How the Conservative Party has sold out Britain.

King George III and Lord North have been blamed for botching negotiations with the American colonies. Now, the same Conservative Party seems determined to botch another negotiation; with the EU. In both cases, the party and negotiators were determined to keep the relationship intact, no matter how unequal.
An excellent piece in the claremont Review explains.

Many statesmen warned from the outset that British ideas of liberty would not survive a merger with the E.U. The most eloquent early diagnoses came from the Labour Party, not the Tories. That is because the fundamental disposition of the E.U. is to favor technocratic expertise over representative government, and the Tories have not generally been the British party that placed the highest priority on the passions of the masses. In 1962, as Tory Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was eying EEC membership, Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell warned, “[I]t does mean the end of Britain as an independent nation state…. It means the end of a thousand years of history. You may say ‘Let it end’ but, my goodness, it is a decision that needs a little care and thought.”

Interesting that Labour saw the danger first. In the US, the party of the Administrative State is the Democrats although both parties are heavily invested as Angelo Codevilla has pointed out.

Eventually even the reliably anti-Brexit Economist came to see that some of Britain’s major problems had arisen from constitutional meddling. David Cameron’s 2011 Fixed-Term Parliaments Act, in particular, made it much more difficult to call the general elections that would ordinarily have been provoked by the resounding repudiation of Theresa May’s withdrawal package. Blair and Cameron, the magazine noted, “came to power when history was said to have come to an end. They saw no need to take particular care of the constitution.” E.U. membership hid these problems—if Britain wasn’t paying attention to its constitution at the time, it was partly because it had been using someone else’s.

I had not realized that “Judicial Review” of laws was an American phenomenon. John Marshall has reached far into the future with his ruling in Marbury vs Madison.

The transfer of competences from legislatures to courts is a superb thing for the rich, because of the way the constitution interacts with occupational sociology. Where the judiciary is drawn from the legal profession, and where the legal profession is credentialed by expensive and elite professional schools, judicialization always means a transfer of power from the country at large to the richest sliver of it. This is true no matter what glorious-sounding pretext is found to justify the shift—racial harmony, European peace, a fair shake for women. In a global age, judicial review is a tool that powerful people expect to find in a constitution, in the same way one might expect to find a hair dryer in a hotel room.

Much is explained about how the Remainers so resemble the Never Trumpers.

Early in the negotiating process, Britain’s ambassador to the E.U., the Brussels insider Ivan Rogers, submitted his resignation, warning that Britain was going to get its head handed to it at the bargaining table. “Serious multilateral negotiating experience is in short supply in Whitehall,” he wrote, “and that is not the case in the [European] Commission or in the Council.” He was right about that, and it was a lesson in the sociology of Brexit.

Bureaucrats are very good at bureaucracy.

And yet there was a hangdog tone in all elite descriptions of the Article 50 discussions. People were wishing their own country ill in an international negotiation. “If I were an E.U. negotiator,” wrote the Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament Sir Ed Davey in a fantasy of his own country’s humiliation that appeared in the Independent, “my starting position would be to increase the divorce fee to £50bn, arguing that the U.K. must now pay the E.U.’s cost of handling the no-deal Brexit, after refusing the first deal. Given the severely negative impact of a no-deal Brexit on everything from our sheep farmers to our NHS [National Health Service], I rather think any U.K. government would be so desperate to make some deals that £50bn might suddenly seem a bargain.”

This, of course, does not describe the true situation. How many ex-spouses want the divorce to be easy on the other?

The final negotiated Withdrawal Agreement that May unveiled to Parliament last November caused the whole country, Brexiteers and Remainers alike, to gasp in horror. May’s team had been sent away to declare British independence and had returned with a document of surrender. The agreement not only contained (as expected) a £39 billion ($50 billion) “divorce” fee, but also left E.U. courts free to top that fee up. It locked Britain into a customs union with the E.U., with no mechanism for leaving it—ever. The E.U., and the E.U. alone, would decide when Britain had fulfilled the backstop agreement, and any move to break it unilaterally on Britain’s part would be resolved by giving the E.U. jurisdiction over Northern Ireland’s economic relations. It subjected Britain to E.U. trade sanctions more onerous than those meted out to other countries. It laid out contexts in which E.U. law would retain its supremacy over U.K. law.

And more to come.

Once the Withdrawal Agreement failed, no-deal was the form that independence had to take. It would be no deal or no Brexit. And Remainers were alarmed to realize that no-deal Brexit was the law. It had been agreed on March 29, 2017, and it would automatically become reality on March 29, 2019, unless something could be done to stop it.

The Deep State Intervenes

It was surprising how much could be done to stop it. Remainers were a synonym for the governing class. They had an infinity of tools, and they were no longer scared of the voters. No one wanted to be so contemptuous as to repeal Brexit, but Parliament could put a “no-deal Brexit” on hold, which it did. May’s negotiators had already produced a “Brexit” deal that caused misgivings among the Brexiteers themselves. The prime minister’s cabinet secretary, a powerful member of the career civil service, now wrote a 14-page memo warning that no deal would lead to higher food prices and more crime.

None of this is true but it makes for good arguments if the facts are fuzzy. Read the rest.

56 thoughts on “How the Conservative Party has sold out Britain.”

  1. The Deep Staters are trying to prevent an election.

    There are a handful of other routes Johnson could try. There’s some talk in the party of Johnson trying to call a confidence motion in himself – would Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour really want to go on the record saying they had confidence in a Tory prime minister? Or, if the bill reaches royal assent and there is pressure on Johnson to request a delay, he could simply refuse and see what his critics do. Launch a legal challenge? Perhaps.

    Downing Street is adamant that Johnson will not request a Brexit delay in any shape or form. In his speech in Yorkshire, Johnson said he would rather ‘die in a ditch’ than delay Brexit. Should push come to shove, the prime minister could resign rather than go through with a delay. Johnson could suggest that the Queen ask Corbyn to request and sign any extension, thereby putting pressure on the remain alliance, and highlighting rifts over a so-called government of national unity.

    Interesting to see the desperation. We will see similar desperation here next year as the Democrats implode.

  2. The Guardian is very concerned that Boris might pull it off.

    The sounding of EU leaders over an extension has angered Tory Brexiters. The Conservative MP and former cabinet minister David Jones said: “Senior EU figures gave private assurances to British MPs, as a consequence of which they supported the surrender bill. This confirms the level of EU interference in our internal affairs and makes the need for Brexit all the more pressing.”

    On Friday, Johnson said he would not seek another extension from Brussels, as the incoming law compels him to do if no agreement is in place by 19 October. “I will not. I don’t want a delay,” Johnson said.

    The Deep Staters all stick together against those Plebeian voters.

  3. I was completely shocked to learn that the party that controls Parliament can’t declare an election. I mean, can Johnson just show up in Parliament in a T-shirt, with a 3 day Beard, a bottle of whisky, and dare Parliament to fire him? It seems absurd.

    Labour – You’re doing a terrible job. You’re the worst -ever.
    BoJO – OK, Let the People decide.
    Labour – Oh no. Not that. You stay on – and keep being terrible.

  4. … Britain’s ambassador to the E.U., the Brussels insider Ivan Rogers, submitted his resignation, warning that Britain was going to get its head handed to it at the bargaining table. “Serious multilateral negotiating experience is in short supply in Whitehall …”

    But somehow or other, after separation from the EU, those guys in Whitehall are going to negotiate a bunch of excellent trade deals with a wide variety of tough international competitors in a very short period of time. Is anyone taking bets?

    The astonishing thing about the whole Brexit saga is the almost complete absence of any discussion or planning for what the UK is going to do on the Day After Brexit. Which tends to reinforce the view that the UK’s problems all along have mainly been home-grown — as indeed the failure of Parliament over Brexit has demonstrated to the world. If the UK were to use separation from the EU as the driver for major changes in its failing governance, the last 3 years would all be worthwhile. But the chances for genuine reformation in the UK seem today to be rather small. Sad!

    The Brexiteers may deserve admiration for their drive and persistence, but they have been seriously lacking in wisdom and foresight.

  5. I’m far from an expert in British politics, but I don’t understand the logic of the “Fixed Term Parliament Act”. What is the point of that, in a system with a Prime Minister drawn from Parliament?
    I also don’t understand how Parliament can order “the government” to do something like make a specific deal with the EU? What are they going to do to enforce that? My understanding is that they still do have something like an “executive” (not quite-)branch in the form of “the government”. Wouldn’t it be like Congress passing a law ordering Trump to sign up for the TPP? That’s just not how things work.
    And I really, really don’t understand what Remainers think is going to happen now–do they expect Leavers to just shrug their shoulders and carry on as if it’s not big deal that the referendum is going to be completely ignored? Clearly the establishment in both (all?) parties thought there was no way Leave would win, they thought they could shut up Farage, and the anti-EU faction of the Conservatives that’s bedeviled them for decades. But they had no plan for what would happen if they lost, and I don’t see how they’re not making things worse.

  6. Gavin: But what happens the day after Remainers kill Brexit? Has there been any honest “discussion or planning” of that? From across the pond I don’t see any plan for how they’re going to deal with a whole lot of really angry people who will feel legitimately betrayed.

  7. I’ve noticed recently for the first time that some people in the EU are realizing that there is going to be a cost to them as well. The whole thing has seemed to me to be framed as what Britain would lose or would have to pay with nothing to lose on the other side. There have to be businesses that stand to lose substantial business from the sort of disorderly exit that seems likely.

    I have thought of May as particularly inept since long before she became PM. She never intended to actually exit, so easily agreed to an unacceptable bargain that she and the EUcrats assumed would scare the opposition into either withdrawing the notice or allowing the exit process to be indefinitely prolonged. Now that they’ve lost, it’s starting to dawn on them that the pain will not be one sided.

    All those trucks that will be held up at the border will be money that won’t be going the other way or supplies and parts to keep EU factories running.

  8. Brian: “But what happens the day after Remainers kill Brexit?”

    That is an equally valid question — and it has the same answer: Both sides have been so swept up in the battle in front of them that they have forgotten the war in which this is merely one fight. I have been seeking a historical analog, but Pyrrhic Victory is the only thing I can come up with. And Pyrrhic applies whichever side wins.

    My assumption is that Leave will win — and then learn that committed Brexiteers were only a minority of the population. (Only 6 Million Brits took the time to cast a protest vote for the Brexit Party in the recent European elections). While some Brexiteers may be happy to have shown Johnny Foreigner what for, most Brits are going to be looking around and asking: Now What? The potential for disruptive large scale disillusionment is huge!

    But it does not matter which side wins the Battle of Brexit, neither side has a plan for what to do next. Which demonstrates the fundamental truth that both sides have avoided — All along, most of the UK’s problems have been home-grown, not imposed from Brussels.

    To be clear, personally I am all for eliminating distant intrusive layers of government. The EU is a monstrosity which ought to die — and probably will die quite soon. My concern is that the Brexiteers are such a feckless bunch of poseurs that they will make a mess of life after separation and put back the cause of restricting the size & scope of government.

  9. The root problem with the EU was that it was always a fraud perpetrated on the people of Europe with the connivance of their transnational “elites”. Nobody ever spelled out to the common folk of the UK what the full implications were of joining the EU; nobody ever asked them to vote on giving up their national sovereignty, and the entire idea that they would be doing so by joining the EU was never, ever actually acknowledged. It was all the fuzziest of things, couched as joining an economic/trade/customs union sort of thing, and not the monstrosity which was actually inflicted on them.

    It’s the same thing in the other countries of Europe; none of them ever really bothered to ask the question of their people: “Do you want to surrender our national sovereignty to this trans-national construct over which you will have no influence whatsoever…?”.

    Because of this, I’ve regarded the EU as an essentially unstable arrangement that will inevitably collapse into chaos the first time it’s really stressed. Nobody in Europe has the sort of “European” identity that’s a basic requirement for that sort of thing–You ask someone “Where are you from…?”, and while they’ll occasionally say “Europe”, they don’t actually identify with Europe as a whole–It’s all down to national identity, in terms of what they see as being European. In the US, there’s a national identity that’s been forged out of things like the Civil War and the like, but the reality is that the US was a consensual thing; in the European scheme, the individual states did not hold honest plebiscites to OK what their elites negotiated on their behalf–And, when they were, they mostly voted against it. The French electorate rejected the European Constitution in 2005, as did the Dutch. Didn’t make much difference–The elites just papered over the whole thing, and went ahead anyway.

    The EU is going to collapse, eventually, and the resultant chaos is going to be ugly. My guess is that it’s all over and done with by about 2030, but it may linger on in vestigial form.

    First big economic crisis to hit Germany, and it’s over. We may be seeing the beginnings of it all, right now–Merkel is in panic mode over the potential for recession, and all the contradictions she’s managed to gloss over are about to come undone. It won’t survive a dose of economic reality, which I think they’re going to encounter in somewhat short order.

  10. While some Brexiteers may be happy to have shown Johnny Foreigner what for, most Brits are going to be looking around and asking: Now What?

    I agree Britain is in trouble,. mostly because of immigration, but the UK has a trade deficit with EVERY UK country.

    Britain was the largest importer of cars from Germany. It had a trade deficit with most countries on the continent, which meant that any breakdown in talks would idle more European factories than British ones. It was, with France, one of only two serious military powers in Western Europe. It had an intelligence-gathering relationship with the United States that continental Europe was desperate to preserve the benefits of. It contained 40% of Europe’s data servers. It was due to recover its own rich fishing banks—schools of mackerel north of Scotland, beds of prawns southwest of Cornwall—where E.U. vessels took 59% of the haul. And it was the financial capital of the world. The E.U. would have no choice but to do business with an independent Britain.

    Sounds survivable to me.

  11. Imagine having Nancy Pelosi negotiate with China

    Why use your imagination. Remember Harry Dexter White—Soviet Agent—negotiating for the IMF and World Bank.

  12. More on how thi9s might be resolved.

    A second knot-cutting tactic implied by the Prime Minister, is to ignore the insufferable law –recently passed and pending signature– and proceed toward a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on October 31st.

    This approach could lead to the British Parliament being forced to vote against the Prime Minister (no confidence); and would set up a replacement election, which Boris Johnson wants anyway. Actually, no-one is quite sure what will happen on this second knot-cutting avenue… no map available.

    Many Americans are watching the part where we see just how ideologically corrupt politicians are within British government; and how much they have lied and conned the British people.

    Similar to the republican elitist class (Never Trump) who came out of the shadows against President Donald Trump, the never-Brexit British masks are dropping at an alarming rate. Trump supporters have a great deal in common with Brexiteers.

    Interesting speculation.

    With that in mind, Brexit becomes the leverage Trump needs to force the EU to accept terms. President Trump has been working with Boris Johnson on the framework of an agreement in principle for a U.S-U.K. trade agreement.

    Here’s where it all comes together:

    If Johnson delivers Brexit, soon thereafter President Trump announces matching tariffs against the EU equal to the tariffs they currently have on U.S. products. The EU will again balk at the idea of negotiating new trade terms. That’s where the U.K. (no longer in the EU) comes in.

    North America and the U.K. would have a cross-Atlantic trade super-highway. EU countries who wish to avoid Trump’s tariffs would have the U.K as a gateway. EU nations can/will use the UK as an assembly and distribution hub for EU goods. This would mean massive benefit to the British economy.

    Interesting times.

  13. Don’t you wish the GOP could expel Never Trumpers like Boris has done with “moderate” Conservatives? It seems the only reason they called themselves moderate is to signal to the opposition that they were secretly Liberal Democrats. Many, like Rory Stewart, are now free to drop the fiction and are openly negotiating with the Liberal Dems to secure their support if a general election occurs. The MP from the borderlands asked the world yesterday, am I still a Conservative?

    The answer is not only no, but he was probably never one in the first place. It takes more than a Spectator subscription and a taste for neo-baroque colonnades to be conservative. All these fakes enjoy smuggly patting Roger Scruton on the head now that he’s in the twilight of his years and no longer a threat to their internationalist dreams, but then they turn around and stomp on everything he stood for.

    How about the fact that, ‘good things are easily destroyed, but not easily created’? Or to, ‘hold fast to those good things, in order to pass them on to our children’? The only thing that the “moderate” addiction to EU market distortions, subsidies, and suzerainty will ensure is that there will be nothing left to pass on. What happens after Brexit? How about freedom and survival.

  14. “If Johnson delivers Brexit, soon thereafter President Trump announces matching tariffs against the EU equal to the tariffs they currently have on U.S. products.”

    Free traders and their like almost always ignore the 800 pound gorilla in the corner of the room — Non-Tariff Barriers

    For example, the UK does not accept US chlorine-washed chicken or GMO foods. It does not matter if there is no monetary tariff, they still will not accept those imports from the US. Will the British Political Class who have spent the last 3 years failing to implement Brexit be able to get their act together and remove all Non-Tariff Barriers to imports from the US in a matter of days?

    Non-Tariff Barriers are a serious issue for international trade. Perhaps the biggest example internationally is the social resistance by Japanese people against buying foreign cars. Most cars imported into Japan are Japanese brands made in places like Malaysia. The Japanese government could remove all monetary and regulatory barriers against imported automobiles, and the Japanese people would still insist on buying “Japanese” cars.

    Outside the realm of Brexiteer fantasy, I rather suspect that in reality President Trump will approach any trade negotiations with post-separation UK with two key questions for the Brits — Explain how your proposed new trade deal is going to increase employment for US workers? And explain how it is going to reduce the unsustainable US trade deficit?

  15. Good point about cultural barriers to trade. The GMO thing is a leftist crusade across the years that has led to widespread starvation in Africa, for example.

    A simple example is the British and Australian habit of driving on the wrong side of the road. At one time, perhaps still, there was a law against importing cars with the driver on the left.

    We can deal with that.

  16. Chlorine-rinsed chickens are a red herring frequently lobbed by Remoaners. Chlorine is also added to drinking water, used to sterilize food and beverage packaging, swimming pools, and a whole host of other products.

    This is an EU regulation. Once the UK leaves the EU, it can and will review and rescind all these trade killing restrictions. That is, unless Brits want to continue to enjoy their EU-imposed salmonella poisoning.

  17. Doesn’t the UK have a strong tradition of party discipline on Parliamentary votes, where members are not allowed to vote against their party, especially when their party is “the government”? I don’t understand the hullabaloo here, did they think they were too numerous and important to be punished?
    At some point you have to wonder if/when France and Germany will decide the UK isn’t worth it anymore. They have historic, cultural, and legal issues that will never let them be easy EU members long term.

  18. Greece is very much being soft peddled for now but is still the festering fiscal mess it’s always been. The mess in the rest of Southern Europe has been papered over for the moment and may correct itself somewhat if time allows. What the French and Germans are petrified about is being left alone to uphold the Euro. I’m pretty sure most of the newer members will walk away before they agree to foot the bill for the stupidity of the last 30 years. This potential liability has also been ignored in Great Britain for some reason. They’re surely not naive enough to think that their separate currency will insulate them from the cost if they remain in the EU.

  19. Grurray: “Once the UK leaves the EU, it can and will review and rescind all these trade killing restrictions.”

    Seriously? After 3 years of watching the London Political Class fiddle around and fail to implement Brexit, who would be prepared to bet that mostly the same people will post-separation suddenly become wise dynamic deregulators? For all that Brexiteers like to blame the EU, the sad fact is that most of the UK’s problems have always been at home.

    There are lots of changes in governance that the UK could implement following exit from the EU — move parliament to the north of England; implement term limits for MPs; replace the House of Lords with an effective second chamber; get a written constitution; break the hold of the incompetent metropolitan Oxbridge clique on the Civil Service. But Brexiteers are not talking about doing any of this.

    We are going to find out after Brexit that along with the deep division between Remainers & Leavers, there are also deep divisions within the ranks of the Leavers. Some of the Leavers probably do want to reform the UK and move forward; a lot of them probably look longingly back in time to the days of the Empire on Which the Sun Never Set; and many of them have given no thought at all to what follows Brexit. It is going to be an unsatisfactory chaotic situation until the people of the UK form a broad consensus on what kind of country they are prepared to work towards.

  20. “While some Brexiteers may be happy to have shown Johnny Foreigner what for, most Brits are going to be looking around and asking: Now What? The potential for disruptive large scale disillusionment is huge!”

    How ridiculous. This isn’t about “showing up the foreigners” its taking back British sovereignty from un-elected and unaccountable EU Judges and Bureaucrats. I find it bizarre that anyone in the UK does NOT want to rule themselves. As MK stated, you actually have British Pols, supporting the EU over their own Country!

    The EU was supposed to be a trading bloc and it turned into a weird super-state that the average Brit never wanted to be part of. People also forget that the UK ALWAYS paid in more to the EU then it got back. AND it never seemed to have much say in what was going on. Germany-France and its allies seem to run the whole thing.

  21. Right now, you have what could be termed “The revolt of the Elite” both in the USA and the UK. They’ve made in clear in both countries that any democrat roadblocks to Globalism will not be tolerated.

    In any case, the UK should have left with NO DEAL, years ago. Had they done so, which is what was promised, all the necessary adjustments would’ve been made, and the UK would’ve moved on to other issues. Instead, because of the elite REFUSAL to abide by the Referendum, we’re STILL debating the “exit deal” and Still in the EU. Its insane!

  22. Under no circumstances should the UK get a written constitution *unless* it says clearly that “Judges shall have no power under the constitution to rule on acts of Parliament” and “The ultimate judge of ALL questions of constitutionality will be settled by Parliament”.

    Nor is there any reason for an “effective” 2nd chamber. Whatever that means. the UK is NOT the USA. We have a senate because we are incredibly large country and very diverse. The UK could fit into Texas. Its a small, relatively homogeneous country.

  23. Why use your imagination. Remember Harry Dexter White—Soviet Agent—negotiating for the IMF and World Bank.

    And Alger Hiss helping FDR negotiate at Yalta. Hiss even took time off to go to Moscow and get a medal from Soviet Intelligence! Of course, he spent his entire life, LYING about being a Soviet agent.

  24. Gavin: How many thousand pages would a bill completely laying out Brexit take and how many years to pass? I think the remainers missed a bet when they moved directly to negotiating with the EU. Working out the details first would have kicked the can down to their grandfathers.

    If it happens, it will happen now, having to work out the problems as they come up. It won’t be elegant but it will force the EU to bargain in good faith.

    It should be clear that the May government never intended the separation to take place, blaming Johnson for not having worked out the detail in a couple of months is pointless.

  25. Consider the cosponsor of the benn/burt bill that has foreclosed Brexit, hilary benn, the daughter of tony benn, the soviet’s most diligent tool, with the exception of Arthur scargill the labour leader, burt is an apprentice of john major, who should know better.

  26. yes it’s been triffids all the way down, of course this is connected with the deep state actions against the trump administration as well, steele’s orbis, (he was a left winger in college) alex downer’s haklyut, which is tied to colonial circles like arch remainer Keswick of jardines matheson fame,

  27. Consider the cosponsor of the benn/burt bill that has foreclosed Brexit, hilary benn, the daughter of tony benn,

    Good point. I had not thought about that. Also, if I remember, author of “The Longest Suicide Note in History.”

  28. Some of Boris’ past actions had not inspired much confidence about Brexit.

    His role in the Papadopoulis affair, his role in the UN Security Council resolution condemning West Bank settlements at the end of Obama’s term, the fact that he voted for May’s bad deal earlier this year, and a lot of other things over the years (anybody who thinks the Romans were bastards needs to be watched closely).

    However, the expulsion of the Tory rebels was a master stroke. The Leave voters love it, and it calls Remoaners’ bluff. They previously demanded a ‘Peoples Vote’ to approve deal or no deal. Now Boris has exposed the hypocrisy of Remoaners by their rejection of a general election.

  29. At this point, it is hard to really know how things are going to come out. Let us assume that the British are permanently enslaved by the EU. At that point, I think that the nature of Britain will be thoroughly changed. To the point where the special relationship will be gone.

    It will behoove our country, if we survive our own UniParty coup attempt, to reconsider our relationship with not only Britain, but also the EU. Noting that through the separate but largely congruent organization, NATO, we are committed to go to war to defend the EU regardless of what idiocy they pull. IS THAT TO OUR BENEFIT?

    We need to reexamine what our priorities are in trade, diplomacy, and defense. I could possibly see us being willing to defend some east European countries, and letting western Europe go since their primary orientation is anti-American, subservient to Russia, and and submitting to the Ummah. It might be necessary, because it may prove impossible to defend eastern European allies simply because having western Europeans at our back is not workable, to abandon Europe completely. It may be to our benefit to pull our forces out of Europe, because they are in an untenable position. But it is something that WE are going to have to decide, and probably soon, and from a very self-centered point of view.

    Which, after all this is over will not make us loved by Europeans.

    As they say in the Russian Marines . . . .

    Subotai Bahadur

  30. MCS “… blaming Johnson for not having worked out the detail in a couple of months is pointless.”

    Are you blaming Johnson, MCS? I am not.

    The problem goes back at least 3 years, to when Brexiteers won their narrow plurality in the Referendum. If they had been smart, they would have realized that going forward with the affirmative support of only 37% of UK citizens would create future difficulties. The wise course of action for them would have been to continue to work hard to sway their fellow citizens into supporting separation from the EU. Instead, the Brexiteers wandered around aimlessly, beating their chests and adopting a triumphalist “We Won!” approach — straight out of the Barry Obama playbook. Instead of denigrating their fellow citizens, Brexiteers should have spent the last 3 years leading discussions and building broad consensus on what the UK would do after Brexit. But they were too busy congratulating themselves to be constructive.

    That is all water under the bridge now. Some form of Brexit will happen soon, and a seriously under-prepared UK will stagger on. It is disappointing, but that is reality.

    My Red Line is that there is no way the US should run itself deeper into debt trying to help Brexiteers out of the hole they have dug for themselves. Certainly, the US should be prepared to do a trade deal with the UK after it separates from the EU. But that trade deal has to add jobs in the US and reduce the US Balance of Trade deficit.

  31. SubotaiL “… it may prove impossible to defend eastern European allies simply because having western Europeans at our back is not workable ..”

    That is an astute observation, Subotai. Shades of World War II, where President Hoover’s analysis convincingly shows that Germany was moving east for its long-intended showdown with the Soviet Union when the UK and France irrationally (and pointlessly) declared war on Germany over Poland (but not on the USSR, which also invaded Poland at the same time). Hitler could not go east with Western European hostiles at his back, which necessitated Germany first invading France.

    Practically, the US should not put itself into that same impossible sandwich by trying to defend Eastern Europe when Western Europe is basically hostile or indifferent to the US.

    It is time for the US to extract itself from the European mess. End NATO. Bring the boys home, and sell the Eastern Europeans all the advanced weaponry they can afford to buy. And now the Democrats’ Russiagate scam has failed, it is time to start building a more constructive relationship with Russia.

  32. Gavin: I agree with your last and probably misunderstood your previous comment. One thing they shouldn’t have done is entrust the negotiations to a cabal of their enemies. I may be crazy but I thought that they were in a pretty good position to hold the EU’s feet to the fire and totally blew it by crawling, hat in hand. It’s a lot like the situation with Obama care. The Republicans bleated on and on about repealing it but failed to have a plan when they were in a position to do something, and so did nothing.

    The U.S.S.R. that could put 10,000 tanks through the Fulda Gap is long gone. The rump that’s left can’t even bring the war in the Donbass to a conclusion. There is no longer any justification for our presence. Let them work out there own defense.

    The Brits seem to have lost their nerve. They aren’t willing to risk anything. The whole society is bound up in preserving their little corner from any sort of upset and collecting their bit from the public trough. I think anyone that expected Brexit to spark some sort of libertarian explosion is in for a disappointment. The first thing they did was to extend all of the EU diktats indefinitely. It’s a wonder that they still buy beer in pints.

  33. Gavin Longmuir: The USSR did not invade Poland at the same time as Germany in 1939. The USSR moved into Poland on 17 September, more than two weeks later. By that time, France and Britain were already committed to war with Germany. They considered declaring war on the USSR, but concluded that it was better to fight “one war at a time”.

    Also, as Poland itself did not declare war against the USSR, it would have been rather pretentious of France and Britain to declare war on Poland’s behalf.

    As to Hoover: there is something distinctly unclean about the isolationist conservative vision of Nazi Germany as an anti-Communist champion; and clever-dick hindsight in the assertion that France and Britain should have written off an important ally, with an army of over 1M troops.

  34. True, but the molotov/ribbentrop pact made it possible, as well as the training of german troops on soviet soil in the 20s

  35. His role in the Papadopoulis affair, his role in the UN Security Council

    I don’t know what these are. How was he involved? I know about Mifsud and Downer.

  36. You probably know that Papadopoulos has stated that he believes Mifsud was with British Intelligence, and Mifsud has appeared publicly with Boris. Papadopoulos also has said that the honey trap Azra Turk was a Turkish Intelligence asset on loan to the CIA. He met her on September 15, 2016. Ten days later Boris made his first and only official visit to Turkey as Foreign Secretary.

    Perhaps to brief Erdogan and top Turk spooks on the American operation?

    This was only a few months after Boris said about Trump “I think he is betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of the president of the United States.”

    Unfit enough that Boris would collude with worldwide intelligence agencies in order to prevent his election?

  37. The wise course of action for them would have been to continue to work hard to sway their fellow citizens into supporting separation from the EU. Instead, the Brexiteers wandered around aimlessly, beating their chests and adopting a triumphalist “We Won!” approach

    I must’ve missed that approach. What I saw was treasonous obstruction from Labour, Liberal Dems, and the “moderate” Conservatives every step of the process. Anyone who voiced support for Brexit was derided as either a Nazi or a deranged Little Englander. Remoaners were and still are cheering for an economic recession to teach all the inward-looking racists a lesson.

  38. Rich Rostrom: “As to Hoover: there is something distinctly unclean about the isolationist conservative vision of Nazi Germany as an anti-Communist champion”

    Rich, it may be worth investing some hours of one’s life in reading Hoover’s tome “Freedom Betrayed”. It is not fair to say that Hoover saw the National Socialists as a champion against the Communists. He saw that Socialists & Communists were destined to fight to the death — and the smart move for Western countries was to stay out their way while those two destroyed each other, and them come in afterwards and pick up the pieces as required.

    Nothing can excuse the stupidity of the UK & France starting World War II by issuing a Declaration of War against Germany when they had neither the means nor the will to do anything useful to help the people of Poland. And then at the conclusion of the war, the UK and France — having launched this war to save the people of Poland from the German National Socialist jackboot — consciously abandoned the people of Poland to the jackboot of Soviet Communism. If the UK and France had abandoned the people of Poland at the beginning of the conflict instead of at the end, who knows how many millions of lives would have been saved throughout the world.

  39. Grurray: “What I saw was treasonous obstruction from Labour, Liberal Dems, and the “moderate” Conservatives every step of the process.”

    I am not suggesting that any of the Brits have clean hands in this affair. What I am suggesting is that Leavers had a great opportunity — they had the moral high ground of having narrowly won the Referendum, and they had the evidence that the UK was deeply divided on the issue of separation from the EU. They could have been constructive and tried to sway at least the 28% of Brits who sat out the Referendum and lay out plans for how they would take advantage of the UK’s new status outside the EU, but Brexiteers for the most part chose not to use the opportunity.

    That is all water under the bridge now. The UK is where it is, still deeply divided, and it would be Pollyanna-ish to expect that the act of separation from the EU will end these divisions within UK society. Can anyone have confidence that, once Brexit is complete, victorious Brexiteers will be able to heal those divisions?

  40. My Red Line is that there is no way the US should run itself deeper into debt trying to help Brexiteers out of the hole they have dug for themselves.

    The idea that we would have to set another Marshall Plan to bail out one of the richest countries in the world is hilarious. Some may think that if Brexit goes through, babies will die, grass will grow in the streets, and the Queen will starve to death. But I’m more optimistic. Somehow England survived from 1066 till it joined the EU in the mid-1970s, incredible as it may seem.

    In good news, that fraudulent dwarf Bercow has resigned as Speaker. A nasty little man, who abused his power. He jumped before he got pushed.

  41. As to Hoover: there is something distinctly unclean about the isolationist conservative vision of Nazi Germany as an anti-Communist champion

    What a bizarre statement. “Unclean”? I think Mr. Hoover took plenty of showers. Herbert Hoover agreed with 85% of the American People that we should stay out of WW 2. The reason FDR never asked for a declaration of war against Germany PRIOR to Pearl Harbor, is he knew he would lose. People were willing to send Lend-lease, but it took Pearl Harbor to get us to send troops and Airmen to fight in Europe.

    It would’ve been much smarter for the UK/France to have aligned themselves with the USSR in August 1939, then go to war alone in Sept 1939. That’s not just hindsight, plenty of people were saying that in 1939, including Lloyd George.

  42. well the French probably with blum, the officer class had a burr up it’s butt, going back to dreyfus, the head of l’oreal, was funding the pre Vichy militia, but the uk, had a strong anticommunist regime, they thought they had common understanding with hitler, and trusted his word,

  43. Rcocean: “The idea that we would have to set another Marshall Plan to bail out one of the richest countries in the world is hilarious.”

    Perhaps I was not clear enough. No-one was talking about a Marshall Plan to rescue the UK. The context was Brexiteer assertions that the US is ready to cut an implicitly favorable trade deal for the UK as soon as it separates from the EU. As the Brexiteers talk about it, they seem to imagine a deal which will disproportionately increase exports from the UK, which in the real world will lead to bigger deficits and more debt for the US.

    President Trump has made it quite clear in other trade dealings that his priorities (unlike his predecessors) are to increase employment in the US and cut the unsustainable US trade deficit. If President Trump were to give a special deal to the Brits that cost US jobs and worsened the US trade deficit, many of his supporters would see that as an unexpected betrayal. So any kind of special favorable deal for the UK is not going to happen.

    In or out of the EU, the UK is just another of those tiresome European countries which spends too much time denigrating the US. See, for example, the disgustingly ill-advised comment by the now-sainted Boris Johnson which Grurray referenced above.

  44. A trade deal, isn’t a marshall plan, the left (and the wet tories) have parapetted themselves in the bureaucracy, in the media, in the universities, they are even more numerous over there, but you see the battalions they have on this end of the pond,

    yes, boris says some illconsidered things, mark steyn could remind of the grand mal freakout he had over the Baghdad museum, but he is preferable to zampolit Jeremy Corbyn,

    in the 30s, the turmoil of the depression, had impressed among the british upper classes, the prospect of revolution, now it turns out the most adept soviet proselytizers were not working people, but the sons of the administrative class, tony wedgewood been, Michael foot, (whose fathers were in the upper reaches of the indian administration) and kim Philby, son of professional arabist of the foreign office, st. john Philby,

  45. It’s not clear if Trump’s NAFTA revision will ever go through, so a fast-track US-UK trade deal is probably wishful thinking for the time being. However, there are other tactics besides a trade deal. Did you catch Seth’s blog today?

    Any uncertainty with NATO forces will light a fuse under Eurozone bond rates & squeeze the German economy faster than you can say gooseberry tarts and stiff upper lips. The M&M sisters Merkel & Macron will need to do some soul searching in the next few weeks about how far they are willing to fight this.

  46. now it turns out the most adept soviet proselytizers were not working people, but the sons of the administrative class,

    “The typical Socialist is not, as tremulous old ladies imagine, a ferocious-looking working man with greasy overalls and a raucous voice. He is either a youthful snob-Bolshevik who in five years’ time will quite probably have made a wealthy marriage and been converted to Roman Catholicism; or, still more typically, a prim little man with a white-collar job, usually a secret teetotaller and often with vegetarian leanings, with a history of Nonconformity behind him, and, above all, with a social position which he has no intention of forfeiting.”

    George Orwell

    Disagree with the Roman Catholicism

  47. Its ridiculous to think either Boris Johnson or Trump would agree to a one-sided trade deal. Before we had to negotiate with the EU, now we will deal with the UK one-on-one. It quite easy to see that as a win-win for both countries. Trump isn’t like Obama or Bush. He’s not a free trade fanatic, who think signing trade deals that are bad for the USA is somehow OK because “No USA tariffs is always good”.

    That is in fact, what many of our trade deals under Clinton/bush/Obama were. We gave counties access to our market and in return asked for little or nothing. Trump is changing that.

  48. People forget that Orwell hated Roman Catholics. He doesn’t say one word of criticism against the Spanish Republican Government for burning down Churches and killing almost 7,000 nuns, priests, and other clergy.

    Orwell, after all joined the P.O.U.M militia – who were communists. The fact that they disliked Stalin, didn’t mean they were in favor of Marxism. I’m just finishing a book on the SCW, and noticed that when the Republicans took Teruel in December 1937, they not only executed the General who surrender to them, they killed the Archbishop who had been stationed in the city. Later in January 1939, Republicans executed another Archbishop, they’d held for years, before crossing into France.

  49. Unlike FDR, Hoover was spent years traveling the world as an International Mining Engineer. He spent year in Europe during WW I, helping Belgium Food Relief. Later, after WW I, he did more relief work in Europe, including working in the USSR in the early 1920’s. He had direct experience with Lenin and the Soviet leaders.

    Accordingly, he had no rosy ideas about “Good Ol’ Uncle Joe” and was warning in June 1941, that the USSR was NOT our friend. And like others, he saw no reason to destroy Germany, in order to hand over Eastern and Central Europe to the USSR.

  50. Rocean, I think a lot of British were very negative on Roman Catholics. First there was Mary Tudor, then the Irish troubles.

    I have been reading a series of novels by a British author who has no liking for RC. I was raised by Catholic parents and educated by nuns who thought Mary Tudor was wonderful and Elizabeth a bloody tyrant.

  51. Yes, English stereotypes and bigotry towards Catholics are quite different than anything we’re used to.
    Mary executed a few traitors for heresy, Elizabeth executed lots of heretics for treason, in the end Protestants won so Elizabeth is a hero and Mary a villain.

  52. I think with Orwell it British snobbery about Catholics combined with Left-wing hatred of the Church, which was considered as “Anti-communist” and “reactionary” by the Left during Orwell’s lifetime.

    Weirdly Eleanor Roosevelt seemed to have had the same problem, leading Cardinal Spellman to attack her publicly as “anti-catholic”. If you look at ER’s close friends from 1940-1964, you’ll see plenty of Jews (and some communists) but zero Catholics.

  53. Rocean, Homage to Catalonia, Orwell’s SCW memoirs; It seems that Orwell entered the war as an enthusiastic leftist sympathizer but left the conflict with a very different outlook. A good read.

  54. Orwell came out of the SCW with an anti-communist aka an anti-USSR/Stalinist viewpoint. He never turned into a conservative, no matter how often the Right likes to think so.

Comments are closed.