Friday, March 02, 2018

Rallying Round Theresa... No Chance

The Prime Minister (pro tem) of the UK has made another speech imploring the British people to rally round and come together in order to make the country a success post-Brexit.

Let me state why I, for one, will not be doing that.

The surprise result of the referendum on British membership of the European Union could have been answered by the Conservative government in a variety of ways.  Once the Conservatives had time to change their leadership after the precipitate departure of David Cameron, it could have been reasonable to say something like: " we understand that the British people, by a small margin, are asking us to start the process of leaving the European Union. However we believe that it is imperative to retain our economic links in the single market and the customs union, so we will initially negotiate an economics-led relationship that could either be full membership of the EEA, like Norway, or a customs union, like Switzerland, once this is enacted, we can either consult again or continue as we then become.

Theresa May did not say any of those things, she said two things: one, that the UK would no longer recognize the jurisdiction of the European Court, and therefore two, "Brexit must mean Brexit".  This meant that the goal of her Conservative government, from the beginning, was to leave all of the European co-operation framework, including Euratom, EuroPol, the air traffic system, and so on. 


The UK would retain nothing and become a third country in all of its dealings with the EU. Frankly this was not what such Anti-Europeans as Dan Hannam said they were campaigning for. It was an extreme position, unquestionably not supported by the majority of the British people.

Since that time, over 18 months ago, it has become clear that the decisions made in haste have made it impossible to complete any negotiations within the 2-year time frame of Article 50.  It usually takes about a decade for a comprehensive trade agreement to be made.  However the long term transition period that would imply is also not acceptable to the extremist Conservative position. No, everything must be wrapped up within 2 years of the UK departure, in other words before spring 2020. More to the point, the agreement to do this must be completed before September 2018. This is not achievable even by by a government that is not run by a cabal of incompetent, narcissistic, ego-driven third raters. Johnson, Gove, et al do not have any executive experience worth a damn, and their PR/Journalist skill set is totally inadequate to the tasks that must now be completed within an accelerated time frame.

In other words, the Conservatives are demanding an extreme position, not supported by the majority of UK voters, within a time frame that can not be delivered. 

Why should anyone support a government whose policies are both extreme and extremely reckless?

In fact the simple impossibility of what the broken-backed Conservative government is proposing is now totally manifest, and it is not a stab in the back from those who oppose the Tories, it is a self-inflicted stab wound by the Conservatives themselves.

The UK economy is showing an increasing number of warning signs flashing red- all of the very worst fears of what could happen under Brexit are now showing every sign of coming true. This is not the caddish slur "project fear", it is project reality, and the Conservative government has no one but itself to blame.

Even if you loath the EU and all its works, what was wrong with an interim position of the EEA?  It is the sheer unreasonable, intemperate fanaticism of the 62-odd Tories in the ERG that is bringing the UK to the brink of a serious economic, political and constitutional crisis.

So, I will not be rallying round. 

The Conservatives are clearly unfit for government and must be removed from office as fast as can be arranged. 

Sure, some may say "But, but... Corbyn". I make no bones about my fervent opposition to his brand of neo-Marxism.  However this is not a case of "better the devil you know"... We know that the Tories are leading us to disaster, any outcome is now likely to be better than the continuance in office of this discredited, incompetent and sleazy crew of Conservatives.The fact that Corbyn now supports at least a customs union has been recognized by such unlikely cheer leaders as the CBI as a massively more moderate position that the Conservatives witless "Brexit must mean Brexit".

The country deserves more moderate choices, including my own preferred choice of a second referendum, without the presence of questionable, Russian-flavoured money.  The Tories will not offer that- they only offer the narrow extremism of Rees Mogg and other public school bigots.  From the local elections in May, the Tories must be kicked out bag-and-baggage, and ultimately driven from power at every level. The "strong-and-stable" guff that was such an insult to the intelligence at the last election must now receive a payback.

Tories OUT!

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