petej + ukip   399

North-east England is not obsessed with Brexit – it’s just a symbol | Phil McDuff | Opinion | The Guardian
Brexit was, and remains, largely about this mythical EU and its symbolic opposition to an equally mythical Britain, rather than about anything specific to the actual EU. Brexit is pure magic – standing in for your hopes or fears. Bring it down to the level of the prosaic, to MEPs and trade policy, and it loses this magic and becomes ugly and undesirable. Ultimately Brexit cannot be fulfilled, it can only be betrayed.

Leave and remain groups talk past each other on Labour’s real or imagined failures. Is Labour losing leave votes because of a sense the party is betraying the spirit of the Brexit vote? Seems likely. Is it losing remain votes because it isn’t committed to revoking article 50 and keeping us in the EU? Probably. Get a policy out of that.

Beyond electoralism, the Brexit reasoning doesn’t get much clearer for anyone on the left. The pro-Brexit left, such as the economist Grace Blakely, argue a convincing case that the economic populism of a Corbynite Labour would be opposed by the EU as currently instituted and that the deep reforms that attracted people to the newly socialist Labour could be stymied if the UK remains a member. Gina Miller, who took the government to court over Brexit, said she was “more worried about a certain Mr Corbyn” than she was about Brexit – a position seemingly shared by many in the EU. Others argue, no less convincingly, that Brexit is and remains a project of the far right and that it is a pipe dream to assume the left can force this authoritarian locomotive on to new humanitarian, internationalist rails at this stage. We should be aiming to remain and reform, they say. Which is fair enough, but if we cannot reform Brexit in our own country, how can we be expected to reform the EU either? It is not that either of these positions is wrong, more that they are both correct, which unfortunately does not provide a nice answer for anyone.
UK  politics  North-East  Brexit  UKIP  BrexitParty  EuropeanParliament  election  Leave  Remain  dctagged  dc:creator=McDuffPhil 
may 2019 by petej
mainly macro: We need a political party that is tough on the causes of Brexit
Brexit was not an aberration in an otherwise well functioning UK democracy, any more than Trump was in the US. They are symptoms of a deeper malaise. I cannot put it better than Anthony Barnett when he says if all you want to do is stop Brexit and Trump and go back to what you regard as normal, you miss that what was normal led to Brexit and Trump. Unless we have politicians in power who understand the need for radical change, the snake oil sellers who sold us Brexit and US voters Trump will happily carry on plying their wares.
UK  EU  Brexit  austerity  politics  economics  finance  crisis  UKIP  ge2015  economy  coalition  deficit  ToryParty  media  propaganda  immigration  IndependentGroup  dctagged  dc:creator=Wren-LewisSimon 
february 2019 by petej
‘We're reactivating the people’s army’: inside the battle for a hard Brexit | World news | The Guardian
Now it’s time for strategy, as Farage tells supporters how to confront MPs. “I don’t want you writing letters to them. Go and visit them at their surgeries, queue around the block, meet them face to face, make them feel the heat, make them understand that being part of a customs union, being a vassal state with laws made somewhere else, is unacceptable. And that if they do this, you will never give them your vote again. Make. Them. Feel. The. Heat. We in Leave Means Leave are reactivating the people’s army.”

The language is tough and militaristic, and Farage’s delivery chilling. He warns that if he is forced to fight a second referendum we’ll see a very different Farage: “This time, no more Mr Nice Guy.” I can’t help thinking back to his victory speech after the referendum, delivered at 4am on 24 June 2016. Farage boasted that Brexit had been achieved “without a single bullet being fired”. It was only eight days after the strongly pro-EU Labour MP Jo Cox had been murdered on her way to a constituency surgery. Her killer, Thomas Mair, shouted “Keep Britain independent”and “Britain first” as he shot and stabbed her. But Farage appeared to have forgotten that.
UK  Brexit  politics  Leave  hardBrexit  LeaveMeansLeave  FarageNigel  populism  Bolton  UKIP  middleClass  Birmingham  Bournemouth  referendum  activism 
january 2019 by petej
Why we stopped trusting elites | News | The Guardian
If a world where everyone has their own truth-tellers sounds dangerously like relativism, that’s because it is. But the roots of this new and often unsettling “regime of truth” don’t only lie with the rise of populism or the age of big data. Elites have largely failed to understand that this crisis is about trust rather than facts – which may be why they did not detect the rapid erosion of their own credibility.

Unless liberal institutions and their defenders are willing to reckon with their own inability to sustain trust, the events of the past decade will remain opaque to them. And unless those institutions can rediscover aspects of the original liberal impulse – to keep different domains of power separate, and put the disinterested pursuit of knowledge before the pursuit of profit – then the present trends will only intensify, and no quantity of facts will be sufficient to resist. Power and authority will accrue to a combination of decreasingly liberal states and digital platforms – interrupted only by the occasional outcry as whistles are blown and outrages exposed.
elites  representativeDemocracy  trust  politics  media  business  honesty  norms  authority  liberalism  technology  Internet  populism  lies  alienation  disillusionment  UKIP  MPs  expenses  wikileaks  phonehacking  MurdochRupert  Libor  finance  BBC  Tesco  Volkswagen  exposure  whistleblowing  FOI  BlairTony  transparency  Brexit  Leave  MetropolitanPolice  RobinsonTommy  conspiracyTheory  relativism  dctagged  dc:creator=DaviesWill 
november 2018 by petej
The far right will try to exploit any Brexit outcome. We can’t let it happen | Owen Jones | Opinion | The Guardian
To understand how to defeat Britain’s far right, we have to be clear about how we arrived at this point. Mass immigration did occur under the New Labour governments, but without any accompanying pro-migrant politics being articulated: indeed, just the opposite. Tony Blair’s administration stripped benefits from refugees in favour of vouchers; it denounced “asylum cheats” and spoke of refugee children “swamping” schools from which they were banned; and attempted to outflank the Tories on anti-migrant rhetoric.

David Cameron’s subsequent governments denounced Labour’s “uncontrolled immigration”, and portrayed the movement of people to the UK solely as a problem to be contained, while setting impossible targets on numbers that were not even close to being met. Theresa May, then home secretary, was the most ardently anti-migrant member of his cabinet, notoriously sending “Go home” vans to mixed communities. An inherently divisive referendum handed a megaphone to a demagogically anti-migrant campaign whose lies and bile led to a surge in hate crimes.
UK  politics  Brexit  farRight  RobinsonTommy  UKIP  immigration  Islamophobia  populism  elites  CameronDavid  BlairTony  dctagged  dc:creator=JonesOwen 
november 2018 by petej
Reassessing Corbynism: success, contradictions and a difficult path ahead | SPERI
Every one of Corbyn’s much-vaunted manifesto pledges relies on an increased tax-take and growth strategy which are predicated upon remaining in the single market, and thus entail retaining free movement. Yet his manifesto promise to end free movement (reiterated by John McDonnell in the weekend after the election result) makes nationalist protectionism the axiomatic position of both major parties, one which for Labour cannot be overturned without shedding one half of the electoral coalition which has secured Corbyn’s position.
The struggle to win the support of the ex-UKIP Leave vote has led to Farage’s nativist agenda poisoning the well of the British polity as a whole, left and right – the real reason he is still never off the airwaves, despite UKIP’s ostensible collapse. The risk on one side is of economic catastrophe, on the other the development of a ‘stab in the back’ myth of national betrayal. No amount of energetic canvassing or witty memes can bridge such an abyss. It requires the political courage to be truly honest with the electorate about the consequences of withdrawal from the single market, traits which for all Corbyn’s purported authenticity have, in this context at least, been in short supply.
UK  generalElection  ge2017  politics  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  deficit  publicSpending  triangulation  UKIP  Brexit  immigration  freedomOfMovement  welfare  benefits  dctagged  dc:creator=BoltonMatt  Corbynism 
june 2017 by petej
The end of the Long 90s | Flip Chart Fairy Tales
The campaign for Brexit was, for the most part, led and financed by the libertarian free-market right; people who want more deregulation, less tax and a smaller state. It is beginning to dawn on some of them that Brexit may deliver the exact opposite. For Andrew Lilico, one of the relatively few economists to support Brexit, all that matters now is stopping Corbyn.

Everything else is secondary now to stopping him. Austerity, Brexit, public services reform, trade deals with the US, foibles about doing deals with Irish politicians or Lib Dems – even new anti-terror laws. Everything else is secondary and expendable for the moment.

It was their own fault. The Brexiters fanned the flames of populism and re-introduced people to the notion that voting might change things. They thought that the new post-Brexit Britain would be theirs. Now they realise it probably won’t.

When historians and political scientists look back, in a decade or so, one image will define the Summer of ’17. It won’t be a distraught Theresa May or a waving Jeremy Corbyn. It will be the burning Grenfell Tower. It is still way too early to be clear about what went wrong and who’s fault it might have been but, regardless of the causes of the fire, as the Guido Fawkes blog complains, the political fallout is already damaging the Conservatives. It doesn’t really matter how much of a role austerity, a scrimping Tory council, outsourcing and deregulation had in making the catastrophic blaze more likely, the story fits the spirit of the times. Grenfell was a tower block housing the poor in the middle of one of the country’s richest constituencies, the one in which, less than a week earlier, Labour had overturned decades of solid Tory majorities. It may, in time, become a symbol of the point at which British politics turned.
UK  politics  economics  economy  liberalism  privatisation  deregulation  diversity  Blairism  livingStandards  immigration  Brexit  ToryParty  UKIP  LabourParty 
june 2017 by petej
Britain: The End of a Fantasy | by Fintan O’Toole | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
There were three problems. Firstly, May demanded her enormous majority so that she could ride out into the Brexit battle without having to worry about mutterings in the ranks behind her. But she has no clue what the battle is supposed to be for. Because May doesn’t actually believe in Brexit, she’s improvising a way forward very roughly sketched out by other people. She’s a terrible actor mouthing a script in which there is no plot and no credible ending that is not an anti-climax. Brexit is a back-of-the-envelope proposition. Strip away the post-imperial make-believe and the Little England nostalgia, and there’s almost nothing there, no clear sense of how a middling European country with little native industry can hope to thrive by cutting itself off from its biggest trading partner and most important political alliance.

May demanded a mandate to negotiate—but negotiate what exactly? She literally could not say. All she could articulate were two slogans: “Brexit means Brexit” and “No deal is better than a bad deal.” The first collapses ideology into tautology. The second is a patent absurdity: with “no deal” there is no trade, the planes won’t fly and all the supply chains snap. To win an election, you need a convincing narrative but May herself doesn’t know what the Brexit story is.

Secondly, if you’re going to try the uno duce, una voce trick, you need a charismatic leader with a strong voice. The Tories tried to build a personality cult around a woman who doesn’t have much of a personality. May is a common or garden Home Counties conservative politician. Her stock in trade is prudence, caution, and stubbornness. The vicar’s daughter was woefully miscast as the Robespierre of the Brexit revolution, the embodiment of the British popular will sending saboteurs to the guillotine. She is awkward, wooden, and, as it turned out, prone to panic and indecision under pressure.

But to be fair to May, her wavering embodied a much deeper set of contradictions. Those words she repeated so robotically, “strong and stable,” would ring just as hollow in the mouth of any other Conservative politician. This is a party that has plunged its country into an existential crisis because it was too weak to stand up to a minority of nationalist zealots and tabloid press barons. It is as strong as a jellyfish and as stable as a flea.

Thirdly, the idea of a single British people united by the Brexit vote is ludicrous. Not only do Scotland, Northern Ireland, and London have large anti-Brexit majorities, but many of those who did vote for Brexit are deeply unhappy about the effects of the Conservative government’s austerity policies on healthcare, education, and other public services. (One of these services is policing, and May’s direct responsibility for a reduction in police numbers neutralized any potential swing toward the Conservatives as a result of the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London.)

This unrest found a voice in Corbyn’s unabashedly left-wing Labour manifesto, with its clear promises to end austerity and fund better public services by taxing corporations and the very wealthy. May’s appeal to “the people” as a mystic entity came up against Corbyn’s appeal to real people in their daily lives, longing not for a date with national destiny but for a good school, a functioning National Health Service, and decent public transport. Phony populism came up against a more genuine brand of anti-establishment radicalism that convinced the young and the marginalized that they had something to come out and vote for.
UK  politics  generalElection  ge2017  Brexit  populism  UKIP  nationalism  tabloids  TheRight  appeasement  MayTheresa  ToryParty  LabourParty  CorbynJeremy  austerity  dctagged  dc:creator=O'TooleFintan  Corbynism 
june 2017 by petej
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