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Brexit Bulletin: Its all change, but nothing has changed, or has it?
‘Nothing’s changed, And English boys without your names, Riot like the 1980’s again’ 1

 

Well, well, the pollsters got it right, the so-called main parties suffered a wipe out in last weeks’ EU elections. Whilst the Brexit party, only 6-weeks old secured 32% of the vote

Both parties fully deserved what they got; Labour and its supposed Leader paid the price for having no policy on Brexit. He simply isn’t a future PM; how can we elect a man that looks like Albert Steptoe?

And one so vindictive, the decision to expel Alastair Campbell for voting Lib Dem was just spiteful, ands sums up the failings of the leadership

As to the Tories, a ship without a rudder and 11 prospective Captains. I know 11, total madness.

how can we elect a man that looks like Albert Steptoe?

Better still, their #1 choice and Tory housewife’s pin-up, Boris Johnson is facing accusations of misconduct in public office for repeatedly claimed during the 2016 EU referendum that the UK sent £350m a week to Brussels. I expect he will have a bulging sack of letter from ladies in the shires…………

Yet again this column has called it correctly; the success of the Brexit part is already having a significant impact of the Tory leadership elections, with hard-right No Deal Brexiters such as Johnson and Raab to the fore.

In expectation of this, or perhaps to counter them, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond has warned the next Conservative leader that MPs could bring down the government if they pursue a no-deal Brexit.

There has been talk of a candidate being elected to unify the party, but that seems a forlorn hope, this lot are too far gone.

Same old, same old: they are hopelessly split, and compromise doesn’t seem an option

Instead, attention is turning to Michael Gove, who is seen as the most moderate of the original leavers, with sufficient Brexiteer pedigree to appeal to party members who mistrust those choosing their Brexit positions in the spirit of reluctance, but who has also been critical of no deal, which may induce remainer Tories to consider him the least worst option.

‘I can see the remainer/one nation lot eventually backing Gove if he is the least hard Brexit of the true Brexiteers,’ said one Tory insider.

Same old, same old: they are hopelessly split, and compromise doesn’t seem an option. The right will likely carry the day as the party is too frightened of Farage and his hordes, it’s a rerun of Cameron and Farage in his UKIP days.

 

‘Directionless so plain to see, A loaded gun won’t set you free…’ 2

 

And there will be no let up on the pressure on the new tory leader with Nigel Farage saying that if Britain did not leave on 31st October, then his new party would face down the Conservatives and Labour at the next general election.

Those dismissing Farage and his hordes as a one-cause wonder or dismissing the EU election results as protest votes with people ‘returning home’ when we have a general election are missing the point.

Farage correctly points out that the electoral system and the main parties are broken and not fit for purpose, and is potentially reshaping the right of politics.

Just as he used the 2014 European election result to force the Tories into offering the 2016 referendum, he will use the 2019 result to push the Tories into backing a no-deal exit by making the end of October deadline firm.

the main parties are broken and not fit for purpose, and is potentially reshaping the right of politics

And, Farage’s message goes beyond Brexit, it’s almost a full-frontal assault on the establishment. In tactics reminiscent of the ‘stab-in-the-back’ policy first adopted by the far right in Germany in the 1920s, and a feature of the Nazi party, Farage repeatedly claimed that the British negotiating team were the ‘enemy within’, that May’s deal could ‘only have been signed by a nation defeated in war’, and that the people had been ‘betrayed’.

All of this is reminiscent of the Trump playbook: undermine sources of facts so that people are left to trust only their instincts, not institutions.

A good example of this is his demand for a place in the UK’s EU negotiating team, trumpeting the business experience of many of his party’s candidates what he means is this is his strategy to avoid the blame in no-deal chaos.

Brexit is only the excuse, the cause goes much deeper, as Michel Barnier realised in March after yet another breakdown in negotiations this is ‘more than weariness’, ‘there is a very serious crisis in the UK which … isn’t linked to the text of Brexit and even less to the Irish backstop. It’s a much deeper crisis; an existential crisis.’

undermine sources of facts so that people are left to trust only their instincts, not institutions

The existential crisis he refers to is the reason that the 2 main parties captured less than a quarter of all the votes cast last week.

Three years ago, despite the political and economic establishment telling everyone we should stay people voted to leave; 3-years on politicians haven’t bothered to respond to the grievances that drove that result. As a consequence of that the public is full of fury and rebellion, and, egged on by Farage and his hordes, is taking aim at our party democracy.

The conspicuous failings of both parties can be summed up in the painfully similar words of the 11 prospective Tory leaders:  Boris Johnson, ‘courageous and optimistic’; Raab, ‘optimistic vision’; Gove ‘unity’ and ‘vision’; Sajid Javid, ‘find unity’.

As for policies, Raab suggests cutting income tax by 5p.

This demonstrates how little he understands what is driving electors’ grievances, 40-yrs after Thatcher became PM 38% of working-age households now take more from the state in benefits, health and education than they pay back in taxes.

Wealth in Britain is so concentrated that the head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies believes ‘inheritance is probably the most crucial factor in determining a person’s overall wealth since Victorian times’.

38% of working-age households now take more from the state in benefits, health and education than they pay back in taxes

Those who point out that collectively the parties that support Remain gained for more votes than parties committed to a no-deal Brexit are missing the point. Instead, we should be asking why so many are voting for the Armageddon that No Deal represents.

A second referendum would provide the opportunity to lay bare the fact and consequences of No Deal and show that voting for it will not address the wealth-gap in this country.

Without this clarity the electorate will remain hopelessly split, there will never be a clear majority one way or the other, and Brexit will continue to dominate politics.

 

‘Questions, questions, Give me no answers, That’s all they ever give me, Questions, questions..’ 3

 

And, if we are to have a second referendum what question(s) are put to the electorate? Here are my suggestions:

  • Do you want to remain in the EU?
  • Do you want to leave with No Deal?

It’s binary, take it or leave it; stay or go is pointless, people need to understand that if we go, what the consequences will be.

Or, we all go our own way, devolution for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and London who all voted to stay, the rest can just f-fade away.

 

OK lyric spotters – a tough trio this week and bonus points all round if you bag all three; even if you don’t, there are some cracking tracks to listen to, and our fiendish author has also hidden two additional song titles in the article – do contact us with your answer for your chance to win one of the fabulous prizes up for grabs (please check this….Ed).

1 First off the rank is mean and moody and possibly less familiar, but its a cracker, so check out Massive Attack with ‘False Flags’.

2 Next we’re back to one of Philip’s favourites – Joy Division, again with a possibly less well known track, but how poignant – ‘New Dawn Fades’

3 Left me kicking myself and  saw me return ‘null points’ – possibly slightly easier is Spandau Ballet and ‘To Cut a Long Story Short’. Now, Philip’s a pretty natty dresser, but check out the garb on these boys – enjoy!

 

 

Philip Gilbert 2Philip Gilbert is a city-based corporate financier, and former investment banker.

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

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