Right, unusual yes – 2 posts in one day – that’s probably a record on this site.
On the general point, I am thrilled still!
This really was momentous. I have a feeling that the consequences will be much more far-reaching and important than most people appreciate today. I’ll repeat a point I’ve made here already and on Twitter – the People elevated themselves above Parliament on 23rd June 2016, and there is no way I can fathom that Parliament can retake Sovereignty, short of a new English Civil War.
In the grand tradition of the English being civil, we’ll probably let Parliament get on with it for a bit. We’ll want a new Government formed and Brexit negotiations kicked off. If it goes to a full leadership contest then the EU must wait for that to take place. We want cordial relations, but they must immediately understand (and be reminded, in an appropriate fashion if needed) that they don’t call the shots anymore.
Article 50 was the European design for exit and it’s long negotiation period was designed rather deliberately as a shock absorber to world markets – they may have had the UK in mind when it was written. But, it is the member state who triggers it, not the EU.
But back to here and us. At some point, England must contemplate what it has done. It can’t head into the post-Brexit world with power vested with the people and system which gave it away in the first place – a national dialogue is needed. Problem is, now we must define, or redefine the Demos, in our future Democracy.
Decisions and history are made by those who show up. Time to grow up, accept the reality and make the most of it.
It is somehwat troubling that we have so many young people in this country that are possitively against the notion of Democracy and Self Determination for the UK. If UK makes mistakes, those who make the mistakes and those in charge pay the price. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
It confirms to me what I disliked greatly about “the project,” We moved to a system which represents a a minority view and it was imposed and enforced without voter consent. They don’t like it now the tables are turned.
The rank hypocrisy of Londoners getting upset because everyone else doesn’t agree with them is one for the record books. Not too long ago 1/4 of the globe were subjected to rule from London and for years Scotland, Wales and Norther Ireland have routinely bemoaned having to obey London… Londoners need to take a step back from this one, cool down, delete some of the hate speech they’ve sent out into Social Media and think again.
Devolution, Separation & England
I was delighted but not too surprised the Welsh voted to leave. My guess is, Port Talbot tipped it. (another lesson there for UK and EU in future)
The Scottish may or may not now want separation. I have sympathy, I want home rule for myself and so I understand that burning desire – I had two objections to the first referendum. 1. It was Scotland, not the UK voting and 2. I hoped Brexit would come in the near future, and when it was on the card to have the referendum, it was always likely that Scotland would use it to want a second referendum.
I feel ambivalent on the point. There’s a part of me who wants to stick it out, forge on in the new world. Brexit will benefit the Scottish, not least on the costal areas when we repatriate our fishing waters. However, as an Englishman, I get just as fed up with rule from London, the Brexit Result map shows a clear divide there in thinking. It’s ‘The English’ that draw the scorn, however, and if they don’t want to be in, this is perhaps the right point in history to have that conversation properly and then push on accordingly. I would cheekily suggest if Scotland stays, we may need to draw back, rather than extend Devolved powers. I say this because I feel there will be a new constitutional arrangement in coming years in either England or Britain, and one of the urgent areas which needs redress is a rebalancing away from the Metropolitan Bias incumbent in our present Parliamentary system. This may not be possible with the Scottish Executive holding central powers – this would best be addressed with the dual approach of Devolution to County Councils in England of some powers, and using the second chamber to balance the representation of the country better.
I would cheekily suggest if Scotland stays, we may need to draw back, rather than extend Devolved powers. I say this because I feel there will be a new constitutional arrangement in coming years in either England or Britain, and one of the urgent areas which needs redress is a rebalancing away from the Metropolitan Bias incumbent in our present Parliamentary system. This may not be possible with the Scottish Executive holding central powers – this would best be addressed with the dual approach of Devolution to County Councils in England of some powers, and using the second chamber to balance the representation of the country better.
It’s not just the England/Scotland relationship, however. Though Wales voted to Leave the EU, any changes would prompt debate and a possible vote there. But before Wales, there is the Irish question.
I spent a little under 4 years living in Galway, Ireland, a place that I love. I was also married in County Wicklow. I have no Irish ancestry that I am aware of, but Ireland has a hold on me and my heart.
I know from living in Galway, when the notion of Reunification with NI came up, it is not as straightforward as all that. I don’t recall the context, and I doubt it was a serious discussion but the very notion came up in conversation at work once. One of the finance managers, a lovely and very typical Irish lady said ‘Not sure we’d want them’… I scanned the room and there seemed no disapproval of the notion. Thoughts and feelings will obviously be different across Ireland, but I think the notion of re-unifying would be viewed as a tough task – roll the sleeves up time – rather than the time for a party.
This, of course, ignores the fact that the mere suggestion could ignite trouble from the fiercely loyalist unionists, many of whom nurse the memories of loved ones lost. They would probably chastise me in their own minds for bloviating away on my little blog with a hard-won peace. That peace came at a bitter price, and auld hatreds run deep. But I understand that a great many people hold that down deep, and want a peace being sick of death. They chose this path so their children would not know the horrible realities they had to face.
Therefore, it seems unrealistic to assume that Northern Ireland could ever split from the UK, and be independent. Yet, it is not a full member of the UK in some respects – it is a “Constituent Unit”. Under the arrangements in place, certain international bodies list Northern Ireland as a “province” of the UK, yet would list England, Scotland and Wales as “Countries”. The Union Flag can only fly at pre-arranged times from Government buildings, and the Devolved Parliament there can only function under terms which demand that there is cooperation from the Government of the Republic of Ireland. There are all sorts of deals with Ireland on Passports and national representation in sports. There’s one Ireland Team in the rugby, but two in the football.
For all of this, I have no idea what the right course might be, but whatever happens, let’s hope the chief concerns will be for democratic legitimacy and a strong push that peace prevails.
When it’s all said and done, if it’s England to go it alone, I would have no problem with that.
It must be acknowledged the length and breadth of the country, from Lands End to John O’Groats that we would never have had a Referendum on UK membership of the EU were it not for Nigel Farage. Anyone who says otherwise or plays down the commitment this man spent on this issue is frankly bonkers.
As someone who has wanted Brexit for 15 years, Nigel has been the figurehead and inspiration. He is a machine when it comes to tirelessly getting out there and campaigning. If Nigel and UKIP had not have pursued their strategy in Labour heartlands Brexit would have surely been lost. You can’t just roll up and campaign, you have to have a dialogue in the community. This strategy seemed at the General Election to have yielded little fruit, but crikey it was crucial on the EU vote.
What comes next for Nigel is for Nigel to decide. I suspect he may now want to slow down a little, and I wouldn’t blame him. For me, the next Prime Minster should offer him a seat in the negotiations. Love him or loathe him, he was the driving force in changing the country, well, actually the world, and lead this matter from the start.
That said, I was really very uncomfortable with the now famous poster. It seemed dumb, crass and unnecessary. Any politician who’s been around as long as Nigel should have known the likely backlash. The notion of sticking a picture of a queue of brown people up as a scare measure to solicit a vote is just plain wrong, and beneath the standard, we all expect from national politicians.
However, I know from when I joined UKIP you must declarethat you’ve never been affiliated with some pretty nasty organisations, such as the BNP. And we’ve seen a few Kippers kicked out when politics and prejudices met. I don’t know the man, but I had always thought when people labelled him a ‘Racist’ it seemed a cheap shot designed to stifle debate on real issues that matter to people.
I guess what I am saying is, I’m not so much giving him a free pass, more like a first yellow card. UKIP is tarred as nasty and small minded, but it is honestly not my experience of the people I have met who are associated with it. If it were, or if it were to become that, then I would leave and would not hesitate to condemn such actions/views.
Something needs to be said that people might not find comfortable. There’s plenty of people out there in our country that hold a broad range of views that if expressed within earshot would cause the average iffeminate, metrosexual, genderfluid Islingtonite to faint in shock. Metropolitan ideas and thinking are very well represented within our system, the concerns of millions of people who drag themselves to work every day are not. Don’t take my word for it, spend a few minutes examining what happened in the 23rd June referendum, and it’s very clear.
UKIP didn’t whip up a fervour, they simply went to areas where people vote for the guy with the correct colour rosette, may be lucky enough to express an opinion to him or her in an election campaign, then get ignored for 4-5 years between elections.
If the vote on the 23rd had of been taken by Parliament, the result would have been to remain. I believe it will be proven the three key issues of the referendum would be (and I think in this order)
- The right to Self-Determination and Democracy
- The Economy, and prospects for future
- Immigration. Both pressure on services such as NHS and schools, but also, house prices & wage pressures
Items 1 & 3 never get discussed in General Elections by the main parties. When they do come up, the professional politician will swat concerns away expertly. They have a stock room full of pre prepared distractive answers when on TV and never address the concerns. Worse, on the ground and in their real jobs they were ever more powerless to act (not that many wished to or would have known what to do…) as Parliament handed more and more controls to the EU.
The system is rigged to ignore key concerns from the people, see 1&3 and only when this referendum came up did the people get the chance to express themselves. It says a lot for the people of the country, they and the collective intellect has been talked down much in recent days, but trust the English to get it right. I’m probably not original in referring to Chesterton and his Secret People:
Smile at us, pay us, pass us; but do not quite forget;
For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet.
There is many a fat farmer that drinks less cheerfully,
There is many a free French peasant who is richer and sadder than we.
There are no folk in the whole world so helpless or so wise.
There is hunger in our bellies, there is laughter in our eyes;
You laugh at us and love us, both mugs and eyes are wet:
Only you do not know us. For we have not spoken yet.
The fine French kings came over in a flutter of flags and dames.
We liked their smiles and battles, but we never could say their names.
The blood ran red to Bosworth and the high French lords went down;
There was naught but a naked people under a naked crown.
And the eyes of the King’s Servants turned terribly every way,
And the gold of the King’s Servants rose higher every day.
They burnt the homes of the shaven men, that had been quaint and kind,
Till there was no bed in a monk’s house, nor food that man could find.
The inns of God where no man paid, that were the wall of the weak.
The King’s Servants ate them all. And still we did not speak.
And the face of the King’s Servants grew greater than the King:
He tricked them, and they trapped him, and stood round him in a ring.
The new grave lords closed round him, that had eaten the abbey’s fruits,
And the men of the new religion, with their bibles in their boots,
We saw their shoulders moving, to menace or discuss,
And some were pure and some were vile; but none took heed of us.
We saw the King as they killed him, and his face was proud and pale;
And a few men talked of freedom, while England talked of ale.
A war that we understood not came over the world and woke
Americans, Frenchmen, Irish; but we knew not the things they spoke.
They talked about rights and nature and peace and the people’s reign:
And the squires, our masters, bade us fight; and scorned us never again.
Weak if we be for ever, could none condemn us then;
Men called us serfs and drudges; men knew that we were men.
In foam and flame at Trafalgar, on Albuera plains,
We did and died like lions, to keep ourselves in chains,
We lay in living ruins; firing and fearing not
The strange fierce face of the Frenchmen who knew for what they fought,
And the man who seemed to be more than a man we strained against and broke;
And we broke our own rights with him. And still we never spoke.
Our patch of glory ended; we never heard guns again.
But the squire seemed struck in the saddle; he was foolish, as if in pain,
He leaned on a staggering lawyer, he clutched a cringing Jew,
He was stricken; it may be, after all, he was stricken at Waterloo.
Or perhaps the shades of the shaven men, whose spoil is in his house,
Come back in shining shapes at last to spoil his last carouse:
We only know the last sad squires rode slowly towards the sea,
And a new people takes the land: and still it is not we.
They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.
They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;
They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.
And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,
Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.
We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.
It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,
Our wrath come after Russia’s wrath and our wrath be the worst.
It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest
God’s scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.
But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.
Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.
I say again. UKIP’s strategy was to go to the masses, who felt disenfranchised and asked them, ‘what are your concerns?’… then did something unique by modern standards – they raised them in national discourse.
It is a recipe so simple and it is the one at the heart of our democracy.
MP’s are our Representatives, somewhere along the line they got it into their heads they are our leaders. The role of an MP in recent years have been to inform people of their own ideas, and what the government wants to do. Some thought the were so smart setting up seldom updated blogs and websites which in no way enabled information and suggestions to flow from voters to them. in short, they’ve got it arse-way-around. The people set their concerns and they expect their representatives to act. Labour, Liberals and Conservatives have ignored people and jumped to what Mandelson called the ‘Post Democratic’ system. The Remainers should not be surprised.
Last, there is a chasm in UKIP. I like Nigel. I like Carswell. They have very different ideas. It’s going to come to a head soon.
Let’s keep it civil and let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Let’s save ourselves the blood bath here chaps & Ladies alike. We all know it’s Boris who’s going to be PM. I’m not one for Coronations in Politics, I think we could all see with Gordon Brown, he would have been well served to have had some debate and a challenger.
However, the situation sis not the same.
The Conservative party has a mandate to form a Brexit Government, that means it needs a Brexiteer at it’s head. Gove isn’t going to stand so it’s Boris or Andrea Leadsom. I only got to know of Leadsom in the EU Referendum, and I was very impressed with her contribution. However, the public won’t take to someone they’ve barely heard of. I’m not even sure if she’s interested, I doubt she would run against Boris.
So, unless Ken Clarke and George Osborne [anyone seen him lately?] decide to nominate someone to frustrate the process and trigger a new chapter in the Tory Wars let’s get the nominations process done Monday night and get Boris up to Bucks Palace Tuesday morning. Cabinet Wednesday, whilst Corbyn is fighting his now ex-Shadow Cabinet and on to PMQ’s.
I’ll talk Labour below, but the Conservatives are not immune to a split. Politics changed Thursday, they should not be complacent that it will be business as usual. UKIP (in some form) will challenge, as will whatever comes from the ashes of Labour’s strife.
As I type, they are imploding.
My thought yesterday, distilled into a poorly constructed tweet is that given the discontent and bitterness from the Remainiacs, it would be a good exercise in democracy for them if the Parliamentary Labour Party forced a leadership contest less that one year on from the last one. Corbynites will surely drop their EU ref Banners disputing that the EU ref was an effective act of democracy and pick up the one which claims they already voted for Jeremy and therefore the PLP are being a bunch of meanies.
A leadership election, triggered in this manner, returning Jeremy Corbyn as leader would serve a useful dual purpose of validating Einstein’s definition of insanity.
Things look to be moving on today, Corbyn seems to want to dig in and not go quietly and there’s talk of a split to the Labour Party itself, and a formation of a new party.
I was thinking already, in the light of the EU Referendum that there was a chance Labour might split. Like when the SDP formed, it’s actually Labour that are the party which implodes over Europe.
There is a definite split in that party between the Blairites/social Democrats and the Corbynites who are much more Socialist. They co-existed when gaining power was possible and in their grasp, but the Labour Party knows not what it really stands for. Worse, it’s neglected working class core voter base is split too. Labour voters on social media now prosecute hateful exchanges to one another flank of the party in a manner they used to reserve for the hated “Tories”.
Five years ago, the Liberal Democrats might have benefitted. I suspect not now.
If a Social Democratic Party and a Socialist Party come about, it could hurt the Conservatives too.
My gauge is, in the Post Brexit world, people might be more willing to try a new party. Particularly if Direct Democracy plays a bigger role in our decision and law making processes
More Referendums Please(?)
How about a referendum on the following?
- The BBC Licence fee
- Return of Capital Punishment
- Being in Eurovision
- English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish independence
- Role of House of Lords (well thought out options needed first, post UK separation votes)
The Church of England
Surprisingly, I did not get a response to my tweet:
The Church too may get swept up in all that is to come.