U-SKIP

It’s tempting to wonder if the phrase ‘a Pyrrhic victory’ will soon be replaced by the word ‘Ukippered’.  Pyrrhic, as you will recall, comes from Pyrrhus, the Roman general whose victory cost so many lives that he was heard to say, ‘One more such victory and we are done for.’

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Pyrrhic+victory

The same could be said right now of UKIP.  Like the government when it started this ill-starred and ill-advised referendum, they don’t seem to have had a post-Brexit plan; and as a result they are now falling apart.  Farrage, far from enjoying his victory and crowing loud and long over the triumphant state of a Britain that has ‘taken back control’, has resigned and hopped across the pond to place his grinning face under the inexplicable hair of Donald Trump.  Trump and Farrage sounds like a firm of particularly dodgy lawyers, but nobody seems to care.  Meanwhile, the government struggles to come to terms with a nightmarish aftermath which nobody really wanted, where nobody knows what could or should happen and where even those who voted for it are starting to think they didn’t know what they were voting for.

This was not entirely their fault: they were misled shamefully by newspapers and leaders who never stopped plugging lies and half-truths about spending and immigrants.  At least Boris is still around to face the music – if not to actually conduct some of it – while his ally Farrage has skipped bail leaving the country and his party in a parlous state.

Meanwhile Corbyn seems to me to have the most coherent Brexit plan, trying to honour the democratic result of the referendum (which Owen Smith is proposing to disregard) while retaining some of the positive aspects of the European Union.  My heart sinks whenever I hear the word Brexit: I hate the result with a passion, but it’s no good saying we can’t honour it, because then you may as well tear up parliamentary democracy if you do that.  I hated the results of the last two elections but you can’t just hold another election if you don’t like the result of the first one; something Owen Smith would do well to bear in mind.

That’s it for today.  Very tired.  I hate moving house.

Kirk out

 

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11 Comments

Filed under friends and family, politics

11 responses to “U-SKIP

  1. Graham Price

    As you must be weary of hearing by now: the Referendum result was ADVISORY not BINDING. And no-one, barring a few nut jobs, will care if it is filed in the bin.

    Hst, Owen Smith is as wrong as Corbyn, in proposing a Second Referendum. Say what you will about Mrs. Thatcher, she knew that Referendums were Bad Things.

  2. Sarada Gray

    So where is it stated that the result was advisory not binding, and how many voters were aware of this? I certainly wasn’t – and I suspect that most people who voted for out weren’t either. I don’t think it’s helpful to regard them as ‘a few nut-jobs’ because clearly as a majority there are more than a few of them, and because many people had genuine concerns about Europe.

  3. Graham Price

    Read this article:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brexit-result-latest-david-lammy-mp-eu-referendum-result-parliament-twitter-statement-stop-this-a7102931.html

    It’s been all over the media since June. Lammy was the first politician to flag the idea up – and if you dispute my use of the phrase ‘nut jobs’, what other will suffice for the Leave supporters who have threatened to kill Lammy because he has made this point?

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/04/david-lammy-receives-death-threat-after-eu-referendum-result

    I would also dispute that a majority wanted to ‘Leave’ – of those who voted Leave, some voted against immigration, some to get ‘their’ jobs back’, some to give an extra £350 million a week to the NHS, some to give a bloody nose to David Cameron. That is because the Leave campaign successfully represented itself as crusading against/for those things, rather than against the EU. No scientific evidence, but Leave voters seemed to want a multiplicity of things that they were persuaded would/could be achieved by leaving the EU. Whereas Remain voters wanted only one thing: to remain….

    I don’t see why a ‘democratic’ result should be respected if is going to be harmful to most of those who voted for it, as well as all of those who didn’t….

    Let me ask you: if, when you were a small child, your parents had asked you if you’d like to be given a sweet or dropped off the top floor of a block of flats – and you, for whatever reason, had opted for the latter – would you have insisted that they respect your decision to opt for the fatal drop?

    The electorate is the small child: the government is the parent. We elect governments to make decisions on complex matters on our behalf, not to pander to our capricious and often harmful whims. There is an excellent quote by Edmund Burke on the duty of elected representatives which the current crop of Tories seem to have forgotten.

    In any case, it’s becoming apparent that the Leave campaign was funded by oligarchs with the express intention of detaching Britain from the EU so that its remaining assets can be divided among them. If Brexit goes ahead, there will be no NHS, there will be no public television, there will be no public theatres or arts centres, there will be no libraries, there will be no public funding of anything (with the possible exception of the police and the army, although even that might be doubtful).

    The referendum itself was deeply flawed: the result would be positively harmful. It should be binned, in the pubic interest; and the politicians who insist it be respected should not be supported.

  4. Graham Price

    Labour MP David Lammy flagged up the non-binding point the weekend after the result:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brexit-result-latest-david-lammy-mp-eu-referendum-result-parliament-twitter-statement-stop-this-a7102931.html

    He has received death threats from Leave campaigners for making this point:

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/04/david-lammy-receives-death-threat-after-eu-referendum-result

    If these people are not ‘nut jobs’, what other phrase will suffice?

    Let me put this to you: if, when you were younger and going through a bit of a pad patch emotionally/careerwise, your mother had offered you a choice of two pills – one that would give you a temporary boost and another that would ‘put you to sleep forever’ and you – in your misery and frustration – had opted for the suicide pill, would you have insisted that your mother respect your choice? Would you have demanded that she supply you with the means to kill yourself, because that was what you’d chosen?

    The electorate is the temperamental child; the government is the parent. Most of the time, the child should be allowed to do what it wants, even if the parent profoundly disagrees. But fatal self-harm is another matter….

    Besides which, it’s by no means clear that those who voted Leave actually wanted to ‘Leave’: some of them wanted to get rid of immigrants, some wanted to give David Cameron a bloody nose, quite a lot of benign souls seem to have wanted to give the NHS an extra £350 million a week. They were told by proven liars that all this could be achieved by ticking the ‘Leave’ box. Those of us who wanted to Remain might have ‘lost’ but at least it’s clear what we wanted.

    And it’s becoming clear that the Leave campaign was funded by oligarchs whose super-objective is to complete the Thatcherite project by snapping up what remains of Britain’s public services. If Brexit goes ahead, there will be no NHS, no BBC, no publicly funded theatre or television – in fact, no public services at all (even the police force will be sold off – the only people worth protecting will be those who can pay for it). There’ll probably still be a publicly funded army but I don’t think a country like that would be worth defending…

    It is in the interests of all except the outrageously wealthy that the Referendum result be binned. Those politicians who insist it be respected – be they Left, Right, or in-between – are lower than vermin; and they would do well to reacquaint (or even acquaint) themselves with Edmund Burke’s letter to his constituents.

  5. It’s technically not binding but similarly, the monarch can do whatever they want but if they did follow through, they would be deposed. Governments which don’t respect the results of any referendum would be taking a cyanide pill and lose all integrity. I’m currently thinking Corbyn erred in not supporting leave, as that would then have put the Tories in a very awkward position.

    • Graham Price

      Not sure about this: other countries (Sweden and Holland, I think) have had referenda and the governments have either not acted on the result, or held a second referendum to achieve the ‘right’ result.

      People of all parties are parroting the same line: ‘The people have spoken and we must abide by their decision.’ I find it vaguely sinister – as if they’ve been brainwashed, a la The Manchurian Candidate. Corbyn’s abject failure to properly get behind ‘Remain’ has already cost the country dear – his vision of socialism already looks unachievable; it will belong to the realms of fantasy if Brexit goes ahead.

      Given that there is general agreement that Brexit will destroy Britain for at least two generations, wouldn’t it be better for all parties to do like our wiser neighbours do and kick this into the long grass? Democracy won’t mind.

      • I think Corbyn didn’t get behind Remain because he didn’t really believe in it but wasn’t open about it and TBH I find that a little concerning. To an extent, if his version of socialism is unachievable it would genuinely mean that socialism per we is unachievable and the whole of progressive politics in this country would need to be rethought or even abandoned. There are no half measures with that, e.g. it’s untenable to have an NHS with a private drug industry because it insulates the latter from market forces. I don’t know if you can really apply what goes on in a Scandinavian country to England. Possibly Scotland though. The histories are very different.

      • I live in Spain. The Brexit issue shocked me because it could affect my position in the country I have chosen to live in. I was not in the UK when the referendum was underway and my children tell me that the main issue was immigration. That is a shame because there is a LOT wrong with Europe. It is undemocratic, bureaucratic, technocratic and incompetent. It builds huge infrastructure projects that no one wants and puts its meddling fingers right down into the smallest interstices of your life.

        Maybe Brexit supporters are not always the brightest and the best, but there is something noble about resisting that kind of government. And there is something unconscionably bullying in suggesting that, just because Europe is big and leaving will have economic consequences, people have to put up with it.

        I am pro-Europe, but there is something profoundly awful about the European Union.

      • Sarada Gray

        I think I agree

  6. Graham Price

    Double posting (sort of) above because my first one didn’t seem to ‘happen’.

    • Graham Price

      The E.U. has a helluva lot wrong with it and until the late 1980s, it was an article of faith with the Left to oppose it.

      However….I don’t have much truck with the argument that it can’t be reformed (why can’t it? I asked this very question of a Leave voter and was told: ‘It just can’t….’) and surely the only way (certainly the best way) to reform it is from within, as a member?

      I have my own issues with the E.U. but I had only had to take one look at the people leading Leave (a motley crew of opportunists and fascists) to understand that that lot had their own very dark agenda which it would be very unwise to follow.

      That’s why I’m so keen that the Referendum result be rejected and that the people who voted for Brexit be frustrated.

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