Beating the Backstop: How to make a hard Border in Ireland and with any of our EU Neighbours irrelevant when Brexit is delivered

August 1, 2019 Leave a comment

Beating the Backstop

A few days ago, I visited Gloucester Quays with my son. Not noticing the technology surrounding us as we drove into the multi-storey car park that sits above the shops, the speed of our exit – with the barrier lifting before we even had the chance to stop – reminded me of just how simple the solutions to the Irish Backstop issue should really now be.

Like Brexit itself, the Backstop is a complicated issue that should actually be very simple to resolve.

The problem is that there are so many different viewpoints in the mix that look upon the practicalities of a technical solution to the hard border problem from only their own perspective.

Whether they are a politician, a computer coder or a haulier – they are not open to the reality that there isn’t just one solution that they themselves will recognise or understand as immediately workable for the Border.

They do not appreciate that the whole issue is about weaving together a series of very different solutions in order to get the whole job done.

Regrettably, many of the decision makers – many of them in Government right now – do themselves share this particular view and understanding.

Whether this tunnel vision is borne of simple ignorance, lack of beyond-their-own-sector-understanding, or just the fact that they haven’t got the wherewithal or real-world savviness to recognise how different this opportunity for progress really is, they treat the whole thing like it is just another government project.

This is not the way that the battle for an Open Border Solution is going to be won – no matter what the final terms of Brexit will be.

It has been said that the wheels of government move incredibly slow. But in a time of national crisis, time is not something that is within a government’s gift.

Urgency must open up to agility. The government must not only set the new agenda, it must also keep the momentum of it going too.

In terms of tangible delivery, this means that delivering a practical and real-life solution like the Backstop cannot be left to rely on standing procedures, processes and the mentality in government that ‘this is the way that things have always been done’ – particularly when many of the processes that could hinder or delay the timely delivery of a working Open Border Solution have been created by the EU – the very entity that solving this problem will allow the UK to Leave.

There are a range of specialists from very different technical and service industries who can bring significant knowledge, expertise and yes – the very services and products that all Borders will need to keep everything flowing like it does now and then make the new UK-EU working relationship better than it has already been.

Yet the development and the implementation of the border solution cannot and must not be allowed to be allocated to any one government department to control or lead, other than DEXEU.

Otherwise, the right solution will not be found for everyone. Because whatever comes from the process will only be framed in terms of the wants and needs of the ideas and motives of the people at the top of those particular organisational trees, rather than being fully inclusive and considerate of everyone involved.

Equally, the Government cannot rely on the monolithic public sector contractors to offer up the right solution.

They are too big. Too self-focused. Too profit orientated. And above all, they are simply not agile enough to deliver the right solution on the right timeline to ensure that the Backstop job is properly done.

This is how the solution to returning to a hard Border in Ireland and keeping goods moving across all our EU Borders can be found:

Open Border Service

The Open Border Solution (abridged)

  • There will be no hard Border.
  • There will be no physical barriers or stops at the Border.
  • Vehicle movements will be monitored using ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) using cameras located at all Border road entry points.
  • Using existing vehicle Number Plate Recognition Software of the kind that we experience in most of the car parks that we now drive into, Hauliers and Companies that Export to and Import from the EU will be able to join a Trusted Trader & Transit Scheme – which we will call the Open Border Service.
  • As Members they will be able to access their own portal to a database/e-commerce/transaction system – that we will call the Open Border System.
  • Within the Open Border System, Members will be able to store the identity data – including registrations – of their Vehicles and Trailers.
  • Vehicles and Trailers entered on the Open Border System will have to correspond with the DVLA Database and Databases of any Vehicle Licensing Body in the EU or beyond that manages Vehicles and Trailers that will transit into or via the UK.
  • When Members have a load of goods to carry into or via a UK/EU Border (EU-UK, UK-EU or EU-EU), they will be able to register or notify the Open Border System of the manifests of their load, identifying correlation with the Taxation Groups provided by HMRC.
  • To secure the registered load for monitoring during transit, Members will be able to purchase ratchet-tie-tags that will affix to the rear doors of Vehicles and Trailers that carry a bar code, chip or data strip that can be read by any Government Officer, at pinch points such as the Ports, on Cross Channel Ferries, at the Channel Tunnel and by any other authorized representative equipped with mobile scanning equipment.
  • Tags will be available in different colours to immediately identify the nature of the journey from a distance (such as a following police car) and tags removed for inspection will be replaced with a unique colour that shows the vehicle has been stopped, with the data being updated in live time, so that the code of the new tag will correspond with the same load once the journey is complete or is being inspected again.
  • Scanning equipment or apps will automatically communicate with the central database and confirm the legitimacy of the load.
  • Taxes owed will be payable on terms and at rates to be confirmed by HMRC following negotiation with trading partner Countries.
  • Countries that do not sign up to the scheme will not be authorized to transit and any vehicle without a valid tag will be stopped and impounded.
  • Payment will be taken by Members at point of Registration via the Open Border System via Merchant Services integrated into the system, or via Invoice to Companies authorized by HMRC to pay by Invoice later.

Getting the Open Border Solution done…

So here is what the Government should do if it really wants to get a speedy and workable Backstop solution in place:

  • Forget what the EU wants
  • Forget all the political arguments
  • Put the right people in charge & remove all the barriers to progress
  • Hold a conference with all the companies who might be interested and would be able to provide one or more of the technical elements of the Backstop Solution, or would be prepared to work collaboratively with others to get the job done.
  • Set out the terms of a Tender for Development
  • Allow suppliers to qualify themselves
  • Commission no less than 3 separate solutions to be developed by a fixed date
  • Select the Solution
  • Implement
  • Brexit
  • Develop the service further allowing any inter-departmental integration to take place that was not possible before

1. Forget what the EU wants

The most simple thing the government needs to do in identifying, delivering and then implementing an open-border solution between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, is get on with it and do it without letting the EU or any of their Representatives becoming involved.

The EU is on a mission to stop Brexit at any cost, as it is aware and very fearful that anything that can be interpreted as a successful departure from the EU – and that includes the development of a post-departure working relationship that works – will encourage other Member Countries (what they call States) to Leave.

On past form alone, it appears very likely that the EU would deliberately and willingly expose itself and therefore the Irish Republic too, to difficulties over Brexit, just to ensure that they can present a picture of chaos and problems that could only be avoided by Remaining – to all other Parties involved.

2.Forget all the Political arguments

Left, Right, Leave or Remain; Conservative, Brexit Party, DUP, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat or whoever else they might be, the time for allowing anyone with any vested interests to reframe the Brexit and therefore the Backstop debate has already been and gone.

This is now about the doing. About delivering. About returning the UK to its sovereign, independent, self-governing status once more.

Nobody can add any value to the backstop by turning it into a political debate.

Nobody in the UK wants a hard border in Ireland. It’s time to get practical and get the job done.

3.Put the right people in charge and remove all the barriers to progress

Sounds simple I know. But it can be and it needs to be. Brexit simply will not happen meaningfully if those with responsibility for delivering it continue to try using tried and tested formulas and methods of working to get a completely new and significant task done.

It is unlikely that even the most senior civil servants have the wherewithal to get the Backstop Project working as it should. Equally, the Politicians appear to be no better and the solution is not to appoint expensive consultants or even worse, get friends and people within networks on board, just because you think they would be good at it or have a CV or work history that suggests they might be able to get something done.

The Project needs to be led by people who understand, have working experience or fluency of all the kinds of services and technologies that will be involved – or most importantly, have the skills and attributes necessary to step outside of what they do know whilst being credible to everyone they are dealing with, so that a culture of trust can be the first thing that is created.

To support them, all of the rules and regulations on buying or commissioning government services simply must be reduced to the bare essentials.

Lets face it, this is all about Leaving the EU, so none of the rules that just about every part of government has already become used to will be required because its all about Leaving!

4.Hold a conference with all the companies who might be interested and would be able to provide one or more of the technical elements of the Backstop Solution, or would be prepared to work collaboratively with others to get the job done.

Although this one sits at No.4 in the list, it’s actually as important as 1, 2 and 3 and they should all be happening simultaneously.

There’s a very big opportunity for the companies and providers that get involved with delivering the Backstop Solution.

One of the keys to managing the benefit of their input is not to allow them to take over and dictate the process.

Believe me when I say that it is the companies who are willing to play by the rules of the process who will actually deliver on time, on target and in a way that opens the right doorways to future working.

There should be a conference called within a couple of weeks with an open invite to all companies that can provide the services and technologies involved and can qualify themselves appropriately and immediately. They must also be prepared to sign up to an NDA that has financial penalties involved if they should leak information.

Within that there should be care to ensure that those who speak and input are bringing genuine, experiential thought and views, rather than opinion which has now too often become the case. It is easy to overlook the reality that people we culturally recognise as business leaders are often no such thing. They are managers without comprehensive understanding of their own businesses at a practical level. It is equally vital to value academic input in the same way.

Worst of any of the organisations that it would seem natural to involve those who sell themselves as being representative of an industry because they suggest that they are representing members.

Yes, many organisations and businesses join member networks and when it comes to bodies such as the FSB, small businesses gain access to many things which bring immediate value to what they do. Yet when it comes to lobbying or influencing decision makers upon policy that will affect whatever it is that their industry does, it is rare once again to find people in charge with the in-depth knowledge of the industry their represent from the bottom up and more often the case that the words they speak come from their own view of the world, rather than being anything even remotely akin to what it is that the businesses at the cutting edge of that industry does.

It is necessary to labour this point, because it is essential that good, productive representation from all the industries that have a stake in the success of the Irish Border Solution are involved in this process and given the opportunity to contribute and collaborate positively and proactively to ensure that from their own vantage point, they have genuine but nonetheless joint ownership of whatever it actually does.

Some will argue that such a meeting cannot be convened in such short a time as a couple of weeks and particularly so during the summer. Yet the opposite is true, because if Brexit is as important to these organisations and they either want influence or the opportunity to gain further business, being there, being agile and being ready to make it work under pressure is just something that they will be ready and equipped to do.

Set out the Terms of a Tender for Development

Sounds like that will take time – I hear you think. But it won’t.

The Border Solution requires a wholly different approach. One that encourages every business and organisation involved to step beyond their comfort zone and to see the Brexit opportunity for exactly what it is.

Leaving the EU cannot be held up by regulations that are only relevant if we are members.

So the solution will come by conducting a three stage process:

  • Tender for development
  • Date-critical development
  • Implementation, servicing and further development

5.1. Tender for development

The most critical and quickest part of the process is qualifying and selection the provider(s) who will develop Border Solution Options.

Options, because to ensure that the UK is ready to Leave the EU and keep the Border fully open at the same time, it is critical that this responsibility is left at the whim of a single private contractor or collaboration thereof, that can create delays and raise prices just to ensure that greater levels of additional profit will automatically be involved.

What needs to be recognised across the board is that the Border Solution already exists. The solution itself is therefore not one that needs to be invented. The solution itself is just a question of identifying the right elements or pieces of the jigsaw that will fit together to make that solution, and to then manage the contributions of all the different parties that will inevitably become involved.

The Suppliers will include:

  • Number Recognition Cameras & Software
  • Access & Integration with the DVLA Database and Databases of all International Vehicle Licensing Bodies likely to have vehicles transiting to or via the UK from the EU
  • Database Software (The Core of the Open Border System)
  • Merchant Services Solutions
  • Scanning Hardware & Software
  • App Development
  • Vehicle Tags
  • Access & Integration with the HMRC Database
  • Others that will inevitably become apparent

The Organisations will include:

  • HMRC
  • DVLA
  • Representatives of the Haulage Industry
  • Representatives from Businesses conducting UK-EU exports and imports
  • Representatives of the Farming Industry
  • Others that will inevitably become apparent

All of these organisations should be present, but a framework agreed and presented for what the Border Solution will look like, the functionality required and above all, what it should actually do. The adversary organisations will be present just to answer questions on practicalities such as what the volume or weight and the number of crates would be on a standard Euro-Pallet on a vehicle trailer and how many Euro-Pallets that vehicle might hold. They will not be there to influence anything other than the accuracy of the data input for the tender process.

Contrary to what the fearful tell us, a Border Solution is not rocket science or anything like it. A Border solution already exists. The Border Solution is simply about joining up the dots. The dot joiners and the creators of those dots are only there to execute the task.

5.1.1. Number Recognition Cameras & Software

The key to removing the need for a physical or hard border, border checks and the presence of a full time contingent of the UK Border Force is simply to monitor all the traffic that crosses the Irish Border – no matter how many times, and whatever the direction.

ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology has been in use by the Police for many years and helps them to identify vehicles and drivers, along with any red flags that might be associated with those vehicles in live time, so that they can literally or rather automatically pull over vehicles in live time, as and when they see them.

Today ANPR technology is everywhere and nowhere less prominent than in car parks, where Companies such as NCP or the private overseers of car parks in places like out-of-town retail parks have cameras set up which record your number plate when you arrive and then when you leave. There is no need for attendants and limited requirement for staffing on site as administration can all be done remotely, often the other side of the Country – making the whole exercise very profitable.

The software in use commercially already links to the DVLA Database, and if you have any qualms about the speed that a camera can recognise a number plate or vehicle, why not try entering your car on the We Buy Any Car site to get a value and see how quick it comes. A current advertising campaign on Radio featuring Phillip Schofield as good as promises that the whole exercise takes less than a minute. A time that at its worst should reassure about how quickly a well-thought out and designed software system could manage seamless border crossings along the Irish Border.

I refer back to my own experience recently that I began with above and the reality that the system at Gloucester Quays was so good, it didn’t even need to read my paid-up ticket as the system identified the number plate with the ticket that had been paid a few minutes before as soon as it saw the plate.

Fundamentally this is off-the-shelf technology, which is only going to get better. Its use will be an essential part of the Border Solution and it’s the link with the Open Border Service that is the real task.

5.1.2. Access & Integration with the DVLA Database and Databases of all International Vehicle Licensing Bodies likely to have vehicles transiting to or via the UK from the EU

Essential to creating a fully collaborative UK/EU/International System is access to the Registration Data for all of the vehicles (tractors & powered chassis) that will be crossing UK/EU Borders – irrespective of the exact location.

All of the Countries and EU Member States will have these and the UK already has access to this information for the purposes of policing and enforcement of international traffic on the UK Roads.

Yes, it is possible that the EU will attempt to restrict access to this data in order to frustrate the development of what will otherwise be a very simple system. To restrict such data sharing post-Brexit would be bloody mindedness on the part of of the EU.

The way to address any potential problem with Vehicle Database access is to simply bar entry to UK roads for any Vehicle and the Owner that cannot be identified. Bearing in mind that the Open Border Solution is all as much about the EU and its Members and probably more so than UK Hauliers and Companies that Export, it is in their interests to cooperate fully. Especially as this whole system can and arguably should be mirrored, and potentially managed by a joint UK/EU Organisation.

5.1.3. Database Software (The core of the Open Border System)

Whilst IT specialists or ‘experts’ will happily and passionately tell you otherwise (I have already seen a Tweet on my own feed which says there’s no way a solution can be coded), the reality of the Open Border Solution is that it is nothing more than a database solution, integrated with scanning and e-commerce technology which has multiple administration points in addition to customer portals.

The companies that you want working on this project are not those that immediately tell you that this will take years; can’t be done; would have to be designed from scratch or that it is simply too complicated to be done.

It isn’t any of those things. And any company or so-called expert that suggests otherwise will not be one that you want at this conference when facing a piece of significant work which can only be delivered by people who have the mentality to do what is necessary to deliver on time.

Primarily, this is not a project and will not be a contract for one of the large Public Sector Contractors that will always place its own priorities first and is used to working with Officers and Civil Servants who will believe anything that they say.

No. This is not about precluding existing Contractors. But it is about making clear that this Brexit is an opportunity for all and not just those in a position to exploit it.

The companies that offer database development will already be able to demonstrate off-the-shelf or open-source-type technology that can work with the type of systems that the Government already uses.

Just bear in mind that there are already a series of commercially available accountancy packages that already integrate with HMRC – and it is on the basis of working with, adapting and integrating systems that are already known, that the Border Solution can be quickly and efficiently achieved – not by pretending that there must be a reinvention of the wheel in order to get all this done.

This process must be open to companies of all sizes, start-ups included. As it is only through experiencing the reality of the offering that is out there that would not necessarily qualify under EU Tender Rules, that it will become clear that there are much more effective ways to get jobs for the public sector legitimately done.

The key to getting the required result is presenting the companies with a detailed process map for the system. Coders are rarely unable to come up with all manner of effective ways to get software to work and complete a task as long as it is clear what you want it to do. This isn’t a task that you can expect a coder to complete cold.

5.1.4. Merchant Services Solutions

One of the simplest aspects of the software side of the solution. Many companies are already leading the way with multiple-medium payment entry. Some of them will be amongst the list of those interested in providing the database solution immediately above.

Either way, payment portals, whether online, by app or otherwise will be comparatively simple to introduce as the technology is already very successfully in use.

5.1.5. Scanning Hardware & Software

Effective enforcement of an Open Border Solution will be the key element to ensuring that a hard or physical border is not required again – irrespective of whatever the trade or tariff arrangement between the UK and the EU becomes.

Scanning software is now developed enough that it can work as an app on a Smartphone. Likewise, there is a complete range of specialist hand-held, mounted, 3G, Wi-Fi, networked and other scanning devices. And making them available at key pinch points such as at ports, on ferries, motorway services and for the Police and any Government Officer carrying out enforcement work will be essential.

Representatives of companies providing hardware and software solutions for the scanning requirement should all be invited, subject to appropriate qualification.

5.1.6. App Development

Many of the big Hauliers that transit the EU Border have specialist employees who will take care of the administration of loads and correct data entry. Some may even have direct portals involved.

However, many others will be smaller or even self-employed owner drivers. And where it is the case that the Company they are carrying for has not made direct submission of their own, it is essential that a low-cost, effective version of the portal be available as an app, simple enough that with the corresponding data that exporting or importing customers will be required to provide, a driver or small business operator can load the data themselves before mounting the corresponding tag on the vehicle or trailer.

Again, this is not an original task and integrating it with its own scanning function – as exists with many apps such as the National Lottery App – means that the process can be made very simple and as such, a very efficient task to get done.

5.1.7. Vehicle Tags

Yes, this sounds too good to be true. But companies such as the big supermarkets have been monitoring their loads and keeping them secure against theft and driver infidelity for decades.

The basic solution is a tie-ratchet-tag that fits to the back doors of rigid body vehicles and trailers and to a secure cable that runs through the length of the whole body on either side of a curtain side vehicle or trailer.

These would carry a barcode and/or chip that would provide a unique journey number that corresponds with the load that has been registered for transit on the system.

Any vehicle crossing the Border or transiting a recognised pinch point such as a port or registered ferry, would by law be required to have a tag fitted, protecting the exact load that has been notified to the Open Border Service.

Different Colour Tags would be used to identify types of journey. For example UK-UK = Blue, EU-EU = Red, UK-EU = Green, EU-UK = Orange, Load Checked and Passed = Silver etc.

There are a number of manufacturers of these tags and their input would be required simply to ensure the simplicity, durability and integration of the tags with the Open Border System.

The Tags themselves would only be available to Companies registered with the Service and either sold centrally or through registered sale points with the reseller themselves registered by the Scheme.

5.1.8. Access & Integration with the HMRC Database

As outlined above, there already exist a number of accountancy packages that interact with HMRC already such as Sage, QuickBooks and Xero.

HMRC have already had to undertake considerable work on integration with other systems to do this and this work would inform the development of the Open Border System – if only for an immediate way to ensure that the correct Taxation Codes are available, if a fully integrated system is not available in the first instance.

HMRC must be involved at the outset to ensure that the system is conversant with their taxation rules. However, like all suppliers, participants and stakeholders, they cannot be allowed to dictate anything other than the Taxation Rules – e.g. they must not be allowed to dictate the operational platform itself – so long as it is clear that the Open Border System will administer the taxation of transferring goods to their rules.

5.1.9. Others that will inevitably become apparent

Like any project, there are always unknowns and these must be allowed for.

It could be as simple as another way of monitoring vehicle movements across the border without the need for cameras – such as GPRS tracking.

Whatever might present itself as an option, there has to be an open door approach to anything that could make the Open Border Solution even more Open than this Solution suggests that it could be.

The Organisations will include:

5.1.10. HMRC

As discussed in 5.1.8. above, HMRC must be a key stakeholder/respondent in the Solution Development,

5.1.11. DVLA

Unhindered access to the DVLA Database is a must. DVLA will also have a clear understanding of the issues regarding access to all other relevant Vehicle Databases in the EU and beyond.

Like HMRC, it is essential that they are treated as a key stakeholder/respondent in the Development stages.

5.1.12. Representatives of the Haulage Industry

The default setting when it comes to speaking to industry, is for the Government to give priority to Member and Lobby Organisations that portray themselves as being the voice of the Industry. They should not.

Yes. In this case, organisations such as the RHA (Road Haulage Association) have a part to play. But not when it comes to opinion.

Getting the right views and feedback does include member organisations. But the best people to get involved are those actually doing the jobs, not the managers of or more often than not the mangers of the managers of the mangers of the people who do the jobs, who have never actually done the jobs themselves.

By making clear that the Industry needs to inform practically, but not try to influence the Brexit process itself, large companies that are responsible for significant numbers of journeys into the EU are much more likely to support the Government by making the right people available to inform the process, rather than those with a name or profile who are eager to push their own view.

Drivers are often the very best to give practical viewpoints about how an operation involving lorries will actually work, and like everyone, they will be more than happy to help by answering questions if they understand that we will appreciate their view.

5.1.13. Representatives from Businesses conducting UK-EU exports and imports

Again, for the purposes of designing a system that works operationally, businesses that import from and export to the EU must be involved and asked to inform on the development of the Open Border Solution, with reliance not being placed on Member Organisations like the CBI and FSB to inform accurately alone.

Whilst journalists are adept at soliciting the angry or negative side of business owners when it comes to Brexit, the priority of business people is for the Open Border Solution to be developed in the best way possible so that it helps them to get along.

From this point of view, handled appropriately, most businesses that will be affected by Brexit will be happy to discuss what they experience now, and what they believe to be necessary post-Brexit, in order to get a successful Open Border Solution done.

The important thing is recognising what the important and common goals between exporters/importers is, and how this rolls out in to the functionality of the Open Border System.

5.1.14. Representatives of the Farming Industry

Last but by no means least, farmers. Because of the nature and scope of moving animals and foodstuffs and the very different approach that will be required to monitor the movement of animals, it is vital that organisations like the NFU are again actively involved, but not allow to dominate the process with a wish to make it a political debate.

Like the involvement of any organisation and industry representative, this process is no longer about their opinion. It’s about facts, figures and the practicalities of getting the job done.

From this point of view, it remains essential that Member Organisations only form part of the pool of Farming and food producer representatives that are invited to consult and that producers and farmers and involved in this process in real time.

5.1.15. Others that will inevitably become apparent

5.2. Date-critical development

Taking a considerably more commercial, time, cost and value approach to the tendering process, Developers (or Teams thereof) will be asked to present a tender for the development of the Border Solution (or Parts thereof) rather than the delivery of the complete thing.

As the hardware required for the ‘Service’ already exists, this element of the bids will be comparatively easy for contractors to cost, even where installation is required.

It is the development time and steps proposed to be taken to adapt the software solution that connects hardware and what might be a multiple number of different, potentially government-run databases that will both need to be projected realistically for both time and cost, but also to ensure that any potential contractor is fully aware of the cross-organisational working that will be involved.

Nonetheless it is the assurance from all bodies involved that they will not hinder or hold up progress that will be a key element of the process. For this reason, the development of the Border Solution might need to be in 2 steps. The first only to develop a stand-alone solution which is only dependent upon reference data from Government Agencies (such as the DVLA Database or HRMC Tax Codes). The second, over time once running, to integrate fully with all departments involved.

To ensure that the development of the Border Solution is kept within schedule, a minimum of three bids will be accepted, with the most appropriate chosen for implementation once delivery has been assured, the product tested and it is clear that nothing will hinder delivery on time.

5.3. Implementation, servicing and further development

The reward for the successful contractor(s) would be a 5 or perhaps 10 year maintenance and development contract to support the early years of the Open Border Service

Overview

The reality is that the success of the Open Border Solution – and Brexit itself, is all about the people doing the jobs.

The Open Border Solution can be delivered quickly, economically and to the standards necessary to meet the needs and expectations of all stakeholders. As long as the focus is on and only on the job in hand.

The moment that opinion on the part of anyone within the process is allowed to overshadow fact and practicality, the Open Border Solution will be one step further away from being delivered.

It’s all about the people. And all of the people involved have got to put their own views, priorities and aims to one side, and commit to doing everything necessary to get the Open Border Solution delivered, working and done.

Download this Blog in PDF: Beating the Backstop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Conservative Party MUST have a New Leader, New Manifesto AND New Electoral Mandate BEFORE 31 October – AND they ALL have to be just right

April 25, 2019 8 comments

img_3013When Parliament has already voted to overrule the Executive, a Party Grandee who has been a Party Member for longer than the lifetimes of many MPs leaves to stand for a protest party, and Conservative Councillors and even MPs too are telling the media they are about to Vote against their own Party in an upcoming Election, anyone with enough sense and concern for what is going on around them would know that what is happening no longer fits with any rules they know. They would accept that following those rules is not now going to bring the situation to a close.

That our lawmakers have no real appreciation for the responsibility they have been given by the Electorate has now become painfully obvious to the People outside of Westminster.

Worse for all conservatives, whether members of the Party, tribal voters or simply lapsed, is the realisation that a horrible reality is now becoming manifest in Westminster. One where there are simply not enough Conservative MPs in the Parliamentary Party that have the understanding, stamina, wherewithal and everything that it takes to deal with a serious crisis – not one created by any external threat, but by something made manifest from within its own walls.

Those who observe and consider the steps of the journey that Brexit has taken will eventually realise that the decisions made by Theresa May and her enablers since June 2016 – right up to the 1922 Committee’s decision last evening not to put the flames out engulfing the Party that are now in open sight for all to see, have and are continuing to fuel a fire that has not only taken the Conservative Party to the edge of the precipice, but is on the verge of condemning the whole of the UK to political, if not civil chaos too.

We have reached a point where the true chronology of events that led to the Vote to Leave the European Union, the mess of the Brexit Process and the now the critical condition of our democracy too, is in imminent danger of being forgotten and responibility for all ills being laid squarely at the feet of the only Political Party genuinely capable of getting the UK through Brexit and to the promise of the opportunities that lie ahead for us all on the other side.

It is painful for many to admit that the disease within the Conservative Party may have already been allowed to spread too far. That if the majority of the MPs that are still obstructing change from within the Conservative Parliamentary Party do not put their self-interest, fear and obsession with maintaining a system that now, thanks in no small part to them no longer exists, that not only will the Party that gifted them their time in the public eye be gone, but the Country itself could be thrown into chaos and darkness of a kind that those amongst us still alive to remember the consequences of such times had long since hoped had been left behind.

People who I and many have time for and respect from right across the political spectrum, are now falling in behind Nigel Farage to support the Brexit Party.

Any serious conservative with an eye on the future and what happens next would be foolish not to read the electoral runes right at this moment in time and see what is about to happen to British Politics during the Month of May.

But whilst one of the key straplines of this very serious and credible protest party is changing politics for good, the Brexit Party only has the cohesiveness between its Membership and support provided by just one issue.

This commonality between Brexit Party supporters will evaporate the moment that the promise made to respect our democracy and Leave the EU has been made good.

In days and certainly no more than weeks, the Conservative Party has a final and defining choice to make about the part that it wants to play and can offer the British People as a choice for the future.

If the Conservative Party does not choose to take it, the Brexit Party could well become the overwhelming force in domestic British Politics that UKIP never could.

The anger, palpable amongst the British People today that could so quickly be addressed with reason and delivery, could instead be completely unleashed.

Make no mistake. A Political Party without professional governance, systems and procedures is not going to deliver the overnight change it is now promising us – even if it currently benefits from having many well known and well meaning names up front which gives it an even more credible feel.

The choice that the Conservative Party has to make is whether to do nothing and allow May to continue in a way that only she seems to know how. Or to commit to a hard-decision-laden and timely process that will require unbending commitment, coolness of character and dedication to a cause much bigger than themselves and their Party, all boiled down to the willingness to do whatever it will take to get things done.

Step 1. A NEW Leader

May MUST go.

May MUST go now.

May MUST be replaced quickly.

This is not the time for an incumbent PM to be allowed to run down the clock in an attempt to let history look more kindly upon her tenure than anyone actually does right now. It won’t.

The ridiculous infighting, self-interest and ambition that have created so much of the Brexit impasse and constipated version of Parliamentary Politics we have witnessed over the past year has to stop and be consigned to the bin.

There MUST be a practical acceptance of the reality that right now, in this climate and with our Country facing the issues that it is, that there is no such thing as the ‘best’ or ‘Perfect’ candidate to be Prime Minister. It is now all about putting the person into the role who will be best placed to get results and yes, get the job done.

Under such circumstances, there is little doubt that whilst far from a perfect situation, the Party Membership would support an immediate ‘crowning’ of a new Party Leader and de facto Prime Minister, AS LONG AS THE PARLIAMENTARY PARTY APPOINTS THE RIGHT PERSON IT HAS AVAILABLE.

As recent polling work undertaken by the Conservative Home Website has shown, which is reliable for gauging the mood of the grassroots Party, the Membership wants a Brexiteer PM in Downing Street.

By far, the PM that the Membership wants is Boris Johnson.

The lack of understanding and appreciation of what really gets results, instead replaced with private ambition and the idea that each and every Member of the Cabinet is the only one who really knows best and can be the next Prime Minister, is precisely why so much of this has gone wrong already.

Trying to control or obstruct a workable solution to these problems for personal reasons, rather than doing what’s best for everyone, no matter how challenging or distasteful or unpalatable the alternative might be, is likely to replace one bad Prime Minister with another. Not because the alternatives aren’t capable or any good at what they do. But because they cannot be the person to bring together the formula that this Country needs right now and effectively become the necessary catalyst for change and for good.

Boris is very electable, as has been demonstrated by his highly effective campaigns to become and to be re-lected London Mayor.

Yes, Boris has a propensity to look silly at inappropriate times. But he also identifies his own destiny as being closely aligned with the success of the people and the policies that he leads. And as Prime Minister he will know that he MUST surround himself with the full range of best talents and voices. To be inclusive, but to make sure that the results achieved are good for all parts of our society and not just those who are directly involved.

This is where the opportunity lies for all who can see, accept and facilitate what now needs to be done to align themselves, contribute and for their genuine ambition to do good for others to be recognised fully for the part they play in delivering for the much bigger Public cause.

2. A NEW Manifesto

No. Oddly the next step IS NOT to worry about Brexit and the EU.

For right or for wrong, we now have until Thursday 31st October 2019 to sort out the Brexit mess and to get things done.

That’s 6 Months. And with a week being a long time in politics, as long as the Conservatives get moving quickly AND do all that needs to be done, 6 Months will be plenty of time enough.

The first priority is to create, promote and engage the public with a NEW Manifesto.

A Manifesto that demonstrates:

  • That the kind of working relationship that WE ALL want with Europe can only be created and developed once we are a fully Independent and Sovereign State once again and that to do this WE MUST FULLY AND CATEGORICALLY LEAVE.
  • That the Conservative Party is NOT only the Party of the rich, but the Party of all those with aspiration. The protector and safe-guarder of all those in genuine need and all those who want to succeed as a result of genuine effort and not riding off the backs and exploitation of others. A Party which really is for ALL of us too.
  • That Politics is in fact the means and not the ends to get things done. That it is a calling, not a job and that those who gain the very special and privileged elevation to Public Office must be able, prepared and committed to engaging fully foremost and as a priority with the People that they represent.
  • That good governance of this Country can no longer be something regurgitated from history, read from a book, accepted as an established rule or contrived on the basis simply of how it will look.
  • That decisions will be taken no matter how hard, to ensure that Government delivers fully for everyone, without bias, favour and with fairness as we are all right and justified in expecting that it should.

It will not take months or years to formulate.

The Conservatives only have to look beyond themselves and begin to engage everyone in a natural conversation, without the hard sell and without falling back on statistics and analysis to confirm what being out there will soon tell them should then be a quickly changing mood.

3. A New Mandate

With a New Leader and New Manifesto, the Conservative Party then MUST go back to the People.

It MUST have the faith, confidence and guts to know that if the Party has done Steps 1 & 2 right, the People will come back and provide the Party with a New Mandate.

A New Mandate that is required not only to break the Brexit impasse that can only come from our clean-break Leaving the EU. But to deliver the change that the People now require of our politicians. So that the UK can find its place and ensure that we are all secure in an ever changing World, where the agility and flexibility that our status as an Independent and Sovereign State is the only way that we can effectively adapt as a Country to ensure that we can continually work together towards the prize of something better for all.

 

 

 

 

 

Ignore the climate change concerns of young people and children if you dare. But addressing the shared fate of nations will help to solve many more of our UK problems as they have the same cause

September 20, 2019 Leave a comment

getting-startedYoung people and children share an idealistic view of the world and how it should be. Their view may not be practical or show any understanding of the issues involved. But that doesn’t mean that their passion should not be our guiding light and the one that we follow. Not just in terms of tackling the real causes of the climate problem, but also as we move forward to a future where we work together to put all of the wrongs right.

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg appears to have set the world alight with her ideas and passion for the climate cause. But the sensationalism around her carries as much cynicism as it does genuine feeling. In fact, it may well be a whole lot more.

Whether you feel able to argue about the causes of climate change or not, the reality is that change is certainly taking place. It is now in everyone’s interests to do everything possible to mitigate anything and everything that we recognise as being a possible cause.

The biggest problem that we, and the many young protesters that are out and about this world of ours today face, is that the focus on climate change that they and most of us already share is based upon and focussed only on the effects of the problem. Not the actual cause.

We are not talking about the overuse of plastics, chemicals, fossil fuels and more. Those are but the effects of the problem. A problem which is based on a worldwide culture where those with more always want more.

The world uses materials and methods of working which damage the environment because they make everything cheap. Not cheap for us or other end users. But cheap for the people and companies that make, sell and transport our goods and services to us.

Climate change is costly for the future of the entire world.

But for those making money out of it, futures costly misery comes to them today feeling rather cheap indeed.

What we are seeing unfold in front of our eyes really is the fate of nations. Nothing less. Nothing more.

And as our children and young people are rightly telling us, climate change or the effects of it are no longer something that any of us can or should attempt to deny.

The momentum which is now being unleashed by the passion of younger people alone, can now open the doors to dialogue and change that before has been resisted by big business and self interest. It has therefore has been unknown.

But to capitalise on the opportunity, there must come a wider realisation between all of us that we cannot continue to think that the only god available to us is money. A way of thinking that will require our politicians to bring a very different, intuitive, considered and above all selfless way of working to the fore.

The companies, bankers and financiers that sit behind these problems, making money all the time, just need to be handled differently, by leaders able and not afraid to act upon all that they know.

They must be asked the question ‘would you prefer to fold when the wheels fall off all of this in just a few years, or change approach and adapt to a new way of thinking, so that you are making a good profit, albeit ethically in many years time?

To do this, our politicians and the governments made up of them must think very differently and look at every level of shared commonality as what makes us all one.

Politicians can no longer see themselves, their own interests, their own ideas and the people they relate to as the only priority or cause.

This is not a question of creating a world government or trying to use anything as an excuse to build empires.

Its about accepting and being open to working together. Knowing that even across borders, we have things in common as part of a bigger picture, that must now outweigh the comparative trivialities that only define us as nations and as cultures.

We can be different. But also the same.

We only need to make the right steps and to do that we must look all of this for what it is.

We must stop still and pause.

 

image thanks to unknown

The Lib Dems could be about to make Labour irrelevant. But polarising the Brexit debate by promising to scrap it would mean victory in the next General Election is a very hollow win

September 20, 2019 Leave a comment

Jo Swinson might be annoying the hell out of Brexiteers and the right alike, but it’s her friends across the opposition benches in Parliament who are now most in fear that her new energy and approach could be about to throw them back into the electoral bin.

Some startling parallels have been made between the new Liberal Democrats Leader and the approach of Nigel Farage.

But beyond the fact that they have now positioned themselves outwardly at the polar opposites of the Brexit debate, there is something very different in the motivation that underpins the reasons why these two politicians are pushing a narrative that sounds confident, as if these two political parties are on the verge of a breakthrough win.

Spoiler alert: It’s only about Brexit for one of them and always has been.

We are experiencing an endgame in politics right now. A watershed moment that is being drawn out into a long and painful period of transition.

Yet the players on the political board don’t even know that the rules of the game around them have adjusted already and continue to be in the process of fundamental change.

Farage and the Brexit Party have become a voice of the heralds of change. What defines them is their riding the truths that are the foundation of Brexit, using them to wrap their collective’s crusade. The vein of truth that gives a feeling of legitimacy to their cause.

Yet as a political force the Brexit Party represents the very same things that are wrong with all the politicians we have in office as MPs right now. Their MEPs in the public eye are media savvy, obsessed with getting a hard-hitting narrative out there that ‘connects’ with the electorate, but nonetheless suffer with a lack of real empathy and understanding of the whole spectrum of issues and experiences that people have both beyond and including Brexit. 

Beyond Brexit itself, these are not the people who are equipped to actually get things done.

But Jo Swinson and her Liberal Democrats are playing the very same game as Farage. Only the way that they are playing on this field is very cynical and potentially much worse. As they do not recognise nor attempt to acknowledge in any way what Brexit represents or what the Brexit debate is really about.

For the ambitious Leader of this now apparently revitalised Political Party, the current Parliamentary mess and the chaos that surrounds it is a political opportunity to exploit that could result in real power for them.

That’s their primary aim. But it’s clearly a case of bugger the consequences of what might be involved along the way.

At its best, power for the Liberal Democrats would come at a high price for everyone. Even those who are intricately involved.

The unyielding commitment to the EU that they would deliver, beyond being a massive democratic betrayal and surrender all-in-one, would also create obstacles to us ever Leaving the bloc or attempting to do so. Everything that defines us as a Nation State, our defining characteristics and the ties that bind us would be systematically, progressively and deliberately eroded away by laws, rules and regulations that nobody is aware of until it is far too late.

The process of liberally democratic change would be no doubt accelerated no doubt my the implementation of so called electoral reform and the switch from First Past The Post (FPTP) to a Proportional Representation regime. One that favours small political parties that appear to be unfairly place or unelectable under FPTP, but by its very nature will make what we have been experiencing since the European Referendum in terms of a stalemate in Parliament – pretty much the norm. 

And all that is what happens just as a start, if everyone – including the 17.4 million voters and the others who now support Brexit and Leaving the EU were to just roll over and accept what under a Jo Swinson government was about to come.

The reality is that they wouldn’t.

And as far fetched to our cosseted and complacent society as it may seem, civil unrest and what might follow it would soon blow the lid off the lie that is neither a liberal nor democratic party, and show us what the self interest, selfishness and ignorance that underpins politicians that are obsessed with power tangibly means.

But what Swinson, Farage and all of the incumbent MPs and those that facilitate them today must realise is that the politics of old, which is there to serve only that which they choose is now over.

It began to die the very moment that the decision over EU Membership was tossed back to the people and Jo Swinson represents the death throws of all that is wrong and is rotten with our politics as she demonstrates how this broken politics is about nothing more than doing absolutely everything and anything to win.

We are all waiting for a new politics to begin. These politicians and their ideas will have to go or at the very least change definitively if our democracy is ever again to be capable of experiencing a win.

 

 

The Supreme Court is being asked to rule on circumstances that are the exception. If it doesn’t consider that, the implications will be permanent

September 19, 2019 Leave a comment

On the face of it, the hearing taking place in the Supreme Court is all about Brexit.

Boris appears to be doing anything that everything that he sees as necessary to deliver our departure from the EU by 31st October.

The opposition and individuals behind the case protest that their action is necessary to ensure that Brexit is delivered appropriately and that can only happen if it is managed in the way that they believe it should.

In the heat of the moment and at the pinnacle of this debate, few will be aware or see that both Leavers and Remainers have much to lose, depending upon the ruling made in this case.

What we share in common in terms of our democracy and how our very system of government works is now fundamentally at risk – all because of the politicians who have camped their tanks on the lawn of Brexit, and in so doing have driven a massive wedge down the middle of the relationship between the electorate and the elected, and everything in between.

It is easy to try and see the whole matter as nothing more than the question of whether the Prorogation instigated by Boris Johnson is legal. In isolation, the Court might well question whether it actually is.

But the Prorogation isn’t something that has taken place in isolation.

There is a need to consider all of the key events that have taken place since the Brexit Vote that have influenced the unique circumstances in which a Prime Minister is attempting to deliver upon a democratic mandate.

They have all contributed to if not led to this exquisitely serious situation and careful consideration must be given to what may next be to come:

1. In 2010, David Cameron cooks up the Fixed Term Parliaments Act with Nick Clegg

2. Expecting another hung Parliament in 2015, David Cameron promises the European Referendum he never expects to have

3. The Conservatives win a Parliamentary majority in the 2015 General Election

4. David Cameron honours the Election pledge and commits to a Referendum on the UKs Membership of the EU

5. David Cameron embarks on a ‘show’ negotiation to change the relationship with the EU

6. In the 23rd June 2016 European Referendum a Brexit majority electorate instructs a Remain majority Parliament

7.  David Cameron steps down on the morning of 24th June 2016

8. In July 2016 the Conservative Party appoints Theresa May as a Prime Minister who doesn’t believe in Brexit. She commits to delivering what she believes to be ‘Leave’ and calls it Brexit instead

9. In March 2017 Theresa May tables Article 50 to the EU with the pretence of a countdown to ‘Leaving the EU’ by running down the clock to a deadline of 29th March 2019

10. In April 2017, Theresa May calls untimely General Election to increase the Conservative Majority and increase her executive power.

11. General Election on 8th June 2017 sees the Government reduced from a majorityto one of minority

12. Theresa Mays 2018 Withdrawal Agreement emerges and satisfies no one

13. All sides in Parliament continue to see Brexit as a political opportunity rather than the democratic instruction that it is

14. Theresa May will not step aside and seeks to secure their ‘legacy’ at any cost

15. The Conservative Party fails to remove Theresa Mayin December 2018, instead choosing to confirm confidence instead

16. The Government experiences considerable defeat over the Withdrawal Agreement

17. An embattled Theresa May chooses to sit it out, thinking that time will prove them right

18. Article 50 is delayed until 31st October 2019

19. Theresa May finally steps down, but delays departure and The Conservative Party indulges itself in a full Leadership Contest

20. Boris Johnson appointed Conservative Leader and becomes de facto Prime Minister

21. Boris Johnson declares UK Leaving EU on Halloween in all circumstances

22. Boris Johnson rules out General Election as way forward

23. Parliament goes into summer recess

24. Upon return, the Remain majority opposition imposes law against No Deal

25. Parliament refuses twice to support a General Election

26. Boris Johnson prorogues Parliament until 14th October 2019

27. Gina Miller, John Major et all tests the ‘legality’ of the prorogation in the English and Scottish Courts. English Courts say not a judicial matter. Scottish Courts say its wrong

28. Decisions Appealed to the Supreme Court on 17th September 2019

and there was a whole lot more besides…

All of these events, no matter who or what ‘side’ is driving them, are in danger of adding up to a sum much greater than the parts. Something that will be very different. A situation that will be very destructive as a whole.

Boris may not have been right to prorogue Parliament. But the circumstances led to his decision.

Parliament deliberately seeking to control the Executive whilst refusing to support a General Election was certainly not right either.

If the Supreme Court rules that the move to prorogue was wrong, it will establish a precedent that breaks the deference of parliamentary will to the expediency of executive decision making.

Our already so-called democracy will never be the same. And this, the interference of the judiciary in matters political, could prove to be the step too far that breaks the system of government in this Country as we know it.

 

Categories: Uncategorized

3R’s for Boris: Recall. Resign. Regroup.

September 12, 2019 Leave a comment

Whilst it’s difficult to imagine that many of our MPs are capable of even a lucid moment with things in Parliament as they are now, we must still hope that change could come from somewhere before it is too late for anyone.

Boris Blows Brexit is increasingly likely to be the headline that we will think about when we reflect on these times. But he could still summon the leadership that he has always sought to be seen to channel and even now, turn all of this chaos with Brexit on its head.

Put simply, Boris has no way of winning anything from this without reframing and regaining control of the narrative first. And he won’t do that if he remains precious about keeping control in No10.

Recall

No matter how right or wrong the prerogation of Parliament might be, Boris has given the opposition what is arguably an elevated position from which to more effectively toss their sticks and stones. The best way that Boris can help himself is by helping the opposition to resume fighting amongst themselves – and that can only happen once Parliament has been recalled.

Resign

Boris has nowhere to go. He hasn’t created the narrative of a new politics that we are all waiting for. He has fallen into the trap of believing that leadership is about how it looks, rather than what he actually does.

Leadership now is about calling the oppositions bluff. About passing the buck and the poisoned chalice of going against a public majority vote to the people who are genuinely responsible for all of this mess.

If Boris wants to have any chance of winning the next General Election and then being in control, he has to relinquish it now, let the opposition trip over their own mistakes and that means he must resign.

Regroup

Most important of all is what Boris really does next. We’ve heard talk about One Nation Conservatism and putting out an olive branch to the 21. But if the only regrouping that Boris is prepared to do is to return – or rather attempt to return to how things in the Conservative Party have been, his Premiership and the Party will very soon be no more.

If Boris really wants to win the upcoming General Election and be remembered as a Prime Minister who really got something done, he will need to lead the very first steps upon a pathway which brings together those who voted Leave with those who voted Remain, left, right, centre and just about every political persuasion that is currently involved. He must capture our imaginations with a new politics and ambition for all that is to come. It will only come after we have passed through the open door that is a completely no-deal Brexit. And even now, he can have his cake and eat it, if he realises and accepts that this is how he must lead and regroup.

Has Boris blown Brexit?

September 11, 2019 Leave a comment

Politics is no longer just broken. Our current Parliament is in the process of crushing democracy into dust as well – and is attempting to break our system of law and the constitution itself as they do.

What is most difficult for the real people outside of Westminster to fathom, is whether this treacherous rump of MPs is really so detached from reality that they believe they can do whatever they want, tell the people that they are doing the right thing, and they will then be believed and that we will ultimately thank them for taking things their own way.

It certainly looks that way. The problem for MPs is that over three years of blatant lies, obfuscation and outright contempt for the electorate, completely in the open and plain for all to see, has made even the most disenfranchised members of the UK electorate aware of how things are now so very wrong and how they actually should be.

Regrettably for Boris, his options and therefore chance to get his legacy as prime minister right have been all-too-predictably slim. And with his exquisite choice of appointing Dominic Cummings as his principal advisor and at the same time tying himself to the flawed concept of One Nation Conservatism as the only way to deliver Brexit, he is now on the cliff edge of being the Prime Minister that consigned Brexit – and our democracy – to the bin.

His decision to rebuff Nigel Farage’s offer of an electoral pact will surely come back to haunt him – and all of us. Not just because he has in all likelihood just removed any chance of a ‘no deal’ Brexit for the foreseeable future, but because he is likely to have just made the decision that could lead to a General Election this Autumn in which a Marxist – by default – will win.

Whilst Boris might well find the prospect of working with the Brexit Party unpalatable, the truth is that it is only by working with them that the Conservative Party can now precipitate a General Election and win.

People can see what the collective Opposition in Parliament are doing. And the deadline of Halloween that Boris has committed to will not be a problem for him if the delay is out of his hands. But a purely Conservative victory – based on his now clear commitment to the old politics which is One Nation Conservatism – is not an outcome that is within his grasp.

The focus now must be delivering Brexit and nothing more. There is nothing else that any MP has the power to control. And it is only the delivery of a proper, guaranteed no-deal, no-ties, no EU-rule-sharing Brexit that will give the UK the positive future – that works for all of us – that the majority of the British Public now want to be assured.

The implications of the poor choices that Boris now appears to be making could quickly prove to be disastrous for us all.

Whilst hard, late and a minefield in every form, the pathway from the 23rd of July still allowed for Boris to get Brexit right. He just needed to be a leader and do what was necessary – and right.

Unfortunately it now appears that the honeymoon has quickly proven itself to be over. And we must ask if Boris has blown Brexit, and with it a peaceful and fruitful future for us all?

The ‘opposition’ has focussed the Brexit argument on Boris and the way to win is to move the focus back – by resigning

September 9, 2019 Leave a comment

Should I read it? Should I switch it off? Will engaging with it make any difference?

To many these are very familiar questions when it comes to the news that is coming out of Westminster each and every day. Familiar, because few of us can any longer believe what it is that we see, hear and understand to be going on.

With a list of car-crash interviews involving high profile opposition MPs last week, the Public is now becoming seriously less inclined to indulge this contemptuous mess of a Parliament for all of the lies and stories they still continue to tell. In fact, it would perhaps be better to go as far as to say that it is no longer possible to discern whether these Politicians have so much contempt for the people they were elected to represent that they believe they can say anything without fear of ever being called out for treating voters as if they are completely stupid, or indeed if it is actually a fact that they are that stupid themselves.

Either way, the jiggery-pokery and line blurring that has led to a law being enacted today that is in place with the intent of preventing a British Prime Minister from honouring the outcome of a democratic plebiscite – just because its what the MPs themselves want – has succeeded in boxing the PM into a corner surrounded by elephant traps and the clarion call of undemocratic triumphalists who believe that by delaying the coming General Election beyond 31st October, when it comes to both that Election and the topic of Leaving the EU, it is they who have already won.

Yes, it does look that way. But by so assiduously attempting to bolt down Boris to the choices that the Opposition makes, they might have only won a hollow, indeed pyrrhic victory – depending on how Boris and those advising him now choose to interpret what steps he must take if he is to lead.

It has been said that he who frames the argument wins it.

Right now, Boris appears to be penned in because those who can control the law are using it to control him and control what he now does.

Being able to control the law, doesn’t make what the Opposition is doing right. But it does leave a PM with a big dilemma – if he cannot see that sometimes doing what appears to be wrong is necessary to deliver what is right.

There is good reason to believe that most of the Country would be behind Boris if he were to do so. But it may not be necessary if he really has the metal when it comes to doing what needs to be done to lead.

The alternative that Boris has is to call the Opposition’s bluff. Resign and make clear that whilst he wouldn’t break the law – however shakey the ground might be in which it was built – he also would not sell out the British People in the way that Theresa May and now all those MPs we collectively identify as being the Opposition have done.

No sensible person wants Corbyn in No10 as allowing his hands to touch the levers of power even momentarily would be a process accompanied itself by monumental risk.

But passing the buck to him to go to the EU and beg for a further extension to A50 – in what would almost certainly have to be a pretext to a General Election in November – maybe the real act of leadership required of Boris to sort out this political chaos, and as far as delivering Brexit via a Parliamentary majority – all it will really take.

Once some light of reason – or what we might better identify as forced progress – has been shone into all the darkness that sits behind this Parliamentary movement against democracy and shows it for all it is, the MPs who are facilitating this madness through their own fear and self interest over the EU will not allow Corbyn to affix himself to a tenure as PM in No10, as surely as they have attempted to prevent Brexit.

The choice will then be one for Boris and Nigel Farage to make over their accepting what steps it will take with a politically-enlightened Public to secure that Brexit majority without letting division between Brexit supporters manifest in splitting votes across constituencies that could ensure it isn’t won.

 

 

 

Jailing a Prime Minister because he refuses to act on laws which conflict with democracy will open up a Pandora’s box – but it won’t make him wrong

September 7, 2019 Leave a comment

The crash of our political system has been a long time coming. And after the erosion of democracy that has taken place over many years – from which Brexit is a symptom and not the cause – it has been inevitable that a system that works only for itself and not the people would come to an end.

The endgame is arriving now.

Whilst the rotten core of British politics has been out in the open for many months, it is in the past week that the public has seen the wretched nature of its fully exposed core.

For even the most disinterested and switched off in society can now see the cynicism of MPs on all sides. It is clear that the majority work and operate for nobody but themselves. And that with the refusal of so many to now go back to the People and allow us all to break the stalemate that they themselves have created, we can now see that in the minds of our political class, the path of the UKs future is exclusively theirs to decide.

Yet nothing could be further from the truth. And the laws that they have cooked up and created this week to tie the hands of the first government prepared to attempt to go the distance on our behalf to enact the result of the Brexit result, shows nothing but contempt for the political system they claim to be protecting, but much worse, for the public they were democratically elected to serve too.

To even threaten to jail a Prime Minister who suggests that he is prepared to stand up against such injustice is already madness in the extreme. But to actually do it would be to open the door to nothing this country is truly prepared for. And it will hurst everyone as well as the politicians who are culpable, up to their necks in this shit and completely involved.

The question they should be asking themselves is this: Why should anyone else respect democracy when Parliament has demonstrated that it refuses to do the same?

Through this very act, these parliamentarians are legislating against their own people. Themselves. They are wantonly choosing to relinquish responsibility for the future and there is now a serious danger that power will fall into a vacuum and end up hurting us all very badly, simply because selfishness has made these people will fully blind.

Categories: Uncategorized
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