Are you taking over, Or are you taking orders? Are you going backwards? Or are you going forwards? 1
On Sunday in the latest of several racist tweets, Donald Trump attacked four progressive Democratic congresswomen, telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came”.
I suspect accuracy isn’t a requirement for Trump’s stormtroopers
The president wrote that it was “so interesting to see ‘progressive’ Democrat congresswomen, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all), now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful nation on earth, how our government is to be run.
“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime[-]infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!
Editorial comment: reading this you can only agree with Sir Kim Darrock, this is a dysfunctional administration riddled with insecurity.
Whilst Trump did not specifically name his targets, the attack was directed at a group of liberal congresswoman who have had a run-in with the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, often referred to as the “squad”: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
Editorial Comments: Interestingly only one, Omar, who is from Somalia, was not born in America, though, I suspect accuracy isn’t a requirement for Trump’s stormtroopers. He will seemingly go to any length to please those Americans that will support his re-election campaign
Whilst the US aren’t directly involved with Brexit, they are becoming increasingly important to a post-Brexit Britain.
On Monday the Times cited unnamed “allies” of Johnson as saying he hoped to have a simple trade pact with the US, possibly on one area of trade, ready to go on the day of Brexit, due on 31 October.
The international trade secretary, Liam Fox, has said a post-Brexit trade arrangement with the US may take longer to agree than some people hope. Fox said that a deal could not be agreed before then, saying: “We can’t negotiate anything with the US until after we’ve left the European Union. It would be in breach of European law for us to do that.”
And it is stupid comments such as the above from Johnson that highlight just how unsuitable a candidate he is. At this level you must know, understand, and abide by international law. After all we aren’t America who, under Trump, seem to do what takes their fancy, simply ride roughshod over anyone and anything.
if the next prime minister goes to Brussels with such a proposal, he will be told in “no uncertain terms” that it amounts to a declaration of no deal
However, undeterred by his legally impossible intents on a US trade agreement Johnson, and also his leadership opponent Hunt, declared the Northern Ireland backstop “dead” and promised to throw it out of any deal they negotiate with the EU, in comments that significantly harden their Brexit positions.
Informed sources say this is doomed to failure and if the next prime minister goes to Brussels with such a proposal, he will be told in “no uncertain terms” that it amounts to a declaration of no deal.
Undeterred Johnson continues to rule out any compromise based on the backstop effectively is either no backstop or no deal.
The central tenet of Johnsonism is that the only Brexit deal worth aiming for is one that doesn’t exist.
If it was only Johnson we had to contend with it might be bearable, however other Tory heavyweights, such as Matt Hancock and Amber Rudd, have decided that hard Brexit is a price worth paying for a seat at Johnson’s cabinet table.
Still more Tories towing the line, frightened to speak-out for what they believe is and putting self-interest and party ahead of country.
“So messed up, I want you here, In my room, I want you here” 2
Others, including David Gauke, David Lidington and Philip Hammond, understand what leaving the EU in a disreputable huff would cost the country, have made a different choice, preferring integrity on the back benches.
But, do they know what they are really fighting for? Many of them accept the referendum result, and voted for May’s withdrawal agreement, the “soft” option, but they are out-of-touch.
The party’s membership now demands a hard Brexit and is to them that Johnson and his cohorts are pandering, watched by the ever-opportunistic Farage, waiting to pounce on any form of supposed deviation from that revolutionary line.
the ever-opportunistic Farage, waiting to pounce on any form of supposed deviation from that revolutionary line
But, what can they do? The moderate may have won some skirmishes in parliament but they have no control of the part which, blinded by their nationalist fervour and natural obedience, like prefects at their former schools, the Brexit zealots rule the common room.
But they only rule the Tory common room, and even then, there are MPs still with the cojones to stand up and be counted, as was demonstrated in the Commons yesterday when Tory rebels voted to block any attempt to suspend parliament in order to force through a no-deal Brexit.
The new measure was passed by a hefty 41-vote majority (315 votes to 274) saw the resignation of one minister and abstentions from four rebellious cabinet ministers, who will soon be on the backbenches, as well as half a dozen others.
Among ministers who defied the whip and did not vote on the complex backbench amendment were the chancellor, Philip Hammond; the justice secretary, David Gauke; the business secretary, Greg Clark; and Rory Stewart, the international development secretary.
Hammond, who will end three years as chancellor next week, warned the next prime minister that he would be at the forefront of Conservative MPs opposing a no-deal Brexit, said “If they are genuinely seeking a deal, then they have my full support. If not, I’ll fight no deal every inch of the way,” Hammond said.
If they are genuinely seeking a deal, then they have my full support. If not, I’ll fight no deal every inch of the way
To an extent the Tory leadership contest has merely been a warm-up before the big fight as, whilst Johnson may be loved by the party faithful that isn’t the case in either parliament or the parliamentary party.
He, assuming he does win, doesn’t have a working majority in parliament, and it is there that he must win.
Seemingly, the only way he can overcome this is a general election. Also, it is likely that several local Tory parties will seek to deselect the incumbent as they are not toeing their extreme nationalistic line.
Where this goes could be fascinating; will the deselected incumbent stand as an independent, or join forces with the Lib-Dems who seem now to be the voice of Remain?
Will the newly selected radical have some electoral pact with the Brexit Party? Or, will there be a Tory/Brexit coalition government?
What I believe is that the country will be terribly split, and the Union could well end up being dissolved.
Leave will show, for the first time, populism at play in the country, and racism could be prevalent dressed up as nationalism.
Sweeping statements such as we leave on the 31st by which time we will have a trade deal with the US are pure fantasy, but it’s a fantasy that the hard-right has bought into.
the country will be terribly split, and the Union could well end up being dissolved
This Brexit fantasy/dream/nightmare (delete as applicable) is being increasingly driven by nationalism, with potential overtones of fascism When I googled fascism, it was defined as a form of government comprised of a one-party dictatorship, generally anti-democracy, puts nation and often race above the individual and stands for a centralized government headed by a dictator. Historically, fascist governments tend to be militaristic, and racist.
But, in the spirit of fair play, it isn’t only the Tories who have issues, Labour party have their own, very serious, racism problems.
This was highlighted by more than sixty Labour peers who commissioned and an advertisement accusing Jeremy Corbyn of having “failed the test of leadership” over his handling of antisemitism complaints within the party.The advert in the Guardian said: “The Labour party welcomes everyone* irrespective of race, creed, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation. (*except, it seems, Jews). This is your legacy, Mr Corbyn.”
This Brexit fantasy/dream/nightmare (delete as applicable) is being increasingly driven by nationalism, with potential overtones of fascism
Representing about a third of Labour’s members in the House of Lords, the signatories told Corbyn the party was “no longer a safe place for all members” and claimed that thousands have resigned their membership “because of the toxic culture you have allowed to divide our movement”
And now let us to return the beginning; in response to Trump’s tweets the House passed a resolution of condemnation. “Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets,” the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said on Tuesday. “To do anything less would be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of our oath of office to protect the American people.”
However, this isn’t the view of his supporters; on Wednesday evening at a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, Trump, sensing he was onto a winner told the mob “Let ’em leave,” Trump said of the members of Congress. “They’re always telling us how to run it, how to do this, how to do that. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell ’em to leave it.”
The crowd chimed in as he finished, shouting “leave it”.
Worse was to come as, goaded on by the president, the mob chanted “send her back! send her back!” in reference to Ilhan Omar, a US congresswoman who arrived almost 30 years ago as a child refugee in the United States.
The peasant quipped, ‘even if I’m blind, it all looks black’. Today I’m as blind as that peasant. And my answer would be the same
And it is to this shameful country that we are looking, dragged there by a bunch little better than those in Greenville. As this column has written in previous articles, nationalism can lead to racism, and where it ends no one knows
I can think of no words better to end this article that those used by the late Antonio Camillieri, the author of the Montalbano books, who died earlier this week.
In a recent episode of the Montalbano television show, a pro-migrant message drew anger from supporters of Italy’s far-right deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini; Camilleri had become a prominent critic of his country’s right-wing populist coalition government, telling the Guardian that “Salvini reminds me of a member of the fascist regime”.
He added: “The great Sicilian writer Leonardo Sciascia once told a story: At the dawn of fascism, a man asked a blind peasant what the future held. The peasant quipped, ‘even if I’m blind, it all looks black’. Today I’m as blind as that peasant. And my answer would be the same.”
“But there’s a warnin’ sign on the road ahead, There’s a lot of people sayin’ we’d be better off dead” 3
OK lyric spotters a triple treat this week and maybe a chance for some points – and we know what points make, don’t we? Yep, Sweet Felicity Arkwright, but enjoy the bragging rights.
1 First off the rank, a corker, but the lyric escaped me I’m afraid; just enjoy The Clash with White Riot – just 42 years young!
2 I’m pretty chuffed to have got the next, despite not being a paid up member of the Stooges fan club; however, any fan of Lock Stock will lap up ‘I wanna be you dog’
Last but no means least, 3 a bit of a curve ball from Philip, and one that sent me the wrong way – Neil Young and ‘Rockin’ in the free world’. Enjoy!
Philip is a great believer in meritocracy, and in the belief that if you want something enough you can make it happen. These beliefs were formed in his formative years, of the late 1970s and 80s
Click on the link to see all Brexit Bulletins: