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Saturday, 19 January 2019

HOW BRITISH POLITICS IS FAILING


The web based comment blog “Unherd” hosts interesting contributions from politically minded commentators.  The one below is interesting.
It is a recent contribution from Peter Kellner.  Peter Kellner is the Blairite Director of YouGov, the internet based opinion pollsters.  His opinion on the interpretation of statistics is well worth considering.  So when Peter Kellner says:- “I wouldn’t bet a great deal against changes that could be immense, and which not everyone will like”, we should take notice.  Also, as he is an enemy of English Nationalism and he is fearful of the consequences – so that should be encouraging too!  
Here is Peter Kellner’s article:-

HOW BRITISH POLITICS IS FAILING

Something odd, and possibly dangerous, is eating away at the fabric of British politics. Brexit, of course, has much to do with it, but the consequences could be with us long after the current crisis is resolved, one way or another. 
Signs of the malaise can be clearly seen in an exclusive survey for UnHerd conducted by Deltapoll. It shows a remarkable lack of faith in both main party leaders, not just by voters generally but by high proportions of their own voters. Loyalties are being tested as never before.  
In the past, one party leader has occasionally had a shaky reputation among their own supporters on one or two characteristics. In the early 1980s, many Labour voters thought Michael Foot was weak; towards the end of her premiership, many Tories considered Margaret Thatcher out of touch. But I have never seen so many supporters of both parties simultaneously hold such low opinions of their own leaders across the board.  
The responses of all voters shows that both leaders have strongly negative ratings on all counts. That is unusual enough. But when we look at the figures, showing how Conservative voters view Theresa May, and the figures, showing how Labour voters view Jeremy Corbyn, the scale of the drama becomes clear. The positive scores for May range from 57% of Conservative supporters who say she is strong, down to 40% who back her on Brexit. Her average score among Tory voters is 45%. Labour voters give Corbyn positive scores ranging from 64 to 38%; his average is 50%. Among all voters, the averages are, of course, even worse: May 26%, Corbyn 28%. 
To put these figures in context, a successful leader would expect average scores of around 80% among their party’s own voters and 40% among the general public. For both leaders to fall so far short of these figures should set off alarm bells in both parties. 
Here, though, is the paradox. Precisely because both leaders have terrible ratings, the scale of the problem is less obvious than it would be if only one was doing badly. In that case (as when Foot led Labour and towards the end of Thatcher’s premiership), their party would have support well below 30% in the polls and facing a landslide defeat. Instead, nothing much seems to have changed since the 2017 election. An average of recent polls shows the two parties still close together, and with almost as many supporters as 18 months ago. The high commands in both parties, though plainly struggling over Brexit, see no wider reason to panic. 
In truth, they should be terrified. For the poll shows that the disenchantment with the main parties and their leaders has spread throughout Britain. Within Westminster, it is rare to find any backbench Labour or Conservative MP who, giving their candid views in private, will say their leader is any good or that their party is in anything other than deep trouble. But some hope this despair is a feature of the Westminster bubble, and that real voters away from London have not changed their views of politicians and parties that much. 
In fact, it is increasingly hard to avoid the conclusion that millions of voters Left and Right are losing faith in the people who either govern us today or aspire to do so in the future. 
Which brings us to the possible long-term consequences of current public attitudes. In any country with a different electoral system, the chances are that support for both Labour and the Conservatives would have crashed by now. Across Europe, countries with more proportional voting systems have seen the traditional big parties slump in recent years – even with leaders less widely derided than Britain’s.  
Here, first-past-the-post creates a huge barrier to entry. Elsewhere, small parties ranging from the Greens to the far right have obtained a foothold in their parliaments with as little as 5% support, and then managed to increase their credibility. Here, they can’t. In 1983, the Liberal/SDP Alliance won 26% and only 23 seats; in 2015 Ukip’s 14% gave them just a single seat.  
The party that might have benefited from the Tory and Labour travails is the Liberal Democrats. But they paid a heavy price for their role in the 2010-15 coalition government. While their support has picked up a little in recent months, they are still scarred by decisions they took almost a decade ago. 
It is, of course, possible that when the Brexit drama has played out, normal service will resume. Perhaps May and Corbyn will both be replaced by leaders who have greater personal appeal to the electorate. 
I am not so sure. My reason is that May and Corbyn’s truly awful ratings do not flow solely from their personal attributes. Both lead deeply divided parties, and these divisions are unlikely to disappear anytime soon. The faultlines will remain: inward-looking nationalism versus outward-looking enterprise with the Tories; ambitious socialism versus progressive capitalism with Labour. A leader that combined the strategic ability of Napoleon with the genius of Einstein and the moral courage of Mandela would still struggle to win public approval if they could not reunite their parties. The Deltapoll figures providence symptoms of a deeper crisis. 
In short, both main parties are more fragile and less stable than for many decades. First-past-the-post could save both Labour and the Conservatives from the consequences of their current divisions. But it is no longer ridiculous to image a different future. Once the adhesive glue of our electoral system starts to crack, things can change with bewildering speed. A century ago, amid the stresses of post-First-World-War Britain and the divisions within the Liberal Party, realignment happened quickly. Labour climbed from fourth place in 1918 to government in 1924.  
Will Brexit end up having the same glue-cracking effect? And if it does, will the beneficiaries be existing herbivores such as the Liberal Democrats and the Greens; or some new centre party created by disenchanted Labour and Tory moderates; or carnivores on the outer fringes of Right and Left? Is the century-long dominance of Britain’s Parliament by competing forces on the centre Right and centre Left about to end? 
Ask me again in 10 years’ time and I shall tell you. Meanwhile I wouldn’t bet a great deal against changes that could be immense, and which not everyone will like. 
Here is the link to the original article>>>https://unherd.com/2019/01/how-british-politics-is-failing/

Friday, 11 January 2019

Angela Merkel: Nation States Must “Give Up Sovereignty” to New World Order!

Angela Merkel: Nation States Must “Give Up Sovereignty” to New World Order


The report below about Angela Merkel’s speech in November nicely encapsulates the so-called “Liberal Democratic” view of the idea of the State and of the idea of the Nation.  This is particularly where she denies the validity of the idea of “the People” and also where she seeks to undermine the sovereignty of Nation States, saying instead that “the People are (merely) individuals who are living in a Country, they are not a group who define themselves as the People”. 

This is very much the view of so many of the members of the British Political and Media Establishment who in their hearts have long rejected the idea of the Nation.  As a result of Brexit they have been forced out into the open and their deep-seated hostility to the nation state and national popular democracy has been so pitifully exposed. 

These people are a threat to our Nation, which is all the more serious because of their position within the Establishment. 

The Roman orator and statesman, Marcus Tullius Cicero once vividly described the threat of such people also said:- “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

We need to work harder to ensure that there is a genuinely patriotic party able to challenge these people as part of the system.


Here is the report about Angela Merkel’s comments:-


Angela Merkel: Nation States Must "Give Up Sovereignty" To New World Order by Tyler Durden


“Nation states must today be prepared to give up their sovereignty”, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who told an audience in Berlin that sovereign nation states must not listen to the will of their citizens when it comes to questions of immigration, borders, or even sovereignty.

No this wasn’t something Adolf Hitler said many decades ago, this is what German Chancellor Angela Merkel told attendants at an event by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin. Merkel has announced she won’t seek re-election in 2021 and it is clear she is attempting to push the globalist agenda to its disturbing conclusion before she stands down.

“In an orderly fashion of course,” Merkel joked, attempting to lighten the mood. But Merkel has always had a tin ear for comedy and she soon launched into a dark speech condemning those in her own party who think Germany should have listened to the will of its citizens and refused to sign the controversial UN migration pact:

“There were [politicians] who believed that they could decide when these agreements are no longer valid because they are representing The People”.
“[But] the people are individuals who are living in a country, they are not a group who define themselves as the [German] people,” she stressed.

Merkel has previously accused critics of the UN Global Compact for Safe and Orderly Migration of not being patriotic, saying “That is not patriotism, because patriotism is when you include others in German interests and accept win-win situations”.

Her words echo recent comments by the deeply unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron who stated in a Remembrance Day speech that “patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism [because] nationalism is treason.”

The French president’s words were deeply unpopular with the French population and his approval rating nosedived even further after the comments.
Macron, whose lack of leadership is proving unable to deal with growing protests in France, told the Bundestag that France and Germany should be at the center of the emerging New World Order.

“The Franco-German couple [has]the obligation not to let the world slip into chaos and to guide it on the road to peace”.

“Europe must be stronger… and win more sovereignty,” he went on to demand, just like Merkel, that EU member states surrender national sovereignty to Brussels over “foreign affairs, migration, and development” as well as giving “an increasing part of our budgets and even fiscal resources”

(Here is the original report >>> https://www.kas.de/veranstaltungsberichte/detail/-/content/-das-herz-der-demokratie- )

Friday, 4 January 2019

LEADING REMAINER ADMITS SYSTEMATIC LYING TO THE PUBLIC




LEADING REMAINER ADMITS SYSTEMATIC LYING TO THE PUBLIC 

LEADING “LIBERAL” TORY CONFIRMS HIS ELECTIONS BASED UPON SYSTEMATIC LYING TO THE PUBLIC


Matthew Parris, the former Conservative MP who has made many bigoted remarks about Leave voters, has just published the article below, in which he admits systematically lying to the public throughout his political career in order to get himself elected and also he admits deliberately acting in such a way to undermine popular democracy. 

In reading his damning confession it is worth remembering that, not only are there others in the Conservative Party, such as Ken Clarke, Anna Soubry, Dominic Grieve and indeed Theresa May, by whom I suspect very similar confessions could also have been made, but also there are many within the Labour Party whose conduct I suspect is exactly the same. 

This kind of behaviour is wholly par for the course amongst elitist Westminster British Establishment supporters of “Liberal Democracy”!

Here is the article:-

Why I don’t, never have, and never will trust the people – by Matthew Parris (former Conservative MP)


It was late, and a friend and I were left to talk Brexit. He’s a keen and convinced Tory Brexiteer MP but to stay friends we have tended to steer off the topic. This, however, felt like a moment to talk.

The conversation taught me nothing about Brexit, something about him, and a lot about myself and the strain of Conservatism I now realise I’m part of — and which is part of me. Oddly, then, this column is not really about Brexit, but about trusting the people. I don’t. Never have and never will. Our conversation forced me to confront the fact.

My friend knows well enough why I’m a Remainer, but guessed correctly that I’ve puzzled about why he isn’t. I had not quite expected what I heard. He understands business and finance and is good at facts and figures, so I’d supposed his wish for a ‘clean’ Brexit would be all about the economic advantages. He’s a firm believer in individual choice, too, so I had supposed he would dwell on the need to ‘take back control’.

No doubt he holds to these strands of the Leave argument — but talking to me he hardly mentioned the practical benefits of Brexit. No, there was something else that seemed to drive his anxiety that we leave the EU. Otherwise, he said: ‘I just worry about our democracy, respect for our constitution and the effect that a betrayal of the 2016 referendum result would have on the people who voted for me and our party last year.’

He returned to this repeatedly, and I saw that he was sincere. As a democrat, and a Conservative who owed his position in Parliament to a little piece of England that he came from, that he knew, that knew him, and whose electors’ minds and feelings he had come to understand over the years, my friend felt with a quiet passion that he must not break his word to them, must not slither away from undertakings that had been given.

He felt the same about the electorate nationally, the British people’s trust in the Conservative party, and their confidence in politics itself. He felt, in short, conscious of an unseen bond between parliament and people, and fearful of the wider consequences should it be broken.

I did not say much, because I could see he meant it; and what he meant was not really the kind of assertion one can confound with counter-argument or counter-assertion. It was about weighing things and, the scales being within his own breast, the way the scales tipped was for him just a fact, and undeniable.

But for me they tip differently; and for me too that is a fact, and undeniable. I lay in bed that night thinking about this; and my conclusions follow. As I’m not running for office I shall not pull punches.

Tories like me, and I think we used to be in the majority, see good governance as an effort to live with democracy rather than to an effort to live by democracy. It is why we were so chary about referendums in the first place. We are wary of the populace and instinctively hostile to the instincts of the mob. We see the popular will as a sometimes dangerous thing, to be handled, guided, and on key occasions (and subtly) thwarted.

We know, however, that the people’s will cannot be overlooked. We see it as a corrective to the over-mighty and a warning to those who govern not to lose touch with popular feeling. But at the idea that the people should dictate the policies of government on a daily basis, we shudder.

Our kind of Conservatism is either in temporary abeyance, or going permanently out of fashion — I do not know which. Its decline since the middle of the 20th century has been so gradual as to mask its extent over time. At the beginning of that century it was possible for Arthur Balfour to remark: ‘I have the greatest respect for the Conservative party conference, but I would no more consult it on a matter of high policy than I would my valet’ without this being thought anything but wit; today its utterance would end a political career.

When I first went into politics, initially as a researcher, in 1977, it was commonplace among us Tories to see and describe ‘the will of the people’ not as our mentor but as a rock to be navigated. Capital punishment and judicial flogging were very popular with the public. The hanging debate at party conferences was an annual nightmare for our leading spokesmen, but I never heard it suggested, even by colleagues who supported the return of these punishments, that we should bring them back because the people wanted it.

As for colleagues opposed to both, our challenge was to find ways of ducking the issue. Once I became an MP, I did so by voting for the principle and against the practice. This subversion of democracy (in Theresa May’s phrase) caused me embarrassment, but not a second’s guilt. Sod democracy: hanging was wrong.

In the late 1970s, we Tories were painfully aware that popular feeling opposed any confrontation with the trade unions, but we believed this would prove necessary. Our response was, so far as possible, to tiptoe round the issue during the 1979 general election. We succeeded. Among ourselves we talked cheerfully about subterfuge. The Britain of 1979 and 1983 most emphatically did not vote for a massive confrontation with the coal miners. We made sure the electorate was never asked.

Even today, of course, politicians can and sometimes must dodge the popular will, and they know it. But who now dares say these things? And what today we do but no longer dare say we do, tomorrow we may not dare do. Tory paternalism is in long, slow retreat. People like me will stay where we are, increasingly exposed as our friends melt back. But what the heck.

Here is a link to the original article>>> https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/12/why-i-dont-never-have-and-never-will-trust-the-people/

Friday, 28 December 2018

How the Lord Mayor of London undermines Liberalism!


 

What the Lord Mayor of London teaches us about Liberal theory! 

OR

How the Lord Mayor of London undermines Liberalism!


Liberal theory, from John Stuart Mill onwards (and especially in the modern era of ‘Neo-Liberalism’) is based upon the idea that all people are fundamentally the same.  In particular, that everyone’s fundamental nature is to maximise their position in the market-place, as economists put it.  This is the theory that human-beings are “rational economic actors” whose only motivation is to improve their personal position in economic terms - like good economic worker ants!  

I believe this theory to be fundamentally wrong and to be a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature.  

I also believe that this error is important in explaining many of the problems of our country today because it is an error that permeates the thinking of the elite in our society. That is not only the rich elite, but also the political elite, the media elite and the decision-making elite in universities and in most of the key positions of power and influence in our State and in our country. 

This error has led the key policy decision-makers in our society to disregard and disrespect the natural urges of most of our people. 

I started this with headings relating to the Lord Mayor of London.  Above there is a picture of him in all his refinery!  You might ask what is the link?  I think it is this. The Lord Mayoralty of the City of London is the supreme English example of what rich people will do and how far they will go for Status and for Respect within our traditional communities..

In order to be Lord Mayor you have to give up many hours to unpaid work and activity within the City of London Corporation as an Alderman and as a Sherriff.  There is also a three year stretch, in the run-up to and in the year of being Lord Mayor, in which you have no time for any paid work.  During this time you would have to be fully focussed on your ceremonial roles in the City of London hierarchy.  Also even when in office as Lord Mayor, you will have virtually no real power, nor will any of it will gain you any economic advantage.  Indeed a generally held estimate for the cost of being Lord Mayor is that it costs at least £500,000!

In "Liberal" theory of course all this activity is completely irrational.  In fact, so irrational as to be almost utterly inexplicable.

This of course vividly demonstrates that ‘Liberal’ theory is wildly adrift from the reality of human nature because in fact rich people getting involved in such activities are perfectly rationally focussed on the acquisition of status and respect within our traditional communities.

Across the Nation many other people chose other ways of getting such communal status and respect. For example in most English counties there is an equivalent office of High Sherriff.  Also there is the whole “Honours System” in which many people struggle to get OBEs or Knighthoods, etc. 

The oddity is that rich people do not understand that their own urges for status and respect and community are perfectly normal not only for them, but also for everybody else as well!  

Therefore the same rich people are very often perfectly happy to justify low paid, low status and insecure jobs for “ordinary people” and they try to justify this hypocracy using ‘Liberal’ economic arguments.  Such people really should not be as surprised as they apparently are when most of our people don’t like the outcome! 

We need a new politics with a new economic model which does give proper status and respect to our own people in our own most natural and very traditional community, namely our Nation, I mean those people who do all the “ordinary” jobs which are nevertheless, of course, so very necessary to the proper functioning of our society and to our collective English culture and prosperity.  

My New Year message therefore is that we English Nationalists need to focus more on reforms that give English People a justified pride and self-respect as citizens, and as fellow members of our Nation, as well as a fair reward for fair labour.  Also we should focus on attacking the dogma on “economic efficiency” which currently excessively rewards big business and bankers and ‘Liberal’ British Establishment politicians!


Monday, 24 December 2018

Leading academic analyses why nationalism has a bright future!


Leading academic analyses why nationalism has a bright future!

Professor Matthew Goodwin of Essex University has written frequently on the subject of “Nationalist Populism” as he calls parties that support more direct democratic politics than the tired old elitist so-called “Liberal Democracy”. 

His book is of interest for anyone interested in politics, let alone nationalist politics and, whilst you will not agree with every analytical conclusion that he reaches, nevertheless he makes an interesting and thought-provoking case for his analysis. 

What about this extract?   

“…we have argued that four broad transformations have been key: people’s Distrust of the increasingly elitist nature of liberal democracy, which has fuelled a feeling among many that they no longer have a voice in the conversation, and which is likely to spur their support for a more ‘direct’ model of democracy; ongoing anxieties about the Destruction of the nation that have been sharpened by rapid immigration and a new era of hyper ethnic change, which raise legitimate questions as well as xenophobic fears; strong concerns about relative Deprivation resulting from the shift towards an increasingly unequal economic settlement, which has stoked the correct belief that some groups are being unfairly left behind relative to others, and fears about the future, and the rise of De-alignment from the traditional parties, which has rendered our political systems more volatile and larger numbers of people ‘available’ to listen to new promises, while others have retreated into apathy.

The ‘Four Ds’ have left large numbers of people in the West instinctively receptive to the claims being made by national populism: that politicians do not listen to them, even treat them with contempt, that immigrants and ethnic minorities benefit at the expense of ‘natives’ and that hyper ethnic change and in particular Islam pose a new and major threat to the national group, its culture and way of life.

We have also seen how these are far from fringe concerns.  Sometimes more than half of the populations in the West express views that are broadly in line with national populism.”

The book is somewhat of the nature of “ranging shots” from a First World War dreadnought battleship, since Prof Goodwin is politically an opponent, as he demonstrates in his conclusion. 

However his analysis as an opponent is in many ways as confirming of the shape, dimensions, speed and course as true “ranging shots” should be.

Let’s hope our opponents don’t read his book!


Monday, 17 December 2018

Brexit has reopened two constitutional conflicts which must be resolved


In the heats of the Brexit battle between the elitist and undemocratic Remainers and the few Brexiteers in Parliament there is an occasional glimpse of the wider constitutional implications.  The article below on the Conservative Home website, which describes itself as “the home of Conservatism”, is such a glimpse and deserves wide circulation. 
 
Those who support what Professor Matthew Goodwin of Kent University is calling “National Populism” will, like me, support unconditionally the idea that our People are the ultimate sovereignty. 
 
Supporters of so-called “liberal democracy” may talk about popular sovereignty, but they want it channelled through systems which prevent the majority of the People’s Will being even expressed, let alone enacted. 
 
A good example of that mind-set is the Right Honorable Ken Clarke MP who regularly says that the EU Referendum was merely an opinion poll, which is only “advisory” for MPs, rather than an expression of popular sovereignty which must be put into effect by the political system to be legitimate.  In short you could say that liberal democracy is in effect an open conspiracy against popular democracy! 
 
Once we are clear about that division we populist democratic nationalists can be more focussed and consistent in our attacks on the short-fallings of the British Political and Media elites in their attempts to shelter behind the ornate structures of British Liberal Democracy. 
 
Below is the article.  What do you think?
 

Jonathan Clark: Brexit has reopened two constitutional conflicts which must be resolved

 
The British have, typically, little interest in constitutional law. Unlike the French, who regularly rewrite their constitution in revolutions or attempts to prevent revolutions, the British tend to assume that little changes and that all is well. Alas, the constitutional problems accumulate nevertheless. Dominic Grieve was right in a recent Commons debate to say that there are areas of the British constitution that need clearer definition. But what exactly are they? Why is the Brexit question so difficult to resolve through the familiar Westminster machinery?
 
The big issues of constitutional conflict are so fraught because they happen in legal grey areas, in which agreement and definition have never emerged. Today there are two such major areas, though many minor ones.
 
The first is the question of sovereignty: where does ultimate authority reside? It is many centuries since any significant number of people claimed that it resided with the person of the monarch alone. But the decline of that image was followed by the growing popularity of another, ‘the Crown in Parliament’, that is, the monarch, the Lords and the Commons acting together. This image never went away, but was upstaged by the doctrine of the lawyer A. V. Dicey (1835-1922) that ‘Parliament’ (meaning, increasingly, the House of Commons) was sovereign. Yet from the Reform Bill of 1832 into the 20th century, successive rounds of franchise extension strengthened another old idea, that the ultimate authority lay with ‘the People’, however defined.
 
From 1973, when the UK joined the EEC, it slowly became evident that the answer was ‘none of the above’: ultimate authority lay with Brussels. Parliament rubber-stamped increasing amounts of secondary legislation from an evolving super-state. In 2019, departure from the EU would remove that layer of command. This prospect inevitably reopens an old debate, which had never really been settled: was Parliament or the People finally supreme? Its re-emergence reminds us that Dicey’s doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty was the opinion of one commentator only. That opinion partly corresponded to contemporary practice, partly not.
 
Today, the tide is everywhere running in the opposite direction. Deference and duty daily fade; the key word everywhere is ‘choice’, and this means the choices of the many, not just the few. The transformation of communications places steadily more power in the hands of a steadily more educated, better informed ‘People’. But this trend has been matched by another, seen across the West in recent decades and at all levels: in increasingly complex societies, the executive has everywhere grown more powerful vis-a-vis the legislature. Political scientists have largely ignored this tide, but it has swept forwards nevertheless. It means that two powerful social forces now collide. Across western democracies, ‘ordinary people’ find means of complaining that they are ignored by elites who ‘just don’t get it’; elites decry ‘populism’ and exalt the opinion of ‘experts’, expressed to within one decimal point in forecasts of outcomes 15 years hence.
 
This collision reopens a second, equally old, question. What is a Member of Parliament: a delegate, or a representative? Edmund Burke famously outlined the case for the second: MPs, once elected, represent the nation as a whole; they owe the nation their best judgment; they are in nobody’s pocket. But another idea is just as old, and equally honourable: MPs are sent to Westminster by their electors to redress the electors’ grievances, and are accountable to them. Against Burke, we can set another intellectual, Andrew Marvell, MP for Hull in 1659-78, who was paid by his constituents and regularly reported back to them. Understandably, Burke’s high-sounding doctrine proved the more popular among MPs. But after he framed it, his constituents in Bristol threw him out for favouring Irish commercial interests over theirs, and he represented thereafter only his patron’s pocket borough.
Both ideas in their pure form are unacceptable. But how the balance between the two is to be struck can never be quantified or defined, and a crisis like the present makes the impossibility of a definition clear. ‘The People’ voted by 52 to 48 for Leave, and a larger percentage now says ‘just get on with it’; but about five-sixths of the House of Commons are for Remain.
 
Among Conservative MPs, something under 100 are evidently for Leave; of the other 200 or so, over half are on the Government payroll in one capacity or another, and more would like to be. So profound a dissociation between elite and popular opinion is rare. Worse still, public opinion polls and the growing practice of referenda quantify the problem as never before; the issue is easily expressed in binary terms (Leave or Remain); and the arguments have been fully rehearsed. Other countries show similar problems of relations between the many and the few, but in the UK these are brought to a focus. Since the constitution has failed to resolve them, public debate is full of expressions of elite contempt for the ignorant, prejudiced, xenophobic, racialist populace on the one hand; of popular contempt for the self-serving, condescending, out-of-touch Establishment on the other.
 
Before 1914, Conservative peers making technical points over a budget were manoeuvred by Lloyd George into a constitutional confrontation that could be memorably summed up as ‘Peers versus the People’. In this clash, the peers could only lose. Now, the Remainers have been manoeuvred into a constitutional confrontation that, if it goes much further, will be labelled ‘Parliament versus the People’. In such a conflict it can only be Parliament that will lose. In that event, the damage would be considerable.
 
These great questions of constitutional definition are seldom solved; rather, the issues are defused by building next to them a new practice. The present challenge is to accommodate that new arrival in the political arena, the referendum, and to turn it into a clearly specified, moderate, and constructive institution, as it is in Switzerland. Those concerned about daily policy should think again about a subject, once salient in university History departments but now everywhere disparaged: constitutional history.

 

Monday, 26 November 2018

THE DISSOLUTION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM COMES A STEP CLOSER!

THE DISSOLUTION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM COMES A STEP CLOSER!


Although the “Mainstream Media” (AKA “Legacy Media”) newspapers and broadcasters, such as in the article below by Alan Cochrane, focus on the risk to the Union (of the UK) from Northern Ireland and Scotland, it may well be that the more important longer term “threat” to the Union will be from England and from English Nationalists.  As William Hague when he was the Leader of the “Conservative” Party said:-  “English nationalism is the worst of all nationalisms” for the future of the Union!

The constitutional position about Theresa May’s agreement, if she manages to get it through Parliament and ratified by all the relevant parts of the EU will be interesting, because, if that happens, with the majority Leave vote in England, of well over 15 million English people voting for Leave, can then only be satisfied by the dissolution of the United Kingdom!

From a legal and constitutionalist point of view this works because the dissolution of the UK as the contracting state means that the deal is dissolved too.  This was threatened against the Scottish Nationalists, in the run up to the Scottish Independence Referendum, when the then Commissioner Barosso pointed out that, if Scotland left the United Kingdom then (because the United Kingdom would be dissolved), Scotland would be a new State and therefore not an ‘Accession’ state and so not part of the EU. 

The EU is composed of “Member States”.  If a Member State is dissolved and ceases to exist, then the arrangements with the EU also cease to exist.  The EU is not a territorial entity, nor an entity of individual people, nor of peoples, it is an entity only of accession Member States.  This means that the general legal principles on dissolution or death of a participating entity in an agreement apply.  Generally that means that the agreement itself ceases to exist as well as the dissolved entity upon its dissolution (or death).

I explained this in my Blog article quite a few years ago.  Here is a link to that article >>> https://robintilbrook.blogspot.com/2012/12/england-to-be-free-of-eu-in-2014.html

The article below by Alan Cochrane is also interesting but is of course yet again looking at the Union from the Scottish perspective rather than from the point of view of English nationalists. 

In short I think Theresa May’s proposed deal may actually fill the sails of English nationalists and of English nationalism because our way of thinking will then be the only practical way of coming out of the EU. 

What do you think?  Here is Alan Cochrane’s article :-

Warring Tories have put a hurricane in the sail of the nationalists 


With the Conservative Party tearing itself and the government of Theresa May asunder last night, one of its hitherto more successful parts appeared to be also heading for the intensive care ward.

In a bitter, and unprecedented Cabinet-level war, the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party accused resigning Brexiteer ministers of threatening to wreck the United Kingdom. In one of the most outspoken attacks one senior minister has ever launched against colleagues, former or otherwise, David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, described Dominic Raab and Esther McVey as “carpetbaggers”.

Just for good measure, he claimed that Mr Raab’s departure was more about a future leadership bid than the Brexit deal.
In their resignation letters, the former Brexit and Work and Pensions Secretaries had both cited the threat to the Union posed by the fact that special provisions were proposed for Northern Ireland in Mrs May’s withdrawal deal.

And there is little doubt that this escalation in insults reflected the fact that the Northern Ireland aspect of the deal has put immediate and intense pressure on Mr Mundell and, also to a lesser extent, Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader.

Their partnership has been largely responsible for the revival of the Conservatives north of the border – leaping from one MP to 13 at the last general election and forming the official opposition to the SNP at the Scottish Parliament.

However, significantly, at least in terms of their current embarrassment, both signed an open letter to the Prime Minister last month in which they threatened to resign if there was a “differentiated deal” agreed for Northern Ireland. And, no matter how you cut it, that is precisely what is contained in the deal Mrs May put to her Cabinet on Wednesday.

I have a great deal of sympathy with the view expressed in Scottish Tory circles that Mr Raab and Ms McVey used the threat to the Union as “cover” for their resignations. And I can also understand Mr Mundell’s intense irritation that many of the most ardent Brexiteers care little for the maintenance of the Union of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Indeed, I can’t remember any of them making an appearance during the Scottish independence referendum campaign four years ago.

That’s neither here nor there now, however. No amount of name-calling and foot stamping will alter the plain fact that, by including a distinctive feature for Northern Ireland after Brexit in the deal, the Prime Minister has done two things: she’s delivered a major boost to the SNP, whose sole aim is the break-up of Britain, and she’s ignored the warnings she received from Mr Mundell and Ms Davidson.

In one of the great ironies of the situation, the nationalists claim that Scotland should be given a different deal from the rest of the UK but haven’t got it, whereas Northern Ireland is getting one but its majority party doesn’t want it. And yesterday First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed that Ulster’s special treatment would give it an unfair trading advantage over Scotland.

There is a hope within Scottish Conservative circles that Mrs May might yet be able to retrieve the situation by clarifying and playing down the differences in the deal for Northern Ireland. But given the furious reaction from DUP MPs yesterday, she has a mountain to climb in that direction.

Nevertheless, the Scottish Tories’ main problem is that threatening letter sent to the PM and signed by Mr Mundell and Ms Davidson. It was seen at the time, by some observers, as a silly piece of grandstanding and it has now come back to bite them – hard.

Ms Davidson is on maternity leave and, last night Mr Mundell said he was staying put, insisting that he would fight on for the maintenance of the UK, adding: “That’s what I’m focused on, not being the heart of some soap opera of resignations and I’m not going to be bounced into resigning by carpetbaggers.”

Notwithstanding his determination to fight on and his angry words about his now former colleagues, I’m sure that he wishes he hadn’t signed that letter. It’s boxed him in, good and proper.