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Posts Tagged ‘Britain’

Brexit and Britain’s Broken Parliament

Posted by hkarner - 23. Oktober 2019

Date: 22-10-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

The prime minister can’t call an election, thanks to a reform enacted in 2011.

Is Britain broken? That’s the question a bemused world has been asking since the unexpected result of Remainer David Cameron’s Brexit referendum plunged the U.K. into a three-year political crisis.

Two things are striking about this period of national agony and debate. The first is how sensible and peaceful the British people have remained. The Brexit referendum carried by 52% to 48% (a margin of roughly 1.3 million out of more than 33.5 million votes cast) and the consequences are unpredictable and large. Will the United Kingdom even stay united as Scotland and Northern Ireland react to Brexit? Will Britain’s economy flourish as it opens to the world or wither without privileged access to European markets? From the City of London’s financial sector to the Sunderland Nissan factory, hundreds of thousands, even millions of jobs may be at stake. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe isn’t the enemy – demonising us is undermining Britain

Posted by hkarner - 1. Oktober 2019

Date: 30-09-2019
Source: The Guardian by Joris Luyendijk

The Tories used to worry about being the nasty party.
Now they’re making Britain a difficult country to like

A deeply nasty man …’ Boris Johnson

Seventeen years ago Theresa May stunned her fellow Conservatives by telling their annual party conference that they were “just plain unattractive”. The Tories, she said, had become “the nasty party”. Today, from where I sit in western Europe, Britain itself looks just plain unattractive. It seems to have become “the nasty country”. I’m not saying the British people are any worse, or any better, than any other Europeans. I am saying its ruling political party is nasty, as is much of its press. The leader of the Conservative party, and therefore the prime minister, is a man who has personally taken nastiness to an entirely new level, yet is the country’s most popular politician.

Ever since the UK voted to leave the EU, millions of other Europeans like me have been looking for signs that the country is coming around to its old, pragmatic self. It’s a version of Boris Johnson’s cakeism: you want to love Britain and you want to be honest about the kind of country it is now. These two positions have become impossible to hold at the same time.

For years now a decisive segment of the British establishment and electorate has been poisoning itself with lies

The UK now seems to be the country whose government lies about nonexistent negotiations with the EU while threatening to renege on its outstanding financial obligations – often misrepresented as the “divorce bill”. It’s the country whose leader of the House of Commons, Jacob Rees-Mogg, threatened to sabotage the EU from within if Brexit was postponed. It’s the country, too, whose last prime minister (the aforementioned May) threatened to stop cooperating with the EU on terrorism, inspiring the Sun front-page headline: “Your money or your lives”. The country whose former Conservative leader Michael Howard talked up war with Spain over Gibraltar. Whose cabinet minister Priti Patel suggested threatening the people of Ireland with starvation. Whose foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt likened the EU to the Soviet Union and whose current prime minister compared it to the Nazis. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Labour contemplates life after Jeremy Corbyn

Posted by hkarner - 28. September 2019

Date: 26-09-2019
Source: The Economist: Bagehot

The party conference was overshadowed by the question of succession

The supreme court’s thunderclap of a ruling against the government on September 24th was a godsend for Jeremy Corbyn. It not only gave him an excuse to bring his Labour Party conference to a premature end by giving his speech a day early. It also allowed the party to dispense with a speech by Tom Watson, the deputy leader, that might have resulted in mass walkouts. There is nevertheless no doubt that this year’s conference, held in a rainy Brighton, was a miserable affair. An event that is designed to showcase the leader’s preparedness for power was overshadowed by the question of whether he should be preparing for retirement.

The first sign of trouble was a failed attempt to remove Mr Watson from his job by Jon Lansman, the head of Mr Corbyn’s praetorian guard, Momentum. It is no secret that the left covets Mr Watson’s head. But Mr Lansman’s timing was odd given that his plot was guaranteed to ignite an internal war and send the media into a blood-frenzy. The only explanation is panic about the succession. Under current rules the deputy leader takes over temporarily if the leader resigns and therefore plays a role in choosing the next one.

The second sign of trouble was a leaked memo by Andrew Fisher, a member of Mr Corbyn’s inner circle and an author of Labour’s 2017 manifesto. Mr Fisher lambasted Mr Corbyn’s office for its “blizzard of lies” and “lack of competence, professionalism and human decency”. The last two words were particularly cutting. He also warned that the party would not be able to win the next election with the current leadership.

The succession crisis is being driven by two numbers: 70 and 25. At 70, Mr Corbyn is on the old side for somebody who aspires to the most demanding job in British politics. And at 25, Labour’s average poll rating is much too low for a party that aspires to power. Labour should be well ahead of a government that blunders from crisis to crisis. Instead it is behind in every poll, sometimes by some distance. In this year’s European election Labour finished third, behind the Liberal Democrats. In two subsequent by-elections it has suffered double-digit declines in its vote share. Labour mps from the Midlands and the north report that voters constantly tell them they will not back Labour so long as it is led by Mr Corbyn. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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British Government Goes Rogue

Posted by hkarner - 26. September 2019

Date: 25-09-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal By The Editorial Board

A ‘dead’ Constitution looks good compared to Britain’s ‘living’ version.

America’s written Constitution gets a bad rap for being insufficiently adaptable. But not a few Britons might wish they had something similar as a legal decision Tuesday sent British politics—and Brexit—into new chaos.

Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Boris Johnson lacked a legal basis to prorogue Parliament this month. Mr. Johnson hoped to quiet a noisy legislature that can’t say what sort of Brexit it wants and allow him space to renegotiate with the European Union. But the gambit united fractious Brexit opponents, leading to embarrassing legislative defeats for Mr. Johnson.

Lawmakers who claimed to be insulted by Mr. Johnson’s assault on their rights also spurned options to hold him democratically accountable. They twice refused his request to break Parliament’s Brexit deadlock by holding a general election in October, which would also have been an opportunity for voters to send him a message on his prorogation tactic. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Supreme court poised to rule against Boris Johnson, say legal experts

Posted by hkarner - 23. September 2019

Date: 22-09-2019
Source: The Guardian

Framing of verdict on prorogation of parliament may set off ‘constitutional eruption of volcanic proportions’

Boris Johnson would have no option but to recall MPs to Westminster if the supreme court rules he misled the Queen, senior legal sources told the Observer yesterday.

There is a growing belief in the legal community that the court will find against the government when it hands down its momentous verdict on Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament.

The prospect of the court finding against the prime minister has left the UK heading towards a “constitutional eruption of volcanic proportions”, according to another senior legal figure who asked not to be named. He said he also believed the case would go against the government. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Ex-Prime Ministers Line Up to Criticize U.K.’s Johnson

Posted by hkarner - 21. September 2019

Date: 20-09-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Brexit destroys the British convention of former leaders treading carefully around the incumbent

Former prime ministers Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, David Cameron and John Major, who attended a memorial service on Sept. 10, have all criticized Boris Johnson’s moves on Brexit.

LONDON—Brexit has dented another distinguished British convention: Former prime ministers no longer refrain from criticizing successors from their own parties.

On another bracing day in the drama surrounding the U.K.’s break from the European Union, two former Conservative British prime ministers threw barbs at Prime Minister Boris Johnson over the fraught issue. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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David Cameron’s alternative memoirs

Posted by hkarner - 20. September 2019

Date: 19-09-2019
Source: The Economist Bagehot

This week the former prime minister published his memoirs. Here we print an extract from the book he might have written had he won the referendum

A friend once asked Margaret Thatcher what she would do differently if she had her time again. After a pause for thought, she replied: “I think I did pretty well the first time.” I don’t feel quite the same way. I was wrong to withdraw Conservative meps from the European Parliament’s centre-right alliance. I was wrong to surround myself with so many chums from school and university. On reflection the “Big Society” contained too much hot air. But I do pride myself on one thing: I left behind a country that was far more at ease with itself than the one I inherited.

The reason for this was the defining act of my career, the Brexit referendum of 2016. After the result was announced, the pundit class assured me with one voice that I didn’t deserve any credit for doing the blindingly obvious. “Mr Cameron was confronted with an open goal,” the Times editorialised. “All he did was kick the ball.” These were often the same people who, before the vote, had informed me that I risked unleashing monsters. I can only say that the referendum didn’t feel like an open goal at the time. The campaign tore the country apart and strained some of my closest friendships. And the result was worryingly close. I sometimes torment myself, in my more masochistic moments, by imagining what might have happened had it gone the other way! Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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And the people just love the „bastard“

Posted by hkarner - 16. September 2019

Date: 15-09-2019
Source: The Guardian
Subject: Tories extend poll lead to 12% despite week of political chaos

Boris Johnson also has a far higher net approval rating for his handling of Brexit than Jeremy Corbyn

The polling was conducted after Johnson shut down parliament for five weeks.

The Conservatives have pushed further ahead of Labour in the latest Opinium/Observer poll – despite yet another turbulent week for Boris Johnson.

The latest poll shows the Tories on 37%, up two since last week, while Labour is unchanged on 25%. The Liberal Democrats whose conference opens this weekend in Bournemouth are on 16% (down one), and the Brexit party is also unchanged on 13%.

The polling – conducted after Johnson shut down parliament for five weeks last Tuesday, and Scottish judges subsequently ruled his action to have been unlawful – shows the Conservatives are continuing to consolidate their support among leave voters. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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U.K. Parliament Suspension Is Ruled Unlawful by Scottish Court

Posted by hkarner - 12. September 2019

Date: 11-09-2019
Source: The Wall Street Journal

The decision will now head to the Supreme Court for a final ruling setting up an unusual showdown

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suspended the U.K.’s Parliament until Oct. 14.

LONDON—Prime Minister Boris Johnson ’s decision to suspend Parliament for several weeks has been ruled unlawful by Scotland’s highest civil court, setting the stage for an unusual showdown in the U.K.’s Supreme Court between the government and its opponents.

Mr. Johnson’s decision to shut Parliament triggered complaints from opposition lawmakers that he was reducing the time available to them to hold the government to account over Brexit and to pass laws to avoid the U.K. crashing out of the European Union without a deal on Oct. 31.

Parliament shut down earlier this week for five weeks and will remain closed despite Wednesday’s ruling. However, opposition and rebel lawmakers have already been largely successful in their plans to frustrate Mr. Johnson’s bid to get the U.K. to leave the EU by the end of next month come what may. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Business will not forgive or forget the great Brexit betrayal of trust

Posted by hkarner - 28. August 2019

Date: 27-08-2019
Source: The Guardian Polly Toynbee

Across the country, directors of companies are trying to explain the realities of no deal to ministers. But nobody is listening

‘It’s that insouciant ignorance that drives businesses mad; the devil-may-care fecklessness, ignoring the boring details.’ Boris Johnson delivers his Brexit speech at the JCB factory in Staffordshire.

We’ll easily cope,” breezes the no-deal prime minister. “This is a great, great country.” Indeed it is. Most inhabitants would certainly agree. But to love your country is not to think it greater than others, nor incapable of making grievous mistakes. Britain has not, as yet, made the fateful error of actually electing Boris Johnson and his cabinet of undesirables. Nor did it vote for a no-deal Brexit. But on he drives, accelerating towards the abyss.

It’s that insouciant ignorance that drives businesses mad; the devil-may-care fecklessness, ignoring the boring details. Andrea Leadsom, our improbable business secretary, writes in the Sunday Telegraph that she has met firms of all kinds and guess what? “They were overwhelmingly positive about our future.” She ends: “Britain’s best years for business and for all our people lie ahead.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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