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Discussion > First steps towards a sucessful Brexit

Dung. Might I suggest you go back into the recent BH archives and read the comments made there about Andrea Loathsome. Now you are willing to entrust the UK and its relationships with the EU into her maternal and CV stuffing hands. Someone with absolutely no cabinet experience. Good grief?

Jul 10, 2016 at 11:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

You may suggest anything you like Alan ^.^ However I had one desire right through this referendum and that was to GET THE HELL OUT! as a priority, any problems can be sorted later by our then democratically elected government. Leadsom is the one I trust to absolutely take us comnpletely out.
I am not relying on the EU giving us any special treatment or terms, I am relying on them to act in their own interests.

Jul 10, 2016 at 11:50 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Alan Kendall, perhaps EM was right. EU-dying parrot. Global Warming-dying parrot.

Rather than blaming UKIP, why not look at Labour's failure to organise a defence for the EU?

Try Googling any of the following, in any combination you like!

Len McCluskey. Tom Watson. Karie Murphy. Jeremy Corbyn. Unite. Ed Miliband. Momentum. Guardian. Seamus Milne. Ineos. Falkirk Scandal

How can so few corrupt the Trades Union and Labour Party movement, and still claim to have overwhelming Democratic support? It is a bit like Consensus, and Settled Science. Most Unite members are probably told to trust their leaders, as they are experts.

How many of them put the wonderful ideals of the EU above their own selfish greed for money and power, and were prepared to risk other people's jobs and livelihoods to get what they wanted?

Len McCluskey is jerking the strings of Labour, how do you, or I, vote him out?

Jul 10, 2016 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

How can I answer you golfCharlie? We may be at the nadir of political life today. The Tories have the choice between Mrs May - the champion of police and security service surveillance, Mrs Loathsome, who treats children as political assets and wouldn't get past the interview stage of the Apprentice. Labour has saddled itself with a mini-dinosaur with the charisma of an amoeba but the sticking power of a limpet. His only challenger seems an odd choice given the other possible contenders. The Lib Dems, do they still have a leader or a muppet? 0nly the formidable Nicola has what it takes but as a non-Scot, I can't vote for her party. A pox on all of them.

I wouldn't even go back to Canada. I understand it's even worse. And the thought of a Trump-ridden USA (even if my Green Card were still valid) fills me with dread. Nowhere to hide.

Jul 10, 2016 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Golf Charlie,Alan Kendall

Welcome to my world.

Jul 10, 2016 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Alan you could not be more wrong (have you tried anti depressants?). Britain could be at the start of something great; pride in our history no longer politically incorrect, renewable energy no longer subsidised and fracking allowed to flourish, an end to the Climate Change Act, trade with the world acountries queueing up to get a deal with us and I could go on and on hehe.

Jul 10, 2016 at 2:52 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung. Are you on speed? You are living in Cloud Cuckoo Land.

"Britain could be at the start of something great" Or perhaps not, we could so easily slip into an isolationist minor nation status.

"Pride in our history no longer politically incorrect" You felt that? I never have about things that we can be proud of, but I also acknowledge our history has within it much that is shameful.

"Renewable energy no longer subsidized" Last time I looked it was.

"Fracking allowed to flourish" Hardly, permits are still difficult to obtain, subject to unreasonable conditions and opposed by local authorities and interest groups

"An end to the Climate Change Act" How, with all major political parties supporting it?

"Trade with world acountries (sic) queuing up to get a deal with us" What part of "back of the queue" and no pre-exit application discussions" did you not understand? Did you also read that the UK has too few trade negotiators that we will have to borrow from India and New Zealand?

I think EM's world has more reality.

Jul 10, 2016 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

The operative word in your post is could. Unfortunately that is not will. Hubris is inevitably followed by Nemesis. Let's hope Nemesis is limited to Gove, Johnson and Mrs Take-Back-Control

Jul 10, 2016 at 6:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Dung on Jul 10, 2016 at 2:52 PM

Your problem is that you are not on anti-depressants and have no need for them either. :)

To take one example, we were told that we would be at the back of the line, sorry, queue, and no-one would want to trade with us. Yet, what we find is that many are queuing up in droves to trade with us. However, never wasting an opportunity to be pessimistic, the problem presented is that we don't have enough trade negotiators, forgetting that, so keen are our friends to get us back into the RoW, we have been offered trade negotiators to speed up the process.

Remember, always strive for defeat in the jaws of victory: we mustn't upset the Establishment, must we.

Jul 10, 2016 at 6:41 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Robert Christopher.

Hope for the best, BUT PREPARE FOR THE WORST.

Jul 10, 2016 at 6:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Alan kendall on Jul 10, 2016 at 6:51 PM

But not at the expense of following up good leads. Preparing for the worst should be done away from the glare of publicity, not be part of the marketing effort!

Focusing on the worst and spreading doom only damages those opportunities for a successful Brexit.

Now there's a thought: a reluctant Remainer comes to mind!

Jul 10, 2016 at 7:42 PM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

RC. Just who here has been focusing on the worst and spreading doom? My contribution here has been to explore constitutional problems attendant on combining referendums and parliamentary demoncracy, and countering unreasonable optimism from Dung. In the first I'm not alone. Reading the papers today we were reminded that one of the greatest opponents of referendums was Margaret Thatcher.

Jul 10, 2016 at 8:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

I've been away on holiday, so am just catching up. Although I disagree with Alan Kendall about the merits or otherwise of the EU, I think he raises a very valid point about the use of referendums, and how they fit in with our Parliamentary democracy. I don't think they were used before the one in 1975 about EEC membership, though I'm ready to stand corrected. Now they seem to be used whenever a Government/PM thinks it might be a way out of a difficulty (even if, as in the latest case, the PM in question obviously didn't think it through).

I think we need a big debate (which sadly our political leaders don't even seem to recognise is necessary) about what democracy means in this country. For instance:

1. When (if at all) should referendums be used? Should their results be binding on Parliament? (Note that more people voted to leave the EU than voted for the entirety of MPs sitting at Westminster, yet those MPs are predominantly pro-EU and many would like to overturn the vote, though few of them would openly say it). On what basis should referendums be held (i.e who should be able to vote in them)? Why were 16 year olds allowed to vote in the Scottish independence referendum, but not in the EU referendum, for instance? Should any foreigners or expats be allowed to vote? If so, who, and why?

2. Should we retain first past the post for voting in our MPs? Is it right that every vote cast for the SNP was worth 149 times as much (in terms of MPs resulting from the vote) than every vote cast for UKIP, for instance? Is it right that the party with the 3rd highest number of votes in the last general election received only one MP in return for 4m votes?

3. What do we do with the House of Lords? Why are unelected people able to block legislation which the Government of the day wishes to pass?

There are many more issues to discuss - the above just strike me as three of the most obvious and most pressing. Isn't it a pity that our political masters don't wish to discuss them?

For what it's worth, I don't think a 2nd referendum on the terms of any negotiated trade deal and/or deal on related issues with the EU would serve any purpose. What happens if the Government half-heartedly negotiates a rubbish deal and the electorate reject it in another referendum? Where does that leave us? It wouldn't necessarily mean that the electorate had had a change of heart and wanted to stay in the EU; it would merely mean that they weren't satisfied with the terms of Brexit negotiated badly by our political masters. It would create a limbo, and far more uncertainty than the current situation.

Lots of important topics to discuss, but our political masters are too busy knifing each other in the back, in-fighting and generally being useless to care about such things. And they wonder why the electorate is disillusioned.

Jul 10, 2016 at 9:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Demoncracy. Freudian? You may not realise it but you are using your intellect to back up a position arrived at by your instincts. We all do it but the cleverer we are the longer we can carry it on, wriggling and squirming and changing the subject, the Mahout taking responsibility for the elephant's actions which he can't control.

Jul 10, 2016 at 9:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

Michael Hodgson.

1. Never
2. No, replace with PR
3. Retain as a House of Expertise with advisory powers, able to insist governments review issues passed in the Commons (twice?). No powers to block legislation. Political parties unable to nominate candidates, hereditaries removed, and places filled by independent committee. Ultimate aim to make house as apolitical as possible.

Jul 10, 2016 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Experts are to rule us? Yippee! (sarc, in case you thought otherwise).

Oh, and anything AK doesn't like gets a do-over.

Jul 10, 2016 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

No to a 2nd reeferendum. There has been a referendum, there has been a result, job done. If you grant a 2nd referendum then how can you refuse a 3rd, 4th, 5th etc?

No to PR. We have a system that provides a clear winner almost all the time and a result is the most important thing otherwise politicians will arrange things behind closed doors.

Hereditory peers was apolitical, some idiots changed it and now Prime Ministers pack the house with their pets. Academics are largly left leaning.

Jul 10, 2016 at 10:56 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Mark Hodgson, we had a Referendum so that Cameron could prevent a divisive split in the Tory Party, and he could silence his own critics. This was a brave way of confirming he was right, but he was confident he would win.

When things started to go wrong, triggered by events along the Southern and Eastern coast of the Mediterranean, he asked the EU for something to bargain with. Juncker boasted how he told Cameron and the UK that no special favours were available to one of the biggest Net Contributors to EU Budgets.

Cameron has effectively lost a national No-Confidence Vote, and has resigned. A replacement may or may not solve any Party divisions.

Corbyn has absolutely genuinely lost a Parliamentary No-Confidence Vote, and has not resigned. There are Party divisions about whether anyone has any confidence in anything being left of Labour, before the party's divides.

Nobody can remember who leads the Liberals.

The SNP were the only party to have thought through the consequences.

It is a great opportunity for forward thinking MPs of all Parties to actually do something constructive, but few of them know how to do that.

Jul 10, 2016 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

rhoda. Rule? Did you not read " NO powers to block legislation" in what I wrote. The only good thing about the House of Lords now is that it is stuffed with experts who often do sterling work revising bills and sending them back for revision. I suggest, if we are to have a second house (and perhaps we shouldn't) we should retain the best of it.
Just what is your objection to a purely advisory house with only powers to insist on reconsideration. What's wrong with using some of the most experienced people in this way?

Jul 10, 2016 at 11:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Jul 10, 2016 at 6:51 PM | Alan kendall
I've said exactly the same thing at least three times here in recent months. I'm still following my own advice. Although finding the best to hope for is proving a bit tricky at the moment.

Jul 10, 2016 at 11:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Dung who said anything about academics? My proposed committee would nominate candidates who had a wealth of experience of the world. That would eliminate 95% of academics who have little of such experience. Most have knowledge but little wisdom. Candidates could well be former politicians, especially those experienced in making difficult decisions that involved evaluating evidence and different opinions. However, they would need to give up their party allegiances.

Jul 10, 2016 at 11:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan kendall

Jul 10, 2016 at 11:05 PM | golf charlie
Apart from Tim Farron I agree with what you say.
Junckers still thinks he's won a resounding victory but I don't think he realises Marine Le Pen will be a more formidable opponent than Cameron and Farrage combined.

Jul 10, 2016 at 11:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Mark Hodgson on Jul 10, 2016 at 9:09 PM

1. A referendum presents a policy with no guarantee of suitable implementers, which is what a general election does, or should do. :)
In the past, a new idea is floated and either picked up by an existing party or, failing that, a new party forms and picks off the dissatisfied from existing parties and no parties. When that party gains a majority in the HoC, it implements the policies in its manifesto.
With Brexit, the Establishment (the LibLabConGreen party) thought it could win with a referendum, and life would continue as before, with Britain disappearing as a sovereign country and the British Elite being absorbed into the Euro-Elite. Their Brexit Plan was to have no plan at all, no government resource for Brexit supporters, severe restrictions on Brexit ministers and plenty of official doom-mongering from the International Elite and the media. It was hardly a level playing field, but the public saw through it! And we are now catching up, with the possibility of having an unsuitable Brexit implementer as PM: a 'Reluctant Remainer', no less!

It wasn't the best strategy for anyone concerned but, as it was suggested, planned and executed under the direction of a Remainer, he has received his just deserts, and the decision stands. He bet his Government and the credibility of many others, and he lost.

The result is binding, as David Cameron said so in the Government booklet delivered just before the referendum purdah.

Sixteen year olds were allowed to vote in the Scottish independence referendum because the Scots wanted it, even though all, yes all, 'children' below eighteen years old in Scotland will (as last I heard) be assigned a state guardian as they are considered not capable of looking after themselves. They can't have their own credit card, but they can change their country's destiny! Amazing!

2. It is usual to spend a great deal of time before such great changes, and usually, changes are incremental, rather than revolutionary. The problem is that PR creates coalitions, with behind the scenes agreements, and they don't appear to have done much better - just look at the Continent!
What I do see is that Government, most governments in fact, treat the media as its mouth piece and attack dog. In Britain, so many in the media have a very cosy relationship with government connected people. It may be inevitable, but it produces very poor discussions about current affairs. Just look at the BBC's 28Gate, the way Farage ended up discussing his school days just before the last general election, when he should have been grilled about his party's policies, and how the 'great and the good' were paraded on TV to support one side in the referendum, mostly with fictitious data. Before we get to changing how Parliament is elected, many more questions need to answered, including whether such a political organisation as the BBC should be so involved in school education! The BBC adore the EU and the young are very pro-EU: what a coincidence!
Farage's valedictory interview with the BBC, after he announced he was stepping down from leading UKIP, was a good example of how the BBC cannot resist digging on the knife, twisting it, again and again, for no gain in news, just a means to vent their frustration that they had lost!

The fact that most MPs are pro-EU (and are paraded on TV), while the population, especially 'up North' is not only ignored, but derided, by those who often spend time out of the country or are not even British (like Geldof), because of their views shows that there is a disconnect between MP and his/her constituents. That is probably a more important symptom that needs to be addressed. Several ideas have been tried, but the jury is still out.

3. Again, it is usual to spend a great deal of time before such great changes, and usually, changes are incremental, rather than revolutionary. To see how badly thought out change can be, just look at how Blair's changes to the British Constitution have worked out! :) We don't want to compound the mistakes, and with so many changes in the pipeline because of Brexit, it would be better to take a long term view. And when the Royal Society can be so wrong about Climate Change, or even about our 'fat free' diet, we do need to do something more than just appoint some 'government approved experts'.

Jul 10, 2016 at 11:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Christopher

Alan kendall on Jul 10, 2016 at 11:24 PM

I don't think there is a problem with assembling experts.

The problem is that, once they have been assembled, it is very difficult to raise any objection to what they propose: after all, they are the experts, and so much time has been spent writing the document ....

In Project Management, such as PRINCE2, a project is split into phases, such as: user requirements, technical requirements, design, develop, test and implement.

We need something similar, where each stage is open to scrutiny to peer review ( :) ) from (almost) anyone, so we would have a review after each stage: current problem, objectives, restraints(budget, laws of Physics etc), assumptions, etc.

I am sure this is the normal procedure, like when building a road or school buildings, but when something new is considered, like using a new material, there needs to be more opportunity to raise concerns.

How we ended up building so many windmills and solar farms, or how so many were persuaded to buy diesel vehicles, needs to be determined so that it doesn't happen again.

Jul 11, 2016 at 12:04 AM | Registered CommenterRobert Christopher

Experts are no more right than anyone else. Look at economists, for example. You can always find 500 or so to sign a letter to the Times. As the man said:

I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University.

I'd rather pick the upper house at random. I'd rather have it tempering the enthusiasm of the Commons, and I don't mind it having the right to produce a bill every once in a while.

I cannot believe that it is possible to have some chamber of wise people selected to be experts without the selection process becoming a political fix, just like the appointed lords are now. I would say none of the changes to the lords have been an improvement over the hereditary version with the Parliament act before Blair drove a coach and horses through it.

Jul 11, 2016 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda