotland votes for independence, it will happen. There was a vote several years ago that was defeated. Prior to the vote on the EU, Scotland asked that it be required to pass in each separate nation voting on it to avoid what you are seeing now, which is Scotland being dragged out of the EU unless it secedes from the united kingdom.
As soon as Johnson and Farage declared victory and vanished, leaving May holding the bag, I bet against Brexit coming to fruition. I don’t know anything about UK or EU politics, but it seemed too big a lift, too uncertain to succeed, and too narrowly supported for any government to undertake.
Perhaps the government could say: “The Brexit that the people voted for is simply not possible, and we know they don’t want a no-deal Brexit as a second choice. Remain is better than no deal.”
@kindness: Punk was supposed to be message over style. Being bad musicians just meant that the medium was open to a larger pool of participants. In short, anyone could do punk, which was always part of the point. That there were good musicians in there somewhere just helped it reach a wider audience. Though having someone hide behind the amps is some Milli Vanilli shit. Just fucking own it.
The Moar You Know
Hard Brexit in spite of the catastrophic effect that will have on the majority of the citizenry.
Deal breaker. To the streets, pu$$y hats. We citizens deserve to see it. We need to know what failed, and how.
If anybody’s interested in a deep dive on Brexit, Chris Grey’s Brexit Blog is a great resource.
Pete North on his blog wrote a great blog post, since “corrected” then deleted in which he laid out the nativist Brexiteer position,
Basically, youtes are all soft and squishy, there’s too many “immigrants” on the dole, Sovereignity and innovation have been lost, and if 2 to 3 million Britons have to die and rationing has to be reintroduced, it’s worth it all to get that “Battle of Britain” spirit and solidarity back.
Pete North was born in ‘68, has since lost his job as an Aviation Tech, gone on the dole, and begs on his blog 2 to 4 times a week for a hard Brexit and donations to let him keep gaming online.
Basically what happens when you overdose on simplistic British Exceptionalism.
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
Could the House force the DOJ to make the report public?
It’s the whole making a submarine out of cheese problem. No, seriously, it’s the problem when you have performative politics not lining up at all with reality. Eventually you end up with the whole clusterfudge mess imploding.
Hopefully we have that happen with the Trump presidency sooner than later and with minimal damage to all of us.
Lifted from the Beeb–8 possible outcomes.
@lee: FOR GOD’S SAKE, BRITAIN, JUST TAKE THE DAMN DO-OVER!
‘Twould be nice to see them come back from the brink of utter idiocy. A bit late for us in the US, but it would be *some* comfort.
@Martin: That’s Parliament’s job, to hold the choke-chain on the Government which is the nation’s Executive. The usual method of control is financial, all Budgets come from the House and are voted on (it’s part of the ‘command a majority of the House’ deal someone needs to form a Government, they have to pass Budgets and financial bills otherwise the Government has to shut down and that can’t be allowed to happen under any circumstances. What sort of banana republic runs out of allocated funds to pay for the essential functions of government, after all?).
In the case of the Referendum result the crazies in Parliament got out in front of the parade and took charge while the erstwhile Government thrashed around in a panic. The following General Election which was supposed to sort things out, giving PM May an increased majority so she could smack down the troublemakers in her own Party and marginalise the Opposition went bonk! resulting in the hooligans flexing their muscles as they exercised their leverage over a minority government resulting in two years of pointless ‘negotiations’ with the other 27 democratically-elected nations in the EU trying to keep all the good bits while getting rid of the stinky foreigners as demanded by the Leave brigade.
@Yarrow: Are you thinking that’s what should happen, or what will happen.
Not a Brit, but I’ve been following this for a while. For Americans who may not be up on everything and are proposing solutions that won’t happen, a brief background.
Major stupidly calls the referendum, thinking that it would never pass, but would placate the hard right in the Tories, keep them out of UKIP’s clutches, and maintain a Tory government.
Then the referendum goes majority leave. Major, now realizing his fuckup, steps aside to spend more time with his money, and May gets the job more or less by default.
May is hard into Brexit for two reasons: Her husband has a plum job at a firm that is betting on the UK economy to downturn after Brexit, which it will; and she hates foreigners. Also, the Tories can’t repudiate the referendum, because they’ll have another right wing revolt and lose power, so they grit their teeth and go along, although less so as the date gets closer and no one wants to be stuck with the title of ‘Sank the UK’.
On the other side, Labour would be all about a second referendum, except they kept Corbyn, who’s an old Red-curious lefty who never believed in the EU to begin with. When that party ousted the neoliberals foisted on them by Blair, he was the joke candidate that everyone else coalesced around because no one else would take it to the Blairites in the party. So he’s doing his level best to try and emulate Blue Dogs here in the US, to similar outcomes. Not only has he depressed his party, he hasn’t convinced anyone in the other camp that he’s not just a wild eyed Marxist, so they won’t switch over.
There won’t be a second referendum, and it’s actually slightly more likely that Brexit goes through with no deal simply because the Tories can’t afford to and the Labour leadership doesn’t want to stay. Best hope is that someone gets hold of the PM job after May and extends the deadline or pulls Article 50 by throwing the blame on May for why it isn’t happening, and maybe they can muddle through.
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
Your wording is a little confusing?
Where are the whiny voices of boris fucking johnson and nigel fucking farage now? Fucking cowards.
@NobodySpecial: When you say “Major,” don’t you mean Cameron?
David Cameron, not John Major. But otherwise …
The BBC had a panel of 4 pro-Brexit and 4 anti-Brexit voters from the north (maybe Scotland) yesterday, discussing how things were going.
One thing that shocked me was that someone on the pro-Brexit side said there would be riots in the streets if “the people’s vote” for Brexit was somehow invalidated by doing another referendum, and one of the anti-Brexit people agreed with him.
It looks like, from thousands of miles away, that if the EU sticks to its guns that it’s this agreement or none, then the UK is going to have to scrap the Brexit (for now at least). There will be new elections, and the result will again be a mish-mash as the country is so close to 50:50. And the UK will get to muddle through for another 5-10 years until someone can square the circle about Ireland/N. Ireland and all the rest.
But May seems to be gone either way.
@NobodySpecial: You mean Cameron?
Well, it’s not as if Paul Simonon was the second coming of Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, or Victor Wooten. From what I have read, he didn’t know shit about playing the bass, or music in general. Of course, maybe I misunderstood.
May is not the most skilled politician but she is not responsible for the core absurdity of Brexit. She inherited it from the previous conservative PM Yet people bang on her like it’s her thing and that if she just disappears all will be well. NOT. Unless the UK comes to its senses and delays or revotes, they are doomed. And they did this to themselves w the aid of Putin and cowardly conservatives like Boris Johnson who of course quit rather than assume any responsibility for a true way out of this. If I were May I would be tempted to remind these folks that while they hate the deal she’s made, no one has proposed anything else. She should threaten to walk away and leave them – to themselves. This is a full UK leadership catastrophe that has many parents, not just Theresa May the convenient whipping post. Just my two cents
There are entire UK Departments dedicated to the dull work of thinking about Tomorrow.
The problem is that all Brexiteer’s believe that tens of thousands of pages, laws and accords created on layers of past Agreements and Organizations over 50 years can be easily set aside through will and ignorance.
@??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??: Scotland wanted passage of Brexit under the plebiscite to depend on getting a majority of votes in each constituent nation of the United Kingdom, and not just in England, where the majority of people live. Under the theory that what England wants in the way of EU participation should not be forced onto Scotland, which has a very different economy.
That sounds vaguely familiar, a idiotic vote, screwed with by a hostile foreign power, ending in chaos and mass stupidity.
@kindness: I like american punk more, to be honest
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
Too bad it didn’t pass. Brexit would have likely never happened.
@Elie: I would agree with you more, except that May has only become stronger and stronger in her declaration that the vote was sacred, that it is the holy duty of Parliament to deliver Brexit to the people, and on and on. She didn’t have to do that. She also called an election to boost her ability to negotiate Brexit, an election that boomeranged on her big time because it was — wrongly or rightly — viewed by people as a bit of a do over of the original vote. That decision ended up tying her hands and is probably why she reverted to the silly language about the vote being permanent and sacrosanct. Those that dislike May positively loathe Johnson and Farage as well as all the others who are just sure that there is a perfect Brexit somewhere over the rainbow.
ETA: Johnson didn’t actually quit after Brexit passed. He served as a cabinet minister until May came up with a deal, and at that point he quit, along with several others. No one would ever appoint Farage to anything.
The political union of the kingdom of England and of Scotland formally took place in 1707, with the articles of union. The Act of Union of 1800 added the kingdom of Ireland.
Steve in the ATL
Whole thing just looks like a game of chicken and no one will take their foot off the accelerator.
May did not create this, but a sensible leader would have put it to a second referendum, since it’s so clearly a whack outcome. I don’t know that I believe these rumored “Remain” MPs that would switch to “Leave” because it’s the will of the people.
How do we know we aren’t listening to the Wilmers of the UK? Maybe they have ulterior motives for putting that information out there.
May agreed not to stand for re-election after one of the confidence votes last year.
Mike in DC
It would be nice if the EU made a two year extension contingent upon a second referendum, with each member nation of the UK voting separately on leave/remain.
May is definitely not a skilled politician but like I said, there are many parents to this disaster
@Brachiator: I guess they had to clarify things once it became clear that the direct Stuart line was going to die out, among other things to avoid strengthening the claims of the Great Pretender. James I was the son of Mary Queen of Scots, and the great-grandson of Henry VII through his daughter Margaret, and, of course, the successor to Elizabeth I.
And of course, she screwed the pooch in Brexit negotiations, staking out untenable terms and proposals with the EU, wasting time chasing the impossible.
When the EU continually pointed out there was no such thing as “ludicrous speed” or Canada Deal, she sent forth her Brexit corgies out to the Beeb and the Torygraph to bark on and on about “the EU punishing Britain” and “German Automakers will never allow it!”.
Steve in the ATL
@Martin: how about Stu Sutcliffe, the original “bassist” for the Beatles?
Paul Simenon literally could not play a bass when he joined the band.
And here’s the punch line: Boris Johnson must be sitting in his study and pray that May loses the no confidence vote Corbyn has tabled, because as May survived a leadership challenge from within the conservative ranks only a few weeks ago, she can not be challenged again by members of her own party before December of 2019.
As the dude said: Oh what tangled webs we weave!
@??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??:
Some commenters on Asha Rangappa’s twitter seem to think so. But they’re all extremely upset by his testimony.
So. I have an apt in NYC when I get back. That sounds simple but it’s not. WOOP WOOP.
Gonna go with “HelenbackinQueens” with my nym. I may change it back to my first nym “Helen” later but not sure. Helen to HeleninEire to HelenbackinQueens is kinda cool. The story of my life.
@Elizabelle: “the Wilmers of the UK”
The Conservative Party is in the driving seat on this (though maybe better described as several people in the same seat fighting over who gets the steering wheel). Corbyn is not helping, he’s been all over the map, I don’t see how he is leading much of anything but confusion and dithering over what to do.
Both Tories and Labor have failed, are failing, and look to fail some more on BREXIT.
@Mike in DC:
The EU’s done with the Brits fucking around. The EU’s position is “current deal”, with no slacking on the outstanding issues,
withdraw Article 50 how ever the Brit’s want to do it and remain.
The EU’s moved on to EU issues and other trade deals and structures to deal with a post Britain EU.
@SRW1: PM May can resign the leadership of the Party, she can’t face a vote of no-confidence in her leadership from her own Party for another 11 months or so. If she does resign, and given the result of the vote tonight that’s very likely then it’s going to be fun and games in the Tory party as a lot of stresses and fractures which have been papered over and Elastoplasted together for the sake of unity reassert themselves.
I’d not be amazed to see the Conservatives break up as a party over this. The result, well, I don’t know.
@kindness: I disagree – Steve Jones was a fine guitarist, even if all he did was play speeded-up Chuck Berry and Stooges, and there were few better front men at the time than Rotten. Never Mind the Bollocks is one of the greatest albums of all time. And all of the bass playing on their records was either Jones or the original bass player Glen Matlock. It’s also not true that someone else played Sid’s parts live – they just didn’t get played if he didn’t play them.
@jl: What seems to be confounding Corbyn in particular is his own history of anti-EU sentiment and the fact that there were significant numbers of Labor voters who also voted in favor of Brexit. The parties may see different items as desirable in UK’s relationship with EU but they both seem to talk about it, at least, more negatively than positively.
@Mike in DC: The EU can’t and won’t tell Britain what to do to solve this problem. That way lies madness. The rEU (rest of the EU) are only really interested in their future relationship with Britain, not in how Britain comes to a decision over what that relationship is going to be.
What do you have against Yackety-Sax?
@Barbara: Corbyn has provided zero consistent leadership. Saying sometimes that maybe would be best to stay in and if referendum were held again, he’d recommend against a vote for BREXIT. He does have specific (though I think very arguable) economic complaints against EU trade policy re UK and a specific proposal for fixing it, but hasn’t really tried to push it as a rally point for his party. But at other times, has indicated support for May’s BREXIT negotiations, in case they can be worked into something acceptable.
Corbyn is supposed to be a rigid ideologue, but he has been a quivering dithering mess on BREXIT. Labor has had no consistent leadership to provide any coherent opposing position to rally around. Just a mess. It’s like both major political parties are paralyzed.
I don’t think you understand the whole point of punk.
I think May is very smart and has lasted far longer in an impossible position than she was expected to and done far better.
Remember she just won a vote of no confidence in her party.
I also think she decided this was a time for “Democracy is the system that gives the people what they ask for, good and hard.”
She was NOT a big fan of Leave before the vote, but see above.
I think Corbyn is actually a lot in favor of Leave, and is the real problem. Because his motivations are so mixed.
@??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??: Because it wasn’t. Anyone who has spent anytime in England is blindingly aware of the fissures in UK politics. Not only between the constituents of the United Kingdom, but the massive discontent of the English (as opposed to the constituents of the UK: England, Scotland, Ireland & Wales), with the EU.
So, drop your US lens vis-a-vis world politics. It’s not a useful tool for figuring this out. The Irish border (or is it boarder) alone has been violently contentious for nearly 50 years. Perhaps Russia meddled, but by no means were they instrumental, nor even likely influential, in this turn of affairs. It has been decades in the making. And has heaps of cash piled in overtly by Murdoch et al. And, FWIW, I think it’s a terrible outcome.
@zhena gogolia: I’m seeing fragmentary reports as the hearing proceeds that should give us all reason to be upset. The one that really scared me was his comment that reporters could be jailed if they “hurt the US”. Really fucking subjective criteria that one.
I, too, prefer American punk. Iggy, the Ramones, the MC5 and the New York Dolls were my heroes at that time. The big exception was the Clash.
What is Ireland, chopped liver? Regardless of the official status of Irish as one of the two official languages of the Republic, daily life is conducted in English in most of the country. Anecdatally, I have spent a lot of time in Ireland and have never had a problem understanding people, or being understood, in American English. I spent a few days in Edinburgh a while back and I was damned if I could understand Scots English half the time.
@NobodySpecial: FFS, John Major has not been PM in decades. Really, why comment?
@??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??: ” this was a Russian active measures campaign? ”
Any evidence Putin bought out Cameron and forced him to call the referendum? From what I have read, Cameron thought it would be clever trick to solve an intraparty dispute, and squash the alt-right forces in his party. That is why I call the referendum an arrogant and irresponsible stunt pulled by Cameron.
If UK commenters have better info on that, I’d be glad to read it.
“ Perhaps Russia meddled, but by no means were they instrumental, nor even likely influential, in this turn of affairs.”
Don’t the Scots say it as ‘fookin’?.
Wow, Brexit really messed up Great Britain. But it has been a long time coming — the screwing up of Britain, not Brexit, exactly. I always thought their education system was better, but I guess stupidity and racism is only a force multiplier, not a requirement.
At murdercorp, sat through the company meeting around our CEO being replaced and declaring bankruptcy. Fascinating to watch a person walk away with 4 million, leave a company that most likely will introduce layoffs, and get a standing ovation. I had mentioned the arrogance of murdercorp before, and I got to see it on full-on display discussing this as a ‘tough patch’ that just needed to be ‘gotten over’. It was more than a little distressing, to feel an almost cult-like vibe, like that ‘us/them’ tribalism was finally going into full swing.
@catclub: For the record, you quoted Martin and attributed it to me, although I said much the same thing in defense of the existence of Ireland as another EU country where English is in practical terms the primary language.
Glaswegians, Scot’s Irish,
@Brachiator: Yup. But she might be gone even before another election. She really doesn’t seem to have any path forward as she has so many enemies.
@Jay: Sure, thanks. My view is no dumb and irresponsible referendum, called for poor reasons, then no chance to meddle. Russia certainly meddled in the election, but calling it a Russian plot ignores something about it, like the fact that it even happened in the first place.
@Jay: You really don’t know the UK at all. This is a fracture of decades in the making. As in ‘pre-internet’. But have at it…
The Moar You Know
@Amir Khalid: I’ve been listening to her blather on various World Service broadcasts for months now. Amir, you have nailed it. She is dumb as dirt and stubborn beyond any reason.
Mick Mulvaney is an upstanding Trump Republican. In other Words: He doesn’t pay his debts.
You fucked up, you trusted him.
google old debt haunts mulvaney.
@Jay: “Fookin'” is more Irish, Weegie would be more like “fu’n”, the glottal stop as used in verbal hand-to-hand combat. In reality Glaswegian street swearing is a lot rougher than that using words that would get me banned on this blog, including verb forms that you won’t find in any dictionary of the vernacular or anywhere else. There’s nothing really meant by it, it’s just a form of ordinary greeting between mutual friends on the bus and in the pub.
May has already said she is scheduling a Confidence Motion over the next few days and the DUP (who voted against the Government this evening) have already said they will vote to support the Government. This means that in order to lose the motion 30 or so Tory MP’s will have to vote against the Government. The most likely ones to do this will be the Hard Brexiteers. But if they do so there will be an election that might return scarlet Red Leninist/Trot wealth redistributerJeremy Corbyn to No.10 and I can’t see them risking that . Some will because they are that stupid, but a lot will listen to the major Tory donors and vote accordingly.
I see the Government surviving by the skin of its teeth but having lost all Parliamentary authority. It’s what happens then that’s unforeseeable. This defeat was due to a tactical alliance of people who disliked the deal for wildly different and opposing reasons. There is no majority in Parliament for any way forward. My guess is that the tensions within both the Tory and Labour Parties become so great, their leadership will be forced to support a second Referendum to avoid a total collapse of Party discipline and possible splits.
This could be something along the lines of a two part question. Do you support the deal that is on the table? Yes or No. Question 2, only counted if the majority of people vote No would be, If the deal is rejected do you support 1. Leaving without a deal or 2. Remaining in the EU?
Whether the EU would give us the time to hold this Referendum is another question. I think they will as a No Deal Brexit isn’t optimal for them either.
@jl: +1 The groundwork was set and whatever influence tilted the field was essentially a nudge towards a predetermined outcome. This issue has been years in the making.
That would be so much fun.
Can I make the third question: Does a witch weigh more than a duck?
TS (the original)
@J R in WV:
No – Brexit got her the job and Brexit will cost her the job – but she has more brains in her big toe than trump has in his head.
Report: Gymboree preparing to file for bankruptcy and close all 900 of its stores
Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star
New reports indicate that children’s clothing retailer Gymboree Group Inc. is expected to file for bankruptcy protection and make plans to close all of its remaining stores as early as this week
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco-based company will file for bankruptcy for the second time in two years and liquidate its Gymboree, Crazy 8, and Janie and Jack stores.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Janie and Jack stores could be saved if the company can find a buyer for the brand. The company operates about 139 Janie and Jack stores nationwide.
Gymboree first filed for bankruptcy in summer 2017, leading to the closure of about 350 of its 1,281 locations — most of them Gymboree stores. At the time, the company employed more than 11,000 people, including 10,500 hourly workers.
The company now operates an estimated 900 retail stores in the United States and Canada under its three brands, according to the company website.
@kindness: both brothers saw the last Sex Pistols show at Winterland. Both quit their day jobs, loaded up on cases of tuna, mac n cheese and potatoes, moved to LA and became roadies. 30+ years later still roadies. Toured with everydamn band and never looked back.
Amazing how punk is relevant today -Dead Kennedys, Clash, Slits, Flipper, X, SeaHags, Circlejerks, generation X. Mmm mm good!
@Haggis: I live in the EU and work with a lot of Brits who quite happily left the London for the calmness and dullness, and sanity, of living in the EU. They are appalled, but not surprised by the monomaniacal Brexit-at- any cost mindset. People like that are why they left the UK in the first place.
Kind of like how, at a deep emotional level, I wrote off the US when W was reelected, and started the process of leaving. As a divorce lawyer I could identify with the need to give up on one relationship and start completely over.
Unfortunately, another referendum is not viable. The stark choice is crash out or revoke article 50. Neither of which is politically palatable. But revoking A50 is probably the most unpalatable. The EU may extend until July, but options, or more succinctly ‘options’, are limited. The EU can’t solve UK domestic politics, and that is where the logjam resides.
hells littlest angel
Impeach the motherfucker?
The sane Plan B ought to be just calling the whole damn thing off.
Whatever arguments about a “majority” of Leave voters there were years ago have changed when there’s a solid majority of Remain people now making it clear that May’s government isn’t representing them at all.
David Cameron should go down in history as one of the worst British leaders of all time. And Farage should be jailed in the Tower for the rest of his deceitful hateful life.
Russia didn’t invent racism, mysogeny, money laundering, venal ReThugs, Donald Trump or the internet. Didn’t stop them from ratfucking the 2016 US Elections or the Brexit Referendum.
Russia also didn’t invent British Exceptionalism, ( Pete North) or British stupidity, they just took advantage of it.
Russia also didn’t invent a venal class of “professional” Western politicians who are immunized by wealth and privledge of the consequences of their actions. The Russians also didn’t invent disaster capitalism.
Didn’t stop them from taking advantage of it.
@xenos: I’m quite enamoured of the EU. Live part of the year in Italy, and love the European lifestyle. I also like, no love, the UK – so I take no pleasure in the turmoil! But I’m lucky as I have more than one passport :-)
@jl: Labour does have a policy. It’s just not a believable one. It goes elect us and we’ll negotiate a deal with pots of gold and unicorns for everyone. Emily Thornberry tried it on Question Time Ann’s got as much cynical laughter as James Cleverly, the Tory panelist did when he explained the Government’s Plan B (the same as Plan A but submitted to Parliament on a later date).
Wanna play some hurley?
It’s not so simple. There is no way logistically for the UK to hold another vote unless the EU grants an extension. Politically, there is no willpower there to hold such a referendum because it weakens the top two parties.
Maybe that might change but this is not like the US in that their equivalent of the Democratic Party (Labour) was in power during the 9/11-Afghanistan-Iraq War thing, so the upshot is the power swap has been reversed and they (and their leader) are doing what is politically advantageous, not what is best for the country—imagine if Nancy Pelosi were more like Mitch McConnell. (Note: From a game-theory perspective they will force a Nixon-esque/Southern Strategy political re-alignment if they do what’s best for the country and unlike 1964-1968, this group is out-of-power.
@Jay: And I spoke to none of those issues so kindly do not put words in my mouth. Does Russia try to mind fuck the west – no doubt yes, but pretty clumsily. Are they more successful than the billions poured in legally to hardcore partisan media outlets like Fox and Rush Limbaugh et al? I doubt it.
Have they managed to override a 40 year political sentiment in the UK – you really need to travel more…
@TS (the original):
She’s also a better dancer.
@Jay: OK. My point is just that doing stupid irresponsible things and then hoping that adversaries will not be able to successfully take advantage of them, is not a reliable or good method of running anything.
Cameron called the election, and he didn’t need to. His reasons for referendum were arrogant and irresponsible. No evidence Cameron is a Russian agent.
I don’t know if Russian interference was decisive or not. My point is that a really reliable way to have avoided the mess is to not elect bad leaders like Cameron.
@terry chay: I believe the EU is self constrained in terms of granting an extension. I think the new parliament convenes at about that time. So…
And for the EU, it’s just a business deal. As Chris Grey pointed out over a year ago, February/March is when Brexit becomes “real”, as that is the last fiscal deadline for Corporations to make plans and investments around the structure of Brexit.
Of course, from Dyson to Bond, all the Billionaire Brexiteer’s moved their Corporate Headquarters to EU Tax Havens in November/December.
The fire sale in Britain is going to be epic, bigger than Yeltsin Russia.
@jl: Cameron thought, perhaps optimistically, that only a few lunatics would vote for Brexit. The sad reality, anecdotally I must admit, is quite a few votes were more against the status quo than pro brexit. Who knows – I certainly don’t. But, at the very least were all getting to try out populism and see how we like wearing that particular coat!
@Jay: The bit about German car manufacturers was pushed by David Davies, one of the leading pro-Brexiteers who May appointed as her first Brexit Secretary. He had drunk the Copland and apparently really believed that the EU was just a way for Germany to do by low cunning what it had failed to do twice through war. He genuinely thought be could fly over to Berlin and quickly sort out a deal with Merkel over a schnappes due to the pressure the German car manufacturers would put on her. He was genuinely shocked when it didn’t work that way. He resigned, like the moral coward all the big name Brexiteers are, when it became clear their fantasies didn’t match up with reality.
There are days X is my favorite American band. Their music really endures. Or abides, like the Dude.
Ok, so here’s the deal:
Yes Putin ratf**ked the referendum, but it runs a lot deeper than that.
The UK has always been deeply ambivalent and extremely poorly informed about the EU. There are a strain of Tory aristo dregs who loathe the idea that anybody but them be in charge of anything larger than a bake sale in the UK. A bunch of them control the tabloid press from which a large swath of the more ill-educated and downtrodden British public get their news, and have run it for decades as Fox News in print. Their propaganda have convinced a large chunk of the UK public that the EU is everything that Fox attribute to Democrats: elitist snobs, arrogant, grossly incompetent, malicious, and the source of all of our problems. They have riled them up over decades to hate the EU and to really want to leave at almost any cost.
Layered on top of that is that the UK education system and media environment have done a HORRIFIC job of educating the UK population about what the EU is, and how it works. To be fair, that’s because it’s largely a set of very boring but useful solutions to a set of ver technocratic questions – rules of trade, rules for moving nuclear waste, appeal courts, etc. Most of the UK’s education is totally UK centered and is all about kings, parliaments, wars with European powers, WWII, etc. The EU just doesn’t figure into it and so there’s very little immune system to fight off people demagoguing it (you see a lot of otherwise educated people talking about the EU being undemocratic… which is just daft if you understand how it works).
The true root of the current predicament isn’t May at all. It’s that referendums only work when you give populations a very clear and well-defined choice to make, with clearly defined upsides and downsides. The Brexit referendum just said “stay or leave”, it didn’t specify what leave meant. Leave was basically left as a Rorschach blot for people to project their fantasies of choice onto, and the Leave campaigns played to that, presenting it as everything from a minor tweaking (keep all the good bits of the EU, and ditch a few pesky bits, bravo!) to a total break (leave it all behind! ALL OF IT!) to just amorphous wish fulfillment (“Stick it to Fritz, what what”). The truth is that there is no version of Brexit that is good for the UK. Or at least, no plausible version that the EU would allow (if they start allowing countries to take all the bits they want and just reject the parts they don’t like, then every country would want that, and the whole thing falls apart). And the thing is that economically speaking, the entire EU is slightly larger than the USA, but the UK is about the same size as California. Imagine California leaving the USA and trying to negotiate a good deal. Who do you think is in the driving seat of that negotiation? Same here.
So May went and got about as good a deal as you could reasonably expect the UK to get. It’s still a terrible deal that is far worse than staying, but that would be true of any deal you could plausibly negotiate. It’s wildly unpopular, of course, but that’s because it’s a specific actual plan. The people who think Brexit means LEAVE EVERYTHING are unhappy because too much stays. The people who wanted minor tweaks are unhappy because it does too much leaving. The people who want to remain are obviously unhappy because it’s leaving.
The UK has spent the past few years pretending that “Brexit” is a thing that people agree on. But they don’t. There is no one version of Brexit that more than a tiny plurality actually want.
So how does it end?
Labour’s plan to hold an election is a dead end. They won’t get it, and even if they do, their plan is just to “negotiate a better deal”, but that is not possible, because there is NO single Brexit deal that is acceptable to a sizable plurality of the British public. Plus the EU hold the negotiating cards, and they have made clear they aren’t going to start handing out the unicorn a la carte deal that they weren’t giving to May either.
So it looks like the only realistic possibilities are that parliament gets its shit together, realizes that it fucked up by asking too vague a question, and puts a real actual solid choice to the UK public on a take-or-leave basis. If that happens, Remain *probably* wins… if it does, then the hard-core leave supporters will riot, because this is what they have been fighting for for decades, and would be enraged to have it snatched away after they thought they finally had their hands on it. Hey, sucks to be them, but at least it saves the country’s actual bacon. There would be some difficulties in organizing a referendum with timing, but it seems the EU would probably hand the UK enough rope to let it happen if it meant that there was a clear way they were finally going to get certainty with a fixed deadline.
The other is that parliament has launched the UK on a pretty strong default glide path to leaving with no deal. That would be an enormous catastrofuck for the UK economy (and a significant ouchy for the rest of the EU – but not nearly to the same extent). There’s a good possiblity that the EU political classess have their heads so far up their own assess that this happens though.
Sorry this was long, but if you really want to know what’s happening, there it is.
@Martin: A referendum, if called, would have 3 things on the ballot as a ranked choice:
– Leave with negotiated plan
– Leave with no plan (hard brexit)
It’s actually hard to predict the outcome as this time around it is more existential (a lot of people who didn’t vote now know the consequences) but the various “Leave” things will tie up the status quo vote.
I think the point is moot because the Conseratives don’t want a referendum (because their party will both lose power and get broken up—maybe UKIP will finally get a seat in parliament) and Labour doesn’t want a referendum (because their leader is an ass, it weakens their political leverage, and they have a sizable number of Leavers among their MPs). Leave is always going to be more popular than it should for the same reason a lot of people voted for Trump—they are dead-ender deplorables who our social safety net has favored to the point that they have the luxury of voting to harm their fellow citizenry so why not vote for “change” it can’t be worse right? (Until it does.)
The only outcome that happens is it does get worse, Brexit or not, we are arguing over how fast and how hard we get there.
My understanding is that the only way to put off Article 50 is to withdraw the current request and resubmit. Is that right?
@Sloane Ranger: An often repeated slogan was ‘they need us more than them’ and ‘if they won’t deal we’ll just stop buying German cars’.
God knows why a meme which implied The German Car Industry (about 22% of the world production) was fatally reliant upon a small right-hand drive market took hold! Not to mention the necessity of Bosch et al when all the
legacy cars in the UK need parts.
@randy khan: Yes.
@randy khan: No.
The easy way to call off article 50 is to say “shit, sorry we didn’t mean it. Call the whole thing off.” This involves pinky swearing not to do it again, and the UK just stays like nothing happened. The UK can do that unilaterally right up until the day that they have actually left. After then, you are officially out of the pot and into the fire, and there is no climbing back without rejoining more-or-less from scratch.
The hard way is to delay article 50 for a little while. The whole EU has to agree to you doing that though. And they are unlikely to do this unless you give them a really good reason. Having already spent 2 years dithering and refusing to say what the UK wants (because it has no internal agreement on what it wants and hasn’t even really thought about the question in as serious a manner as you would hope), the EU is very unlikely to grant more time just for further pointless dithering. If the UK said “we have booked a referendum for this date. It will be binding on choices A, B, or C”, then the EU probably decides its worth the hassle to get final closure one way or the other.
@unknown known: Pretty much spot on.
@Elizabelle: “I’d be good with tar and feathering Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Niall Farage (?), David Cameron and the lot of them. Wankers. Henry VIII would have known what to do with them. To the Tower.”
Hang, draw and quarter. They reject the E.U.; let them go back to their beloved Good Old Days.
@hells littlest angel:
hanging Farage and Boris, sure
The rEU already has certainty with a fixed deadline, the Withdrawal Agreement (now comprehensively rejected by Parliament) and a fixed deadline of 29th March 2019 when Britain in no longer part of the EU. Any extension to Article 50 could only reasonably run till the EU Parliamentary elections in May when our existing membership means we would have to hold elections and seat MEPs in the European Parliament while being in an Article 50 limbo. There’s nothing else the Government can get out of the rEU, the Withdrawal Agreement was the final word. There’s no new negotiations possible as PM May found out around Xmas time when she bodyswerved Parliament in early December over this.
A second referendum would take at least ten weeks, maybe more to set up and run. We don’t even have agreement what the question would be (that took months to agree for the Brexit referendum) never mind who’d be allowed to vote (British citizens living abroad? Irish citizens living in the UK? Etc., etc.). Enabling legislation might have to be written, debated and passed by Parliament before anybody could vote.
A Parliamentary election could be held more quickly as the mechanisms are all in place, ready to go, the candidate selection processes in place, the ballot eligibility already decided, the Register of Voters up-to-date. That’s a lot more likely than a rainbows-and-unicorns ‘People’s Referendum’.
80,000 votes in 3 key States targetted by tens of millions of Infometrics tailored social media posts.
Roughly 1.3 million votes in targetted regions and over 170 million Infometrics targetted social media posts.
That doesn’t include the “don’t bother to vote” campaign or it’s effects.
And that’s just the Russians.
It become worse when the Russians are working with people “inside” the House.
Isn’t there a 2018 House or Senate seat sitting on just one vote?
We are watching Russian “active measures” ramp up here for the 2019 Federal Elections, via “Alberta First”, the “Yellow Vests” and other ususal suspects.
@PaulWartenberg: Not allowed. EU membership forbids capital punishment — On accession to the EU Britain had to get rid of the last few crimes it still had on the books that retained execution as a legal option after conviction, offences like arson in a Royal Navy dockyard and doing certain naughty things to female members of the Royal Family in the line of succession.
@Robert Sneddon: But my unicorns! I want more and better unicorns! I voted* for unicorns and so you have to give me them!
(*Actually, I didn’t, but never mind).
BTW did you catch that Don Cook died? Sam seemed uncertain whether she’d been able to contact you.
@Tim Illingworth: Ah, no. I’d fallen out of contact with them. I sort of thought Sammy would have been the first to go, in a way. Pass on my thoughts to her, will you? I hope she’s OK.
Sorry folks, just some personal stuff going on here.
@Jay: The relationship between the Scots and the Irish is summed up in “1066 And All That”:
“The Scots (originally Irish, but by now Scotch) were at this time inhabiting Ireland, having driven the Irish (Picts) out of Scotland; while the Picts (originally Scots) were now Irish (living in brackets) and vice versa. It is essential to keep these distinctions clearly in mind (and verce visa).”
― W.C. Sellar, 1066 and All That: A Memorable History of England
And since then, we’ve had the Plantation of Ulster, when some of the Scots (formerly Irish, but now Protestant) moved back.
Yup, fantasy. There’s a lot of it going around.
Saw a Yellow Jacket post against carbon taxes the other day, it got hundreds of likes.
Apparently, because the North Pole is moving hundreds of miles away towards Britain every year, ( Magnetic north is wiggling around a bit, like it does), Global Warming isn’t real and Carbon Taxes are just a means of expropriating wealth, arglebargle, immigrants, lynch Trudeau.
Funny thing, the origional “Know Nothing” Parties, actually knew stuff.
@trollhattan: if it’s a day that ends in y, it’s a grand time for X!
This year’s holiday show at the Fillmore was a hot and a half, Los Lobos tore it up and X brought their A-game.
Sorry they skipped Harlows this year, so out of town we went.
The EU’s clearly defined order of preferred outcomes is this
1) BEST OPTION: UK remains
2) OK OPTION: UK leaves with an orderly deal
3) REALLY BAD OPTION: UK leaves in a disorderly manner with no deal.
4) OPTION THEY WILL NEVER ALLOW: Letting the UK pick and choose whatever it likes to leave or stay in.
They are willing to live with 3 if they absolutely have to, but their order of preferences here is very strongly held.
A new UK election doesn’t really help them with this, because none of the plausible outcomes help them. If the Tories win then they are most likely back to option 3. If Labour win then Corbyn will demand option 4, and be told to fuck off. It’s plausible that there is a version of #2 that Corbyn would be willing to live with, but it would take a lot of time and political risk and effort to get there, and the EU is not going to sign up for that negotiation just to relive the past 2 years all over again. So option #3 is still the most likely.
So if you game it out, they don’t have much reason to give extra time for an election. It doesn’t solve their problem.
As you note there are timing issues that make a referendum difficult to accommodate, but it’s not impossible. You could simply hold the EU elections with the UK electing parliamentarians as normal, and then they all get booted out if the UK leaves anyway. Annoying, but doable.
The reason to do that from the EU’s POV is to gamble that option #1 wins and the UK people elect to remain. That’s even the most likely outcome at this point (according to polls), though it’s far from a certainty.
And the funny thing is genetics says that “The Irish” are Spaniards from the Basque Regions who immigrated to Eire about 800 BC.
@WaterGirl: What will happen. Not sure of the timetable or what happens before that happens.
Now, would that be “feckin’ scottish english” or “fookin’ scottish english,” which nobody can farkin’ unnerstan’?
Ari Berman (@AriBerman) Tweeted:
Breaking: NY just passed big voting rights bill. It includes:
-Pre-registration for 16 & 17 year olds
-Consolidating state & federal primaries
-Constitutional amendments for Election Day registration & vote by mail
Huge for democracy
@rikyrah: Great. Now we just need the swing states to start doing that too.
There was also Australian punk. The Saints predate the Pistols.
They tried to break into the London scene, but they couldn’t take the wankier aspects of McClaren style punk seriously.
@MattF: In Commonwealth countries,tabling an issue brings it up for discussion. In the US, tabling defers discussion.
Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) Tweeted:
Last time Bill Barr was AG he used to power to try to fast-track a bogus scandal abt Bill Clinton to save then-President Bush. This is pretty relevant. Why no more discussion?
https://t.co/d6VzC1i0uz via @TPM https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/1085183223951327232?s=17
@mapaghimagsik: One of my patients does environmental policy for our regional utility, and the last time I saw him I said “so, how about that ‘murdercorp’?”; his response was that no one else in the utility industry could figure out how murdercorp was still in business. And, here we are. I did hear that a CA state legislator saying that no way is murdercorp getting bailed out on the state’s dime again, and no golden parachutes. I guess we’ll see.
@randy khan: No, they can ask for an extension, however all EU members must vote for it to be granted.
The only (realistic) way they get an extension from the EU is if there is clarity of outcomes is on the other end of a revised deadline.
For instance, if they asked for an extension to re-negotiate that is a hard no.
If the extension is so that the UK can have a clear referendum that the MPs are committed to following (a la “people’s vote” with 3 outcomes as I mentioned above) then that’s likely a yes.
If it is an extension because a snap election was called and Labour has taken control and they want to renegotiate (because that’s what they promised), I believe that’s a No also. I am not 100% on this last contingency because even though this is Corbyn’s wet dream (take political power while being able to blame someone else on the hard brexit fallout), I just don’t see it happening — politics in a parliamentary is rarely zero-sum like it is in the US system.
@Elie: May, however, was the fool (or villain) who forced Article 50 invocation before any analyses had been done of the consequences of Brexit and without even deciding what kind of Brexit to push for. The referendum dared her to jump off the cliff but she was the one that did it.
So hard going through the airport today. I looked into the eyes of our workers who deserve better. A TSA officer said: “Don’t stop fighting. Keep it up.” I broke down & felt the weight of the responsibility on me. I will never become numb to the human impact. We must end this.- Rep. Rashida Tlaib
@terry chay: The EU has stated they will grant an extension for a change of government. They really don’t want Britain to leave and extensions make leaving less likely so they will be sympathetic to extensions.
@rikyrah: Bravo New York! That was fast, too.
From Steve Benen’s mini-report:
Reading that makes me feel physically ill.
@Fair Economist: They may do it for an election, but I suspect probably more for the optics than anything else. Let the UK choose a new leader first, if they want, so they won’t be seen as bundling them out the door without letting them make any adjustments.
But unless Corbyn has a vision for a somewhat off-the-shelf acceptable plan with the EU then it seems unlikely… Now this IS possible, as it is known that Corbyn has gone for consultations with the EU negotiators (not to negotiate directly – he can’t do that, he’s not the PM, but just for mutual clarity about what all eventualities may bring about). On the one hand Corbyn is a long-running Eurosckeptic. On the other hand, his gripes with the EU are generally on smaller bore stuff (there are handfuls of rules he doesn’t like, and the dumb thing is that EU rules don’t exactly constrain those things as much as he thinks anyway). It doesn’t appear to be an existential ideology for him like it is with the Tories.
Corbyn’s perhaps bigger difficulty is that support for Brexit cuts heavily across party lines, and there are a lot of hard-core brexit supporters (low-educated tabloid paper readers) who have bought hard into Brexit. If he is the one officially in charge while it doesn’t happen, labour could permanently lose key supporters to the Tories for a generation.. .and he knows it.
@rikyrah: See my comment at #190. Barr is a nightmare and it sounds like he will be the AG. Not sure which I will do first — throw up or cry in despair.
@unknown known: The EU has said they will renegotiate for a major change of government. “Renogotiate” of course basically means the EU says what the deal is since they hold all the cards. Corbyn says he requires single market access so the EU will hand him a Norway deal. He may or may not be able to get that passed. If not, under a Labour government Brexit would get canceled to avoid No Deal.
Well, there you go then.
As expected, May’s shitty deal that no-one liked got hacked to death like Caesar on the Senate floor. Actually, strike that. It was much worse than expected. No Government of the modern era has ever suffered a defeat like this on a flagship vote. Losing by a majority of 230 is unprecedented, historic in all the bad ways. Any Prime Minister with an ounce of self-respect would be handing over their resignation letter and making a short statement in front of Number 10, but this is Teresa May we’re talking about, so that won’t be happening. Only two things are important to her. 1) She’s Prime Minister and has the headed note-paper to prove it, and 2) Her mission to make Britain a ‘hostile environment’ for any black and brown people without huge amounts of money to donate to the Tory Party. While she can, she’ll stay were she is, barricaded in her Downing St bunker, snorting cider through a straw and pushing imaginary ‘negotiated understandings’ and ‘legally binding assurances’ around a creased and tear-streaked map of Europe. This is what she worked so hard for, now she’s got it, and she’s keeping it. Her Precious.
And who would replace her anyway? The Conservatives are hopelessly divided between their warring factions, and they all hate each other almost as much as they hate the idea of not being the Government Party. One of the mad Brexiteers? With their fire-streaked dreams of free-market deregulation and intimate suppers with grateful billionaires, non-executive directorships of blue-chip hedge funds stuffed down their g-strings while Western Heritage conference audiences rise en masse to applaud the bravery and cool-scrotumed masculine brio of The Men Who Broke Britain’s Chains. Or how about one of the Traditionalist Thatcherites, who have many of the same ambitions but would rather not have to turn their leafy Home Counties mansions into mini-castles patrolled by surcoated mercenaries while the rest of the country descends into Depression-era poverty and probably a touch of the Balkans? Euroscepticism was – supposed – to be a pose that allowed them to loot the country blind while tickling the xenophobic sweet-spots of their party membership, not this lunatic plunge into national bukkake.
And how would they get rid of May anyway? The option of a leadership challenge was spunked away last year when enough letters suddenly and mysteriously turned up on the desk of the Chairman of the 1922 Committee to force a confidence vote just when it was least likely that the Party would want the distraction of a leadership election. I’m still pretty sure that the last few letters were sent by May’s loyalists to defang her opponents, but that’s in the past. What it means is that the only way to force May out is to force an election, since she’s already promised she won’t lead the Tories into one. That would mean at least 20 Tories voting with Labour tomorrow on the No Confidence vote Corbyn is tabling. That’s… not going to happen. Forget what they think about the chances of Corbyn and Labour winning the Election that would follow such a vote, there’s just no way any Tory MP would ever be allowed to stand again after voting to end a Tory Government. Screw the country, they’ve got their own career to think about.
So what’s going to happen? Well, Labour’s pathway has been laid out ever since the Party Conference. Oppose the Withdrawal Deal (done), when it fails table a No Confidence motion to force an Election (done). If they win that, fight the General Election on the policy of renegotiating a Brexit deal with the EU based on the Six Tests, and if they can’t get a deal have another referendum (unlikely). If they lose the No Confidence vote, look at all the options, including throwing the Party behind a second referendum (likely).
All of the loud voices demanding that Corbyn whip out his Green Lantern ring and just MAKE BREXIT GO AWAY have always ignored the very simple fact that Labour is the Opposition Party, not the Government. The wet dream of the Tories ever since the disaster of the 2017 Election (when both Parties had honouring the referendum vote in their manifestos) has been for Labour to make itself the Party of Remain, allowing the Tories to go hunting for the 1/3 of Labour voters who fell for Leave’s lies in 2016. Corbyn has denied them that framing, refusing to let the Tories off the hook for – their – screw up, sticking hard to exactly what the Party voted for at Conference, which leads inevitably to supporting a 2nd Referendum with Labour backing Remain – without – shitting all over the minority of Labour voters who were dicks three years ago. I still haven’t heard anyone give a clear theory of exactly – how – Corbyn “providing leadership” to the voices calling for Remain would have achieved anything except a titanic deluge of bad press from the pro-Tory Press and the very swift defeat in Parliament of any pro-Referendum motion. It was always Underpant Gnome policy, more about making people feel good in the short term than seriously thinking about what might actually have a hope in hell of becoming law.
What happens now? God knows. As ever it depends on Tories doing the right thing, which only ever happens when they have exhausted every other option. The closer we get to crashing out without a deal, the closer we get to Tories who would really like to have a political future realising that a majority of the 17.5 million Leave voters are going to respond to the catastrophe of a No Deal failure by blaming everyone but themselves for the mass unemployment and social collapse the made happen, and like it or not the people at the top of that Blame Tree are going to be MPs who were in Government when it happened. They’re going to have to take the short-term pain of getting Article 50 extended or withdrawn and throw the decision back to the Willadapeepul.
They won’t like it, they don’t want to do it, but with issues like this everything is impossible and unbearable until it isn’t. Brexit won’t happen, everything else is just scenery.
Though I’ve been very wrong before.
There won’t be a Norway Deal, or a “Common Market 2.0” as the Norway House touts it.
The two options remaining are a Hard Brexit and tearing up the Article 50.
There’s nobody in either British political bloc who knows enough about the EU and the EU Agreements to negotiate an extra cup of Earl Grey, milk first in meetings with the EU.
Sort of. The EU has a series of models that they would be willing to live with, and they would be fine with the UK taking any of them. They may even allow a bit of tinkering around the edges of some of them. What they’ve been asking for forever is the UK to just goddamn pick one.
The Tories, of course, want a “bespoke” deal, mostly because that sounds fancier. The EU spent the last 2 years hammering out one. The Tories, it seems don’t actually like that one either though. Because the reality is that there is no consensus for ANY individual Brexit plan.
Right, that would be an example of an off-the-shelf kind of deal that they could settle on pretty quickly. Of course, a Norway deal will also draw a great deal of hatred, because it basically means you agree to abide by the EU’s rules while having no say over them. It makes a mockery of the idea that you are “taking back control”. So it’s not clear that Corbyn would take a Norway deal if he were offered it. The problem is that it’s not clear that Corbyn’s acceptable solution space has any overlap with the EU’s. Maybe it does, and if so fine… but this is facts not in evidence.
(ETA: His stated position is that he would have the UK be party to EU’s treaties with 3rd party countries, but help negotiate them. That is nah gahn happen. The EU will not let EU non-members be third-party to bilateral negotiations.)
Maybe. Don’t think he would be sanguine about doing that though. It would cost the labour party for a generation. The sizable chunk of their base that is emotionally committed to Brexit would not easily forgive.
@Tony Jay: Thanks for the analysis and vivid metaphors, Tony.
Historically in Britain, elections were called and run on single issues of this importance.
Unfortunately, May frittered away her time. And Britains time.
@??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??:
To go waaay back, technically the United Kingdom is 4 separate countries that share a Parliament and Head of State: England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. So in theory, any one of them could try to declare independence from the rest.
British hubris knows no bounds.
@unknown known: A Norway-style deal requires free movement of EU citizens and, IIRC the European Court of Justice as supreme legal arbiter of personal and commercial law. The lumpenBrexiters hate the first with the heat of a thousand crashed Teslas and the money men hate the second since it threatens their tax havens and financial shenanigans.
Norway isn’t that happy either with the idea either, it sees Britain which has ten times the population and seven times the GDP of Norway as a threat to the stability of the EEA in which it is currently the pre-eminent superpower.
@Tony Jay: Dude. Epic.
And the UK voters handed them all of those cards. Can’t really blame the EU for that. They didn’t hold a stupid fucking vote and then, when they caught the car, not know what the fuck to do with it.
One bottle of Tempranillo-Syrah and I just had to get something out. It’s such an embarrassing shitstorm it’s hard not to be sarcastic about it all.
@HeleninEire: Congats on your apartment. That new nym is going to be a bear to type.
Fixed Bloody Term Frigging Parliament Sodding Act. A defeat like this would have automatically led to an election a few years ago.
Thank’s again Cameron, you pig-shagging knobgoose.
OTOH, like I said, immediacy cuts down on the bullshit and forces people to make decisions to save their own skins. You may have noticed that minds were concentrated hard last year when this vote – should – have been held, and everything went fluffy and sound-byte happy as soon as it was delayed. We’ve got weeks for Parliament to come to a decision that doesn’t mutilate the country – concentrate those minds, people. Your genitals are on the line.
I really don’t like Brexit. Can you tell?
@Tony Jay: I gotta get me a case of what you’re drinking, we’re gonna have some massive shit-storms over here this year (on top of the continuing shit-storms of Trump and the shutdown).
I think that there are more Brexiteers on all sides, ( plus slavering Disaster Capitalists), willing to die on the Brexit hill of their own choosing, like Chinese Gordon,
Than are willing to tear up Article 50 or kick it back to WeThePeople.
They think that they will be remembered as hero’s, that The Empire will send out Kitchener to avenge them,
and their pensions, perks and privledge will immunize them from any real consequences.
You got your ‘People’s Vote’ and, lo and behold, the People voted overwhelmingly to put Democrats back in charge of the House. Crack a bottle and celebrate, America is climbing out of the hole Britain is still scrabbling around in.
THIS is why y’all Brits will always be cooler than us.
I just don’t see that, or rather I hope you’re wrong. Whenever Parliament has been allowed to vote on amendments to slow down or delay Brexit, they’ve done it. The Government just offered the best Brexit deal Leavers are going to get and it made history by suffering the worst defeat ever. The Brexiteers tried to remove May last year and only managed a third of all Tory MPs. There might be a substantial chunk of Labour MPs who are afraid of Leave constituents and would support – some – kind of Brexit, but only a handful would be insane enough to back No Deal.
Parliament simply will not let No Deal pass. If the Government tries to just let it happen the Speaker has the power to let backbenchers put forward motions to prevent it. If it comes down to it Tory MPs will be faced with the choice of voting for No Deal or stopping their own Government from sledgehammering the nation’s knees into juicy crumble. There are a lot of inbred wankers and slate-brained Gammons on the Tory benches, but there are a lot more grifting careerists who don’t want to spend their brief middle-age being chased around Middle England by mobs of angry hunter-gatherers looking for someone to blame.
Are you – sure – you mean ‘cooler’? 8-)
As you noted, the time to put the nose to the grindstone and get stuff done, passed a long time ago.
Both Houses and 10 Downing are still farting around with purity pony skittles farting flying Rainbow Unicorns as the Great British Brexitoff contestant of choice,
When there is only two choices left, “oops, sorry Mate, didn’t mean to do that”, and Hard Brexit, and all the inbred Houses don’t realize that yet.
When push comes to shove, like with dealing with Lord Blair of Kut Almera, most of the Lords and MP’s will r-u-n-n-o-f-t, wank endlessly and then whinge at how cruel the world is.
Despite Ray Mear’s BBC programs, while the Clans will be something for the ponces to fear, as they raid into Northumberland and the Borders, roving bands of Survivalists won’t be an issue in the South.
The yutes will flee abroad, and pensioner zombies are easily dealt with.
For a long time, in the West, we have counted on our politicians, when faced with extistential crisis, do the right thing, after trying everything else.
Few of our current crop, even meet this minimal standard.
@Tony Jay: Largely agree with your analysis. I’m cautiously optimistic now.
When the clock ticks down to midnight there won’t be any place for the Tories left to hide and they’ll have to make an actual unambiguous hard choice. The evidence does seem to loosely suggest that there are enough of them who are just about sane enough to steer clear of dynamiting the economy. I’d be a lot happier though if there wasn’t more than a fiver riding on that bet, but that’s not a luxury the bell-end afforded us after his too-clever-by-half referendum. Honestly, that has to have been the stupidest gambit since Kathryn Howard took a flyer on marrying Henry VIII, because he’d only had 1 of his last 4 wives executed.
Also agree that Corbyn is so far playing a bad hand in a cowardly but not-stupid way. Whoever is left holding the bag when Brexit lands (or doesn’t) is going to be in for a world of hurt. Given that Corbyn has zero power at present and his base is rabidly demanding mutually contradictory things from him, it’s actually smart to steer a totally implausible course down the middle. It’ll work great so long as he never has to actually do it. I worry about his learning curve if he ever does get elected, but that’s an infinitely smaller problem for another day.
@MattF: In Commonwealth countries,tabling an issue brings it up for discussion. In the US, tabling defers [email protected]NobodySpecial: Cameron. Major long gone.
@Vhh: In the UK, we sit round a table to discuss things. In the USA, we (or at least Gen. Henry M Robert) sit round the fire, and the table is over there against the wall.
@MattF: It means exactly opposite things in the US and the UK. Here, it means to ignore, there (the UK) it means to bring up for consideration.
@unknown known: ” Imagine California leaving the USA and trying to negotiate a good deal. Who do you think is in the driving seat of that negotiation? ”
I’m a native Californian, so biased. But I like to imagine that California would be magnanimous and give the rest of the US a good deal.
The Pale Scot
Well dead thread, too busy yesterday, all I can say is God Save Ireland