I can sleep in easier in my bed tonight Peter knowing that my knowledge has been greatly improved
Better than The Three Bears or Goldilocks?
In my very rural corner of Central France I have only ever seen people using their spoon to dig out any remaining sugar left in those funnel shaped cups without handles.
It’s very common here though for the men to always have a folding knife in their pocket. This is produced at mealtimes where it is used to convey various offerings direct into the mouth. The same knife is also used to pick between the teeth and clean bits of detrious from fingernails. Not a pretty sight but an accepted custom here.
Not one I follow though as it was strictly forbidden when I was a child to do such things.
Going back to referenda…
It struck me this morning that both the 1975 and the 2016 vote went the way of their natural bias in the sense that - if what you have (the status quo) is not that great and someone offers you the promise of something better there is an inbuilt tendency to believe them and opt for change.
Britain in the mid 1970’s was not in a happy place - remember that this was a time of industrial unrest, power cuts, the 3-day working week, only just after the referendum we had to go to the IMF for funds to keep the country solvent.
The vote was not, whether to join - it was whether to stay in as the UK joined in 1973 but EEC membership had not had all that much impact - so in many ways the “vote for change” was more a “vote to stick with the change we just made”. Apparently the possibilities offered by EEC membership were not lost on the electorate who supported, by a wide margin, EEC membership.
Wind the clock forward to 2016 and the UK was, once again, not that happy - while nothing like the 1970’s we’d had 8 years of “austerity” following the 2007-2008 crisis, people hadn’t seen a real-terms wage rise for 8 years, there was a generation left behind from the move away from traditional heavy industry and towards high tech manufacturing and the Leave campaign promised them more money for the NHS, higher wages, and lower unemployment all without impacting our trade with the EU and at the same time as reducing immigration. Largely, I have to say, from a position of not having to make good on any of the promises. Again the “natural” way for the vote to fall was away from the EU in protest against 8 years of stagnation. The irony being that the EU was not, in the main, responsible for any of these ills and not much of the debate focussed on its real deficiencies.
In some ways the only thing that surprises me was that it was so close.
Given the closeness, and given May’s squandering of the Tory majority in a needless election it would have been wise for her to keep options open, to remind people that the intent of the vote had been advisory, to work out what sort of Brexit actually had a mandate before triggering Article 50. But no, she boxed herself in with her red lines and the Lancaster House speech.
Maybe Cameron felt that by resigning he could extricate the Tory party from his ill-advised promise to trigger article 50 the following morning. If that was the intent he failed.
Unfortunately it has taken on a life of its own and seems outside anyone’s control, with May clinging to Chequers - unlikely to get anything “harder” or “softer” through parliament, unlikely to get Chequers itself past the EU we are utterly deadlocked.
I’m pretty sure no-one voted for the current situation - not even Ken, I suspect.
Good Grief, Ann!
Women mess constantly with their hair, tossing, flicking or tucking it behind their ears forty times a minute, greasing their lips, filing their nails, pandafying their eyelids etc. all in public and men wouldn’t dream of commenting.
Can’t men do manly things with a pocket-knife like scraping gristle from inter-dentine crevices, sticking pigs, paring and cleaning nails, spearing tidbits of viand; let alone fashioning lures, splicing arrows for their flights, removing stones from horses’ hooves etc without comment?
Stone the crows! And that reminds me, making catapults and trimming beards and…
IMO the EU are simply being pragmatic in the so-called negotiations as they know full well that Brexit is going to hurt some of the remaining 27 countries, they will allow the UK some leeway but at the end of the day they won’t accept any ‘cherry-picking’ in the way TM wants.
Swot ??? No way… just one of those things in those days. I would have been better off with some cookery lessons… but, no…
There we would be gently wandering through the declensions… and suddenly the gods of war would wake up… and … blah, blah, blah would come crashing out…
Bellorum, bellibus, bellibutton… do you think the Romans actually spoke like that?
People weren’t told the consequences and were sadly lied to.
The areas that overwhelmingly voted to leave are now understanding that they will be the worst effected, the truth is out therefore a 2nd referendum would be justified. A simple answer to a very complex situation.
Not entirely true Jacqui.
They knew the consequences full well.
I remember in the lead up to the referendum date some idiot being interviewed (I think by BBC Wales or the west country) standing in front of a huge sign showing that the EU had paid for a significant development (a road, I think) whilst saying “what have the EU done for us?”
You couldn’t make it up…
Not for 1 second do i think people who voted remain are idiots or didnt know what they voted for. Both leave and remain camps told lie’s but people had the right to vote and they did, Leave won, not by alot but they did win. Some of the remain camp should get over it and respect the vote that has already happened and stop asking for a peoples vote, the people have spoken. The question on the ballot paper was quite simple in or out, not bit of this bit of that.
That is a really naïeve argument. You are really suggesting that people ignore the financial forecasts, the social protection worries and the future of Britain just because a few more people voted on a day in 2016?
When was the last time a finacial forecast was correct?
People were not idiots, exactly - but they were told, and presumably believed that we would get immigration down to the 10’s of thousands, that they would be better off, that we would have just the same access to the Single Market, that we would have £350 million a week more for the NHS, more money for local grants and farmers1, that a trade deal would be as easy as falling off a log etc, etc - absolutely none of which was true.
But the point is that it was blatantly untrue to anyone who spent a few seconds thinking about it.
Some, I have no doubt had considered the issues and decided that the EU was something we had to pull out of way before the referendum and voted with their political beliefs.
However I suspect that they were in the minority and the bulk either wanted to get rid of the wogs2, give the Tories a bloody nose for 8 years of austerity or believed the rubbish the Leave campaign spewed forth.
It is enormously easy to criticise, to point at someone doing a job and identify the ways in which they are not doing it perfectly and how others could be much better at it - it is usually a different story when you try to make good on your promise. The Leave campaign just had to make the claim, come up with some barely thought throug ideas that sounded good and leave people’s natural gullibility do the rest.
The Remain campaign was left with trying to forecast the down side of leaving only to have the Leave campaign trivially able to take the upper hand by dismissing it all as Project Fear.
But a moments reflection should have been enough to make voting Remain the only logical, sane choice.
- There was no way all the claims and counter claims could all simultaneously be true
- The very fact that there were so many claims suggested Leave hadn’t thought things through
- We were being told simultaneously that the EU was inflexible and rules driven but that it would conclude a trade deal with us almost immediately.
- It was clear that to make good on the promises about immigration and sovereignty we could not remain in the EEA after leaving the EU.
- It was also clear that EEA membership would offer all of the obligations of EU membership but non of the influence so was a vastly inferior option to remaining
- it was very clear that leaving completely would have far ranging, negative consequences and no-one had a plan (especially not Farage).
Voting Remain was the only sane option.
I haven’t changed my mind.
True, and I don’t think that you can say that the vote itself was irregular - but it was supposed to be an advisory, non-binding vote. Somewhere that got switched which left us with a stupidly low bar for triggering such wide ranging and far reaching changes. Just over 37% of the electorate voted to leave, one might assume that those who did not vote were happy with the status quo - it makes it hard to claim that there is an overwhelming popular mandate for “no deal” hard Brexit.
That’s the problem though, isn’t it - the question only said in or out, it gave no mandate for how we should leave if that was the choice. Hence the present mess.1] the list of how we could spend the "windfall" was so long that it would have required us to have been putting about ten times more into the EU than we actually do, in order to redistribute the funds to all the putative beneficiaries.
2] please forgive my intentional use of this word which I personally find extremely offensive but it is clear from some of the reaction and the increase in racially motivated attacks after the referendum that it is the only adequate way to describe how some people's thought processes were working.
Ignorance is bliss.
As we approached the Referendum date it became clear, to me at least, that there isn’t any sort of Brexit UK can negotiate without going against the “will of the people” or breaking the GFA.
I didn’t believe the “leave lies” about “Project Fear” and a “Norway” type deal being on the table. It never was. Leaving really did mean leaving ALL the treaties between the UK and the EU and re-negotiating them after leaving.
So I changed sides and voted to remain.
As a UK patriot I chose the protection of our Union over an inevitable “hard” “unicorn” Brexit and innumerable years spent negotiating a trade deal and other treaties with the EU that will never give us back the benefits we will have given away.
I, and many like me (if I can believe my friends, my family, the polls, the press, and my twitter feed), believe that many others came to the same conclusion as I did but AFTER it was too late for them. The vote had happened without the real choice ever being on the ballot paper.
That is a “democratic deficit” and should be “put right”.
The issues are now clear - stay in and preserve the Union whilst mantaining the economic benefits or leave and become a poorer and Disunited Kingdom. This clear stark choice was never on the ballot paper.
The decision is too important to leave to Parliament and must be put to the people now (not in an arbitrary five years time) - not “leave or remain” (we have alreadt done that and there isn’t any point in doing it again) but “Hard Brexit and break up the UK or Remain and defend our Union”.
Those UK citizens who are now denied the vote because they live in the EU and have been out of UK for more than fifteen years need to be included in any new vote, whether a new Referendum or a General Election.
These are people who are more directly affected than many people living in UK but, although the Conservatives made repealing the fifteen year rule an item in their Manifesto, nothing has been done.
TM has said that she will address this issue in time for the next scheduled General Election, but I will not be holding my breath.
There is an appeal to the ECJ to hear a case that denying these people a vote in the last Referendum invalidated the whole process.
There is a whole class of second class citizens in UK, which is a disgrace, but the answer is always that there is not enough time to implement a new Electoral Roll.
I suggest that there is no political will. Shameful.
Good luck with that.
The problem is twofold - the first part is that the 2016 referendum was actually a non-binding advisory vote and retained that status even though it somehow turned, politically, into a binding directive.
Thus from the legal perspective the government’s power to invoke Article 50 did not stem from the referendum and so overturning the result will not really affect anything.
Secondly a further referendum would be bad enough - if the ECJ did manage to insist that the vote were re-cast expect accusations that this is precisely the sort of interference in domestic politics that warrants our withdrawal from the EU in the first place.
When you are in tge club you abide by the rules and that is the case with the Referendum.
The problem, as you state, is that the voice of the people has been applied without regard to any of the lines already drawn up.