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Thread: The British Brexit facepalm thread

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW neandermagnon's Avatar
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    The British Brexit facepalm thread

    Since May quit (ironically, in May) several Tories are going for leadership.

    BoJo the Clown is the favourite. Paddy Power are running even odds on him winning.


    The European election votes are being announced at 22:00 BST. Well, that's the time that it's legal for results to be announced. It doesn't mean they'll actually have finished counting by then. I mean Britain went to the polls on Thursday so hopefully it's not too much to ask for the results to be announced on time.
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  2. #2
    Please, call me Boo Jolly-Boo's Avatar
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    I like how leaders in these parliaments just quit. Imagine a president quitting? *cough*

  3. #3
    Techno-Cathar Perfect Diana Hignutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly-Boo View Post
    I like how leaders in these parliaments just quit. Imagine a president quitting? *cough*
    Oh, I do...

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  4. #4
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly-Boo View Post
    I like how leaders in these parliaments just quit. Imagine a president quitting? *cough*
    It's admirable when someone says "My vision isn't that of the people, they need someone who shares it. All the best, folks." One of the most freeing things I ever did was withdraw from consideration for a well-paying job I really needed because I learned some things about the company and I couldn't toe their line, nor would it have worked to fight them if hired.

    But back to Brexit (do we need a corollary to Godwin's Law about how long any politcal thread will go without referencing Trump?) this has been one surprise after another for me, and I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen. I love the UK and spent a couple years trying to move there, and just watch with fingers crossed that the damage won't be any worse than it already is.
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  5. #5
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    God help us if Bojo is our next PM! He's threatened to take the UK out of the EU, deal or no deal, despite Parliament having voted against leaving without a deal.

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  6. #6
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    I've never been quite clear on how the Prime Minister is chosen from within the party. Is it something like the US process for members of congressional houses choosing their leadership (Speaker and Senate Majority Leader), or do the voters actually weigh in on which member of the ruling party they want to see in the post?

    And how do elections that strip a ruling party from power differ from votes of no confidence within Parliament, exactly? I assume both would result in a new Prime Minister (and losing the majority status in the House of Commons would likely engender such a vote) but can a vote of no confidence for a given PM happen without a party losing its majority? I'd heard some pundits saying May was likely to face a vote of no confidence soon, so was her resigning before this happened simply a formality?

    Also, what happens if the PM loses the election in their parliamentary district without their party losing parliament? Does that ever happen?

    I find the differences in Democratic systems fascinating. Also, is the UK fairly unusual in not having a President (separately elected) as well as a Prime Minister?
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 05-26-2019 at 05:17 PM.
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  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW talktidy's Avatar
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    Brexit makes me despair. (All that parochialism and racism seeping out of the woodwork.) That despair makes me run and hide into an interest in American politics.

    A lot of Brits think a no deal Brexit would be a disaster for the UK. A lot of Brits think it would be an equal disaster for the EU and the threat of this would force their negotiators back to the table to offer compromises and concessions. Maybe. I think the EU will get along just fine without us, though, and find new markets.

  8. #8
    All about that action, boss. ElaineA's Avatar
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    Boris Johnson is such a prime example of a man failing up.

  9. #9
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by talktidy View Post
    Brexit makes me despair.
    I completely agree. We're living the greatest crisis in British history since WWII, and the politicians only seem to care about party politics, rather than what is best for the country. The country is divided, yet most people are so fed up and depressed that they've given up hope and just want the inevitable to go ahead. I was hoping against hope for another referendum on a deal or remain, but see little chance of this democratic option happening.

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  10. #10
    Cultured vulture Albedo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    I've never been quite clear on how the Prime Minister is chosen from within the party. Is it something like the US process for members of congressional houses choosing their leadership (Speaker and Senate Majority Leader), or do the voters actually weigh in on which member of the ruling party they want to see in the post?

    And how do elections that strip a ruling party from power differ from votes of no confidence within Parliament, exactly? I assume both would result in a new Prime Minister (and losing the majority status in the House of Commons would likely engender such a vote) but can a vote of no confidence for a given PM happen without a party losing its majority? I'd heard some pundits saying May was likely to face a vote of no confidence soon, so was her resigning before this happened simply a formality?

    Also, what happens if the PM loses the election in their parliamentary district without their party losing parliament? Does that ever happen?

    I find the differences in Democratic systems fascinating. Also, is the UK fairly unusual in not having a President (separately elected) as well as a Prime Minister?
    Re: the last question, the monarch is head of state of the UK, like all constitutional monarchies (Wikipedia says 43), none of which have presidents afaik.
    Last edited by Albedo; 05-26-2019 at 06:05 PM.

  11. #11
    New dog shampoo Kjbartolotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neandermagnon View Post
    BoJo the Clown is the favourite.
    Welp.

  12. #12
    Where have the last ten years gone? Bufty's Avatar
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    I really haven't a clue what's going to happen here. A new Leader of the Conservative Party isn't going to change anything. It's surely a poisoned chalice anyway?

    I certainly don't want to see Boris as leader - he (and Farage) is largely responsible for the whole mess by focusing voters' minds on nothing beyond the immediate Immigration issue (as it was 3 years ago) and the £300,000,000 a day that the NHS would supposedly get by our leaving the EU. Mind you, it would at least force him to put his money where his mouth is - or was.

    I must confess, I have been amazed at the complexity of issues surrounding the unraveling of our involvement with the EU and -if I am not alone in realizing that- I wonder what the result of another referendum would be. Whatever, I have a horrible feeling this EU issue has split this country completely unnecessarily.

    Re Roxxsmom's questions, our votes in General Elections determine the ruling party we prefer. Election of a leader or new leader to any one party (whether ruling or not) is decided by that party's internal regulations and procedures.
    Last edited by Bufty; 05-26-2019 at 06:30 PM.
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  13. #13
    practical experience, FTW cbenoi1's Avatar
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  14. #14
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albedo View Post
    Re: the last question, the monarch is head of state of the UK, like all constitutional monarchies (Wikipedia says 43), none of which have presidents afaik.
    She's also the head of state for Canada, and the Canadian Prime Minister is the head of government. And, we have a Governor-General who supposedly connects the two, being the Queen's representative in Canada. All of this made sense when the system was set up, back before telephones and airplanes.

  15. #15
    All about that action, boss. ElaineA's Avatar
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    I'm confused by what today's vote is all about. Is it the UK's election to the EU Parliament? So...if results stand up, Farage, the most rabid pro-Brexit guy will be sitting in the EU Parliament?

  16. #16
    The force is strong in this one. williemeikle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineA View Post
    I'm confused by what today's vote is all about. Is it the UK's election to the EU Parliament? So...if results stand up, Farage, the most rabid pro-Brexit guy will be sitting in the EU Parliament?
    Yep. He already spent years there in the past. For someone who hates the EU, he takes an awful lot of money from them. He's already got a very sweet pension from his last spell there.

  17. #17
    The force is strong in this one. williemeikle's Avatar
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    Proud to see Scotland reject Brexit... again. And I never thought I'd see the day when Labour didn't win a single vote in Scotland wide elections -- changed days from when I was a lad and they ruled the roost.

  18. #18
    practical experience, FTW neandermagnon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineA View Post
    I'm confused by what today's vote is all about. Is it the UK's election to the EU Parliament? So...if results stand up, Farage, the most rabid pro-Brexit guy will be sitting in the EU Parliament?
    Farage already was in the EU parliament, under UKIP. He's kept his seat, but under the Brexit party now.

    The vote was last Thursday, however under EU rules, they weren't allowed to announce any results until yesterday at 10pm.

    Officially, the vote was to elect MEPs but unofficially people were using it a bit like a 2nd Brexit referendum and all parties were using their stance on Brexit as their main campaign issue. There's not much else you can do with your EU vote in Britain, seeing as Brexit is going to happen anyway. What the victory for Brexit party suggests is that it's still the case that the majority want to leave the EU.

    ----
    (aimed at whole thread/discussion):

    What gets me about the whole thing and what almost never gets discussed is the reason why so many people are pissed off. Britain's got dire poverty which has been going on for over a decade now, the result of the financial crisis, followed by the Tories dealing with the financial crisis by imposing "austerity" i.e. cuts to services and benefits (welfare) across the board, leaving many people - including millions of people who are in work on low incomes - utterly destitute. The cost of living here is very high and minimum wage jobs aren't enough to meet the costs. Previously there was the tax credits system which provides an income top up for low income families and also pays for 70% of childcare costs. The Tories are replacing this and some other benefits (in-work benefits and out-of-work benefits) with universal credit, which seems to univerally make everyone poorer - no surprise, because it was the Tories' way of cutting benefits on the sly, without looking like they're cutting benefits. This was after they imposed a draconian and unfit for purpose system of assessing disability benefits which involved replacing the opinions of highly medically qualified people regarding who's fit for work with a system run by minimally qualified people that basically amounted to "you can get around and hold a pen therefore you're fit to work" - this included telling people with terminal cancer that they were fit for work.

    At the same time the Tories were happy to take the taxes from EU migrants, turned a blind eye to the fact that employers were using EU migrants from poorer EU countries as a source of cheap labour while people already living here - with families and having to meet the very high cost of living - were forced to accept pay cuts. They took the tax money and completely failed to invest it in communities. The population went up by ten million but they didn't invest the new immigrants tax payers money back into creating school places, building more houses, social housing or ensuring the NHS can cope with having 10 million more people. They did fuck all for the ordinary, low income working people. The ones who benefitted were the already wealthy and the politicians. Oh yeah and they also cut funding to the police, hence the recent surge in knife crime. Meanwhile Tory politicians are trying to explain that one without using the words "long term systematic underfunding of the police". So yeah, this is what happens when a government allowed the population to go up by 10 million while at the same time cutting the amount of money they're putting into services right across the board.

    Just a few articles about the extent of poverty in the UK

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-48354692 - UN report on UK poverty: "systematic" and "tragic"
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-norfolk-48119099 - school describing itself as the 4th emergency service, helping families in dire poverty
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-48226256 - more about children living in poverty
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-46457454 - 1,000,000 children face Dickensian poverty
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-46236642 - politicians in denial about the extent of poverty in the UK
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-46130355 - food bank use up (due in part to universal credit)
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-43866980 - food bank use stats (working people having to rely on food banks)
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-38052684 - more about people in work needing to use food banks
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-40431701 - who uses food banks? (more stats about working people needing food banks)
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45994303 - government minister ignores warnings about child poverty
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-43611527 - children going to school without having enough food to eat

    I could go on. That's just focusing on poverty of children and people who are working but still don't have enough money to buy food. I could do a search on disability benefits and find a whole load of articles. I could do a search on the housing crisis - one of the main reasons for the high cost of living is that housing is so expensive, because there's a lack of social housing or affordable homes for first time buyers, so many working families are left at the mercy of private landlords in a market where rich people will pay high rents for the only available properties, pricing ordinary people out of the market. I could do a search on underfunding and cuts to services of the NHS, police and other emergency services.

    The votes for Brexit are in the large part a cry of desperation. People are disillusioned and have been convinced by wankers like Farrage and Etonboy* BoJo the Clown that the EU and immigration is the cause of the problem. It's easier to understand "immigrants taking our resources" and "we need to look after the people who are already here first" and not so easy to understand the more complex issues that have led to the widespread poverty we currently face. Also, immigrants are an easy target while going after a government that's systematically underfunded the country while blaming poor people for being poor is not an easy target. Everyone, whether leave or remain, whichever party they support, needs to understand that this whole fucking mess has been caused by austerity, dire poverty and a handful of rich wankers doing the age old trick of "don't blame us, blame the immigrants".

    *Eton: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eton_College (public school does *not* have the same meaning as in the USA!) Farrage went to Dulwich: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dulwich_College

    What saddens me the most is that Britain's going to leave the EU and it's going to do fuck all to alleviate the poverty in this country. The most likely outcome is that we'll be significantly poorer as a result. And then what? You've got Tory Etonboy fuckwits like BoJo saying "people want Brexit, we have to deliver Brexit" but what people actually want is proper investment in their communities. And when Brexit doesn't work, the country's going to get even more extreme and divided, with more people turning to extremist parties such as neo Nazis. They thrive in this kind of economic situation and exploit it to the max.
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    Quote Originally Posted by neandermagnon View Post
    What saddens me the most is that Britain's going to leave the EU and it's going to do fuck all to alleviate the poverty in this country. The most likely outcome is that we'll be significantly poorer as a result. And then what? You've got Tory Etonboy fuckwits like BoJo saying "people want Brexit, we have to deliver Brexit" but what people actually want is proper investment in their communities. And when Brexit doesn't work, the country's going to get even more extreme and divided, with more people turning to extremist parties such as neo Nazis. They thrive in this kind of economic situation and exploit it to the max.
    QFT.

    I've never liked the UK (experiences growing up) but to see its current state is saddening.
    Last edited by Snitchcat; 05-27-2019 at 01:02 PM.
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  20. #20
    pretending to be awake onesecondglance's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElaineA View Post
    I'm confused by what today's vote is all about. Is it the UK's election to the EU Parliament? So...if results stand up, Farage, the most rabid pro-Brexit guy will be sitting in the EU Parliament?
    Oh, there's no need to worry about him actually ever using his seat. His MO is to get elected, take the full salary and benefits, but to never actually attend any EU parliamentary business "as a protest against the EU".

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  21. #21
    Mostly harmless SuperModerator dpaterso's Avatar
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    Regardless of whether new deals can be struck by whoever takes over TM's hot seat, business will continue between the UK and the EU.

    Prices of goods will probably go up because of increased customs tariffs, because exiting the EU means exiting free trade agreements.

    Related to which, long delays are predicted as trucks queue up around bottleneck major ports, because every load has to be inspected, this is a Big Thing. Those meds you've been waiting for? Maybe this week, or sometime next week, who knows.

    Travel to the European mainland will probably require fresh documentation and maybe even visas, depending on how annoying our European cousins want to be about this.

    Weekend trips to France to stock up on le cheap vin might drop off slightly.

    Que sera, it's been coming for a while now, and planned for. Life will go on. Possibly more easily than some people would have you believe.

    If the nice people in Brussels would kindly come and collect all the big spiders that have found their way into the UK since the Channel Tunnel opened, that would be good. Have Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage even mentioned this once? No they have not, they are evasive when questioned.

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    Last edited by dpaterso; 05-27-2019 at 01:14 PM.
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  22. #22
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    I've never been quite clear on how the Prime Minister is chosen from within the party. Is it something like the US process for members of congressional houses choosing their leadership (Speaker and Senate Majority Leader), or do the voters actually weigh in on which member of the ruling party they want to see in the post?

    And how do elections that strip a ruling party from power differ from votes of no confidence within Parliament, exactly? I assume both would result in a new Prime Minister (and losing the majority status in the House of Commons would likely engender such a vote) but can a vote of no confidence for a given PM happen without a party losing its majority? I'd heard some pundits saying May was likely to face a vote of no confidence soon, so was her resigning before this happened simply a formality?

    Also, what happens if the PM loses the election in their parliamentary district without their party losing parliament? Does that ever happen?

    I find the differences in Democratic systems fascinating. Also, is the UK fairly unusual in not having a President (separately elected) as well as a Prime Minister?
    You didn't get an answer to this so I will attempt one.
    The Prime Minsister/party leader is initially decided by votes by the body of Members of Parliament to produce the final two candidates. These two are voted on by paid-up members of the party.
    A vote of no-confidence in the House of Commons results in the fall of the government, usually followed by a general election unless another party leader can form a government that can command a majority.
    If the PM were to lose the vote in their constituency then they cannot be Prime Minister, so there has to be an election within the party to determine who will be.

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  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW talktidy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by williemeikle View Post
    Proud to see Scotland reject Brexit... again. And I never thought I'd see the day when Labour didn't win a single vote in Scotland wide elections -- changed days from when I was a lad and they ruled the roost.
    After this dysfunction in Westminster, I see Scotland revisiting the independence question again -- soon -- and this time parting company from the rest of the UK.

  24. #24
    Likes metaphors mixed, not stirred Chris P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaterso View Post

    Prices of goods will probably go up because of increased customs tariffs, because exiting the EU means exiting free trade agreements.

    Related to which, long delays are predicted as trucks queue up around bottleneck major ports, because every load has to be inspected, this is a Big Thing. Those meds you've been waiting for? Maybe this week, or sometime next week, who knows.
    Related to this are the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) trade standards (food safety, presence of weed seeds or invasive insects, among others) for agricultural products. Because of the precautionary principle (prohibit based on lack of evidence for safety versus prohibit based on evidence of risk) the EU has some of the strictest trade standards in the world. Once the UK leaves, farmers might be able--and many want--to use farming practices that the EU doesn't allow, such as certain pesticides and some biotechnology. This (if done right) will lower the cost of farming and food production, but could shut UK ag products out of the EU, which not surprisingly is the UK's largest ag market. Farmers following practices the UK government has deemed appropriate will only be able to sell in the UK, and will have to follow EU regulations to protect their market and be unable to use potentially more efficient techniques.
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  25. #25
    Snarkenfaugister Friendly Frog's Avatar
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    Not to mention that the UK is probably going to need a lot more farmland to even be able to feed their people. They import a great deal of food, have needed to do so for generations. Say bye-bye to the UK's natural landscape (and without the EU, all the legislation that protects it and all the LIFE-funding to maintain and expand). Large-scale industrial farming with all its downsides will be taking over.

    But what I personally don't get is all the 'we can totes decide our own migration once we're EU-free!' shouting. Dude, the UK's own laws have made it a magnet for fugitives, beit from excaping conflict or simply wanting a better life. France and Belgium are experiencing considerable transmigration from fugitives who don't want to stay and ask for asylum on this side of the Northsea, they all want to cross to the UK because for an asylum-seeker their odds for not facing deportation are better there. Frankly, if I were the French or Belgian government, I'd have some serious second thoughts about still going through such lenghts to keep migrants out of the UK just because the UK wants us to. There is a considerable cost here solely for the UK's benefit. And surely, if they do leave the EU, what incentive are France and Belgium going to have to continue protecting the UK's border for them? The EU regulation is not going to apply anymore.

    What a trainwreck indeed.

    The only one is is going to benefit from this stupidity is Putin.
    Last edited by Friendly Frog; 05-28-2019 at 03:13 PM.
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