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Martyn Turner, Irish Times, used with permission. First published June 2930.06.16 5:00 am7 comments
Martyn Turner, Irish Times, used with permission
If Boris Johnson looked downbeat yesterday, that is because he realises that he has lost.
Perhaps many Brexiters do not realise it yet, but they have actually lost, and it is all down to one man: David Cameron.
With one fell swoop yesterday at 9:15 am, Cameron effectively annulled the referendum result, and simultaneously destroyed the political careers of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and leading Brexiters who cost him so much anguish, not to mention his premiership.
Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor.
And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legistlation to be torn up and rewritten ... the list grew and grew.
The referendum result is not binding. It is advisory. Parliament is not bound to commit itself in that same direction.
The Conservative party election that Cameron triggered will now have one question looming over it: will you, if elected as party leader, trigger the notice under Article 50?
Who will want to have the responsibility of all those ramifications and consequences on his/her head and shoulders?
Boris Johnson knew this yesterday, when he emerged subdued from his home and was even more subdued at the press conference. He has been out-maneouvered and check-mated.
If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over - Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession ... broken trade agreements.
Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this. When he acts like the dumb blond it is just that: an act.
The Brexit leaders now have a result that they cannot use. For them, leadership of the Tory party has become a poison chalice.
When Boris Johnson said there was no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, what he really meant to say was “never”. When Michael Gove went on and on about “informal negotiations” ... why? why not the formal ones straight away? ... he also meant not triggering the formal departure. They both know what a formal demarche would mean: an irreversible step that neither of them is prepared to take.
All that remains is for someone to have the guts to stand up and say that Brexit is unachievable in reality without an enormous amount of pain and destruction, that cannot be borne.
And David Cameron has put the onus of making that statement on the heads of the people who led the Brexit campaign.
re 1, And yet, in spite of all this game theory crap by the elites, the vote by the proles to leave is still there, and if the underlying causes of it are not addressed the next tremor might be quite a bit harder to ignore.
Those who think large numbers of pissed off people with nothing to lose can be ignored forever might be wise to revisit what history has to say about that fallacy.
With any luck the Brexit result is the first brick to fall out of the wall that is globalisation.
This has to be the most stupendous crime inflicted on the world by the 1% and is leading to a world government led by the 1% for their own good.
The world is being tied up with more trade agreements and they are not there out of the goodness of the corporations heart to “improve” the life of the poor sods that get caught up in the work for a few cents per hour, it is to make even more profits by shifting any labour intensive work to countries with a lot of very cheap workers.
Australia is a perfect example of the “benefits” of trade agreements.
We have virtually no manufacturing left, now the mining sector is slumping workers are being laid off in droves. A lot of the few that are left are 547 visa workers brought in to work for less.
The Countries that have inherited the production are now running out of water, food, agricultural land, suffer from pollution and find themselves on a treadmill to pay for their cars, TV’s, houses and other benefits of civilisation.
The Brits should erect trade barriers as well as migrants restrictions and make themselves as self sufficient as it is possible.
Yes times will be hard but so will it be bad for us in the global world eventually.
I think that your comment was a most succinct and accurate summation of the political situation in the UK.
Boris baby has won the battle but lost the war.
Turnbull may win the battle but will lose the war.
The days of the two party out of touch candy floss vote buying Labour and Liberal/Conservative party’s that have bought our allegiance are over.
As Juncker said in the European Parliament of the British representatives on the day after the referendum “Why are you Here?”
The rich and powerful nations in Europe can read the tea leaves and I suggest that we are now seeing the start of the break up of the EU.
Comment 4’s suggestion that “we are now seeing the start of the break up of the EU” could be spot on. Consider the following:
~ the EU, as it has now evolved, is neither fish nor fowl: not a successfully federated nation like Germany or India or the USA, but gone too far to be a successful association of sovereign nations like ASEAN;
~ the EU foolishly and hubristically set up a (partial) currency / monetary union without the foundation of a fiscal union (while pretending that all its 20+ economies were all much the same);
~ the EU has an elitist undemocratic top-down authoritarian structure administered by a Euro-nomenklatura for Eurocrats in the Eurokremlin of Brussels and is likely to unravel, as did the USSR, by its own inner contradictions.
BTW, the saying “an ever more ‘perfect’ union” is not using ‘perfect’ in it current sense of being as good as it can get (aka gold medal or A+), but in its older sense of being complete[d] or finished; ‘a perfect storm’ is one which had all the elements for a total or complete storm; the same sense is in the advice ‘practice makes perfect’ - do lots of practice to complete your skills. Students of foreign and / or classical languages will be familiar with the ‘perfect’ tense, meaning that something’s done and dusted in the near or remote past.
And if you need a reminder why concentrating decision-making at the centre (aka Canberra) is just plain dumb, think of the current nonsense emanating from that parasitic joint about our biosecurity. Local stuff should be decided by locals - at least, we won’t have to travel 2000 klicks to rattle their windows or their skulls.
So what are we supposed to do?Stay in an EU that is little short of a mafia.European gangsters?We know that it,s going to be difficult but just what is the alternative?The North/south divide in the UK is viciously real.London is arrogant ,selfish and greedy.That has been part of the problem.London is Europe and bugger the rest of the country,so now what?London will suffer falling house prices,oh woe is not me.Is there a lesson in this for you fleshy Aussies?I wonder how many of your pollies have insured by having cozy little spot in the UK?
Those seeking to understand the Brexit thing might appreciate another perspective, here:
I came away thinking his thesis places Australia on the horns of a dilemma.
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