Author Topic: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.  (Read 4024 times)

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Online ariich

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #70 on: June 29, 2016, 10:24:53 AM »
I was wondering and just thinking aloud here.  For such an important vote, why do you only needs 51% compared to say at least a 60% majority to win?  This vote was fairly close so it doesn't seem like there is a real strong push on either side so why force the country to make such a radical change? 
I was wondering and just thinking aloud here.  For such an important vote, why do you only needs 51% compared to say at least a 60% majority to win?  This vote was fairly close so it doesn't seem like there is a real strong push on either side so why force the country to make such a radical change?

I think the "non-binding" covers that.   I think that it's helpful to view referendums like this as a 'temperature taking'.   The problems arise when we make it more than it is, like here.   Many of the headlines were misleading, when they said that th UK "voted to leave"; technically they didn't.  They voted to show PREFERENCE to leave, and that's not the same thing, even if in practice it results in same.
This is exactly why so many of us in the UK (and indeed in Europe) think this whole thing is really stupid.

1. This is a major constitutional change, so if the government was committed to pursuing the result, it absolutely should not have required only a simple majority. Even in relatively minor areas, a 2/3 or 3/4 supermajority is needed.

2. But technically, this was an advisory referendum, not legally binding. Hence, I think, the simple majority, as a snapshot of the opinion of the nation. But the government insists it is committed to enacting what the country has asked for.

3. Not directly related to the above, but the range of issues are substantial, varied and complex, and even if we accept the result and act on it, it's impossible to know what the country actually wants. For example, all the noises from the Tory party are that the electorate wants to control immigration and that it needs to be a key factor in any negotiations with the EU. Except only 52% voted to leave at all, and among those immigration wasn't even the most important factor according to polling on the day (control over our own laws was). To most people (excluding the minority of racists of course), remaining fully in the European single market is clearly a more important factor than immigration, but there seems a real chance that the government will prioritise the latter over the former.

Basically, referendums are a terrible idea for anything of this magnitude.

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #71 on: June 29, 2016, 03:45:39 PM »
1. Never trust a populist

Because every other politician is so trustworthy?

Has anyone else thought that AndyDT would resurface here to comment on this?
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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #72 on: June 30, 2016, 12:19:18 AM »
1. Never trust a populist
Because every other politician is so trustworthy?
Being critical of politicians in general is a healthy attitude, but it's necessary particularly when someone makes big promises like spending £350 million a week on national healthcare instead of the EU, when in fact the UK doesn't even pay that much for its union membership.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #73 on: June 30, 2016, 02:22:06 AM »
1. Never trust a populist
Because every other politician is so trustworthy?
Being critical of politicians in general is a healthy attitude, but it's necessary particularly when someone makes big promises like spending £350 million a week on national healthcare instead of the EU, when in fact the UK doesn't even pay that much for its union membership.
Indeed. There's a huge difference between spin and outright lies. It was outright (and bloody obvious) lies that won this vote, because the campaigners seemed to recognise that most people are quite stupid and will fall for it. Basically the tactic is to tell really obvious lies, and then when your opponents point out that your claims are factually incorrect, accuse them of "scaremongering" or trying to protect the "status quo" or "Westminster elite". Utter nonsense.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #74 on: June 30, 2016, 05:15:11 AM »
I often feel like I need to watch the news from a couple different sources to try and piece together what is really going on.  That's pretty sad when you think about it.

It really is the only way. Unless, you can get some really reliable independent sources that you know aren't biased. As a matter of fact CounterPunch.org has been one of my favorite political blogs for a long time. I can't say they have supported one side emphatically. When Bush was in office, they were clearly not a fan of his but it wasn't about mislabeling him. It was just about giving their opinions based on some of the things he fucked up. They're doing the same thing to Obama now. So, I don't think they are ever completely biased  towards left or right.

But that's not the only bias.   There's an increasing trend to reject anything that ANY elected official says on the premise that they are all on the take and corrupt losers.  That's a bias as much as anything else.    I work on the premise that EVERYONE is biased in some form or fashion.   I don't know that it is physically possible for any human to be purely without bias, though I imagine that there are subsets of that, where a particular bias is not determinative to the issue at hand.   (For example, I feel like I can be unbiased in the context of gay marriage and abortion, because my strongest biases - primarily economic in nature - don't really play in).

Humans undoubtedly have their biases. I see it everywhere, here included. We're all guilty of it. It's more a matter of how much we let it consume us and would we be able to think objectively when asked to?

Is it wrong to assume every politician lies every time they open their mouth? Yes. Is it a safe assumption? Sometimes. The problem is we focus on the lies, the corrupt, and that's because it's what makes the headlines. There is no newscast for altruism in politics, while I'm almost certain that it exists. So, yes, it's shortsighted to assume every politician is as corrupt as people like Billary.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #75 on: June 30, 2016, 08:27:14 AM »
1. Never trust a populist
Because every other politician is so trustworthy?
Being critical of politicians in general is a healthy attitude, but it's necessary particularly when someone makes big promises like spending £350 million a week on national healthcare instead of the EU, when in fact the UK doesn't even pay that much for its union membership.
Indeed. There's a huge difference between spin and outright lies. It was outright (and bloody obvious) lies that won this vote, because the campaigners seemed to recognise that most people are quite stupid and will fall for it. Basically the tactic is to tell really obvious lies, and then when your opponents point out that your claims are factually incorrect, accuse them of "scaremongering" or trying to protect the "status quo" or "Westminster elite". Utter nonsense.

The politicians who wanted to leave and told these lies, what is their motivation to leave?  Did these politicians have money to make by leaving?  Does anyone benefit financially from this?  Im curious as to what motivated the lies.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #76 on: June 30, 2016, 08:34:43 AM »
1. Never trust a populist
Because every other politician is so trustworthy?
Being critical of politicians in general is a healthy attitude, but it's necessary particularly when someone makes big promises like spending £350 million a week on national healthcare instead of the EU, when in fact the UK doesn't even pay that much for its union membership.
Indeed. There's a huge difference between spin and outright lies. It was outright (and bloody obvious) lies that won this vote, because the campaigners seemed to recognise that most people are quite stupid and will fall for it. Basically the tactic is to tell really obvious lies, and then when your opponents point out that your claims are factually incorrect, accuse them of "scaremongering" or trying to protect the "status quo" or "Westminster elite". Utter nonsense.

I agree, and we have it here too, but the remedy for that is for each individual person to confirm that info for themselves.   I don't see why it's so hard, honestly.  We don't have any problem finding out if Ben Affleck really DID bang that nanny, or if Tom Brady really DID suck the air out of those balls, but we can't be bothered to confirm whether the "350" number is right? 


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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #77 on: June 30, 2016, 08:39:25 AM »
I often feel like I need to watch the news from a couple different sources to try and piece together what is really going on.  That's pretty sad when you think about it.

It really is the only way. Unless, you can get some really reliable independent sources that you know aren't biased. As a matter of fact CounterPunch.org has been one of my favorite political blogs for a long time. I can't say they have supported one side emphatically. When Bush was in office, they were clearly not a fan of his but it wasn't about mislabeling him. It was just about giving their opinions based on some of the things he fucked up. They're doing the same thing to Obama now. So, I don't think they are ever completely biased  towards left or right.

But that's not the only bias.   There's an increasing trend to reject anything that ANY elected official says on the premise that they are all on the take and corrupt losers.  That's a bias as much as anything else.    I work on the premise that EVERYONE is biased in some form or fashion.   I don't know that it is physically possible for any human to be purely without bias, though I imagine that there are subsets of that, where a particular bias is not determinative to the issue at hand.   (For example, I feel like I can be unbiased in the context of gay marriage and abortion, because my strongest biases - primarily economic in nature - don't really play in).

Humans undoubtedly have their biases. I see it everywhere, here included. We're all guilty of it. It's more a matter of how much we let it consume us and would we be able to think objectively when asked to?

Is it wrong to assume every politician lies every time they open their mouth? Yes. Is it a safe assumption? Sometimes. The problem is we focus on the lies, the corrupt, and that's because it's what makes the headlines. There is no newscast for altruism in politics, while I'm almost certain that it exists. So, yes, it's shortsighted to assume every politician is as corrupt as people like Billary.

Don't take this as disagreeing with you, because largely I don't, and you make some good points.  But moving forward, is it really the assumption that matters, or what one does about it?  I'm repeating myself, but if "all politicians lie", then Dammit, accept that ALL politicians - even the ones you agree with nominally - are lying.  I think that's the part that bothers me.   

I'm making a point here, so don't take me literally, but doesn't it bother ANY of you that are hard left or hard right that just magically ONLY the hard "other side" are liars?  Doesn't that sort of strain credulity?    I think that's the bias that really galls me the most, the hubris that "my beliefs don't need lies, but everything I disagree with does".   It defies logic.  Clinton and all his cronies were perfectly honest law abiding citizens, Bush and all his cronies were lying scumbag criminals, and viola! Obama and all his cronies are back to being perfectly honest law abiding citizens?   (Or vice versa, depending on your bent).    Ridiculous.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #78 on: June 30, 2016, 08:44:48 AM »
This is an interesting perspective in not just this situation but in politics in general. How much power should a generation have that doesn't have to deal with its consequences? Just an interesting thing to think about.

The flipside:  How much power should a generation have that lacks the life experience and maturity to understand the consequences of its actions?

No kidding. I'd trust the older demographic's vote in the United States infinitely more than the younger vote.

I trust the vote of the well-read and well-informed.

EXACTLY.  Thank you.
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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #79 on: June 30, 2016, 09:08:22 AM »
Indeed. There's a huge difference between spin and outright lies. It was outright (and bloody obvious) lies that won this vote, because the campaigners seemed to recognise that most people are quite stupid and will fall for it. Basically the tactic is to tell really obvious lies, and then when your opponents point out that your claims are factually incorrect, accuse them of "scaremongering" or trying to protect the "status quo" or "Westminster elite". Utter nonsense.

I agree, and we have it here too, but the remedy for that is for each individual person to confirm that info for themselves.   I don't see why it's so hard, honestly.  We don't have any problem finding out if Ben Affleck really DID bang that nanny, or if Tom Brady really DID suck the air out of those balls, but we can't be bothered to confirm whether the "350" number is right? 
In an ideal world, yeah everyone would have the time, inclination, attitude and mental capacity to find out for themselves. Unfortunately, most people aren't like that, and confirmation bias plays a very strong role.

Indeed. There's a huge difference between spin and outright lies. It was outright (and bloody obvious) lies that won this vote, because the campaigners seemed to recognise that most people are quite stupid and will fall for it. Basically the tactic is to tell really obvious lies, and then when your opponents point out that your claims are factually incorrect, accuse them of "scaremongering" or trying to protect the "status quo" or "Westminster elite". Utter nonsense.

The politicians who wanted to leave and told these lies, what is their motivation to leave?  Did these politicians have money to make by leaving?  Does anyone benefit financially from this?  Im curious as to what motivated the lies.
Probably a variety of reasons, but I can't see anyone making money from it. In many cases there was a lot of political positioning. Certainly it's pretty widely accepted that Boris Johnson didn't actually think we should leave, but went with the lies and ridiculous rhetoric in the hope of a narrow loss in order to boost his chances of becoming Prime Minister. Ironically, it's all gone horribly wrong for him, and he's now not running for the Conservative leadership.

Then there are some like that lunatic Nigel Farage who is just anti-immigration.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #80 on: June 30, 2016, 11:05:21 AM »
In an ideal world, yeah everyone would have the time, inclination, attitude and mental capacity to find out for themselves. Unfortunately, most people aren't like that, and confirmation bias plays a very strong role.

Of course you're right; I think what bothers me is the degree to which that failure is tolerated, accepted, and even in some cases, lauded.  We should demand more and better of ourselves and our fellow citizens.  We don't have to be experts at everything, but by golly, if we're going to exercise our right to vote, I would think we would find time to go on Wikipedia to search "Brexit" and forsake that one search for "Kate nip slip".   

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #81 on: June 30, 2016, 12:54:49 PM »
I often feel like I need to watch the news from a couple different sources to try and piece together what is really going on.  That's pretty sad when you think about it.

It really is the only way. Unless, you can get some really reliable independent sources that you know aren't biased. As a matter of fact CounterPunch.org has been one of my favorite political blogs for a long time. I can't say they have supported one side emphatically. When Bush was in office, they were clearly not a fan of his but it wasn't about mislabeling him. It was just about giving their opinions based on some of the things he fucked up. They're doing the same thing to Obama now. So, I don't think they are ever completely biased  towards left or right.

But that's not the only bias.   There's an increasing trend to reject anything that ANY elected official says on the premise that they are all on the take and corrupt losers.  That's a bias as much as anything else.    I work on the premise that EVERYONE is biased in some form or fashion.   I don't know that it is physically possible for any human to be purely without bias, though I imagine that there are subsets of that, where a particular bias is not determinative to the issue at hand.   (For example, I feel like I can be unbiased in the context of gay marriage and abortion, because my strongest biases - primarily economic in nature - don't really play in).

Humans undoubtedly have their biases. I see it everywhere, here included. We're all guilty of it. It's more a matter of how much we let it consume us and would we be able to think objectively when asked to?

Is it wrong to assume every politician lies every time they open their mouth? Yes. Is it a safe assumption? Sometimes. The problem is we focus on the lies, the corrupt, and that's because it's what makes the headlines. There is no newscast for altruism in politics, while I'm almost certain that it exists. So, yes, it's shortsighted to assume every politician is as corrupt as people like Billary.

Don't take this as disagreeing with you, because largely I don't, and you make some good points.  But moving forward, is it really the assumption that matters, or what one does about it?  I'm repeating myself, but if "all politicians lie", then Dammit, accept that ALL politicians - even the ones you agree with nominally - are lying.  I think that's the part that bothers me.   

I'm making a point here, so don't take me literally, but doesn't it bother ANY of you that are hard left or hard right that just magically ONLY the hard "other side" are liars?  Doesn't that sort of strain credulity?    I think that's the bias that really galls me the most, the hubris that "my beliefs don't need lies, but everything I disagree with does".   It defies logic.  Clinton and all his cronies were perfectly honest law abiding citizens, Bush and all his cronies were lying scumbag criminals, and viola! Obama and all his cronies are back to being perfectly honest law abiding citizens?   (Or vice versa, depending on your bent).    Ridiculous.

That is something which has consistently irritated me. It's the "only my God is real" mindset. Nothing good, or rational, ever comes of that.

In response to your first paragraph, I agree. What do we do about it? We need to accept that both sides are full of shit, not just the opposing team. Think rationally. Do our best to think objectively for what will best help this country. Stop looking at things in terms of right and left because the politicians don't. They see it as win win. Even the losing side finds their way into the game some way and can still fatten their wallets. The only thing they don't get to do is dance on the bottom of the string.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #82 on: June 30, 2016, 02:26:25 PM »
That is something which has consistently irritated me. It's the "only my God is real" mindset. Nothing good, or rational, ever comes of that.

In response to your first paragraph, I agree. What do we do about it? We need to accept that both sides are full of shit, not just the opposing team. Think rationally. Do our best to think objectively for what will best help this country. Stop looking at things in terms of right and left because the politicians don't. They see it as win win. Even the losing side finds their way into the game some way and can still fatten their wallets. The only thing they don't get to do is dance on the bottom of the string.

Well, I don't think it's a minor point or a grammatical quibble when I say the answer isn't to acknowledge that we ourselves are full of shit, but rather to say the other side may have done the same amount of research, may have looked at it as rationally and sanely as you have, and arrived at a different conclusion.   Equally hard to do, admittedly, but we're not JUST talking about "right" and "left", or just about politicians.  We're really talking about human interaction.

In this day and age of Facebook and Twitter and whatnot, EVERYONE feels like they have an opinion that is worthy JUST BECAUSE THEY HAVE IT.  No other reason.   And the corollary is that when someone disagrees it's now personal by definition.    So we have to remove that "personal" aspect by understanding - I mean REALLY understanding, at a molecular level - that the other person's opinion is not only as valid as mine, but also likely equally as cogent, equally as logical, and equally as rational.  It won't ALWAYS be that way, and certainly one side or the other can still be wrong - we are human, after all - but when you have people with the hubris to say "I'm on the right side of history", well, that person is a) delusional and b) not interested in any meaningful debate or compromise. 

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #83 on: June 30, 2016, 05:03:28 PM »
In an ideal world, yeah everyone would have the time, inclination, attitude and mental capacity to find out for themselves. Unfortunately, most people aren't like that, and confirmation bias plays a very strong role.

Of course you're right; I think what bothers me is the degree to which that failure is tolerated, accepted, and even in some cases, lauded.  We should demand more and better of ourselves and our fellow citizens.  We don't have to be experts at everything, but by golly, if we're going to exercise our right to vote, I would think we would find time to go on Wikipedia to search "Brexit" and forsake that one search for "Kate nip slip".   
I am 100% with you on that. But as it's not currently the case, I do also think there should be rules/powers/whatever to prevent the sort of outright lying and misleading that won the leave vote and that is doing so well for Trump at the moment.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #84 on: June 30, 2016, 10:41:40 PM »
Bit of a naive question ariich, can the queen override the referendum? I know she doesn't have a reason to care about this but I'm just curious.
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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #85 on: July 01, 2016, 02:36:26 AM »
Bit of a naive question ariich, can the queen override the referendum? I know she doesn't have a reason to care about this but I'm just curious.
Well, for a start the referendum isn't in any way legally binding. It is advisory. Constitutional lawyers don't seem to agree 100% on what needs to happen, but the most common view is that government cannot initiate the process until Parliament has voted to repeal a 1972 Act. So that will require both the House of Commons (where there is a Tory majority, so probably doable) and the House of Lords (no majority, so will need decent support from Labour and/or Lib Dems) to pass. But some have suggested that the government (i.e. the Prime Minister) could simply go ahead and initiate the process.

Assuming that government/Parliament/whoever does, at some point in the near future, decide to initiate the process, I believe that technically the Queen has the power to dissolve Parliament and do whatever she wants. But for more than a century the monarchy has just done what it's told by the elected government, and I'm pretty sure the complete anarchy that would follow would very much be not in her interests.

Basically, the monarchy exists for the purposes of tradition and (primarily) tourism.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #86 on: July 01, 2016, 08:11:38 AM »
According to my research, here are the chief powers of the Queen.

The power to appoint and dismiss the Prime Minister
The power to appoint and dismiss other ministers.
The power to summon, prorogue and dissolve Parliament
The power to make war and peace
The power to command the armed forces of the United Kingdom
The power to regulate the Civil Service
The power to ratify treaties
The power to issue passports
The power to appoint bishops and archbishops of the Church of England
The power to create peers (both life peers and hereditary peers)

EDIT:

The power to look absolutely smashing, baby
« Last Edit: July 01, 2016, 08:16:52 AM by hefdaddy42 »
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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #87 on: July 01, 2016, 08:14:30 AM »
You forgot the power to look absolutely smashing, baby.
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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #88 on: July 01, 2016, 08:16:18 AM »
You forgot the power to look absolutely smashing, baby.
My bad, thought it was understood.

I'll add it.
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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #89 on: July 05, 2016, 01:45:10 AM »
Two strong advertisers of the Brexit are resigning after the vote went in their favor (Johnson and Farage).

If I were british I would be very pissed off, that the ones who called for this now don't want to take the responsibility to make it work.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #90 on: July 05, 2016, 03:10:14 AM »
:lol Yep, most people are pretty pissed off.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #91 on: July 05, 2016, 03:49:11 AM »
Who can blame them? 'Alright, here's your mess, YOU deal with it!' What a bunch of nuns.
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Offline Phoenix87x

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #92 on: May 24, 2019, 05:18:06 AM »

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #93 on: May 24, 2019, 05:59:21 AM »
The fact that Boris Johnson is the leading replacement kind of blows my mind. We are truly living in the dumbest of timelines.

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #94 on: May 24, 2019, 07:26:41 AM »
It's a sign of how desperate things are that Johnson is very far from the worst option. Despite his buffoonery he's actually a very clever person, and the majority of his 'gaffes' (as the tabloids called them) when he was Foreign Secretary were in fact him saying what everybody in politics already knew to be factual but dared not say ("Johnson Accuses Saudi Arabia Of Playing Proxy Wars!" - err...yeah? And?). He left his 2nd term as Mayor of London (in many ways the most difficult job in English domestic politics) with a high approval rating from Londoners, which isn't common. He has his political flaws but he isn't a complete disaster, and we're living in an age when "I'm Not A Complete Disaster" is an acceptable campaign slogan. Some of the other jokers lining up are complete disasters. Idealogues who, having no real political record to scrutinise, are free to say whatever shit they want.

The smartest move (and therefore the one that won't be made) is to try to convince Jacob Rees-Mogg to take the job. People in my neck of the woods (north west England, very working class) just need to get the fuck over his accent (pretty much the only criticism I've ever heard my friends make of him). Yes he's another Eton-Oxford toff (the same as Johnson), yes he was born with an entire 36-piece Christofle silver-plated cutlery set up his arse, and yes his first exposure to working class people was shooting them for stealing pheasants from his country estate. But the guy is fucking sharp.  He understands history (very important), he understands the times we live in now (equally important) and he has a workable vision for the UK's future. We're in a world now where political affiliation is meaningless (thank you Jeremy Corbyn for further neutering an already aimless Labour Party). Left, right, Conservative, Labour, it doesn't mean anything anymore, and hasn't since Blair rebranded the party as New Labour and introduced tuition fees. I'm a communist but would happily see this aristocrat (Rees-Mogg) take over from May, because he has a first class mind, and since class struggle is now dead in England and we've become just another America, two political elites fighting for power, I'll settle for that.

But as I said, that would be the smartest move. So it won't happen. What'll happen is a tedious power struggle between a group of people who have no more idea of how to push through Brexit than May did.


edit: and Rees-Mogg made that point himself about Boris Johnson's 'gaffes' on an episode of the British satirical show Have I Got News For You:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9A1VEPU484
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 07:32:56 AM by Dave_Manchester »
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Offline Stadler

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #95 on: May 24, 2019, 08:27:39 AM »
The fact that Boris Johnson is the leading replacement kind of blows my mind. We are truly living in the dumbest of timelines.

I read that too quick and registered "Brian Johnson" and was like, cool!  His hearing is back! 

Offline Chino

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #96 on: May 24, 2019, 08:58:34 AM »
 :lol :lol

Offline XJDenton

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #97 on: May 24, 2019, 09:10:20 AM »
I think I would take someone like Ken Clarke over a Rees Mogg or Johnson.

Offline Dave_Manchester

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Re: Britain votes 52% to 48% in referendum to leave EU.
« Reply #98 on: May 24, 2019, 07:32:30 PM »
Ken Clarke would be a decent choice, he talks sense and he's been around long enough to have seen off far worse supposed 'crises' than Brexit. But I don't get the sense he wants anything to do with the job. He's Father of the House right now and I think he's content with that. Sadly, since writing my post earlier today - and scoring myself an e-mail from his lovely sister Annunziata (have I mentioned these people are so posh the Queen herself bleeds the brakes on their Bentleys?) - it seems my man Rees-Mogg also wants fuck-all to do with this shitshow. But she's a slippery one, at violent political odds with her brother (she was a candidate for the Brexit Party in yesterday's European Parliamentary elections) so who knows if she's to be believed? But as of now I do believe her.

The BBC put out the form guide earlier today. They reckon it's between this motley crew (my comments in brackets):

Boris Johnson (acceptable; he's nowhere near as bad as he leads his critics to think he is)

Andrea Leadsom (worst case scenario)

Dominic Raab (wary of him. A supposed rising superstar but I can't find anything in his record to explain why)

Michael Gove (snake. Would be a terrible choice)

Jeremy Hunt (acceptable)

Sajid Javid (a clever man but his handling of the Shamima Begum case was shameful and I feel strongly enough about that one issue to be against his nomination)

Rory Stewart (know almost nothing about him)

Liz Truss (competant but not a hope in hell)

Amber Rudd (how many cabinet positions does this woman need to be given before it becomes abundantly clear to everyone that she's fucking useless?)

Matt Hancock (who?)

Priti Patel (who?) 

Esther McVey (backbench no-hoper. Never heard of her before today, looked into her, she's an impressive woman, but she hasn't a hope of winning the vote)

Penny Morduant (pick of the litter. Very impressive and capable woman, and if it has to be from this list then I'd go with her)

Sir Graham Brady (my 2nd choice pick from this list. A very clever guy, chairman of the 1922 Committee, and he's been on the ball throughout this whole Brexit mess).



Ultimately it needs to be someone who sees the shape of things on the global stage. I was vehemently anti-Brexit 3 years ago. I thought the decision to leave the EU was the stupidest decision of 21st century British politics, and I still think that. But the behaviour of the EU leadership over the last 3 years has helped me understand why they are so opposed to the UK leaving, and that's why I roll my eyes at the suggestion that Britain has a Brexit "crisis" (I'd find it easier to listen to the heads of state of France, Germany and Italy describe Britain as being in "crisis" if Molotov cocktails weren't being thrown by the Yellow Vests in Paris, Merkel's Christian Democrat Party hadn't suffered massive losses to anti-immigration parties, and Rome wasn't nearing bankruptcy). It's not a time for idealogy, it needs someone who understands at a practical level what's happening on the geopolitical map (so fuck off Leadsom and Gove) and has a vision for the UK's place on that map.

As a side-note it's ludicrous that Trump's state visit to the UK will be a few days before May quits. I know his schedule is busy but they need to try and push it back a month, when we know who will replace her. The number one task of whoever gets the nod is to forge a strong economic relationship with the US. What is the point of Trump coming over to Britain to hold top-level talks with a Prime Minister who is quitting 3 days later? Nobody is to blame for this, the state visit was scheduled a while ago, but now that circumstances have changed, we need to try and push the visit back to July. Despite how they're presented in the media, state visits aren't just occasions for the Queen and the American President to have afternoon tea, play some croquet, and then go bleed the brakes on the Rees-Moggs' Bentleys. They're political summits. Entire departments travel with him. It'll be a wasted opportunity to have Trump and his teams come over only to negotiate with a PM who has 3 more days in the job and no idea of who will replace her.
"As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts' desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron" - H.L.Mencken, 26th July 1920.

"China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very very large brain" - American President Donald Trump, September 26th 2018.