It may well be that Dominic Grieve, a mild looking Conservative politician, might be the butterfly which flaps its wings which ultimately causes the storm which brings down the United Kingdom as a united and independent nation, and signals the end of its democracy. I refer, of course, to his amendment passed a few hours ago in the House of Commons. I will get to the detail of this shortly, but first some background.
Those who have sought in the past to subjugate the British Isles to continental power have never been too keen on democracy. When Boudicca’s husband King Prasutagus died, leaving his daughters as heirs, the Romans did not say:
Well, fair enough. It’s a free country. We’ll take that on board.
Instead, they annexed his kingdom, flogged Boudicca and raped the daughters. For a while, that didn’t go too well, but in the end, Britain was no more than a vassal state, and the Romans were able to kill Continue reading
Some facts, that of themselves are not really contentious:
- Until Australia successfully introduced its “Stop the Boats” policy a few years ago, many economic migrants arrived in Australia by boat;
- Those boats were operated by people smugglers. A passage was not cheap, so it was typically the relatively wealthy who could afford the trip;
- Many died en voyage because the boats were unsafe;
- Of those that made it, many have made very successful lives for themselves, working hard and often creating businesses;
- Brexit is due in just a few months;
- Mark Carney, the Canadian/Irish Governor of the Bank of England, a Euro-Federalist, has predicted that the UK economy will do badly following a Clean Break Brexit;
- Nevertheless; increasing numbers of economic migrants are now seeking to get from France to England by boat, in order to get out of the EU and into the UK before Brexit;
- Their journey across the English Channel, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, at night, often in rubber dinghies or stolen small craft, is very dangerous. And expensive – these trips are organised by people smugglers who charge thousands of Euros for a passage;
- These economic migrants are resourceful – they have made it overland from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and other countries.
But what to conclude from Continue reading
Ziegler Wasserwerfer 9000
It is really quite likely that there will be riots on the streets of London in about six months’ time.
As I write this, the Brexit saga is on course for a clean break, on the basis that the Robbins-Weyand draft deal is likely to be voted down in the House of Commons, and there is no majority for anything else in particular. The EU, and their fellow travellers in the UK, are likely to be hopping mad. The UK, free to compete with the EU without all of the financial and regulatory burdens which apply within the EU, represents a real threat to them. The last thing they want is for an economically-liberated UK to be free to enter trade deals with the rest of the world. And they have managed to persuade a large swathes of flopsies in the UK that there is something VERY BAD about this sort of freedom.
It is possible, of course, that the EU will somehow manage to derail the whole of Brexit, perhaps by delaying it for a year (“that will be another £10 billion thank you, you stupid, merde Rosbifs”) in which case, the majority of the UK electorate, which voted to break free of these ghastly bureaucratic parasites in a binding people’s vote back in 2016, will not be happy bunnies.
It has been a while since there have been decent riots in London. Global warming has not really arrived, but nevertheless, the likelihood is that there will be a nice warm weekend next summer in which large numbers of people will come out onto the streets of London, providing decent cover for those that Donald Trump calls BAD PEOPLE, and they will start smashing up shops and businesses, not to mention any people who take a different view.
Now what you need in these circumstances is two or three Ziegler Wasserwerfer 9000s. These water cannon don’t really hurt people, but they do make them cold and wet. And by and large, the flopsies don’t like getting cold and wet, and so with the assistance of Continue reading
If reports are true, Tony Blair is even more ghastly than we thought. He has apparently praised Ollie Robbins for deceiving the Cabinet about the true nature of his Robbins-Weyand deal before then encouraging the Labour Party to reject it. Blair has apparently said:
I take my hat off to Olly Robbins, Olly is a very skilled guy, the elaborate camouflage of all the different points is a tribute to the skills of the British civil service, I say that sincerely.
This deal isn’t a compromise, it’s a capitulation.
The withdrawal agreement will keep us tied to EU trade policy until there is an end established by ‘joint consent’ – in other words, the EU has a veto.
It is coated in heavy fudge, but that is the inedible biscuit beneath the coating.
All this does rather suggest that getting rid of Ollie Continue reading
Michelle Barnier and Sabine Weyand have done an excellent job of outmanoeuvring the British civil service at every turn in the Brexit negotiations. On behalf of the EU, they have conceded virtually nothing, whilst extracting more or less complete surrender from the UK side.
They have confidence on their side, of course. The EU always wins. Whenever any vote goes against them, they simply have it reversed.
It is fair to say that they’ve had the wind behind them, in the sense that the British side has been led by Ollie Robbins, a committed Europhile. The negotiations might have been harder if the rug had not been pulled out from under David Davies and then his successor Dominic Raab. Whenever it looked like either of those Brexit secretaries would put up any opposition to EU demands, number 10 grabbed the reins from their hands in order that Robbins and Weyand could make the agreement they both wanted. Philip II of Spain would have succeeded in his Spanish Armada if the British Navy had been commanded by Continue reading
It does very much look as though the Remainers have got their strategies badly wrong concerning Brexit.
During the referendum campaign, the Remainers focused very little on the merits of remaining part of the EU, instead choosing to denigrate Brexiteers, and to try to instil a sense of fear about leaving the EU. That might well have worked in continental Europe, but the British people tend to be resistant to that sort of pressure. And so the Remainers lost.
As we head towards the Brexit date in March 2019, the Remainers are now focused on trying to make the Brexit process as difficult as possible, continuing to denigrate the Brexiteers and effectively saying that if you voted for Brexit, you are stupid. Again, the British people tend to dislike that sort of patronising treatment.
Again, I think this is likely to backfire. The more troubled the Remainers make the process of leaving, the more likely the British people are to think, “Sod it! Let’s just leave without any sort of deal with the EU!”. This is not, of course, entirely the fault of Continue reading
What a striking contrast this past week between the pride of the RAF 100th birthday celebrations, and the miserable capitulation of Theresa May to the EU.
Will she be replaced as Tory leader, and hence Prime Minister, by someone with the bottle to override the bureaucrats and to do what the country has voted for? Perhaps, but probably not quite yet. There is an anomaly. The majority of Tory voters are pro-Brexit. The majority of Tory MPs (including Theresa May) are not. So those MPs do not – on the whole – truly represent their own party.
If the party gets angry enough, might it take a leaf out the Labour Party book, and deselect the traitors? They could. Not their habit, of course; local Conservative Associations are typically loyal to their sitting MPs. But these are strange days. Get rid of the Tory MPs would do not share the views of their local parties, and TM would be out of No 10 in a jiffy.
Things might be starting to hot up, as the UK heads towards the EU rocks? Theresa May has already gravely prejudiced any prospect of a sensible Brexit deal. The only real prospect now of a proper Brexit is Continue reading
Plainly, all empires collapse. The much more interesting and difficult questions are “Why?” and “When?”
As to the why, there is a fair bit be said for the explanation of Joseph Tainter, who in 1988 published The Collapse of Complex Societies. In short, he tested various popular explanations about why civilisations collapse against numerous case studies. The usual explanations of moral decay, disease, innovation et cetera do not stack up very well. Instead, it is when the ER0EI – as applied to social complexity – falls off that an empire is ruined. In large measure, this social complexity manifests itself in the expansion of a class of information producers and analysts who are not involved in primary resource production. Bureaucrats, in other words.
There is a thing called the Vanguard Myth. At the early stages of the development of an empire, there are benefits to be derived from increased levels of complex bureaucracy. But after a while, those benefits tail off, and then become negative. The bureaucrats, of course, do not see that; they see themselves as in the vanguard of development, and forge ahead doing more of what they have previously been doing. Eventually, a tipping point is reached. It is in this zone that the risk – which eventually becomes a certainty – arises of collapse.
What is the topicality of all of this? Well, it is to do with the “When” part of the question. Adapting an old syllogism:
- All empires collapse,
- The EU is an empire,
- The EU will collapse.
But when? There is a detailed and interesting analysis of this by Gwythian Prins, which is to be found on the Briefings for Brexit website. Gwythian Prins is a bright chap. He taught history and politics at Cambridge for over 20 years, is Emeritus Research Professor at the LSE and since 2016 has been senior academic visiting fellow at the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr. For various detailed reasons, which he spells out, he thinks that the collapse of the EU might be coming sooner rather than later. He starts with the Tainter Continue reading
Although his website site does have a somewhat deranged feel to it, Piers Corbyn (brother of the more famous Jeremy) seems to have been correct in his long-range forecasts of the present cold and snowy weather in the UK and elsewhere.
Piers is not only much cleverer than his brother, but is free to say what he really thinks. And to indulge his propensity to crow a bit about the fact that his forecasts are consistently more accurate than those of the Met Office. It is all a bit counter-intuitive. The Met Office looks all solid and dependable, but in fact is ridden with barking-mad climate change group-think nonsense. Conversely, Piers looks as mad as a March hare, but time after time events, as they have unfolded, have vindicated his forecasts. Which is, after all, the gold standard of real science. This reversal of the norm is rare, but then again, we live in strange times.
Here are a few of Piers’ observations about weather, climate and others things at his website/twitter feed Continue reading
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and so I spent a few moments this weekend searching the Internet to see whether, when the UK first joined the Common Market (as then was) back in 1973, did our continental friends say:
Non, non, non, mes amis! No need for you to put your hand in your pocket just yet. Absolutement pas! We would not expect you to pay for any of the projects that we planned before you joined, nor ever to have to pay for the pensions of our existing bureaucrats.
My research of the 1975 referendum suggests that the answer is emphatically “no”, but I have been unable to find the figures. Perhaps one of my Europhile friends could oblige?
Why is this the least bit interesting? For this reason: we already know that the UK has no obligation to pay anything to the EU following its departure from the club. But unsurprisingly, the avaricious wastrels who now run the EU are telling the UK that there is some sort of implicit or moral obligation on an outgoing member of the club to fully pay out any existing projected expenditure anyway. The basis of this argument seems to be a suggestion that the burden of paying for any EU expenditure falls on whoever were the members at the time that expenditure was planned.
But if, as appears to be the case, there was no such suggestion when the UK joined, it is hard to see that there is any implicit or moral justification for that suggestion now.
And as far as the morals go, nobody with a set of decent bones in their body would seriously suggest that it is morally right to Continue reading