Monday, 12 February 2018

Make Democracy Work

Petition Parliament's vote on the Brexit deal must include an option to remain in the EU

"A lesser of two evils choice between a bad deal and no deal is not acceptable. Our country deserves better than Hobson's choice, and our MPs should be allowed to vote with their conscience to deliver what they believe is best for the country.

Government responded:

The British people voted to leave and the Government will implement their decision.The vote on the final deal will give Parliament the choice to accept the agreement or leave the EU with no agreement.
The result of the referendum held on 23 June 2016 saw a clear majority of people vote to leave the European Union. Parliament overwhelmingly confirmed the result of the referendum, on 8 February, by voting with clear and convincing majorities in both of its Houses for the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill. The Government is clear that it is its duty to deliver on the instruction of the British people and implement the result of the referendum.

The Government has committed to hold a vote on the final deal in Parliament as soon as possible after the negotiations have concluded. The terms of this vote are clear; Parliament will have the choice to accept that deal or to move ahead without a deal.

We are confident that we will get the best possible agreement and one which Parliament will want to support.

Department for Exiting the European Union"

Thursday, 1 February 2018

New battle lines

Of course, Brexit was never going to be just about leaving the EU. Our internal political system is in turmoil. The fitness for purpose of our democracy is under question. Personal relationships have strained or broken.
Everything we took for granted about our country and our political beliefs is shaken. Britain - or more precisely, England - is in the throes of growing pains.
As soon as you hear someone say "Never since the Norman Conquest has England....." you know they are defending a castle in the air.
And yet.....there has been no confusion in England as great as this since the Civil War, which was not a simple battle between flashy Europhile Royalists and plain russet-coated English Parliamentarians, but a mess of ideologies, prejudices, opportunism, superstition, nostalgia, pragmatism, courage, cowardice, principles, convictions, compromises and betrayals.
The 17th century English Revolution was a great experiment in republican government. There is nothing great or experimental about Brexit - the right-wing reality is a reactionary coup d'├ętat in the interests of the few, not of the many sincere democrats who voted for it.
There is no coherence, no leadership and no civil disobedience yet. If they come, let's hope they are not in battalions.
 Andrew Carrick Gow Cromwell Dissolving the Long Parliament in 1653.
Oil on canvas, 1907. Auckland Art Gallery. Image: Wikipedia
One of the most tortured bodies in this mess is the Labour Party, the country's only hope for domestic welfare and the protection of public services, which lost votes in the Election because of the leadership's fudged Referendum policy, and will be unelectable again if it doesn't support the Single Market.
 "Two things are now clear: Brexit involves a series of political choices, an our future relationship with the EU will be inferior to the one we currently enjoy. Sitting on the sidelines is therefore not an option.
For the Labour Party, the challenge is huge. The majority of Labour voters backed remaining in the EU, but a significant proportion did not. As a party we campaigned to Remain, and most of us do not believe the challenges facing the country are best solved by leaving – quite the opposite – but since the referendum we have failed to reach
a common and coherent position...
So, the choice is clear. We can sit back and wait for the consequences of a hard Brexit to become so severe that it topples this terrible Tory government.
Or we can stand up for those who will be worst affected and fight for membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union.
Future generations will not forgive us for inaction or for perceived complicity in a Brexit that damages our country and our economy." Catherine West MP
New report: Busting Lexit Myths

The Labour Campaign for a Single Market

and the leaked Government report on the adverse effects of Brexit on Britain

 Thank all our gods, he's here again to cheer up a dreary post:
the irresistible Will, of the People, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel by Manet

Monday, 25 December 2017

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Sunday, 26 November 2017


"My God. History will condemn this period. It will condemn those who’ve sat back and kept their view to themselves, who haven’t stood up and tried to stop all this nonsense.”

A rare black swan in the dismal swamp of Brexit Parliamentary politics - Anna Soubry:
"I am simply not prepared to stand back and watch my country fall off a cliff edge. If that means voting against my party, so be it."

"It’s like the counter-revolutionary forces of Chairman Mao or Joe Stalin. It’s not enough that you went against everything you ever believed in; you have to sign up in blood. It’s like Orwell’s thought police and the reign of terror combined"