We know a fair amount about Ann Widdecombe and her new cause. Despite her latterly-acquired status as national treasure, if your memory goes back as far as the 90s you will remember an MP that helped perpetuate the idea of the Tories as the nasty party: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/chaining-women-backed-1323238.html Her only saving grace at the time was that she also helped cast her then-boss Michael Howard as a vampire in the public’s perception, by describing him as having “something of the night about him”. But we all knew that anyway, and that was a long time ago. Today, we’re not shocked to find that she is still outspoken, and that she is right wing and nationalistic, but it is astounding to have her suggest that a no-deal Brexit is somehow desirable, and nothing compared to what people endured in WW2. Why is it astounding? This is usually the rhetoric of the football yob element, the Britain First, street fighting, crude nationalists, but Ann Widdecombe is a highly educated, intelligent woman. Secondly, what has this got to do with the future, what does it offer tomorrow’s generations? The answer on both counts is absolutely nothing. Why would a highly educated, intelligent woman recommend that the UK willingly undertake an action, that puts us in a situation akin to the nation immediately after a war, by withdrawing from an agreement with countries who are NOT our enemies. And finally, what is astounding, is how can anyone possibly think that this is some sort of wisdom, or reason to vote for her party? It is idiot xenophobia, and it has no worth.
It’s a relief to see that the words “Ultras” and “suicide” are becoming more commonplace. “…the madness of the ultras was captured by John Redwood telling Bloomberg TV not to worry, as a no deal saves the £39bn divorce fee: “We won’t be crashing out, we’ll be cashing in.” Most MPs of all parties will refuse to underwrite such an act of suicidal idiocy.
I’m just a “leave” voter, but I am trying to understand the mess of it all.
Despite Theresa May’s attempts in 2002 to persuade the Conservatives that they must no longer be seen as “the nasty party”, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/oct/07/conservatives2002.conservatives1 …they remain so. Which is no surprise given her form over Windrush, and the presence of some extreme nasties in the party. In the 80s, they supported Clause 28 and the Poll Tax. These days, they want a suicide Brexit. And we shouldn’t be in any way distracted from the fact “no deal” is what they actually want, rather than something that we might just have to live with, because ultra-nastiness is at the core of the argument, beyond stuff about trade deals and backstops. That “sovereignty” stuff, is about ultra nationalism, and the need for British supremacy.
A consistent link from the 80s to today, and a presence on the European Reform Group (ERG), is Sir Gerald Howarth. Someone like Jacob Rees-Mogg cannot succeed or sustain his position without hardliners to back him up, and Sir Gerald Howarth is a veteran nasty. Clause 28 and the poll tax aside, the death penalty and opposition to gay marriage has always been on his checklist, and now his manifesto on the ERG website confirms what we know. It’s about remembering the Empire. https://brexitcentral.com/many-areas-eus-negotiating-stance-sadly-defined-politics-punishment-rather-economics/
Suicide Brexit is a plan – a price worth paying, rather than an accident waiting to happen. As December 11th approaches, it is looking nastier every day.
I am just a voter. I do not get the machinations of international political wrangling or cross-border, economic deal making. But I know I simply hate Brexit.
Words and language are crucial in a debate, especially when it gets heated, especially when it stays heated and goes on for two and a half years, and even more especially when it is likely to never end. It’s important to choose your words carefully, so I have decided to replace the term “hard” in the phrase “Hard Brexit”, with one that better illustrates what Brexit without a deal means and holds up a mirror to the supremacist British Ultras who want it. I like the word “Ultras” as it refers to fascist football fans, but the focus today is on another, more accurate everyday term that we need to use all the time.
The definition is accurate enough, even more so if you use definition 1.2. So, from now on, if I am in a discussion about this, I will always use the term “Suicide Brexit” and never use the expression “hard Brexit”, which I think flatters the UK Ultras batting for supremacy. If anyone gets on the radio or Question Time, I’d like to think they’d ask members of the European Reform Group (ERG) why they want a Suicide Brexit? After all, Japanese car makers in the UK are very twitchy about it, as is the Japanese ambassador: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0001dzx(2:39:55) …and so is the Governor of the Bank of England, whose research is hardly flippant, or shallow “…the Bank’s analysis is “well grounded” and constructed by a core team of 20 economists who have been working on the analysis for two years”.
At the very least, the business and financial communities know that the UK will not be ready at the simple logistical level, which is why they are predicting price rises and possible shortages. But the ultras are OK with this, because in pursuit of supremacy and sovereignty, they think it is pain worth suffering. This is why they dismiss such predictions as “Project Fear” and are fine with a Suicide Brexit. So let’s call it that.
“Division into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs”. The OED is completely unambiguous about this… https://premium.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/polarization?q=polarisation
…and on the conspicuous matter of Brexit, ambiguity is really now redundant. I didn’t want to leave, and nor have I heard anything that convinces me that I was wrong. The force of emotional feeling about Brexit has maybe taken some people by surprise, but I never even wanted the choice to leave the EU, because leaving was never about economics or immigration only, it was about exceptionalism and supremacy. Regrettably, the British have decided by a small margin, that being out of the club and feeling pleased about it is better at any price, than being in it and being highly influential.
I simply hate Brexit, and every argument in its favour, reinforces that. There are so many shoddy and wayward viewpoints before we even talk about tortuous political discussions and the likelihood, or otherwise of the Prime Minister’s continuation in her job, that now, with four months of EU membership left, it is time to properly tune in to our emotions. Everyone else has – especially the Brexiteers (since before the vote) – and most of what they fire at Remainers are very akin to their own tactics and stances (ie: accusations of Project Fear). There is no time left to explain why you want to be in the EU or even defend it. We all know it is flawed – show me any system of governance that isn’t – but we like unity, we like commonality and we enjoyed the membership and its potential. And yes, we like foreigners.
Here in the Middle, you are confident that you are equidistant from the hard right and the loony left.
These are descriptions that are impossible to quantify but freely bandied about by the loony left and the hard right respectively. And it’s also been a traditionally knee jerk response of the ‘Socialist Worker’ classes to fire off the word ‘fascist’ willy nilly. Sometimes they came close to being nearly accurate (Clause 28). Too often it was fired off at the likes of any Conservative who served under Margaret Thatcher. Whilst some hung out with fascists (Margaret Thatcher), it begged the question “So if X is a fascist because they oppose for example, the minimum wage, what word describes “fascism or fascist” when you truly need it?
But today, when you are in the Middle with regard to politics, but still feeling Militant, what combination of beliefs in a person would make it legitimate to say the word ‘fascism’?
Would it be fierce nationalism, in conjunction with a desire to sever all links to collaborative friendly neighbouring nations? Once these principles have been achieved, ramming home the desire that everyone involved should remove themselves from this international collaborative unit so that it collapses, starts to build a picture of a person who not merely doesn’t want his own country to have to share regulations with others, but detests the idea of international collaboration altogether.
Factor in also that this person believes we should all have easier access to firearms and it starts to seem reasonable even for middlingly-situated voters to use the ‘F’ word.
Unlikely to appear in any pro-Brexit paper or Murdoch channel anytime soon, is this story of a pro-EU demo. If it is reported, it is likely to be branded ‘hard-left’ and ‘well organised’, as if being well organised was a character flaw.
But the gratifying truth from a Militant Middle perspective is the absence of Socialist Worker banners. Renowned for hijacking every going cause and planting their banner wavers in front of the camera in order to generate the impression of good organisation, they appear to have been left out of this party, or at least left their placards at home. Jon Snow observed that everyone present seemed to be 18+, with very few older people in the crowd.
It is neither right nor left wing, and is attended by millenials, who will inherit the mess and possibly amend the situation in ten, twenty, maybe more years time. All the best!