Thursday, 6 December 2018

Where Great Britain is now

SHARE
Allister Heath in today's Daily Telegraph:
Both sides have been terrifyingly na├»ve. Brexiteers thought they understood the rules: you win the referendum, the government leaves the EU. They didn’t realize the game was rigged.
The anthropological rituals and language of democracy still exist, and have even been extended in recent years, but they are now largely a charade to camouflage a massive power grab by the bureaucracy.
At some point 10 or 20 years ago, perhaps during the heyday of the New Labour Quangocracy, the British establishment underwent a profound shift. It now sees itself as above the rest, as a cadre of uber-meritocratic technocrat or lawyer-kings who, for the general good, need to take all the real decisions and to socially engineer the country. They are not the public’s servants; they serve a greater purpose.

...More prosaically, a real Brexit over the next few months would not prevent 25 per cent of the population from trying to rejoin the EU. Yet the Remainers don’t grasp that their plan to halt Brexit would be even less final. It’s too late: the Brexit genie is out of the bottle.

... The Remainers can delay Brexit, but they can’t uninvent the idea. The Overton window has shifted forever.
Nick Timothy in today's Daily Telegraph:
Whether we end up with Norway, a referendum that takes us back in to the EU, or even the PM’s deal, Brexit, in any meaningful sense, is over. Brussels has screwed Britain, Remainers have screwed the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister has screwed the Leavers. And the result is the establishment has screwed the public, who voted in record numbers to leave the European Union.

Juliet Samuel in Monday's Daily Telegraph:
So given the risks to its financial system, why isn’t the EU playing ball? Well, we know the reason. They are playing a dangerous game of chicken. Any time there is a risk to an EU market, it poses a risk to the UK too. Brussels is using these risks as one of the levers by which to persuade us to vote through Theresa May’s deal.

Fine. We have known – or should have known – this was the game being played from the beginning. And as I’ve written recently, I believe, on balance, that there are compelling reasons to vote for May’s deal. It is better than any available alternative, especially as it removes us from the EU’s regulatory system. As the FCA’s document states, being subject to EU rules without any way to influence them is a long-term risk that the UK should not take. There are already 30 new European financial regulations in the works, 27 of which would directly affect us if applied during the transition (thankfully, this is unlikely, due to the tortuously long time it takes Brussels to pass new legislation). The withdrawal deal, for all its flaws, ensures this won’t happen for decades into the future, whereas voting it down means that anything can happen.

My view: we must forget the foolish promise not to allow a hard border between Northern and Southern Ireland. The House of Commons unfortunately will not accept no deal, which I would like, so a temporary Norwegian deal is the best option - but only temporarily and followed by the Canadian option. For all this we need a Prime Minister who campaigned for Leave not Remain. 


6 comments:

  1. At some point 10 or 20 years ago, perhaps during the heyday of the New Labour Quangocracy, the British establishment underwent a profound shift. It now sees itself as above the rest, as a cadre of uber-meritocratic technocrat or lawyer-kings who, for the general good, need to take all the real decisions and to socially engineer the country. They are not the public’s servants; they serve a greater purpose.

    That's all true, but I think it happened much earlier than 10 or 20 years ago. I'd say the process was largely completed by around 1945.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It goes back to the wartime and post-war years - think of Douglas Jay saying "the gentleman in Whitehall really does know better what is good for people than the people know themselves" etc - but it really gets going after the Maastricht treaty and subsequent treaties took power from England to Europe and the coming to power of Mr. Blair in 1997. An important factor is the decline in power and influence of the House of Commons, partly due to it being televised, as Enoch Powell warned, partly due to the creation of select committees, as he also warned, partly due to their fiddling their expenses (they shouldn't have expenses) as governments encouraged them to do. Being an MP is now seen as a job which is absurd because busy Ministers are also MPs. Family friendly hours make it hard for them to have other jobs. The chamber is less and less important. Enoch was the last MP to eschew a secretary and do his work i the library. Baldwin was the last Prime Minister to hang around the tea room chatting up older members. The nadir was when they clapped (sic!) Mr Blair on his resignation after a speech in which he said that he had never cared for the place.

      With all that, the House of Commons, weakened though it is, is a strong animal and we see this at the moment. The American Congress is a very different place where they sit at desks and the debates are lifeless. European chambers with their circular style are very different and the European parliament chamber is moribund except when enlivened by Ukip MEPs and other mavericks.

      Delete
  2. No deal just shows how superficial your grasp of what that would mean is. It would place the UK at an even worse disadvantage in trading than under Mays cheese fuelled nightmare. As far as dealing with Europe on trade would then be subject not only to the 630 faceless in Geneva but also the ECJ and EC for all rulings on disputes. While the current 27 member states coordinate their position in Brussels and Geneva, the European Commission alone speaks for the EU at almost all WTO meetings. For this reason, in most issues WTO materials refer to the EU or the more legally-correct EC. That includes relationships outside of the EU if you wish to trade with other WTO members.

    Like Gove though , you are tired of experts. I expect you found Mrs Mays Commons Khe Sahn last night " Thrilling" but it was political theatre of the most odious kind.

    James K

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found her performance utterly odious. Mr Gove actually said: "I think that the people of this country have had enough of experts from organisations with acronyms saying that they know what is best and getting it consistently wrong, because these people are the same ones who got consistently wrong." He was right and it was an excellent point but I was just reading how much it angered David Cameron who thought ti was a betrayal of the modernisers' creed. If so so much the worse for the modernisers, who were in fact Tory Blairites and did much harm to the country. The referendum was a defeat fro them.

      Delete
    2. I agree with a friend who posted on Facebook that Mrs May yesterday 'admitted in the House of Commons that the European Union ("President Tusk" back in March) offered a Canada style Free Trade agreement - Mrs May is using the Irish border "issue" as an EXCUSE to keep to her "deal" which keeps the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland under the rule of the European Union. The European Union has no jurisdiction on the Belfast Agreement - and should simply have been told that.'

      Delete
  3. "The anthropological rituals and language of democracy still exist, and have even been extended in recent years, but they are now largely a charade to camouflage a massive power grab by the bureaucracy." - So true! From Bruxelles via any Government to the smallest City Hall. The political factor (as in the voice of people) is dying. There is not "too much" politics but "too little".

    ReplyDelete