originally posted by: DISRAELI
If Brexit is carried through as a fait accompli, the immediate issue will be resolved.
The immediate issue will. The real issue won't.
The original analysis above missed out some important contextual points.
David Cameron couldn't give a monkey's toss about Brexit when he offered the referendum. He was the leader of a party that had been tearing itself
apart for twenty years on ideological lines. Broadly speaking, the centrist wing of the party was pro-EU, socially liberal and believed strongly in
the power of the market; the right wing of the party was anti-EU, socially conservative and believed even more strongly in the market. By offering
the public a vote on EU membership, he was hoping to get a mandate to sideline the right and unite the mainstream of the party for a generation, long
enough to shape Britain like Thatcher and Blair did. It was always primarily about the coherence and future of the Tory Party.
Theresa May stepped in with wto objectives. First, keep the Tory Party together. Second, deliver a version of Brexit that necessarily involved
compromise. She called an election in 2017 to get a mandate for her vision and, like Cameron, she got her political teeth handed back to her in a
cup. Cue the Tory Party at each other's throats and, significantly, the emergence of a really hard faction on the right that wanted to bury Cameron's
legacy forever. The European Research Group is part of that faction - socially conservative, economically way beyond Milyon Friedman. Their
preferred economist is Patrick Minford, who believes that you must destroy an economy in order to save it.
However, this kind of Tory Party is hugely unpalatable to the British public. British populism tends to the left, to a (non-existent) golden age when
the state could keep crime down, fix the roads, pay your pension, house your kids and keep you in hospital for a week when you had your tonsils
removed. Hence the Tory right's equivocation and smoke screens.
As if grasping the wrong end of two sh*tty sticks wasn't bad enough, May then had to deal with Parliament.
Now, British Constitution for Dummies page one, line one - Parliament is sovereign. The Government cannot act without Parliament's permission. End
Parliament decided to flex it's muscles and remind May who was in charge. The non-dom billionaires behind the pro-Brexit MSM in the UK started
calling them traitors, enemies of the people, collaborators etc, stirring up controversy and muddying the political waters. Parliament, rightly, put
it's foot down and forced Theresa May into a series of votes.
Remember, this is as much about Tory Party unity as Brexit. So Tory MPs vote in the interests of their own faction, often against their own leader.
However, when the Party as a whole is threatened, they close ranks to keep the Opposition in its place. That's why so many MPs voted for and against
the same proposition at different times.
Whatever you think of Theresa May, you have to give her credit for taking an old-fashioned moral approach and giving it her best shot. However, her
approach put a serious strain on the integrity and coherence of her party: when it looked like the party was reaching a tipping point, she was
strongly invited to leave.
Then we had the Tory leadership election. It was an interesting contest, with some refreshing candidates who spoke truth to power, but we ended up
with a crowd pleaser as unelected Prime Minister. Not someone with a grasp of detail, Boris has since promised or implied all things to all people.
Despite the state of our public finances and the global economy, we have been promised tax cuts and huge increases in public spending. We have been
told that Britain is now going to play hardball with the EU, despite Brussels holding a clear and firm line since day one. We have been told that the
backstop - proposed by British in case there is no technical solution to the Irish border conundrum - is undemocratic and unnecessary because we there
are unspecified technical solutions we can use. We have been told that leaving under WTO rules will be fine, despite the head of the WTO telling us
it would be a very bad idea. And so on.
The Tory Party is content. The centre of the Party is content with socially liberal Boris. The right of the Party is content with economically
hard line Boris and his even harder cabinet. The whole party is happy because he looks electable.
So here we are, having voted in 2016 to take back democratic control and restore sovereignty to Parliament: an unelected PM with a less than useless
parliamentary majority of one with no mandate for anything, let alone for a hard WTO-based Brexit, threatening to sideline our sovereign Parliament to
deliver a Brexit that will unleash the violent economic forces that Patrick Minford and the like are so keen to see.
But the Tory Party is content. That's what it was all about all along and screw everyone else.
So what next? We will leave with no deal because, let's face it, Theresa May's offer was as good as Brexit could get. If Boris calls an election
before we leave the EU, we have an even bigger constitutional crisis because he cannot tie Parliament's hands in future. If he calls an election
after we leave the EU and the sh*t hits the fan, he stands a very good chance of sinking his own party.
If he pulls off a real stroke and wins the election, our troubles will really begin. The history of the last fifty or so years shows that serious
economic turmoil brings a considerable social reaction. Thatcher gave the working class a kicking then dressed its wounds with North Sea oil money
and EU grants. Boris doesn't have a big pot of money and the EU won't be giving us any more money. I was at a seminar last autumn where some
serious players were predicting that the government, regardless of party, had little room for manoeuvre. It can't squeeze the poor any more because
there is little left to squeeze. It can't squeeze the rich, particularly if we're looking at a Minford type economy that depends on the rich and
global business interests to keep the economy fluid. That leaves the middle classes. Boris runs the risk of alienating them and, with an already
disenfranchised working class and a demonised left, could see the country lurching to the far right - which runs against his social liberalism.
I'll put money on Boris using water cannons, like the ones he bought as part of his £1 billion vanity spending spree in London, and an increasingly
militarised police to keep the British public in it's place.
So, yes, the immediate issue will be resolved when we leave on Hallowe'en. Everything else will be more disconcerting than ever.