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Thursday, 12 July 2018



Whilst the fall-out from David Davis’ resignation has captured the headlines, I thought one of the most interesting articles about David Davis was written by his friend Paul Goodman, the Editor of the Conservative Home blog site. 

Mr Paul Goodman was previously the Conservative MP for High Wycombe and has been given the editorship of Conservative Home after its founder, Tim Montgomery moved to.  I think it is significant that Mr Goodman’s career has not been one where it seems that he has ever been a key decision maker and that, I think, is significant in reading his article. 

The article is written as a friend and admirer of David Davis and also someone who thinks that David Davis’ method of making decisions is rational and principled, rather than the approach of someone who doesn’t find it naturally easy to make decisions and is therefore seeking a crutch for his lame decision making process. 

Below is the article.  See what you think.

Davis resigns. My part in his downfall

It is possible that you are right and I am wrong,” David Davis writes to Theresa May in his resignation letter.  The phrase was in a draft that I saw just over a month ago on the evening of June 6.  Earlier in the dayhe had been asked, after delivering a speech at RUSI, whether or not he would resign if the Prime Minister did not offer a date by which, in the event of a Brexit deal, the backstop arrangement over the UK-Ireland border would end.  “That’s a question, I think, for the Prime Minister, to be honest,” he replied.  This was less of an evasion than a confession.  The Brexit Secretary was trying to think through, using the logic tree methods that he loves to deploy, what to do for the best – and what the range of outcomes of a resignation might be.  He hadn’t made up his mind what to do.

The story of how I know so is as follows. The previous day, he had texted me: “are you around tomorrow evening”?  This was unusual.  I am a friend – having voted for him not only in the leadership election of 2005, but in the previous outing of 2001, shortly after being elected as an MP for the first time, and working briefly as his PPS.  But messages of that kind don’t come every day.  “Yes, if wanted,” I replied. “Which I seem to be.”  “Dinner?” came the reply.  “I could use some advice.”  This is not a request I’d ever had from him before by text – or perhaps in any other form – and the terse terms expressed an unusual urgency.  So it was that the next evening we found ourselves chewing his choices over, almost literally, over Albondigas and Pisto Madrileno upstairs at Goya’s in Pimlico.

Three main issues emerged.  The first was the backstop.  It was already known that he hadn’t been happy about its terms at the time when agreed, because he feared that, once the UK was in it, the EU might never let us out – thus trapping us in the Customs Union and Single Market, at least in part, in perpetuity.  His conviction that the Government must find a route map to escape it, and that he might resign if one wasn’t forthcoming, wasn’t exactly a secret that day: his arrival at our small table was preceded by a frenzy of tweets from fellow political journalists speculating on what he had said at RUSI.  He had sent me a text earlier: “Running late. On my way”.  “Don’t resign before you arrrive,” I replied, to which the half-joshing answer came back: “nip and tuck, I reckon”.

The second issue was delay.  Davis feared that if the Commons wasn’t presented with a detailed trade proposal in the autumn, it would vote the deal down, projecting the Government and the country into unknown and unknowable political territory.  Hence the urgent need to get a move on: get a proper customs policy – the stand-off over agreeing one was helping to tick the clock down – get a broader approach agreed and a White Paper published; get back round the negotiating table.  That he had spent only four hours since Christmas negotiating with Michel Barnier had been well reported.  The bleeding obvious had gained less traction: that, until or unless the Government had first closed its divisions, there wasn’t much to talk about.

Which brings us to the third point.  Someone had been regularly back and forth to Brussels on the Governent’s behalf, but it hadn’t been the man who Theresa May appointed to undertake the task: it had been Olly Robbins, her Europe adviser.  Whatever one thinks of this decision, it may well be that, when the history of this Government is written, that the Prime Minister’s reliance on her adviser will be a pivotal part of the tale.  Robbins was May’s Second Permanent Secretary at the Home Office.  He was sent to DexEU as its first Permanent Secretary.  He and Davis didn’t get on.  So he was moved to Downing Street and his present role.  The decision to use a civil servant as an emissary, rather than the politician appointed with an express brief for Brexit, has had consequences.

The long and short of it is that there was a feedback loop, in Davis’ view, between the wrong way of making decisions and what he saw as the consequence – namely, wrong decisions.  He also claimed that the Prime Minister hadn’t been straight with him.  This charge is set out in the resignation letter he sent yesterday evening, which refers to “the progressive dilution of what I thought was a firm Chequers agreement in February on right to diverge…the unnecessary delays of the start of the White Paper…the presentation of a backstop proposal that omitted the strict conditions that I requested and believed that we had agreed”.  The implications of all this for others were infinitely more important than they were for me. But it may be worth mentioning that they pulled in different directions.

As a friend, I wanted Davis to flourish.  As an editor, I wanted a story.  As a Conservative, I wanted the best for the Government.  As a Brexiteer, I wanted the best for Brexit – and, by extension, for my fellow citizens.  Such were the conflicting pushes and tugs.  For what it’s worth, I told him that if he really felt that he had to resign…well, then, he would have to resign.  This doubtless wasn’t the most scintillating advice ever offered a politician, but for better or worse it was the best I could do.  “Reckon it’s 50.50,” I tweeted afterwards.  But I felt that the logic of the position leaned towards him quitting: if you can’t trust your boss, what other option do you have?  At any rate, the decision went the other way.  He had a long meeting with May the next day and, in short, decided to give her a second chance.

On the backstop, I felt he lost – that gaining a date by which the Government wanted a replacement was useless.  More broadly, I thought he won.  In those meetings, the Prime Minister agreed to get a move on with the White Paper and to set a date for a Chequers summit – which sets up an irony: Davis thereby gained the meeting that propelled his resignation.  You will have noticed that he went dark over the weekend, in the aftermath of the Chequers agreement.  I wrote on Saturday that he and four fellow Brexiteers, plus others in Cabinet up to a point, spoke out against what I call the Prime Minister’s new Brexit Minus Minus Minus proposal – which, whatever else may be said for it, isn’t the Canada Plus Plus Plus ideal which enthuses him.

He told me on Saturday that he was off to Silverstone yesterday (nice for some).  He sounded dispirited.  I asked him again if he would resign – it had become a staple opener to our conversation, rather as one might say: “great weather, don’t you think? – but, by now, the boy-who-cried-wolf factor had kicked in, at least for me.  In retrospect, the warning sign was there: elliptical reserve was a better guide to the future than public agonising.  And perhaps I had forgotten that he has a track record of quitting on principle.  He said that he “might be busy” yesterday evening.  “These resignation letters take a long time to write,” I replied – believing, wrongly, that one wouldn’t be forthcoming.  “Well, I already have a work in progress…”, his text shot back.  It was signed off with a smiley sporting a halo.

Saint to some, sinner to others: we will get both takes, and everything in between, today.  Mamma mia!  Here we go again.  I repeat the most objective summary of which I’m capable. “There is no shortage of marmite politicians at Westminster, but Davis makes most of them taste like blancmagne. His friends’ take is that he is principled, brave, strategic, a deadly campaigner, highly intelligent, a lost leader, loyal to a fault…and occasionally exasperating. His enemies’ view is mostly unprintable. What can be written of it once the expletives are removed are such words and phrases as: egotistical, boastful, unreliable, opportunistic, a plotter, not a team player. There are quite a few of those friends and even more of these enemies – a fair number of whom are his fellow Tory MPs.

It may that the waters close over Davis with a quiet plop, that May appoints Michael Gove to replace him and sends Rory Stewart to Defra, and that life carries on much as before.  This is doubtful, to put it mildly.  Davis suggests in that resignation that the Prime Minister has been tricksy with him, and Downing Street will now feel obliged to trash his reputation – and with interest.  As we have seen, it will not be short of an audience.  More to the point, the cry is already up: who’s next?  My successor in Wycombe, Steve Baker, has already gone.  Like Davis, neither Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, Penny Mordaunt nor Esther McVey ventured into the studios this weekend to defend the policy that the Foreign Secretary has compared to a dollop of dung.

Will he “do a Heathrow”, as it’s known in the trade, today?  But how can he now cling to office?  And – as Mark Wallace asked last night, as he burnt the midnight candle – “bluntly, will May get the chance to appoint a replacement at all?”  We are in full-parade-40-letters-bells-and-whistles-country.  The 1922 Committee meets to be addressed by the Prime Minister this afternoon.  These occasions usually star loyalists called early to praise the Party leader – after which those present warn of the dangers of a Corbyn Government (quite right too), denounce the media…and leave to brief their favourite journalists.  This evening, it may be different – and not just in the sense that the meeting will be followed, with superlative timing, by the annual ConHome Parliamentary reception.

Like most of the rest of us, Davis likes to believe that his heart follows his head – all those logic trees; all that rational exposition – but sometimes, as for the rest of us too, it’s the other way round.  “I don’t know how but I suddenly lose control /  There’s a fire within my soul,” the song goes on.  I have given the best account of what has happened that I can but, just as it is partial, it is also limited.  There is sometimes a mystery to our decisions – a momentum that may suddenly drive them that we cannot fully explain.  On the one hand, I am with my old friend.  I think he was right to resign, and believe the new policy is a stinker.  On the other, I believe that to hold a leadership contest now, with the Brexit negotiation still in place, would be narcissistic self-indulgence – not to mention an act of electoral self-harm.

It would be the greatest irony of all, would it not, were Davis’s resignation to kick-push a domino of effects which bring about the very opposite of what he wants: the collapse of the Government; the postponement of Article 50; the kicking of Brexit into the long grass – from which, buried deep, it never emerges?  But what I think scarcely matters.  Perhaps all that’s to be done is to follow the trail of what happens next.  On Friday, a Government source warned “narcissistic leadership dominated Cabinet Ministers” to back the Prime Minister or “their spots will be taken by a talented new generation of MPs who will sweep them away”.  We are about to find out whether or not that is true – and who will or won’t be swept away.  One more thing, David: whatever you do, don’t call another bloody by-election.”

David Davis is someone who has previously said that he supports an English Parliament and considers himself to be English.  He is therefore potentially supportive of the English Nationalist Cause.  However I do think it is interesting to see that he needed to discuss his decisions with friends and needed a rationalised decision making process. 

Although I do not for a moment suggest that David Davis would ever have been a rapid fire decision maker that history shows Napoleon to have been.  Napoleon’s willingness to make decisions was such that he positively refused to reverse them, even when it would cause unnecessary deaths, as in his famous refusal to countermand an order that he had already given on the battlefield:- “Order plus Counter Order equals Disorder!” 

Instead of such ruthless and incisive decision making what we get any glimpse of in this article is of a somewhat muddled decision making process by David Davis who clearly means well and is nice but probably wouldn’t be, if this article is telling us the whole story, a good choice for supreme command.   

After all what could be worse than being commanded in battle by a General who wants to be NICE to the enemy?

Thursday, 5 July 2018

What is Theresa May’s real Brexit battle plan?

What is Theresa May’s real Brexit battle plan?

In a middle of a battle it is often impossible for any onlookers or most participants to understand the plans of the commanders on each side.  That is even more the case in a political battle where all sides puff out stories like chaff out of a Second World War Lancaster Bomber to confuse the political radar of opponents and often also of supporters!

In the case of Brexit, this is a complete reversal of the British Establishment’s foreign policy in the last 40 years. This means that it is the most significant reversal of British foreign policy in almost the entire careers of all the parliamentary participants - so the chaff deluge is huge!  

Brexit is also a direct challenge by the voting public to the British Political Establishment.  Which is part of the reason why the Remain elite have got themselves into such a state of hysterical denial over the situation. 

At the centre of the conundrum as to what is happening is of course Theresa May.  All those who have met her and know her, whom I have met, have assured me that she is not especially intelligent and certainly not any sort of an intellectual.  She is however apparently very devious and controlling.  I cannot do anything better than quote the article that I quoted in our Spring Conference on the 17th September 2016 when Theresa May had become the new Prime Minister and new Leader of the Conservative Party.

Here is what I said at conference about this:-

Let’s turn now to the Conservative and Unionist Party.

They have emerged from the EU Referendum on the surface undented but let’s just look beneath the surface. 

The Conservatives have pretended for all my adult life (and I know that I am getting on!) to be a mainly Eurosceptic led Party.  That was exposed in the referendum, by most of their Ministers and MPs, as a downright lie!

In contrast apparently about 60% of their ordinary members and supporters voted to “Leave”.  Also the Conservative Party’s elite Establishment shenanigans have now given their Party a replacement Remainer Leader and the UK a Remainist Prime Minister. 

Theresa May, according to Jonathan Foreman, is apparently a vengeful and obsessive micro manager. 

Jonathan Foreman is an editor and writer based in London.  He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Civitas Institute for the Study of Civil Society and a frequent contributor to the Sunday Times and Saturday Telegraph. 

In his article “Theresa May is a failed Home Secretary and a bad choice for PM ( published in “Reaction” on the 2nd July he wrote and I quote:-

“In the run-up to the 2015 election one of the handicaps David Cameron had to finesse was the fact that net migration to the UK was three times as high as he had promised it would be. Remarkably, none of the opprobrium this failure provoked brought forth the name of Theresa May, the cabinet minister actually entrusted with bringing migration down. Then, as now, it was as if the icy Home Secretary had a dark magic that warded off all critical scrutiny.

The fact that her lead role in this fiasco went unmentioned reflects Mrs May’s clever, all-consuming efforts to burnish her image with a view to become prime minister. After all, Mrs May’s tenure as Home Secretary has been notably unsuccessful. Its abundant failures include a succession of derelictions that have left Britain’s borders and coastline at least as insecure as they were in 2010, and which means that British governments still rely on guesswork to estimate how many people enter and leave the country.

People find this hard to credit because she exudes determination. Compared to many of her cabinet colleagues she has real gravitas. And few who follow British politics would deny that she is a deadly political infighter. Indeed Theresa May is to Westminster what Cersei Lannister is to Westeros in “Game of Thrones”: no one who challenges her survives unscarred; the welfare of her realm is a much lower priority than her craving for power.”

Foreman also wrote that:- 

“The reputation for effectiveness that Mrs May enjoys mostly derives from a single, endlessly cited event: the occasion in 2014 when she delivered some harsh truths to a conference of the Police Federation. Unfortunately this was an isolated incident that, given the lack of any subsequent (or previous) effort at police reform, seems to have been intended mainly for public consumption.

In general Mrs May has avoided taking on the most serious institutional problems that afflict British policing. These include, among other things, a disturbing willingness by some forces to let public relations concerns determine their policing priorities, widespread overreliance on CCTV, a common propensity to massage crime numbers, the extreme risk aversion manifested during the London riots, and the preference for diverting police resources to patrol social media rather than the country’s streets.

There is also little evidence that Mrs May has paid much attention to the failure of several forces to protect vulnerable girls from the ethnically-motivated sexual predation seen in Rotherham and elsewhere. Nor, despite her proclaimed feminism, has Mrs May done much to ensure that the authorities protect girls from certain ethnic groups from forced marriage and genital mutilation. But again, Mrs May has managed to evade criticism for this.”

Foreman continues:-

“When considering her suitability for party leadership, it’s also worth remembering Mrs May’s notorious “lack of collegiality”. David Laws’ memoirs paint a vivid picture of a secretive, rigid, controlling, even vengeful minister, so unpleasant to colleagues that a dread of meetings with her was something that cabinet members from both parties could bond over.

Unsurprisingly, Mrs May’s overwhelming concern with taking credit and deflecting blame made for a difficult working relationship with her department, just as her propensity for briefing the press against cabinet colleagues made her its most disliked member in two successive governments.

It is possible (Foreman says), that Mrs May’s intimidating ruthlessness could make her the right person to negotiate with EU leaders. However, there’s little in her record to suggest she possesses either strong negotiation skills or the ability to win allies among other leaders.”

So if that article is right, Ladies and Gentlemen, Theresa May may well be the Conservative’s version of Gordon Brown. 

In any case she and the Conservatives also are locked in, by the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, into having the next election in May 2020 by which time both they and she may be hugely unpopular!  This will be especially true if she doesn’t fully implement Brexit. 

This is also a risk for us all because she is a classic backroom EU operator.  It was Theresa May after all who was the main driver behind the gay marriage campaign and she used the EU’s systems to force this through not only here but also in other countries too.

It does appear however that Theresa May may have more of a sense of humour than the seemingly totally humourless Gordon. 

After all she and her team had made her leadership rival, Andrea Ledsom, turn on the waterworks and surrender her leadership challenge in tears and blubbing, having usefully knocked every other Leaver out of the running. 

Ladies and Gentlemen Theresa May has appointed Andrea Ledsom as the Minister in charge of waterworks and floods at DEFRA! 

I ask you has Mrs May got a sense of humour or what?

There is also the fact that the EU referendum showed that there are basically two main types of people who are Conservative MPs (except for a small and usually totally uninfluential number of mavericks).

These two types are either Liberal Globalists or Liberal Europhiles.  Neither of these two types care a hoot for England!  Both of them also actively hate the very idea of English nationalism.  This means that the Conservatives too have ruled themselves out of being the party for England.”

So it was to me rather doubtful that when Theresa May said in part of her tedious mantra that “Brexit means Brexit” that she necessarily meant us to understand what she was thinking.  I wondered whether that was simply a smokescreen to deflect criticism or analysis of her position.  

Given that she had a parliamentary majority before she called her unwise General Election it seemed to me likely that in doing she wanted to reduce the influence of Brexiteers so that she could do whatever she wanted to do with Brexit, which I felt was very likely not to be what anybody who really supported Brexit would want. 

I thought some corroboration to this suspicion was given by Jeremy Hosking as reported in this article in which he said that he thinks she is deliberately trying to sabotage Brexit. Such an approach certainly seems to be consistent to what we know of her character. 

Tory donor: Brexit ‘incompetence’ is a ploy

No 10’s rejection of funds for Eurosceptic candidates shows it wants to keep EU ties, claims financier
  • The Sunday Telegraph
  • 20 May 2018
GOVERNMENT “incompetence” over the Brexit talks is part of Theresa May’s strategy to keep Britain tied to the European Union, a top Conservative donor claims today.
Jeremy Hosking, a City financier, alleges that one of Mrs May’s aides frustrated his attempt at last year’s general election to donate hundreds of thousands of pounds to Tory candidates under a “Brexit Express” campaign. In a letter to The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Hosking said: “Those who think the Government is vacillating or making a mess of Brexit due to incompetence are wrong.
“It is part of a strategy. It’s going to plan and the inference from the experience of Brexit Express is that the Prime Minister herself is probably implicated.”
His accusation comes a year after Mrs May’s disastrous election manifesto launch, which commentators said contributed to the Conservatives’ failure to win the election outright.
Mr Hosking has donated £375,000 to the party over the past three years and he offered to give £5,000 to 140 Brexit-backing Tory candidates to fight pro-Remain candidates at the last election through “Brexit Express”.
However, he claims some of the donations were blocked by Fiona Hill, who at the time was chief of staff to Mrs May. Eventually Mr Hosking was able to donate just £376,000 of the planned £700,000 to the candidates.
He said: “Brexit Express’s offer was spurned by the Conservatives.
“It was made as difficult as possible to contact the constituencies that had been (easily) identified, let alone give Tory candidates the money. It was indicated to us by high-ranking party officials that the roadblock to our £700,000 Conservative Party donation lay within No 10 itself.
“We were allowed to assume the blocker was Fiona Hill, Theresa May’s chief of staff [who has now departed]. The layman’s presumption that the purpose of the last election was to strengthen the position of the Government externally in the exit negotiations is therefore false. The real purpose was for the Government to face down its core of Brexiteer MPs internally.”
A Conservative Party source could not comment on the detail of the claims. However, they pointed out that a “large amount” of the donations was handed over. The source added: “He [Mr Hosking] has been a good and very generous donor to the party and there were issues from our side. Everyone who wants to donate to the Conservatives is very welcome to.”
A spokesman for 10 Downing Street declined to comment. Ms Hill was sent details of the claims by The Sunday Telegraph but did not comment.

Unfortunately there is very little that any of us, who are not within the inner circle of the Conservative Parliamentary Party, can realistically do about this situation It may therefore be worth considering what her position will be if Brexit is actually betrayed as suspected.  In this respect I cannot do better than quote the opinion of one of the key architects of the Brexit vote, Dominic Cummings:-

On the referendum #25: a letter to Tory MPs & donors on the Brexit shambles

Dear Tory MPs and donors
I’ve avoided writing about the substance of Brexit and the negotiations since the anniversary last year but a few of you have been in touch recently asking ‘what do you think?’ so…
Vote Leave said during the referendum that:
1) promising to use the Article 50 process would be stupid and the UK should maintain the possibility of making real preparations to leave while NOT triggering Article 50 and
2) triggering Article 50 quickly without discussions with our EU friends and without a plan ‘would be like putting a gun in your mouth and pulling the trigger’. 
Following this advice would have maintained the number of positive branching histories of the future, including a friendly departure under Article 50.
The Government immediately accepted bogus legal advice and triggered Article 50 quickly without discussions with our EU friends and without a plan. This immediately closed many positive branching histories and created major problems. The joy in Brussels was palpable. Hammond and DD responded to this joy with empty sabre rattling which Brussels is now enjoying shoving down their throats.  
The government’s nominal policy, which it put in its manifesto and has repeated many times, is to leave the Single Market and Customs Union and the jurisdiction of the ECJ.
This requires preparing to be a ‘third country’ for the purposes of  EU law. It requires building all the infrastructure and facilities that are normal around the world to manage trade.
This process should have started BEFORE triggering A50 but the government has irretrievably botched this.
Having botched it, it could have partially recovered its blunder by starting to do it afterwards.
No such action has been taken.
Downing Street, the Treasury, the Cabinet Office and the Cabinet have made no such preparations and there is no intention of starting.
The Cabinet has never asked for and never been given a briefing from responsible officials on these preparations. Some of them understand this and are happy (e.g Hammond). Most of them don’t understand this and/or prefer not to think about it. It will be trashed in the history books as the pre-1914 Cabinet has been for its failure to discuss what its military alliance with France actually meant until after it was too late.
The few ministers who try to make preparations are often told ‘it’s illegal’ and are blocked by their own Departments, the Cabinet Office and Treasury. The standard officials device of ‘legal advice’ is routinely deployed to whip cowed ministers and spads into line. But given officials now know the May/Hammond plan is surrender, it’s hardly surprising they are not preparing for a Potemkin policy. 
The Treasury argues, with a logic that is both contemptible and reasonable in the comical circumstances, that given the actual outcome of the negotiations will be abject surrender, it is pointless wasting more money to prepare for a policy that has no future and therefore even the Potemkin preparations now underway should be abandoned (NB. the Chancellor has earmarked half of the money for a ‘no deal’ for the fiscal year after we leave the EU).
Instead, Whitehall’s real preparations are for the continuation of EU law and the jurisdiction of the ECJ. The expectation is that MPs will end up accepting the terrible agreement as voting it down would be to invite chaos.
In short, the state has made no preparations to leave and plans to make no preparations to leave even after leaving.
Further, the Government promised in the December agreement to do a number of things that are logically, legally and practically incompatible including leaving the Single Market and Customs Union, avoiding ‘friction’ and changing nothing around the Irish border (as defined by the EU), and having no border in the Irish Sea.
The Government has also aided and abetted bullshit invented by Irish nationalists and Remain campaigners that the Belfast Agreement prevents reasonable customs checks on trade between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Read the agreement. It does no such thing. This has fatally undermined the UK’s negotiating position and has led to the false choice of not really leaving the EU (‘the Government’s backstop’) or undermining the UK’s constitutional integrity (‘the EU’s backstop’). Barwell promised ministers in December that the text did not mean what it plainly did mean. Now he argues ‘you agreed all this in December’. Whenever you think ‘it can’t be this bad’, the internal processes are always much worse than you think.
Parliament and its Select Committees have contributed to delusions. They have made almost no serious investigation of what preparations to be a third country under EU law should be and what steps are being taken to achieve it.
A small faction of pro-Brexit MPs (which also nearly destroyed Vote Leave so they could babble about ‘Global Britain’ in TV debates) could have done one useful thing — forced the government to prepare for their official policy. Instead this faction has instead spent its time trying to persuade people that all talk of ‘preparations’ is a conspiracy of Brussels and Heywood. They were an asset to Remain in the referendum and they’ve helped sink a viable policy since. A party that treats this faction (or Dominic Grieve) as a serious authority on the law deserves everything it gets. (I don’t mean ‘the ERG’ — I mean a subset of the ERG.)
All this contributes to current delusional arguments over supposed ‘models’ (hybrid/max fac etc) that even on their own terms cannot solve the problem of multiple incompatible promises. ‘Compromise proposals’ such as that from Boles which assume the existence of ‘third country’ planning are just more delusions. It doesn’t matter which version of delusion your gangs finally agree on if none of them has a basis in reality and so long as May/Hammond continue they will have no basis in reality.
You can dance around the fundamental issues all you want but in the end ‘reality cannot be fooled’.
The Government effectively has no credible policy and the whole world knows it. By not taking the basic steps any sane Government should have taken from 24 June 2016, including providing itself with world class legal advice, it’s ‘strategy’ has imploded. It now thinks its survival requires surrender, it thinks that admitting this risks its survival, it thinks that the MPs can be bullshitted by clever drafting from officials, and that once Leave MPs and donors — you guys — are ordering your champagne in the autumn for your parties on 30 March 2019 you will balk at bringing down the Government when you finally have to face that you’ve been conned. Eurosceptics are full of shit and threats they don’t deliver, they say in No10, and on this at least they have a point.
This set of problems cannot be solved by swapping ‘useless X’ for ‘competent Y’ or ‘better spin’.
This set of problems cannot be solved by listening to charlatans such as the overwhelming majority of economists and ‘trade experts’ who brand themselves pro-Brexit, live in parallel universes, and spin fantasies to you.
This set of problems derives partly from the fact that the wiring of power in Downing Street is systemically dysfunctional and, worse, those with real institutional power (Cabinet Office/HMT officials etc) have as their top priority the maintenance of this broken system and keeping Britain as closely tied to the EU as possible. There is effectively zero prospect of May’s team, totally underwater, solving these problems not least because they cannot see them — indeed, their only strategy is to ‘trust officials to be honest’, which is like trusting Bernie Madoff with your finances. Brexit cannot be done with the traditional Westminster/Whitehall system as Vote Leave  warned repeatedly before 23 June 2016.
Further, lots of what Corbyn says is more popular than what Tory think tanks say and you believe (e.g nationalising the trains and water companies that have been run by corporate looters who Hammond says ‘we must defend’). You are only at 40% in the polls because a set of UKIP voters has decided to back you until they see how Brexit turns out. You only survived the most useless campaign in modern history because Vote Leave killed UKIP. You’re now acting like you want someone to create a serious version of it.
Ask yourselves: what happens when the country sees you’ve simultaneously a) ‘handed over tens of billions for fuck all’ as they’ll say in focus groups (which the UK had no liability to pay), b) failed to do anything about unskilled immigration, c) persecuted the high skilled immigrants, such as scientists, who the public wants you to be MORE welcoming to, and d) failed to deliver on the nation’s Number One priority — funding for the NHS which is about to have a very high profile anniversary? And what happens if May staggers to 30 March 2019 and, as Barwell is floating with some of you, they then dig in to fight the 2022 campaign?
If you think that babble about ‘the complexity of the Irish border / the Union / peace’ will get you all off the hook, you must be listening to the same people who ran the 2017 campaign. It won’t. The public, when they tune back in at some point, will consider any argument based on Ireland as such obvious bullshit you must be lying. Given they already think you lie about everything, it won’t be a stretch.
Yes there are things you can do to mitigate the train wreck. For example, it requires using the period summer 2019 to autumn 2021 to change the political landscape, which is incompatible with the continuation of the May/Hammond brand of stagnation punctuated by rubbish crisis management. If you go into the 2022 campaign after five years of this and the contest is Tory promises versus Corbyn promises, you will be maximising the odds of Corbyn as PM. Since 1945, only once has a party trying to win a third term increased its number of seats. Not Thatcher. Not Blair. 1959 — after swapping Eden for Macmillan and with over ~6% growth the year before the vote. You will be starting without a majority (unlike others fighting for a third term). You won’t have half that growth — you will need something else. Shuffling some people is necessary but extremely far from sufficient. 
Of course it could have worked out differently but that is now an argument over branching histories for the history books. Yes it’s true that May, Hammond, Heywood and Robbins are Remain and have screwed it up but you’re deluded if you think you’ll be able to blame the debacle just on them. Whitehall is better at the blame game than you are, officials are completely dominant in this government, ministers have chosen to put Heywood/Robbins in charge, and YOU will get most of the blame from the public.
The sooner you internalise these facts and face reality, the better for the country and you.
Every day that you refuse to face reality increases the probability not only of a terrible deal but also of Seumas Milne shortly casting his curious and sceptical eyes over your assets and tax affairs.
It also increases the probability that others will conclude your party is incapable of coping with this situation and, unless it changes fast, drastic action will be needed including the creation of new forces to reflect public contempt for both the main parties and desire for a political force that reflects public priorities.
If revolution there is to be, better to undertake it than undergo it…
Best wishes
Dominic Cummings
Former campaign director of Vote Leave"

Cummings’ letter is particularly interesting considering that the leading commentator on voting patterns, Professor Sir John Curtice, has recently pointed out that now it is 70% of the Conservative Party’s electoral support that are Leave voters. 

If the Conservative Party betrays the Leave vote they will also reveal, what many patriots have long known, that the Conservative Party is not a genuinely patriotic party. 

The Conservative Party elite is part of the globalist establishment and thus fundamentally hostile to nationalism or patriotism.  It will therefore be good for the political prospects of genuine patriots and nationalists if the Conservative Party wrecks itself on Brexit!

Wednesday, 27 June 2018



Recently I was interested to read of the launch of a new pro-Brexit group.  This group is particularly interesting because it is a Left-wing patriotic venture.  

Within living memory it would not have raised any eyebrows for there to be a group of Left-wing patriots, but nowadays we are so used to the Left accusing anybody who shows any pride in their Nation of being “Racists” or “Fascists” because the Left has become increasingly Internationalist in its thinking. 
The “Full Brexit” started with a foundation statement which I reproduce here :-


Founding Statement

Brexit offers a historic opportunity for democratic and economic renewal. This opportunity is being squandered by Britain’s political class. The Full Brexit will set out radical arguments for a clean break with the European Union. Instead of the conservative nostalgia of the Eurosceptics, our arguments will put the interests of working people – the majority of citizens – at the centre of the case for a democratic Brexit.

In the EU referendum, British voters seized the opportunity to protest against a politics that offers no real alternatives and an economic model that leaves many behind. The Leave campaign’s slogan, “take back control”, resonated with millions of people whose interests are no longer represented in British politics. For this revolt, Leave voters have been slandered as dupes and racists. The Full Brexit stands up for and with the majority of British people: not just Leavers, but also Remain voters who believe the decision must be respected, and for everyone hungry for meaningful political and economic change.

Eurosceptics rightly complain that powerful elite Remainers are conspiring to sabotage Brexit. But this is not the main reason Brexit is adrift. The real cause is that the entire political class lacks any compelling vision of Britain’s future, leaving most British citizens without effective political representation.

Having lost touch with ordinary people, political parties have retreated into European Union policymaking networks. After decades of integration, few politicians, civil servants or academic experts can now imagine any kind of future outside of the EU. Yet Leave campaigners on the right also lack any positive vision. Nostalgic bluster about “Global Britain” has led only to the sterile argument about free trade agreements versus the Single Market and the Customs Union. This wrangling about trade fails to address the problems that led people to reject the EU.

The problems of low investment, stagnant wages and ageing infrastructure that blight our towns and cities require a much more fundamental reconsideration of Britain’s economic and political model. Lacking ideas about how to tackle the deeper problems, politicians on all sides are defaulting to conservative positions, seeking to minimise change, whether through full single market membership or “regulatory alignment”, mostly to defend vested interests like the City of London.

This lack of vision threatens to neutralise Brexit’s potential to renew our political and economic life. EU rules are not neutral: they lock in a set of neoliberal policies that tightly constrain governments’ capacity to innovate, experiment, and tackle voters’ concerns. By preventing practical redress of voters’ grievances, this corrodes representative democracy. Brexit offers a precious opportunity to change this. If this opportunity is squandered, the public will rightly conclude that voting changes nothing. Disengagement and cynicism will intensify and populism – rampant elsewhere in the EU – will surge, threatening what is left of our parliamentary democracy.

A challenge to the logic that “There is No Alternative” is urgently needed, and this must come from the left. The Full Brexit is not a political party. We do not all agree about each and every policy or document on this website. But we do agree, first, that the left’s proper role is to be the architect of a better, more democratic future and, second, that a clean break with the EU is needed to realise that potential.
To this end, we will provide analysis of the present political situation and proposals for the future. We will engage with the public, politicians and anyone who shares our democratic ethos. And we will conduct our work in solidarity with those on the left in other European countries to develop a genuinely internationalist and democratic politics of national sovereignty.

Brexit offers an unprecedented opportunity to reshape Britain for the better. Please join us in that mission.

Founding Signatories

​Christopher Bickerton, University of Cambridge
Philip Cunliffe, University of Kent
Paul Embery, Trade Unionists Against the EU
Thomas Fazi, Author and Journalist
Maurice Glasman, House of Lords
David Goodhart, Author and Journalist
Matthew Goodwin, University of Kent
Pauline Hadaway, University of Manchester
James Heartfield, Author and Journalist
Kevin Hickson, University of Liverpool
Lee Jones, Queen Mary University of London
Costas Lapavitsas, School of Oriental and African Studies
Martin Loughlin, London School of Economics
Tara McCormack, University of Leicester
Jasper Miles, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Peter Ramsay, London School of Economics
Richard Tuck, Harvard University​
Bruno Waterfield, Journalist
Philip B Whyman, University of Central Lancashire
Suke Wolton, Regents Park College, University of Oxford

Prof Mary Davis, London; Anshu Srivastava, Architect and Community Organiser; Prof William Mitchell, University of Newcastle, Australia; Prof Danny Nicol, University of Westminster; Prof Phil Hammond, London South Bank University; Dr Paul Stott, SOAS University of London; Dr Jim Butcher, Canterbury Christ Church University; Jonathan Rutherford, Writer; Dr George Hoare, London; Kevin McCullagh, London; Lord Moonie, House of Lords; Alex Harries, Labour Party; Tracy O’Sullivan, Colchester; John Penney, Labour Party; Prof Steve Hall, Teeside University; Leon Russell-Hills, Electrician; Nick Harding, Labour Party; Mike Morris, Guildford; J Brian Harrison-Jennings, Former General Secretary, Association of Educational Psychologists; Dave Harris, Retired Lecturer; Mike Dunford, Labour Party; Peter Hurst, Liverpool; Dr Vanessa Pupavac, University of Nottingham; Alexander Birchall, London; Sue Heap, London; Prof Wolfgang Streeck, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne

Their website can be found here >>> A new development involving Professor Matthew Goodwin for consideration:

I thought the analysis of why the British Political Establishment is making such a mess of Brexit was extremely interesting and very perceptive.  

Just to remind you here is what has been said:-  “The real cause is that the entire political class lacks any compelling vision of Britain’s future, leaving most British citizens without effective political representation.
Having lost touch with ordinary people, political parties have retreated into European Union policymaking networks. After decades of integration, few politicians, civil servants or academic experts can now imagine any kind of future outside of the EU.”

This searing analysis does implicitly lay stress on the increasingly urgent need to get rid of the British Political Establishment who infest Parliament with their “Institutional Uselessness” and their corruption of its constitutional purpose to be the voice of the Nation. 

I feel I can do no better than to quote Oliver Cromwell:-  "You have been sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"