Monday 17 August 2020

Brexitwatch: this wasn't meant to happen! Part 2


Meanwhile at Leave headquarters:

Ever wondered why Boris Johnson looked as though he was going to a funeral when he announced Leave’s victory in the referendum? This transcript of a conversation from shortly before the vote explains: 

‘I say, Dom. Some jumped-up jackass has just asked me whether Brexit will mean less immigration. What’s our policy?’

‘Did they want less immigration?’

‘Er. I think so.’

‘So our policy is less immigration. If they want more immigration, our policy is more immigration. If they want no immigration, our policy is no immigration. Simple enough for you?’

‘But Dom, how will we reconcile all those contradictory promises?’

‘We won’t have to, because Remain will win.’

‘Yes, of course. Er, er, Dom I’m also a bit worried about these undertakings we’ve given about leaving the EU but keeping all the advantages of remaining.’

‘You just don’t get it, do you? We LOSE. So we won’t have to keep any promises. So we can promise anything. Then after Remain wins, we wait for the fury of the Tory head-bangers who’ve been denied their beloved Brexit, to force Cameron out. Look I’ve already written your campaign speech when you go for the leadership:

“My friends, no one campaigned harder for Brexit than me, but that fight is over, and now we must all accept the democratic result that we remain in the EU. Our task now is to bring together our party and our country – Leavers and Remainers – to take us forward to the next phase of our world-beating history.” Then throw in a bit of Latin or something if you must.’

‘Fine, Dom, yes. Er, one other thing. How should I vote?’

‘For Remain like me, what do you think? But don’t tell anybody.’

Saturday 8 August 2020

Brexitwatch: this wasn't meant to happen! Part 1

When Prime Minister David Cameron gave in to the Conservative Brexit fanatics and promised to hold a referendum on EU membership if he won the General Election of 2015, he also let them do a lot of other things - e.g. gerrymander the electorate by systematically excluding millions of people who could have been expected to vote Remain.

He never bothered to think about crucial questions - such as what would happen if there was a very small majority, and/or a small turn out? What if some countries in the UK voted for Remain and others for Leave? Should the Leave campaign have to come up with a credible programme for quitting the EU or should they be allowed to be all things to all Brexiters and promise a whole pile of often contradictory things that could never be delivered?

You see none of this mattered, because Cameron knew the Tories were not going to win the election. At best, they'd be back in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, and the Libdems would save him from holding the referendum.

Unfortunately, Cameron misjudged the ferocity with which his party would stab their former coalition partners in the back, and so, curses!, he won a majority. That wasn't meant to happen. 

So now he was stuck with the referendum, but still he didn't need to worry about the crazy, negligent basis on which it was being set up, because Remain was going to win. Leave was going to lose, and all but the most fanatical of the Brexiters could be put back in their box for a few more years.

To be continued