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-   -   Prime Minister Boris Johnson tries to lead the UK (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=879601)

Elendil's Heir 07-30-2019 10:24 AM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tries to lead the UK
 
Previous thread about May's resignation and Johnson's election as PM: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=876044

Brexit, Brexit, Brexit and Brexit - oh, yeah, and the economy, budget, immigration, education, defense, environment, etc. How's he doing? Opinions welcomed both from Brits and non-Brits.

QuickSilver 07-30-2019 10:31 AM

What?... Nothing about rebuilding Hadrian's Wall with Irish labor and having Scotland pay for it?

Kobal2 07-30-2019 10:32 AM

First read that as "leave the UK", which would have been much better news.

Gyrate 07-30-2019 10:33 AM

My opinion is that he's a lying, corrupt hypocrite who will happily destroy the country (possibly literally) for his own profit and aggrandisement, and who - based on his career so far - will likely manage to escape being held accountable for his actions because he has funny hair and bumbles about a bit.

casdave 07-30-2019 10:43 AM

Its early days, and the parties on both sides of politics are couching almost everything in terms of entrenched pro and anti Brexit terms.

Every person with anything to say seems to have a personal take on their corner without any regard whatsoever to the bigger picture - seems to me its all short termist me me me politics right now.

Difficult to say how he is doing, so many folk are determined to have him fail it is really hard to find any commentary from objective sources - even the BBC seems to be carrying out studio interviews with loaded panels, mind you it has been doing that for some time.

Scots nats will spin everything into a referendum for another independence vote, Lefties are spinning everything into a confidence vote in the hope of a general election, Welsh seem to be spinning everything for a second Brexit referendum - despite Wales as a whole voting to leave.

Labour seem to be pressing for a second vote when their core areas of support were solidly behind leave, - a general election for them would likely be political suicide but their party leaders seem to be listening to their activists instead of their electorate.

Other groups that benefit from fixed prices such as farmers who love EU intervention, but hate support for industry because they see it as subsidy, can see their exposure to market forces as a bad thing for them - so they are up in arms - which matters because they are traditionally supporters of the Conservatives, and as for the Irish, both sides of the border - what a mess, its been a mess for the last 150 years and its unlikely to get better after years of relative peace - they are all pointing at the sky in different and incompatible directions and being impossible.

Many conservative MPs are solidly pro EU and seem to be threatening to bring down the government in a confidence motion - which is very much like snowmen booking their summer holidays.

Anyone who thinks a second vote or a general election will resolve anything will get an extremely nasty surprise - the failure to undertake the wishes of the majority has already allowed Boris Johnson to become PM, giving the electorate further votes will divide the country deeper and likely create a huge opportunity for more robust leave parties.

Boris Johnson has to manage all that - he needs all the luck in the world and it is unlikely he will get it.

cochrane 07-30-2019 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 21778449)
My opinion is that he's a lying, corrupt hypocrite who will happily destroy the country (possibly literally) for his own profit and aggrandisement, and who - based on his career so far - will likely manage to escape being held accountable for his actions because he has funny hair and bumbles about a bit.

You trump the thread!

Gyrate 07-30-2019 11:09 AM

The real challenge to Boris isn't overt party revolt (won't happen) or Labour forcing a vote of no confidence (Labour couldn't force a toothpick through a wet tissue). The challenge is that even with DUP support, he'll still only have a majority of 2 (which could be reduced to 1 if Brecon & Radnorshire goes as expected on Thursday). That means that not only will he be held hostage by the DUP, he could also be held hostage by every member of his party. One defector and his government crumbles.

Skara_Brae 07-30-2019 11:26 AM

John Oliver did a piece on him this Sunday. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dXyO_MC9g3k

GreenWyvern 07-30-2019 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 21778515)
The real challenge to Boris isn't overt party revolt (won't happen) or Labour forcing a vote of no confidence (Labour couldn't force a toothpick through a wet tissue). The challenge is that even with DUP support, he'll still only have a majority of 2 (which could be reduced to 1 if Brecon & Radnorshire goes as expected on Thursday). That means that not only will he be held hostage by the DUP, he could also be held hostage by every member of his party. One defector and his government crumbles.

That's why he will make impossible promises to everybody about everything, try to appear strong and decisive, take a hard line with the EU... and call an election.

He will come to an agreement with Farage, and hope that he gets a decent majority. Then he will try to force through no-deal, by fair means or foul.

Stanislaus 07-30-2019 11:37 AM

He's not even a week in to the job yet, so it's hard to say how he's doing. But there are signs of his overall approach to Brexit.

Broadly, there are three possible futures, to coin a phrase, for Britain re Brexit:

Agree a withdrawal deal and exit the EU;
Exit with no deal;
Rescind Article 50 and stay in the EU*.

The current deadline for one of these things to happen is Oct 31. By default, option 2 - No Deal Brexit - is what will happen unless one of the other two does, or the UK and EU agree a further extension of time.

When May was PM, the government's approach was to try to get a deal. She came to an agreement with the EU - the Withdrawal Agreement. Getting it ratified meant winning a vote in Parliament, which she failed to do three times. Johnson, although he voted for the Withdrawal Agreement as a Cabinet Minister, is not pursuing that strategy.

He appears to have a twin approach -push the EU to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement, while preparing for No Deal. The EU has been pretty emphatic that it is not going to renegotiate, so there is a strong element of brinksmanship to all this. It is not yet entirely clear whether Johnson considers No Deal a viable policy for Britain, or if this is merely a negotiating ploy. The messaging has been...mixed:
1) in his campaign to be elected Leader of the Conservative Party, Johnson said that the chances of No Deal were a "million to one".
2) As PM, his first actions were to fire most of his cabinet and replace them with people who back No Deal, and to task a senior minister to accelerate No Deal programming. That minister told the press that the governemnt were working towards No Deal.
3) Questioned about this, Johnson insisted that No Deal was not on the cards and that his plan was to get a deal with the EU.

It's hard to discern if this is the work of a Machiavellian mastermind or a floundering fuckwit. Certainly Johnson has a reputation for being the former; he also has a track record of weak grasp of detail, vacillation and changing his mind to suit the needs of the moment. He's quite capable fo saying one thing on Monday and another on Tuesday, and meaning both sincerely. Neither should be taken as evidence of what he might say on Wednesday.

All this analysis is complicated by the fact that Johnson has brought in to government Dominic Cummings, who lead the Vote Leave campaign. Cummings does think strategically and revels in disorienting his opponents by doing the unexpected. The lurch towards hard Leavery feels very much like his kind of move - it not only leaves the EU wondering what's going on, it also scores a political win by shooting the fox of the Brexit Party, who were poised to threaten the Tories from the right in any forthcoming election, but who will have little to say against a policy they back.

The election is of course the other big element in this. Johnson's majority in the Commons is down to 3, I think, and there are as casdave says a lot of Tory MPs (not least some recently fired Ministers) who have no love for Johnson and still less for No Deal. So winning an election and getting a malleable majority soon would be a good thing for Johnson. Of course, just because you want something doesn't mean you can get it, and the polls don't look amazing. So a good 50% of everything he does now will be done with an eye on winning popularity. His current tour of the UK, involving a new spending commitment at every stop, seems to be very much in this line. However, the No Deal stuff is risky, electorally speaking. It will be disruptive in the short term, and various groups (e.g. farmers, per casdave above) are being pretty vocal about that. The aim will be to blame it on the EU and/or Labour/Lib Dems/Wet Tories.

But, again, he's just started. It's hard to tell what he's going to try for. It is easy to see from his past career that he's an intellectually lazy ditherer and bully with a terrifying inability to grasp complex detail, so I'm not optimistic.

Included for completeness, not out of any actual belief in its plausibility. A lot of stuff would have to happen for this to be a serious option.

glee 07-30-2019 11:42 AM

Boris is an lying adulterous narcissist who makes foolish snap decisions. :mad:
He's failed as Foreign Secretary and also lost taxpayers millions over an imaginary bridge (as Mayor of London.)

Three years after a narrow vote to leave the EU (on a poorly-phrased referendum), there is no agreement on:

- whether to leave
- what sort of terms should apply if we do leave
- how to resolve the Irish border question.

Boris doesn't do detail, so he's just claiming that in the next few months:

- he can renegotiate a new deal with the EU (no chance)
- he can solve the Irish border question (perhaps he'll build a bridge somewhere :smack: )
- the UK will have a stronger union (particularly crass - far more likely that Scotland leave)

If Boris is the answer, then the question is about 'style over substance'. :eek:

glee 07-30-2019 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stanislaus (Post 21778591)
(bolding mine)
...
It's hard to discern if this is the work of a Machiavellian mastermind or a floundering fuckwit. Certainly Johnson has a reputation for being the former; he also has a track record of weak grasp of detail, vacillation and changing his mind to suit the needs of the moment. He's quite capable of saying one thing on Monday and another on Tuesday, and meaning both sincerely. Neither should be taken as evidence of what he might say on Wednesday.

Surely you mean that Johnson is the latter?!

Kobal2 07-30-2019 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 21778449)
My opinion is that he's a lying, corrupt hypocrite who will happily destroy the country (possibly literally) for his own profit and aggrandisement, and who - based on his career so far - will likely manage to escape being held accountable for his actions because he has funny hair and bumbles about a bit.


I do wonder about the first part though. I mean, with Trump or Farage or Reese-Mogg you can really easily connect the money dots. They're in red. And bolded. And the fuckers write books about their precious fucking dots, too.
Is there such an obvious self-profit angle with the be-mopped potato ?


(true honest question - I'm not concern trolling or socratic questioning or nuffin'. I have no earthly idea)

Gyrate 07-30-2019 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenWyvern (Post 21778589)
That's why he will make impossible promises to everybody about everything, try to appear strong and decisive, take a hard line with the EU... and call an election.

He will come to an agreement with Farage, and hope that he gets a decent majority. Then he will try to force through no-deal, by fair means or foul.

He will only call an election as a last resort, having learned the lesson of the last election where Theresa May went in confident of an increased majority and took a major hit to it instead. If he can bluff and bluster through to the end of October without an election, he will.

Gyrate 07-30-2019 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kobal2 (Post 21778670)
I do wonder about the first part though. I mean, with Trump or Farage or Reese-Mogg you can really easily connect the money dots. They're in red. And bolded. And the fuckers write books about their precious fucking dots, too.
Is there such an obvious self-profit angle with the be-mopped potato ?


(true honest question - I'm not concern trolling or socratic questioning or nuffin'. I have no earthly idea)

You're right - I'm making assumptions here about his finances.

But Boris was staunchly pro-EU before he decided that a narrow loss while leading the Leave campaign would allow him to ride a wave of resentment into Number 10. Unfortunately he unexpectedly won and immediately ran away from any responsibility to deliver what he'd promised. And now he's back, clearly determined to drive the country toward a no-deal Brexit. If it's not the money, then I don't know what game he's playing - he's not a True Believer and he knows it's not going to turn out to be all the sunshine and lollipops he's been promising.

AK84 07-30-2019 12:30 PM

He looked like the dog who’d caught the car on referendum night you mean.

WillFarnaby 07-30-2019 12:45 PM

I'd love to see the no deal Brexit go through. Johnson isn't the best advocate for it. It would be a huge win for free market capitalism. Small is good. I doubt it can be pulled off.

Steophan 07-30-2019 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WillFarnaby (Post 21778752)
I'd love to see the no deal Brexit go through. Johnson isn't the best advocate for it. It would be a huge win for free market capitalism. Small is good. I doubt it can be pulled off.

How is reducing the size of the free trdae area and adding a load of new regulations for trading a win for free market capitalism?

WillFarnaby 07-30-2019 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steophan (Post 21778781)
How is reducing the size of the free trdae area and adding a load of new regulations for trading a win for free market capitalism?

The UK can shed EU regulations and unilaterally drop barriers to trade that are required for EU membership. The net effect could be more freedom in trade if it is handled correctly.

Small nations do no have the ability to pursue protectionist policies because they would be immediately felt by the consumer. You will find that small nations are more likely to adopt free trade policies.

Kobal2 07-30-2019 01:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 21778681)
You're right - I'm making assumptions here about his finances.

But Boris was staunchly pro-EU before he decided that a narrow loss while leading the Leave campaign would allow him to ride a wave of resentment into Number 10. Unfortunately he unexpectedly won and immediately ran away from any responsibility to deliver what he'd promised. And now he's back, clearly determined to drive the country toward a no-deal Brexit. If it's not the money, then I don't know what game he's playing - he's not a True Believer and he knows it's not going to turn out to be all the sunshine and lollipops he's been promising.


That's really what's puzzling me. I don't know what he's about. He seems to have sort of bumbled himself into anti-EU politics because back when he was a journalist he found it effortless and the path of least giving a fuck to write alarmist nonsense and that was it - and that is still it. Beyond all the studied and deliberate bumbling, it really seems to me like he's on the side of the devils because, well, he's lazy and that requires the least effort and politics is better than having a real job.
Which is somehow more scary than all the McConnels in the world, to me.

PatrickLondon 07-30-2019 01:11 PM

Johnson is still in the phase of shaking everything he can out of the "magic money tree" his party so frequently told us didn't exist, and projecting a hard Brexit, all with a view to staging a general election that will see off Farage's latest political vehicle. This is a continuation of Cameron's plot with the referendum that got us into this mess - because, whatever else, the important thing is that the Tory party hangs on to office.

It all depends on when he times his run in relation to the crash-out date, October 31. Go before, against the big bad EU not giving him everything on a plate (but with Farage's lot saying he's not genuinely trying) or go after (with the risk of adverse consequences of crashing out starting to hit in the run-up to polling day)?

glee 07-30-2019 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WillFarnaby (Post 21778752)
I'd love to see the no deal Brexit go through. Johnson isn't the best advocate for it. It would be a huge win for free market capitalism. Small is good. I doubt it can be pulled off.

How is losing the free trade we have already with the rest of the EU going to be profitable?

The Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Council, the Bank of England and the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer all said 'no deal' would be an economic disaster.

It takes years to set up trade deals - and when you have a clown like Johnson in charge, our prospects are dismal.

Sam Stone 07-30-2019 01:49 PM

I had only a vague idea of who Boris Johnson really was. I mean, I know who he is, but not what kind of person. I keep hearing that he's another Trump - a low intelligence populist rabble rouser. So I did a little research on him, and I'm not seeing it.

Apparently he went to Eton, where he was considered a bit of a prodigy. Then Oxford, where he graduated with second class honors. He speaks Greek and Latin fluently. His politics are said to be more David Cameron style center-right orthodoxy, other than Brexit.

So what am I missing? Sure, he has goofy hair and a penchant for theatrics, but I'm not seeing the dumb drooling Trump clone.

PastTense 07-30-2019 01:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenWyvern (Post 21778589)
Then he will try to force through no-deal, by fair means or foul.

He doesn't have to force through no-deal--Brexit is scheduled to happen automatically on October 31.

Kobal2 07-30-2019 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Stone (Post 21778943)
I had only a vague idea of who Boris Johnson really was. I mean, I know who he is, but not what kind of person. I keep hearing that he's another Trump - a low intelligence populist rabble rouser. So I did a little research on him, and I'm not seeing it.

Apparently he went to Eton, where he was considered a bit of a prodigy. Then Oxford, where he graduated with second class honors. He speaks Greek and Latin fluently. His politics are said to be more David Cameron style center-right orthodoxy, other than Brexit.

So what am I missing? Sure, he has goofy hair and a penchant for theatrics, but I'm not seeing the dumb drooling Trump clone.


That's kind of what I'm saying : he's no Trump. Trump is an idiot, Johnson is only pretending to be one. A relatable one, sort of lazy, sort of improvising, ha ha, you know hows it is, herp derp. It's all for show of course, but it *is* effective. The only thing is, I don't know what it's effective *towards*. Trump is transparent, he's just a canker on democracy, a pustulent boil oozing "more money for me and the people who give me money ; fuck you".
BJ (heh.) seems diffenrent, in that he doesn't seem to be gorging himself on any particular trough. It really seems like he's being a cunt for the sake of 'being a cunt is easier than not being that'.

WillFarnaby 07-30-2019 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glee (Post 21778911)
How is losing the free trade we have already with the rest of the EU going to be profitable?

The Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Council, the Bank of England and the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer all said 'no deal' would be an economic disaster.

It takes years to set up trade deals - and when you have a clown like Johnson in charge, our prospects are dismal.

Yes I would expect no less from entrenched interests that have already lobbied for their privileges.

Really you don't need deals. Unilaterally dropping barriers to trade will do quite a bit by itself.

Steophan 07-30-2019 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WillFarnaby (Post 21779014)
Yes I would expect no less from entrenched interests that have already lobbied for their privileges.

Really you don't need deals. Unilaterally dropping barriers to trade will do quite a bit by itself.

You can't unilaterally create a trade deal, and the terms for trading without a deal are pretty onerous. What you are proposing is an end to free trade areas and trading solely under WTO rules, which would be devastating to the economy.

WillFarnaby 07-30-2019 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steophan (Post 21779152)
You can't unilaterally create a trade deal, and the terms for trading without a deal are pretty onerous. What you are proposing is an end to free trade areas and trading solely under WTO rules, which would be devastating to the economy.

You don't need a trade deal to unilaterally drop all barriers to trade. Those countries with the highest levels of trade freedom are not in mammoth free trade blocs. There are better ways to pursue free trade. See Hong Kong, Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, etc. Of course I will not deny there would be a slight hiccup along the way.

casdave 07-30-2019 03:27 PM

You can argue the merits or otherwise of Brexit all you want - but this has been done to death in other threads already - the OP isn't asking about the ins and outs of Brexit as such, more they are interested in Boris and his approach to the issue and an evaluation of how it is perceived to be going.

WillFarnaby 07-30-2019 03:31 PM

Free trade blocs are great, but the EU doesn't allow member countries to pursue other agreements.

slash2k 07-30-2019 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WillFarnaby (Post 21779014)
Really you don't need deals. Unilaterally dropping barriers to trade will do quite a bit by itself.

Unilaterally dropping barriers to trade means that importers suddenly have it better, but industries that rely on exports, or even the domestic competitors to those imports, have it much worse until the situation sorts itself out, by which time some or many of those companies will have gone out of business, with all of the attendant economic disruptions that causes. If the net benefit to importers doesn't outweigh the net losses elsewhere, the "quite a bit by itself" you tout equals economic hardships if not outright recession. What leads you to conclude the net outcome will be positive?

Staggerlee 07-30-2019 04:31 PM

It seems possible that Boris's push for hard/No Deal Brexit is in the knowledge that this will be rejected by parliament, forcing a General Election. As that would amount to a second referendum (but this time along distinct party lines) Boris and Cummings might hope to win a majority and finally push Brexit through (they roused a sufficient rabble last time around).

Kimstu 07-30-2019 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WillFarnaby (Post 21779189)
You don't need a trade deal to unilaterally drop all barriers to trade. Those countries with the highest levels of trade freedom are not in mammoth free trade blocs. There are better ways to pursue free trade. See Hong Kong, Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, etc.

:dubious: AFAICT none of those countries are in any way eschewing trade deals, nor have they unilaterally dropped all barriers to trade.

Baron Greenback 07-30-2019 07:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kimstu (Post 21779597)
:dubious: AFAICT none of those countries are in any way eschewing trade deals, nor have they unilaterally dropped all barriers to trade.

I can't be bothered going through them all but New Zealand is party to quite a lot of trade agreements, as are Singapore, Hong Kong and Chile. Oh look, that's all of them!

It's not usually worth responding to badly-informed fundamentalist libertarians.

UDS 07-30-2019 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WillFarnaby (Post 21779209)
Free trade blocs are great, but the EU doesn't allow member countries to pursue other agreements.

EU member states can't pursue free trade agreements unilaterally, but they do so collectively - and with considerable success. As an EU member state, the UK is party to the largest network of free trade agreements that the world has ever seen, negotiated collectively through the EU. By brexiting, they leave that network, and have to start building their own network, from scratch, and from a much weaker bargaining position than they enjoyed as members of the EU. A much, much weaker bargaining position, if they leave the EU with no deal.

WillFarnaby 07-30-2019 11:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kimstu (Post 21779597)
:dubious: AFAICT none of those countries are in any way eschewing trade deals, nor have they unilaterally dropped all barriers to trade.

Did I say eschew trade deals? Is Johnson fixing to eschew trade deals? No what I said was that it is possible to successfully pursue free trade outside of a large trade bloc. In fact, the best free trade countries are not in a large trade bloc.

UDS 07-30-2019 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WillFarnaby (Post 21780105)
Did I say eschew trade deals? Is Johnson fixing to eschew trade deals? No what I said was that it is possible to successfully pursue free trade outside of a large trade bloc. In fact, the best free trade countries are not in a large trade bloc.

Well, I dunno how true this is. Here's a list of countries ranked by their average tariff rates, which is a pretty good indicator of how good a "free trade country" they are. The four freest include Switzerland, which is in the Single Market, and Singapore, which is in the ASEAN Free Trade Area and so operates the Common Effective Preferential Tariff Scheme. Just behind those four we have a group including Norway and Iceland, both in the EEA. The EU countries come just behind that group, and they are ahead of - as in, they have lower average tariff barriers than - New Zealand and Chile.

In short, of the four countries that you mention, Hong Kong would appear to be the only one that (a) is more of a free trade country than the EU member states, and (b) is not in a trade bloc of any kind.

Lord Feldon 07-31-2019 02:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by casdave (Post 21778464)
Labour seem to be pressing for a second vote when their core areas of support were solidly behind leave, - a general election for them would likely be political suicide but their party leaders seem to be listening to their activists instead of their electorate.

It's not just the activists, which is a big part of their dilemma. Even as most Labour constituencies voted to leave, most Labour voters voted to remain.

Stanislaus 07-31-2019 04:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Stone (Post 21778943)
I had only a vague idea of who Boris Johnson really was. I mean, I know who he is, but not what kind of person. I keep hearing that he's another Trump - a low intelligence populist rabble rouser. So I did a little research on him, and I'm not seeing it.

Apparently he went to Eton, where he was considered a bit of a prodigy. Then Oxford, where he graduated with second class honors. He speaks Greek and Latin fluently. His politics are said to be more David Cameron style center-right orthodoxy, other than Brexit.

So what am I missing? Sure, he has goofy hair and a penchant for theatrics, but I'm not seeing the dumb drooling Trump clone.

Boris isn't dumb, and can string sentences together. He's also arrogant, raised from birth to think he's special, and a serial adulterer. He is, even by the standards of politicians, in love with the sound of his own voice. He's very definitely populist, and if he's not specifically saying "Make Britain Great Again" a big part of his pitch to the country is vague exhortations to believe in ourselves coupled with sweeping declarations that everyone pointing out problems that can't be solved just by positive feelings is a naysayer talking down Britain.

His education would suggest that he's capable of grasping detail, but a regular feature of his career as journalist, London Mayor and Foreign Secretary is that, like Trump, he blurts out what he wants to be true rather than what is. See for example, his recent speech in which he claimed that fish smokers on the Isle of Man were being put to unneccessary costs by EU rules requiring them to put a chemical cool pack in their postal kipper deliveries. It went down very well with the audience. It just turns out that: the Isle of Man isn't in the EU; even if it were the EU doesn't have such a rule; but the UK does. (Also, it's probably quite a good idea to keep fish cool in transit, when you think about it.) Disregarding the truth for a crowd-pleasing speech that falls apart on further investigation is reasonably Trump adjacent behaviour and it's this tendency to say whatever will get him applause and power that's the main point of comparison between him and Trump.

Nava 07-31-2019 05:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glee (Post 21778911)
How is losing the free trade we have already with the rest of the EU going to be profitable?

The Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Council, the Bank of England and the previous Chancellor of the Exchequer all said 'no deal' would be an economic disaster.

It takes years to set up trade deals - and when you have a clown like Johnson in charge, our prospects are dismal.

Apparently, getting rid of EU regulations will make trade easier. I guess those toys painted with lead need a market after all.

glee 07-31-2019 05:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nava (Post 21780408)
Apparently, getting rid of EU regulations will make trade easier. I guess those toys painted with lead need a market after all.

Yes, it's amusing that people who want to leave the (highly profitable) EU trade deals don't realise that the UK will be bound by World Trading Organisation rules instead!

Stanislaus 07-31-2019 05:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by casdave (Post 21779200)
You can argue the merits or otherwise of Brexit all you want - but this has been done to death in other threads already - the OP isn't asking about the ins and outs of Brexit as such, more they are interested in Boris and his approach to the issue and an evaluation of how it is perceived to be going.

Well, you tried.

PatrickLondon 07-31-2019 05:54 AM

Plus one of our permanent underlying economic problems is a negative trade balance. Simply making imports cheaper by cutting tariffs will do nothing to increase exports: that requires agreements, country by country, to replace the ones we have as a member of the EU that we automatically lose when we cease to be a member. And what would those countries expect in return?

Gyrate 07-31-2019 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stanislaus (Post 21780397)
Boris isn't dumb, and can string sentences together. He's also arrogant, raised from birth to think he's special, and a serial adulterer. He is, even by the standards of politicians, in love with the sound of his own voice. He's very definitely populist, and if he's not specifically saying "Make Britain Great Again" a big part of his pitch to the country is vague exhortations to believe in ourselves coupled with sweeping declarations that everyone pointing out problems that can't be solved just by positive feelings is a naysayer talking down Britain.

His education would suggest that he's capable of grasping detail, but a regular feature of his career as journalist, London Mayor and Foreign Secretary is that, like Trump, he blurts out what he wants to be true rather than what is. See for example, his recent speech in which he claimed that fish smokers on the Isle of Man were being put to unneccessary costs by EU rules requiring them to put a chemical cool pack in their postal kipper deliveries. It went down very well with the audience. It just turns out that: the Isle of Man isn't in the EU; even if it were the EU doesn't have such a rule; but the UK does. (Also, it's probably quite a good idea to keep fish cool in transit, when you think about it.) Disregarding the truth for a crowd-pleasing speech that falls apart on further investigation is reasonably Trump adjacent behaviour and it's this tendency to say whatever will get him applause and power that's the main point of comparison between him and Trump.

Boris even got fired from the Times for making up stories - and then moved to the Telegraph where they're perfectly happy for their staff to make up stories. It's what he does.

In addition he has a string of disasters in his wake. As Mayor he pushed through his "garden bridge" project against all opposition despite it being a vastly overpriced boondoggle nobody wanted, resulting in £50m of taxpayer money being spent on nothing. As Foreign Secretary his efforts to get Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe freed from prison in Iran ended up earning her another three years' imprisonment for spectacularly stupid reasons. And of course his string of lies brought us Brexit. And yet his fans love him.

AK84 07-31-2019 07:34 AM

Come on, all Boris has to do to get a great trade balance is....

SPOILER:
Recreate the old Sterling Zone


For that, he needs to
SPOILER:
Restore the British Empire


Easy peasy.

ElvisL1ves 07-31-2019 09:26 AM

Poor Elizabeth - she must be thinking "I started my reign working with PM Winston Churchill. Now I have to put up with this clown".

AK84 07-31-2019 09:39 AM

Or more likely, great another dumbass racist, like Churchill.

Actually, the UK did very well when Churhcill stuck to speeches and let the professionals run the country. Attlee and Bevan for domestic matters, Attlee for colonial affairs and Alan Brooke and the rest ran the war.

Thats a way, tell Boris he can speak all he wwants, but the grown ups will be running things. Its actaully Churchillian.

ElvisL1ves 07-31-2019 09:51 AM

Fine, but who are the grownups?

Gyrate 07-31-2019 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21780716)
Fine, but who are the grownups?

Good question.

AK84 07-31-2019 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21780716)
Fine, but who are the grownups?

:(:mad:
Dunno.
Maybe Ruth Davidson?

Buck Godot 07-31-2019 02:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glee (Post 21778598)
Boris doesn't do detail, so he's just claiming that in the next few months:

- he can renegotiate a new deal with the EU (no chance)
- he can solve the Irish border question (perhaps he'll build a bridge somewhere :smack: )
- the UK will have a stronger union (particularly crass - far more likely that Scotland leave)

If Boris is the answer, then the question is about 'style over substance'. :eek:

-I think the end result will be a non deal Brexit, with Boris either ignoring the utter chaos that follows by claiming that everything is peachy, or if that becomes untennable claiming that its just temporary growing pains and prosperity is just around the corner.

-I think the Irish border will just be sort of ignored. Officially there may be laws regarding tariffs being required, and the occasional shipment seized, but by and large anyone with the will to break an unenforced law will be able to pass goods/people back and forth across the border without any real hindrance. It might actually create a boom in the Irish economy as a transport hub.

-I think that Boris will do everything he can short of reenacting the battle of Pinkie to prevent another Scottish referendum.

Baron Greenback 07-31-2019 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AK84 (Post 21781170)
Maybe Ruth Davidson?

She's not an MP though. I think there was some hope that the slightly unexpected Scottish Tory MP cohort returned in 2017 would be a mini-bloc in Westminster - reflecting the wishes of their constituents a bit, maybe - but they turned out to be typical newbie lobby-fodder. That's a pity imo, and Johnson being PM pretty much guarantees they'll lose their seats if there's a GE with him in charge, and when that happens then Ruth has no influence at all.

Rick Kitchen 07-31-2019 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Stone (Post 21778943)
I had only a vague idea of who Boris Johnson really was. I mean, I know who he is, but not what kind of person. I keep hearing that he's another Trump - a low intelligence populist rabble rouser. So I did a little research on him, and I'm not seeing it.

Apparently he went to Eton, where he was considered a bit of a prodigy. Then Oxford, where he graduated with second class honors. He speaks Greek and Latin fluently. His politics are said to be more David Cameron style center-right orthodoxy, other than Brexit.

So what am I missing? Sure, he has goofy hair and a penchant for theatrics, but I'm not seeing the dumb drooling Trump clone.

Other than the calling black children piccaninnies and talking about black people eating watermelon? Saying that Africa's only problem is that white people aren't in charge? Talking about Africans being AIDS-ridden? Saying "part Kenyan" Obama had an ancestral dislike of the UK?

DrDeth 07-31-2019 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 21778449)
My opinion is that he's a lying, corrupt hypocrite who will happily destroy the country (possibly literally) for his own profit and aggrandisement, and who - based on his career so far - will likely manage to escape being held accountable for his actions because he has funny hair and bumbles about a bit.

Thank you British SDMBers for electing him. Now you Brits can't complain about trump anymore.

See, loud mouthed racist bigots are everywhere.

Go_Arachnid_Laser 07-31-2019 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21782278)
Thank you British SDMBers for electing him. Now you Brits can't complain about trump anymore.

See, loud mouthed racist bigots are everywhere.

I mean, technically speaking he hasn't been elected by the Brits. He's been elected by members of the Conservative party.

DrDeth 07-31-2019 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Go_Arachnid_Laser (Post 21782297)
I mean, technically speaking he hasn't been elected by the Brits. He's been elected by members of the Conservative party.

Who are...not British? :dubious: And who voted them in? The French? :dubious:

Technically then trump wasnt voted in by Americans, it was the Electoral College, those scalawags.

Go_Arachnid_Laser 07-31-2019 09:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21782302)
Who are...not British? :dubious: And who voted them in? The French? :dubious:

Technically then trump wasnt voted in by Americans, it was the Electoral College, those scalawags.

Well, no. "Some" Brits elected him. As in he wasn't elected in a general election where all the electorate, the "Brits", got to vote.

DrDeth 07-31-2019 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Go_Arachnid_Laser (Post 21782316)
Well, no. "Some" Brits elected him. As in he wasn't elected in a general election where all the electorate, the "Brits", got to vote.

"Some" Americans elected trump, too.

The British voter voted for Brexit and voted in the CP, so yes, it's their fault.

UDS 07-31-2019 09:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21782326)
"Some" Americans elected trump, too.

The British voter voted for Brexit and voted in the CP, so yes, it's their fault.

The didn't vote in the CP; three in five voters rejected the CP at the last election.

You're labouring under the misapprension that the UK is some kind of functioning democracy. The reality for the British is that a government they voted against led by a leader they didn't elect is working to introduce a Brexit which is not the Brexit they voted for, and it's seeking to do this without obtaining a mandate from either the people or the parliament for fear that, if allowed to vote on the matter, they would vote against it.

Elendil's Heir 08-01-2019 12:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by casdave (Post 21779200)
You can argue the merits or otherwise of Brexit all you want - but this has been done to death in other threads already - the OP isn't asking about the ins and outs of Brexit as such, more they are interested in Boris and his approach to the issue and an evaluation of how it is perceived to be going.

Correct.

Quote:

Originally Posted by AK84 (Post 21780681)
...Actually, the UK did very well when Churhcill stuck to speeches and let the professionals run the country. Attlee and Bevan for domestic matters, Attlee for colonial affairs and Alan Brooke and the rest ran the war....

This is a gross oversimplification, if not misreading, of history. Churchill was as hands-on a PM as he could possibly be. Attlee had no particular colonial affairs responsibilities during WWII, and [Aneurin] Bevan was not in the Cabinet then - did you mean [Ernest] Bevin?

Alessan 08-01-2019 03:35 AM

Isn't appointing talented underlings, and listening to what they say, one of the most important leadership skills?

UDS 08-01-2019 05:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alessan (Post 21782726)
Isn't appointing talented underlings, and listening to what they say, one of the most important leadership skills?

Two of the most important leadership skills, I think you mean. Boris lacks both.

Stanislaus 08-01-2019 05:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21782278)
Thank you British SDMBers for electing him. Now you Brits can't complain about trump anymore.

See, loud mouthed racist bigots are everywhere.

Speaking for myself, I feel quite capable of complaining about both Trump and Johnson. And Modi. And Erdogan. And Orban. And Kaczynski. And any and all national leaders who I think are populist race-baiting shitheads.

It'd be really fucking weird if, just because my country's leader falls into the set of "populist race-baiting shitheads", I had to start keeping schtumm about the fact that populist race-baiting shitheads are bad. That seems to me to be a very limiting approach. Equally, I wouldn't expect Americans not to point out Johnson's many flaws just because of who their president is. Why should they?

Kobal2 08-01-2019 05:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alessan (Post 21782726)
Isn't appointing talented underlings, and listening to what they say, one of the most important leadership skills?


Eh, I think being able to publicly choke underlings with the power of the Force pour encourager les autres is much more important, but to each their upper management strat.

Peter Morris 08-01-2019 06:22 AM

BJ was not selected as leader by the electorate.

Steophan 08-01-2019 07:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Morris (Post 21782811)
BJ was not selected as leader by the electorate.

Neither party leaders nor Prime Ministers are ever selected by the electorate in the UK.

Wrenching Spanners 08-01-2019 07:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alessan (Post 21782726)
Isn't appointing talented underlings, and listening to what they say, one of the most important leadership skills?

Overall, I think Boris's cabinet choices are good. For the major positions, Javid, Raab, and Wallace are all qualified. I don't think Patel has the experience for Home Secretary, but I think her appointment was a combination of patronage, demographics, and wanting a yes-woman in the job. All the rest, to the extent that I recognise their names, seem decent choices.

Gyrate 08-01-2019 07:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners (Post 21782875)
Overall, I think Boris's cabinet choices are good. For the major positions, Javid, Raab, and Wallace are all qualified. I don't think Patel has the experience for Home Secretary, but I think her appointment was a combination of patronage, demographics, and wanting a yes-woman in the job. All the rest, to the extent that I recognise their names, seem decent choices.

They're not the worst choices he could have come up with. Javid is unduly business-friendly but then most Chancellors of late have been (including Gordon Brown). Everyone's already noted the irony of making Dominic "Calais? Never heard of it" Raab Foreign Secretary but that's just sniping. And at least Hunt has been exiled to the outer darkness for the time being. A pity Michael Gove wasn't likewise shunned.

Patel, however, is a nasty piece of work.

Stanislaus 08-01-2019 07:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners (Post 21782875)
Overall, I think Boris's cabinet choices are good. For the major positions, Javid, Raab, and Wallace are all qualified. I don't think Patel has the experience for Home Secretary, but I think her appointment was a combination of patronage, demographics, and wanting a yes-woman in the job. All the rest, to the extent that I recognise their names, seem decent choices.

What are Raab's qualifications? He was Brexit Secretary for all of 5 months, after which he resigned because he didn't like his government's Brexit policy. Specifically, he didn't like the Withdrawal Agreement which had been in place since he took the job and which he must have known it was his role as Cabinet Member and Brexit Secretary to support. As Brexit Secretary, he did take part in negotiations with the EU. This apparently led to him being nicknamed "the turnip" by EU negotiators and despite a certain amount of bluster from "friends of Dominic Raab" that he was the negotiator the EU feared most, didn't lead to anything else. To be fair, this is because he was utterly sidelined by May, but "held the job title but not the responsibility" isn't a qualification.

Other than that... I genuinely don't know what he's done that would even count as a potential qualification for Foreign Sec.

Stanislaus 08-01-2019 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 21782903)
Patel, however, is a nasty piece of work.

As DfID minister, Patel took a personal trip to Israel to negotiate her own foreign policy behind the back of the government, meeting senior Israeli politicians - including Netanyahu - without any diplomats present and breaking all protocols for ministerial meetings with representatives of foreign governments. When caught, she apologised but failed to disclose the full extent of these meetings, for which second transgression she was sacked. To do this with any country - say, Australia - would have been bad enough. To do it with Israel, a major player in an unstable region whose role in international affairs is, shall we say, somewhat sensitive, is egregious. It betrays a lack of both judgement and integrity on a massive scale.

In any other time, her readmission to Cabinet would be a scandal. Now it's just business as usual.

GreenWyvern 08-01-2019 08:51 AM

It's interesting that Dominic Cummings said in 2017:

Quote:

People think, and by the way I think most people are right: ‘The Tory party is run by people who basically don’t care about people like me.’ That is what most people in the country have thought about the Tory party for decades. I know a lot of Tory MPs and I am sad to say the public is basically correct. Tory MPs largely do not care about these poorer people. They don’t care about the NHS. And the public has kind of cottoned on to that.
Now this is news to nobody who has half a brain, and Johnson's government cares far less than average Tories.

But what I think Cummings is taking away from this is that their message must be that they care. This is the message that Johnson has in fact been plugging.

They hope to fool enough of the people for long enough to force through a no-deal Brexit.

Wrenching Spanners 08-01-2019 09:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stanislaus (Post 21782915)
What are Raab's qualifications? He was Brexit Secretary for all of 5 months, after which he resigned because he didn't like his government's Brexit policy. Specifically, he didn't like the Withdrawal Agreement which had been in place since he took the job and which he must have known it was his role as Cabinet Member and Brexit Secretary to support. As Brexit Secretary, he did take part in negotiations with the EU. This apparently led to him being nicknamed "the turnip" by EU negotiators and despite a certain amount of bluster from "friends of Dominic Raab" that he was the negotiator the EU feared most, didn't lead to anything else. To be fair, this is because he was utterly sidelined by May, but "held the job title but not the responsibility" isn't a qualification.

Other than that... I genuinely don't know what he's done that would even count as a potential qualification for Foreign Sec.

From gov.uk:
"Career before politics

Dominic started his career as a business lawyer at City law firm Linklaters, working on project finance, international litigation and competition law. He also spent time on secondments at Liberty (the human rights NGO) and in Brussels advising on EU and WTO law.

Dominic later worked at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office between 2000 and 2006 on a range of issues from investor protection to war crimes policy."

He doesn't have a huge amount of experience in government, but as you've noted he was the Brexit Secretary for several months which is certainly relevant experience.

https://www.gov.uk/government/people/dominic-raab

Stanislaus 08-01-2019 09:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners (Post 21783038)
From gov.uk:
"Career before politics

Dominic started his career as a business lawyer at City law firm Linklaters, working on project finance, international litigation and competition law. He also spent time on secondments at Liberty (the human rights NGO) and in Brussels advising on EU and WTO law.

I have friends who were trainee solicitors in Big 6 London law firms at around this time. They too did 6-month rotations in different departments and could claim experience in international litigation and competition law. The experience they got consisted largely of photocopying, and putting tags on 100-page documents. It's...something, but a lot more relevant to a law career than running the UK's foreign policy.

Quote:

Dominic later worked at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office between 2000 and 2006 on a range of issues from investor protection to war crimes policy."
This is relevant, but it's also pretty low-level stuff. He qualified as a solicitor in 2000, per wiki, so he would have been mid-20s to early 30s - pretty junior stuff.

Quote:

He doesn't have a huge amount of experience in government, but as you've noted he was the Brexit Secretary for several months which is certainly relevant experience.
A job he either did badly or didn't do at all, depending who you ask. As qualifications go, it's not strong.

Alessan 08-01-2019 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kobal2 (Post 21782761)
Eh, I think being able to publicly choke underlings with the power of the Force pour encourager les autres is much more important, but to each their upper management strat.

Admittedly, a vigorous "up or out" policy is generally beneficial to large organizations.

Elendil's Heir 08-01-2019 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kobal2 (Post 21782761)
Eh, I think being able to publicly choke underlings with the power of the Force pour encourager les autres is much more important, but to each their upper management strat.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Morris (Post 21782811)
BJ was not selected as leader by the electorate.

Neither was Emperor Palpatine, but he did OK. For awhile, anyway.

ElvisL1ves 08-01-2019 12:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Peter Morris (Post 21782811)
BJ was not selected as leader by the electorate.

Nor is any PM. But voters for a party do know what the party stands for, and what sort of policies will be advanced by its leaders.

DrDeth 08-01-2019 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steophan (Post 21782859)
Neither party leaders nor Prime Ministers are ever selected by the electorate in the UK.

Nor is the President, if that's the way you are gonna call it.

Look, the people vote for their party. The winning party (or colatilion) chooses the Pm. Of the candidates who won in the election- BJ was voted in by his district.

He was the choice of the people, and picking nits wont help. The british voters made the choice for brexit based mostly on racist xenophobia.

slash2k 08-01-2019 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21782326)
"Some" Americans elected trump, too.

Every American of legal age and not otherwise disqualified had the opportunity to vote in the election in which Donald Trump was on the ballot.

Boris Johnson wasn't even the party leader when Britain last had a general election in which Britons of legal age and not otherwise disqualified had the opportunity to vote. Theresa May was the party leader at the time, and her approach to Brexit was quite a bit different, for example in their willingness to face a crash-out no-deal Brexit.

The equivalent, in the US, would be for Americans to vote specifically for Donald Trump and then watch Mike Pompeo or Mitch McConnell be inaugurated.

Wrenching Spanners 08-01-2019 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21783470)
Nor is any PM. But voters for a party do know what the party stands for, and what sort of policies will be advanced by its leaders.

The point is that voters who voted Conservative in the last election were voting for Theresa May as PM and for a platform that was essentially moderate. Even the she only got enough votes, or seats if you prefer, to form a Minority government. Johnson is wildly different from Theresa May, is calling for a completely different form of Brexit than the soft Brexit that Theresa May planned, and his Brexit plans probably won't face any votes in Parliament beyond toothless motions.

Wrenching Spanners 08-01-2019 01:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21783544)
The british voters made the choice for brexit based mostly on racist xenophobia.

Feel free to go read the Brexit thread. I'm not going to re-hash old arguments, but racist xenophobia only made up a fringe element of the Brexit vote. The main reasons that the Brexit vote won was that it attracted a lot of protest voters dissatisfied with the status-quo, there's long-standing dissatisfaction with the EU in large segments of the UK, and the Brexit campaign did a better job than the Leave campaign.

If the majority of British voters are racist xenophobes, then why are the second and third most powerful people in the government non-white?

DrDeth 08-01-2019 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners (Post 21783646)
Feel free to go read the Brexit thread. I'm not going to re-hash old arguments, but racist xenophobia only made up a fringe element of the Brexit vote. The main reasons that the Brexit vote won was that it attracted a lot of protest voters dissatisfied with the status-quo, there's long-standing dissatisfaction with the EU in large segments of the UK, and the Brexit campaign did a better job than the Leave campaign.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Causes...vour_of_Brexit
The 'Leave' campaign campaigned primarily on issues relating to sovereignty and migration,[5] whereas the remain campaign focused on the economic impacts of leaving the EU. This choice of key positions is significant since Ipsos MORI survey data on which issues Britons felt to be 'important issues facing Britain today' shows that immediately prior to the vote, more people cited both the EU (32%) and migration (48%) as important issues than cited the economy (27%).[6]Immigration
Lord Ashcroft's election day poll of 12,369 voters also discovered that 'One third (33%) [of leave voters] said the main reason was that leaving "offered the best chance for the UK to regain control over immigration and its own borders."'[7] This despite the fact that most migration to Britain was from outside the EU, and entirely under the remit and control of UK authorities.[9]

Immediately prior to the referendum, data from Ipsos-Mori showed that immigration/migration was the most cited issue when Britons were asked 'What do you see as the most/other important issue facing Britain today?', with 48% of respondents mentioning it when surveyed.[10]

In the decade before the Brexit referendum there was a significant increase in migration from EU countries, as outlined by the Migration Observatory: 'Inflows of EU nationals migrating to the UK stood at 268,000 in 2014, up from 201,000 in 2013. EU inflows were mainly flat for the 1991–2003 period, averaging close to 61,000 per year.'[11]

According to The Economist, areas that saw increases of over 200% in foreign-born population between 2001 and 2014 saw a majority of voters back leave in 94% of cases

Steophan 08-01-2019 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slash2k (Post 21783610)
The equivalent, in the US, would be for Americans to vote specifically for Donald Trump and then watch Mike Pompeo or Mitch McConnell be inaugurated.

If both Trump and Pence were to resign, or otherwise leave office, there would not be a new election but a procedure would be followed to install a new, unelected, president.

But in general, the position of the PM is closer to that opf McConnell, in that they are effectively chosen by the elected house rather than by public election. (I'm aware, of course that the PM is technically appointed by the monarch, and the President technically voted for by the electors, but the point stands).

UDS 08-01-2019 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steophan (Post 21783947)
If both Trump and Pence were to resign, or otherwise leave office, there would not be a new election but a procedure would be followed to install a new, unelected, president.

But in general, the position of the PM is closer to that opf McConnell, in that they are effectively chosen by the elected house rather than by public election. (I'm aware, of course that the PM is technically appointed by the monarch, and the President technically voted for by the electors, but the point stands).

Boris was not "effectively chosen by the elected house"; he was chosen by the rank-and-file membership of the Tory party, a party which holds less than half the seats in the elected house, and which secured much less than half the votes at the most recent election. He was appointed as Prime Minister without the elected house having any opportunity to express a view on whether he should be, and the day after his appointment the elected house went into a recess which is still continuing.

DrDeth 08-01-2019 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UDS (Post 21784415)
Boris was not "effectively chosen by the elected house"; he was chosen by the rank-and-file membership of the Tory party, a party which holds less than half the seats in the elected house, and which secured much less than half the votes at the most recent election. ....

Tory? :confused:

UDS 08-01-2019 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DrDeth (Post 21784441)
Tory? :confused:

Nickname for the Conservative Party. Goes back to the 17th century when, in the absense of formally-constituted political parties, Parliament was divided into two main factions called "Tory" and "Whig". In time the Conservative and Liberal parties evolved out of these factions.

Comes originally from an Irish word meaning a bandit, and it turns up in English first of all to refer Irish Catholics who had been dispossessed, and who had turned to banditry to survive. It then became a general term of abuse for Catholics, and in time for Protestants who were Not Protestant Enough, especially those who, in opposition to Puritans and Cromwellians, were seen as supportive of the king, and more especially those who supported the right of James, Duke of York, to succeed to the throne despite being a Catholic.

James did of course accede to the throne, as James II, but was deposed in fairly short order. This was - ahem - controversial, and "Tory" then became a label for those who doubted, or were suspected of doubting, the legitimacy or wisdom of this action, and in time to those who were generally sympathetic to conservative, legitimist principles of monarchy, even after they had made their peace with the Hanoverian monarchs.

I believe that during the revolutionary period the term had a brief currency in the American colonies, to describe a colonist who was loyal to the crown. By then, of course, it had lost all overtones of Catholicism.

Elendil's Heir 08-02-2019 12:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UDS (Post 21784530)
...I believe that during the revolutionary period the term had a brief currency in the American colonies, to describe a colonist who was loyal to the crown. By then, of course, it had lost all overtones of Catholicism.

True. And those supportive of the Patriot cause were sometimes called Whigs, continuing the British political dichotomy in the New World.

Wrenching Spanners 08-02-2019 02:36 AM

The anti-immigration stances were a big, perhaps the biggest, part of the protest vote. After the 2004 EU expansion, nearly a million citizens of the new EU countries migrated to the UK after Tony Blair stated that post-expansion immigration would be in the tens of thousands. These new arrivals were great if you were a middle-class latte drinker. They weren't so great if you were working class and living outside of London.

http://old.ismu.org/en/2017/05/eu-en...ots-of-brexit/

The next EU expansion came in 2007 with the joining of Bulgaria and Romania, although that time there were immigration restrictions. Nevertheless, there was still significant migration. Coincidentally, that was when the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis hit. So the UK had a combination of a falling economy and federal spending cuts at the same time as the working class was facing increased job competition, and frankly a lot of natives were out-competed. The coflated blaming that was going on at the time was irrational, but that's how tabloids sell newspapers. So yes, there was, and is, long-held resentment in many areas against immigration. However, it's not simply ignorance based dislike of people who were born in other countries.

Wrenching Spanners 08-02-2019 02:43 AM

The Liberal Democrats won the by-election. Boris's majority is now down to one.

I wonder if anyone is reaching out to Dominic Grieve?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_Grieve

Steophan 08-02-2019 04:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UDS (Post 21784415)
Boris was not "effectively chosen by the elected house"; he was chosen by the rank-and-file membership of the Tory party, a party which holds less than half the seats in the elected house, and which secured much less than half the votes at the most recent election. He was appointed as Prime Minister without the elected house having any opportunity to express a view on whether he should be, and the day after his appointment the elected house went into a recess which is still continuing.

He was technically chosen by the Queen, and effectively chosen by the House, as the only person who can command the confidence of the House.

Were the opposition less fractured and ineffectual, it's likely that he would not have been able to command said confidence, but as it stands he has it. A working majority of one should not be enough to keep it, but I'm sure Corbyn will find a way to lose a confidence vote in the near future.

UDS 08-02-2019 05:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steophan (Post 21784873)
He was technically chosen by the Queen, and effectively chosen by the House, as the only person who can command the confidence of the House.

Were the opposition less fractured and ineffectual, it's likely that he would not have been able to command said confidence, but as it stands he has it. A working majority of one should not be enough to keep it, but I'm sure Corbyn will find a way to lose a confidence vote in the near future.

We can't say that he has the confidence of the House. And we certainly can't say that he was "effectively chosen" by it.

The test for appointing a PM is not that he should have the confidence of the House; it is that he should be "best placed" to obtain it. Teresa May presumably advised the Queen that Johnson was best placed, and so he has been appointed.

But can he, in fact, command the confidence of the House? He hasn't, so far; since his appointment his government has won zero votes in the House of Commons on any subject. There have been no votes.

And there is some reason to doubt that he can. His government is openly admitting that it cannot get even uncontoversial Brexit-related legislation through the House, and therefore will refrain from introducing any.

It may yet be that Johnson never commands the confidence of the House of Commons; that, on the first occasion when he seeks it, it is refused. That would be a first for any UK Prime Minister.

Steophan 08-02-2019 06:38 AM

The only reason there was no vote on the motion of no confidence is because Corbyn refused to back it, which technically demonstrates confidence in Johnson. Unfortunately, as Jo Swinson isn't the official leader of the opposition, she couldn't force a vote on her motion.

I'm sure someone will defend Corbyn here, but I struggle to see how.

Wrenching Spanners 08-02-2019 07:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steophan (Post 21784916)
The only reason there was no vote on the motion of no confidence is because Corbyn refused to back it, which technically demonstrates confidence in Johnson. Unfortunately, as Jo Swinson isn't the official leader of the opposition, she couldn't force a vote on her motion.

I'm sure someone will defend Corbyn here, but I struggle to see how.

I'm not a Corbyn fan, but I can think of two legitimate reasons for Corbyn delaying a No Confidence motion:
1) He’s giving Boris time to screw up.
2) He’s hoping to get Labour’s problems in order before he starts a general ledger election campaign.

It’s also possible he didn’t want to start the election campaign during Parliament’s summer recess.

Gyrate 08-02-2019 08:01 AM

I think Corbyn has already nicely ordered Labour's problems. The solutions, not so much.

Steophan 08-02-2019 08:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wrenching Spanners (Post 21784961)
I'm not a Corbyn fan, but I can think of two legitimate reasons for Corbyn delaying a No Confidence motion:
1) He’s giving Boris time to screw up.
2) He’s hoping to get Labour’s problems in order before he starts a general ledger election campaign.

It’s also possible he didn’t want to start the election campaign during Parliament’s summer recess.

Maybe I'm just too cynical, but I think he's going to hold off until it's too late to syop Brexit. Corbyn's always been a Leaver, and that's not changed.

Elendil's Heir 08-02-2019 10:51 AM

Here's CNN on the Tory by-election loss and the road forward (if any) for Boris: https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/02/uk/bo...ntl/index.html

Quote:

Originally Posted by UDS (Post 21784886)
...It may yet be that Johnson never commands the confidence of the House of Commons; that, on the first occasion when he seeks it, it is refused. That would be a first for any UK Prime Minister.

In this as in so many other ways, Boris is in a class all by himself.

ElvisL1ves 08-02-2019 11:45 AM

So the very next Tory MP to get annoyed with Boris will force a new election during the Brexit countdown? Pass the popcorn.

glee 08-02-2019 11:56 AM

Just to help out:

No single party has a majority in the UK Parliament (which has 650 seats.)

It's a bit complicated!

Boris leads the Conservative Party with 311 seats.
The Conservatives are in an uneasy alliance with a Northern Irish party (the DUP) who have 10 seats.

The Speaker (the 'referee' of Parliament) by tradition doesn't vote unless there's a tie (when he votes for the the Government.)
There are also three Deputy Speakers who don't vote.

One party (Sinn Fein) have 7 seats but refuse to vote.

So there are effectively 650-4-7=639 voting seats. Therefore you need 320 seats for a majority.
Boris has 311 + 10 = 321 seats, so an effective majority of 1 - just enough to govern.

glee 08-02-2019 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir (Post 21785302)
Here's CNN on the Tory by-election loss and the road forward (if any) for Boris: https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/02/uk/bo...ntl/index.html

In this as in so many other ways, Boris is in a class all by himself.

Wait for Boris to upset his allies (the DUP) with a 10 seat swing!

Gyrate 08-02-2019 12:22 PM

It amuses me to consider that were Sinn Fein to change their minds about being seated, they could simultaneously bring down the Government and undermine the DUP.

They won't do it. But they could.

Snowboarder Bo 08-02-2019 12:32 PM

I'd like to thank everyone participating in this thread; it's been a huge help to me as I try to understand what is happening in the UK politically right now. I knew Boris Johnson's name and a few things about his time int he government and that he was part of the Brexit campaign, but little else. After watching John Oliver's piece about him, I knew that I was missing a lot of information and have been actively seeking to correct the deficiency since.

Y'all have been a big help; thanks again.

Baron Greenback 08-02-2019 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 21785542)
It amuses me to consider that were Sinn Fein to change their minds about being seated, they could simultaneously bring down the Government and undermine the DUP.

They won't do it. But they could.

Fintan O'Toole, writing for the Irish Times, has a - somewhat fanciful - plan where Sinn Fein can achieve those ends without taking their seats:

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/f...-how-1.3972121

Ultimate banter timeline if that happened. I doubt I would ever stop laughing.

Elendil's Heir 08-02-2019 12:55 PM

Never happen, but an interesting proposal!

CarnalK 08-02-2019 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baron Greenback (Post 21785565)
Fintan O'Toole, writing for the Irish Times, has a - somewhat fanciful - plan where Sinn Fein can achieve those ends without taking their seats:

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/f...-how-1.3972121

Ultimate banter timeline if that happened. I doubt I would ever stop laughing.

There's a lot of moving parts in that plan. To simplify it, I wonder if it could be arranged to have some mini-referendum(s) to cover Sinn Fein dropping their absentee pledge solely for Brexit matters then vote as described in the article.

Oswald Bastable 08-03-2019 09:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CarnalK (Post 21785765)
There's a lot of moving parts in that plan. To simplify it, I wonder if it could be arranged to have some mini-referendum(s) to cover Sinn Fein dropping their absentee pledge solely for Brexit matters then vote as described in the article.

I always thought the main sticking point for Sinn Féin taking their seats was the the Oath of Allegiance. I can’t see any way round that.

OB

wolfpup 08-03-2019 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steophan (Post 21782859)
Neither party leaders nor Prime Ministers are ever selected by the electorate in the UK.

True, but voters pass judgment on those party leaders at election time. The ballots may only have the names of candidates for local MP, but voters tend to be heavily influenced by party and party leader and that they are, in effect, electing a Prime Minister. Most voters couldn't tell you squat about the MP candidate whose name they are checking off, who to them is just a proxy for party and prospective PM.

This is a test that Boris has not yet passed. If he does manage to get elected to a majority, or pulls off a no-deal Brexit without a new election, then as CNN has speculated, he may go down in history as the last PM of the former United Kingdom.

MichaelEmouse 08-03-2019 12:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfpup (Post 21787196)

This is a test that Boris has not yet passed. If he does manage to get elected to a majority, or pulls off a no-deal Brexit without a new election, then as CNN has speculated, he may go down in history as the last PM of the former United Kingdom.

What do they think would happen if he pulls off a no-deal Brexit without a new election? That's what seems the most likely because it only requires the people involved to keep aboard the train for in-fighting purposes as it races towards the cliff.

wolfpup 08-03-2019 12:58 PM

There's no difference in the consequences, with or without an election, it's just that right now he has a super-fragile majority of just 1, and that's with the DUP coalition. But the article was about the possibility of the breakup of the UK over Brexit, especially a "hard" no-deal Brexit. Here is the article.

PatrickLondon 08-04-2019 04:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MichaelEmouse (Post 21787232)
What do they think would happen if he pulls off a no-deal Brexit without a new election? That's what seems the most likely because it only requires the people involved to keep aboard the train for in-fighting purposes as it races towards the cliff.

He doesn't need to "pull it off". It will happen automatically if nothing else changes (i.e. some agreement he can persuade parliament to accept - no chance, no time, or a further extension agreed by the 27, which hardly seems likely, given the way the party leaderships are frittering away the current one, or a new government revoking Article 50 and calling the whole thing off).

Or if you mean if a no-deal Brexit that turns out not to have too serious consequences... I doubt any government could manage that, and certainly not this shower. Those that know what they're doing (and they're gey few) actively want a future for this country that would horrify me (and I think most of us). Chlorinated chicken and smashing up the Union might be the least of it.

Baron Greenback 08-04-2019 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PatrickLondon (Post 21788269)
(and they're gey few)

:cool: Not seen that written down for, well, a gey long time...

Elendil's Heir 08-13-2019 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baron Greenback (Post 21788574)
:cool: Not seen that written down for, well, a gey long time...

We'll have a gey old time!

Walken After Midnight 08-14-2019 06:45 PM

Corbyn outlines plans to defeat no-deal Brexit
Quote:

Jeremy Corbyn aims to stop a no-deal Brexit by leading a "time-limited" caretaker government after winning a no-confidence vote in the government.

The Labour leader then plans to delay the UK's exit from the European Union to make time for a general election.

Tatterdemalion 08-14-2019 08:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir (Post 21785617)
Never happen, but an interesting proposal!

You might even call it a "modest" proposal

Sage Rat 08-14-2019 09:07 PM

Late to the thread but I'll just throw in what I've said before: The only way to achieve a deal with the EU is to form a pro-Brexit party. So long as half of every party wants to stay - including the party in the majority - there is no path forward internally and that negates all work done externally.

As to Boris, my expectation is that he's smart enough to realize that there's no way to win the negotiations - and certainly there's no use telling the EU, "You better make a deal with me or I'm going to punch myself in the nads! Just you watch!" They'll just tell him to go ahead.

He's banking on there being no genuine calamity from a no-deal Brexit. So long as he can give companies enough forewarning to know that it's coming, they'll adapt and be ready and there won't be any major financial issue.

Ireland will be a problem, of course, but that's Ireland's problem. Your average voter just cares about the economy.

Properly telegraphed, Brexit is a long-term path to economic, political, and cultural unimportance on the economic stage. It's not a short term calamity.

Demonstrating that Hell on Earth doesn't unfold on day 1 of Brexit is likely enough to see Boris achieve recognition as having been "right all along".

Assuming that he doesn't get booted from the PM position between now and Brexit, I would say that you should expect Boris to come out looking like roses, even if he's taking things in a direction that is ultimately harmful to the country. The average populace thinks short term and the media has sold Brexit as the Apocalypse. Failing to deal in the land of reality is harmful over the long run. That's as true for the BBC as it is for Boris Johnson.

Walken After Midnight 08-14-2019 09:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sage Rat (Post 21806706)
The only way to achieve a deal with the EU is to form a pro-Brexit party.

There are already two completely pro-Brexit parties: the Brexit Party, founded by Nigel Farage in January 2019, which got 30.52% of the vote share in the 2019 European Parliament elections; and there's also Farage's old party, the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

UDS 08-14-2019 09:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Walken After Midnight (Post 21806720)
There are already two completely pro-Brexit parties: the Brexit Party, founded by Nigel Farage in January 2019, which got 30.52% of the vote share in the 2019 European Parliament elections; and there's also Farage's old party, the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Yes, but neither of them wants to achieve a deal with the EU.

The only way to achieve a deal is to have a pro-deal party that's realistic about what deal is attainable. (Labour may be attempting to fill this slot.) The problem here is that a great many Brexit supporters are not realistic about what deal is attainable, and it will be difficult to get them to vote for a party that is. And since Brexit voters, if they are a majority at all, are a very, very narrow majority, any split in the Brexit vote between different parties is a serious problem for the Brexit cause.

Gyrate 08-15-2019 05:09 AM

There is no way the government can force the EU into further negotiations. The EU's view remains "We agreed a deal. We are not going to renegotiate it. It's not our fault the UK is so fundamentally incapable of sorting out its internal issues. If you don't like the deal you agreed, it is within your power to either crash out with no deal or to put a stop to the whole thing, but it's your choice."

Boris can stamp his little feets and lie about how anti-Brexit people and the EU are "collaborating" but the reality is that his choices are few.

PatrickLondon 08-15-2019 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UDS (Post 21806754)
The only way to achieve a deal is to have a pro-deal party that's realistic about what deal is attainable. (Labour may be attempting to fill this slot.) The problem here is that a great many Brexit supporters are not realistic about what deal is attainable, and it will be difficult to get them to vote for a party that is. And since Brexit voters, if they are a majority at all, are a very, very narrow majority, any split in the Brexit vote between different parties is a serious problem for the Brexit cause.

Both major parties are splitting three ways on this, in different proportions and along slightly different faultlines, which makes problems for all points of view.

The Tories split between the loyalists who accepted the deal (the biggest group in Parliament), the "nothing is good enough" Brexiteers (smaller in Parliament but noisy enough and well-enough supported among party members to get Johnson in) and those (probably fewest, but in the current Parliamentary arithmetic, enoough to put plenty of spanners in the works) who would rather stick as close to the EU as possible if they can't get Article 50 revoked.

Labour on the other hand is just about holding together a fudgy compromise position between those who would really rather revoke Article 50 (probably the majority of party members), those who fear the political consequences of not coming up with some sort of exit deal as long as it preserves at least something like the customs union (a fair number of their MPs, even if in their heart of hearts they'd rather revoke, or at least put it back to the people), and their own small minority who are fundamentally Brexiteers from a left perspective (many of whom are in Corbyn's inner circle).

Which leaves both Brexit and anti-Brexit voters equally at sea as between the major parties; remainers have the choice of voting LibDem or Green (or for the SNP or PC in Scotland/Wales), so their votes could well split that side of the argument. It's like trying to decide what colour to paint the living-room by using a kaleidoscope.

Elendil's Heir 08-28-2019 04:25 PM

Boris has the Queen ensure that Parliament won't have as much time as it thought it would to handle the most consequential issue in years: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/28/o...%20B.%20Edsall

Inner Stickler 08-28-2019 05:22 PM

Certainly I think suspending parliament is. . . (how to put this politely) a dick move. But I can't help wondering exactly what parliament thinks it would do in the next month that it hasn't had ample opportunity to do already.

Baron Greenback 08-28-2019 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inner Stickler (Post 21830674)
But I can't help wondering exactly what parliament thinks it would do in the next month that it hasn't had ample opportunity to do already.

It has possibly provided motive and cover for the various remain and anti-no-deal groupings to unite, and force the issue once and for all.

Elendil's Heir 08-28-2019 10:31 PM

I suppose the Speaker could just invite all current MPs to meet in the Commons chamber for informal discussions every day during the suspension. Boris wouldn't lock the doors or send in troops, would he?

Would he...?

DrDeth 08-28-2019 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir (Post 21831099)
I suppose the Speaker could just invite all current MPs to meet in the Commons chamber for informal discussions every day during the suspension. Boris wouldn't lock the doors or send in troops, would he?

Would he...?

Maybe he has a little plaque "WWTD?" (what would trump do?)

Novelty Bobble 08-29-2019 05:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inner Stickler (Post 21830674)
Certainly I think suspending parliament is. . . (how to put this politely) a dick move. But I can't help wondering exactly what parliament thinks it would do in the next month that it hasn't had ample opportunity to do already.

My thoughts as well. I've not heard anything from Parliament that resembles a coherent alternative that commands an overwhelming majority. Without that (and there has been ample opportunity and multiple indicative votes to develop one) then just choosing to kick the can down the road is unproductive. Seeing as the 31st October represent "no deal" by default and the troublesome backstop goes out of the window, it does little to progress things in a positive way.

AK84 08-29-2019 05:29 AM

Maybe just. annex the Republic? Declare it Southern Ireland......
Or nuke Brussels and Warsaw.
Or get annexed by the Irsih Republic ( we are now East Ireland).


Or, just cancel the whole thing...

Novelty Bobble 08-29-2019 06:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AK84 (Post 21831374)

Or, just cancel the whole thing...

That last point is the tricky thing though. On what grounds do you cancel it? The assumption seems to be that there is no democratic fallout from doing so. Cancelling it does not mean that those who voted for it will shut up and go home.

If you are saying that leaving the EU is now impossible then people will quite rightly say "when did we agree to give up all possibility of leaving the EU?" To me, such a situation would have been the greatest democratic outrage.
If it is still possible then the problem has not gone away and will resurface with renewed force whenever the E.U. program overreaches itself or stumbles......and it will.

Regardless of any of the above, If a second referendum were held it would have to be on the basis of a remain vote representing a de-facto confirmation that the UK can never leave in the future. It is a pretty sure thing that the EU will never allow this situation to arise again. Expect a new treaty in the aftermath of this whatever happens to Brexit.

ElvisL1ves 08-29-2019 08:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baron Greenback (Post 21830711)
It has possibly provided motive and cover for the various remain and anti-no-deal groupings to unite, and force the issue once and for all.

This same Parliament already voted against hard Brexit. Have they no authority to ban the PM from implementing it anyway?

Dr. Drake 08-29-2019 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble (Post 21831391)
That last point is the tricky thing though. On what grounds do you cancel it?

On the grounds that it is a terrible idea which will do short-, medium- and long-term damage to the country, and that the people democratically elected to represent the majority sometimes have more time to devote to these questions and access to better information, and thus a better idea of how things might pan out than the electorate en masse—which is why said electorate delegates governance in the first place. On the grounds that this is a whopping great decision to be made by a tiny majority of those who even bothered to vote on the question, in a referendum that was meant to be advisory in the first place, and whose campaigns involved disinformation. On the grounds that EU citizens resident in the UK didn't get to vote in the referendum [I'd have to double-check that point: going from memory] and perhaps should have been allowed to.

Inner Stickler 08-29-2019 11:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21831489)
This same Parliament already voted against hard Brexit. Have they no authority to ban the PM from implementing it anyway?

Shades of Canute commanding the tides.

Brexit is a logical consequence of invoking A50, not something Boris Johnson is implementing.

Steophan 08-29-2019 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21831489)
This same Parliament already voted against hard Brexit. Have they no authority to ban the PM from implementing it anyway?

The biggest problem with that is that a hard Brexit doesn't have to be implemented, it will happen by default, and it will require positive action to prevent that. The current PM has indicated that he will not do that, that he will let it happen if no alternative is accepted by the end of October.

So, the main way Parliament can change that is to replace the government via a vote of no confidence. The problem is, what happens after that? There needs to be a majority of Parliament who will accept the consequences of that, which will almost certainly include an early General Election and the strong probability of Corbyn as PM for a time (who, apart from anything else, also wants to leave the EU) and/or a series of weak coalitions. It's not obvious that there's a majority for that, or that a majority would form behind an alternative government.

So, in short, yes, Parliament have that authority - but they need to have the will to do it, and accept the consequences.

kevlaw 08-29-2019 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble (Post 21831391)
Regardless of any of the above, If a second referendum were held it would have to be on the basis of a remain vote representing a de-facto confirmation that the UK can never leave in the future.

I don't agree. I think it would require that, if we ever go through this again, we have to think it through a bit more carefully next time. We have to define what we mean by "Brexit" before we vote on it.

I think, politically, if remain wins next time around, it would be hard to muster up the enthusiasm to go through all this again any time soon but it wouldn't mean that we could never leave.

My personal wish is that parliament does away with referendums. They don't seem to be compatible with a parliamentary democracy.

PastTense 08-29-2019 11:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21831489)
This same Parliament already voted against hard Brexit. Have they no authority to ban the PM from implementing it anyway?

All Parliament has to do is to revoke the A50 Brexit withdrawal resolution. The European Court of Justice had made clear that the U.K. Parliament can do this without any agreement needed from the European Union.

But there are not the votes to do this. So instead everyone is talking about a new Referendum or new General Election or getting another postponement from the EU.

Stanislaus 08-29-2019 11:55 AM

The fact that we're finding it difficult to leave has very little to do with the EU. They agreed a date on which we would leave and a deal by which we would do so. It's the UK Parliament who have refused to ratify that deal. And a decisive chunk of the MPs who voted against that deal were pro-Leave. We would be out now if it weren't for Steve Baker and his "Spartan" ERG chums.

The truth is that the UK badly mishandled the negotiation by setting itself contradictory red lines and starting the clock ticking on A50 before it had actually worked out what it wanted in a deal. A more competent government could have organised cross-party consensus for a soft Brexit that would have pissed off the ultras on both sides but had c.450 MPs lining up behind it.

So the answer to the question "When did it become impossible to leave the EU" would be "When we left Theresa May, Boris Johnson and David Davis in charge of getting us out".

ElvisL1ves 08-29-2019 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PastTense (Post 21831869)
All Parliament has to do is to revoke the A50 Brexit withdrawal resolution. The European Court of Justice had made clear that the U.K. Parliament can do this without any agreement needed from the European Union.

Could the EU also rule that the vote against hard Brexit meant no hard Brexit, and refuse to implement it?

Steophan 08-29-2019 12:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PastTense (Post 21831869)
All Parliament has to do is to revoke the A50 Brexit withdrawal resolution.

Can Parliament do that, or does it have to be the Government? Mors specifically, the PM?

CarnalK 08-29-2019 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21831917)
Could the EU also rule that the vote against hard Brexit meant no hard Brexit, and refuse to implement it?

I'm not sure what a one sided "refuse to implement" would even mean.

ElvisL1ves 08-29-2019 12:43 PM

Neither am I. Something like pretending nothing had changed, hoping the UK would do likewise, maybe?

I really meant "Is there anything the EU can do to apply some adult supervision here?"

PatrickLondon 08-29-2019 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves (Post 21831917)
Could the EU also rule that the vote against hard Brexit meant no hard Brexit, and refuse to implement it?

In the absence of any deal, a "hard Brexit" is the inevitable legal consequence. The UK has given notice of leaving. That (after extensions) falls due on October 31st. At that point all the legal and administrative frameworks tied up in EU membership cease to have legal force. If both the UK government and the EU tacitly agree to pretend nothing has changed (but what then would have been the point of "taking back control" anyway?) things might totter along without too much difficulty; but any dispute between any trading partners across the UK/EU boundary will have nowhere to go for resolution.

Plus there's the point that, absent a specific agreement, AIUI, under WTO rules neither party can give the other favourable terms as hoc unless it does the same for all WTO members. So there's another slew of international legal cases.

Novelty Bobble 08-29-2019 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dr. Drake (Post 21831743)
On the grounds that it is a terrible idea which will do short-, medium- and long-term damage to the country,

speculative, especially the "long-term". no-one has done this before nor even anything like it.

Quote:

and that the people democratically elected to represent the majority sometimes have more time to devote to these questions and access to better information, and thus a better idea of how things might pan out than the electorate en masse—which is why said electorate delegates governance in the first place.
on this question they don't though, the projections are all worst-case that rely upon no-one taking mitigating actions (which won't happen). How it pans-out it unknown, anyone who tells you otherwise with certainty is lying. Beyond short-term upheaval, no-one knows. These are the same experts who saw nothing and said nothing in the run-up to the 2008 crash.

Quote:

On the grounds that this is a whopping great decision to be made by a tiny majority of those who even bothered to vote on the question,
history is made by those that turn up
Quote:

in a referendum that was meant to be advisory in the first place,
the pledge that went along with the referendum, that was re-inforced by both major parties at the subsequent GE, was that the result was going to be respected and enacted.
Quote:

and whose campaigns involved disinformation.
show me a political campaign that doesn't or an electorate gullible enough to think eveything they are promised will come to pass, they don't do so in a GE and there is no reason to think they did so to any greater degree in the referendum. Given that a promise was made to enact.......are the electorate guaranteed to believe promises or not?
Quote:

On the grounds that EU citizens resident in the UK didn't get to vote in the referendum [I'd have to double-check that point: going from memory] and perhaps should have been allowed to.
They were allowed to.

look, I deal with pretty high-level people in major coprporations. A really good rule of thumb for major executive decisions is that if you aren't prepared to to accept the answer you don't ask the question in the first place. Once you do it is a major issue if you don't implement and not to be taken lightly. All the points you make have merit but even were any of them used as justification for revocation you would still have to deal with the fallout from a large group of people clearly denied their freely-taken, explicitily promised, democratically expressed wish. By all means say "whoopsy, my bad" but the aftermath may be even uglier that what you think you are avoiding.

Novelty Bobble 08-29-2019 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kevlaw (Post 21831837)
I don't agree. I think it would require that, if we ever go through this again, we have to think it through a bit more carefully next time. We have to define what we mean by "Brexit" before we vote on it

No, the horse has bolted. There won't be an "again".

It is an absolute certainty that a failure to follow through on this now will see the E.U.make it pretty much impossible to do so in the future. They won't write it in so many words but the effect will be to ensure it is impossibly punative for any country to do so.

So that is the practical outcome of chosing not to do it now, in effect it becomes a decision to bind to the E.U. forever. If that's the democratic will of the people to do so then I'm happy to go along with it but it would be honest to admit that this is the case.

Northern Piper 08-29-2019 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steophan (Post 21831924)
Can Parliament do that, or does it have to be the Government? Mors specifically, the PM?

The European Court of Justice said that a country can revoke its Article 50 notice "in accordance with [that country's] constitutional requirements."

Parliament is supreme over the executive. Parliament could pass a law declaring that Parliament has revoked Britain's Article 50 notification, and direct Speaker Bercow to deliver that notification to the EU.

UDS 08-29-2019 11:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northern Piper (Post 21832879)
The European Court of Justice said that a country can revoke its Article 50 notice "in accordance with [that country's] constitutional requirements."

Parliament is supreme over the executive. Parliament could pass a law declaring that Parliament has revoked Britain's Article 50 notification, and direct Speaker Bercow to deliver that notification to the EU.

And any dispute about whether that (or any other procedure that might be adopted) was or was not "in accordance with the UK's constitutional requirements" would be resolved by the UK courts, to whom the Court of Justice of the EU would defer.

UDS 08-29-2019 11:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble (Post 21832597)
They were allowed to.

Nitpick: EU citizens resident in the UK were not permitted to vote in the referendum unless they were either UK citizens (obvously), Irish citizens (because Irish citizens have full voting rights in the UK) or Maltese citizens (because Malta is a Commonwealth country, and Commonwealth citizens were allowed to vote).

Gyrate 08-30-2019 10:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble (Post 21832597)
the pledge that went along with the referendum, that was re-inforced by both major parties at the subsequent GE, was that the result was going to be respected and enacted.

show me a political campaign that doesn't or an electorate gullible enough to think eveything they are promised will come to pass, they don't do so in a GE and there is no reason to think they did so to any greater degree in the referendum. Given that a promise was made to enact.......are the electorate guaranteed to believe promises or not?

So what you're saying is that pledges to leave the EU should be enacted because pledges to the people should be honoured, but the utter failure to honour any other pledges can be handwaved away without consequence as "politics as usual". Got it.

BTW, during his leadership campaign, Boris promised not to prorogue Parliament. Perhaps he should honour that one first?

Novelty Bobble 08-30-2019 01:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 21833441)
So what you're saying is that pledges to leave the EU should be enacted because pledges to the people should be honoured, but the utter failure to honour any other pledges can be handwaved away without consequence as "politics as usual". Got it.

No that's not what I'm saying. You are assuming I'm on Boris's side but I'm very much not.

However, I don't see that enacting a "no deal" Brexit as substantially more anti-democratic than reneging on a political promise clearly made, restated by the two main parties. and voted for. I may be personally contented that we do go back on that but I honestly think that people who voted for Brexit should quite rightly be very angry about it and it will not be the end of the matter, not by a long shot.

PatrickLondon 08-30-2019 05:06 PM

As ever, cassetteboy sums up Johnson

SciFiSam 08-30-2019 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenWyvern (Post 21778589)
That's why he will make impossible promises to everybody about everything, try to appear strong and decisive, take a hard line with the EU... and call an election.

He will come to an agreement with Farage, and hope that he gets a decent majority. Then he will try to force through no-deal, by fair means or foul.

Farage? How will Boris coming to an agreement with Farage do anything?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sam Stone (Post 21778943)
I had only a vague idea of who Boris Johnson really was. I mean, I know who he is, but not what kind of person. I keep hearing that he's another Trump - a low intelligence populist rabble rouser. So I did a little research on him, and I'm not seeing it.

Apparently he went to Eton, where he was considered a bit of a prodigy. Then Oxford, where he graduated with second class honors. He speaks Greek and Latin fluently. His politics are said to be more David Cameron style center-right orthodoxy, other than Brexit.

So what am I missing? Sure, he has goofy hair and a penchant for theatrics, but I'm not seeing the dumb drooling Trump clone.

Yeah, he's not an idiot. Going to Eton doesn't mean you're not stupid, but Boris did get a scholarship based on an entrance exam. Not the kind any random kid could have known about, let alone taken, but yes, his early years were marked by cleverness.

But now he sustains himself on a persona of being an idiot, much like Trump pretends to be a man of the people despite being a millionaire by birth. They both act like bumbling idiots now - for Boris, it's probably more of an act than a reality, but it's still what makes him appeal to people.

Boris says so many stupid things that it's hard to keep up, same as Trump does. Boris has lots of scandals that seem not to touch him, same as Trump does. It's not even clear how many children he has.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo (Post 21785562)
I'd like to thank everyone participating in this thread; it's been a huge help to me as I try to understand what is happening in the UK politically right now. I knew Boris Johnson's name and a few things about his time int he government and that he was part of the Brexit campaign, but little else. After watching John Oliver's piece about him, I knew that I was missing a lot of information and have been actively seeking to correct the deficiency since.

Y'all have been a big help; thanks again.

Oh, trust me, a lot of people in the UK are also baffled. It's been a rollercoaster ride in the UK these last few years.

Quote:

Originally Posted by UDS (Post 21832905)
Nitpick: EU citizens resident in the UK were not permitted to vote in the referendum unless they were either UK citizens (obvously), Irish citizens (because Irish citizens have full voting rights in the UK) or Maltese citizens (because Malta is a Commonwealth country, and Commonwealth citizens were allowed to vote).

I wouldn't call that a nitpick. It's pretty important.

Baron Greenback 08-30-2019 10:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SciFiSam (Post 21834217)
Oh, trust me, a lot of people in the UK are also baffled. It's been a rollercoaster ride in the UK these last few years.

It's been endless and exhausting in real life. It's not even just been Brexit for some of us. It's been, what, nearly six years since the #indyref process started in Scotland? Just been constant since then - toxic arguments about identity and belonging. :o

Northern Piper 08-30-2019 11:00 PM

David Cameron has much to answer fo.

Not as much as Tony Blair, but definitely a strong runner-up.

GreenWyvern 08-31-2019 01:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SciFiSam (Post 21834217)
Farage? How will Boris coming to an agreement with Farage do anything?

The post you quoted is a month old, but it's proving to be true. Johnson is clearly gearing up for an election, and he will need to come to an arrangement with Farage's Brexit Party not to split the right-wing vote.

Nigel Farage warns Boris Johnson ‘honeymoon is over’ and says Brexit Party ready to wipe out Tories at next election

The Brexit Party has already chosen candidates for every seat in Britain.

Quote:

Mr Farage added does not think Mr Johnson will win a majority in a general election.

He said: “If Boris goes with this awful, miserable European treaty even without the backstop, we will fight against him in every seat in the country and he will not win the election.
Nigel Farage offers no-deal Brexit election pact to Boris Johnson

Johnson is unlikely to make a public response to this, since he is not talking about an election yet. But there is no question that if the Brexit Party were to stand against the Tories, it would be a disaster for the Tories.

PatrickLondon 08-31-2019 08:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenWyvern (Post 21834445)
But there is no question that if the Brexit Party were to stand against the Tories, it would be a disaster for the Tories.

On present form, that's not so clear. They might suck up Labour votes in leave-voting Labour constituencies more than Tory votes in Tory constituencies. They might have a spoiler effect on the distribution of seats as between the established parties without actually winning any themselves.

UDS 09-01-2019 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PatrickLondon (Post 21834620)
On present form, that's not so clear. They might suck up Labour votes in leave-voting Labour constituencies more than Tory votes in Tory constituencies. They might have a spoiler effect on the distribution of seats as between the established parties without actually winning any themselves.

Which would be a disaster for the Tories.

In the 2015 general election UKIP secured 12.5% of the vote. Under the crapulous British electoral system that got them precisely one seat out of 650, instead of the 80 or so that they might have expected in a democracy. But there were 50 seats in which the Tories lost by fewer votes than UKIP secured.

If we assume that the Brexit party largely competes with the Tories for votes, then the stronger the Brexit party performance, the more seats the Tories lose. And they can't afford to lose any seats; at present Johnson's nominal majority is 1 seat.

Currently the Brexit party is polling in the 10%-15% range. If that is replicated in a general election, it's hard to see how the Tories can win.

SciFiSam 09-02-2019 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenWyvern (Post 21834445)
The post you quoted is a month old, but it's proving to be true. Johnson is clearly gearing up for an election, and he will need to come to an arrangement with Farage's Brexit Party not to split the right-wing vote.

Nigel Farage warns Boris Johnson ‘honeymoon is over’ and says Brexit Party ready to wipe out Tories at next election

The Brexit Party has already chosen candidates for every seat in Britain.



Nigel Farage offers no-deal Brexit election pact to Boris Johnson

Johnson is unlikely to make a public response to this, since he is not talking about an election yet. But there is no question that if the Brexit Party were to stand against the Tories, it would be a disaster for the Tories.

They'll take votes from both Tories and Labour, and get votes from some people who wouldn't have voted for either, but the chances of them actually taking seats are minimal, especially if the election is after Brexit. The 2015 election gave them a huge boost due to the referendum, but like UDS said, they still only got one seat. They're nowhere near as powerful as Farage claims. He's not helped by the fact that there are other parties people can also use as a protest vote.

Elendil's Heir 09-02-2019 05:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UDS (Post 21836594)
... Currently the Brexit party is polling in the 10%-15% range. If that is replicated in a general election, it's hard to see how the Tories can win.

Wow. Just when I thought Boris's options couldn't become any more limited....

Baron Greenback 09-02-2019 06:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elendil's Heir (Post 21837647)
Wow. Just when I thought Boris's options couldn't become any more limited....

He'll also lose all 12 of the Scottish seats the Tories gained in 2017, I suspect. I'm not hugely plugged-in to the Scottish Conservatives, but I know enough to know that he is not at all well thought of even in party circles. Loathed by the voters, and with Ruth Davidson having resigned, there's no Tory sell in Scotland that will play well.

Siam Sam 09-02-2019 06:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gyrate (Post 21778449)
My opinion is that he's a lying, corrupt hypocrite who will happily destroy the country (possibly literally) for his own profit and aggrandisement, and who - based on his career so far - will likely manage to escape being held accountable for his actions because he has funny hair and bumbles about a bit.

But enough about our president. This thread is supposed to be about Boris Johnson.

GreenWyvern 09-02-2019 07:24 PM

Johnson's plan to blame the EU and/or parliament for no-deal seems to be going well, unfortunately.

He will call an election - he must do so because he can't govern with a majority of one. He was hoping to have polling day immediately after Brexit, when he could get credit from the useful idiots for keeping his promise, and before the chaos and shortages hit.

It looks like that plan has been scuppered by the new bill to stop no-deal, and he will be forced to call an election in mid-October. The only hope now is that he loses that election. Corbyn may be far from ideal, but he better than Johnson by miles, and he has pledged to hold a second referendum.

lisiate 09-02-2019 07:43 PM

Damn British politics just gets crazier and crazier. Will Boris call a snap election? Who will win? Will the EU grant another delay if a Remainer Parliament emerges from the snap election?

No one knows.

Northern Piper 09-02-2019 08:09 PM

And you thought The Donald was the only one who ran unbelievable reality shows!

SciFiSam 09-02-2019 08:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lisiate (Post 21837788)
Damn British politics just gets crazier and crazier. Will Boris call a snap election? Who will win? Will the EU grant another delay if a Remainer Parliament emerges from the snap election?

No one knows.

British political headlines look like clickbait even when they're trying not to.

Boycott 09-02-2019 08:48 PM

How is John Major thought of back there these days?

I lived in the UK during his tenure and I remember he used to get teased a lot for his headteacher appearance and being a bit of a wimp. There was a very funny satirical program called Spitting Image that really got stuck into him but despite that I thought he was a smart, astute man who was more suited to being a cabinet minister than the front man. There doesn't seem to be many politicians like him these days.

Novelty Bobble 09-03-2019 04:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boycott (Post 21837854)
How is John Major thought of back there these days?.

An irrelevance and, like you said yourself, a "Spitting Image" puppet.

His intervention is not surprising but is a bit rich considering that his handling of the Maastricht treaty set the UK on this course in the first place. That's when the referendum should have happened John.

GreenWyvern 09-03-2019 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble (Post 21838146)
An irrelevance and, like you said yourself, a "Spitting Image" puppet.

His intervention is not surprising but is a bit rich considering that his handling of the Maastricht treaty set the UK on this course in the first place. That's when the referendum should have happened John.

That's very much the Brexiteer point of view.

By reasonable people he is regarded as a man of integrity, and his reputation has steadily improved in recent years.

Steophan 09-03-2019 07:30 AM

It seems Labour, or at least many of their MPs, are now opposed to an election. You really couldn't make this up. RIP The United Kingdom.

Novelty Bobble 09-03-2019 07:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenWyvern (Post 21838196)
That's very much the Brexiteer point of view.

By reasonable people he is regarded as a man of integrity, and his reputation has steadily improved in recent years.

I'm not a Brexiteer and it absolutely is a mainstream opinion of him. He is known for peas, being grey, liking cricket and having an affair with Edwina Curry. He is less of a figure of outright ridicule merely because he has been out of the news. Consider that an improvement if you like.

Gyrate 09-03-2019 08:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble (Post 21838218)
I'm not a Brexiteer and it absolutely is a mainstream opinion of him. He is known for peas, being grey, liking cricket and having an affair with Edwina Curry. He is less of a figure of outright ridicule merely because he has been out of the news. Consider that an improvement if you like.

That's what the view of him was at the end of his premiership. This is a more accurate current portrayal:

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenWyvern (Post 21838196)
By reasonable people he is regarded as a man of integrity, and his reputation has steadily improved in recent years.

Major was a grey man who wasn't suited to being Prime Minister, but he has managed his retirement well. In particular, his work with the Royals and particularly the young princes following Diana's death garnered him some public goodwill. His personal reputation has also improved in comparison with some of his successors, as is often the case.

Nobody wants him back in office (least of all himself), but he's managed to earn some quiet public respect in the interim. However, I doubt any public comments he makes on the subject of Brexit will cause much of a stir in any circles.

Stanislaus 09-03-2019 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble (Post 21838218)
I'm not a Brexiteer and it absolutely is a mainstream opinion of him. He is known for peas, being grey, liking cricket and having an affair with Edwina Curry. He is less of a figure of outright ridicule merely because he has been out of the news. Consider that an improvement if you like.

I'd have said he was pretty much not thought of, and that stuff like the peas/grey/cricket labels had faded almost entirely. But I thought I'd look it up and lo and fucking behold:

Quote:

John Major is the 3rd most popular Conservative politician and the 5th most famous. John Major is described by fans as: Genuine, Honest, Conservative, Intelligent and Patriotic.
91% recognition, 23% positive opinion, 37% negative. That's based on over 9000 interviews over the past year so it's pretty solid. I am flabbergasted.

Novelty Bobble 09-03-2019 08:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stanislaus (Post 21838273)
I'd have said he was pretty much not thought of, and that stuff like the peas/grey/cricket labels had faded almost entirely. But I thought I'd look it up and lo and fucking behold:

A poll which has Boris Johnson and Theresa May occupying the no.1 and no.2 positions as "most popular"

Elendil's Heir 09-03-2019 09:48 AM

Here's The Guarniad on Major's joining the lawsuit over prorogation: https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...no-deal-brexit

Stanislaus 09-03-2019 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble (Post 21838297)
A poll which has Boris Johnson and Theresa May occupying the no.1 and no.2 positions as "most popular"

Sure. There's a difference between "most popular" and "actually liked", especially among politicians. But it's a better showing than you would have guessed, isn't it?

Walken After Midnight 09-03-2019 10:55 AM

BBC:
Quote:

Conservative MP Philip Lee has defected to the Liberal Democrats ahead of a showdown between Boris Johnson and Tory rebels over Brexit.
...
His defection means that Boris Johnson no longer has a working majority in the Commons.

Ludovic 09-03-2019 10:56 AM

Needle scratch

Novelty Bobble 09-03-2019 11:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stanislaus (Post 21838428)
Sure. There's a difference between "most popular" and "actually liked", especially among politicians. But it's a better showing than you would have guessed, isn't it?

If I calibrate it by comparison to May and Johnson then I don't think I know what "popularity" actually means or what conclusions to draw from it.

I mean, you must be surprised at how high up those two are yes?

Inner Stickler 09-03-2019 11:41 AM

Phillip Lee defected to the Lib Dems.

What does this mean for Johnson's government?

Stanislaus 09-03-2019 11:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble (Post 21838665)
If I calibrate it by comparison to May and Johnson then I don't think I know what "popularity" actually means or what conclusions to draw from it.

I mean, you must be surprised at how high up those two are yes?

I suppose, in calibrating how surprised we ought to be by anyone's ranking, the question to ask is "Yes, but which Tory politician did you think would be more popular?"

I'm not surprised by Johnson. The whole point of "Boris" was that there was a significant chunk of people who thought he was a top lad. I am a bit surprised by May, but I suspect that after she quit people started giving her sympathy and credit for trying.

I am surprised by Major being third because I would have thought that current MPs/Ministers would do better than him. Whether Rudd and Hammond on one side or Raab and Javid on the other, I am genuinely shocked no active Tory MP does better than Major. Which is damning for them but does suggest there's a decent number of people who respect his recent contributions on Brexit.

Stanislaus 09-03-2019 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inner Stickler (Post 21838683)
Phillip Lee defected to the Lib Dems.

What does this mean for Johnson's government?

In blunt terms, he no longer commands a majority of the Commons and therefore shouldn't be PM. He can't win a vote even if all Tory MPs voted with him. Which they currently won't on Brexit. It makes a lot of his threats more obviously bluster, and massively increases his incentive to call an election.

septimus 09-03-2019 11:56 AM

If Scotland votes for independence, what will the U.K. government response be?

Gyrate 09-03-2019 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by septimus (Post 21838715)
If Scotland votes for independence, what will the U.K. government response be?

That depends entirely on what the state of the government is at whatever point the next vote is held (should it be held). At this point there's no knowing what state that will be.

Chaos umpire sits,
And by decision more embroils the fray,
By which he reigns; next him high arbiter
Chance govern all.

PatrickLondon 09-03-2019 12:53 PM

For another Scottish independence referendum to be held, the Westminster parliament would have to pass the enabling legislation, and if they voted to leave there would have to be legislation at Westminster to complete the disentanglement, dot the i's and cross the t's. So there'd have to be some level of functional co-operation.

GreenWyvern 09-03-2019 01:36 PM

The problem with Scottish independence is the finances.

Scotland's deficit seven times higher than UK as a whole last year

"Total state spending in Scotland was £1,661 higher per person than the UK average... while tax receipts were £307 less per head than the UK average."


The question is whether the EU would even allow them to join with a deficit of 7% of GDP, far higher than any EU nation.

The SNP argues that they would repudiate their part of the UK national debt and stop supporting Trident. Whether the UK parliament would agree to that is another matter...

GreenWyvern 09-03-2019 01:42 PM

If anyone wants to watch the live debate in parliament this evening, it's here.

Elendil's Heir 09-03-2019 02:11 PM

O Britain, my beloved Britain....! To what a sorry pass you have come.

Gary Kumquat 09-03-2019 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenWyvern (Post 21838950)
The problem with Scottish independence is the finances.

Scotland's deficit seven times higher than UK as a whole last year

"Total state spending in Scotland was £1,661 higher per person than the UK average... while tax receipts were £307 less per head than the UK average."

Richard Murphy does a very good job of pointing out the many issues with the GERS claims here: https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/...iscal-deficit/ and here https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/...-to-the-truth/

"the accounting is biased and theoretically utterly flawed. When accounting it is vital that all estimates are prepared consistently and on the same basis. GERS has not been. Income is estimated on the basis of that arising IN Scotland but spending is estimated on the basis of that arising FOR Scotland. So, only taxes paid in Scotland are included. But expenditure in England (mainly), Wales and Northern Ireland is also charged to Scotland when Scotland is deemed to benefit from it. But the tax paid to generate that expenditure is not taken into account. The system is, then, inherently designed to show a deficit. This is why the Scottish government claim about it is wrong."

Please do check the first link in particular (hard to quote here, as much of the data is represented in graphics)

glee 09-03-2019 04:25 PM

the end of democracy
 
Now that Boris has lost control of Parliament (due to a Government MP switching to the opposition), his only hope is to avoid all voting and keep bleating "we had a referendum several years ago and that's all that matters."

And of course letting Dominic Cummings run the country...:smack:

Inner Stickler 09-03-2019 04:35 PM

Things are getting positively spicy in the debate right now. Some of the tories are just ripping into the government. I don't think the threat of deselection has worked.

Martin Hyde 09-03-2019 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glee (Post 21839300)
Now that Boris has lost control of Parliament (due to a Government MP switching to the opposition), his only hope is to avoid all voting and keep bleating "we had a referendum several years ago and that's all that matters."

And of course letting Dominic Cummings run the country...:smack:

My guess is Boris's likely path:

1. Agree to Labour demand to the delaying legislation (he will plan to repeal it), to give him the General Election in October that he wants, and that they also want as well.

2. While he could potentially use various procedural tricks to try to ignore this legislation until the UK barreled out of Brexit, it would leave him no real path forward as a politician. The scenario of agreeing to it and getting Labour to sign off on a general election gives him freedom to run with a 10/31 exit as the Tory manifesto.

3. If they win--and let's have an aside:

it's worth noting most swing polling sites for Parliament (https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/homepage.html one I frequently use) still suggest it's not at all a foregone conclusion Boris will lose a general. Labour's support is horrible even compared to what they drew in 2017, and the voting landscape is very fractured. In a FPTP system it makes it very possible for the conservatives to come away with a commanding majority in the face of a more divided opposition.

But if they win, Boris will seek to push through legislation on the single day he will have after winning the election to reverse the delaying legislation. Assuming he had won the general, he could insist the Lords not block the repeal effort on the basis that exiting on 10/31 was part of the Tory (winning party) manifesto, and thus the will of the electorate.

4. Britain crashes out of the EU, Boris gets to be PM for 5 years. Probably outright ignores calls for Scottish independence or poisons any potential referendum efforts by imposing untenable requirements on Scotland; likely Boris also blames the chaos of hard Brexit on the conservative rebels and Labour who "undermined his last minute negotiations" (which from all accounts, were not actually happening.)

To go back to #3, "if they win" is difficult to say. I think the reason all the projection sites show them winning such a strong majority is because of all the fracturing right now, with Labour having lost significant % support and Lib Dems having gained, and the expectation Brexit Party won't win a single seat and thus not costing the conservatives too badly. But right now as we speak a lot of, frankly "brave" (if we can use that word) conservative politicians are standing up to Johnson and sacrificing their political careers to do so. They will be purged from the party and unable to run as conservative candidates in the general, but do they take significant party support with them? To some renegade faction or etc? Who knows.

Walken After Midnight 09-03-2019 05:28 PM

The Rebel Alliance wins the vote.

Philip Hammond, Ken Clarke, Rory Stewart, Oliver Letwin and Nicholas Soames are no longer Tories. 21 Tory MPs defied the whip to vote for Letwin’s motion tonight:

Bebb
Benyon
Brine
Burt
Clark G
Clarke K
Gauke
Greening
Grieve
Gyimah
Hammond P
Hammond S
Harrington
James
Letwin
Milton
Nokes
Sandbach
Soames
Stewart R
Vaizey

Theresa May voted with the government.

SciFiSam 09-03-2019 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Martin Hyde (Post 21839386)
My guess is Boris's likely path:

1. Agree to Labour demand to the delaying legislation (he will plan to repeal it), to give him the General Election in October that he wants, and that they also want as well.

2. While he could potentially use various procedural tricks to try to ignore this legislation until the UK barreled out of Brexit, it would leave him no real path forward as a politician. The scenario of agreeing to it and getting Labour to sign off on a general election gives him freedom to run with a 10/31 exit as the Tory manifesto.

3. If they win--and let's have an aside:

it's worth noting most swing polling sites for Parliament (https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/homepage.html one I frequently use) still suggest it's not at all a foregone conclusion Boris will lose a general. Labour's support is horrible even compared to what they drew in 2017, and the voting landscape is very fractured. In a FPTP system it makes it very possible for the conservatives to come away with a commanding majority in the face of a more divided opposition.

But if they win, Boris will seek to push through legislation on the single day he will have after winning the election to reverse the delaying legislation. Assuming he had won the general, he could insist the Lords not block the repeal effort on the basis that exiting on 10/31 was part of the Tory (winning party) manifesto, and thus the will of the electorate.

4. Britain crashes out of the EU, Boris gets to be PM for 5 years. Probably outright ignores calls for Scottish independence or poisons any potential referendum efforts by imposing untenable requirements on Scotland; likely Boris also blames the chaos of hard Brexit on the conservative rebels and Labour who "undermined his last minute negotiations" (which from all accounts, were not actually happening.)

To go back to #3, "if they win" is difficult to say. I think the reason all the projection sites show them winning such a strong majority is because of all the fracturing right now, with Labour having lost significant % support and Lib Dems having gained, and the expectation Brexit Party won't win a single seat and thus not costing the conservatives too badly. But right now as we speak a lot of, frankly "brave" (if we can use that word) conservative politicians are standing up to Johnson and sacrificing their political careers to do so. They will be purged from the party and unable to run as conservative candidates in the general, but do they take significant party support with them? To some renegade faction or etc? Who knows.


Unusually, this time I think there might be a lot of "shy Labour voters" just like there used to be for the Tories. The Tories generally get more votes than their polling suggests, but that fluctuates.

Ryan_Liam 09-03-2019 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenWyvern (Post 21838950)
The problem with Scottish independence is the finances.

Scotland's deficit seven times higher than UK as a whole last year

"Total state spending in Scotland was £1,661 higher per person than the UK average... while tax receipts were £307 less per head than the UK average."


The question is whether the EU would even allow them to join with a deficit of 7% of GDP, far higher than any EU nation.

The SNP argues that they would repudiate their part of the UK national debt and stop supporting Trident. Whether the UK parliament would agree to that is another matter...

I'm entirely against Scottish independence, but to appeal to just the economics against them being independent is totally ignoring the Irish example right next door.

Ireland was impoverished for years after independence but by and large was seen as 'Worth it'

Inner Stickler 09-03-2019 05:37 PM

Word on the street is that no one is being deselected unless they rebel on tomorrow's vote.

Walken After Midnight 09-03-2019 06:08 PM

Sky News editor:
Quote:

Confirmed: Philip Hammond has had whip removed after phone call with Chief Whip. Source close to group: ‘No10 have responded by removing the whip from 2 former chancellors, a former lord chancellor & Winston Churchill’s grandson. What has has happened to the Conservative Party?’

Baron Greenback 09-03-2019 06:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inner Stickler (Post 21839441)
Word on the street is that no one is being deselected unless they rebel on tomorrow's vote.

Thirty minutes later - because these are the times we live in now - the word on the street is they appear to be being called by the Chief Whip one-by-one and are no longer Conservative MPs.

Walken After Midnight 09-03-2019 06:35 PM

Just-expelled Rory Stewart, MP:
Quote:

Strange that a decision has been made to remove the whip from so many colleagues who were ministers so recently. Particularly when we voted repeatedly for a Brexit deal. I can’t think of a historical precedent. But I am not stepping down as an MP.
Sun political editor:
Quote:

A Tory MP texts: “What a nuclear grade cluster f**k”. Tough to disagree.

lisiate 09-03-2019 06:45 PM

Good chance that Boris Johnson won't be moving up on this list ever.

Walken After Midnight 09-03-2019 07:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by lisiate (Post 21839546)
Good chance that Boris Johnson won't be moving up on this list ever.

I guess that's one way he might make his mark on history. Centuries from now, will he be remembered as a great British hero, great British villain, or the answer to a trivia question?

Meanwhile, political correspondent for The Times:
Quote:

Ken Clarke does not appear at all shaken, or lost, by being booted out of the party he's represented for 49 years in the Commons. "Anyone who says I'm not a Conservative is taking an odd political view. It's the Brexit Party rebadged."

Northern Piper 09-03-2019 07:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan_Liam (Post 21839438)
I'm entirely against Scottish independence, but to appeal to just the economics against them being independent is totally ignoring the Irish example right next door.

Ireland was impoverished for years after independence but by and large was seen as 'Worth it'

True, but that was pre-EU. If Scotland wants independence to stay in the EU, it has to meet the EU deficit/GDP ratio. If they're over that ratio and can't get admitted as a member, then their independence could cut them off from both the EU and the rump UK.

Northern Piper 09-03-2019 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inner Stickler (Post 21839322)
Things are getting positively spicy in the debate right now. Some of the tories are just ripping into the government. I don't think the threat of deselection has worked.

It may actually have emboldened them. There is party discipline, sure, but there's always a limit to that when a party is internally divided.

Northern Piper 09-03-2019 08:10 PM

Plus, there is likely a strong element of "Fuck off, Boris!"

Northern Piper 09-03-2019 08:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stanislaus (Post 21838694)
In blunt terms, he no longer commands a majority of the Commons and therefore shouldn't be PM. He can't win a vote even if all Tory MPs voted with him. Which they currently won't on Brexit. It makes a lot of his threats more obviously bluster, and massively increases his incentive to call an election.

Not necessarily. You can be PM now without a majority, thanks to Cameron and Clegg, and as Prime Minister Theresa "Worst-parliamentary-defeat-for-a-British-government-in-modern-history!" May conclusively demonstrated.

If Corbin isn't prepared to vote non-confidence, but isn't prepared to vote for an election, then Boris stays as PM. There's a strong "Molon labe" element to parliamentary government.

RickJay 09-03-2019 08:26 PM

"Now"? You always could have been PM without a majority. It's never been about commanding a majority. It's about not being openly voted against by a majority. The UK has had minority governments since before the Crimean War.

Northern Piper 09-03-2019 09:04 PM

Sure, but even with a minority government, the test was that the minority PM could "command a majority in the House" i.e. the PM could reliably get the major pieces of legislation through the House. Formerly, if a government lost major votes that were part of its basic policy or election manifesto, that meant that the government either resigned or called an election.

The Cameron-Clegg "reforms" have changed that. PM May could not get the most important piece of legislation in her government's agenda through the House. It got defeated three times. Before Cameron-Clegg, that first vote would have been a confidence measure, the government would have been defeated, and May would have had to resign or call an election. Instead, she stayed in power - a minority government that could not command a majority on the most important issue of the day.

And now, PM Boris has just been defeated in the Commons by the passage of the "Delay Brexit" bill or resolution (not sure exactly what form it took). A significant number of his own party deserted him, including heavyweights in the party and despite a heavy whip. He does not command a majority in the Commons, and under the traditional rules, he should resign or call an election.

But being defeated on the centrepiece of his government's policy towards the most pressing issue of the day doesn't trigger a resignation or an election, under Cameron-Clegg. The Opposition now controls confidence votes and whether an election will occur, thanks to the Fixed Terms Parliament Act. They can defeat with impunity, and the PM's own party can turn on him, yet he stays PM..That is a fundamental change in the British Constitution.

Another potential example is that Britain could now experience the failure to pass budgets and a government shutdown, just like in the US. We used to say that was impossible in a Westminster parliamentary system, because if the government was defeated on its budget, it either resigned or went to the polls (Wilson in 1976; Clark in Canada in 1980). But now, the Opposition can defeat the budget and it won't be a confidence measure. And the government in that situation won't be able to call an election, even if it wanted to, because if the Opposition has the votes to defeat the budget without calling it a confidence measure, the Opposition also has the votes votes to deny the election. The PM and government can be defeated on a budget, but can't call an election to let the people decide, and it doesn't have to resign.

The Cameron-Clegg reforms have fundamentally altered the British constitution. Frankly, I don't think theWestminster Parliament is still an example of the Westminster parliamentary system. It is fundamentally different.


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