Sunday, 29 October 2017

Endgame or Eurocide?


The Brexit negotiations make it clear that the first past the post electoral system and the elective dictatorship it supports are no longer fit for use. Britain’s disintegrating party system needs proportional representation to work effectively and fairly.

The old system claimed give Britain strong government. It no longer does that. Since 2010 we’ve had coalitions and Theresa May’s shambling government, and now, negotiating with a devious oponent we look incapable of toughing our way out of a paper bag, let alone a game of 27 to 1.

The EU has grabbed the cards. It requires us to jump three ever rising hurdles, none of which can be agreed until we know the terms of departure, before we can even talk about them. It’s already hinting that there will be no concessions on that if we ever reach it

It would take a tough single minded government with a clear idea of the national interest and a determined and united will to fight out of this trap .Instead the political parties are divided, we argue among ourselves about whether we want a hard or a soft Brexit , (which only the EU can decide), the vested interests moan and threaten, the government bids against itself and the instruments of power are weak and broken.

The Tories are clearly divided. The Chancellor is cool on the whole enterprise, the vicar’s daughter hopes to win by being nice, the Brexiteers talk tough and a small, vocal group want to call the whole thing off and rejoin the Junker Friendship club.

The situation is worse on the Labour side. A substantial minority, hope that the difficulties will be so great that government will give up, and they’re ready to support anything that contributes to that outcome. A small number are ready to support the government, more just want to attack the Tories for making a mess.

The leadership holds things together by attacking whatever the government does while secretly hoping that Theresa will hang on long enough to prevent the poisoned chalice passing to Labour. That would force them to take clear positions on, immigration, even bigger payments for leaving, transition arrangements and all the other things on which the party is divided.

If it came to power before the settlement Labour would have to choose between rejecting the referendum verdict of the people and being nasty to an EU which many love almost as much as Vince Cable. Much easier to denounce whatever the government does

All this makes things easy for Junker, Barnier, Tusk and the abominable No men .It absolves the EU from getting 27 states with different interests and views to agree on any common strategy apart from “Just say No”. So we end up negotiating with a very taciturn “I speak your Weight” machine.

The EU listens to all our internal arguments. It encourages the protests of the vested interests. It pays undue attention to the disrupters and rampant remainers, observes our divisions and sees all of that as absolving the EU itself from any need to negotiate seriously.

All they need do is accuse Britain of having no proposals, being laggardly and speculate that Theresa May’s government is too weak and fragile to do anything, let alone commit Eurocide. It’s a pathetic spectacle, but one which is totally unacceptable to those who voted for Brexit and many who didn’t but are still proud of their country.

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