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Discussion > Big Picture Politics

Or in fact " what I intend you to understand as REAL POLITICS"

There is no other kind of politics really but I doubt that many of you will agree with that suggestion at the moment hehe. As close as I can work out, I have been on and off this blog for over 10 years, sadly more off than on since the Bishop switched off the life giving drip feed of his inputs. I hope that this discussion gives something back to Bishop Hill.

We all know that many people are totally disconnected from 'mainstream political dicussion' and of those people, many indeed do not excersise their right to vote. What a difference a referendum makes. The referendum is the first real clue (for me, I am sure others knew long loong before I did) that Big Picture Politics really does exist.

BPP exists without discussion and without political parties, BPP is an attitude, a position and not a belief. I think maybe Isaac Asimov knew about this stuff and if you did not read 'The World of Null A' then you are a pooey bum face and you deserve whatever you get ^.^

BPP announced itself on the political stage by totally confounding the pollsters in recent elections. BPP has a unique defence mechanism which protects it from investigations by interested parties; nobody knows who to ask :)

Many of the people who voted in our referendum would run a mile before they would agree to talk about politics, so what made them vote? Maybe they found it hard to vocalise their own attitudes in terms that they thought others would understand.

When we asked the electorate to vote REMAIN in or LEAVE the eu, we really asked them to dig deep into their psyche, to ask who they were and to ask what mattered to them and brilliantly they gave the answer nobody believed they would give.
They had a picture in their minds of what their country should be and that picture did not involve this great country subjugating itself to the unelected politicians it was presented with.

Jan 18, 2017 at 10:31 AM | Registered CommenterDung

So Dung, what question are you asking (= what is there to discuss)?

Jan 18, 2017 at 11:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

As a Politician, Ed Balls is closely associated with failures, and his local electorate rejected him.

As someone "not exactly designed for dancing", he attracted public sympathy and support, even though he didn't win.

All he needs is a suitable By Election, and he COULD be the next Leader of the Labour Party.

That is Small Screen Politics. What was the Big Picture question?!

Jan 18, 2017 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

It is not unusual for my discussion suggestions to be to be met with nothing but a large question mark, not I hasten to add through any failure on the part of the reader. However I did manage to start a discussion on this blog which included faster than light engines and so I fail to see why this one meets with the blog equivalent of "and your point is ?"

Jan 18, 2017 at 8:31 PM | Registered CommenterDung


I think politicians and most of the MSM are as bemused by recent events as some readers are by your post!

I'm a broken record on the subject of our failing democracy (where first past the post effectively disenfranchises 80-90% of the electorate), so I wasn't surprised by the turnout in the EU referendum. It was probably the only election/referendum in more than 40 years where our votes actually had the chance to influence something - and something important at that. Mind you, I was surprised by the outcome of the vote, but that was probably because I had been conditioned by the BBC and the MSM to assume that the populace would agree with them that continued membership of the EU was the only option which made sense.

It was quite amusing to see the BBC today (on its News 24 channel) disapprovingly (and in my view correctly) pointing the finger at the President of Gambia for refusing to accept the result of a democratic vote. That would be the BBC which gives so much prominence to the views of Anna Soubry, Tim Farron, Nick Clegg, Nicola Sturgeon et al, all of whom in reality refuse to accept the result of a democratic vote...

Jan 18, 2017 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Mark. The people you mention (Anna Soubry and all) may represent the opinions of 48% of the population that voted. You cannot tell me that the BBC has not broadcast views and opinions of those representing the 52%.

Jan 18, 2017 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll


It is not the first past the post system that disenfranchises huge sections of the electorate, it is the politicians who lie about what their party represents. Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats have all effectively been left wing parties for quite some time.

Jan 18, 2017 at 11:07 PM | Registered CommenterDung


I believe that the correct terminology is 'et al' otherwise you could just say Anna Soubry and other like minded shysters.

Jan 18, 2017 at 11:12 PM | Registered CommenterDung

golf charlie

et tu Brutus.

My question is: Exactly who won the referendum? I ask because I would like to make sure I vote for them at the next election.
The only group which has any claim to winning is UKIP but the pollsters were well aware of UKIP and still did not see the result coming. I suggest that a group not previousy identified (or even not previously existing) won the referendum, but where they are and who they are are two of many unanswered questions.
The labour party did not win the referendum and neither did the Liberal Democrats. There were probaly more paliamentary Conservatives who supported Remain than those who supported Leave and so where did the Leave majority spring from?
Whatever grouping it was' it is not interested in publicising or even possessing an identity

Jan 18, 2017 at 11:42 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung, I will try again!

IF we assume 25% of the population will always vote Conservative and another 25% Labour, that means 50% of the population don't mind what any politicians do or say. That total figure is probably higher, and by the time you add in the Liberals, the "Floating Voters" who actually determine General Election results, and whether they are landslides, are probably less than 25% of the population.

The majority of those who watch Question Time or other "serious" political programmes, may change their opinion of individuals on the Panel, and the views they express and support about particular issues, but not where they would place an "X" at the next General Election.

Most people place an "X" next to the Party that they believe will benefit their own circumstances best, though they may talk about bigger pictures.

Many of the crucial floating voters don't watch Question Time, but would prefer the one with the perfect buns on Celebrity Bake Off.

Jan 18, 2017 at 11:50 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The whole point of my failed efforts so far golf is to point out that something very, very different happened and that your description of what has gone before is no longer valid. Do you really believe it was politics as usual?

Jan 19, 2017 at 12:12 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Dung. Et al, and all; I had "Uncle Tom Cobly running through my head.

Jan 19, 2017 at 8:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll


We agree on much, but not, I think, about the BBC's news coverage (we do agree that outside its news coverage area, it still produces some excellent programmes).

I don't deny that the BBC should broadcast comments from people who represent the views of the 48%. Of course it should. The result of the referendum was close, after all. My point was rather that the BBC gives disproportionate weight to the views of those who voted to remain, and, worse than that, by its selection of commentators, is actively supporting those who are trying to sabotage the decision and thereby to subvert democracy.

At the 2015 general election UKIP narrowly received more votes than the SNP and Lib Dems put together, though UKIP's reward was one seat, while the Lib Dems received 8 seats and the SNP received 56. The BBC's use of party spokespersons is representative of neither the number of votes received not the number of seats obtained, with the Lib Dems, especially Clegg and Farron, being their "go to" politicians whenever Brexit is in the news (which it always is, since the BBC doesn't accept the result of the vote). How often do you hear or see them rushing to a representative of UKIP for a comment? Rarely, is the answer. I say this not as a UKIP supporter (obviously, given my general political views, I'm not), but simply to make the point that the BBC is completely out of touch with the mood of the people and with the realities of the last 2 major votes in this country - the 2015 general election and the EU referendum.

By the way dung, I'm not sure how you can say, given the above numbers, that the first past the post system doesn't disenfranchise much of the electorate (while over-franchising those who voted SNP).

Jan 19, 2017 at 9:24 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Dung, the BREXIT vote does represent a massive shock to the Political Establishment. Lib, Lab, & Con combined, all thought it was a Win, simply because they represented more than 50% of the electorate, that would vote in accordance with their wishes.

The Conservative Party has long had a divide about the EU/EEC/Common Market. As Prime Minister, Thatcher did not seek to reverse out, but to prevent the UK being drawn further in.

BREXIT and Trump both represent a 50%+ reaction against the political establishment. No one foresaw the reaction of traditional Labour voters. Trying to label BREXIT voters has further annoyed traditional Labour voters.

Rather like a contentious By Election, that may provoke a backlash vote, about a national or local issue/scandal/personality, normal political disservice has been returned. Some old scores have been settled because of BREXIT, but some old wounds have been reopened. The problem now for people who voted BREXIT, is they all had different expectations of what BREXIT actually meant, and no one still knows.

BUT, all the tales of doom and gloom, foretold by the wise men and women of Remain, have been shown to have been false. Their credibility has taken a kicking. Many of them have also warned of grave perils about Global Warming.

Jan 19, 2017 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mark. Our disagreement regarding BBC News coverage may not be as great as you suggest. My comment was to many here who seemingly believe that the 48% having lost the referendum should shut up or be disenfranchised.
My view is that the vote was clearcut and consequently we must leave the EU, but the wording of the referendum question gives no mandate to anyone as to how we should exit and what we should give up. That's for parliament to decide, not this essentially unelected government. Note that I make great distinction between parliament and government. Those that argue we shouldn't be discussing brexit, because that would oppose the will of the people, don't seem to realize that the will of the people regarding how we brexit is not known.

Jan 19, 2017 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Supertroll, I entirely agree that the decision on BREXIT has been made, but no one knows what the details are. This is partially because no one was actually asked.

In the aftermath of BREXIT, too many Remainers have been trying to blame the people who voted Brexit, and have decided why they did so, again without asking anyone.

I entirely agree that determining the details of how BREXIT should occur, should be as inclusive as possible (unlike all previous decisions since 1974) Some have decided that sabotaging BREXIT is their best way of reversing BREXIT. That is "Socially" Undemocratic, and irresponsible.

Jan 19, 2017 at 4:56 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golfCharlie. Just suppose I could convince you that the EU will not offer a soft Brexit and that a hard Brexit will be economically and politically disastrous for the UK (remember now this is only supposition) what would you do - go ahead or do something else?
Now, in the real world, what do you think someone today should do if they earnestly believe only a hard brexit option will be available and that it will be disastrous?

Jan 19, 2017 at 5:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Supertroll, in all honesty, there is nothing I can do. I am not even sure what a Hard Soft or Coddled Brexit egg looks like. Most of the labels have been applied by Remainers.

The EU were not sure what Brexit meant, and came out with conflicting messages. The EU have done their own sums about how much money they could lose from Brexit, and know that they will have to address austerity, having lost a net contributor to EU Budgets. The EU have not released their financial estimates, whilst Remainers still want to argue about who claimed what, and how much, in the run up to Brexit.

Claims of Economic disaster following Brexit, have not materialised. In fact, the reverse has occurred. The longer this drags out, the better for the UK, and probably the worse for the EU, as other countries can see that UK meltdown is NOT occurring. If the EU want to continue to play Hardball, fewer people will want to play by EU rules, and will want EXIT.

How disastrous the EU wants to make Brexit for the EU, is what the EU does not appear to have a unified strategy on.

It may be the case that the UK is first in the queue to talk trade with the US. What will the EU do? I don't know either, but I think the UK, and it's residents are in a better position now, than this time a year ago.

Personally, I have never had an issue with Free Movement or Right to Work etc. Where I believe it came unstuck with the Electorate, is the Right to Claim Benefits and Housing from the most "generous". Perhaps if the EU had addressed that before flinging open the doors to economic migrants from outside the EU, we would not be having this conversation.

Labelling economic migrants as Climate Refugees was a massive own goal by the BBC and other Progressives.

Jan 19, 2017 at 6:35 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


What golf charlie just said!

In answer to your specific question "what do you think someone today should do if they earnestly believe only a hard brexit option will be available and that it will be disastrous?". My answer (and not just as someone who voted to leave) is that they should respect the outcome of the referendum vote and get on with it.

Entropic Man has raised the issue of the role referendums should play in our Parliamentary democracy on the Donald Trump, and I essentially agree with much that he has said there. I am annoyed that the EU referendum debate was childish and pathetic, with senior politicians on all sides of the debate and of all political hues being essentially useless and not dealing properly with many real and important issues, which were only raised for the first time when the establishment got a result it neither expected nor wanted. I am annoyed that Parliament legislated for a referendum (thereby absolving itself of responsibility for the difficult decision) without the Referendum Act making it clear what should/would happen after the referendum, only for the pro-EU majority in Parliament now to decide that having passed the decision to the people they want to take it back again because the people got it "wrong".

It's a mess, and a mess of the politicians' making. They need to get on and deal with it maturely, accepting the democratic vote which they triggered, and within the parameters imposed by the outcome of that vote, act in the best interests of the country.

In future they need to learn from this mess, and have a proper debate about the place of referendums in a Parliamentary democracy before resorting to a referendum again (if ever).

Jan 19, 2017 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I agree with the care with which referendums should be used, Mark, but they do have one advantage; they can unveil an unsuspected polity.

Jan 19, 2017 at 7:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

er 'referenda'. Long may they live, one essential device in the toolbox of democracy.

Jan 19, 2017 at 8:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim


"Those that argue we shouldn't be discussing brexit, because that would oppose the will of the people, don't seem to realize that the will of the people regarding how we brexit is not known."

I think remainers in general can not put themselves into the mental mindset of a leaver.

Talk of "Now, in the real world, what do you think someone today should do if they earnestly believe only a hard brexit option will be available and that it will be disastrous?" when it is accepted that going to WTO rules would leave the country in a better position overall.

Due to the trade balance with the EU-27, any impact caused by WTO tariffs can be rebated to importers using the surplus from the imbalance.

Our trade with the rest of the world at deals to suite us and not the EU-27 will ensure rapid growth in the UK.

Jan 19, 2017 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Steve Richards I make no claim that a hard Brexit will be economically disadvantageous (although I cannot see any other outcome regarding UK political stability). I just don't know. I was exploring the possibility where we were in a situation where we knew or very strongly suspected that there would be adverse economic effects. My questions concern whether, under such circumstances, the government should proceed come what may or should refer the decision again to the people either by an election or by another referendum. I proposed a legal analogy that Mark has not yet commented upon.

I wonder if, had the referendum decision been to remain and the EU continued its progress towards even more undemocratic changes, leave campaigners would argue that the situation has changed (for the worse) and the whole question needs to be revisited.

Jan 19, 2017 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterSupertroll

Supertroll & Steve Richards

Someone convicted, can Appeal the verdict if fresh evidence comes to light. I do not know the precise legal wording.

What fresh evidence is there about Brexit?

We now know that the dire financial and economic predictions, from all the top experts, were wrong. The economy has not collapsed. The Calais "Jungle" has been dealt with by the French, in France. Trump is President, not Clinton, and wants to trade with the UK. The EU still has not realised how much it is annoying the people of the EU.

Surely the fresh evidence is that Remain were wrong, and the EU doesn't really care about the UK, apart from the UK's net payments to the UK. The EU is running out of other people's money, to misappropriate without a Democratic mandate.

Jan 19, 2017 at 11:24 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I no longer think that criticising the wording of the Brexit question is fair game, in fact I get quite scared wondering if (at this late stage) someone might sneakily manage to change it ^.^
Trying to formulate such a question without having the world and his wife 'round your house with all available lethal weapons from the kitchen table must have seemed an impossible ask hehe.
Look back now, could they really have come up with a fairer question?
Could we have hoped even in our most desperate hours to be so close to democracy and independence.
Who could have foretold that that three of the most callously self interested politicians from the last 25 years would now have fallen on their swords or been forced to contemplate that act in the near future (Cameron, Clegg and Farron)

Jan 19, 2017 at 11:34 PM | Registered CommenterDung