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Still not voting…

November 27, 2019 Leave a comment

GE2019

At the beginning of the Month, I wrote ‘No, I will not vote in an Election where there isn’t an option for change. Why would I?

With three weeks gone and two more to go until the Election on Thursday 12th December, I have to say that I feel very much the same.

It’s not that there hasn’t been any change. There has.

But the change that has happened has been peripheral or aesthetic at best.

The good that might come from the adjustments within the political landscape that have taken place within this Campaign will not have come about not by design or intention, but rather by default.

With 15 days to go, the biggest issue on everyone’s mind today, is the Interview that Jeremy Corbyn gave to Andrew Neil last night. It followed a day where Labour’s choreographed plan for a day focused on their ‘ambitious Race and Faith Manifesto’ was utterly destroyed by the article written by the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and published in yesterday’s Times, explaining exactly why people should redirect their vote.

The Interview itself simply evolved a terrible day into a complete nightmare for the Labour Leader as he effectively refused to apologise for the anti-Semitism within the Labour Party and what the Party has done in response.

The Tories are riding high. And with the latest polls now suggesting that the gap between the Conservatives and Labour is closing, the fall out from this debacle is almost certain to ensure that the polling will quickly start to go the other way.

Or at least that is until Boris sits in front of AF Neil himself whenever that might be agreed and then be.

The big problem is that the Conservatives are riding a wave that doesn’t have defining Public Policy as its root cause.

Labour’s downward trajectory and overkill with its great electoral giveaway of 2019 aside, the biggest boon to Boris Johnson’s position has been the decision from Nigel Farage to remove so many of the Brexit Party’s Candidates from competing against Tory Candidates in Seats where the Conservatives won in the 2017 Campaign.

On the face of it, Farage did this to avoid the risk of Jeremy Corbyn walking into No10.

Yet his hybrid approach of standing Brexit Party Candidates pretty much everywhere else does have the distinctive whiff of the whole effort the Brexit Party is making being not about Brexit itself, but about gaining at least a foothold of control.

The lie itself is given by Farage’s suggestion during the Press Conference at the time that Boris had done enough with the pledges he had made about Brexit in the video that had been released the day before.

To some, it will come as little surprise that recent days have brought stories to the fore, that Farage has no plans to go anywhere. That his next mission will be to rebrand the Brexit Party and transform it into a political vehicle that will drive political reform.

The problem for Farage with this is that apart from the reality he has to now face that as a figurehead and leader he is no longer likely to be trusted, any Party that can be identified as being about nothing else other than Leaving the EU itself is likely to be as divisive as Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats have been by rejecting the need to find a pathway that will bring all sides together and committing themselves to cancel Brexit and promise that under their influence the UK will categorically Remain.

To its credit, the Brexit Party has demonstrated that it is possible to bring people, politicians and pubic figures from all political backgrounds together to work as one.

But the ‘Contract’ that they have published instead of a manifesto for this General Election tells us that the leadership of the Party is still thinking about politics in exactly the same way as the leadership of all of the other Political Parties who have contributed to the political crisis that we are experiencing and not least of all the Brexit Divide.

We now look two weeks ahead to an Election Result where Boris is still likely one-way-or-another to be our PM.

But being PM with a majority that is likely to lead to a clean, no deal Brexit by default within 12 months is a lot different to the situation that Boris will face if he is returned as Prime Minister with similar numbers of MPs in Parliament to what we have experienced since 2017 – where the majority present is most likely to still be pushing for further delays, obfuscation and what they will only accept as being a very open form of Remain.

The chaos that follows any of the scenarios that appear to be likely and unfolding from this vantage point in time will not improve things. It is likely to only make things a whole lot worse.

Whilst I and many others would like to see reason for hope that any of the Political Parties we have today and running in this Election could become the catalyst for wide-ranging change, once we have brought everyone back together again by really getting Brexit done, I’m afraid that paying lip service to the change that the UK desperately now needs simply isn’t enough for me to vote for any Candidate or Political Party that is involved.

Want to understand Farage’s position? Read Boris’ Agreement and consider all of it in its fullest context: It’s Remain

November 2, 2019 Leave a comment

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‘Let’s get Brexit done’ is the powerful call to action that Boris has used to label his deal with the EU. We should perhaps open it and see what’s really inside

Watching the reaction to Nigel Farage laying out his stall for an Electoral Pact with the Conservatives should be raising question marks for all Leave supporters at the very least.

Instead, the knee-jerk reaction has been to accuse the Brexit Party Leader of trying to wreck Brexit. The inherent suggestion being that he is now the best thing that ever happened for those who want to Remain.

Regrettably, Boris has succeeded where May failed.

The Prime Minister has come back from the EU with a highly dubious Agreement just the same.

The difference is that Boris has convinced the majority of the Conservative Party, along with many other Leavers. that his policy is genuinely to Leave the EU.

Regrettably, the reality is that the endgame and outcome of Boris deal is for the UK to Remain.

Love him or hate him, Nigel Farage is not new to this game. He is probably one of very few politicians who have read the new document fully and considered it completely in context. He will be only too well aware of the consequences that signing and implementing this Agreement will have in a range of policy areas – not least of all the continuance of the Union itself – which will be all but broken where Northern Ireland is concerned. The question over their departure not being an if, but a clear when – IF Boris succeeds in getting the implementation of his current plan through.

Sadly, I’m not convinced that Boris even knows or for that matter fully understands the implications of the policy that he is pursuing.

But the reality for all of us and for this Country as a whole, it that Boris’ deal is a sell out. And as the Prime Minister now has a clear choice to pursue a proper Brexit as part of his General Election Campaign – the situation for the UK couldn’t actually be a lot worse.

Easy as it may seem to cast Farage as the bad guy or the new pantomime villain of Brexit right now, the cold hard reality is he is the only cross-UK political leader in the Country today who is not not advocating a form of Remain.

The situation we are in has troubling echos the pre-Cameron EU Membership era.

The period of many years when the Establishment successfully convinced the majority of People that what we had with the EU was good when it was in fact very bad.

No irony should be spared on us that it was a time that was notorious for MPs and the people with power having no idea what was actually going on.

When we began to wake up to what our MPs were and were not doing in our name, Brexit was the result.

For much of that time, what governments did was conducted with little or no scrutiny from outside (or within). It was a time we still revered and trusted what politicians did. It’s the time when our respect and confidence in the system really began being abused.

So after all they have done. After the mess they have created. And after our Vote for Brexit – against the Establishment plan was won, we should not fall into the trap of being blindsided by the persuasive and charismatic caricature of everything that is wrong with British Politics. Boris is just the same.

He is selling a tin with ‘let’s get Brexit done’ written seductively on the label, whilst the contents are very different inside.

Yes we are tired. Yes we are angry. Yes we want this whole saga to be over so we can have what feels like normal life in this Country resume once more.

But we should stop for a moment and remember the only thing that has actually changed here are the words coming out of Westminster.

These are exactly the same people who have been in charge all along. They and their kind caused all the problems before.

It is in their interests, not yours, to have everyone believe that Boris is right and Nigel Farage has now got it all wrong.

 

image thanks to unknown

If Boris wants a legacy as a stand-out leader, now is the time to accept he cannot deliver a real Brexit alone

November 1, 2019 Leave a comment

GE2019dNigel Farage has publicly made his offer of an Electoral Pact with Boris Johnson’s Conservatives this morning, outlining an approach that makes all too clear the danger that now looms in December’s General Election from a split Leave Vote.

Sadly, many Conservatives have bought into the propaganda that Boris’ deal is actually Brexit in the most basic sense. That being the UK can walk away from the arrangement at any time without any consequence for the Union or any part of it being involved, or there being any form of political trade off or compromise required from people who will not do the right thing.

To be clear, they, we, the UK cannot walk away trouble-free from Boris deal at any time – once it is signed.

As such, Boris’ deal remains as good only as Theresa May’s. It is Brexit in name only.

The value in Boris’ deal – if there was any – was that because it is technically Remain, it won support in the Commons.

In this context alone, look at the re-admittance of the hard-Remain contingent on the Tory  benches in Parliament to calculate what Boris’ deal actually is.

But things have moved on. For better or worse, Boris now has a General Election at his feet and he is no longer obliged to continue pushing a deal of any kind.

This is the moment when he has the opportunity to create the clear blue water between the Conservatives and the other Parties in Parliament that he has always wanted.

But the political realignment that is underway in this Country also dictates that the way for the Conservatives to achieve this is not now and never will be in any way the same.

To be the leader and have the legacy of the leader that Boris wants to be and believe that he is, he now has two weeks to understand, accept and embrace the reality that to be that Prime Minister he has no choice but to lead in a very different way.

If the Brexit Party field Candidates in every Constituency – as Farage has confirmed this morning, the chances are that the Leave Vote will be split right across the Country and the very best that Boris can hope for will be the same as 2017 when the Conservatives were led by Mrs May.

If Boris wants to be remembered as the PM who delivered Brexit, he now has to work with others and lead a group who share the core objective of a clean, no-deal Brexit – so that the UK has complete control over everything that follows afterwards and there is no more EU-driven chicanery involved.

The majority that Boris wants in order to achieve things simply will not come from the Conservatives continuing to go it alone.

The British People want change desperately and the best way to begin that change is to change the way that this General Election is going to be done.

Please Boris, focus on the end result so that we all win. Don’t focus on winning over the means of getting there and end up with us all experiencing a massive loss.

 

 

Events this week have ensured Boris will only win the General Election on a ‘no deal’ ticket. Conservative MPs who believe otherwise should step aside

October 9, 2019 Leave a comment

GE2019Good leaders cannot be all things to all people. In fact, the best leaders don’t even try.

Boris enters a danger zone every time he flirts with the concept of One Nation Conservatism. But has found a winning formula with ‘lets get Brexit done’.

It is on the basis of focusing purely on getting Brexit done and making it stick, that for the Conservatives – in all likelihood with the help of Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party – the upcoming General Election will be won.

After more than three years of this woeful Brexit process and in particular the events that have transpired this week, it should be realistic for voters in this Country to be able to expect that MPs on all sides of Parliament would now accept that there were only two choices when the question of Leaving the EU was put to the People. And that when the People were asked about our future relationship, the People Voted to Leave.

Strange as it might therefore seem, for a number of Conservative MPs this certainly isn’t a view that they share with the Voting Public, and they are apparently up in arms about the prospect of a Conservative General Election Manifesto that is based on a clean or purist ‘no deal’ Brexit alone.

There is not, will not be and never has been a halfway house or middle way with Brexit.

This truth has been confirmed and clarified by Angela Merkel this week.

For any MP to stand against the will of the majority of the People on the basis that they personally want to Remain, when it is now clear that the only way the UK can actually Leave the EU is to do so cleanly without a so-called ‘deal’ is not only undemocratic. It is disingenuous in the extreme.

The only way that the Conservative Party can now survive the process of destruction that is underway within our political system, is to become the Party that will deliver that clinical form of Brexit and be open to the opportunities for meaningful reform that will come next, based upon moving on determinedly from the old politics and broken ideologies that serve political parties, but not the People anymore.

To achieve this, Boris, his Party and his MPs will have to look favourably upon help from the Brexit Party and shed any Conservative Candidate – whether a current MP or other – who believes that Brexit can be delivered without the complete separation of the UK from the EU, and therefore continuing to play a three-year-plus-and-counting game of pin the tail on the donkey somewhere in between.

People are not only fed up with but completely bewildered by the behaviour of our MPs, their disregard for democracy and their continuing attempts to overturn Brexit.

We will all be grateful for true leadership that takes us out of the EU and recognises that Brexit is just the doorway to where real and meaningful reform of government and the political system in this Country begins.

There is no place for MPs and politicians in the UK’s future who cannot move on and accept that it’s time to leave the selfishness and self-serving behaviour of the old politics behind.

 

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?

Brexit and democracy will be lost for us all if Boris and Farage continue trying to shape it in their own image

September 5, 2019 Leave a comment

This General Election will be the endorsement of the People for our departure from the EU in everything but name. That is unless the Politicians involved continue to put their own priorities and self interest before it.

All of the political parties and their leaders know that what happens when the people next has a vote will reflect upon what they have been doing since the European Referendum Vote.

The People want to Leave the EU – despite everything that the media and the opinionati tells us – and this Parliament is currently hellbent on doing everything it can to thwart democracy and remove the apparatus that will enable a democratic government to enact the People’s choice to Leave.

They can be stopped. They should be stopped. They will be stopped. If Boris and Farage can now accept that Brexit and our future beyond it is not something which is theirs to own.

Whilst there is an acceptance that the political landscape has realigned and that instead of left vs right, it is now based very much on Leave vs Remain, there is still no tangible recognition that like Brexit itself, there are different shades or nuances to the way that both the Leave and Remain demographics are constructed.

Many of those who voted Remain in 2016 respect the democratic reality that Leave won and that the UK must see that decision all the way through. Yet the voice of the few remainers who are obsessed with staying within the EU is very loud indeed, and the impression it gives that they represent people in the main is more than enough for the combination of the Labour Party, Liberal Democrat’s, Greens and SNP to somehow come through this coming Vote as a coalition and win – if the Leave Parties don’t recognise that the only priority must be the one that delivers Brexit – no matter what that might appear to cost.

The Leave demographic is very much built upon three parts. Three approaches employed by voters. Three ways of thinking which if split up in a General Election, could mean that as a whole, they all lose.

Leavers are either Heads, Hearts or somewhere floating in between.

Heads are dedicated to the Conservative Party. Hearts follow the Brexit Party. And whilst the floaters might switch between the two, without an electoral amalgamation of the Brexit Party and the Conservatives, they will never cross the rubicon that lies in between.

Whilst Nigel Farage interviewed by the BBC this morning now appears to recognise the need for the two parties to reach an electoral pact, Boris has made no suggestion that he is ready to listen.

If he doesn’t, or if an agreement that cannot be reached that give Voters a clear one-candidate choice in every Leave-voting Parliamentary Constituency when the General Election comes, there is a real and potentially future-changing risk that the Brexit Vote will be avoidably split and the UK will end up with an accidental majority for Remain.

Gentlemen, it’s time to put your differences and own priorities aside and accept there’s a much bigger cause to work for here other than that of your Party or of your own.

Want a real Brexit and Corbyn kept out of No.10? – A General Election is now the only way…

images-2Coverage of the result of the Peterborough By-Election actually felt different. Maybe even a little odd. But perhaps prescient of the direction our Politics is now going – a place where there is no control or script and it all seems to be in the hands of the gods.

Within hours of this blog being published, the gurus of political interpretation will have of course broken the whole thing up and began spinning it into many different, but for them, primarily self-serving ways. However, the reality will nonetheless remain underneath it all that Politics in this Country has changed and things are never going to be the same again.

Yet the politicians refuse to see it.

They are still looking at everything coming at them through the lens of the old politics – and yes, I’m even including the Brexit Party as being one of them in this instance too.

To perhaps understand this a little better, it is important to consider the Peterborough result.

Yes, the Labour Candidate was Elected. But the Brexit Party Candidate wasn’t far behind them and it would be foolish to frame the Conservative Candidate’s 3rd place as being outside of the same room.

Somewhere, probably in London today, different conversations will be taking place around the realities of what can be gleaned from the way the vote was split.

Some of this thinking will simply be deluded. Some of it will be based on outright fear. But what will be common among all of it will be the view that the problem is outside of the Politicians hands, outside of their Party’s control and that it will be something or someone else who is getting it all wrong.

With the Peterborough result for these three Political Parties and the wider Westminster Polls being dispersed between them and the Liberal Democrats as they are, you can bet that the debate will end up for many of them concluding that First Past The Post is now redundant and should be replaced by some other form of electoral system that will benefit the de facto righteousness of their position – such as PR.

What they fail to observe, or deliberately overlook and therefore do not accept, is the reason that none of them – even with Brexit involved – is offering the leadership, vision and inspiration that is necessary to formulate the public policy that the People now want and is required of our Politicians and their Parties not just for Brexit, but as we step off into a world based on A New Politics beyond.

Playing around with the Electoral System will only benefit the Political Parties and the Politicians themselves.

It will sure up, consolidate and in some cases expand their presence and position.

But the upshot is that the opportunity to provide the kind of decisiveness and defining leadership that we now need in British Politics more than ever, will simply be lost.

Brexit and the future of this Country requires good leadership and the decisiveness that goes with it by the truckload. Without it the mess we are now in is set to get a whole lot worse.

What Politicians should understand from the results and polling as they are, is that no Political Party is currently capable of commanding a working majority in Parliament.

Without a working majority, neither Brexit nor anything substantial in terms of the changes to and creation of new Policy that our People now need is going to be addressed in any meaningful and lasting way. That simply has to change.

The biggest risk to Brexit and to our Democracy –  make no mistake that the two are now intricately linked – is that the new Conservative Leadership will continue onwards and go all out to enable a No Deal Exit from the EU by 31st of October – just so the Conservative Party can claim that they have achieved and can take ownership of that result.

If the current Parliamentary dynamic doesn’t stop them before they do so, there is a storm cloud awaiting them on the other side. Because it is there that the Remain majority in Parliament – if it has not been changed – will have an incredibly hard stick to beat the Government with, and the ability to make serious hay from the sunshine that they will see pouring over them from the inevitable problems that will follow a No Deal Brexit that has been executed in this specific way.

Taking the UK back into the EU on the turnaround of a sixpence is not something that any Political Party with designs or long term aspirations on being the natural party of government is going to want to do. Especially when the straightjacket that the UK will have no choice but to accept as part of a completely one-way and loaded bargain will inevitably become poison for whoever was to blame – irrespective of the Politicians who were actually involved.

The only way out of this problem is to recognise Party boundaries and tribal loyalties as the ties that bind all of todays MPs to the politics of old. The old politics that the public are telling them is not only flawed but is fundamentally wrong.

Our Politicians must come together to deliver on the issues. And the issue which is the doorway to solving all other issues is Brexit – whether our Politicians like that fact or not.

The People Voted for the UK to Leave the EU without any deal or ties. Giving us anything less will simply be wrong. This includes coming out of the EU and then taking us immediately back in, whilst MPs then sell their ineptitude and lacklustre attempts at managing the Process as evidence that the whole thing was wrong.

The only Political Parties that have the ability to coagulate around the fact, reality and message that a full and proper Brexit must happen are the Brexit Party and the Conservative Party. And it is within the Conservative Party where the real struggle is still taking place, as it has been all along.

The new Conservative Prime Minister must accept and then immediately act on the fact that without a General Election and securing the Brexit MP Majority that it will give them if they ask for Public support in the right way, the future is effectively lost.

To realise and achieve the alternative – which is a real and permanent Brexit, there is no option for the next Conservative Party Leadership other than to swallow their pride for the greater good and work with the Brexit Party to establish a ‘Grand Brexit Coalition’.

Working together these Political Parties can provide that Brexit Majority and then ensure that our Brexit and the great future that follows it will for all of us be secure.

If they fail to do so, the future is very bleak. It is one that revolves around Corbyn and his Marxist tentacles reaching out and destroying everything we value from No.10.

The cost to everyone in this Country from allowing this to happen will go way beyond the destruction of the Conservative Party. It will simply be too high.

Isn’t it time the Conservative Leadership put the requirements of real Leadership first and did whatever necessary to get the job done?

 

image thanks to unknown

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