Brexit

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orathaic
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Brexit

#1 Post by orathaic » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:02 am

An Open letter to subjects of the Eh, citizens of the United Kingdom?

by orathaic https://link.medium.com/r1tqzc2IqT

Octavious
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Re: Brexit

#2 Post by Octavious » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:36 am

I'm a little confused as to the intention behind this. I don't understand how it would appeal to anyone who doesn't already agree with you.

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Re: Brexit

#3 Post by orathaic » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:30 pm

It is mostly a rant against the ridiculous media presentation of a 2nd people's vote.

In reality, the parliament is failing to agree to anything; so what do you do in such a circumstance? In a republic that is obvious, you go back to the people (from whom your authority is derived), in the UK the media mostly seems confused; either the people are the final authority, or... The Queen? Her Parliament? Direct authority from God?

They keep referring to the will of the people, but then how terrible it would be for British democracy to let them have a second vote... What is the real underlying problem here? (assuming it isn't the legal realities in my rant) Does the media simply not trust the public? Are politicians worried of looking weak and indecisive? Is this mostly borne out of classism? I don't know...

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Re: Brexit

#4 Post by Randomizer » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:39 pm

It's a hope for a different result without accepting responsibility. Either the people change their minds or they have confirmation with the "will of the people."

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Re: Brexit

#5 Post by Octavious » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:47 pm

I assure you, ora, there's no-one in the UK eagerly awaiting intervention from the Queen, or God for that matter.

The situation is really quite simple. The people elect politicians to make decisions, and in this case the politicians decided that the situation was of such importance that the people should decide directly. The people did, and politicians have been trying to enact the people's will ever since.

The difficulty is that politicians have failed (thus far, and likely in the near future) to do their job. Ways of pursuing the people's will have been explored, but they have failed to choose one of those ways to be enacted. The next few days or so will be the last chance for Parliament to agree on a way forward. If they can't it must fall to the people to decide for them.

That's it. The only problem from a media perspective is that it's damned tricky to write stories on Brexit every day and not have readers die of boredom. In a desperate attempt to find new angles they look in some peculiar directions.

No idea what class has got to do with anything.
1

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Re: Brexit

#6 Post by orathaic » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:48 pm

I'm with you, and yet May and Corbyn both refuse to consider the idea of putting a vote back to the people. Likely for the same reason, the fear of losing the people's support come the next general election, May has the defence of having a plan and trying to get it through (even if that fails tomorrow), Corbyn can claim he wants to let the people have their say in a general election (but one where the media, at least, will be telling people Corbyn hasn't got any plan).

In those circumstances, I actually suspect May has the advantage. She can't call another general election, but if Corbyn forces a motion of no confidence (and it is possible to form a new govt. Coalition without an election, but it would be improbable given the current Parliament). It is only a pity May promised her party she would step down before the next General election... And I there even time to run an election? Maybe the EU grants more time, but the only issue they really cares about is whether there is another referendum. There are three options to choose from, and the EU seems likely to let the UK fumble this one for a few more months...

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Re: Brexit

#7 Post by Octavious » Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:39 pm

May's problem has always been trying to balance her belief that Europe provides the UK with many benefits with her belief that it's her duty to deliver the referendum result. The result of which has been the hash of a deal that manages to be unacceptable to most of Parliament. I dare say May hoped to win people over, but she will have known for some time that that's unlikely.

With that in mind May has been campaigning for her deal in a second referendum for months. She's been touring the country promoting her deal to the people since November, promoting the deal on social media, and been encouraging her friends in Europe to repeat that her deal is the only deal over and over again. She is ready for a referendum and aims to win. Politically it's rather damaging for her and the party to be seen to actually want a referendum, so it suits her to instead be forced into it.

Corbyn... god only knows. I was on the Labour Party forum recently and literally everything he does is claimed by his supporters to be part of some ingenious plan. In all honesty I have no idea what he's doing. The six tests are a nonsense, the idea of renegotiating an alternative deal seems ridiculous and what literally no-one wants, and a referendum between Remain, No Deal, and May's Deal doesn't get him anywhere. Maybe it's all about a no confidence vote, but it has the feel of a game of diplomacy where you've been preparing for a stab and fluffed it, and you're left going through the motions pretending it's somehow what you intended all along.

Still, we'll find out soon enough. Maybe Corbyn is a political genius after all.

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Re: Brexit

#8 Post by orathaic » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:15 pm

Maybe... I suspect you are more right with failed stab. But I don't know, I can see how Corbyn would be anti EU - and the neoliberal agenda it has been dominated by.

And yet I've heard other source claim he'd prefer to stay in the EU and push a social justice/reform policy from within... We will see how tonight goes.

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Re: Brexit

#9 Post by TrPrado » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:36 pm

It seems we would see. The Brexit deal fails and a motion for a vote of no confidence in the government shall be taken off the table and entertained tomorrow.

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Re: Brexit

#10 Post by Octavious » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:23 pm

So far so predictable. Tomorrow is far more uncertain. On the face of it May should win. The Irish will back her against Corbyn, and Tories have many faults but shooting themselves in the head generally isn't one of them. Corbyn would have to throw a particularly juicy bone in order to get Tory rebels to jump ship.

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Re: Brexit

#11 Post by Octavious » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:32 pm

Bit of a crazy thought, but May may be tempted to engineer a defeat so that Corbyn can "force" a general election. She can then campaign for a second referendum with her deal, WTO rules, and a no Brexit on the table. It will be the only option for hard Brexiters, and there are plenty of people who like her deal in the country. It will also allow Remainers to vote Tory with confidence.

On the Labour side... Corbyn's super soft Brexit vision has very little popular support, and his lack of enthusiasm for the EU means he's not the obvious choice for Remainers.

Cheeky bet tip: Labour win the no confidence vote and the Tories win the election with a landslide victory.

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Re: Brexit

#12 Post by TrPrado » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:55 am

Ehhh, even if May manages to retain the government after an ensuing general election, you run into questions of possible changes in number of seats that might be less favorable and several other unknowns. This early there's also no way to tell how the opposition focusing on May being "the Prime Minister who couldn't get a Brexit deal" would go over with voters.

There's certainly high possibility of reward, but at extremely high risk and not nearly enough certainty. May won't try it, and I think all the Tories and the DUP recognize the risk factor and, keeping that in mind, will guarantee May wins the no confidence vote.

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Re: Brexit

#13 Post by orathaic » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:09 am

Octavious wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:23 pm
So far so predictable. Tomorrow is far more uncertain. On the face of it May should win. The Irish will back her against Corbyn...
It is weird seeing the DUP referred to as 'the irish', that is the last thing they would identify as. If they wanted to be seen as irish they'd back a border poll...

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Re: Brexit

#14 Post by Octavious » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:11 am

Really? Clearly they are British, but I never knew that whether or not they were Irish was part of the debate. You do do things strangely on your side of the sea.

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Re: Brexit

#15 Post by orathaic » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:23 pm

I'm not saying they aren't irish, and they are the only Irish representatives in the British Parliament... But there's the thing, it doesn't feel weird (to me anyway...) to refer to Westminster as the British Parliament. And the duly elected MPs who see themselves as Irish refuse to sit in it (partly because they refuse to swear an oath to the Queen, and partly because they are obstructionists by nature).

And like, it makes perfect sense for people on your side of the water to see anyone on our side as 'irish' ; you'd just never here anyone from the Republic, or Republicans in the North call them Irish... And there may be racial predijuce there.

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Re: Brexit

#16 Post by orathaic » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:30 pm

Octavious wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:11 am
Really? Clearly they are British, but I never knew that whether or not they were Irish was part of the debate. You do do things strangely on your side of the sea.
Wait, clearly they are British? See over here, we consider Britain to be this large island, so all the Welsh, Scots and English are British (and of course the Cornish...).

The second largest island is Ireland, so anyone from it would be Irish.

That is a kind of mutual exclusive definition of geography. And yet, it is falsefied by all the Scottish and Welsh families I knew growing up whose children were British and Irish. But in the North things are less forgiving. Gotta pick a side; fly a Union Jack, and your family is British, fly a tri-colour and yours are Irish. No mixing... (alas enforced for decades by the Unionist majority, who built what amounted to a segregated society).

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Re: Brexit

#17 Post by Octavious » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:56 pm

orathaic wrote:
Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:30 pm
Wait, clearly they are British? See over here, we consider Britain to be this large island, so all the Welsh, Scots and English are British (and of course the Cornish...).

The second largest island is Ireland, so anyone from it would be Irish.
Ah, I see your confusion. The collection of islands in the north west of Europe are called the British Isles. The largest of the British Isles is Great Britain, divided into the England, Wales, and Scotland. The second largest is Ireland, divided into Northern and Southern Ireland. All inhabitants of these islands can call themselves British.


It's been a recent fashion in parts of Ireland not to, showing a stubborn independent streak that is typical of British people, but that shouldn't stop those in Ireland who are happy to call themselves British.

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Re: Brexit

#18 Post by orathaic » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:36 pm

Yeah, that is where politics comes in, calling those the British Isles implies a lot of things. The main problem being London has traditionally been the most powerful political capital on these Isles, and therefore it has dominated the others. Wales, Scotland, and Ireland have variously fought wars with the English, and are far less likely to identify as British.

The Irish in particular mostly due to economic policies which caused the potato blight (which struck many European countries in the 1840s) to become a famine. About 3 in 8 people died or emigrated, while British soldiers acted to ensure the export of food for (largely absentee) English landlords.

A population loss of 3 million, which the island has not yet recovered from. (all-island population is about 6 million now). Those British soldiers were drawn from all over, some of them probably born in Ireland, or Wales... It doesn't matter, because the narrative paints them as British, following orders from Westminster, the 'British Government'.

And you know what, I am happy to enjoy the right to live and work* in Britian (I've lived in Bristol and Dundee) and that this right is extended to British citizens to work here. But I will never be British. I am happy to call many English people my friends. And I wish you all only the best in this time of insanity. But I will never be proud of the British Empire or support the English team in popular sportsball events (not that I support Ireland in Sportsball either...). I do not blame anyone alive today for the crimes committed by governments of over 100 years ago. But I will not forget our collective history either.

So, the politically loaded term 'British Isles' may be considered problematic at best. 'Western European Archipelago' is a more politically neutral term which has been suggested.

And I must insist, I bear no ill will here. I am not telling you that you are wrong, merely why no-one in their right mind would feel the way you put suggest.

(*this mutual right goes back to the common travel area, long before the EU, and I don't believe anyone is planning to change it)

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Re: Brexit

#19 Post by TrPrado » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:56 pm

“British” and “Britain” come from the name of the British Isles as a collective

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Re: Brexit

#20 Post by orathaic » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:58 pm

Can I make an analogy? It is like saying the 13 British Colonies in North America which broke away in 1784 were British and therefore all land they eventually conquered is British. And all USAians can call themselves British if they want.

That would be laughed.

And it doesn't matter how sound the logic is. Logic has no place in how people feel about this; it is all emotion. Emotionally the Irish are not British, they have a long and complicated narrative, mostly invented by nationalists in the 1880s through the 1920s, which is taught to every child in the Republic in school.

They will understandably take offense at the very notion (and would much prefer not to be associated with the crimes of the British Empire, all around the world).
Last edited by orathaic on Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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