Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Aftermath part 4 - Entitlement to Power

"For all the talk about democracy and Russian interference, I can think of nothing delighting Putin more than a beacon of western freedom, actively seeking to undermine the sanctity of the free vote given to its people in 2016."

Remain MPs are now in open defiance of the government, regardless of party allegiance.

Imagine a battle, within a battle, within a battle. The outer shell simply depicts a conflict about the technical merits of UK membership of the EU. At the next layer, it’s not a discussion of technical arguments but a matter of ideology (nation state Vs the globalist borderless agenda). Yet if we look deeper still, hidden underneath those layers of fat is the beating heart that is driving the biggest political conflict of the post war era - the entitlement to power.

Every man and woman should have the right to make a choice - and to decide on the fundamental matters which impact their lives, without hinderance, interference, threats or falsehoods. Unquestionably, that includes the method of their governance. We should be mature enough now in western culture to ridicule (or even belittle) people who suggest that acts of democracy are a form of tyranny inflicted on others by the ill informed. Democracy in action must be a temperature reading of the entire corpus - not a select handful of overly important cells. It's the type of virtuous politics which western leaders and politicians like to waft in front of dictator nations at global political forums, like some righteous armour.

The Sound of inevitability

Yet on the ground, the well rehearsed ‘all transmit and no-receive, half duplex’ model of democracy that we've seen in action recently hit a major stumbling block in the form of the Brexit vote. 43 years of refusing to accept return communications, actively shutting down opportunities to hear what people have to say on the EEC and EU resulted in the population seizing the first chance to vent their concerns about the institution and our 'on-rails' approach to federalisation. The message coming back was the one many politicians feared above all others. “Leave”. That Mr cameron, was the sound of inevitability.

In a straight-talking western democracy, where the most senior politicians of the land had made both verbal and written promises to enact the result of the referendum, it would be reasonable for people to expect those promises to be fulfilled at face value. Yet here we are over two and a half years later, and the electromagnet of resistance is locked on tight to the vehicle of change that should be driving us to our destination, threatening to tear the machine apart if it dare move another inch. We now have Remain centric politicians, many of whom are members of the governing party, amending vital financial legislation required to empower the government to act in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Pause for a second and think about the sincerity of this move.

This strategy disarms any fallback position of the UK government if the EU proposes a bad deal (hint - it has). Remain backing politicians (many Conservative) are actively working against the UK government, amending legislation to the benefit of the European Union. Amongst this farce, the mainstream media who, far from calling out this extraordinary event for what it truly is (a parliamentary rebellion against the referendum result), seem to be egging the action on as some act of national benevolence.

Let old tropes die

It would be tempting to roll out the old trope of the Westminster bubble here, but I suspect those political miscreants conniving to frustrate Brexit are not unaware of the  people beyond their house of cards drama; they’re entirely mindful of them - in fact, the thought of them probably dominates their every waking moment. These vulgar, half-witted, misguided sub intellectual types who crawled up and out of the drains on the 23rd of June 2016 and dared to stand up and have their say. It sounds as if I'm characterising contempt here - but I don't think I need to. It's clearly demonstrable by their actions in parliament.

From the mouth of the ardent Remainers we hear the well rehearsed, yet now significantly blunted technical arguments, on a loop, skipping like a well scratched 45. In their heart though, it's the federalist ideology that they love so dearly, yet talk about so infrequently for fear of frightening people away with their truest heartfelt desires. Yet masked even to them, in the depths of their rotten bowels is the acidic bile that really drives the desperate measures that we see in parliament today. This most occulted of motivators, the entitlement to power.

To these people, democracy is a sop of vague definition, handed to people once every four or five years in a shallow and ritualised manner, only to be taken back 24 hours later and locked away in the safe. Six weeks of fois gras style political rhetoric down the voters necks, keeping the chattering classes 'meaningfully' engaged so that the vote to support today's centerist bullshitters feels like a heartfelt decision made with moral gravity. Then the nightmare of meaningful public engagement is over, save for the star appearances on Question Time, where a bit of extra virtue signalling is warranted.

What a shock it must have been to them that day in 2016. The day when people whose opinions they didn't care for turned up at the polling booths and decided to make their filthy, uneducated and illformed voices heard on the matter of the EU. An organisation whose political complexity they couldn't possibly fathom, in the spare time between sucking their B&H and episodes of The One Show. How very dare the bastards!

From this moment and ever since, the bile has been fermenting and we're now in heartburn territory because no matter how hard they try to intellectualise it, the frustration they truly feel is that people they deem to be of lesser intellectual worth have beaten them in a referendum on the matter they hold most dear. The thing leaving the bitter taste in their mouths and causing them to ulcerate from the inside out, is the taste of democracy. That safeguard which ensures some voices are not more equal than others - it burns. We must stand up for for this right - peacefully - finding those in parliament who will champion its worth, protecting the right of each and every one of us to have our say, and to have that say respected. Exercises like 2016 need to happen more - not less, so we can rub their noses in our political diversity.

Ironic gifts

For all the talk about democracy and Russian interference, I can think of nothing delighting Putin more than a beacon of western freedom, actively seeking to undermine the sanctity of the free vote given to its people in 2016. What a delightful irony, to see that western politicians are actually no different to his own cronies, holding the electorate to the same levels of withering contempt. For him, the harder they trample down the better - it's a win / win situation. Either the pinnacle of democracy gets flattened in the process, bringing our regime that much closer to his, or the class divisions between the people of Europe widens further leading to continued degradation of political trust. Or both.

His entitlement to power - is the same as their entitlement to power.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

A letter to the PM - When All Trust is Lost

"Chequers will always be seen as a failure - but the way in which it was delivered is where the terminal damage has been done. As such, I cannot support your proposal as all trust has been lost."

All 'Civil Servant' and no 'DExEU'

The Letter

It's safe to say that the PM has over-promised and under-delivered when it comes to Brexit. It doesn't take yet another blog post on the matter to break down the detail as to why the Chequers proposal is such as disheartening episode in modern UK politics. Broken promises, loose interpretations and supine pandering to both the EU negotiators and everyone who lost in the 2016 referendum only scratches the surface. The public reaction has not been the resounding success that the spin machine at Number 10 would have wanted. Rather than a bold and decisive move forward to grease the rusted gears of the negotiation, it has been viewed as a cold execution of those with ambitions to get the UK anything but BRINO.

As the right-wing press rightly ridiculed May's efforts to deceive the public into thinking we were properly leaving, she hurriedly issued a letter through CCHQ to party members, hoping to drum up support for the farcical Chequers proposal. Having received my own copy of the letter today, I felt compelled to respond. Not to point out the technical inaccuracies and shortcomings of her assertions (others can do that much better) but to emphasise that for the electorate to compromise and follow her vision takes trust - a commodity which her recent machiavellian schemes have all but boiled away.

The Reply

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
c/o – Conservative Campaign Headquarters
4 Matthew Parker Street

9 August 2018

Dear Prime Minister,

RE: Your letter dated 3 August 18 – Chequers Proposal

I was grateful to receive your correspondence attempting to reassure members that the Chequers proposal was a good deal for the UK.

I’m sorry to say that I don’t agree with the upbeat assessment of what the proposal will deliver.

It is clear that a common rule-book for goods means the UK accepting EU regulation in a unidirectional manner. It is nice to know that the UK will reserve the ability to have the final decision whether to implement or not, but the implications of rejection are not clear. Needless to say, a parliament which is reluctant to properly implement the 2016 referendum result, backed by 17.4 million people, will not find it within themselves to resist piecemeal application of EU law or regulation in any capacity. To paraphrase - the will of the people to resist Brussels resides within the demos and not within Westminster.

This ‘common rule-book’ (read: large chunks of the EU Acquis) will apply across UK manufacturing regardless as to whether businesses intend to export to the EU or not. I suspect the alignment will not end there. A bizarre situation for a so called independent nation to be in which I can only imagine will generate a whole series of impediments to our global trade ambitions.

As for the Facilitated Customs Arrangement (FCA) which gets little mention in your letter - the proposal appears to be asking for a combined customs territory with the power to apply tariffs based on the ultimate destination, with the EU 27 having to adopt the same. This feels like a ham-fisted and demanding reaction to the NI border situation which the EU appear to be wielding, with some relish, like a weapon.

As an alternative, I think there would be wide-spread support for an FTA with a more pragmatic Max-fac solution to the NI border issue, even if that means an extension to existing the Customs Union whilst we implement. For whatever reason, this option appears to be being resisted.

Not being decisive at this point means that the political conflict that has enveloped the country for years now will continue ad nauseam. Brexiteers will never be able to say that a truly independent vision was ever properly tested. Remainers will be able to claim that danger was always around the corner and that we were never big enough to go it alone. It is a mistake because, in the eyes of the public, nothing has been settled and we’ve wasted an opportunity to end the argument with proper certainty.

My concerns now lie with the legal text we’ll agree within the Withdrawal Agreement later this year. Commitment to pay 39 billion pounds for anything less than a full trade agreement (such as a framework which defines little but a vague commitment) and legal inclusion of the NI backstop, risking dividing the UK or locking us into the Customs Union, would turn a bad story into a nightmare situation. One which would inevitably result in increased demands to validate whether it’s worth us leaving by virtue of another referendum.

All this is well and good and much of it academic, but the real issue with Chequers is the story that it tells the public about the inner workings of government - and by reference, what the government thinks about the people. Like the phrase or not, Dominic Cummings was right to crystallise the Vote Leave campaign around the slogan ‘Take Back Control’ - which I see the government have co-opted recently. The irony in this is that whereas Cummings was reinforcing the importance of people and their relationship to parliament, you as Prime Minister chose to reject the efforts of DExEU, headed up by the elected and accountable - in preference for the unelected mandarins of Whitehall. Clearly, one of the key messages that the Brexit vote delivered has not sunk in at number 10.

Furthermore, the way in which the Chequers proposal was foisted on DExEU at the last moment could suggest intent to deceive both Leave voting ministers in parliament and also those that voted Leave in the villages, towns and cities across the UK. We believed that we had taken back control - but once the ‘Potemkin’ facade of the DExEU was pulled down, we realised we had none.

To see Olly Robbins rather than David Davis sitting around the table at Le Fort de Bregancon is disheartening, but much as Robbins has become totemic with this sad story, ultimate responsibility lies at the door of 10 Downing Street. Chequers will always be seen as a failure - but the way in which it was delivered is where the terminal damage has been done. As such, I cannot support your proposal as all trust has been lost.

Your sincerely

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Aftermath part 3 - Screaming Child of Sovereignty

"The failure to make a dent with the economic argument has now forced Remain into coordinating other activities to engender a sense of chaos, with Remain politicians from all parties participating in the act to force the death of Brexit by a thousand cuts." 

Are Tory rebels colluding with Labour and the EU to undermine the government's negotiating position?

The joys of evidence

Human nature rarely follows an evidence based approach to issues. We don't consider a position in neutrality until the evidence leads us one way or another. Instead we take position based on our gut feel, shaped by our environment, the perceived expectation of peer groups and our own prejudices. To justify the integrity of that position, we will then find the arguments to suit.

Thus it is for Brexit. Rarely will you see anybody stand up in the Brexit debate and suggest that they've had to revise their stance because new evidence has come to light. Yet that is what the public are being asked to do by Tony Blair and his cabal of europhiles as they dangle the urgent need for another referendum before us. The irony is that the Tony Blairs of this world have failed to demonstrate the very behaviour that they demand of others.

As we remember, during the referendum campaign, project fear was force fed to the UK electorate, projecting near apocalyptic scenes in the event that we voted to leave. The viewpoint was reinforced from so many angles it was unparalleled in recent political history; certainly, in my lifetime I've never seen such a hysterical spectacle as everyone from the CBI to the President of the USA took turns in spelling out the potential disaster that fell before us. Yet although the pound tanked for a relatively short period of time, coming from a place where it was overvalued in the first place, largely the economy has done well - with the OBR having to upwardly revise growth projections significantly. Likewise, unemployment is at a record low rather than suffering George Osborne's predicted increase of eight hundred thousand job losses.

We simply don't have evidence of disaster, we have the exact opposite - grounds for some optimism. Yet the growing ultra-Remain position fails to look at this as 'new evidence'. Merely irritating noise that should be turned down and no-platformed.

Why? Because evidence is subjective material to be weaponised in propaganda as and when it suits the ideological agenda. You're expected to think again in light of 'new evidence' which has been curated by those with a vested interest in achieving their own personal political goals. They themselves won't countenance spending any of their time reconsidering evidence presented to them and how it effects their position. This kind of patronising 'all transmit and no receive' attitude should set alarms bells ringing. When it's one rule for them and and another for us, it suggests a dangerous sense of entitlement and one that ignores the democratic outcome of a referendum which hasn't gone their way.

Death by a thousand cuts

The failure to make a dent with the economic argument has now forced Remain into coordinating other activities to engender a new sense of chaos, with Remain politicians from all parties participating in the act to force the death of Brexit by a thousand cuts. This has culminated in an attempt to compel the UK into adopting a customs union with the EU, not for the good that it would do the country but rather we can surmise that it's an attempt to jam a stick in Theresa May's spokes.

Anna Soubry and Ken Clarke have tabled an amendment to the government's trade legislation proposing a UK / EU customs union. Labour have neatly changed their stance on the customs union to now accepting it, leaving Barry Gardiner with much red-faced explaining to do to the national press after he'd previously explicitly ruled the position out. The EU have drafted legal text which proposes a customs union with Northern Ireland, effectively forcing a border between mainland Britain, with the Good Friday Agreement being framed as collateral in this provocative game of brinkmanship. Amongst these well dramatised developments, a cacophony of think tanks, special interest groups and business organisations have also come out in well orchestrated chorus of concerned expert voices, demanding the satisfaction of a customs union to cure all ills and woes. The sock-puppet CBI, comfortably nestled with the EU's hand inserted in its posterior, is even taking out adverts on social media with a polemic view of the holy sanctity that a customs union would offer.

Never mind that 'the' customs union was intrinsic to the treaties of the EU, hence must be dispensed with as we leave. It's expected that before we've left, this element must be readopted, therefore immediately undoing the element of Leave which allowed the UK sovereignty over our trading matters. An EEA position or bilateral arrangements for Single Market access are contentious for some, but give arguably more benefit to the UK than throwing away the UK's ability to chart its own course on matters of trade. So why choose the customs union as the battleground on which to make the last stand?

Understanding that it's not the benefits of a customs union that they crave but the retention of a link which would act as a launch-board back into the EU, perhaps to coincide with the birth of associate membership, the customs union was likely seen to be the least contentious path. The Good Friday Agreement has been a useful tool with which to drive sympathy in this matter, with the prospect of a "hard border" seemingly threatening the progress it's brought about. Arguments about supply chains and UK jobs are also easy messages to convey to 'simple people'. All that comes without once having to have an adult conversation about immigration and whether we could constrain freedom of movement in the Single Market.

So is it fair to imply collusion of EU, Labour and Tory rebels? It would seem so. Anna Soubry and Dominic Grieve met with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier at the end of January, accompanied by Labour's Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie and Stephen Doughty. Towards the end of February we had the Soubry amendment - and then within a couple of days (25th Feb 2018), Labour aped that sentiment with Corbyn vowing to be in 'a' customs union. A few days after that, the EU released their legal text maintaining NIs customs union status. All this accompanied by a backdrop of 'statesman-like' speeches from former Prime Ministers explaining to the electorate why they must think again.

[ - nb - It may be beneath John Major to comment on Boris Johnson's parallel between congestions zones and the Irish border, likewise I won't delve into the hypocrisy of calling for a free vote over Brexit after his own record with Maastricht -].

The other objective

A slow ride back to the arms of the EU would be considered a success for this cabal, but an opportunity is there to short circuit the whole process of reentry entirely, as all interested parties will be aware.

Remainers will muse, if the sense of chaos can be amplified in some way that undermines public confidence in our ability to steer a path through this, then perhaps parliament can demand that people be asked again whether they really want to leave. They could attempt this by defeating the PM over the customs union vote in parliament or by her being forced into declaring a unilateral hard Brexit due to lack of cooperation from the EU. I suspect that a hysterical response from many concerned parties is already in the can waiting to be sprung if that day materialises.

The whole exercise is a series of provocations devised to cause a reaction that can be spun into a disaster scenario requiring us 'think again' before the result of the first democratic exercise is enacted.


Yet it may well turn out to be true that Theresa May really is a bloody difficult woman. The reality is that she has already been provoked like this many times now over the last twelve months and instinctually she has never given the opposition any material to work with on this matter. No drama - no tears - no sudden panic or knee jerk reaction.

Perhaps she knows her craft better than people give her credit for. By refusing to pour petrol on the fire, she gives the opposition nothing to point and shriek at, carefully working towards a deal which will be acceptable to both sides, cooling the glowing embers of discontent. She's become accustomed to the vitriol of the press baying for more detail about the talks, throwing them a bone when it suits rather than feeling the need to constantly feed them with detail. And yes, as Michel Barnier repeatedly threatens, the clock is ticking. And the closer we get to that deadline the more that people will demand a satisfactory conclusion, not just in the UK where Theresa May is accustomed to the pressure, but also across the EU where Michel Barnier will suddenly find himself on the wrong end of a thousand megaphones demanding satisfactory solutions.

We may not agree with the specifics of our exit from the EU and it would be foolhardy to expect that in a party where Theresa May has to balance Ken Clarke with Jacob Rees-Mogg that we'll get everything we want from Brexit, but ultimately she's committed to honouring democracy. This is a notion that the Tony Blairs and John Majors of this world won't ever accept because they value their own selfish technocratic vision of the future over that legitimately won by a demos they so obviously despise. That is why they fail to understand the chaos of Brexit. They can only see it as a tool with which they can achieve their own ends, not the screaming child of sovereignty being reborn that it truly is.

Friday, 23 December 2016

Aftermath part 2 - Poisoning the Well

"In order to help the people understand that they're on the wrong side of history, they had to realise how unpalatable they were. Some unforeseen force, some fear was needed to drive them away from their position. An existential notion so distasteful that, with the right framing, it would be impossible to defend."

It started with stunned silence - but the losing narrative soon changed

I'm not sure that the depth of our current situation has become clear at all and we may be heading in to an unprecedented sea of discontent, for which there is no easy means of resolution. I'm not talking here of the uncertainties over trade, commerce and prosperity for the UK in a post Brexit world but moreover something for more insidious and far reaching.

This referendum hasn't been a one off democratic event. That description is far too benign to describe what's really just happened. Before we joined the EEC in 1973, we'd moved away from the notion of Empire and the 'benevolent' autocratic subjugation of other nations, substituting hard power with trade and soft influence. Our form of democratic government, aligned with our own sense of national identity and purpose allowed us not once, but twice to intervene in world wars instigated on the continent. The UK, guided by a democratic system which has eschewed all forms of political extremism for many years - has helped save the continent from itself, a price paid for in blood and trauma by its citizens. The UK can in no way take credit for the rise of Hitler or Mussolini, only their downfall.

Yet if the wake of the referendum is anything to go by, the UK shouldn't be seen as a virtuous and ingenious nation capable of punching well above its weight. Instead, if many embittered Remainers are to be believed, we find that the nation is a shameful place jam packed full of racists, xenophobes and wilfully ignorant morons hell bent summoning fascism to our very shores . Along with those sentiments, words such as 'nationalism' and 'populism' are being bandied about online and across the liberal wings of the press to add to the sense that a vote of ignorance is about to usher in the devil, last seen rising out of Germany just before world war two.

Particularly, to have pride in a nation, its ambitions and its achievements is now considered to be a sinister tell tale warning sign of fascism to come. Why? Because globalists, fuelled by their own ambition to enforce their integrationist ideology on the unwashed masses, have gone for the kill by short circuiting the path between national pride and authoritarianism.

Let's look at fascism:

philosophy or movement; nation or race is supreme; authoritarian leadership (typically dictatorship); socio-economic control with extreme oppression of opposition.

Are we fascists yet?

Clearly, by any stretch of the imagination, love of a nation does not equate to the want of fascism.  Especially, if the nation in question is the UK, underpinned by a parliament first established by Simon de Montford in 1265 - or where all were subject to the rule of law, as established by Magna Carta 50 years before that. In the context of the referendum, the latent desire of many Leavers I met was to protect the integrity of that very system because they know that it has served us justly for many many years, helping us navigate through the darkest hours of European history. It's not perfect by any means. Although we elect MPs to serve in the House of Commons and can hold them accountable at the ballot box, the bicameral nature of parliament means that unelected members of the House of Lords can both raise legislation and intervene in laws proposed in the other house. The model is not satisfactory and has required revision for some time now, yet the people and democracy are safe guarded to some extent by the primacy of the house of Commons and The Parliament Act.

By contrast, the system being imposed by the EU is seen to fall short of that mark because it fails to provide the direct link between electorate and the law makers that the UK have grown to trust. Instead, we have a system which is hard to fathom by the majority, with tiers of separation which gives rise to the impression that the Commission (law makers) are operating without a yoke. The absurdities of this system, which I'm convinced is designed to neuter national power rather than amplify it, is beyond the scope of this particular post, but suffice to say that concerns are warranted.

The upshot of all this is that the instinct of Leavers is to retain the Goldilocks state of democracy. One where they will fight to the death to defend it from fascists, as they did in world war two - and they will upend the political apple cart if they feel that their link to government is being eroded. For such a noble desire, is it really right that many activist Remainers are distilling a hateful brew? The bitter truth here appears to be difficult to swallow.

The language of losing

Over time, the language of losing from the more vocal of the 48% has evolved. It began with a near blissful silence in the days that followed the vote, but that blessing was short lived. Soon we heard mutterings of discontent focussing on the 'stupidity' of leavers who were obviously not intelligent enough to know what they had voted for. The story moved on to one of the people having been deceived by the Leave campaign. Lies had been told (only on one side mind you) and the gullible had swallowed them whole. Then the mood grew to anger. Anger that the wilfully ignorant were wrecking everything that intelligent and virtuous people had worked for over the last forty years. Then the narrative moved on again to question the worth of democracy itself; what good can it be if people like us have to accept what people like 'them' want? But that was always going to be a tall order to sell, in spite of the obvious want of technocratic imposition to guide people without fear of interference.

Broad brush generalisations of stupidity and xenophobia, a common comforter for the losing side

Better still was the idea of a second referendum where people could chose again, but chose correctly this time. In order to help the people understand that they're on the wrong side of history, they had to realise how unpalatable they were. Some unforeseen force, some fear was needed to drive them away from their position. An existential notion so distasteful that, with the right framing, it would be impossible to defend. What other than the notion of Hitler and his ilk returning through the misguided actions of the people themselves. Xenophobes. Racists. Fascists. You have one last chance to save yourselves before the continent is mired in unthinkable horror. Come over to Remain or condemn us all to a future of oppression and warfare.

The hunt for authoritarianism

Yet if authoritarianism demands unquestioning obedience to an ideology espoused by the few, where's the evidence that this is happening? Disturbingly, I see more of this pressure coming from globalists keen to usher in their narrow view of the future at alarming expense.

Here's the VP for External Affairs and Dean for Europe at Aberdeen university, holding up the reversal of the Swiss referendum as an example for Brexit:

Willing democracy to come second place to the EU

She also happens to be former Chief Scientific Adviser to Jose Manuel Barroso, so no surprises perhaps that there's not a taint of horror at the notion of democracy being over-ridden. The point I'm making here, and I want you to consider it very carefully, is that there are many people who consider democracy a threat to their own interests and desires and would happily impose their ideology on the majority.

Here's another example of a very worrying trend:

Again - democracy gets forgotten in all this.

Picture what's being said here. Scientists for EU echoing a report that the EU is cracking down on Eurosceptic groups. A follower praises the action, suggesting that Ukip should be shown the door. To paraphrase: The EU is clamping down on democratically elected opposition; Remainers celebrate and demand the eviction of those who would challenge the EU's authority. In spite of the fact that it's the mandate on which they were elected.

Are alarm bells ringing now?

This is why the battle for Brexit is multifaceted. On the one hand it's a straight question about the UK's political alignment with other members of Europe. On the other, it's about saving ourselves from a new emerging class based system where weight is given to the views of the entitled few over the many. In the democratic world, 'one person - one vote' protects the rights and needs of every man. In the post democratic world, it's easy to see the weight of decision making aligning to privileged intellectuals who do what's best for them. You only need look at the likes of Christine Lagarde and the outcome of her recent trial to know that there's one rule for us and another for them.


Emotive language is being used to shape our understanding of what's happening. An information war which is as full of falsehoods as the lies it claims to call out. It does not care who it tars with the brush of racism or fascism, so long as it achieves its desired goal: To cow the people in to submission by virtue of a form of moral entrapment. Introducing a boolean state where taking any position but their own righteous stance leaves you mired in the most caustic and repugnant of accusations. By these means, they poison the well. Drink at your peril.

To the contrary, this kind of engineering, designed to manipulate thinking in one direction is a form of authoritarian control in its own right, as demonstrated by the mob handed demonisation it metres out. It is the enforcement of an ideology by the few on the many. It is the removal of opposition (essential to democracy). It's a new form of 'intellectual' fascism where a globalist class subvert the nationalist class not by brawn but by guile.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Aftermath 1 - The Politics of Denial

"Sadly, there still appear to be a large number of bitter and weeping Remainers who genuinely seem unable to understand that in a referendum, all people count equally at the ballot box. At the recent Conservative party conference, May talked about the sneering class. How right she was."

In the wake of Brexit, suggestions of creeping fascism and racism are commonplace

Although the days of this blog have long since passed, if I'm being honest, I miss the cathartic effect of blogging to ease the psyche and to make some sense of events, hence this self indulgent aftermath post. Time has passed since the historic vote to leave the EU, a moment in history which should have poured the ice cold water of reality on the rambunctious metropolitan Remainers. So, have they stepped back and taken stock? Have they tried to comprehend the meaning of the result in order to fathom why, after forty three years of integration, the UK decided to extricate itself from the EU? Or have they decided, in an ever extending fit of bigotry, that they are still the only people with a valid opinion and that the situation would be best served by a pernicious and socially corrosive form of attrition.

Introspection needed

You'd hope that there would be a period of deep reflection. A moment where the shock of the event told some home truths, not about the make-up of the electorate but the state of EU politics, the paths that it's taken and the impact that it's had on society. Perhaps, during this time of introspection, they'd ask themselves where the divisions lie that caused so many to tick the Leave box, in spite of the dire and gushing economic warnings that were forcefully pumped in to every facet of our lives. Without this kind of understanding, it's going to be impossible to regain social cohesion - if indeed that's what they want.

Sadly, there still appear to be a large number of bitter and weeping Remainers who genuinely seem unable to understand that in a referendum, all people count equally at the ballot box. At the recent Conservative party conference, May talked about the sneering class. How right she was.

Daily, I encounter the vocal Remainers who, to a person, seem to make the assumption that everyone they encounter voted the way they did. Why? Because if you come across as sensible and even handed then you can't possibly have voted any way other than Remain.

Permeating the social strata - outwardly they like to think that they're salt of the earth, yet they act like they're the gold; precious and reflecting the beauty of metropolitan society for the rest of us to marvel at and strive toward. Often engulfed in the feedback loop they've weaved around themselves on social media, they crow loudly and re assuredly from the comfort of their expensive houses and their iPhone 7s - and when needed, they impose their moral compass on all and sundry by means of a venomous mono-narrative. You know, the one which, when boiled down to it's absolute thickest stock, says that 'Leavers are racists'.

The 'Everyone I don't like is Hitler' meme

That's where we are at the tail end of 2016. Not in a position where 'intellectuals' recovering from a stunning defeat try to grasp how and why they got it so wrong - but where noisy celebrities, opportunist politicians and frankly butt hurt, well to do, self loathing centrist idealogues try to lever their frustrations by twisting the narrative and smearing the Leave position as a vulgar Trumpist march towards a black shirted future.

Black forgetting the SNP's own historic associations with the Nazis

Let's ignore for a moment that it's Remain campaigner Amber Rudd's speech regarding immigrant workers at the Tory conference which has rattled cages and fanned the flames of righteous contempt. And never mind that the fact that the FCO are not banning non-UK nationals from working on Brexit related projects (a suggestion which David Allen Green appears to have resolutely debunked HERE ) - because keeping the 'unsettling' mood music is more important for 'the cause' than being factually correct. So when it transpires that you've echoed such falsehoods, never apologise, never look back and don't blink when questioned, because the next unsubstantiated, nebulous act of wanton fascism is only a misguided tweet away - and the chorus of indignation and hatred can begin all over again.

This internet meme seems to have been taken as an instruction manual by many Remainers

It must be a sorry world where the only way to deal with the shortcomings of your own position is to lash out in a manner that probably does more to debase the issues of racism than it does to help it. I imagine that people at the sharp end of racism would rather that it wasn't wielded in such a desensitising manner. Likewise self serving suggestions of latent fascism designed to fuel discontent are equally divisive.

Onward and upward

As a small child, I remember sitting on the carpet at Primary school and being given the luxury of being allowed to watch an episode of Playschool, the foundation stone under-pinning many a Brits TV viewing habits. I can't remember which window we went through (I always hoped for the arch) but the story we were told made much sense. In it, a Sowester clad individual was harassed by the four winds as they each took it in turns to hurl gusty assaults in order to blow the hat off and win a bet. No matter how ferocious their blustery gales were, each in turned failed to remove the hat as the stubborn individual held on tight to the much needed apparel. Dismayed at their failure, they let the sun have a go and within a few seconds of his warming rays, the Sowester was off.

It seems this simple lesson was missed by many in the land of self entitlement.

Remainers take note. A 52% / 48% vote cannot be genuinely considered a boolean mandate to authorise hard Brexit (if such a thing exists). But by the same measure, even a thin majority voting to Leave the EU after all the time that it's had to prove itself clearly demonstrates that it has significant failings and that things need to change. People didn't vote to Leave because they were lied to and (being 'stupid' naturally) accepted what they were told. I've yet to meet a Leaver who regrets their vote, let alone one who feels they were conned. For many, it was the obvious reality that the EU end goal was federalisation and it was something they didn't want. Cameron failed to convince people that his reforms were substantial enough to stop us either being in a compromised minority in the EU or eventually spiralling down the federal plughole twenty or thirty years down the line.

Be prepared to lose everything

So, unhappy Remainer, get over yourself, accept the result and then get involved with the process in a constructive manner that helps shape the future of the 100% not just the 48%. Don't argue for the Single Market because we were stupid for leaving and it's the closest thing to the EU that you can get. Argue for it because it's good for business. Don't scream for Freedom of Movement because everybody is a racist if you don't get your way - argue for it because it's the way of the modern world and that in the age of internet connectedness, it's necessary for us to fulfil the promise of global engagement. Stop blowing a gale for once and cast some warming rays - or be prepared to lose everything.

Saturday, 2 July 2016


"This isn't so much a blog post in the spirit of UK Unleashed - it's just a footnote."

The sun sets on the referendum. Tomorrow, the Brexit debate continues.

After months of campaigning, I thought it worth tailing this blog with a simple footnote. The vote for Brexit has caused a huge ongoing political earthquake here in the UK, one which risks forcing a shake down of all major political parties and a complete reboot of parliamentary democracy.

I have this quaint idea that at some point in the future, tomorrow's generation will study this moment as part of a history curriculum or other. Rather than reach for the text books, they'll take to the blogosphere to research points of view from activists to find out the motivations and concerns that fuelled a country to ignore all the risks and portents of doom laid before them by the establishment and to turn their back on a future within the European Union. Perhaps blogs like this will provide historic, if extremely subjective, insight.


In the run up to polling day, Leavers who had been tracking the polls were not overly optimistic. Polls had narrowed from a brief Leave lead to 50/50 in the final week. Yet in the last 24 hours there were some crushing numbers coming in from pollsters like ComRes, YouGov, Ipsos Mori and Populus - the first and last showing between eight and ten point leads for Remain.

Remain commentators were buoyed and we heard the likes of Peter Kellner predicting a 55% win for Remain. For Leavers, there was that creeping sense of horror that we would be consigned to a decade of smug ridicule and, much worse than that, the sense that the country we loved was about to give a democratic endorsement to a political entity which would see it as a green light to continue with the slow erasure of our national identity.

I can't comment on how other Leavers reacted, but I immediately contacted all and sundry letting them know my voting intentions and the reasoning behind my position (if they didn't already know). I rang round to make sure that people less able than me were able to get to the polling station (one person took me up on my offer) and I reached out to my local Leave campaign team to offer any last minute support.

At 10pm, there was nothing left to do but sit and wait for the results. After months and months of bombardment where 'experts' and 'celebrities' had allowed themselves to be the munitions in the Remain arsenal, we Leavers were left with nothing but the vague hope that somehow, there was an unrepresented Leave strata of society that had been ignored by pollsters and pundits alike.

I'd consigned myself to catching the first few results and then trudging off to bed by 2am in the depressing knowledge that after months of activism and, in my case, over twenty years of concern about the EC/EU - we'd remain. Things proved to be remarkably different.

The North brings hope

It was no surprise to anyone that Gibraltar came in first with a 95% endorsement for Remain. It was never going to be any other way and it wasn't in any sense a weathervane.

Then the Newcastle result was called and we saw the first glimmer of hope. A city we'd expected to have a significant Remain margin came in for Remain but at a much reduced levels than predicted. Almost 50/50.

When the results for Sunderland were announced, it became clear that it wasn't going to be an early night. Sunderland fell to Leave and the margin of victory was significant as it exceeded predictions by circa 6 %. Yet another sign of the trend the Leavers had been so eager or even desperate to see. It meant that I had to wait for every subsequent result in order to see whether the pattern not only emerged but truly established. And it did. Whereas London weighed heavily for Remain, there was a reduced turnout. Scotland also apparently fatigued by the whole affair seemed to show comparatively lack lustre voter turnout. Remain were unable to find a corner of the UK significant enough to damage the lead that Leave were creating for themselves.

Towards the morning, cities like Liverpool and Manchester who meekly voted Remain were easily absorbed by Leave who had been mopping up region after region accumulating a surplus of around 1 million votes, including surprises like Birmingham.

Holy polley

As the TV stations each in turn declared victory for Leave, I reflected on the big question as to whether the online polls (marginally Leave) or the phone polls (heavily Remain) would turn out to be more accurate. My prediction that there would be a shy Leave element, under-represented in the polls (see HERE), may well have been true. Or other factors could well have been at play here. Most interesting for me was to read this piece from Yougov published on the 28th on June: https://yougov.co.uk/news/2016/06/28/online-polls-were-right/

Intriguingly, they suggest that the Remain campaign had invested in analysis by NCP (presumably by Matt Singh, newcomer and guru of GE2015) to determine whether phone or online polls were the most accurate, and he prompted for the latter. Yougov trash the analysis quite thoroughly and then go on to suggest that the misguided work provided Remain with false confidence, resulting in them taking their eye off the ball. To quote them:

"It is entirely possible that if the Remain campaign had not been misled as to their margin of victory, they might have run a different, and successful, campaign."

This wasn't the only major predictive failure of the referendum. For reasons which were utterly beyond me, the media had become fixated on the notion that where there's money, there's truth. The betting markets emerged as the new crystal ball, presenting Remain in the lead with probability of circa 70% or above in all but the final hours of the campaign. Yet when the figures came rolling in, they fared no better than the phone polls and will likely never be taken seriously again.

Moment of victory

In the early hours of Friday morning on the 24th, after no sleep and hours of febrile activity, the realisation of the victory finally sank in. I enjoyed a rather sober celebration in the comfort of my living room, connected to friends and associates via Twitter and also expats in Spain via Skype - all of whom had been willing on the victory that we thought impossible. The people of the United Kingdom had stood up to the threats and the scaremongering. We ignored the manufactured horrors that were paraded before us over the previous months; we turned to look at Brussels and the notion of a future wed to the European Union, and we said 'No' by well over a million voices.

And there is a small irony buried in all this. At the start of the referendum campaign, it seemed clear to me that Labour were intent on sitting back and watching the Conservatives tear themselves apart over Europe, like some re-run of Maastricht in the early 90's.  They smugly pronounced themselves a united party on this front (ignoring Hoey, Field, Mann, Skinner etc), almost mocking in their tone. Yet it was their own disaffected electorate in the North that set the trend and snatched the UK, its sovereignty and democratic future, from the gulping jaws of the EU. We owe them a debt for the guts they showed. And in the wake of all this, Labour has since turned to infighting and recriminations, steadfastly refusing to accept that from the perspective of their traditional vote, they've been wrong on the matter of the EU for years.

The campaigns

It would be an easy thing to pick through the bones of the Vote Leave campaign and point out every mis-step they made during the process. At times they seemed caught off balance and lagging behind the curve. Almost certainly, if the 'Britain Stronger in Europe' (BSE) campaign had managed to get their act together, Vote Leave would have been found wanting. However, BSE were woeful - and when it mattered the most, during the final televised debates, Vote Leave won the sentimental arguments, if not the technical ones.

BSE on the other hand failed to inspire. Perhaps a sense of hubris, underpinned by their confidence in the phone polling results and a fatalistic sense of pre-ordained victory, caused them to slumber in to a complacent spiral. Exaggerated scare stories were thrust upon the public, sandwiched between layers of 'experts' confidently telling the electorate not to budge on the matter of 'Europe' for fear of economic collapse, World War Three or the permanent evaporation of workers rights. On and on this relentless routine went, never once stopping and pausing to consider changing tact, even when it desperately needed to. The merchants of fear became just so much white noise in the end, consigned to the same mental space that the sound of bickering children and industry manufactured rap music get swept in to. Their carousel of experts and celebrities, just more contemptuous and patronising malodour from people who only bother to connect with the real world when they want to control them.

Finally Farage

It's hard to talk about this referendum without mentioning Nigel Farage. He's an oddity. Hero worshiped and reviled in equal measure, there's no doubting that he's had a huge effect kickstarting the process of the referendum. Tory defections to UKIP and a swelling of public support almost certainly animated Cameron in to dangling the referendum as a prospect to the UK voter. And it's for his efforts in this run up period that Farage should be most praised. His razor sharp tongue lashing of Herman Van Rompuy, amongst the most famous victims of his parliamentary apoplexy, drawing attention to the absurdity of the assembling european superstate.

Yet his own success at elevating himself to the position of the UK's most prominent eurosceptic made him a primary target for the bile of the europhiles. By the time the referendum was called, rightly or wrongly, he'd been tarred with a brush that meant he was unpalatable when it came to winning over the undecided vote. It meant that he needed tact to avoid constantly being framed as the kind of latent fascist that europhiles imagine him to be. Unfortunately, swelled by the notion that the Brexit cause was best served by the tidal pressure of immigration, he allowed an undercurrent of 'racism' to creep in to the debate with his 'Breaking Point' poster. That's not to say that it was racist; it surely wasn't otherwise he'd be in the dock. But the poor judgement opened up the attack surface against the Leave campaign, allowing the Remain camp to turn the torch towards moralistic and hugely emotive matters rather than defending the inadequacies of the European Union.

I wonder if there was a further twist to this though. The thrust of the accusations; the veritable explosion of 'racist' chants and finger pointing came at a point when the Remain team had handed the campaign batten over to the Labour party in an attempt to woo over the traditional left wing vote which they sensed was flagging. New Labour returned to type and went back to the same script they'd been reading from for the last decade. It contained the same divisive sentiment that weakened the glue between the parliamentary Labour party and their own grass roots. The sentiment where concern about immigration equated to racism, therefore the conversation had to be shut down through ridicule and derision. The mantra quickly became "not all Leavers are racists, but all racists are Leavers".

Whereas immigration turned out not to be the leading motivation for Leavers (Sovereignty won that), this almost instinctual attempt to shape the outcome by shaming people with this insincere and manipulative attempt at equivalence may be have bashed the beehive and provoked its own angry reaction. Failure to sting the aggressor hard enough would have left the electorate subject to a future dominated by career bee keepers smoking them in to submission.

That's not to say, if this scenario did play out, that it was a calculated move by Nigel Farage or that I'd condone that poster. Moreover a reminder that eventually, you reap what you sow.

End of the blog

This blog ends but the future of Britain is still subject to much speculation - to much chicanery and intrigue - to developments in the wake of the political shock-wave that has swept over this country. It's to those matters where we will need to turn our attention next.