16 January 2019

Against

Theresa May in The House of Commons yesterday
Yesterday in Parliament
FOR Theresa May's European Withdrawal Bill: 202
AGAINST  May's Withdrawal Bill: 432
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I watched the political drama unfolding on our Samsung television screen live from London. May's bill was roundly beaten and deservedly so.

She just was not listening. In addition, she used disgraceful delaying tactics to push this decisive vote into the new year, closer and closer to the March 29th EU leaving date agreed with Brussels. Diligent, dogged and hardworking she would make an excellent administrator but effective leaders need other qualities - vision, imagination, munificence, wisdom and the ability to seize the moment. In such respects she is sadly lacking.

Where does Great Britain go from here? God only knows. The Brexit referendum of June 2016 was like Pandora's box. Now all the evil spirits are out and we may never get them back in their container. The only reason for the referendum in the first place was to appease right wing Tories living in the past.

They will continue to reside in their grand country homes checking their stocks and shares, with children in private schools and two cars on the gravel. They will not personally suffer because of Brexit - which ever way it goes. To them it's just a game.

Perhaps the way forward is another referendum. I have the feeling that a second referendum would result in a "Remain" majority but that would not be an end to this chaos and uncertainty. The bitterness and rancour will remain for years to come.

Where are you now David Cameron? They say you are writing your memoirs in a shepherd's hut at the bottom of your Oxfordshire garden. May I suggest a title for your last chapter? "My Biggest Mistake - Brexit". Although I accept that this would not be in your nature - surely some sort of apology to the British people would be in order. You could donate your book royalties to food banks.

25 comments:

  1. I am so confused about this whole issue. Yes, no. No, yes.
    Politics are a mess everywhere. That's my take-away.

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    1. You have summed it all up in a nutshell ma'am.

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    1. Sorry. I made too many typos in my original comment, so here is Version 2.0:

      Phew. I am very careful in voicing any of my (unqualified) political opinions here in Blogland.
      The first referendum asked for a choice few had the capability and ability to make in a truly informed manner. Campaigns on both sides worked with lies and half-truths (or, to use the new term for lies, "alternative truths"), or at least ripped facts out of context, playing on people's emotions instead of using researchable and provable facts.
      I read somewhere that the day AFTER the referendum, the search terms most used on Google in the UK were "what does the EU mean", "what is the European Union" and similar.

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    2. I guess it is true in any election or referendum that there will be voters who are very well-informed and others whose ignorance is breathtaking. This is democracy...or so I am led to believe.

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  3. No confusion. The vote was out or remain.
    I have yet to hear one benefit from remaining and I don't want to be any part of a German superstate. May is useless but then name a good MP or state employee.

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    1. Sorry, Adrian, you have just disqualified yourself from being taken seriously in any reasoned discussion: What "German superstate"?

      U

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Sorry about that, YP, my comment went into the wrong box.

      U

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  5. I am a "foreigner" (a European one to boot my shame) who has lived on these isles (voluntarily) most my adult life. That fateful morning in the summer of 2016 I woke up to the referendum result. To say I was stunned is underplaying the "understatement" that the English are so proud of. As I walked into town to run some errants tears were falling off my eyes, down my face. Involuntarily. A new dawn, a new day? More like curtains falling. Holy shit, YP. I do not wish to make more out of it than there is but you have to be one of those bloody foreigners who has worked, bred here, put up with stuff no other European country would dream of serving up their citizens on a daily platter to understand. When I arrived on these shores I had an image of Britain, glorious Britain. Well, that sure did wash away with all those involuntary tears of mine that morning.

    Limbo? At least I am not a mouse in the claws of a cat. But what this government does is play with people's lives. And not just those whose future is unsure by dint of them being "foreigners" but their OWN countrymen, their livelyhoods, their future. Sure, you of the older generation have your roofs over head, mortgages paid off, children well on their own way, no personal financial worries, family breakups. But this mess will come home to roost. Crying as I write this. Sorry to be so emotional. But for SOME people BREXIT is not a spectator sport - it's SHITE pushing up your adrenaline/cortisol levels

    As to May. Either she is a genius who has played the long game so Brexit will be cancelled fullstop, or she is the most ........... politician ever ... And if I ever hear the words "clear" again any cushion near me will be pummeled before I use it to stifle my screams.

    U

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    1. Thank you for your reflections Ursula. You demonstrated very vividly how the Brexit vote and its aftermath have hit many people hard. This isn't just a cerebral puzzle, it's about fundamental things like identity, work and people's futures

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  6. And the food banks will need those royalties, for sure.

    I agree with your assessment of May's vision, or lack thereof -- I think it's clearly because she personally doesn't believe in Leaving and has trouble seeing a path toward making it work. Roger Cohen called it (in the NY Times) "the incapacity of May or anyone to come up with an acceptable compromise deal to accomplish something so inherently undesirable as to defy prettification." Which pretty much sums it up.

    I have misgivings about another referendum, too. As you said, it might give us a way out of this immediate mess, but it would raise fundamental questions for a lot of people about what it means to live in a Democracy. I'd opt for the "People's Vote" but it could definitely get ugly.

    Adrian's comment about a "German superstate" is very revealing. So many Britons -- particularly older ones -- bristle at the perceived dominance of the EU by Germany. Personally I don't think modern Germany is the same country the Britons fought in World War II, so I have no problem living in a unified Europe that includes a wealthy and populous Germany. (We are Anglo-SAXONS, after all.) Some people just cannot stop fighting that war.

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    1. I like that description of the poisoned chalice that Theresa May had to pick up from her predecessor - "something so inherently undesirable as to defy prettification". Very pointed use of English.

      Ultimately I can't help humming the old refrain, "Together We Are Stronger" but if Great Britain returns to the European fold the EU needs to show much more flexibility and a vision that is truly shared.

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    2. Absolutely. I would never argue that the EU is perfect. But it is something better fixed from within than abandoned altogether.

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  7. I don't know enough about Brexit or British politics to have anything to add here. But if a second vote could help the people of your country right a wrong then I don't see why it would be so bad to hold one. I understand that people need to have faith in the democratic process, and that in most cases the result of a vote should be final; but life is complicated in today's world and it seems so obvious to me that too many of your citizens simply were too uninformed about what Brexit would entail the first time. Giving people the chance to change their vote shouldn't be entirely off the table for something so serious....but that's just my opinion, which isn't worth the effort it took to type this out! :)

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    1. Your opinion is intelligent and well-considered. The ironic truth is that if we did have a second referendum it is very likely that "Remain" would win. We seem to be heading towards new circumstances that most people do not want.

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  8. I didn't understand the issue at the beginning. As things have rolled along I see that no matter what there are gong to be losses. The Europeans are going to stick it to the beggars who want to leave.

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    1. The EU want to show other wavering members that countries cannot profit from leaving.

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  9. There are 27 countries in the EU. If one or two malcontents decide to leave, this would surely not damage the fabric of the Union.

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    1. In terms of wealth and significance, I don't think that one can sensibly compare Great Britain with Luxembourg or Bulgaria or Lithuania or Austria or Hungary or Belgium or Latvia etc..

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  10. I think you have summed up the sheer batty lunancy of it all. One minute I admire May for her doggedness the next I curse her for the stupidity of 'sticking to one's guns'. We have had non-stop coverage by the media, opiniated brats, and that includes our politicians. All subjective of course.
    Whilst the rest of us, 60 millionish get on with running the country.

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    1. Such a mess! Not you Thelma - this situation!

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  11. I have long thought that the Brexit issue was very Hotel California , we may vote leave for a myriad reasons racism and little Englanders aside ,but the bigger question is whether they would let us leave and the comments from the EU on this latezst phase of the omnishambles seem to indicate you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave

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    1. I love the word "omnishambles". That captures this moment so well.

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