Page 7 of 8 FirstFirst ... 5678 LastLast
Results 241 to 280 of 288
  1. #241
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Well, it all seems to have hit the fan today. Widely believed the government are going to ask the Queen to prorogue Parliament. Plenty of outrage out there.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  2. #242
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,140
    Seems they've done it.

    This is the most unconstitutional, anti-democratic thing I've ever seen in this country. The outrage is entirely well judged.

    I swear, we're approaching riot status right now.

  3. #243
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    Posts
    826
    I wouldn't be surprised if there are riots in the next week. General Strike is already trending on twitter too.


    I've tried taking up column writing, check it out here!

    Words from a Gooner #2: 7 Treatments for Wrestlemania Fever

  4. #244
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    2,951
    Woah woah woah, fill me in fellas?

  5. #245
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Short version: mps were gathering to work out their opposition to Johnson. So he's asked the Queen to close parliament, until about two weeks before the Brexit deadline.

    It's the nuclear option. Can't get it through parliament? Close Parliament down.

    The last person to try this was probably Charles I...

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  6. #246
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    The longer version.... prorogation is the name given to the period in between parliamentary sessions. They aren't fixed, as they are in the US, but are a lot more fluid and are generally in the hands of the Prime Minister (in much the same way that they can call an election pretty much whenever they see fit, though no one is really sure how true that is anymore after the fixed term parliaments act which was then abandoned after one electoral cycle. Anyway, I digress).


    So prorogration itself is the normal window between the close of one session and the state opening of a new session. So what Boris Johnson's government have done, basically, is asked for this session of parliament to be ended, and for a new Queen's speech, outlining what his ministry are going to do in the rest of their term.

    In practice, though, what seems really to be the case is that the other parties were meeting to get a strategy together, so he's asked for Parliament to be closed for an unusually long time, to essentially make it that much harder for any of the other parties to do any legislative business to take control. Closing parliament has been used by other PM's to their advantage, but rarely for so long, and never at such a contentious time. Whatever you think about it, there's no underestimating it involved when I call it the nuclear option.

    It's raised a lot of questions about the Monarch, who technically opens and closes parliament. There's not much she can do other than grant it - nothing, in fact, without setting off a constitutional crisis of a whole other sort. But it does mean that it's left a lot of people who were broadly ambivalent about the monarchy asking 'well, what's the point, if it's not actually going to act as a bulwark against this kind of bypassing of parliament?'

    The Brits have had a bit of a love-affair with the monarch since the turn of the millennium, but I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a bit of a return to a more militant republicanism here in the coming years.


    EDIT: Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Conservatives (and possibly the most popular Unionist politician north of the border) has resigned.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  7. #247
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,140
    There's a slight element of craftiness to it, as well - right bang in the middle of the period where Parliament will be shut down will be Conference season, when each party has their annual meeting/get together with members and politicians all essentially starting to put together how they approach the next year or so in policy. So the proroguing period is five weeks, but the argument that the Tory party can make is that pretty much four of those are when everyone would be on recess anyway for conference season - so the actual impact on the amount of 'sitting days' (when the MPs are actually in parliament to debate legislation) is relatively small. That's why you get people like Jacob Rees-Mogg saying 'well, it's about average for the number of sitting days' - I think it's normally about 150 days in a year, although our Parliament confuses it by having 'sessions' which can (theoretically) last forever, with our current one being on something like 330, since June 2017, largely due to the withdrawal nonsense taking up all the time - it is, but it's also about timing. Any sensible person can see that right now every day matters because it's such an important point in our country's history, so why not wait and prorogue to open a new session of Parliament after October 31st, when something ('do or die') has to be finalised about the withdrawal? The fact they're not doing that suggests that they're using it as a method to stop the opposition from organising and preventing no deal.

    The issue now is - who blinks first? Corbyn and the opposition could likely call for a confidence vote in Johnson when Parliament reopens after the summer recess next Tuesday. If that fails there's then a 14 day period for someone (I think this is specifically the opposition?) to form a new Government - which is why you hear about the 'Government of National Unity'. It seems Corbyn's plan, which may align with the other opposition politicians, is to form that Government temporarily, and then ask for the EU to grant another extension to Article 50 so that we can hold a General Election.

    Two problems then fall out of that. One is, if Labour win, what's Corbyn's position then. Does he still think we need to leave? Does he revoke Article 50? Do we have a second referendum situation on our hands? I don't think anybody quite knows yet where a Labour Government, or Labour-led Government, will fall on the issue. But most likely that will have to be a clear message very early on in the election cycle, so we'd find out soon enough.

    The other (and for me this is more concerning) is that Boris Johnson will almost immediately start to paint this as a 'people vs the corrupt elite politicians' election, despite him having been born with silver spoons in every orifice and having a middle name of 'de Pfeffel', and that (as we've seen in America) very much favours the right wing over the left. And with that in mind you get either a likely Tory victory in the election, because they will get the 'Brexit' vote, or (and much, much worse) based on current electoral polling you get a Conservative/Brexit Party coalition, with that gurning sausage-meat-in-a-human-skin racist Nigel Farage sat alongside Boris Johnson for PMQs every week.

    Personally right now, I think a General Election helps nobody - either we end up with the hardest of hard withdrawals led by two people who would seem happy enough to open the UK up to the US markets, chlorinated chickens, privatised health services, plus want to stop any form of humanitarian efforts and immigration (mizfan - imagine the US being run by not one but two Trumps...), or we get (most likely, in my opinion) a second referendum called which ends up further dividing the country, especially if the vote goes the other way and we are effectively tied at 1-1. I believe polling suggests that would be the case, for the record.

    I suppose, in a very far out there speculative option - if the withdrawal agreement comes back as it is and has one final vote, complete with the backstop, and the threat of a GE looming that could go either of the above ways, each side may look at it as their last chance to have some control over the nature of the withdrawal and soften their stances a bit. I feel like that's unlikely because the objections now are so entrenched, but it's theoretically possible, I suppose - particularly if the alternatives are the two above and it's very much a stay or go kind of thing.

    It's a very, very messy situation, but this is just pushing things to the forefront.

    There is a theory, of course, that a no deal withdrawal has almost always been the Government plan, and that now they're executing they also have the perfect scapegoats in the EU themselves because they've been inflexible over taking out the Backstop from the agreement (at least, that's how it will be painted, with none of the reasoning around the need for it being discussed).

  8. #248
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    2,951
    Christ on a cracker... thanks for the updates guys, wish it was better news!

  9. #249
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    650
    It seems to me that Boris has put himself in a no-lose scenario.

    When parliament returns, he's surely banking on the uniting opposition parties to no longer have enough time to see through their plan to legislate in order to render a no deal scenario impossible. But if they do manage it, we end up at the polls and, as Oli points out, it becomes an election of, "Look, I was going to take us out on the 31st do or die but these nasty politicians have betrayed you and ousted me so vote for me" and thereby likely wins his majority for five years of frightening hard-right neo-fascism of the sort we've seen this week.

    If they don't manage it, maybe they try their nuclear option - the no confidence vote.

    If they do that and win it's just another version of the same scenario above. If they do that and fail, we crash out on the 31st, Boris takes us to the polls anyway as "the man who delivered Brexit" and we end up in the same place.

    Maybe I'm over-simplifying things but it seems to me that, at this point, short of a miracle, we need to bunker down for at least five years of fighting for our liberty, democracy and rights, which is a very frightening thing for me to have just typed.

    This prorogation is the most harrowing turn of political events in my lifetime, quite comfortably, and it's scared me to death. I'm still weighing whether to rejoin my political party or not, but I feel like I can't just sit on the sidelines in this much longer. I feel like I need to do something.

    With any luck, this will galvanise the opposition parties further and some kind of electoral pact will emerge - I would seriously contemplate a tactical vote in an early election, which is something I have done before but am never truly comfortable doing. I think there are overriding interests at this point, though, and I'm willing to put away my usual party line in favour of saving our nation from these power-grabbing tinpot dictators. Or maybe those same parties can work a legislative miracle.

    Either way, it's certainly the time for all those Tories prattling on about deeply felt personal discomfort to show what they're made of. I'm not optimistic.

  10. #250
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,140
    So, I emailed my MP and he came back to me - surprisingly quickly and relatively pleasantly, I must say.

    Not sure whether I should be reproducing things in full here or not, but this is the breakdown he's given:

    There has been much mis-reporting following this decision by the PM. I would urge everyone to look at the facts:

    1. The number of days Parliament is not sitting is only six more than was planned.

    2. Parliament is back well before October 31st.

    3. Despite the fact that parliament has debated leaving the EU for over 3 years, there is still time to ratify and debate a deal with the EU if one can be reached by the time of the EU Council in mid-October. This remains mine and the PM’s preferred option, rather than a No Deal Brexit.

    4. If the Leader of the Opposition wants to put down a vote of no confidence in the Government he can do so next week when Parliament returns.
    The bolded bit is quite interesting. For what it's worth, he's repeatedly voted for the withdrawal agreement - whether out of blind loyalty to the party or a genuine belief that it's perfectly fine I don't know.

    He goes on to suggest I write to the MPs for other parties who have voted against the agreement (he notably doesn't reference the rebels within the Conservative party) to...I guess ask them why? Not sure what good that really does. Interestingly he doesn't really answer the main thrust of my email, which was saying he should be vocal against the prorogation, aside from the above facts.

    He also said 'Unfortunately, Labour, Lib Dems, SNP and other opposition parties, aided by the Speaker in the Commons have used every tool at their disposal to delay, frustrate and cancel Brexit.' I don't really know where to start with that comment.

    I'm tempted to write back, but to do so I need to devote time and brain power I don't have, or want to spend, on this at the moment.

  11. #251
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    1,569
    The interesting thing from here in Australia has been the role of the Queen in all of this as she is also our Head of State and theoretically could be the final 'buck stops' in our system (although since the Australia Act in the 80s which further seperated our judicial & government systems it would probably be an interesting case for the High Court).

    As far as I'm aware (and this may be wrong) she had to rubber stamp Boris Johnson's request to delay the return of parliament. Now since England is a democracy and the Queen is meant to be symbolic she has to go with Johnson's tactics which when viewed in their best light are pretty sneaky usage of the current laws to get around a democratically elected parliament but viewed in their worst light are bordering on fascism.

    The interesting conundrum is that the Queen has to rubber stamp this kind of un-democratic request but if she wanted to refuse her approval that would be equally (if not more) un-democratic.

    I guess I'm intrigued with what the response has been like in England to what the Queen has done? I know that our republican movement has been making hey on social media by simply saying: you think this is just some quaint old Grandma? Well think again.

  12. #252
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    The response has been what you'd expect. Anti-monarchists have been making something out of it, a lot of people have been saying there isn't much else that they could have done, and that's led some people to say, 'well, what's the point?'.

    General election sounds imminent today. What's that old curse about living in interesting times?!

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  13. #253
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,140
    I think the issue with the Queen is (probably) that she has to remain apolitical, essentially - and she's arguably been put in a position where either action she made looked political one way or the other. Ultimately, I guess the only option is for her to go with the Prime Minister.

    I'm really fearful of an election. I read something today that suggests polling shows a big swing from Conservative to the Brexit Party, and also votes ebbing away from Labour (I don't think it explicitly said, but I believe to the Lib Dems). The SNP will also dominate the vote in Scotland, likely wiping out Scottish Tories.

    All it seems likely, as I said previously, is a Brexit/Tory coalition - and I can't stand the thought of that.

    Ultimately, it seems that there are going to be a number of conditions placed on agreeing to an election - because in the UK under the Fixed Term Parliament Act anybody pushing for the election needs 2/3rds of the house to support it. I think that means, essentially, that if Labour whip to vote against an election it cannot happen (650 seats and Labour hold 247 - a third would be 216 or so, I think?) so Labour can themselves block the election even if every non-Labour MP backed the call. An Labour want the Benn bill to pass (which it won't by Wednesday), MPs to promise to observe it (Gove said they wouldn't at the weekend; Johnson says he won't ask for an extension), and that the date of the election doesn't change once agreed to (this would effectively allow Johnson to force a no deal, by agreeing to one date before Oct 31st then pushing the date back until after Oct 31st).

    Honestly, I don't know what to think now. Tomorrow is going to be an enormous day.

  14. #254
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Phillip Lee has crossed the floor and joined the Lib Dems, and with that, the working majority is gone.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  15. #255
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    .... and reading that they've made good on their threat to throw out the 21 rebels.

    All of which brings the Tory numbers down to 288. The worst position, mathematically at least, for any governing party (not including coalition partners) since 1929.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  16. #256
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,140
    The thing with them taking away the whip from the rebels is that they are (presumably) now just Tory leaning independents? They might not go for the party line on this issue, but I would have suspected that it doesn't imply they won't vote with the party for (say) an election, or budget, or other policy issues.

    PMQs today was a horrorshow, Johnson not even attempting to answer questions and just slogan shouting about surrender bills and Corbyn running scared of an election.

    It's like watching a child impersonating Trump.

    Edit: More fun and games in Parliament tonight. The Benn Bill passed, but subsequently an amendment to bring back Theresa May's deal - of sorts - has passed because nobody provided tellers to count (I believe) the 'no' votes. Which, as I understand, was on the Government to provide. So either a major oversight or some sort of skulduggery going on there.
    Last edited by Oliver; 1 Week Ago at 03:21 PM.

  17. #257
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    650
    Looks increasingly likely there's going to be an election before the end of the year and quite possibly within the next couple of months.

    So here's a what if: we go to the polls and the Tories don't win. Is that the end of Johnson's leadership? And if so, who replaces him?

  18. #258
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    2,951
    That's what I've been wondering, pardon my continual complete ignorance but if y'all do have an election is there at least a chance you can boot some of the folks causing all the trouble out of office?

  19. #259
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    If they lost, yes, Boris would be done. He's made such a poor start and do many in the government only got behind him because he won the leadership. Plenty would fall out of line.

    I don't know who replaces him. Dominic Raab, if I had to put money on it. Could also be Gove, I suppose. Jeremy Hunt as a long shot is still there but much more unlikely now these twenty have had the whip removed.


    My fear, though, is that Nigel's lot will stand aside and a unified hard Brexit vote will beat out the moderates who'll be split between lots of parties. So I fear the worst in an election without some kind of pact, that I just don't see coming.

    As to Oliver's point about them being tory-leaning independents, that's true, but on a case by case basis the amount they will be willing to vote against the government will change, and obviously they have nothing to lose if they decide enough is enough and that the government should fall.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  20. #260
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,140
    What even is a loss, though? Theresa May 'lost' an election and stumbled on for two years, propped up by the DUP.

    Johnson's currently already lost - he has no majority if you include those that he removed the whip from. An election for him is simply a can't lose scenario - even if the Tories lose out to Labour, I don't think it would be of serious concern and the most likely Tory hope is that if that happens Labour subsequently make themselves unelectable to a big swathe of the electorate by either not following through on the withdrawal at all, or continually extending the deadline while they try and create a deal. That deal would likely be close companionship with the EU, so those that voted leave won't be siding with them in the future.

    And if he wins a majority (which seems highly unlikely, but given how they are painting this as a 'Withdrawal and getting on with domestic stuff vs more years talking about withdrawing' election isn't beyond the realms of possibility) he gets to completely ditch the EU and carry on as PM.

    I think the only reason he pushed for an immediate election is because he views it as can't lose for him (he certainly won't be tainted by his moment in the sun, even if he was to go) and can't win for anyone else.

    Like Prime, I think the only way Johnson/the Tories maintain full power is if Farage stands down his candidates in most locations and that votes shifts to them, or they have a coalition. I can't imagine Farage isn't going to make attempt number 8 to become an elected MP, which would suggest a pact of Tories standing in most seats, but Brexit standing in those where they are projected to win without Tory opposition.

  21. #261
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Theresa's loss was ambiguous, because they were the biggest party and were still the only party in a position to govern credibly. I suppose it's a quirk of an electoral system that allows you to describe victory in a couple of different ways, both by a majority and by largest party. It certainly felt like a loss because she'd had a majority that evaporated, but no one else had a better claim to have won than the Tories. Conversely, a loss that would finish Boris would be one that saw him put the Tories in a position where Labour had the better chance of governing.

    The thing is, Boris only has sway with big sections of that party because his backers believe he is popular, and would be a major electoral asset above and beyond the likes of the May's, Hunt's, Gove's of the world. It's based mainly on his early career and his successes running for the London Mayoralty. But if he plays that card and fails, he's going to lose the little bit of goodwill in much of that party that he has.


    So, a scenario. Say that Brexit and Tories aren't able to do a deal, and there's a big surge in the youth vote, and a lot of tactical voting, and all of a sudden you get a situation where the only possible government is a pact (because neither would do formal coalition) between Labour and the Lib Dems. In that situation, I think Boris is a dead man walking, politically speaking - not just as leader but potentially as a front-bencher for the rest of time. He'd probably go back to his media work as soon as possible.


    Now, with that said, I don't believe it's likely. Polling from the first six weeks of his Premiership (which includes polls taken in the three days after the decision to prorogue Parliament) suggested a Conservative majority of around 50 seats, if you can believe it, even if the Brexit party stood against them. I suspect that's fallen as the honeymoon is well and truly over for Boris, but at the same time I fully expect some sort of arrangement with the Brexit Party. So in short, I think Boris wins, by hook or by crook, and the only silver lining could be that it'll turn the next generation of voters off the party once and for all.



    Interesting times in the Johnson family though, as Jo Johnson has quit his government post, saying he's been torn between family and national loyalty. Can't imagine Christmas will be much fun at their place.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  22. #262
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,140
    And the Lib Dems have gained another MP today, after the ex-Labour and Change MP Luciana Berger has switched allegiances.

    Labour's problem, probably, is that they didn't come out against the EU withdrawal. Probably a political decision as they feared losing any of their leave supporting voters, but it also means they are losing votes to the Greens and Lib Dems who are strongly in favour of revoking Article 50. They can probably afford that, given they are lower polling parties, but you can't help but feel that a remain supporting Labour would have hoovered up some more votes and also be in a better position to form a pre-election pact with either of those two parties.

  23. #263
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Still a mile away from their peak but Lib Dems are slowly getting back to being a bit of a force in the Commons.

    An anonymous minister has apparently said Boris will resign rather than go and ask for the extension. I have no fucking clue where that would leave us. My understanding is that Boris could tell the Queen who to call for, but given that no one can actually command the confidence of the House right now, I believe that it if he didn't give her a name it might well be.... up to her?!

    I think that the precedent would be that she'd have to choose a member of the government, but would any Tory do it if Johnson stays on as their leader? Doesn't that put them in an impossible position?

    Does that mean that there is freedom to invite someone from the opposition, or does it just allow the Tories to force an election?

    There's so little precedent for all this that frankly I'm just guessing.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  24. #264
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,140
    To be honest, I think that would be outstanding. He'd look like a petulant child throwing his toys out his pram. 'I won't do it, and you can't make me!'

  25. #265
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    2,951
    Thanks again to everyone contributing to this thread, I find this stuff really fascinating even though I wish the prospects were better for a positive outcome.

  26. #266
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Here's a fun observation. If the Brexit Party were to back the Tories and withdraw, and if the smaller parties (not counting the SNP) were to throw their lot in with a Labour-led 'National Unity' government, here's what current polling says would be roughly the state of the subsequent parties.

    Nat. Unity: 391 (Majority of 191)
    Conservative: 220
    Scottish Nationalists: 21
    DUP: 9
    Sinn Fein: 7
    Alliance: 1
    Independent: 1


    Now, there's lots of asterisks attached to that, of course, but that is what a straight up-and-down based on the polling of the Hard Brexit vs Remain/Softer options looks like right now. Intriguing for some to note that though it wouldn't technically be as a Labour PM but that would actually give Jeremy Corbyn a majority somewhere in between the 2001 and 2005 Blair results.

    It's a lot less reliable for many reasons, but a similar map drawn on a Lib Dem-led Unity coalition hints at the prospect of a near-total Tory wipeout. Though as I say, that's far less reliable and also much less likely.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  27. #267
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    650
    Can't keep up with all this.

    Amber Rudd resigned last night and did so with a pretty damning letter that both voluntarily surrendered the Tory whip (scuppering any ability from No 10 to remove it as 'punishment') and criticised the lack of effort and preparation for negotiations on a new deal with the EU (torpedoing the government's claims of making progress and engaging in constructive talks). So another bad turn for the current administration, right before the Sunday papers too.

    I'm now reading that Boris is 'plotting scheme' to undermine the EU itself and sour them on granting an extension by somehow manipulating their own system and not nominating an EU Commissioner? I think I've got that right. If true, it's a seriously grubby little move.

  28. #268
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Just to add a few words for Mizfan and any other non-Brits who might be reading this, Amber Rudd was one of the rising stars of the Tory party a couple of years ago. She was one of the moderniser candidates selected under Cameron to help shed the old image of the Tory party, and was first elected in 2010. Her seat had been Labour since 1997, and is the kind of seat that both main parties need to win in order to win a general election - think Ohio or Florida, in a Presidential race (though obviously on a smaller scale).

    She held on to her seat in 2015 and increased the majority, and she had a minor government job by then, but once the Lib Dems had been ditched she was given her first Secretary of State job, for Energy and Climate Change (one that had been given to the Liberals in the coalition to that point). When Theresa May became Prime Minister, she was promoted again, this time taking the role that May had just had - becoming home secretary. She stood in on occasion for May in the 2017 election campaign, and was widely tipped as a future leader of the party.


    ..... and that's where the wheels came off. The 2017 election went very differently from expected, as we know, and Rudd was very nearly a casualty of that - being reduced to a majority of just 300-400 votes. She wasn't going to be promoted upwards in what was looking like an ever-more marginal seat, because the risk of losing a leader because they can't win their own seat is too great, too embarrassing. Then, just over nine months later, she had to resign after admitting to 'misleading the house' over an immigration scandal. It was later revealed that she'd been let down by her officials more than anything, and six months or so later she was back in the government, albeit in a smaller job. You could argue she was demoted again when Boris Johnson took office, but again remained in the goverment.



    I've seen a lot of people saying 'good riddance', they want rid of her and all the people like her and it'll be a popular move, but it's clear from what we're hearing that Downing Street don't think so. Coming so hard on the heels of Jo Johnson, you get the sense they think this is a major blow and that they are losing authority, and that the party itself might be coming apart. Boris might well end up benefiting from all of this and could end up winning out in the end, but you wonder about the long-term cost - and what there might be left if the gamble doesn't pay off?



    The Speaker is going to come under a challenge during the next election too, the Tories have confirmed. They are accusing him of breaking the rules and not being impartial and have said that in response they are going to break convention and run a candidate against him. Plenty of people have tried it before, probably most famously Farage in 2010 (who somehow managed to come third in what, on paper, should have been a two-horse race). But the Greens and UKIP have both run against him consistently, and he's still gotten 30,000+ votes. Obviously, it depends on how much the people of Buckingham are turned off by either Bercow himself, or by what could be seen as the Tories breaking convention. And it might be worth adding both that the Brexit Party will be standing a candidate, and that in 2016 Buckingham was a remain constituency. In short, there are a lot of variables in the equation.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  29. #269
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Boris striking a more conciliatory tone in his presser with Leo Varadkar. Let's see if that sticks when he's back to Britain.

    Expected to have another vote against a General Election today, with the added juicy bit that Plaid Cymru have called on the opposition to IMPEACH Boris if he refuses to follow the law. Worth pointing out that there hasn't been a successful case of impeachment (successful or otherwise) for more than two centuries. It's now considered an obsolete mechanism here and one that it would be very weird to see used, but if it did go that way Boris would be the first Prime Minister to ever be impeached.


    For those of a superstitious bent counting the references to the Civil War, a quarter of all successful impeachments took place between 1640-1642. As if there weren't enough omens about what this clusterfuck could do to us already.



    Actually, here's a thought. Wouldn't it be amusing if a century after Irish independence and partition, Ireland reunified and it was England that had to be split in two as a result of all this? I imagine our near neighbours to the west could probably appreciate the irony of a divided Britain leading to their own reunification.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  30. #270
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    The speaker has just announced the date of his departure. This is going to take some working out.....

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  31. #271
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,140
    Seems like he was living on slightly borrowed time anyway - wasn't he due to leave originally in 2020, but extended through to 2022 (provisionally) because of the FTPA?

    How does a new speaker get chosen, exactly? It's something I've never really concerned myself with.

  32. #272
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    He was winding down, for sure, but this is sooner than many of us were expecting, I think. Though I think it's rather a smart move given the uncertainty of the next election results.

    As for the election, candidates need to be nominated by 12 MPs and have at least three nominations from people outside of their own party (any Brexit candidates presumably getting their nominations from 3 DUP members or Labour rebels).

    When all the eligible candidates are on the list, the house votes. If there's an outright majority (unlikely I suspect) then the winner gets the job. If not, the last place and anyone not getting 5% of the vote are eliminated from contention. They carry on voting, eliminating people as they go, until someone gets a majority. There's then a formal vote for them to be the Speaker, and if that is passed (as it should be) then the Queen will grant royal assent. It'll likely be overseen by Ken Clarke, as the Father of the House.

    The current leading contenders are Chris Bryant, the centrist Labour MP, one of two current deputy speakers Eleanor Laing, Charles Walker of the Tories (who said that the Tory hardliners who opposed May's WA should quit and join another party), and Frank Field, the independent former Labour MP.

    My guess is that you could end up with another centrist figure in the Bercow mould, up against a fairly hardline government choice, and that the centrist will probably win the day given the current make-up of the house.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  33. #273
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Just listening to today's Brexitcast, and I think Chris Mason said it best....

    just when you think you've run out of superlatives in the last week, you get to another day and it's crazier than the last.


    Also, the predicted Tory majority has dropped by 80% in the most recent electoral calculus update.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  34. #274
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,140
    So, an appeal in the Scottish courts has ruled that the current prorogation is unlawful - which I suspect will be challenged by the Government in the next few days. Not sure what this will all mean, or where it will end up, as there have also been rulings that the prorogation is lawful in the Scottish courts, which led to this appeal, and the English courts.

    What's interesting about the Scottish courts verdict is that it explicitly states that the prorogation is null and of no effect - so Parliament should currently be sitting.

  35. #275
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Though they did stop short of putting out an order to end it, so they are in a kind of hinterland here.

    The really interesting bit is that the Scottish courts found not only that it was an unlawful, but that Boris Johnson is essentially guilty of misleading the monarch. The first PM in history to be found so guilty.

    It's obviously going to the UK Supreme court next, but if they do overturn the Scottish court decision.... bang, another massive schism and possibly the moment that the next independence movement becomes a guarantee.


    EDIT: I've grabbed some tweets from a constitutional expert that might be of interest:

    "Regardless of the final outcome, it is pretty uncomfortable position for the Palace.

    HM acts on the Advice of her PM. For a court to rule that advice was unlawful, even if the ruling is later rejected, opens up qs about how that advice is given. She has to be able to trust No.10

    To add, this does not mean prorogation will not be affected. But it has been prorogued. It can be recalled.

    That said, given the mood in Parliament, I would not put it past any MPs to turn up to work and try and test the judgement."

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  36. #276
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Downing Street have apparently ruled out 'any pact' with the Brexit Party.

    Which based on recent events means it'll happen in about a week's time.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  37. #277
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    1,140
    I assume they won't have a pre-election pact for fear of it being political suicide to their moderate wing, losing them more votes than they would gain from the arrangement. Not only that, but it would have left them not running in something like 80 constituencies, which seems like an enormously ambitious number for the Brexit Party to hope to win - recent Channel 4 analysis suggested that while they'd likely get a big vote share they would still win no seats. The latest YouGov poll has them as the fourth biggest party behind Tories, Labour, and Lib Dems with 14% of the vote.

    It might just be that they are cost seats by proportional representation not being in action - although worth noting that in 2017 the Lib Dems got only 7% of the vote but won 12 seats. Equally, UKIP polled very strongly at between 10 and 15% - until an election was formally called, at which point their support went through the floor (almost parallel to Labour jumping from around 30% in polls to just over 40% come the day of the vote). But I imagine that a big part of that was having Paul Nuttall leading the party - Farage is undoubtedly a better campaigner than him.

    I really do think that the right way out of this isn't through a General Election, but through a referendum on the withdrawal. GEs cover such a range of topics, and so many more important domestic issues, that voting in them isn't a clear endorsement of any party's view of the withdrawal.

    If Johnson really wants to get a mandate for no deal or a deal, he'd put it to the public. And whilst I think there's issues with that, not least driving the division further (you'd have to have remain on the ballot as well, so I think it's either remain vs no deal or remain vs deal - otherwise you might get a threeway split which further muddies the waters, unless you used an Alternative Vote system for it) I think that the knowledge of the last 3/4 years which the public should have gained needs to be given a voice.

  38. #278
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    Good lord, I hadn't seen those were the terms. Of course he can't agree to stand aside in 80 seats! The Tories just wouldn't wear it.

    My fear was that Farage was going to effectively act as Kingmaker, withdrawing everywhere that a Tory could win and telling his supporters in those seats to vote Tory, and not really asking much in return (other than, obviously, that they signed up for his platform). He wouldn't get a great deal personally but could live off being the guy that delivered Brexit, and parlay that into getting more successes down the line.

    You're spot on about proportional representation. Currently Brexit are expected to get 12% of the votes, but no seats, because they are all spread out. It's plausible the Tories could get just three times the votes, and yet win 300+ seats. It was always this way for UKIP, too. 2015, they won 12% of the vote for one seat (more than the Lib Dems, for less return).



    If you're interested, a proportional election parliament might look a bit like this....

    214 Tories
    78 Brexit
    5 UKIP (bloc of 297)
    169 Labour
    117 Lib Dems
    26 Greens
    23 SNP
    4 Plaid Cymru (bloc of 339)



    With the remaining 11 seats taken up with N.Ireland, any minor parties, and the speaker. And obviously those blocs are very glibly drawn as some Labour MPs are on the Brexit wing, and some Tories of the moderate variety are not.



    I agree that an election isn't going to sort anything, though to be honest I'm not sure a referendum sorts anything, either. It just sort of presents a.... new mess. The only way this actually goes away is if a significant amount of the electorate who voted for Brexit basically give up, and then someone just quietly cancels it and we carry on as before. Without both of those things happening this is going to dominate the next 10, perhaps even 20 years, in one form or another.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  39. #279
    The Brain
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    2,951
    I need you guys to move to America so you can explain our fucked up situation in this much detail. At least it makes it interesting rather than solely depressing, even if it's no less fucked in the end.

  40. #280
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Posts
    3,683
    The American system is pretty easy to explain in comparison. For all the clever things you can say, it basically boils down to a system designed on compromise, that gets wrecked when people decide not to compromise. And to greater or lesser degree, one wing of American politics has been doubling down time and again since Barry Goldwater. In the last decade or so the other side have been catching up to those tactics. That's basically why yours is constantly gridlocked.

    Most people in Britain have a phase that they go through where they believe following the American line, having a written constitution and all that, is the way to go, but generally it's something that the people that work on this stuff a lot all end up changing their mind on. Although it's weird, and archaic, and stuffy, and has all kinds of other issues, ours does work better for the most part.

    I am aware that saying this after the way this thread has gone in recent years might seem ironic, but for the most part it's true. The funny thing is if the parties broke up and realigned themselves (which we seem to be seeing with some Labour and Tory MPs leaving and joining up with the Lib Dems) then in the end, the system *should* work again.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •