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Brexit has stumped our zombie elites Every party has failed the challenge of national sovereignty

Ashes to ashes (Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

Ashes to ashes (Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)


June 22, 2023   7 mins

Sometime very early in the morning of 24 June 2016, I woke up, as middle-aged men tend to do. I looked at my phone to see the result. My only thought was: “Fuck, that’s a lot of work.” Then I went back to sleep.

And a lot of work it proved to be. The EU is a profoundly undemocratic form of government, which is why I had voted to leave it. Seeing the result for the first time, I knew that the very principle of British political equality would now be on the line, because no referendum against the EU had ever previously been acted upon. I also knew that very few of my professional caste (academics) would fall in with the majority view, and help to make sure that Brexit was implemented, or even that it was properly understood.

Worse still, I had read Christopher Bickerton’s magisterial European Integration: From Nation States to Member States. As a result, I knew that the Eurosceptics, who had just won the referendum, did not understand the EU at all. The institution was not, as many Leave campaigners presented it, a foreign superstate that ruled over Britain; it was the way in which the British political, business and professional elites ruled over Britain. It was British ministers and civil servants who made law and policy in the EU, in collaboration with the politicians and bureaucrats of other member states.

The failure to recognise this meant that the Eurosceptics did not understand the process they had set in motion, and that Brexit was unlikely to go well — a fact confirmed by Boris Johnson’s and Michael Gove’s infamous rabbits-in-the-headlights press conference later that day. The Eurosceptics had pretended their chief enemy was in Brussels when in truth it was at home, as we were all about to find out.

Another and bigger problem for me was that while I knew what I had voted against the day before, I was a lot less sure about what I had voted for. I could, of course, have said that I had voted for a stronger democracy. In fact, I did say it. But that didn’t really answer the question.

It’s certainly true that in the EU, politicians and civil servants of its member-states collaborate behind the closed doors of international diplomacy, cooking up laws that are adopted without reference to national legislatures. The whole system is backed up by treaties that allow capital and labour to shift around at will, out of the control of particular nations or of their pesky electorates. If a particular consequence of this was unpopular — such as, say, mass migration — then “Europe” could be blamed.

The essence of the EU is this evasion of political responsibility within its member states, which explains why Britain’s political system has become so sclerotic and dysfunctional. It is an evasion that depends on a centrist oligopoly of dominant political parties, able to take their domestic constituencies for granted. But in 2016, the question remained: in voting against this system and for national sovereignty, how would our democracy be strengthened? What did national sovereignty even mean?

For Eurosceptics, national sovereignty meant escaping the clutches of the Brussels bureaucracy, and returning the ultimate law-making power to our sovereign parliament. But, if the true heart of member-statehood is the evasion of political accountability at home, then the underlying problem was still going to be with us, in or out of the EU. That problem is a political class which is much more comfortable hobnobbing with the cosmopolitan elites of other states in intergovernmental forums, and finding its policy cues there, than it is with the less glamorous process of actually representing their citizens. How was national sovereignty going to solve this problem?

So I did some study. I wrote articles. I joined a network. Brexit itself has been an excellent teacher — in both its successes and its failures.

Over the past seven years, militant Remainers have continued to demand to know what the advantages of Brexit are. They are naturally blind to its chief benefit: that the demand of a majority of the electorate for national sovereignty has revealed the political void at the heart of the British state. With Brexit, the electorate bowled balls that none of the major players in the political class have been able to play. All have been stumped, humiliated.

First, the Labour Party paid the price for its unwillingness to respect the political equality of its poorest voters. After 2019, Labour’s century-old one-party states in the “Red Wall” are gone. They may win most of these seats back at the next election, but they will never be secure again. Complacency is no longer an option.

The Tories were next. They had a clear mandate to level up and to invest in deprived regions. They did neither. Instead, the pandemic hit and they trailed along with a globally inspired, technocratic suspension of civil liberties, imposing draconian rules that they chose to ignore while being unable to keep their hypocrisy secret. After Johnson was caught out, they next indulged the extraordinary farce of the Liz Truss government before retreating back to a centrist in Rishi Sunak. Bereft of new ideas, they blew a massive parliamentary majority managing to alienate both their 2019 gains from Labour in the North and their wealthier, more Europhile core in the South.

The SNP has now followed the Tories, its ersatz “independence” project falling into disarray once the security blanket of the UK’s single market membership was taken away. With the UK out of the EU, Scottish independence is just too demanding a prospect for the culture warriors in Holyrood who have survived its corruption chaos.

On the face of it, both the SNP and the Tories have been disgraced by petty scandals and poorly handled policy choices, rather than Brexit. But what makes the minor scandals so damaging — not just for the individual leaders involved, but for the parties themselves — is those parties’ fundamental inability to deliver on the policies at the core of their mandates in the wake of Brexit.

In this we can see the first lesson of 2016: there is no way back to national sovereignty. The old parties and their traditions are zombies, stumbling around without knowing that the political life has drained out of them. They are incapable of making anything of parliament’s restored legal sovereignty. Indeed, the reason they died is that they ceased to make any plausible claim to represent the nation (British or Scottish). As long as we were in the EU, they could carry on pretending and so could we, but Brexit has exposed their exhaustion. It was the first step on the road forward to national sovereignty, a clearing of the ground for a new project: the project of nation-building.

Brexit has illustrated how true sovereignty always required more than the Eurosceptics’ call for the legal supremacy of a sovereign parliament within the territory it rules. As Martin Loughlin, Britain’s leading constitutional theorist, has long argued, parliament’s legal supremacy is worth little if it is not underpinned by a relationship of political authority between the rulers and the ruled. For politics to function, in other words, voters must believe that parliament, and the government that is answerable to it, really represents us, so that we recognise its laws as our laws. And it is this which generates the real power of government to get anything useful done. Yet today, those with eyes to see — and that’s now most of us — know that our major parties can no longer sustain this kind of authority.

If Brexit has made the void of political authority inescapably apparent, merely leaving the EU has not done much to fill it. Without new politics and a new electoral system, our clapped-out political parties will continue to find their policies in the forums of the cosmopolitan elites: Net Zero, mass migration, identity politics, information control, proxy war. They will limp along offering nothing too innovative: more green austerity, more culture wars, more censorship. They will stay close to the Single Market, relying on the strictures of the Northern Ireland Protocol, rather than trying to conjure up something new.

For a little while, our first-past-the-post system will keep this rickety show on the road, but it will not be strong. Labour will probably take power next year on a reduced turnout and be widely loathed within months. There may be talk of the national interest, but it will take the form of a warmed-up repackaging of the de-risking element of Joe Biden’s new global cold war. It certainly will not be a claim based on representing the needs of voters conceived of as citizens of a nation-state, engaged together in the task of self-government.

And so, after Brexit, the British state is in the strange condition of being neither member-state nor nation-state. It is a new kind of contradictory entity — a post-member-state. In Taking Control, my co-authors and I argue that Brexit has posed the need for a new politics of national sovereignty understood in Loughlin’s political sense; as a question of developing the relations of trust and authority that come from effective political representation. Once we take this nation-building perspective, novel solutions to the familiar problems of our age will surely arise.

For at its heart, such nation-building is a process of investment in the nation’s people and in the infrastructure, both economic and political, that we need to rule ourselves. It allows us to identify the real obstacles in our domestic constitution to the revival of our collective public life, emphasising equal citizenship over narcissistic identity and ethnic or religious divides. And, crucially, nation-building is inherently internationalist — as opposed to cosmopolitan and intergovernmental. After all, respecting one’s national sovereignty includes, and even depends on, that of others’. Far from being isolationist, then, Brexit remains a huge opportunity to break free from the decaying structures of globalism and Atlanticism, and instead to make friends not only with the restive peoples of Europe, but also with the rising powers of the Global South.

On the seventh anniversary of that great ballot box rebellion, the mainstream of British politics presents a terminally sad spectacle: obsessing over the foolish misdemeanours of failed leaders, while the government-in-waiting confirms its willingness simply to go back to following EU rules, only now without any say in the making of them. What few seem able to imagine is what was still obscure to me when I momentarily regretted being on the winning side that morning in 2016. The majority of voters were demanding that they too were represented at the feast. In so doing, they laid the basis for a new project of national sovereignty. It is by its nature a most invigorating project — if we are willing to embrace it.


Peter Ramsay is Professor of Law at the London School of Economics and the co-author of Taking Control: Sovereignty and Democracy After Brexit.

peteray21

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Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
10 months ago

This is one of the best articles I’ve read on Brexit. Career politicians, which sadly these days is almost all of them, adapted to a world where the EU was a smokescreen, an excuse, the Bad Guy, but was basically the environment they evolved within. Without it, they’re like fish gasping when the riverbed dries.
The author is correct about so many things that I’m optimistic he’s right also when he talks of it being an opportunity for an invigorating project of national renewal.

Pat Rowles
Pat Rowles
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

I thought so, too. To others with whom it struck a chord, I recommend this very amusing Low Status Opinions blog article, wherein the author likens the outcome to what happens when parents (the government) offer their kids (the electorate) a choice between hand-carved wooden toys (Remain) and a PlayStation (Leave) as Christmas presents.

Last edited 10 months ago by Pat Rowles
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rowles

If you need any reminding about just how unpleasant the Remain lobby actually is I suggest you take a look at the cover of the New European next time you are in the supermarket

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rowles

Somehow I can’t see that as a valid comparison..

Pat Rowles
Pat Rowles
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You could be right, but have you read the article? Spoiler: it hadn’t occurred to the parents that the kids would go for the PlayStation. After much stalling and prevaricating, they eventually and grumpily secure a substandard version of it, at which point the kids ask, “So where are the games?”, and the parents reply: –

Games?? What do you mean, games? There are no games. Games are expensive. We haven’t got money to spend on games. We might have if we hadn’t wasted it all on a PlayStation. But we did. And now we’ve run out of money. And it’s all your fault.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rowles

I didn’t like the comparison there either.. but you may have a point.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rowles

Brexit is more like the kids growing up and resenting the Parents (EU/Govt) treating them still like Children. Which is probably why the younger generation are Woke, they’ve been infantalised even more than previous generations. A year of work in a role that keeps the country alive might sort many out.
So I believe there is now a class war in progress. The Left wanted one and they’ve now got one BUT not on the terms they expected. During lockdown we only survived because the ‘Working Class’ kept on working, our bins got emptied and our supermarket shelves got filled. No ‘lockdown’ or ‘work from home’ for those people in their tens of thousands.
The younger ones were probably also the people who flocked to the beaches in the summer and were ‘condemned’ for it and accused of spreading death!
The fact they’d had to work through lockdown and met all the rest of the population and they still weren’t dying off in their thousands informed them of the reality of Covid. Then the authorities believing that Covid was so clever that it wouldn’t turn up at BLM rallies so they went ahead with effective sanctioning from our rulers wasn’t lost on them.
Brexit was about telling our rulers who always blamed the EU for the insatiable desire to control everything, ‘Get stuffed.’
Now I believe we are witnessing the next stage in that revolt AND as I mentioned earlier, it ain’t Brexit now. Now it’s Net Zero (ULEZ may be the first major action of that revolt). Though don’t expect the lessons of Brexit/Lockdown not to be remembered. The Govt, NHS, Police, Education System Civil Service, BoE, Treasury, NONE of them are our friends or allies.
Whether the next GE is the Net Zero one is moot. BUT IF it isn’t the one after will be if our rulers don’t do a Boris and bin it to save their skins.
We saw the start of it at Canning Town Tube Station when Extinction Rebellion, in the absence of Police protection, were subject to the instant judgement of workers/commuters. They pulled them down and sorted it.
The streets clogging with Just Stop Oil protesters are also witnessing citizen action when the police aren’t there to protect the protesters. In fact it is slowly dawning on our elite that the Police better do something because more and more inconvenienced workers will if they don’t.
The battle to leave the EU is over. The war to eradicate our out of touch elite isn’t, and Net Zero is were it really begins.
I’m on the side of the workers – I have an LGV licence, and the hoops one has to go through to keep one of those are beyond belief. Ask any LGV/HGV driver & he will tell you, we won’t be driving electric arctics by 2030, probably not even by 2050, though I suspect then it will because Net Zero has been kicked into touch so to speak.
The number of times I’ve heard an owner/driver effectively losing all his days profits in fines/charges for inadvertently straying into one or other of the London charging zones perhaps even for only a few yards at a roundabout is shocking. Brexit is nostalgia for remainers, annihilating any Government who aims for Net Zero is almost certainly the next battle ground only this time, there is no EU at our leaders backs. They are too busy fighting their own internal Net Zero battles.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

IF you want to see Doomberg & Energy analysts take on this, watch this. Which, interestingly mentions migration, political change and potential violence in bringing it about.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDYtMvf0aKI
I can’t also do anything but crow that Doomberg’s comments matching mine re Net Zero – Global Warming -> Climate Change are year’s behind my pointing that out. Tho’ Doomberg is ahead of me in the next evolution of the Green’s propaganda descriptions so wait for Climate Change -> Energy usage.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Simple
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

“The war to eradicate our out of touch elite’”
Hear, hear

Last edited 10 months ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

IF you want to see Doomberg & Energy analysts take on this, watch this. Which, interestingly mentions migration, political change and potential violence in bringing it about.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDYtMvf0aKI
I can’t also do anything but crow that Doomberg’s comments matching mine re Net Zero – Global Warming -> Climate Change are year’s behind my pointing that out. Tho’ Doomberg is ahead of me in the next evolution of the Green’s propaganda descriptions so wait for Climate Change -> Energy usage.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Simple
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

“The war to eradicate our out of touch elite’”
Hear, hear

Last edited 10 months ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rowles

I didn’t like the comparison there either.. but you may have a point.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rowles

Brexit is more like the kids growing up and resenting the Parents (EU/Govt) treating them still like Children. Which is probably why the younger generation are Woke, they’ve been infantalised even more than previous generations. A year of work in a role that keeps the country alive might sort many out.
So I believe there is now a class war in progress. The Left wanted one and they’ve now got one BUT not on the terms they expected. During lockdown we only survived because the ‘Working Class’ kept on working, our bins got emptied and our supermarket shelves got filled. No ‘lockdown’ or ‘work from home’ for those people in their tens of thousands.
The younger ones were probably also the people who flocked to the beaches in the summer and were ‘condemned’ for it and accused of spreading death!
The fact they’d had to work through lockdown and met all the rest of the population and they still weren’t dying off in their thousands informed them of the reality of Covid. Then the authorities believing that Covid was so clever that it wouldn’t turn up at BLM rallies so they went ahead with effective sanctioning from our rulers wasn’t lost on them.
Brexit was about telling our rulers who always blamed the EU for the insatiable desire to control everything, ‘Get stuffed.’
Now I believe we are witnessing the next stage in that revolt AND as I mentioned earlier, it ain’t Brexit now. Now it’s Net Zero (ULEZ may be the first major action of that revolt). Though don’t expect the lessons of Brexit/Lockdown not to be remembered. The Govt, NHS, Police, Education System Civil Service, BoE, Treasury, NONE of them are our friends or allies.
Whether the next GE is the Net Zero one is moot. BUT IF it isn’t the one after will be if our rulers don’t do a Boris and bin it to save their skins.
We saw the start of it at Canning Town Tube Station when Extinction Rebellion, in the absence of Police protection, were subject to the instant judgement of workers/commuters. They pulled them down and sorted it.
The streets clogging with Just Stop Oil protesters are also witnessing citizen action when the police aren’t there to protect the protesters. In fact it is slowly dawning on our elite that the Police better do something because more and more inconvenienced workers will if they don’t.
The battle to leave the EU is over. The war to eradicate our out of touch elite isn’t, and Net Zero is were it really begins.
I’m on the side of the workers – I have an LGV licence, and the hoops one has to go through to keep one of those are beyond belief. Ask any LGV/HGV driver & he will tell you, we won’t be driving electric arctics by 2030, probably not even by 2050, though I suspect then it will because Net Zero has been kicked into touch so to speak.
The number of times I’ve heard an owner/driver effectively losing all his days profits in fines/charges for inadvertently straying into one or other of the London charging zones perhaps even for only a few yards at a roundabout is shocking. Brexit is nostalgia for remainers, annihilating any Government who aims for Net Zero is almost certainly the next battle ground only this time, there is no EU at our leaders backs. They are too busy fighting their own internal Net Zero battles.

Pat Rowles
Pat Rowles
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

You could be right, but have you read the article? Spoiler: it hadn’t occurred to the parents that the kids would go for the PlayStation. After much stalling and prevaricating, they eventually and grumpily secure a substandard version of it, at which point the kids ask, “So where are the games?”, and the parents reply: –

Games?? What do you mean, games? There are no games. Games are expensive. We haven’t got money to spend on games. We might have if we hadn’t wasted it all on a PlayStation. But we did. And now we’ve run out of money. And it’s all your fault.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rowles

Thanks for the blog suggestion Pat. I found that piece (and previous ones) to be quite brilliant. And a good companion piece for this article, which isn’t too bad either!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rowles

If you need any reminding about just how unpleasant the Remain lobby actually is I suggest you take a look at the cover of the New European next time you are in the supermarket

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rowles

Somehow I can’t see that as a valid comparison..

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rowles

Thanks for the blog suggestion Pat. I found that piece (and previous ones) to be quite brilliant. And a good companion piece for this article, which isn’t too bad either!

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Yes, I agree. Superb article. I shall be looking for other articles by Peter Ramsay.
I did my first degree in Government, and a higher degree in Political Theory. The actual practice and processes of government are far harder than theorising about political concepts. People will tend to pass them on to supra-national agencies whenever they can get away with it.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

People will tend to pass them on to supra-national agencies whenever they can get away with it.

That is what USA did hence the people voted for Trump?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Not sure many overseas readers will understand ” Stumped”? Very googly silly mid off owzat middle and leg lbw methinks…

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
10 months ago

As clear as cricket.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
10 months ago

There are not enough cricket metaphors around. They confuse the French particularly, can’t be bad.

Umm that’s meant to be humorous, I don’t really want to horrible to people who don’t understand cricket.

Just in case

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

Agreed. Those who live under Sharia Law will think it refers to amputations.

Mark Phillips
Mark Phillips
10 months ago

As clear as cricket.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
10 months ago

There are not enough cricket metaphors around. They confuse the French particularly, can’t be bad.

Umm that’s meant to be humorous, I don’t really want to horrible to people who don’t understand cricket.

Just in case

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

Agreed. Those who live under Sharia Law will think it refers to amputations.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

People will tend to pass them on to supra-national agencies whenever they can get away with it.

That is what USA did hence the people voted for Trump?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

Not sure many overseas readers will understand ” Stumped”? Very googly silly mid off owzat middle and leg lbw methinks…

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

There is one issue on which I would take issue with the author.
I fear it was a complete loss of confidence in their ability to govern, and their inability to come up with a coherent vision for the future of the country, that persuaded our elites to swallow their reservations and join the EU (or EEC as it was back then) in the first place.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
10 months ago

Maybe economic realities, like joining your greatest trading partner?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago

That was not a sensible response at all.
Before we joined they were not our greatest trading partners. The EEC was first and foremost a protectionist club. The significant majority of our trade was with Australia, New Zealand, the Commonwealth and the rest of the world.
True the British establishment looked jealously at the levels of growth apparently being achieved by EEC member states but it seem to have been something of a mirage.
After we joined the EEC large parts of British industry were wiped out. I have always suspected that British industry, starved of investment following WW2, was to a large extent sheltered by our trade with the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. Joining the EEC exposed us to more modern and efficient competition, and also French practices, which, combined with the development of north Sea oil and its effect on the value of sterling, doomed much of British industry.
I have looked for some research on these issues without success.

Bob Downing
Bob Downing
10 months ago

As far as I could make out, the so-called elite or establishment has never done any real investment in British infrastructure and industry, WWII or not. All the railways were laid by profit-hungry entrepreneurs, who were loathe to fit things like brakes and worry about consequences. Until Marples, roads never figured, and that was at the behest of an ever-faltering motor industry, soon to wither and die for lack of investment and forward ambition. Ditto shipbuilding etc. Anything which made a quick profit and didn’t require overmuch real work, in fact. And once the railways were truly knackered, “we” bought them, made them sort of work then sold them off (along with other national assets). That’s the origin of the so-called elite, ever looking back to a golden age through very distorted spectacles, isn’t it? Are we not simply following the downward slopes of all the previous Empires whose elites likewise lost all reason to exist and dragged their nations down with them?

Bob Downing
BD
Bob Downing
10 months ago

As far as I could make out, the so-called elite or establishment has never done any real investment in British infrastructure and industry, WWII or not. All the railways were laid by profit-hungry entrepreneurs, who were loathe to fit things like brakes and worry about consequences. Until Marples, roads never figured, and that was at the behest of an ever-faltering motor industry, soon to wither and die for lack of investment and forward ambition. Ditto shipbuilding etc. Anything which made a quick profit and didn’t require overmuch real work, in fact. And once the railways were truly knackered, “we” bought them, made them sort of work then sold them off (along with other national assets). That’s the origin of the so-called elite, ever looking back to a golden age through very distorted spectacles, isn’t it? Are we not simply following the downward slopes of all the previous Empires whose elites likewise lost all reason to exist and dragged their nations down with them?

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago

That was not a sensible response at all.
Before we joined they were not our greatest trading partners. The EEC was first and foremost a protectionist club. The significant majority of our trade was with Australia, New Zealand, the Commonwealth and the rest of the world.
True the British establishment looked jealously at the levels of growth apparently being achieved by EEC member states but it seem to have been something of a mirage.
After we joined the EEC large parts of British industry were wiped out. I have always suspected that British industry, starved of investment following WW2, was to a large extent sheltered by our trade with the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. Joining the EEC exposed us to more modern and efficient competition, and also French practices, which, combined with the development of north Sea oil and its effect on the value of sterling, doomed much of British industry.
I have looked for some research on these issues without success.

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
10 months ago

Maybe economic realities, like joining your greatest trading partner?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

In the long run, yes, hopefully.. but the next 20 years will be bumpy I fear..

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Rees-Mogg said 50yrs didn’t he? Albeit not before the referendum.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Yep.. it certainly took Ireland 50 years after its Irexit (from the UK) and we blamed our former (and newly de facto) HQ as well, and yes with justification. Ironically it was JOINING the EU that emancipated us, from your economic ill-treatment ! ..but yes, it took 50 years..

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Indeed, albeit DeValera’s pastoral catholicism had something to do with it too.
Mum’s Irish and lived there myself for some time. We’re all mongrels in reality LO.

Last edited 10 months ago by j watson
Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

How’s the EU Cattle cull going down in Ireland?

j watson
JW
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Indeed, albeit DeValera’s pastoral catholicism had something to do with it too.
Mum’s Irish and lived there myself for some time. We’re all mongrels in reality LO.

Last edited 10 months ago by j watson
Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

How’s the EU Cattle cull going down in Ireland?

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Curious how the only time you believe RM is when he says something you think supports your view.
Brexit is done – we won’t be going back.
It also didn’t matter that we didn’t know the EU – we did know that our rulers were in the main bought, body & soul, by the EU. Who believed any of them when they said “We’ll respect the result” even more so as the results came in.
PS I didn’t realise just how ‘unherd’ one can be on unherd. Where are all the posts I made explaining that people like me were anti-EU for many reasons and didn’t need to know how the EU worked. We knew it would fight (it did & now seeks ‘revenge’) never expected our rulers NOT to fight us all the way. All those comments appear to have been removed. Does one have to pay to comment? IF so tough.
Brexit wasn’t a war, it was a major battle in a war that continues, the next Battle is Net Zero and it is likely to be the one that clears out Westminster’s (remain) OR they’ll do a Boris and do what the winners want. Why? Because Net Zero is going to destroy lives, and that literally. IF you don’t believe that just look at Monbiot and the ‘hunger’ – AND he isn’t even talking about the insanities of the Absolute Zero FIRES report, supposedly to be here in 2050 – 27 years away.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

Believe RM? Quoting him doesn’t indicate that one concurred with his 50yr suggestion. More that he knew all along there’d be little to no immediate benefits and has a timescale so long nobody could attribute anything whilst he, as a protagonist, still around. Evasive mendacity.
I think your confusion on that specific, and the subsequent ramble, suggests you’ll always be looking for next crusade to stoke the ego.
Brexit of course isn’t done – Farage and loads of it’s supporters keep saying it’s not been done right. Fact is the vast majority of the ardent Brexiteers are all over the place contradicting each other and you are in amongst that.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

Believe RM? Quoting him doesn’t indicate that one concurred with his 50yr suggestion. More that he knew all along there’d be little to no immediate benefits and has a timescale so long nobody could attribute anything whilst he, as a protagonist, still around. Evasive mendacity.
I think your confusion on that specific, and the subsequent ramble, suggests you’ll always be looking for next crusade to stoke the ego.
Brexit of course isn’t done – Farage and loads of it’s supporters keep saying it’s not been done right. Fact is the vast majority of the ardent Brexiteers are all over the place contradicting each other and you are in amongst that.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Yep.. it certainly took Ireland 50 years after its Irexit (from the UK) and we blamed our former (and newly de facto) HQ as well, and yes with justification. Ironically it was JOINING the EU that emancipated us, from your economic ill-treatment ! ..but yes, it took 50 years..

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Curious how the only time you believe RM is when he says something you think supports your view.
Brexit is done – we won’t be going back.
It also didn’t matter that we didn’t know the EU – we did know that our rulers were in the main bought, body & soul, by the EU. Who believed any of them when they said “We’ll respect the result” even more so as the results came in.
PS I didn’t realise just how ‘unherd’ one can be on unherd. Where are all the posts I made explaining that people like me were anti-EU for many reasons and didn’t need to know how the EU worked. We knew it would fight (it did & now seeks ‘revenge’) never expected our rulers NOT to fight us all the way. All those comments appear to have been removed. Does one have to pay to comment? IF so tough.
Brexit wasn’t a war, it was a major battle in a war that continues, the next Battle is Net Zero and it is likely to be the one that clears out Westminster’s (remain) OR they’ll do a Boris and do what the winners want. Why? Because Net Zero is going to destroy lives, and that literally. IF you don’t believe that just look at Monbiot and the ‘hunger’ – AND he isn’t even talking about the insanities of the Absolute Zero FIRES report, supposedly to be here in 2050 – 27 years away.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Rees-Mogg said 50yrs didn’t he? Albeit not before the referendum.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

LOL.
Sure. What are you going to do about Blackpool?
Make Spanish vacations illegal?!
The British people (holding politicians to account – right?) had the chance in 2005 to punish the 2 political parties that institutionally supported the Iraq War and award the one party that institutionally opposed it. Remind me how did they vote?!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

It will serve us right when Iraq takes revenge for that atrocity

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

The majority of the British People are too busy with their daily lives supporting families etc to bother with the posturing and the international interests of the likes of Blair. As Clinton said “It’s the economy stupid!”

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

It will serve us right when Iraq takes revenge for that atrocity

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

The majority of the British People are too busy with their daily lives supporting families etc to bother with the posturing and the international interests of the likes of Blair. As Clinton said “It’s the economy stupid!”

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

“The Eurosceptics had pretended their chief enemy was in Brussels when in truth it was at home”
For an undecided voter who became extremely pro Brexit over the past years, infuriated by the duplicity and undemocratic tactics of this elite, this part hit home.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

If the EU was such a good idea why didn’t Switzerland join? How many people know or need to care who the Swiss PM is? None.. that is why Switzerland works..

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
10 months ago

Oh yes, the myth of the solid Swiss banks… Have you heard of Credit Suisse recently? And the Swiss stock market is largely Nestle – that is your economic model?

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
10 months ago

They ride out the problems

Jonathan Andrews
JA
Jonathan Andrews
10 months ago

They ride out the problems

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago

Switzerland (the model that Farage wanted – depending on the day and how drunk he was) is in some ways part of EU. Freedom of movement….follows EU standards on goods and services…etc.

Last edited 10 months ago by Jeremy Smith
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

It did work very well on both the COVID and the GREEN Referendums last Sunday.
Only the original hardcore‘Forest’ Cantons came to a sensible decision.

“William Tell” would weep!

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
10 months ago

Oh yes, the myth of the solid Swiss banks… Have you heard of Credit Suisse recently? And the Swiss stock market is largely Nestle – that is your economic model?

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago

Switzerland (the model that Farage wanted – depending on the day and how drunk he was) is in some ways part of EU. Freedom of movement….follows EU standards on goods and services…etc.

Last edited 10 months ago by Jeremy Smith
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
10 months ago

It did work very well on both the COVID and the GREEN Referendums last Sunday.
Only the original hardcore‘Forest’ Cantons came to a sensible decision.

“William Tell” would weep!

Last edited 10 months ago by Charles Stanhope
Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

I’m surprised so many find this news! I find it rather vague and missing what I thought was obvious with nothing new but some old knowledge refurbished so to speak. Like rewriting Shakespeare in modern language.
All Empires rule their colonies by maintaining in power a native elite that depends upon them for their power – The EU effectively did that – come on Rome did it 2000 years ago! Why is that news?
Peter Hitchens has for many years explained how Blair destroyed the English State and rebuilt it is the image of a vassal state of the EU proto empire. He often says that unless we dismantle it we will never get the British State as we would want it back.
That the puppet rulers will fight for the status quo isn’t news either, we saw them do it before even the referendum question was defined.
That they need clearing out is also known, but sadly the Brexit Party leadership blinked first and handed over the torch to Boris. Interesting was the fact that I emailed 50 of their candidates (all the ones I could find) complaining and of all those that replied, not all 50, not one failed to say they felt betrayed by the leadership who told them to stand down.
Even my pointing out that BBC data on brexit voting by constituency showed that IF every Brexiteer voted for the Brexit party they would have won 410 seats – landslide way beyond Boris, AND not seen for over century.
FPTP holds that hope out, PR will only disappoint as it leads to coalitions. Imagine never having annihilated Major’s Tories? He might still be active instead of whinging from the sidelines! Did Blair jump before he was pushed by FPTP? Then look at the Lib-Dem experience in 2010. The only voters to get what they wanted. A coalition. Then next GE having realised that coalitions mean horse trading and NOT the minor party telling the big one what to do, the Lib-Dems were annihilated.
The irony is that the reason we need to clear out the Augean stable of the Commons is no longer Brexit. A far deadlier issue has every Westminster Party in thrall. The EU too, and it arguably has changed the world already, Putin’s war being an attempt to take advantage of the insane situation the ideology produced in 2021/22. That ideology is Net Zero.
It is impossible and insane. How anyone can read the FIRES report, in particular the graphic on P6 and believe that the ‘Absolute Zero’ criteria required in 2050 (27 years away) aren’t going to produce mass starvation in the UK alone, need their heads examining.
So lets try and get FPTP to clear out not just the Tories but all of the Commons by all simply voting for Reform. IF all they do is scrap Net Zero then that would be the greatest achievement of any party over the last 20 years as it would literally save us from starvation. And solve the issue the article worries about, removing the obstacles to remaking the Nation State’s politics. Another plus? We could all forget about Brexit.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Yep..it is a cracking article.
Nearer Goodhart’s ‘Somewheres v Anywheres’ model of 21st Century politics, which I think far better describes the reality of the world and the things driving it now than the well outdated idea of ‘Left v Right’.

Jeff Watkins
Jeff Watkins
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Agree with you. One of the best articles I’ve read on the progress of Brexit. Surely the next stage will be the introduction of PR and a series of referenda to reset this country on course for the next 20 Years. Referenda on such issues as euthanasia, immigration, leaving NATO etc.

Pat Rowles
Pat Rowles
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

I thought so, too. To others with whom it struck a chord, I recommend this very amusing Low Status Opinions blog article, wherein the author likens the outcome to what happens when parents (the government) offer their kids (the electorate) a choice between hand-carved wooden toys (Remain) and a PlayStation (Leave) as Christmas presents.

Last edited 10 months ago by Pat Rowles
Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Yes, I agree. Superb article. I shall be looking for other articles by Peter Ramsay.
I did my first degree in Government, and a higher degree in Political Theory. The actual practice and processes of government are far harder than theorising about political concepts. People will tend to pass them on to supra-national agencies whenever they can get away with it.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

There is one issue on which I would take issue with the author.
I fear it was a complete loss of confidence in their ability to govern, and their inability to come up with a coherent vision for the future of the country, that persuaded our elites to swallow their reservations and join the EU (or EEC as it was back then) in the first place.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

In the long run, yes, hopefully.. but the next 20 years will be bumpy I fear..

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

LOL.
Sure. What are you going to do about Blackpool?
Make Spanish vacations illegal?!
The British people (holding politicians to account – right?) had the chance in 2005 to punish the 2 political parties that institutionally supported the Iraq War and award the one party that institutionally opposed it. Remind me how did they vote?!

Samir Iker
SI
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

“The Eurosceptics had pretended their chief enemy was in Brussels when in truth it was at home”
For an undecided voter who became extremely pro Brexit over the past years, infuriated by the duplicity and undemocratic tactics of this elite, this part hit home.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

If the EU was such a good idea why didn’t Switzerland join? How many people know or need to care who the Swiss PM is? None.. that is why Switzerland works..

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

I’m surprised so many find this news! I find it rather vague and missing what I thought was obvious with nothing new but some old knowledge refurbished so to speak. Like rewriting Shakespeare in modern language.
All Empires rule their colonies by maintaining in power a native elite that depends upon them for their power – The EU effectively did that – come on Rome did it 2000 years ago! Why is that news?
Peter Hitchens has for many years explained how Blair destroyed the English State and rebuilt it is the image of a vassal state of the EU proto empire. He often says that unless we dismantle it we will never get the British State as we would want it back.
That the puppet rulers will fight for the status quo isn’t news either, we saw them do it before even the referendum question was defined.
That they need clearing out is also known, but sadly the Brexit Party leadership blinked first and handed over the torch to Boris. Interesting was the fact that I emailed 50 of their candidates (all the ones I could find) complaining and of all those that replied, not all 50, not one failed to say they felt betrayed by the leadership who told them to stand down.
Even my pointing out that BBC data on brexit voting by constituency showed that IF every Brexiteer voted for the Brexit party they would have won 410 seats – landslide way beyond Boris, AND not seen for over century.
FPTP holds that hope out, PR will only disappoint as it leads to coalitions. Imagine never having annihilated Major’s Tories? He might still be active instead of whinging from the sidelines! Did Blair jump before he was pushed by FPTP? Then look at the Lib-Dem experience in 2010. The only voters to get what they wanted. A coalition. Then next GE having realised that coalitions mean horse trading and NOT the minor party telling the big one what to do, the Lib-Dems were annihilated.
The irony is that the reason we need to clear out the Augean stable of the Commons is no longer Brexit. A far deadlier issue has every Westminster Party in thrall. The EU too, and it arguably has changed the world already, Putin’s war being an attempt to take advantage of the insane situation the ideology produced in 2021/22. That ideology is Net Zero.
It is impossible and insane. How anyone can read the FIRES report, in particular the graphic on P6 and believe that the ‘Absolute Zero’ criteria required in 2050 (27 years away) aren’t going to produce mass starvation in the UK alone, need their heads examining.
So lets try and get FPTP to clear out not just the Tories but all of the Commons by all simply voting for Reform. IF all they do is scrap Net Zero then that would be the greatest achievement of any party over the last 20 years as it would literally save us from starvation. And solve the issue the article worries about, removing the obstacles to remaking the Nation State’s politics. Another plus? We could all forget about Brexit.

Ted Ditchburn
Ted Ditchburn
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Yep..it is a cracking article.
Nearer Goodhart’s ‘Somewheres v Anywheres’ model of 21st Century politics, which I think far better describes the reality of the world and the things driving it now than the well outdated idea of ‘Left v Right’.

Jeff Watkins
JW
Jeff Watkins
10 months ago
Reply to  Seb Dakin

Agree with you. One of the best articles I’ve read on the progress of Brexit. Surely the next stage will be the introduction of PR and a series of referenda to reset this country on course for the next 20 Years. Referenda on such issues as euthanasia, immigration, leaving NATO etc.

Seb Dakin
Seb Dakin
10 months ago

This is one of the best articles I’ve read on Brexit. Career politicians, which sadly these days is almost all of them, adapted to a world where the EU was a smokescreen, an excuse, the Bad Guy, but was basically the environment they evolved within. Without it, they’re like fish gasping when the riverbed dries.
The author is correct about so many things that I’m optimistic he’s right also when he talks of it being an opportunity for an invigorating project of national renewal.

Joel Dungate
Joel Dungate
10 months ago

Excellent article. Brexit was not just a technical thing, it was the start of a process of properly re-democratising our nation. Unfortunately, our technocratically minded elites have failed (perhaps wilfully?) to recognise this.

Favid Gorman
FG
Favid Gorman
10 months ago
Reply to  Joel Dungate

This is a very good article but it doesn’t follow through on its central premise. Brexit is an impossibility to implement. It’s like Marxism, it’s a theory not a practice. Saying these are not the politicians is not an excuse, it’s a reason it will never be implemented because there will never be the politicians

Sam Charles Norton
Sam Charles Norton
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

Brexit has been implemented. The UK is no longer a member state of the European Union.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

I think rather the European Union will never be implemented…..but will fall apart on the rocks of fiscal/welfare integration and war

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago

…that’s just wishful thinking I’m afraid.. the nation falling apart is the UK (politically, economically, with services failures etc.).
Furthermore, the UK is already at war as the major supporter of Ukraine (+ Overlord US) with EU states reluctantly involved and, as a happy result, well behind GB’s crazy proxy war!

Mike MacPhee
Mike MacPhee
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The UK is doing badly but better than the EU. Ireland, with its innovative beggar thy neighbour tax policies, is thriving nicely though

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike MacPhee

Wrong. The UK is the poorest performer of the G7.

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike MacPhee

Wrong. The UK is the poorest performer of the G7.

Mike MacPhee
Mike MacPhee
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The UK is doing badly but better than the EU. Ireland, with its innovative beggar thy neighbour tax policies, is thriving nicely though

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago

…that’s just wishful thinking I’m afraid.. the nation falling apart is the UK (politically, economically, with services failures etc.).
Furthermore, the UK is already at war as the major supporter of Ukraine (+ Overlord US) with EU states reluctantly involved and, as a happy result, well behind GB’s crazy proxy war!

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

Sadly you are correct.. the reason so many nations are queuing up to join BRICS is because in today’s world, countries the size of the UK (and even much bigger!) cannot go it alone..
Throughout history, countries got bigger and bigger either through conquest or alignment because small (or medium) on your own is not an option; and that is true today more than ever!
Opting to be the US’s 51st state might be the most realistic option. A better option than its ccurrent vassal status perhaps?

Mike MacPhee
MM
Mike MacPhee
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, Chile, Estonia, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam… all seem to suggest you are wrong/ oversimplifying. Joining a protectionist club doesn’t make you a long term winner.

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike MacPhee

If HALF of your exports go to that club maybe your glib conclusion is incorrect.

Walter Schwager
Walter Schwager
10 months ago
Reply to  Mike MacPhee

If HALF of your exports go to that club maybe your glib conclusion is incorrect.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Opting to be the US’s 51st state might be the most realistic option.

I would love to see the UK campaign led by Nigel Farage to join USA. LOL

Last edited 10 months ago by Jeremy Smith
Mike MacPhee
Mike MacPhee
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, Chile, Estonia, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam… all seem to suggest you are wrong/ oversimplifying. Joining a protectionist club doesn’t make you a long term winner.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

Opting to be the US’s 51st state might be the most realistic option.

I would love to see the UK campaign led by Nigel Farage to join USA. LOL

Last edited 10 months ago by Jeremy Smith
Sam Charles Norton
SN
Sam Charles Norton
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

Brexit has been implemented. The UK is no longer a member state of the European Union.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

I think rather the European Union will never be implemented…..but will fall apart on the rocks of fiscal/welfare integration and war

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

Sadly you are correct.. the reason so many nations are queuing up to join BRICS is because in today’s world, countries the size of the UK (and even much bigger!) cannot go it alone..
Throughout history, countries got bigger and bigger either through conquest or alignment because small (or medium) on your own is not an option; and that is true today more than ever!
Opting to be the US’s 51st state might be the most realistic option. A better option than its ccurrent vassal status perhaps?

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Joel Dungate

Shall dumping the FPP voting system be the next? A system which allows a party unpopular with 60% of voters to win an election with just 40% of the vote (or even less!) to govern isn’t really very democratic is it? ..especially if the 60% (say 25%+35%) are a lot closer to each other..
In Ireland we have a TV system which allows the 60% (FF, FG to keep the 40%, ie SF) out of government.. a more democratic system surely since Sinn Féin are deeply unpopular with the centre Left (FF) and centre right (FG) voters.

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Joel Dungate

Please do explain how Brexit has so far democratised our nation.
While you’re at it, perhaps you can explain how, for example, binning 4,000 pieces of EU based legislation en masse with barely a shred of parliamentary scrutiny serves that end.
I’m not arguing that the country’s governance didn’t need a kick up the pants. I’m just asking you to explain how this particular kick up the pants helped.

Walter Marvell
WM
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Kemi is not torching all. She is keeping the good and junking the bad. Keep up!

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Ha ha.

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Ha ha.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

“binning 4,000 pieces of EU based legislation en masse with barely a shred of parliamentary scrutiny”
I think the problem is that there wasn’t much parliamentary scrutiny of EU legislation to begin with when they were imposed

George Venning
GV
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Even if true (which it isn’t unless you imagined that the UK was unrepresented in the EU) junking it all without scrutiny isn’t actually an improvement though, is it?

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Why not? It’s like chucking out the rubbish in your garage, scrap it and see who whinges. Scrapping the bans of misshapen veg worked brilliantly – so much so that after denying there was ever rules of how bendy bananas could be , the scrapping of the legislation was heralded as a triumph of sense.
Then there were all those butter, beef etc mountains, and the wine and oil lakes. I doubt there is a single piece of legislation in those laws that did anything other than make what already existed in terms of ways of working or ways of trading anything but harder.

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

“It’s like chucking out the rubbish in your garage, scrap it and see who whinges”

No, it really isn’t. Because the rubbish in your garage is in your garage – it isn’t being used.

The Government’s proposal was to get rid of all the legislation that originated in the EU. That was the criterion, not whether it was in use or, indeed useful, simply where it originated.

Which is more akin to getting rid of all the plumbing in your house that was installed by that jerk plumber who you think ripped you off.

Can you see the problem? He might have been a jerk, he might well have overcharged you and he might well have put some stuff in that wasn’t necessary. But some of what he put in might be useful. Some of it might be keeping the water flowing to your taps and taking the sewage away.

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Simple

“It’s like chucking out the rubbish in your garage, scrap it and see who whinges”

No, it really isn’t. Because the rubbish in your garage is in your garage – it isn’t being used.

The Government’s proposal was to get rid of all the legislation that originated in the EU. That was the criterion, not whether it was in use or, indeed useful, simply where it originated.

Which is more akin to getting rid of all the plumbing in your house that was installed by that jerk plumber who you think ripped you off.

Can you see the problem? He might have been a jerk, he might well have overcharged you and he might well have put some stuff in that wasn’t necessary. But some of what he put in might be useful. Some of it might be keeping the water flowing to your taps and taking the sewage away.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Why not? It’s like chucking out the rubbish in your garage, scrap it and see who whinges. Scrapping the bans of misshapen veg worked brilliantly – so much so that after denying there was ever rules of how bendy bananas could be , the scrapping of the legislation was heralded as a triumph of sense.
Then there were all those butter, beef etc mountains, and the wine and oil lakes. I doubt there is a single piece of legislation in those laws that did anything other than make what already existed in terms of ways of working or ways of trading anything but harder.

George Venning
GV
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Even if true (which it isn’t unless you imagined that the UK was unrepresented in the EU) junking it all without scrutiny isn’t actually an improvement though, is it?

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

They were implemented with barely any parliamentary scrutiny, and given the standard of EU legislation and the crazy things it covered – curvature of bananas one of the classics (usually denied by Europhiles, BUT a fact) , i doubt it would be even missed.

Walter Marvell
WM
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Kemi is not torching all. She is keeping the good and junking the bad. Keep up!

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

“binning 4,000 pieces of EU based legislation en masse with barely a shred of parliamentary scrutiny”
I think the problem is that there wasn’t much parliamentary scrutiny of EU legislation to begin with when they were imposed

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

They were implemented with barely any parliamentary scrutiny, and given the standard of EU legislation and the crazy things it covered – curvature of bananas one of the classics (usually denied by Europhiles, BUT a fact) , i doubt it would be even missed.

Favid Gorman
FG
Favid Gorman
10 months ago
Reply to  Joel Dungate

This is a very good article but it doesn’t follow through on its central premise. Brexit is an impossibility to implement. It’s like Marxism, it’s a theory not a practice. Saying these are not the politicians is not an excuse, it’s a reason it will never be implemented because there will never be the politicians

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Joel Dungate

Shall dumping the FPP voting system be the next? A system which allows a party unpopular with 60% of voters to win an election with just 40% of the vote (or even less!) to govern isn’t really very democratic is it? ..especially if the 60% (say 25%+35%) are a lot closer to each other..
In Ireland we have a TV system which allows the 60% (FF, FG to keep the 40%, ie SF) out of government.. a more democratic system surely since Sinn Féin are deeply unpopular with the centre Left (FF) and centre right (FG) voters.

George Venning
GV
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  Joel Dungate

Please do explain how Brexit has so far democratised our nation.
While you’re at it, perhaps you can explain how, for example, binning 4,000 pieces of EU based legislation en masse with barely a shred of parliamentary scrutiny serves that end.
I’m not arguing that the country’s governance didn’t need a kick up the pants. I’m just asking you to explain how this particular kick up the pants helped.

Joel Dungate
Joel Dungate
10 months ago

Excellent article. Brexit was not just a technical thing, it was the start of a process of properly re-democratising our nation. Unfortunately, our technocratically minded elites have failed (perhaps wilfully?) to recognise this.

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago

What an excellent article.
“As a result, I knew that the Eurosceptics, who had just won the referendum, did not understand the EU at all. The institution was not, as many Leave campaigners presented it, a foreign superstate that ruled over Britain; it was the way in which the British political, business and professional elites ruled over Britain. It was British ministers and civil servants who made law and policy in the EU, in collaboration with the politicians and bureaucrats of other member states.”

As it happens, I can say that I did in fact understand this to some extent myself, observing in another online argument back at the time that it is obvious, surely, that many MPs do not act as the electorate’s representatives within government; they act as the State’s representatives to the electorate. They are PR men and women, nothing more, whose job it is to package and refine the messaging around policy that has already been decided, well away from anything as toxic and inconvenient as the opinions of the people to whom policy would be subject.

I mention this not in any sense of “told you so” or anything like that, but merely to say that if it had occurred to me, then it is surely certain that it had occurred to millions of other voters too. Doubtless it might have been expressed differently, but the truth is that either way on 23rd June 2016 the referendum distilled into a binary choice an opportunity to express colossal dissatisfaction with the manner in which successive generations of politicians had happily taken the perks and privileges of office, but hid behind the skirts of Brussels any time they were faced with the consequences of unpopular policy.

Or to put it another way, just because the voters may not have understood WHY there was a democratic deficit, does not mean that the democratic deficit did not exist. It did exist, and anyone who says otherwise is either stupid or telling lies.

Anyway, I have just bought this man’s book and look forward to reading what else he has to say.

Last edited 10 months ago by John Riordan
Paul Walsh
PW
Paul Walsh
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Was thinking the same on the book front. Think it is the first sensible article I have read on why many of us voted for Brexit and how it is misrepresented by a lot of Remain and Leave politicians. Good government and accountability would be nice, nobody else to blame now.

Favid Gorman
Favid Gorman
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Walsh

But would you now say, it is a dream that is impossible to implement and was never possible to implement and consequently a complete waste of time – a vanity project, like Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour

Stevie K
Stevie K
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

Your two comments look very much like clutching at straws. As the article notes, any major change in governance after forty years will, self evidently, create serious challenges with the potential for profound long term benefits, that is exactly what I knowingly voted for. The dream of a utopian European superstate is very much in the process of being dragged down by its papered over contradictions. Welcome to the bracing fresh air of reality.

Last edited 10 months ago by Stevie K
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

There are a large number of self-governing nations on this planet – so it’s hard to see how you can describe the aspiration to join them as ‘impossible to implement’. Perhaps Brexit is impossible for our useless governing class to implement but then, seemingly, so is everything else.

Jeremy Smith
JS
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

democratically elected by the people. Mark Francois is not beamed from space.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

democratically elected by the people. Mark Francois is not beamed from space.

Paul Walsh
PW
Paul Walsh
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

No. It has been implemented. Just needs to be improved upon.

Stevie K
SK
Stevie K
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

Your two comments look very much like clutching at straws. As the article notes, any major change in governance after forty years will, self evidently, create serious challenges with the potential for profound long term benefits, that is exactly what I knowingly voted for. The dream of a utopian European superstate is very much in the process of being dragged down by its papered over contradictions. Welcome to the bracing fresh air of reality.

Last edited 10 months ago by Stevie K
Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

There are a large number of self-governing nations on this planet – so it’s hard to see how you can describe the aspiration to join them as ‘impossible to implement’. Perhaps Brexit is impossible for our useless governing class to implement but then, seemingly, so is everything else.

Paul Walsh
Paul Walsh
10 months ago
Reply to  Favid Gorman

No. It has been implemented. Just needs to be improved upon.

Jeremy Smith
JS
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Walsh

I once met a British ski guide/instructor in Austria. His parents had voted Leave because of Freedom of Movement. When he (voted remain) pointed out that he moved to Austria because Freedom of Movement his mommy said “you should go, they shouldn’t come here”.

Paul Walsh
Paul Walsh
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I quite liked freedom of movement myself, although I understand why some didn’t. I tend not to agree with a lot of remain and a lot of leave voters.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

This makes a bunch of universalising assumptions which demonstrate what’s wrong with transcontinental rule. Isn’t it perfectly possible that circumstances in each country were different (even if just at levels of xenophobia)? The demographic pressure in each was unlikely to be the same, and the demographic characteristics of migrants were also different. We just do not need the same rules in every country.

Paul Walsh
PW
Paul Walsh
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I quite liked freedom of movement myself, although I understand why some didn’t. I tend not to agree with a lot of remain and a lot of leave voters.

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

This makes a bunch of universalising assumptions which demonstrate what’s wrong with transcontinental rule. Isn’t it perfectly possible that circumstances in each country were different (even if just at levels of xenophobia)? The demographic pressure in each was unlikely to be the same, and the demographic characteristics of migrants were also different. We just do not need the same rules in every country.

Favid Gorman
FG
Favid Gorman
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Walsh

But would you now say, it is a dream that is impossible to implement and was never possible to implement and consequently a complete waste of time – a vanity project, like Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour

Jeremy Smith
JS
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Walsh

I once met a British ski guide/instructor in Austria. His parents had voted Leave because of Freedom of Movement. When he (voted remain) pointed out that he moved to Austria because Freedom of Movement his mommy said “you should go, they shouldn’t come here”.

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Of course there was a gigantic democratic deficit – both at the level of the nation state and at that of the EU. That is not and was not the question. The question was, will Brexit solve that problem?

And anyone who thought about that for a moment would have realised that Brexit would certainly have torpedoed the nodding globalists in the centre of the British political spectrum – who had been most in favour of remain – but that the beneficiaries would be the Eurosceptic right wing of the Conservative party.

And, I would humbly submit, a halfway sensible person would have realised that that gaggle of poorly housetrained dogs, wasn’t ready for its moment in the sun and wasn’t proposing a set of policies that were either deliverable or appetising.

Because, whilst a “bonfire of red tape” makes a super headline in the Mail, the shine wears off when you realise that red tape is what keeps our food standards miles above those of the US and that getting rid of those regulations to make a “favourable environment for business” leads directly to shit all over the beaches, Grenfell and zero hours contracts.

Brexit didn’t need to mean any of those things but a vote for Brexit in the specific circumstances of this country in 2016 was a vote to empower precisely the sorts of goons who wanted to use it as an opportunity do exactly these things and much worse besides. If you voted for it in the hope of getting anything other than precisely what we have got then you were… how to put this politely… hoodwinked.

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

“And, I would humbly submit…”

Well no, not really. Not at all convincing. And what is this paranoid rubbish about regulation? Are we really to suppose that the Grenfell tragedy in 2017 was the result of reduced regulatory oversight from the Referendum only the year before? Same for zero hours contracts, implemented while we were still in the EU, and the present difficulties with sewage outflows, which are happening under the same regulatory system that we had while EU members?

Honestly what nonsense. As to the rest, you seem to imagine that you and your foresight were able to discern the likely effects of voting for Brexit, then the Tory party losing its majority, fighting over implementing it for four years and then having a pandemic and a war, and then concluding on today’s date that the process of recovery of self-government will go no further.

Ill give you this: you present your nonsense reasonably eloquently, but it is nevertheless complete nonsense.

Last edited 10 months ago by John Riordan
George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I’ll take even a half compliment where I can get it BTL ;¬)
I’m not saying that the specific deregulation that lead to Grenfell was the result of Brexit. Nor zero hours contracts.
What I am saying is that all of those disasters arose form previous, ham-fisted deregulation.
And I am pointing out that the ERG very much considered a huge big bang of deregulation as part of their Brexit dividend. To that end, they wanted to get every single regulation that originated in the EU repealed.
And I am trying to suggest that such an exercise would have lead to more disasters like the ones I cited. I am fully aware that the Govt has now pulled back form it’s original course of mass repealling 4,000 laws and Statutory Instruments and that it has now agreed to check that they don’t do anything useful first. Well that’s a start, sure.
But forgive me if it doesn’t absolutely assuage my fear that babies may get thrown out with bathwater leading to further disasters of this ilk.

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

And, as to having foreseen what transpired since Brexit. Yes, actually I did foresee a great deal of it. Not the war and not the pandemic – obviously – but the Conservative party tearing itself apart? Abso-f*****g-lutely.
How could I foresee this? For the reason I have pointed out. There was a slim majority for a thing called Brexit but absolutely no agreement among those who supported it about what it meant.
Great geniuses like Dan Hanan said that we should leave the EU but still have access to the Single Market and Customs Union whilst also deregulating in ways that would have given us market advantage over other european nations. since that would have totally undermined the whole idea of the common market, it didn’t seem likely that they would agree to it – whatever German auto makers might have thought.

Since that was off the table, it was clear that we were going to have to choose between soft Brexit. (accepting all the EU rules whilst giving up our say in how they were made) and hard Brexit (giving up tariff-free access to the world’s largest single market area in exchange for benefits not yet articulated).

Deciding between those two strategies did indeed split the conservatives right down the middle. A split that they sought to conceal by becoming increasingly vitupertaive towards anyone who even suggested that, you know, maybe they hadn’t thought all this through.

They were saved only because Brexit also represented a giant problem for Labour. The PLP and the membership were overwhelmingly for remain but Labour voters were split right down the middle. Also, as you may recall, the PLP was busily engaged in trying to lose an election so that they could be rid of their detested new leader.

So, no, I did not predict the result of the 2017 election either. But I did see that Brexit was going to royally screw up British politics for years and that it would be damn near impossible to get any of the other things that urgently needed doing, done in the meantime.

John Riordan
JR
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Ok, so basically you are claiming that you could foresee that Brexit would lead to disruption. The problem is that this modest assertion does not then permit your non-sequitur in which you’re effectively arguing that the principle of Brexit – or the manner of its interpretation by the voters – is therefore undermined by events.

I voted for Brexit after a difficult internal debate in 2016, not being sure that it was quite the right thing to do. I could, like you, foresee that it would cause considerable disruption, including a deliberate and vindictive campaign by Brussels to sabotage it. And indeed we have seen that happen – it was hardly difficult to predict. What has happened since though, contrary to your expectations, is that the conduct of the UK’s political class has made me entirely certain that Brexit was the correct course of action. The Europhile political class in the UK has disgraced itself forever, and millions of voters regard them with justified contempt and disgust.

It is of course pretty standard for EU fans to adopt the sort of petty and childish debating techniques in which, having railed against Brexit as the worst thing to happen to the country ever, they then hold it to an impossibly high standard against which any perceived failure or even cost of process is instantly held aloft as proof that they were right. Despite the fact, of course that if a simalar review of EU membership since 1975 was conducted, they’d be in an intellectual hole so deep they’d never climb out of it.

In short, your ability to point to Brexit disruption isn’t the silver bullet you think it is. Millions of Brexit voters knew it was a risk, both politically in terms of creating a potential enemy in Brussels, and economically in terms of upending over 40 years of cosy continental business relationships which would beed to be rapidly replaced by global relationships of uncertain nature. It was a risk that we understood at the time, it was one that was deemed worth taking in 2016, and seven years later I, for one, am more certain than ever that it was the right decision.

George Venning
GV
George Venning
9 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

It’s not a non-sequitur.
And I’m not a dyed in the wool remainer. I’ve voted for eurosceptic parties in the past.
What I’m saying is that there are many different possible forms of Brexit. There may have been, and there may yet be, desirable forms of Brexit BUT the referendum was not going to be a good way to achieve them.
This is because, and let’s go all the way back to the article itself here, the Brexit we were going to get was always going to be the Brexit chosen by the people in Westminster who had been calling for it.
Those people were: John Redwood, Daniel Hanan, Nigel Farrage and their ilk. These people preached a form of Brexit primarily motivated by de-regulation and the desire to gain competitive advantage over Europe by undercutting them. This strategy was not palatable domestically (most people don’t want our labour rights further eroded) nor with Europe, which did not want to offer free trade terms to a country determined to work to lower regulatory standards.
That is, forgive me, a s**t version of Brexit which was doomed to fail.
If you voted for a different kind of Brexit – one where John Redwood and Ian Duncan-Smith and Steve Barclay sat down the day after the referendum and invited the country to participate in a big, open conversation about what kind of country we wanted to be and how it was in the self-interest of Europe to work with us in determining this exciting new course, where the old lefty greybeards worked with the interests of the City to figure out an entirely new settlement. Well… it isn’t what you got, is it?

I’m genuinely sorry you didn’t get it. I’d have liked a new political settlement too. I’d have liked a constitutional convention and a serious conversation about our reliance on immigration and our refusal to build the infrastructure to make that reliance anything other than exploitative. That, and a thousand other things.
But this bunch of Thatcherite headbangers was never, ever, in a million years, going to deliver it.
That was obvious to me. If it wasn’t obvious to you then, you were sold a pup. That must be galling. But it isn’t the fault of the remainer blob, or the EU or anyone else. It is the sole and exclusive fault of the leaders of the Leave campaign who refused to set out nature of the prize they sought to win during the campaign (and thereby deprived themselves and you of a mandate for any specific form of Brexit) and whose viciousness and lawlessness in its aftermath precluded the necessary period of introspection.
They betrayed you. And they were always going to. Screw them.

George Venning
GV
George Venning
9 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

It’s not a non-sequitur.
And I’m not a dyed in the wool remainer. I’ve voted for eurosceptic parties in the past.
What I’m saying is that there are many different possible forms of Brexit. There may have been, and there may yet be, desirable forms of Brexit BUT the referendum was not going to be a good way to achieve them.
This is because, and let’s go all the way back to the article itself here, the Brexit we were going to get was always going to be the Brexit chosen by the people in Westminster who had been calling for it.
Those people were: John Redwood, Daniel Hanan, Nigel Farrage and their ilk. These people preached a form of Brexit primarily motivated by de-regulation and the desire to gain competitive advantage over Europe by undercutting them. This strategy was not palatable domestically (most people don’t want our labour rights further eroded) nor with Europe, which did not want to offer free trade terms to a country determined to work to lower regulatory standards.
That is, forgive me, a s**t version of Brexit which was doomed to fail.
If you voted for a different kind of Brexit – one where John Redwood and Ian Duncan-Smith and Steve Barclay sat down the day after the referendum and invited the country to participate in a big, open conversation about what kind of country we wanted to be and how it was in the self-interest of Europe to work with us in determining this exciting new course, where the old lefty greybeards worked with the interests of the City to figure out an entirely new settlement. Well… it isn’t what you got, is it?

I’m genuinely sorry you didn’t get it. I’d have liked a new political settlement too. I’d have liked a constitutional convention and a serious conversation about our reliance on immigration and our refusal to build the infrastructure to make that reliance anything other than exploitative. That, and a thousand other things.
But this bunch of Thatcherite headbangers was never, ever, in a million years, going to deliver it.
That was obvious to me. If it wasn’t obvious to you then, you were sold a pup. That must be galling. But it isn’t the fault of the remainer blob, or the EU or anyone else. It is the sole and exclusive fault of the leaders of the Leave campaign who refused to set out nature of the prize they sought to win during the campaign (and thereby deprived themselves and you of a mandate for any specific form of Brexit) and whose viciousness and lawlessness in its aftermath precluded the necessary period of introspection.
They betrayed you. And they were always going to. Screw them.

John Riordan
JR
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

Ok, so basically you are claiming that you could foresee that Brexit would lead to disruption. The problem is that this modest assertion does not then permit your non-sequitur in which you’re effectively arguing that the principle of Brexit – or the manner of its interpretation by the voters – is therefore undermined by events.

I voted for Brexit after a difficult internal debate in 2016, not being sure that it was quite the right thing to do. I could, like you, foresee that it would cause considerable disruption, including a deliberate and vindictive campaign by Brussels to sabotage it. And indeed we have seen that happen – it was hardly difficult to predict. What has happened since though, contrary to your expectations, is that the conduct of the UK’s political class has made me entirely certain that Brexit was the correct course of action. The Europhile political class in the UK has disgraced itself forever, and millions of voters regard them with justified contempt and disgust.

It is of course pretty standard for EU fans to adopt the sort of petty and childish debating techniques in which, having railed against Brexit as the worst thing to happen to the country ever, they then hold it to an impossibly high standard against which any perceived failure or even cost of process is instantly held aloft as proof that they were right. Despite the fact, of course that if a simalar review of EU membership since 1975 was conducted, they’d be in an intellectual hole so deep they’d never climb out of it.

In short, your ability to point to Brexit disruption isn’t the silver bullet you think it is. Millions of Brexit voters knew it was a risk, both politically in terms of creating a potential enemy in Brussels, and economically in terms of upending over 40 years of cosy continental business relationships which would beed to be rapidly replaced by global relationships of uncertain nature. It was a risk that we understood at the time, it was one that was deemed worth taking in 2016, and seven years later I, for one, am more certain than ever that it was the right decision.

George Venning
GV
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

I’ll take even a half compliment where I can get it BTL ;¬)
I’m not saying that the specific deregulation that lead to Grenfell was the result of Brexit. Nor zero hours contracts.
What I am saying is that all of those disasters arose form previous, ham-fisted deregulation.
And I am pointing out that the ERG very much considered a huge big bang of deregulation as part of their Brexit dividend. To that end, they wanted to get every single regulation that originated in the EU repealed.
And I am trying to suggest that such an exercise would have lead to more disasters like the ones I cited. I am fully aware that the Govt has now pulled back form it’s original course of mass repealling 4,000 laws and Statutory Instruments and that it has now agreed to check that they don’t do anything useful first. Well that’s a start, sure.
But forgive me if it doesn’t absolutely assuage my fear that babies may get thrown out with bathwater leading to further disasters of this ilk.

George Venning
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

And, as to having foreseen what transpired since Brexit. Yes, actually I did foresee a great deal of it. Not the war and not the pandemic – obviously – but the Conservative party tearing itself apart? Abso-f*****g-lutely.
How could I foresee this? For the reason I have pointed out. There was a slim majority for a thing called Brexit but absolutely no agreement among those who supported it about what it meant.
Great geniuses like Dan Hanan said that we should leave the EU but still have access to the Single Market and Customs Union whilst also deregulating in ways that would have given us market advantage over other european nations. since that would have totally undermined the whole idea of the common market, it didn’t seem likely that they would agree to it – whatever German auto makers might have thought.

Since that was off the table, it was clear that we were going to have to choose between soft Brexit. (accepting all the EU rules whilst giving up our say in how they were made) and hard Brexit (giving up tariff-free access to the world’s largest single market area in exchange for benefits not yet articulated).

Deciding between those two strategies did indeed split the conservatives right down the middle. A split that they sought to conceal by becoming increasingly vitupertaive towards anyone who even suggested that, you know, maybe they hadn’t thought all this through.

They were saved only because Brexit also represented a giant problem for Labour. The PLP and the membership were overwhelmingly for remain but Labour voters were split right down the middle. Also, as you may recall, the PLP was busily engaged in trying to lose an election so that they could be rid of their detested new leader.

So, no, I did not predict the result of the 2017 election either. But I did see that Brexit was going to royally screw up British politics for years and that it would be damn near impossible to get any of the other things that urgently needed doing, done in the meantime.

John Riordan
John Riordan
10 months ago
Reply to  George Venning

“And, I would humbly submit…”

Well no, not really. Not at all convincing. And what is this paranoid rubbish about regulation? Are we really to suppose that the Grenfell tragedy in 2017 was the result of reduced regulatory oversight from the Referendum only the year before? Same for zero hours contracts, implemented while we were still in the EU, and the present difficulties with sewage outflows, which are happening under the same regulatory system that we had while EU members?

Honestly what nonsense. As to the rest, you seem to imagine that you and your foresight were able to discern the likely effects of voting for Brexit, then the Tory party losing its majority, fighting over implementing it for four years and then having a pandemic and a war, and then concluding on today’s date that the process of recovery of self-government will go no further.

Ill give you this: you present your nonsense reasonably eloquently, but it is nevertheless complete nonsense.

Last edited 10 months ago by John Riordan
Jeremy Smith
JS
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Yes, that is why Blackpool voted Leave!

Paul Walsh
Paul Walsh
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Was thinking the same on the book front. Think it is the first sensible article I have read on why many of us voted for Brexit and how it is misrepresented by a lot of Remain and Leave politicians. Good government and accountability would be nice, nobody else to blame now.

George Venning
GV
George Venning
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Of course there was a gigantic democratic deficit – both at the level of the nation state and at that of the EU. That is not and was not the question. The question was, will Brexit solve that problem?

And anyone who thought about that for a moment would have realised that Brexit would certainly have torpedoed the nodding globalists in the centre of the British political spectrum – who had been most in favour of remain – but that the beneficiaries would be the Eurosceptic right wing of the Conservative party.

And, I would humbly submit, a halfway sensible person would have realised that that gaggle of poorly housetrained dogs, wasn’t ready for its moment in the sun and wasn’t proposing a set of policies that were either deliverable or appetising.

Because, whilst a “bonfire of red tape” makes a super headline in the Mail, the shine wears off when you realise that red tape is what keeps our food standards miles above those of the US and that getting rid of those regulations to make a “favourable environment for business” leads directly to shit all over the beaches, Grenfell and zero hours contracts.

Brexit didn’t need to mean any of those things but a vote for Brexit in the specific circumstances of this country in 2016 was a vote to empower precisely the sorts of goons who wanted to use it as an opportunity do exactly these things and much worse besides. If you voted for it in the hope of getting anything other than precisely what we have got then you were… how to put this politely… hoodwinked.

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  John Riordan

Yes, that is why Blackpool voted Leave!

John Riordan
JR
John Riordan
10 months ago

What an excellent article.
“As a result, I knew that the Eurosceptics, who had just won the referendum, did not understand the EU at all. The institution was not, as many Leave campaigners presented it, a foreign superstate that ruled over Britain; it was the way in which the British political, business and professional elites ruled over Britain. It was British ministers and civil servants who made law and policy in the EU, in collaboration with the politicians and bureaucrats of other member states.”

As it happens, I can say that I did in fact understand this to some extent myself, observing in another online argument back at the time that it is obvious, surely, that many MPs do not act as the electorate’s representatives within government; they act as the State’s representatives to the electorate. They are PR men and women, nothing more, whose job it is to package and refine the messaging around policy that has already been decided, well away from anything as toxic and inconvenient as the opinions of the people to whom policy would be subject.

I mention this not in any sense of “told you so” or anything like that, but merely to say that if it had occurred to me, then it is surely certain that it had occurred to millions of other voters too. Doubtless it might have been expressed differently, but the truth is that either way on 23rd June 2016 the referendum distilled into a binary choice an opportunity to express colossal dissatisfaction with the manner in which successive generations of politicians had happily taken the perks and privileges of office, but hid behind the skirts of Brussels any time they were faced with the consequences of unpopular policy.

Or to put it another way, just because the voters may not have understood WHY there was a democratic deficit, does not mean that the democratic deficit did not exist. It did exist, and anyone who says otherwise is either stupid or telling lies.

Anyway, I have just bought this man’s book and look forward to reading what else he has to say.

Last edited 10 months ago by John Riordan
AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago

This article articulates many truths and a new political deal with the electorate is needed. But I’ve argued that the EU is mostly a New Hanseatic League… a protectionist trade union defending the interests of Big Business. So breaking free from the decaying structures of globalism and Atlanticism is the other half of Brexit yet to be undertaken.
We ‘just’ need to break up the monolithic clerisy of the Civil Service, blob, and political parties that are still hankering for the ‘old ways’.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Pretty vague stuff .So we would leave the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations would we?

R Wright
RW
R Wright
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

God willing.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Take back control and treat each case on its merits… and don’t sign up to any treaty that erodes our sovereignty.

John Clinch
John Clinch
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

That’s us out of Nato then. Insane

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clinch

NATO membership doesn’t erode our sovereignty.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

What does it do for us?

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

What does it do for us?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clinch

Maybe not? ..look at North Korea.. it’s doing okay right? ..oh no, even it’s in hock to China! Two more options occur: restore the British empire and dominate the world; or become the US’s 51st state? Not great options though are they? I jest, or do I?

Last edited 10 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
Hugh Bryant
HB
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clinch

NATO membership doesn’t erode our sovereignty.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  John Clinch

Maybe not? ..look at North Korea.. it’s doing okay right? ..oh no, even it’s in hock to China! Two more options occur: restore the British empire and dominate the world; or become the US’s 51st state? Not great options though are they? I jest, or do I?

Last edited 10 months ago by Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

ALL treaties erode sovereignty to some extent just like all agreements require some compromise.. the days of a British Empire lording over its colonies with 95% for it and 5% for the other nation (under the threat of brutal violence and sanctions) are over.
Only the American Empire can do that these days and even it’s hegemonic tyranny is now in decline. The future is BRICS++

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Sure, how much time did the UK parliament spent going over the trade deals that UK GOV signed (Australia, Pacific Deal).
Do you really believe that the MPs truly understand the deals?
Do the voters in Leeds ? How many of them read the documents?

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I read the GFA and many WTO rules whenever remainers claimed Brexit broke any of them. The only thing I could find where something was broken was on page 2 where remain/EU threats of violence IF a border was introduced were used to attack Brexit. Curiously the only people wanting a border were the EU. The UK didn’t need any border AND one of the more amusing stories about it had a photograph of a border with the existing sign directing people to the Customs post. Even more impressive of the EU/Remain breaking of the GFA on P2 was the fact P1 was the table of contents.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Simple
Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

I read the GFA and many WTO rules whenever remainers claimed Brexit broke any of them. The only thing I could find where something was broken was on page 2 where remain/EU threats of violence IF a border was introduced were used to attack Brexit. Curiously the only people wanting a border were the EU. The UK didn’t need any border AND one of the more amusing stories about it had a photograph of a border with the existing sign directing people to the Customs post. Even more impressive of the EU/Remain breaking of the GFA on P2 was the fact P1 was the table of contents.

Last edited 10 months ago by Simon Simple
John Clinch
John Clinch
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

That’s us out of Nato then. Insane

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

ALL treaties erode sovereignty to some extent just like all agreements require some compromise.. the days of a British Empire lording over its colonies with 95% for it and 5% for the other nation (under the threat of brutal violence and sanctions) are over.
Only the American Empire can do that these days and even it’s hegemonic tyranny is now in decline. The future is BRICS++

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Sure, how much time did the UK parliament spent going over the trade deals that UK GOV signed (Australia, Pacific Deal).
Do you really believe that the MPs truly understand the deals?
Do the voters in Leeds ? How many of them read the documents?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Would that the USA also leaves these organizations- the UN truly has lost the plot. It’s nothing more than a club for Third World Nations to shakedown more affluent nations for money. Ditto the WTO. They have lost their purpose.

Last edited 10 months ago by Cathy Carron
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

..and the ECHR as well, presumably?

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

We don’t need the EHCR, Europe needed that, they not having the benefit of the English legal system, common law etc. Which, curiously, we were abandoning as EU members. Probably the only reason we needed the EHCR. Leave it., What input we provided was to save Europe from its legal systems failures in those areas.

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

We don’t need the EHCR, Europe needed that, they not having the benefit of the English legal system, common law etc. Which, curiously, we were abandoning as EU members. Probably the only reason we needed the EHCR. Leave it., What input we provided was to save Europe from its legal systems failures in those areas.

Giselle Brannan
GB
Giselle Brannan
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

.. and the utterly corrupt WHO!

R Wright
R Wright
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

God willing.

AC Harper
AC Harper
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Take back control and treat each case on its merits… and don’t sign up to any treaty that erodes our sovereignty.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Would that the USA also leaves these organizations- the UN truly has lost the plot. It’s nothing more than a club for Third World Nations to shakedown more affluent nations for money. Ditto the WTO. They have lost their purpose.

Last edited 10 months ago by Cathy Carron
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

..and the ECHR as well, presumably?

Giselle Brannan
Giselle Brannan
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

.. and the utterly corrupt WHO!

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

I agree on need for the domestic revolution and overthrow of the pro EU Clerisy. See above. I think it might only be an external shock – the collapse of the EU itself – which might set the liberation train running. After all, Brexiteers are more alert to the structural dysfunction in the EUs currency/fiscal/monetary/North v South set up than snyone else. The U is so vulnerable to Greece type shocks. Economic chaos – sped by its Net Zero madness and the recession caused by rising interest rates and the Russian energy crisis – may well bring an end to the Federal Europe dream our dreadful Remainiacs cling too. Then we all can start again with a fresh and truly democratic alliance of nation states.

John Ramsden
John Ramsden
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

An EU collapse is the last thing a Brexiter should want, because a new one would immediately be formed and the UK government would then have a desperate urge to join it at its inception, and claim that the brand new “UE” would be completely different and far better than the bad old EU!

I voted Brexit mainly due to a feeling that the UK’s national leadership skills were atrophying. Use it or lose it, I argued, and God knows they weren’t that good previously. So it is gratifying that the author has pinpointed this aspect.

Last edited 10 months ago by John Ramsden
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

I agree about how 40 years of EU rule utterly blitzed & atrophied the skills – notably initiative – from HMG. Remember Gove describing how they all sat at desks on Mondays waiting for the Euro Box of Laws to arrive from Brussels? But I cannot ever imagine any further attempt to create a United States of Europe after a crash. It is the politics and dysfunction – the woefully uncompleted currency regime – which will explode that dream. What may follow that armaggedon would surely be a return to a loose non protectionist non regulatory obsessed sensible free trade arrangement which would benefit us all. Enterprise has been suffocated by the EUs precautionary principle & bureaucratism. We all will need enterprise & wealth creation if we ever are to recover from this nightmare.

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Those EU laws were largely…
British laws adopted by the EU or
EU drafted laws with major GB input!
I think you need to read the article again.. and if Michael Gove is your idea of a ‘saviour’ you’re in deeper trouble than ever!

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I loath Gove and the Fake Tories. Everyone here of a Remoany worldview is very quick to assume we all are Identikit Racist Uneducated Isolationist Pro Every Tory Nutters! I simply repeated his observation in response to a great point about how the spark of initiative and innovation was rubbed out in our ‘government’. We had 40 years being passive recipients of laws & Regulations cooled up by our betters in Brussels which largely went onto the statue book without debate. Er democracy?? Yes Brit civil servants or commissioners like the reptilian Mandelson or Fatty Pang Patten were involved over there. But come on – when we wanted urgent temporary control of our own borders in the 2015 migration and pre referendum ‘negotiations’ phase (pretty fundamental), Angela & EU just laughed at Cameron and told us to p*** off. Are you seriously ok with that?

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

He’s in Cork, you might like to ask a Dubliner, as you may get a different answer.

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

He’s in Cork, you might like to ask a Dubliner, as you may get a different answer.

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

That may account for the current insane Net Zero rules the EU has pushed – maybe Brexit is going to hurt the EU more than us. Do you own any cattle by any chance?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

I loath Gove and the Fake Tories. Everyone here of a Remoany worldview is very quick to assume we all are Identikit Racist Uneducated Isolationist Pro Every Tory Nutters! I simply repeated his observation in response to a great point about how the spark of initiative and innovation was rubbed out in our ‘government’. We had 40 years being passive recipients of laws & Regulations cooled up by our betters in Brussels which largely went onto the statue book without debate. Er democracy?? Yes Brit civil servants or commissioners like the reptilian Mandelson or Fatty Pang Patten were involved over there. But come on – when we wanted urgent temporary control of our own borders in the 2015 migration and pre referendum ‘negotiations’ phase (pretty fundamental), Angela & EU just laughed at Cameron and told us to p*** off. Are you seriously ok with that?

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

That may account for the current insane Net Zero rules the EU has pushed – maybe Brexit is going to hurt the EU more than us. Do you own any cattle by any chance?

Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Those EU laws were largely…
British laws adopted by the EU or
EU drafted laws with major GB input!
I think you need to read the article again.. and if Michael Gove is your idea of a ‘saviour’ you’re in deeper trouble than ever!

Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

Yes, because the governance of UK post WW2 was such a success (£ devaluations, suez, IMF bailout, strikes)….EU membership did that!

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

No it wouldn’t, because when it does collapse, great will be the fall thereof and there won’t be anyone willing, or perhaps even able, to fund a recovery. The next battle is over Net Zero, and it is going to occur across the West, and Govts will lose it because Net Zero is impossible and insane. The bad news may be how violent this revolt gets IF Governments don’t back down. Too many EU States lack the democracy needed to sweep away the Green cultists.
Doomberg so often reports on the reality. Even if you don’t want to pay for the full insight with explanations, it’s tasters are often well worth reading.
https://doomberg.substack.com/p/malthusian-malarkey
The 3rd world isn’t having Net Zero (and curiously that is where Brexit Britain is seeking new trade partners) – Europe however,
https://doomberg.substack.com/p/green-is-the-new-red

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

I agree about how 40 years of EU rule utterly blitzed & atrophied the skills – notably initiative – from HMG. Remember Gove describing how they all sat at desks on Mondays waiting for the Euro Box of Laws to arrive from Brussels? But I cannot ever imagine any further attempt to create a United States of Europe after a crash. It is the politics and dysfunction – the woefully uncompleted currency regime – which will explode that dream. What may follow that armaggedon would surely be a return to a loose non protectionist non regulatory obsessed sensible free trade arrangement which would benefit us all. Enterprise has been suffocated by the EUs precautionary principle & bureaucratism. We all will need enterprise & wealth creation if we ever are to recover from this nightmare.

Jeremy Smith
JS
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

Yes, because the governance of UK post WW2 was such a success (£ devaluations, suez, IMF bailout, strikes)….EU membership did that!

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  John Ramsden

No it wouldn’t, because when it does collapse, great will be the fall thereof and there won’t be anyone willing, or perhaps even able, to fund a recovery. The next battle is over Net Zero, and it is going to occur across the West, and Govts will lose it because Net Zero is impossible and insane. The bad news may be how violent this revolt gets IF Governments don’t back down. Too many EU States lack the democracy needed to sweep away the Green cultists.
Doomberg so often reports on the reality. Even if you don’t want to pay for the full insight with explanations, it’s tasters are often well worth reading.
https://doomberg.substack.com/p/malthusian-malarkey
The 3rd world isn’t having Net Zero (and curiously that is where Brexit Britain is seeking new trade partners) – Europe however,
https://doomberg.substack.com/p/green-is-the-new-red

John Ramsden
JR
John Ramsden
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

An EU collapse is the last thing a Brexiter should want, because a new one would immediately be formed and the UK government would then have a desperate urge to join it at its inception, and claim that the brand new “UE” would be completely different and far better than the bad old EU!

I voted Brexit mainly due to a feeling that the UK’s national leadership skills were atrophying. Use it or lose it, I argued, and God knows they weren’t that good previously. So it is gratifying that the author has pinpointed this aspect.

Last edited 10 months ago by John Ramsden
Liam O'Mahony
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

A laudable but sadly impossible task.. can you offer any realistic, tangible suggestions. What you suggest is pie in the sky I fear.

Simon Simple
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The educational blob may be sweating a little as Identarian rants by teachers against pupils, recorded by said pupils and released on social media aren’t exactly revealing the current profession in the same light as good old Chips 😉
The fact that at least one has a teacher suggesting Biology isn’t relevant might make one wonder IF sending pupils out to work at 14 is a better way of educating them.

Simon Simple
SS
Simon Simple
10 months ago
Reply to  Liam O'Mahony

The educational blob may be sweating a little as Identarian rants by teachers against pupils, recorded by said pupils and released on social media aren’t exactly revealing the current profession in the same light as good old Chips 😉
The fact that at least one has a teacher suggesting Biology isn’t relevant might make one wonder IF sending pupils out to work at 14 is a better way of educating them.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Pretty vague stuff .So we would leave the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations would we?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

I agree on need for the domestic revolution and overthrow of the pro EU Clerisy. See above. I think it might only be an external shock – the collapse of the EU itself – which might set the liberation train running. After all, Brexiteers are more alert to the structural dysfunction in the EUs currency/fiscal/monetary/North v South set up than snyone else. The U is so vulnerable to Greece type shocks. Economic chaos – sped by its Net Zero madness and the recession caused by rising interest rates and the Russian energy crisis – may well bring an end to the Federal Europe dream our dreadful Remainiacs cling too. Then we all can start again with a fresh and truly democratic alliance of nation states.

Liam O'Mahony
LO
Liam O'Mahony
10 months ago
Reply to  AC Harper

A laudable but sadly impossible task.. can you offer any realistic, tangible suggestions. What you suggest is pie in the sky I fear.

AC Harper
AH
AC Harper
10 months ago

This article articulates many truths and a new political deal with the electorate is needed. But I’ve argued that the EU is mostly a New Hanseatic League… a protectionist trade union defending the interests of Big Business. So breaking free from the decaying structures of globalism and Atlanticism is the other half of Brexit yet to be undertaken.
We ‘just’ need to break up the monolithic clerisy of the Civil Service, blob, and political parties that are still hankering for the ‘old ways’.

George Sheerin
George Sheerin
10 months ago

At last, some flesh on the bones, for true Brexiteers, and some optimism, a great article.I look forward to reading his co authored book, and recampaining for electoral reform.

Richard 0
Richard 0
10 months ago
Reply to  George Sheerin

Agreed. Excellent article. Refreshing to get this kind of insight: he’s spot on.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard 0

Superb article with so many insights. I can only add two further thoughts. One is architectural – a point I regularly bang away at. Many/most of us had failed to understand that the British State – not just the political classes inhabiting it – had been reshaped in the Blair Revolution to smooth our transition into a compliant EU Province. He set about neutering the power of the nation state and the Executive. The Brexit Project was not just facing the wrath of an EU pension-deprived vengeful political class – but an entire structure of governance designed to frustrate the emergence of powerful national executives. There was a scorched earth..we just failed to see it. So it is not just the deranged Remainiacs (wailing at the threat to their million pound property enrichment) whom we face…we still inhabit a Remainiac EU clone system of technocracy, devoution, quangos, BoE, Supreme Courts and devolution. A herculean task.. but we have – lets pray – decades in principle to re-build. The bigger problem is that Brexit is ultimately a People & Peasant and Provincial Rebellion. It has no leaders or party inside the System. The Tory Party was more Remainer than Brexit anyway (May Cameron Truss Hunt) and our nasty ghastly wfh civil servants have conspired successfully (shamefully) to defenestrate ALL the top 10 Brex ministers for cake and being bullies. Who can and will taje on the immense task of dismantling the vast EU New Order State that overshadows and cripples our society? Cummings knew it would be a dirty War. But he too has gone and the paralysed Fake Tories – first defeated by the Blob – now face electoral defeat as well. Who will use our new freedom to liberate us and reform this corrupt failing state? Who? How? When?

Jeremy Smith
JS
Jeremy Smith
10 months ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Absurd!
People wanted more quangos because they did not trust politicians (short horizons – elections) to do the difficult things.
BofE and its independence is the perfect example.
People (the ones that cared about the issue) looked around and noticed that independent central banks (Bundesbank being the best example) was able to make tough decisions unlike BofE.
You might agree/disagree with that position but it was hardly a conspiracy.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
10 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Smith

Who ever said it was a conspiracy? It was bloodless and open revolution which – yes – was described as a positive ‘modernising’ change to get experts replacing the here today gone tomorrow venal politicos. It sounded just fine! The fact that this constitutional process was encouraged at the very same time – post Lisbon Treaty and New EU – across all EU states (as a way of cementing the power of the Union and dissolving the powers of nation states) was less well understood as we were all bouncing along happily in the new adventure. It is only post a Brexit and an attempt to restore governance by a nation state that this New Order becomes the nightmare that it is, hamstringing executive action. Because it is now VERY clear that these supposed technocrats like Mr 5% Bailey, the cuffed devolution leaders, the hapless water and energy regulators and NHS executives are all absolutely & quite dangerously rubbish – worse than the shite politicos…and very far from non-political with their net zero obsession and cat identities. Disasters are not necessarily caused by conspiracy. They happen in plain sight.