What would be the Brexit Utopia?

The UK is in a political crisis. From here, what would form the top three perfect endings?


Everyone must be scratching their eyes sore about the state of British politics at the minute- it’s truly extraordinary. The Supreme Court ruled Johnson’s advice to the Queen as unlawful, the Government has lost 7/7 votes; and there is no clear yellow brick road to Brexit paradise to follow. Even the Her Majesty’s Opposition are at odds with each other; Corbyn wants a neutral Brexit campaign- whatever that means. Like me, you must be thinking that the world has gone insane. You’d be unequivocally correct.

It’s November 1st, 2019. What would be the ideal scenario to follow such a rumble in the Brexit jungle?

AN ELECTION: CONTESTED BY NEW LEADERS

An election looks likely, even in a political world of disproportionate unpredictability. There are certain ways that this can be achieved, even in a time of deadlock. If Johnson rallies his troops to vote against his own government, and manages to gain traction from the other parties, there could be an election within 14 days of such an event. This may not be possible, as the immediate aftermath could result in temporary pact-sharing nonsense. I don’t even think Corbyn trusts himself to lead a minority government, let alone other opposition MPs- essentially ruling this plan of action out. Labour can’t even unite under one Brexit policy, let alone gain sufficient consensus to from government.

According to the latest polls, The Tories are enjoying a strong lead over Corbyn’s neutral position. The Conservatives are on 32% and Labour on 23%. The Lib Dems sit on 19%. YouGov/Times

In an ideal world, either Boris or Corbyn win a majority that can be suitably used in the Commons, to half-end the stalemate of leave/ remain shenanigans. What would be superb, is if the Lib Dems were to fail on their anti-Brexit campaigning, to which has helped no one in this political crisis. No one needs the Lib Dems anyway. Flip-flopping, Brexit-denying; MP nabbing liberals. We wouldn’t want a hokey-cokey government made-up by the Lib Dems- it’d probably take them a whole year to work out where to sit. Yes, they’re strongly anti-Brexit, but like many of the other parties; they offer no unifying plan.

It’d be perfect if Corbyn and Boris stepped-down, that’d happen in my Utopia. In reality, there’s no one better to lead each respective party, so we’re stuck on this stage. Politics at the moment is truly screwed. And no, Jo Swinson definitely isn’t the answer.

A BREXIT WITH AN AGREEABLE DEAL

The upcoming EU summit between the 17th and the 18th of October may offer up a genuine chance for Britain to avoid a no-deal Brexit, although the chances of such an agreeable deal passing through Parliament is low; considering the government effectively the minority body in the House of Commons. Rees-Mogg once noted that simply removing the backstop would not be consequential enough of a change to warrant a good deal. The problem the government has is that their own backbenchers are ardent leavers and the House is undoubtedly anti-Brexit. If you were to bang the heads of Mark Francois and Steve Baker together, you’d get nothing but rhetoric and a story about British exceptionalism.

Clowning around: A man with a funny hat filming a 21st century clown.

This makes a deal agreeable through majority in Parliament low; and with a No-deal now practically illegal, Boris wouldn’t dare resign himself to ignoring this statute. He’s already been ruled by the Supreme Court to have wrongly advised the Queen, so it surely wouldn’t be in his interest to run against an actual piece of legally binding legislation, this time.

Therefore, my Brexit deal utopia would be this: an agreeable deal that ensures economic stability of sorts, without impeding on the rights of legally documented workers in this country. Whether this is possible, who knows? That’s why it’s so easy to write with ifs, buts; maybes. You can hide behind the facade of idealism.

FARAGE FINALLY FADES

Farage is getting boring, for me anyway. Yeah he wants Brexit delivered, fair enough. It’s just that I’ve had enough of Nigel this decade; dare I say it, but more boring politicians will do. Farage has ridden the coattails of populism for the best part this decade, playing a key role in the 2016 Brexit campaign. History will not remember Farage as the guy that pressured Cameron into calling a referendum- but the guy that won it. This political turmoil can’t be pushed onto one person, but rather the system as a whole, yet Farage’s refusal to be recognised as apart of the political class is somewhat baffling. He is. He leads a party. He sits in the European Parliament. C’mon Nige!

Every politician has their pinnacle. If we can ever move on from Brexit, let it be that we move on from Nigel Farage too. Oh, and his millionaire friend Arron Banks.


That’s enough of silly utopian thought. Here’s to the next month or so. Let’s just hope politics isn’t broken enough not to be mended again.


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The ‘Girly Swat’ is back.

David Cameron is back with his new ‘explosive’ book. Even history can’t save you, Dave.


Dave has returned. The Prime Minister that resigned in 2016 following Britain’s decision to leave the EU has had very few run-ins with the public recently; tucked away in that reading shed of his. Unfortunately for us, his sudden reappearance from the abyss is an opportunity to market his brand new book: For the Record. Presumably, it is going to set things straight- although anything is possible with Cameron.

Before the release of his book on September 19, The Times today published an interview with the 6-year Prime Minister, in which he hinted that he would have done things differently to both May and now Johnson. Despite what is expected to be an almost 800 page recollection of his time in office, it won’t just be ‘girly’ spats that will feature in this memoir. His book could include answers to whether during the 2016 campaign, a no-deal was voted for and how he would have dealt with the negotiations with the EU. Considering that his renegotiation in 2015/16 was lamented for being ‘neither here nor there’, whatever he does suggest will almost certainly be spat back out by the likes of the Moggster and Brexit Boris.

The sales figures aren’t exactly booming on the pre-order lists, with the book not even making the top twenty on the Amazon charts, but Waterstones are confident that sales will be strong. However popular the book turns out to be, the contents will be rigorously examined by the Conservatives who are looking to preserve face over Brexit- something which they have failed to do since 2016. The release just precedes the Conservative Party conference by over a week, with their ex-leader looking to retain some of his battered reputation, despite barely being in the public eye for over three years. It would seem that he has plenty to salvage, and not just issues regarding Brexit. Remember the now infamous ‘Omnishambles’ budget in 2012? Thought so.

The 2012 budget was so heavily disliked, that even Ed Balls came out looking like a credible future Chancellor. The gist of the budget was this: the decision to cut the top rate of income tax from 50p to 45p, which in its actuality was a huge token for the wealthiest. The measures on the surface were symbolic of a political suicide, with those earning over £150,000 being granted an easier time of things; during the hard-hitting austerity campaign. Dave’s partner in crime, George Osborne, was spared his job after the biggest political error in recent budget history. If it wasn’t for Cameron’s spineless leadership and sheer dependence on his number two, Osborne would have been reduced to the political graveyard. They both just about survived, although the leadership abilities of David Cameron were heavily undermined. The panto-villain of George Osborne has somehow escaped the political belittling that his former boss has received, despite arguably being the most inexperienced, incompetent and harshest-cutting Chancellor of post-war Britain.

So, there should be no surprise that the new book is going to look to paper over the glaring cracks of Cameron’s chaotic premiership. According to the pollsters YouGov, his reputation is flat-lined; out of nine-thousand participants, he has a 61% negative opinion across those involved with the survey. The last Conservative Prime Minister before Cameron, John Major is enjoying a slight bump in support following his summer promise to take the government to court, over the now ‘clandestine’ decision to prorogue Parliament. Not Dave.

Remember Ed Miliband? Yep, I thought so (again). Chaos with you, Dave? Not a chance. Poor Ed.

History is funny isn’t it?

Cameron probably does realise that his form of party management in calling a referendum was a mistake personally, although he has repeatedly refused to denounce the position as a “mistake” in public. It is ironic that this ‘party management’ has allowed for the Conservative party to be at its most fragile and fractured since the mid-90s, a decision which cost him his leadership of a majority government and personal popularity. What is more ironic, are the infamous tweets that aged badly during the 2015 general election campaign. Remember Ed Miliband? Yep, I thought so (again). Chaos with you, Dave? Not a chance. Poor Ed.

Dodgy Dave: The #LeadByDonkeys campaign took Dave on a trip down memory lane with their campaign earlier this year.

For Dave’s sake, it is only fair that I highlight his achievements over gay rights, equality and international contribution. He was also a fantastic leader of the Oxford anti-austerity campaign. Apart from these achievements, David Cameron will long be remembered as the man that started the process of splitting a nation; for some, one of the worst Prime Ministers of all time. Jeremy Paxman certainly thinks so.


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Politics in turmoil: The UK isn’t alone.

You would be forgiven in thinking that the UK are having a political crisis so grand that the rest of Europe is laughing at us. Not so, especially when you look at Spain’s ensuing disaster: there is still no permanent Prime Minister, despite having an election earlier this year. The biggest problem is that there is a clash of socialist ideas and approaches, something which has failed to amount to a permanent government. The biggest party in the Spanish congress, the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE), form the current administration, as the biggest party-but without a majority. This is crucial, as without a coalition, there is no stable government to meet the allocated deadline of September 23. The PSOE’s target party is Podemos, another party who have strong roots with socialism, but who demand certain ‘wants’ in order to facilitate the possibility of a minority coalition.

‘They would see this as a betrayal of a relatively young constitution

Centre-right political parties are adamant that Sánchez stays away from Catalan independence parties.

Yes, a minority coalition. The current acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had won the April elections but with Podemos, they would still be some eleven seats short. This means that Sánchez would have to rely upon Basque independents in the congress, which would allow him to avoid falling under the influence of the Catalunya independent parties. The question over Catalunya has had a huge effect on Sánchez’s position, with pressure from centre right parties effectively built around the worry of an independence pact being formed. They would see this as a betrayal of a relatively young constitution (ratified 1978) and the breakup of a country that presided in an oppressive dictatorship for a large chunk of the 20th century. They do not want to see a threat of a breakup of a democratic Spain so early into this century, which they fear a pact would more than threaten to do.

The left of Spanish politics has been caught up in a battle for cabinet positions, and with the PSOE initially offering no departments to Podemos’ selected group of potential ministers, an agreement is yet to be reached. Podemos, led by Pablo Iglesias, want ministry jurisdictions and not to be left out in the cold. They fear no government roles would essentially tie them into an agreement with little breathing space, and minimal influences of policy choices. Although they do not want to tie themselves in to a bad agreement, they aren’t walking away, as they realise that this is the best opportunity for them to have power since their 2011 inception. It is a stalemate, and this lack of concessions is leading to a potential second Spanish election of the year- which could lead to yet more uncertainty.

The two leaders will meet again over the course of September to find an agreement that could allow for a government to form, but much like the approaching Brexit deadline, there is little to no time to waste. Sánchez has been rejected twice before, and this month is the indicative period for his political future but also for the sustainability of the constitution. It has to be noted that the former Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy was ousted last summer over corruption charges within his own party, a signal strong enough to project the displeasure around Spanish politics today. To combat this, the acting prime minister has attempted to lay out over 300 new policy proposals to form a coalition ( El País) and some key ‘ministry’ promises for the party. The response has been muted so far, with Iglesias saying that he will analyse the contents of the proposal further. The rest is yet to be seen, and if no deal can be reached, a new election is scheduled for November 10.

‘Negotiation’ seems to be the money word at the moment- and no wonder.

 

 

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The Boris Brexit Bash Rumbles on.

Tonight’s big political news is that the House of Commons has voted in favour of taking control of the Commons’ business. This will enable MPs who have been against no-deal to legislate that No-deal isn’t redeemable by law, with this particular vote pencilled in for tomorrow (4th).

YES: 328 NO: 301

The House of Commons votes to take business control away from the government.

Another key moment today is that Boris Johnson has laid down a motion for an early snap election through the Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011. This essentially means that for an election to be guaranteed, the House of Commons needs 2/3 of MPs to vote for the confirmation. The talk of the town yesterday was that the government planned an initial ‘stick and twist’ election for October 14, a few weeks ahead of the deadline. Well, it seems that the government has run out of ideas after today’s defeat.

The growing trepidation of a no-deal has led to over 20 Conservative MPs voting against the government, with Boris Johnson’s words on the steps of Downing Street doing little to prevent the fall-out. Now, it is likely that the deadline for getting a deal could be extended to January 2020, signifying the extent to which British democracy is well and truly in deep hole.

The talk of an early election may have been confirmed today, but by no means is a general election certain. It may be that parties would want to pass legislation to prevent a no-deal completely, meaning that they could yet not be ready to vote for such a motion. But, the Tory psycho-drama is set to continue, with all 21 of the rebel Conservative MPs set to ‘lose-whip’ in any circumstances (Vicki Young, BBC). Even Philip Hammond, it is reported, has lost his whip according to the Guardian, meaning that he is no longer, in technicality, a Conservative MP anymore. And, with more set to follow, the middle-class apocalypse is really set to spice up.

These revelations follow on from earlier this evening, when ex-Tory Dr. Phillip Lee crossed the floor to the Lib Dems which was confirmation that the government’s paper thin majority had been shredded. This could very well be the end of the Conservative party, as their future is now in serious contention. Ken Clarke, former Chancellor of the Exchequer agrees- he thinks that it has been ‘taken over’. He could well be right.

The credibility of Boris Johnson is running close to fatal, and with the immediate prospect of essentially booting-out 21 MPs for voting against the government, it could be Boris’ bye-bye. It was said that Johnson could well have one of the shortest tenures as Prime Minister in living memory, and those early sentiments could soon be proven to be correct. Considering Boris suggested that Brexit would be delivered on a ‘do or die’ basis, this is surely the bit where he has been shot in the leg and must find a way to limp over the line (metaphoric, of course).

The EU summit is on October 17, and if there is to be a rumoured October 14 election, a huge amount rides upon what happens tomorrow and this week in the House of Commons. And, with no majority and 21 MPs looking as though they are expelled from the party, his administration is hopeless. Boris’ career as PM could be over before it even started, and having only won off of the basis of a ‘selectorate’ (Party member vote), his credentials have been depleted. Heavily.

With my last year of A-Levels set to start this week, it signifies that however young I may be, this period is surely going to be remembered as the most consequential time in modern British political history. This could be the beginning of the end for the mainstream political parties- the Conservatives are disunited (and bitterly so), Labour cannot fathom a useful trajectory of momentum and the SNP are still looking to keep within the borders of Scotland.

Is it any surprise that the Brexit Party did so well in the EU elections this year? Probably not. There is an open chance that a new generation of parties are all lining up to boss politics in the not too distant future.

Keep your heads on, as this might just be the most frantic month, let alone week in modern British politics. It’s certainly do or die now. Be Safe, please.

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It’s the Constitution, Stupid!

What a time it is to be alive. Never before has interest in our unentrenched constitution been so relevant. We have the leading lights of politics rushing to remind us of normal convention. This is how it is, they say. Indeed, in normal circumstances it is- but these are no normal times.

The current fiasco regarding the suspension of Parliament is rapidly turning into something that will not just blow over by the end of summer, despite calls for us all to just calm down. Mr Rees Mogg has today suggested that any outrage is a ‘phony’ attempt to detract away from Brexit, which indicates how far out of touch he is. In his eyes, this a habitual move by a government to lay out its policies for the coming sitting of Parliament. Mogg has a tendency to rely upon the importance of convention as a component of the UK’s constitution. Convention is great, but the beauty about having an uncodified constitution is the very potential of it to be shaped by the status-quo of today. We are all probably aware by now, that gentlemen with the calibre of Mr Mogg are devoid of any grasp of the importance of getting this damned process right.

Mogg is such a clear man of principle, that he does not detract away from the norm in the House of Commons and the processes that follow. Ever. Remember that earlier this year, John Bercow allowed for Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement to be presented to the house three times, despite being defeated twice before the final vote. This was a play on convention, to which in normal circumstances would not have happened. Mogg voted for Ms May’s agreement, despite lamenting it beforehand. He ‘flip-flopped’, despite being so morally entrenched enough before, not to do so. An ardent follower of the constitution should have surely abstained from the vote. This was such a step-out from normal procedure, that a man of such adherence to convention would be outraged. Hence, Mr Mogg lost credibility and he was only resuscitated earlier this summer when he was appointed by PM Boris as Leader of the House of Commons.

There would be greater respect given to a man of such knowledge, if he had acted on principle. He would’ve surely realised that not only would this have damaged public opinion of the political class further, but ensued more turmoil toward the adequacy of our constitution. Perhaps, Rees Mogg’s touch-tight defence of normality is why we are almost definitely living through a crisis of political procedure. Works of constitutional authority such as Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice could not have foreseen such challenging circumstances in the workings of Parliament, way back in 1844. The constitution should be an evolving centrepiece solely to soothe the needs of society- not threaten to further divide it.

The spit-balling rhetoric of Mogg is something which threatens to damage the constitution’s functionality in such a time of political toxicity. By using the constitution as an excuse to politicise convention is a sad trend which politicians are leaping into like a war-bunker, in the hope of avoiding the incoming blitz of destruction. This sentiment that a government should follow the word of convention is a lazy excuse for hiding the fact that they have no means to an end. They’re not going to achieve a deal with the EU that can be presented to Parliament, due to the short time they have left. And, with Mogg being a man that has championed Brexit since its inception in 2016, it is his reputation that is on the line. Forget what A.V Dicey or Erskine May wrote centuries ago- this is about him. He needs a hard Brexit to pet his hard-Brexit pugs in Parliament, and demonstrate to them that he did what he promised to do.

The Conservative party is losing limbs from its own body.

Once upon a time, Mogg was an advocate for two referendums, on the basis that they would provide a period for legislation and scrutiny to which would best suit the needs of the time. How far we have come. Mogg loves reading books about convention and dictating how the English language should be used; dressing as though he is reenacting Victorian Britain BUT it seems as though he is more modern than ever before. For the first time in living memory, a government is using procedure (it should have happened last year, but didn’t) to force through political, partisan gain. As someone who is a normal person , I’m as annoyed as everyone else. So too is John Major, Tony Blair and now the inspirational Ruth Davidson. The Conservative party is losing limbs from its own body. This party isn’t fit to govern today.

Need I remind you that Mogg once used the longest ever recorded word in Parliament a few years back. floccinaucinihilipilification. I’ve too got a noun for Jacob: T**t.

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