Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
Jews problem solved: There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party says Labour peer Shami Chakrabarti
Shami Chakrabarti tells us there is no anti-semitism in the Labour Party. Thanks to Shami Chakrabarti, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn can rest easy in the knowledge that he and his party do not acquiesce to antisemitism.
Shami Chakrabarti joined the Labour Party and became Chair of its Independent Inquiry into Antisemitism.
There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.
There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.
There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.
There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.
In utterly unrelated news, the Leader of the Labour party has nominated Shami Chakrabarti for a peerage.
There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.
There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.
There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.
There is no antisemitism in the Labour Party.
Meanwhile…at the Democrat Party’s convention, a woman stomping on a burning US flag caught fire.
— Natalie DiBlasio (@ndiblasio) July 28, 2016
You will recall that Harambe was shot dead at Cincinnati Zoo after he began dragging a four-year-old human child around his enclosure.
Also, 18 percent of voters think Hillary Clinton has ties to Lucifer.
The Guardian creates the world-class clickbait headline: “Jeremy Corbyn: Labour could win snap general election.”
But wait a moment. Did Corbyn actually says it? Does he think Labour can win the General Election?
The Conservative government has had “a field day” amid Labour divisions, Jeremy Corbyn has said in a Guardian interview, while insisting he believes the party could win a snap general election…
…when asked whether Labour could win a potential snap election this autumn or next spring, Corbyn seemed confident. “We’re going to go for it and win it,” he said.
‘Seemed confident’. He seems delusional.
The Indy has news that Britain is in the grip of an explosion of post-Brexit race crimes.
The website “reveals: the “shocking scale of racist hate since the Brexit vote”. After “painstaking” research, the Indy found 500 incidents in the past “weeks”.
We soon discover that the painstaking research was not carried out by the Indy, It was merely granted “access to a database”
All verified racist incidents, then, right? You can post an incident anonymously on the site Worrying Signs. The Moderators will then moderate it. How can they check if it happened or not without a witness and evidence?
These are some incidents on the Worrying Signs blog:
London – 22 July
I was on the platform of the central line in Tottenham Court Road tube station, and I saw a woman wearing a veil in front of me looking at her shoulder. I noticed it was wet. I asked her was she ok, she said someone spilt alcohol on her. I asked if she thought it might be an accident, she didn’t think so. I didn’t see the incident but I believe her. I said I was really sorry that happened to her. I wish I had asked her if she wanted to report it. But I was too shocked. I left the station and then returned to report it to staff,
Did anyone speak up or offer support?
I asked her if she was ok, and we had a brief chat. I also reported it to staff.
Bridlington – 13 July
Called a Pole
Did anyone speak up or offer support?
Racism is hateful. One offence is revolting. But is the Indy cranking up isolated incidents and linking it to Brexit to fit an agenda that holds Leave voters as bigots? A post-Brexit ComRes poll found that only 34 per cent said immigration was their main concern.
Racism is manifest in many ways. We’ve argued that favouring Europeans within the EU over Africans is a form of racism. Making Bulgarians and Romanians wait seven years to join the EU was bigotry in action.
It is not hard to think that Brexit has given a few numbskulls the confidence to says nasty things to people. But there is a whiff of another kind of prejudice at play in the Indy’s story and the aforesaid campaign groups’ activism, one that says people who voted out – a large majority of the white working class did – are driven by racism.
That’s an abhorrent view.
Trawl for examples of racism and use the stats to prove you’re right. Pre-judge an incident and chalk it down one as driven by racism. Is it really like the 1970s and 1980s, when the police and the state sanctioned racism? Is the Indy right to speak of “Comparisons with 1930s Nazi Germany” and not at all hyperbolic in doing so?
Rather than speaking up and taking a stand against racism, the Indy is undermining the ugliness of racism, making light of past horrors and demeaning victims.
Britain is not a country infected by a race hate epidemic. But seeking ways to define 17.4 million people who voted for Brexit as racist is prejudiced.
The Daily Express brings news of a new poll: “98 per cent say NO to EU deal.”
98% of whom?
A NEW Daily Express online poll has revealed that 98 per cent of respondents…
So 98% of people who read the Brexit-supporting Daily Express want out now. Were the other 2% Daily Mirror readers looking to corrupt the perfect score?
3,548 people – want the historic Brexit vote to be enacted now instead of Britain being embroiled in months or years of talks with Brussels bureaucrats.
As it happens, Anorak agrees. We want Article 50 triggered now. The waiting smalls funny. So. Read all about it: 100% of Anorak readers want Brexit. No need to vote. You already did.
The qualities Mr. Trump seeks in his romantic partners are remarkably retro. Melania Trump is a former model with her own QVC jewelry line and skin care brand who emphasizes that her role as a mother comes before all else; Mr. Trump… expects women to be more aesthetically appealing than intellectually substantive.
Melania survives on her looks? No. She thrived on them, working as a well-paid model. But the NY Times doesn’t see modelling as a proper job. It sneers at her choice of profession. Women who make a living from their aesthetic appeal are dumb, we’re told. The Times should read the story of the wonderful Lydia Lova and get a grip.
The problem with Melania, of course, is that she is no Hillary Clinton:
The distinctions between the Clinton marriage and the Trumps’ reflect an uncomfortable evolution also happening in homes across the United States.
The Clintons’ marriage is the model. His alleged cheating and lying, and her alleged bullying of his mistresses is the model, the American ideal? A woman who get to the top by using her husband’s name and contacts is the model?
In the past half-century, American women have undergone a transformation in roles, and married couples now look a lot more like the Clintons than whatever traditional view of women and home life that Mr. Trump holds: Most women work outside the home full time, and men increasingly marry women who are their educational and professional equals.
Melania speaks 6 languages. Hillary misspeaks one.
So Melania Trump, wife of could-be US President Donald Trump, plagiarised words used by Michelle Obama, wife to current US President Barack Obama, in a speech to believers. Salon is outraged:
Yes, plagiarism is a big deal: Melania Trump’s stolen words show how cynical Trump’s campaign is. The would-be First Lady and her husband’s campaign is counting on America not caring about her speech and ethics
Words on that in Salon come there none.
Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel murdered 84 people when he drove a lorry into crowds marking Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France. The massacre was “cowardly and barbaric”. We know this because the UN tells us so. It’s been telling us so for quite some time.
NICE: UN Security Council: “[A] barbaric and cowardly attack … the perpetrators of these acts [need to be brought] to justice”.
Always cowardly and barbaric. And always nothing is done.
When not leaving for her place in Tuscany, Polly Tonybee remains at his keyboard talking to Guardian readers about Brexit and all that inconvenient democracy.
Having called David Cameron “the man who sauntered effortlessly along a privileged path”*, Polly Toynbee – old school: Badminton (day pupil fees £5,650 per term); daughter of the literary critic Philip Toynbee (school: Rugby; friend of the Mitford sisters); granddaughter of the historian Arnold J. Toynbee (Winchester College), and great-great niece of philanthropist and economic historian Arnold Toynbee (after whom Toynbee Hall in London is named); dated the man who would become Boris Johnson’s uncle – adds:
What is to become of us? Cameron has led us into a state of paralysing uncertainty, at the mercy of erratic negotiations with 27 countries over which we have no say. Take back control?
Those are 27 countries over which the UK has no control.
Are you paralysed with uncertainty? Are you unable to find your own arse without a politician taking your hand and showing you the way? Are you wailing and weeping about the future? Get this in the Mirror:
A Labour official who voted on Jeremy Corbyn’s future wept today as she claimed colleagues were “bullied and intimidated” ahead of the crunch ruling.
Johanna Baxter was one of the 32 National Executive Committee (NEC) members who voted 18-14 to put Mr Corbyn on the ballot paper in the Labour leadership election – without MPs’ backing.
— The World at One (@BBCWorldatOne) July 13, 2016
Or are you just getting on with things, like a grown-up should?
Let’s end the uncertainty just Trigger Article 50. Get on with it. The working-classes have spoken. Join here.
*No problem with Tonybee’s good fortune, but why use another’s good fortune as a stick to beat them with?
Good news. Leave voters can be cured of mental disorders through therapy, wonder of the age and booming business sector to boot.
Ewan Cameron, “a psychologist who provides assessment and treatment of forensic and clinical clients”, writes on Politics. co.uk:
So your mother voted Leave: How to fix a family broken by Brexit
It’s a new version of David Cameron’s “broken Britain”, the former Prime Minister’s view of the working class and other Untermensch. It’s no longer the much-derided, dystopian Tory vision, what the Guardian called “glib jargon” that “feeds off popular anxieties”, a “popular, ill-defined sense that somehow things are going wrong in society”, adding that “there is real hostility to being tarred as a broken society”. That broken Britain was “offensive”. This broken Britain is all about helping. It is, of course, entirely offensive, bigoted, condescending, ageist, and dismissive of the working class and the right of one person one vote.
Says E. Cameron:
It’s not just political parties that are being torn apart by the Brexit vote. Across the country, families have been pitted against each other, usually on generational lines, as the emotional fallout continues. Millions of older voters feel they’ve taken back control of their country. But for many of their sons and daughters, it’s like someone just stole their future. The political has never felt more personal.
Never felt more personal? It’s history day one all over again. What about when being gay was a crime? What about when women were banned from voting? What about abortion law? What about 1780, when less than 3% of the total population of England had the right to vote? Democracy won the day in the EU Referendum. The people voted in large numbers. The Leave vote won. The therapy should be short and succinct: suck it up and crack on.
But Cameron E has tips on what you should do if you can’t grasp the concept of democracy and are slamming bedrooms doors and shouting “I never asked to be born”:
1. Seek to understand before being understood
Try to understand not just your mother’s political arguments, but the personal reasons and emotions that contribute to them. Maybe her fears are both political and personal, reflecting a general fear of change or a core belief that unknown others can never be trusted.
A fear of change for the woman who, er, voted for change, who embraced the new and the risky.
Personality factors are also relevant – are your mother’s view sustained by a sense of entitlement? Do her political views conform to a broader sense of personal alienation, or vulnerability? Seek to understand not just ‘what’ but ‘why’ she has the views she does.
In a word: experience.
2. Communicate in neutral, non-judgemental language
What an utter kno..
Simple techniques like avoiding the pronoun ‘you’ and instead structuring sentences around ‘I’ can reduce the potential for the other person feeling blamed, and keeps the focus on your needs.
Why not go the full superior and opt for “one”.
Examples might include “I have noticed that when I express those thoughts, I am often not heard”, as opposed to “you’re ignoring everything I say”.
3. Specify the problem, even if it seems obvious
…Maybe it’s that your mother deliberately ignores certain widely known facts in order to sustain a distorted worldview.
You: you need to look at the facts.
Mum: I do. You lost.
4. Express the emotion you are feeling
Tell your mother what emotion you feel when you bring up this problem. Telling someone how you actually feel makes an issue harder to ignore. Examples might include “I feel hurt that you voted in a way that I believe damages the future of my children”, or “I actually feel quite alone and sad when I think about the political distance between us”. Be honest when you do this.
Mum to child: “I feel hurt that you voted in a way that I believe damages the future of my children.”
5. Specify what you want – and be realistic
…Maybe you need to tone down the moral certainty.
But without moral certainty you’re left with nothing apart from the T-shirt that orders ‘Hug An Immigrant’.
6. Practice Acceptance
If you are troubled by any of the above or see assurance and direction, seek help immediately. No, not therapy. That clinic has a revolving door. Ask your mum what you should do.
Remember: mother knows best.
Right. OK. Andrea Leadsom has gone. Theresa May is now the only candidate in the ‘race’ to become the next British Prime Minister.
Angela Eagle wants to be the next leader of the Labour Party. First she has to defenestrate Jeremy Corbyn, who says he will stand against her and sue the party if they don’t let him.
Could May call an election before Labour can dump Corbyn?
It’s all nothing short of brilliant.
Highlights so far:
Angela Eagle gets her big announcement gazumped by Andrea Leadsom quitting:
— Livvy Bolton (@livvybolton) July 11, 2016
David Cameron calls it a day. Right. Good. He did not says right-ho. But he might have done. As @SimonNRicketts puts its: “I could watch it over and over. Your last moments as Prime Minister. Wandering off like Bertie Wooster going to get a sandwich…When British people realise things have gone a bit rubbish, they say “Right” very meaningfully.”
A slightly longer version of Cameron’s exit. There’s not only a ‘right’ but the classic follow-up ‘good.’ I adore it pic.twitter.com/w311FNKabL
— SimonNRicketts (@SimonNRicketts) July 11, 2016
It’s not over yet. Former Tory MP Louise Mensch thinks May could quit / implode / defect to Labour / tie herself to an radiator and drink her own urine / insert option here:
It's not going to be Theresa May, there is no chance.
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) June 30, 2016
Today anti-Brexit campaigners held a picnic in Green Park, London, to display solidarity with the European Union. The Standard said it was “aiming to be the biggest picnic London has ever seen”. Anorak was there. We spotted a few hundred people (and this might have been the whitest protest ever) sat on the grass talking and eating. And we noticed that what many were eating was…hummus, stable diet of the bien pensant.
It’s the Hummus Revolution!
Hummus is Greece’s lasting gift to the European Union.
Next week: Onwards with chia seeds!
Andrea Leadsom clenched her fist and smacked Theresa May, her rival for the Tory Parry leadership, right below the belt and into the ovaries. May has no children. Leadsom has three children. This, reasons Leadsom, makes her a better human being than May, more able to think of the future and other people.
In the numbers game, Dear Andrea is, of course, not as good as the old woman who lived in the shoe (loads kids), Rose West (eight children) but a bit better than Jezebel (two kids). Leadsom is a lot better than Mother Teresa, Gloria Steinem, Dame Helen Mirren and Dolly Parton (no children between them).
This was is what Dear Andrea told the Times:
She also said this:
Dear Andrea is supported in her leadership campaign by Ian Duncan Smith. Dear Ian has already stated: “I believe that Andrea’s strong family family background… will make her a great prime minister for the UK.”
This attack seems awfully familiar. In 2001 top Tory Norman Tebbit (three children) backed Duncan Smith (four children) to beat Michael Portillo (no children, married and who spoke of his “homosexual experiences” – what Tebbit called “deviance”) in the Tory leadership race. Said Tebbit: “He [IDS] is a remarkably normal family man with children.”
Portillo was winning the race. After the gay story was fanned, he lost. IDS won.
PS: Leadsom has accused the Times (like May, and unlike Leadsom, the paper backed Remain in the EU Referendum) of “gutter journalism”. The writer stands by her story.
What Mrs Leadsom said:
Rachel Sylvester: “Do you feel like a mum in politics?”
Andrea Leadsom: “Yes. So…
RS: “Why and how?”
AL: “So really carefully because I am sure, I don’t really know Theresa very well but I am sure she will be really really sad she doesn’t have children so I don’t want this to be ‘Andrea has children, Theresa hasn’t’ because I think that would be really horrible.
“But genuinely I feel being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake.
“She possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people, but I have children, who are going to have children, who will directly be a part of what happens next.
“So it really keeps you focused on ‘what are you really saying?’. Because what it means is you don’t want a downturn but ‘never mind, let’s look ahead to the ten years’, hence it will all be fine. My children will be starting their lives in that next ten years so I have a real stake in the next year, the next two.”
So, she said it, then.
Phillip Collins is of the mind that “party members choosing leaders is pure folly“. Why? That’s how many clubs chose their leaders. Collins doesn’t write the headlines for his Times story, of course.
Below it he opines that Tory Party members acting “in the name of democracy, are making a shambles of our democracy”.
As it is with the Tories so it is with Labour, he argues: “The gap between the parliamentary party, in which 172 MPs have declared no confidence in their nominal leader, and the members at large is breaking Labour apart.”
You might not like who the members chose, but that’s the system. Collins should be more bothered by the EU Referendum in which anyone of voting age did get to choose. More than a week after the Leave campaign won nothing has been done to trigger Article 50 and with it UK’s Brexit from the European Union.
At this point Corbyn supporters piously intone that “democracy” is on their side. They say, as if it clinched the argument, that Mr Corbyn has a mandate from the membership which renders dissent illegitimate. The numbers from the Labour leadership ballot are, indeed, clear. Mr Corbyn won a handsome mandate to be leader of the party. But he did not also win a mandate to be a hopeless leader of the party. There is no mandate to trail a leaderless Tory party in the midst of a nervous breakdown by seven points in the polls. Mr Corbyn did not win a mandate to be a general who cannot command the confidence of his parliamentary cavalry.
Democracy is not a single event. The first clause of the Labour Party constitution commits it to taking the cause of working people to parliament. It is a charter for victory for a party that was founded, out of the trade union movement, to take control of the levers of the state as a government. Labour was therefore a parliamentary institution before it was a members club. Labour MPs represent, within the party, the voters who put them into parliament. They have a democratic mandate too, larger in number than the members and a viable leader has to retain the confidence of all parts of the Labour structure.
The catastrophic election system introduced by Ed Miliband in 2014 fails to respect the Labour Party’s tiered structure. Candidates are proposed by MPs but the vote is conducted entirely by the membership. Between 1922 and 1981 Labour’s leader was chosen entirely by the parliamentary party. In 1981, Tony Benn’s intervention established an unwieldy electoral college in which MPs held 30 per cent of the vote, members the same and trade unions 40 per cent.
The terrible answer that dropped out of the bottom of that Heath Robinson machine was Michael Foot. But at least the college made some reference to the different levels of Labour Party democracy. Certainly it was preferable to the current disaster in which any ex-member of the Socialist Workers Party can vote for less than the price of a pint. The Labour Party is left with just one option. Sign up the moderates, of whom there are more in the nation than the Corbynistas, and then let the new leader abolish the system.
There are 84 Conservative MPs, people actually paid out of public funds to conduct politics, who believe that Andrea Leadsom should be prime minister. Somebody as smart as former leader Michael Howard should be ashamed of himself
You might have thought, with Labour helpfully providing a primer in what not to do, that the Conservatives might draw the obvious lesson. Perhaps it will. Those who know the party better than I do suggest that Theresa May will win and that 199 Tory MPs took the sensible option in yesterday’s second leadership ballot. Yet there are 84 Conservative MPs, people actually paid out of public funds to conduct politics, who believe that Andrea Leadsom should be prime minister. Somebody as smart as former leader Michael Howard should be ashamed of himself. It is scarcely credible that, fired with fervour, Tory MPs will risk setting their membership against the bulk of their colleagues in parliament.
Mrs May’s victory yesterday was so overwhelming that the contest should be stopped. She should offer Mrs Leadsom the business brief and Mrs Leadsom should accept. Between 1965, when the system that Ian Macleod described as the “magic circle” was abolished, and 1998, when that dangerous radical William Hague gave the members a say, Tory MPs chose their leader. They should do so now. Then the party can get on with the task of forming a government without taking the risk that its membership is as far from political credibility as the Labour Party’s.
Yesterday, as Mrs Leadsom toured the television studios telling interviewers that she would absolutely tell Vladimir Putin to stop if he got a bit uppity and taking questions on her questionable curriculum vitae, Tim Loughton MP led a march from her rally to Parliament Square, chanting leaden Leadsom slogans along the way. As I watched the Leadsom march on Westminster I had a dream, of a deputy investment bod from a fund management company who voted both for and against gay marriage becoming prime minister. This was a delicious parallel to last Monday when, as Labour MPs gathered in parliament to declare his leadership defunct, Mr Corbyn chose to address a rally in the square outside. With the MPs lost, he took refuge in the members.
The Tories are choosing a prime minister and it would be a disaster if they did the same as Labour. It is, in any case, a democratic outrage that the next prime minister will be chosen by the 0.3 per cent of the electorate who happen to be odd enough to be members of the Conservative Party. Can any of them, I wonder, see the irony of their regular sermons about the lack of “democracy” in the EU? Probably not. These are people who have taken hold of the wrong end of the stick in order to beat the country with it. The candidate of their looking-glass world is the wholly ill-prepared Mrs Leadsom.
Just over 2 per cent of the nation are members of a political party. These members are not representative even of the people who vote for their party, let alone of the nation. They have no monopoly on the idea of democracy, which does not stop at the constituency meeting. Political parties are not sacrosanct organisations that bend to the whims of their votaries. They are simply useful agencies for gathering collective opinion. They have to look up as well as down, at the stars and not just the gutter. We will have to trust that the Tory members in the shires will do that.
Dunno really. I tend to think that chess club members get to choose the officers and leaders of the chess club. Tory party members get to choose the leader of the Tory party.
Tony Blair is “on the couch”, says the Daily Mail. There are questions over the former Prime Minister’s sanity, writes Stephen Glover. Blair is “delusional”. Blair “has some kind of Messianic complex”. Blair is a “near lunatic”. Blair is “manipulative and devious”. Blair is “an extreme narcissist”.
Vain, pushy, manipulative, self-regarding and self-absorbed. So what. He’s a politician, and one who, most worryingly of all, wore his god on his sleeve. The sadness is that the voters are now being portrayed as victims of his sorcery and trickery. If you accept that he duped you, then you accept that you are easily duped. It’s the same narrative that infects the post-Brexit haze and seeks to portray the white working classes as ignorant scum.
Did we all believe Saddam Hussein could launch chemical weapons within 45 minutes? Did you believe in New Labour’s “ethical foreign policy”evident in Nato’s attack on Serbia over Kosovo in 1999 that established the rule of a humanitarian intervention? Blair called the Kosovo intervention “a battle between good and evil; between civilisation and barbarity; between democracy and dictatorship”.
Did you nod when Tony Blair, champion of “humanitarian warfare”, said in 20014:
“…the notion of intervening on humanitarian grounds had been gaining currency. I set this out, following the Kosovo war, in a speech in Chicago in 1999, where I called for a doctrine of international community, where in certain clear circumstances, we do intervene, even though we are not directly threatened.”
Did you feel good when Blair said in that 1999 address:
Looking around the world there are many regimes that are undemocratic and engaged in barbarous acts. If we wanted to right every wrong that we see in the modern world then we would do little else than intervene in the affairs of other countries. We would not be able to cope.
So how do we decide when and whether to intervene. I think we need to bear in mind five major considerations
First, are we sure of our case? War is an imperfect instrument for righting humanitarian distress; but armed force is sometimes the only means of dealing with dictators.
Blair was clear: if the United Nations failed to act, then individual countries should go it alone.
Were you one of the 412 MPs who voted to use “all means necessary to ensure the disarmament of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction”?
No matter if you did or did not. The Chilcot Report clears you of blame. This was Tony Blair alone. It was his “private war”. The political elite are in the clear. The Guardian says Chilcot can “restore trust in the process of decision-making in government”. The New Statesman says Chilcot will “drain the poison that has built up in our national life since Blair took the calamitous decision to follow the US into invading a country that its president knew zip about”.
Invading Iraq was not a calamity of moral and ethical convictions, a horror show for the media and Westminster, a disaster fuelled by “sexed-up” political flimflam over substance. It was just the ultimate expression of mad Tony’s diseased brain.
Now let’s hang the bastard and be made clean.
“We are all tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime,” opined Tony Blair. If he’s the criminal what were the causes of his crime?
We think that “one person, one vote” is the hallmark of any democratic election. However, the EU referendum and the Australian election suggest that, in the interest of democracy, we should grant more votes to younger citizens, and fewer to older ones.
How’s that for justice?
“One magazine even suggested that the pensioners’ right to vote should be taken away, just as their driver’s licenses are, after they reach certain age,” says Rosa Kornfeld-Matte, “the UN independent expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons.”
You can call an old git a bigot and demand they be shut in a box and ignored and be a bigot. Who knew?
That was George Chesterton in GQ:
With the abject failure of Britain’s youth to rise to the democratic challenge (ie, to pull their fingers out in time to register to vote), I am advocating a total ban on anyone of retirement age voting in the EU referendum as the only effective way stopping the Leave campaign…We take pensioners’ driving licences away… why not their right to vote?
More appalling than the predictable racist claim has been the dismissal of older voters as reactionaries, wreckers of our children’s future. As if ‘older’ people, who’ve worked, paid taxes, brought up children in far tougher times, shouldn’t have a say and that the young, many of whom couldn’t be bothered to vote, should have their non-votes registered.
Ah, the wisdom of youth…
Just over a year ago the former Liberal Democrat Party leader Charles Kennedy died at his home in Fort William, Scotland, aged 55.
We said then, “…despite his alcoholic affliction, he brought humanity and common sense into UK politics and governance when he entered the Westminster Parliament.
He was Leader of his party when Premier Blair launched the UK into the Iraq conflict.
In what many found to be a magnificent stand, in 2003 Charles Kennedy fought against all-comers from other major parties over the proposed invasion and war in Iraq.
There is little doubt he was right in every respect in his then dire predictions of what was to follow. Later in September, 2005 at the Blackpool, annual Liberal Democratic Party Conference he made it clear he neither forgot nor forgave when in a passionate speech he called on on the then still prime minister Tony Blair to make a timetable of the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq.
The long-delayed Chilcot Report may very well be his finest epitaph….”
The post-Brexit UK was, as the Daily Mirror put it with a front-page photo of a large black hole, a leap into the unknown. Where the Mirror saw danger, chaos and, if the country voted Leave and thereby fell into that hole, death for all, others saw adventure and opportunity. Who embodies the spirt of rosy-fingered dawns over new horizons better than Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brand and the man who signed the Sex Pistols – those working-class dupe-proof advocates for Anarchy in the UK and a rejection of the tired, old Establishment.
Branson opines axiomatically on his company’s website, “In order to think outside the box, avoid getting into one. There is no need to accept accepted thinking. Remember, it was once accepted that the world was flat.”
“If you don’t let anybody build a box around you, then you will never have to think outside of the box. Basically, in order to think outside the box, avoid getting into one.
“But if you do find yourself getting boxed in, think to yourself: I will only think outside the box when the box is empty. Get everything you can out of a situation, but keep an eye out for the next opportunity.”
The box was the European Union. The vote to get out of it was a vote for a bigger planet view that doesn’t end where the EU border lies. But Branson is scared. He is not eyeing the next opportunity. Sky News reports that this knight of the realm “has held secret talks with Theresa May in an effort to boost his plea for a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union (EU).”
In a blog-post published on 27 June, Sir Richard wrote:
“The vast majority of MPs voted in by the electorate want the UK to stay part of Europe. In light of the misrepresentations of the Leave campaign, Parliament should reject the results of this non-binding referendum as Nicola Sturgeon has announced she will do in Scotland’s Parliament.”
How’s that for thinking outside the box? Ignore the anti-Establishment risk-takers, the people who voted for change, and side with the elite who want to snuff out democracy. ‘Safety-first,’ says box-ticking bureaucratic Branson. Big business must take priority over independence and “screwing it, just doing it”, something he advises we do in one of his “lessons for life”. Richard is now of the “screw you, the multi-nationals and connected are in charge”.
To paraphrase the Sex Pistols, We Do Mind the Bollocks. We voted against it.
Invoke Article 50 NOW! is spiked’s campaign for the people’s democratic will to be enforced. The British public were given the vote on whether to leave the European Union. They voted to leave.
But the Government has not triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, initiating Britain’s exit. Why not? There is talk of a second referendum, and with it the opportunity to correct what the likes of David Lammy MP, Bob Geldof, big banks, Tony Blair and multinationals think a mistake. They don’t like democracy. They don’t think the people are worth listening to when they fail to agree with what they want. Democracy is the great invention. It is under threat.
Uphold the vote! Defend democracy! Invoke Article 50 now! Join the campaign here.
Much of the post-Brexit talk has focused on the Leave voters who now regret their decision. The Metro said 7% of Leave voters regret voting to leave the EU. It and the Indy cited research that suggests “1.2 million Leave voters regret their choice”. The Huff Post built a story of Leavers regret – regrexiters – around Barbara Ansdale, from the Black Country, who told BBC Radio 4 she had voted leave but “wasn’t really voting to get out of the union” and “Adam” who told the BBC’s TV News: “I didn’t think my vote was going to matter too much because I thought we were just going to remain.”
The Guardian – “‘I hope I don’t live to regret this’: Brexit doubts linger at the centre of England” – likened Leave voters to frightened children:
In the West Midlands village of Meriden, some of the 17 million voters who had willed Britain’s departure from the EU into being were not so much celebrating Freedom Friday as enduring terrors of self-doubt. A few seemed like kids who had disobeyed instructions, pressed the eject button in the pilot’s cockpit, and were starting to wonder what the hell was happening.
Leave votes minds were troubled by a “strange tingling”.
The London Evening Standard heard from a tweeter, who opined: “I personally voted leave believing these lies and I regret it more than anything, I feel genuinely robbed of my vote.” The anonymous tweeter was one of the “The Brexit voters who wish they’d backed remain”. The Telegraph quoted Mandy Suthi who says that “she her family voted for Brexit but they’ve changed their mind now that she’s seen what’s happening.”
The only change is in a narrative that says Leave voters are all dolts who never knew how democracy worked and would dearly love to rewind the clock. The idea, presumably, is that Article 50 will not be invoked and everything will continue as before, sparing the blushes of 17 million people who voted out.
But today the Sun produces an Ipsos MORI poll. It finds that more Remainers than Leavers regret their vote. If therw was second referendum – which we hope there will not be – the Leave campaign would win by a bigger margin.
Vote once and make it count.
Nicola Sturgeon cuts a Presidential figure. In July 2016, the BBC reported her words:
“People from EU countries are an important part of Scotland’s future. I am therefore seeking immediate guarantees from the Prime Minister, and all Conservative leadership candidates, that the residency status and the other existing rights of the 173,000 EU nationals living in Scotland will remain unchanged, now or in the future. This is a commitment that can and should be made and enforced now.”
In July 2014, the Scotsman reported her words:
DEPUTY First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has warned that keeping an independent Scotland out of the EU could mean people from other European nations living in Scotland could “lose the right to stay here”.
At best she’s no worse than the other political elite the electorate despise.
An odd little Brexit story in the Guardian, which reports that “almost half of voters aged 18 to 24 cried or felt like crying when they heard that the UK had voted to leave the European Union”.
A poll for the London School of Economics, called “Inside the mind of the voter”, found that 47% of the youngsters wanted to cry when they lost the vote. You will recall that just over 48% of voted for the losing side in the EU referendum.
And is news that young people cry, especially those who like the cosy EU, shocking?
PS : can anyone find the question the pollsters asked?
Did you got on the March For Europe walk? If not, this is how the media followed the anti-Brexit love in.
Forbes: “0.01% Of British Population March In London Against Brexit”
Over 17 million people voted for the UK to leave the European Union. There were the majority whose votes won the day for the Leave camp.
Thousands of people are marching through London to protest against the referendum decision to leave the EU. Demonstrators at the “March for Europe” rally, which was organised on social media, are holding placards saying “Bremain” and “We Love EU”.
Politics Now has a video of what looks like one of the whitest marches of all time.
The Telegraph says “30000 people march through streets of London in Brexit protest”. The Sun agrees: it was 30,000 people.
The Mirror says it was 50,000.
The Mail says, “There were believed to be between 20,000 and 40,000 protesters taking part in the event”
The Guardian finds a few protestors:
Genevieve Parke, 34, who is seven months pregnant, marched carrying an EU flag with her two-year-old son Ernest, who was blowing his own crocodile-shaped trumpet…
“And if this isn’t big enough,” said Jonathan Shakhovskoy, who is with a marketing firm in the music industry, “we’ll do it again next week, and the week after. Normalise the mood, make it less ugly.”
“Un-Fuck My Future”, “No Brex Please, We’re British”, they read.
[Jarvis] Cocker, in a recorded a video message for the rally, held up a world map saying: “You cannot deny geography. The UK is in Europe.”
The European Union is a political construct. It is not Europe. Russia is in Europe. Discuss.
Mathilda Fell, 14, is marching with her parents. The budding human rights lawyer from London fears her dreams of studying at university in Belgium or Holland might be thwarted by an EU exit.
The working-class ignored of Sunderland and Birmingham must be gutted for Genevieve and Mathilde.
Russia Today counted the numbers: “More than 50,000 people were estimated to march through London Saturday in hope of pressuring politicians to keep Britain in the European Union.”
Sir Bob Geldof spoke from the stage and condemned far-right UKIP leader Nigel Farage, claiming he used and lied to those “who have been left behind” by the government to convince them to vote for Brexit out of protest last week.
“What they didn’t tell them was that the only way to stop unemployment and stop austerity is to grow an economy,” he said.
Geldof urged those who voted to stay in the EU to talk to their neighbors that voted leave and ask them why they want a Brexit.
“Don’t get angry, explain,” he said.
So much for democracy.