Social Contract-2

Some years ago when travelling I met Frank Dowd IV and his brother Roddey. The Dowd family established the Charlotte Pipe and Foundry company in 1901 in Charlotte, North Carolina; Frank and Roddey are directors of the company today. Both men are interested in, and active politically in the USA. Recently, Frank shared with me an article published by Geopolitical Futures entitled, ‘The Instability of Britain: Brexit is Less Important than the Increasing Fragility of Britain and the British Isles’. The article got me thinking and resulted in me writing this post. My thoughts were reinforced when listening to Brendan O’Neill (Editor, Spiked Online) on LBC radio on the evening of 21 March when the European Union took control of the British government’s Brexit timetable.


Power and Influence

‘Power is the capacity to restructure actual situations. Influence is the capacity to modify the perceptions of others. Power and influence in combination determine political capability’

I C MacMillan
Strategy Formulation: Political Concepts
West Publishing Company

The chances are you’re not a Member of Parliament (albeit if you are, I hope you’re reading this); you’re not a member of the House of Lords (ditto my previous comment); you’re not a local councillor; you don’t chair a radio or TV programme with millions of people in your audience; you’re not a wealthy businessman with political connections; you don’t write a column in the mainstream press; you’re not a well-connected member of a lobbying group or think-tank. People in these roles are relatively powerful – and you’re unlikely to be one of them, but in many respects I hope that you are.

No, the chances are, you’re like me. You’re the wee guy who has no political power. All that you and I have, in a democracy, is some influence. You and I can only influence change indirectly and collectively through the ballot box. If enough of us vote for something, our collective influence becomes power. This is how democracy is supposed to work. It’s a covenant between us the influencers and the people who actually hold the power to make change. Democracy is a social contract between government and the governed.

Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time

Sir Winston Churchill

The Social Contract Under Strain

In this post I want to suggest that the social contract in the UK seems to be breaking down. The EU Referendum exposed a gulf between government and the governed. In fact, it seems to have exposed a wider gulf than that: one between Parliament and the people. That may sound like hyperbole but bear with me.

For over 40 years, Parliament excluded any meaningful debate about the trajectory of the European Union and the UK’s membership of that institution. The received wisdom was and, to an evidently large extent today, remains that the European Union is a ‘good thing’; not perfect, perhaps, but better than autonomous nationhood. In this sense, in the context of the UK’s membership (or not) of the European Union, British voters have been quite powerless for pretty much a generation. Furthermore, the majority of the British political class is pro-EU and, consequently, any critical mass of popular anti-EU sentiment in the UK has been muted for 40-odd years.

Now, if you neither want nor have the time to read a review of the history of the Brexit process and its impact on the British social contract, then you may wish to jump straight to the Summary section below. However, if you’re interested in reading a potted, factual history of the events of the past 4 years vis-à-vis the UK’s relationship with the European Union then read on.

The EU Referendum

‘I can see no case for having a referendum on [The Lisbon Treaty]. We don’t govern this country by referendum’

Tony Blair
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
1997 – 2007

In 2014, something happened which took the political class by surprise. The British people sent Parliament a warning shot across its bows: the electorate voted in droves for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in the European Union elections. I was one of those UKIP voters.

In fact, UKIP came top of the poll; the first time a political party other than the Conservative Party or the Labour Party had won a British election since the 1906 General Election. The two main British political parties were horrified. To the Conservative government’s credit, it read the writing on the wall: the British people appeared to be losing faith in the European Union; best we ask them directly whether they want to stick with the EU, or walk away?

In June 2015, Parliament voted by 544 to 53 in favour of giving the British people the responsibility for deciding whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union, or not; Parliament voted emphatically to hold an EU Referendum.

One can argue the toss for or against referendums generally. However, since our parliamentary democracy had clearly failed on the matter of permitting debate in the House of Commons about the UK’s membership of the European Union, holding a plebiscite sooner or later was almost inevitable.

The EU Referendum Result

The EU Referendum took place in June 2016. The Conservative government along with the majority of the British political class, ‘big business’ largely through its mouthpiece the Confederation of British Industry, the Establishment, ie the wider set of individuals and institutions in society who wield power through politicians directly and indirectly, central bankers, the arts industry, academia, a raft of think-tanks, President Obama, the BBC and much of the mainstream media, Uncle Tom Cobley and all threw their weight behind the Remain (in the EU) camp.

Having decided to orchestrate a plebiscite, the Conservative government, instead of acting as the honest broker, bet the farm on the vote going one way. The government activated all the powers of the state to persuade the British people to vote Remain, including spending £9 million of taxpayers’ money on a pro-EU leaflet sent to every home in the land. The government took no steps to contingency plan for the British people wanting to leave the European Union. However, in the early hours of the morning of 24 June 2016, to the government’s stunned disbelief and the horror of all those groups I referred to above, the British people voted the wrong way; they voted for the UK to leave the European Union aka ‘Brexit’. This was simply not supposed to have happened.

‘If it’s a Yes we will say “on we go” and if it’s a No we will say “we continue”

Jean-Claude Juncker
President of the European Commission

Over 17 million British people, muted by their own parliamentary democracy for more than 40 years, had been handed a loudhailer – and they used it. It’s often overlooked that in constituency terms, 410 UK constituencies voted Leave against 240 constituencies which voted Remain. Had the EU Referendum been conducted in the same way as a General Election, the Leave vote would have wiped the floor with Remain. Ironically, 480 MPs voted Remain whilst 159 MPs voted Leave; the disconnect between the electorate and the elected had been laid bare and was consistent with the chronic failure of our parliamentary democracy in the decades prior to the Referendum. Immediately after the EU Referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned.

‘We must not bow to populism’

Martin Schulz
President of the European Parliament
2014 – 17

The EU Referendum Result Reaction

Let’s set aside for now the oft-espoused Remain argument that those 17.4 million of us who voted Leave didn’t know what we were voting for; were duped by fake news and manipulated by outrageous lies; are racists; are bigoted, xenophobic Little-Englanders; are uneducated old gits screwing up the future for the young etc. As someone who voted Leave, who knows people who voted Leave (about half the people I know, funnily enough) and who has looked carefully at the plethora of post-Referendum voting analyses, the fact is that the Leave vote was won by a majority of people for whom recovering the UK’s sovereignty was the overriding deciding factor. It’s important to bear this in mind.

They must go on voting until they get it right

José Manuel Barroso
President of the European Commission
2004 – 14

It’s important also to bear in mind that the British people weren’t being asked to vote on a type of withdrawal from the European Union, ie a ‘hard Brexit’ or a ‘soft Brexit’ or a ‘deep and special relationship’ or a ‘Norway option’ or a ‘Canada-Plus option’ or any option other than to leave the European Union: namely to leave the Customs Union, the Single Market and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Only since the Referendum result became known has the losing side coined a raft of terms supposedly to define ‘Leave’, but which in fact are designed to confuse, impugn and undermine the true meaning of Leave – which means Leave.

‘The UK belongs to the EU’

Martin Schulz
President of the European Parliament
2014 – 17

General Election 2017

As David Cameron disappeared over the horizon, the Conservative Party anointed Theresa May as Prime Minister, a Remain-voting MP. She in turn appointed a Cabinet comprising a majority of Remain-voting ministers. At that moment, as far as the UK’s relationship with the EU was concerned, the beliefs of the nation’s political leadership team were crystallised into the polar opposite of those of the majority of the British electorate. The seeds of Brexit failure were being sown from the outset.

Badly advised, Prime Minister May then called a General Election expecting, according to the polls, to achieve a substantial majority in the House of Commons. The strategy failed – not least because of Theresa May’s non-existent empathy with the general public – and so the Conservative Party was forced to form a minority government, relying on a confidence-and-supply agreement with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in order for the Conservatives to exercise executive power.

However, the key point here is this: the manifestos of both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party respectively pledged to honour the Referendum result and take the UK out of the EU. In the General Election, 82% of the electorate – over 26 million people – voted Conservative or Labour. Just 7% of the electorate voted for the political party sworn to stopping Brexit: the Liberal Democrats. The British people desired to see Brexit delivered, even if the journey itself wasn’t clear.

‘It is an illusion to think that EU states can hold on to their autonomy’

Hans Tietmeyer
President of the German Bundesbank
1993 – 99

The Brexit Process

The process for a member-state to leave the European Union is enshrined in Article 50 of The Treaty of Lisbon. Article 50 was triggered by the Conservative government in March 2017 and was to involve a 2-year process of negotiation aimed at securing a Withdrawal Agreement culminating in the UK leaving the EU on 29 March 2019. If the Withdrawal Agreement could not be ratified by both parties to the Agreement then the UK would leave anyway on 29 March, without a formal agreement (NB Some lawyers argue that Article 50 does not permit the UK simply to leave the EU without an agreement; they argue that the government must pass legislation in Parliament expressly to leave the EU without a deal, but that’s another twist to the story).

Parliament passed into law the UK’s intention to leave the EU: the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. In other words, the UK would leave the European Union by law on 29 March 2019, either under a Withdrawal Agreement, or by simply stopping being a member of the EU on that date. Parliament voted by 498 to 114 to trigger Article 50; in other words, Parliament decided emphatically that the UK would leave the European Union, by law, on a particular date, come what may.

National sovereignty will soon prove itself to be a product of the imagination

Gerhard Schröder
Chancellor of Germany
1998 – 2005

Leaving without a formal agreement was soon termed ‘No Deal’. However, rather like Leaving became a Type-of-Leaving in the eyes of the losing side of the Referendum, so the losing side started describing No Deal as a ‘hard Brexit’ or a ‘cliff edge’ or ‘crashing out’ or some other pejorative adjective akin to Armageddon. In fact, leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement would simply require the UK to migrate to trading with the nations of the European Union under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. Most of the countries of the world (77 of them) trade with the EU under WTO rules; the other 58 countries of the WTO trade with the EU under negotiated terms. The UK has nothing to fear about trading with the EU on WTO rules despite the hysterical cries from those on the losing side of the Referendum, amplified by the BBC and other organs of the mainstream media.

The Withdrawal Agreement

Prime Minister May said in January 2017 that ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ implying that if any Withdrawal Agreement didn’t pass muster, the UK would leave the EU on 29 March as intended. Indeed, on over 100 occasions at the Despatch Box in the House of Commons the Prime Minister has stated that the UK will leave the EU on 29 March.

A Withdrawal Agreement was negotiated between the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services (M Michel Barnier) and a British civil servant (Mr Oliver ‘Olly’ Robbins). Both men are unelected bureaucrats. The 599-page Withdrawal Agreement was almost certainly conceived by European Commission lawyers and staff in Brussels using the expert writing skills of British civil servants.

The Meaningful Vote

Prime Minister May put the Withdrawal Agreement to the House of Commons on 9 January 2019 where it was debated for 5 days. On 16 January, Parliament rejected the deal in a so-called ‘Meaningful Vote’ by 432 to 202 votes – the biggest defeat of a government motion by Parliament in British history. Undeterred, the British government managed to secure from the EU a few insubstantial amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement and so, rather bizarrely, put the deal back to the House of Commons for a second ‘Meaningful Vote’ on 12 March. Parliament verified that the Agreement was a ‘bad deal’ by rejecting it again by 391 to 242 votes, the 4th biggest defeat of a government motion by Parliament in British history.

It might have been fair to assume at this stage, therefore, that the Barnier/Robbins’ deal was indeed a ‘bad deal’ and that the UK would be set to leave the EU with ‘no deal’ on 29 March – as promised by Mrs May on many occasions previously and enshrined as such in UK law.

No Deal Off The Table

Not quite. After the second ‘Meaningful Vote’, Parliament decided that the UK should not include ‘No Deal’ in its negotiating strategy. Now, any negotiator will tell you that if you go into a negotiation telling the other party that you will never, ever walk away from doing a deal, guess what? Yes, that’s right: the other party will screw you over. Not surprisingly, therefore, the European Union has held firm on refusing to amend the Withdrawal Agreement – an appallingly ‘bad deal’ according to Parliament, but a Parliament which also paradoxically and preposterously rejects ‘No Deal’. This negotiating madness has not been lost on the French President who said recently:

British politicians are incapable of carrying out what their people instructed. Their people voted for Brexit. Parliament has voted against the Agreement and No Deal. It’s a true democratic and political crisis

Emmanuel Macron
President of the French Republic

The EU is content, therefore, to roast the UK into accepting a bad deal. After all, it’s a fallacy ever to think that the party on the other side of the negotiating table is somehow your friend, somehow on your side. The fact is that the EU is the UK’s adversary in this context. However, the Conservative government and the House of Commons are emphatically pro-EU, so the negotiations were always going to be about collaboration and collusion and ultimately, therefore, about the UK being screwed over by the EU. It wouldn’t have taken an archbishop to work this out from the moment the Conservative Party allowed the nation to be governed post the EU Referendum by a pro-EU Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Consequently, the Withdrawal Agreement was only ever going to be designed to deliver Brexit-In-Name-Only (BRINO). This is not surprising since the Agreement was prepared in Brussels by the European Commission desperate to maintain the integrity of the European Union and knowing that they were dealing with a British government of Remain-voting ministers who, latterly, were also instructed by Parliament never to walk away from the negotiations. You really couldn’t make this up as an exercise in unmitigated political incompetence and a pre-ordained failure of democracy.

The age of pure representative democracy is coming to an end

Peter Mandelson
British European Commissioner
2004 – 08

Current Situation

Indeed, incompetence barely starts to describe how the British political class responded to the EU Referendum result having in the past 3-years engineered itself and the Brexit process into the corner to end all corners. As the wee guy sitting here in my Study overlooking the Moray Firth and holding merely the influence of a single vote, one looks upon the Westminster ‘elite’ (a misnomer if ever there was one) with a mixture of disbelief, anger and contempt. You wonder just how a nation with one of the most admirable economic, political and social histories known to mankind could be reduced to little short of international humiliation.

The UK should leave the EU by law at 11.00 pm on Friday 29 March; the end of this week. However, owing to the catastrophic failure of the Conservative government and Parliament between them to prepare the UK to leave the EU on that date, Prime Minister May has had to beg the European Union for an extension to the Brexit deadline – which will mean breaking the law unless Parliament amends the law within the coming week; a tall order.

The European Union is now, as it has been for the past 40 years or so, in control of how the UK is governed. In this sense, one can only admire the success of the European Union elite in emasculating nation states (the UK in this case) consistent with their goal of creating a European superstate, the United States of Europe. Member nations are supposed to take their orders from Brussels; that’s how the European Union works.

We want more Europe and stronger powers to intervene

Angela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany

On 21 March the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, told the UK that if the Withdrawal Agreement was not approved by Parliament at the third time of asking (what is it that the Conservative government doesn’t understand by the term ‘bad deal’?), then the UK must declare its intentions before Friday 12 April or leave the EU on that date. On the other hand, if Parliament suddenly decided that the ‘bad deal’ was in fact a ‘good deal’, then the European Union would grant the UK until Wednesday 22 May to pass the necessary legislation to put the Withdrawal Agreement (which is, in reality, a treaty) into law.

Democracy as a Recipe

On 21 March, as I listened to the unfolding political drama on LBC radio, I could sense that the social contract, which had been unravelling for months beforehand, was now being shredded by the incompetence of the British government and the brutal negotiating skills of the European Union. Between them, for 1,000 days of ‘negotiations’ (collusion really), the two institutions have treated with barely-concealed contempt the decision delegated to the British people in June 2016 in effect asking voters who should govern the UK? The British people chose self-determination. The British government, Parliament and the European Union together, however, prefer governance of the UK by a foreign oligarchy, the European Commission. This conflict is at the heart of the disintegrating social contract in the UK.

The EU is a non-imperial empire

José Manual Barroso
President of the European Commission
2004 – 2014

The British government and the House of Commons have been unable to square away honouring the result of the EU Referendum with their own preference to have the UK subsumed within a European superstate. British politicians have tied themselves in knots trying to craft a fudge; half-in, half-out of the EU. The Conservative government had neither the guts nor the skills nor the will to take the UK out of the European Union and to bring Parliament and the country with them. Aided and abetted by the majority of Westminster politicians, the government confused the 52%/48% Referendum result with a recipe. They thought that leaving the EU should involve being kind of mainly in but 4% out of the EU; the difference between the Leave and Remain votes. The problem is that having confused democracy with a recipe, they’ve created the mother-of-all dog’s breakfasts and in so doing put a flame to the social contract (apologies for the mixed metaphors).


It’s difficult not to conclude that 40 years of EU membership has resulted in the British political class being vulgarised. Our politicians appear to have lost all understanding of how a sovereign democracy is supposed to function; they’re in thrall to the EU technocracy, to the idea that we’re all better off by having the affairs of Europe (including the UK) guided by Commissioners like Michel Barnier, Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk sitting on some rarefied plane as if they’re Plato’s Guardians.

After a generation of being nodding dogs to the tens of thousands of regulations and directives being spewed out of the European Union into the legislative framework of the United Kingdom, British politicians have lost all understanding of the arts of government, statesmanship and statecraft. The result is where we find ourselves today: the UK humiliated on the world stage; British democracy on the brink of being sunk without trace; a nation of citizens at each other’s throats.

In many ways the UK’s predicament is testament to the effectiveness of the European Union in emasculating nation states and exploiting the maxim of divide and rule; that’s precisely what a nascent superstate is supposed to do, and men like Michel Barnier have provided us with a masterclass in oligarchic power whilst leaving the British Prime Minister looking like some latter-day Uriah Heep.

Let’s summarise the path we’ve taken since 2015:

The political class’s decision to hold the EU Referendum was carried overwhelmingly. Parliament showed itself to be very keen to delegate the decision about the UK’s membership of the European Union to the British people.

The EU Referendum caused the highest ever percentage (72%) of the British electorate – 33,551,983 people – to turn out to vote, many adults having never voted in their lives before.

The Referendum result itself was close, but clear. In any democracy a single vote will carry the day. In the EU Referendum, 1,269,501 votes carried the day; in other words, 8% more people voted Leave (17,410,742) than voted Remain (16,141,241). The collective voice of 17.4 million was eventually heard, muted for a generation by a failed parliamentary democracy.

The political class’s decision to trigger Article 50 and deliver Brexit, with or without a Withdrawal Agreement, was carried overwhelmingly by Parliament. Furthermore, Prime Minister May’s Article 50 mantra was ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’.

The Conservative government put a deal, the Withdrawal Agreement to the House of Commons not once, but twice and on both occasions the Agreement was rejected overwhelmingly: it’s a ‘bad deal’, a very bad deal.

Notwithstanding, Parliament told the government that it would not accept ‘No Deal’ as a negotiating outcome thereby paralysing totally the Brexit negotiating process.

Unable to deliver on the decision of the British people in the EU Referendum that the UK should, by law, leave the EU on 29 March 2019, Prime Minister May was forced to beg the European Union for an extension to the Article 50 deadline just 8 days before the UK was supposed to leave the EU.

The European Union has given the UK until the 22 May at the latest to get its act together.

So Where Does This Leave the Social Contract?

Referring back to my opening paragraphs and assuming that you’re a British voter, you and I are the hapless victims of what I assert to be the grotesque incompetence of the British political class, exacerbated by the ruthless intransigence of the European Union. You and I can do nothing about what has, in my opinion, become an unfolding abuse of British political and Establishment power, deliberately or by omission; either way, it doesn’t matter.

Keep people off balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defence. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realise your intentions it will be too late

Robert Greene
The Concise 48 Laws of Power
Law 3 | Conceal Your Intentions
Profile Books

Assuming you’re a Brit, in June 2016 you and I were asked to exercise our democratic influence in the form of casting our votes in the EU Referendum. Dutifully, over 33 million of us did as requested and we each expressed our wish: either the UK should Remain in the EU or Leave the EU. A clear majority of us decided that the UK should leave the EU.

Almost 3 years later there is very little sign at all that the UK will in fact leave the European Union. There is pressure from the losing side for there to be another Referendum, known in Orwellian-speak as a ‘People’s Vote’; there is pressure from the losing side to delay the Article 50 process indefinitely, presumably in the hope that this would lead to the UK’s departure process eventually being terminated; there is pressure from the losing side to revoke the Article 50 process altogether now and, as an inevitable consequence, most certainly keep the UK inside the EU.

A Europe of nations is a relic of the past

Guy Verhofstadt
Member of the European Parliament

So, where does all this leave the social contract which might in many ways best be described using the words of US President Abraham Lincoln as ‘government of the people, for the people, by the people’? I can’t speak for you as a fellow Brit who might have voted in the EU Referendum. However, as far as I’m concerned, the British social contract has been breached. I kept my side of the bargain by voting in the EU Referendum. The British political class, on the other hand, has failed utterly to keep its side of the bargain. Not only have our politicians failed to extricate the UK from the European Union in a timely fashion, they seem to be within a whisker of being party to a sequence of events which could see the result of the EU Referendum nullified; of facilitating the UK’s continued membership of the European Union; of making a mockery of democracy.

The English philosopher, John Locke (1632 – 1704) took the view that the people consent to make over their influence to the state on condition that the state uses it for the common good. The people reserve the right to withdraw that consent if the state fails in its contractual duties. The forceful overthrow of the government by the people, by rebellion if necessary, remains a legitimate (albeit final) remedy.

For each party to honour its side of the social contract is the price of social order.


What If You Voted Remain?

Often I give some thought to those of my family, friends and fellow citizens who voted Remain in the EU Referendum. If I was you, what would I be thinking now? Well, despite the somewhat pessimistic tone of this post, I believe that in the end the UK will leave the EU. Quite when is anybody’s guess, but stuffing 17.4 million Brexit genies back into their bottles will not be possible in the longer term.

So, what the Remain cohort should do, in my opinion, is this. Assuming that you’ve not already changed your view from Remain to Leave (and some people whom I know have done this), then you should make the case for the UK being a fully-fledged member of the EU. Persuade the British people of the benefits of having the UK re-join the European Union; the benefits of governance of the United Kingdom by the de facto government of the EU, the European Commission; the benefits of membership of the euro currency union; the benefits of The Schengen Agreement and the abolition of national borders; the benefits of having the highest court in your society being a court in another land adhering to the Napoleonic code of law; the benefits of a European Army with British servicemen swearing their first allegiance to the President of the European Commission; the benefits of ceding once-and-for-all-time UK national sovereignty to a foreign institution and, to quote Kenneth Clarke MP, celebrate ‘the day when the Westminster Parliament is just a council chamber of Europe’. Rather than rearguard-fight the result of the EU Referendum of June 2016, fight instead the European Union cause of the future. I wish you all the best with that.


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See you down the pub.


  1. Greetings after a few years absence!
    Three points which are missing in your excellent thoughts:
    One – God! “the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will, and sets up over it the basest of men.” Dan.4
    Second – The very small proportion of folk who are looking at the variety of excellent Brexit sites and blogs demonstrates a populace which – as long as they have their foreign holidays etc., largely do not care about their rulers (Roman Games anyone?)
    Three – I am afraid that you optimism is misplaced – even if Brexit succeeds – British rule may be marginally better than EU rule – but it would be a foolish bet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      Great to have you back!



  2. flyer · · Reply

    Unbelievable isn’t it, what a farce, I thought things would difficult as we approached Brexit but I didn’t expect this.

    What worries me is that the social contract is indeed broken and I don’t think our democracy will recover. Imagine if we had another election in the near future, the most likely outcome would be a hastily thrown together coalition to form a government and the very last thing we’d get is any form of strong leadership (as if we have it now).

    Our country is heading into a political power vacuum, something that usually proves disastrous whenever it happens to any country, there are plenty of examples. Very likely, in fact I’m very sure, the EU would be only too happy to fill this power vacuum. I’m even beginning to suspect that the Brexit referendum was just a cunning plan to finally destroy any last traces of British democracy, this is certainly what appears to be happening.

    So MM, if you’re considering a career in politics? Now would be a good time to get started, we really are in a dire situation and strong leadership is what is required.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The dominating voter emotions now are set to be (a) anger, and (b) contempt for the ‘establishment’. Neither is particularly constructive, but this is a formula that’s likely to blow the Conservatives into tiny fragments, and put Mr Corbyn into No. 10.

      When he then embarks on nationalization, much higher CGT and wealth taxes, you’ll hear the squeals of ‘establishment’ pain from John O’Groats to Land’s End – which will have a certain justice about it, I suspect…..

      Liked by 1 person

    2. moraymint · · Reply

      Reading your comment, flyer, and Dr Tim’s above, it really is extraordinarily difficult to predict where British politics is going from here. We do now seem to be cleaved down the middle between those in our society who believe that the best future for the United Kingdom involves the nation being a region within a superstate, and those in our society who believe in national self-determination. The old Left/Right, Socialism/Capitalism, Labour/Conservative associations appear to be obsolescent, if not obsolete. The speed at which this appears to have occurred is quite amazing, but is in my view a direct consequence of the European Union itself.

      I am registered as a potential election candidate for The Brexit Party.


  3. Here’s an interesting angle on this from Europe.

    If an extension longer than 22nd May is granted, the UK must take part in European Parliament elections. Note: “must”.

    Ex-UK, it already looks like “populists” will get 35%, enough to block a lot of legislation and stop the automatic choice of next EP president.

    This prospect scares the EU establishment, and individual governments including France and Holland, and perhaps Germany too, are worried.

    British voters might be angry, and might vote for UKIP again, or similar. Of the UK’s parties, only the Lib Dems are signed up to “remain”. So the UK could return a lot of Eurosceptic MEPs – just what the EU doesn’t need.

    This issue might worry some in the EU more than a no deal “Brexit”.

    So they’re most unlikely to grant a longer extension unless the UK cancels article 50 (i.e. halts “Brexit”).

    So this looks like “make-you-mind-up time” – May’s deal, no deal or no “Brexit” – making the indicative votes process completely irrelevant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      That would be my understanding of the landscape. The political class is pretty much faced with either facilitating the completion of the Brexit process to their pathological distaste (WTO rules), or consciously and explicitly spitting in the face of democracy, cancelling Brexit and, er, begging the EU to let the UK retain membership on status quo ante terms (fat chance). A greater political mess you could not dream up …

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The EU’s national leaders have made a huge mistake by letting Brussels do this its own way.

        Brussels is by definition pro-union – so it has an inbuilt bias towards punishing the British to deter voters in other countries.

        But punishing the UK comes at a price – not a price paid by Brussels, but by member countries. A messy “Brexit” will harm France, but most at risk is Ireland – and my own model shows Ireland as an economic basket case, even before “Brexit”-related damage.

        Mrs Merkel seems to understand this, but Mr Macron and Mr Varadker clearly do not. The plan to combat “populism” by punishing British voters and talking tough has echoes of Canute. And it has failed – throughout the “Brexit” process, “populism” has been advancing, not retreating, most obviously in Italy, France and Holland. Macron and Rutte are now lame ducks, and Angela Merkel has timed her departure well.

        It would have made much more sense to show generosity towards the UK, in the EU members’ own best interests. When you look at the Brussels machine, and look also at Macron, this kind of mess is true to type.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Tim

      If we have to put up MEP candidates then I can see Farage’s new Brexit party sweeping the board. EU election have historically low turnouts and their are more than enough very angry Brexit supporters to turn out to ensure massive payback. Call it the public’s project revenge if you will.


      Are you still considering standing if needs be?




      1. moraymint · · Reply

        Yes Simon, I am registered as a potential Brexit Party candidate. The Party is waiting to see the outcomes of today’s debate (watching it now) before pushing the button on the selection process …


        1. Good man.


  4. A good article on how the same arguments about Supra-nationalism have been put forward for the last 120 years at least.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You seem to be missing some important quotes on the design and goals of the EU.

    The Nazis, Fascists and their supranational collaborators and sympathisers around Europe proposed and designed the EU 70 years ago.

    “The solution to economic problems would be the eventual object of a European customs union and a free European market, a European clearing system and stable exchange rates in Europe, looking towards a European currency union.”
    Memorandum of the Reich Chancellery, 9 July 1940, signed by Hermann Göring

    “There must be a readiness to subordinate one’s own interests in certain cases to that of the European Community.”
    Walther Funk, Finance Minister in Hitler’s government, 1942.

    “It is not very intelligent to imagine that in such a crowded house like that of Europe, a community of peoples can maintain different legal systems and different concepts of law for long.”
    Adolph Hitler, addressing the Reichstag, 1936

    “In my view a nation’s conception of its own freedom must be harmonised with present-day facts and simple questions of efficiency and purpose… Our only requirement of European states is that they be sincere and enthusiastic members of Europe.”
    Joseph Goebbels, 1940

    “The people of Europe understand increasingly that the great issues dividing us, when compared with those which will emerge and will be resolved between continents, are nothing but trivial family feuds. In fifty years Europeans will not be thinking in terms of separate countries.”
    Joseph Goebbels, 1942

    “A new Europe: that is the point, and that is the task before us. It does not mean that Italians and Germans and all other nations of the European family are to change their spots and become unrecognizable to themselves or to one another, from one day or one year to the next. It will be a new Europe because of the new inspiration and determining principle that will spring up among all these peoples…The problem of the hierarchy of states will no longer arise. At least in its usual form, once we have cut off the dragon’s head; that is, the notion of state sovereignty. Moreover, this does not have to be done outright, but can be achieved indirectly, e.g. by creating interstate European bodies to look after certain common interests (exchange rates, communications, foreign trade)”
    Camillo Pellizi, editor of Civilita Fascista, in an article entiled ‘The Idea of Europe’

    “The new Europe of solidarity and cooperation among all its peoples, a Europe without unemployment, without monetary crises… will find an assured foundation and rapidly increasing prosperity once national economic barriers are removed.”
    Arthus Seyss-Inquart, Minister of Security and the Interior in the post-Anschluss Nazi government, 1938, and later Prefect of Occuppied Holland.

    “The results of excessive nationalism and territorial dismemberment are within the experience of all. There is only hope for peace by means of a process which on the one hand respects the inalienable fundamental patrimony of every nation but, on the other, moderates these and subordinates them to a continental policy… A European Union could not be subject to the variations of internal policy that are characteristic of liberal regimes.”
    Alberto de Stefani, Finance Minister in Mussolini’s government, 1941

    “We must create a Europe that does not squander its blood and strength on internecine conflict, but forms a compact unity. In this way it will become richer, stronger and more civilized, and will recover its old place in the world….National tensions and petty jealousies will lose their meaning in a Europe freely organised on a federal basis. World political development consists inevitably in the formation of larger political and economic spheres.”
    Vidkun Quisling, Norwegian Nazi Collaborator, ‘Prime Minister’ of Occupied Norway, 1942

    The EU clearly fulfils all the ambitions of the Nazis and Fascists who had precisely the same supranational political and economic goals decades ago. It goes to show how modern and truly progressive the Nazi and Fascist movements actually were in that it has taken our contemporary supranational progressives over 70 years to catch up to speed and reach exactly the same conclusions.

    It seems that the millions who died and suffered, who sacrificed, who dug for victory, who endured years of economic hardship and rationing in that all important fight for freedom and national sovereignty in the UK did so for absolutely nothing. Their sacrifices will be ceremoniously remembered but their achievements will be abandoned and dishonoured. Churchill was entirely wrong, it is only now that we are directly in the middle of Britain’s darkest hour as the sun finally sets on democracy. How do we ever make our apologies to those who gave so much for nought?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      Excellent, thank you Simon. I’m familiar with the history of what is now the European Union in the way that you’ve brought to light here. There are days at the moment when I think we are living in the most depressing of times. It’s the fact that so many of my fellow British citizens seem to subscribe rather fanatically to the notion of supranational governance largely devoid of democratic accountability. What’s happened to us?


      1. What happened to us? Highly advanced, coordinated total media and educational manipulation and indoctrination. I thought project fear prior to the referendum was bad enough but I never supposed we would have to endure another 3 years of even worse propaganda. If it comes to a general election and a Brexit government can be elected then a public enquiry into the deep state’s prosecution and orchestration of project fear is going to be a central concern. It is paramount that it is revealed to the public how they have been duped and deceived, by whom and to what ends and whose benefits. There are a great many establishment figures who should be tried as traitors.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This could apply verbatim to the election of Trump and subsequent horseplay


  6. Thank you MM for your efforts.

    A deeply deeply depressing state of affairs, perhaps lightened only by the thought of what is going to happen around the country when political canvassers next knock on the door….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. C Walker · · Reply

    An interesting post. However, the final paragraphs sum up the situation we now face. Remainers, having spent years hiding behind Project Fear, i.e. predicting economic Armageddon aka the 1975 Referendum, what Remaining in the EU means, how the UK will ‘lead in Europe’, ‘reform the EU from within’……. whilst remaining outside of the core EU policies of the euro, EU Army etc,
    The Referendum should always have been clearly defined as “do we believe in the EU project (Remain) and its federal agenda or not (Leave)”, the majority of Leave voters saw the vote in this way. Lord Ascroft’ s polling immediately after the Referendum revaeled that ‘sovereignty was the key issue for Leave voter.
    Whilst Remai bought into Project Fear,
    I agree, the UK will leave the EU, it is inevtiable even though it may now be delayed. The ‘lamestream’ media forget the Referendum Lock legislation that will kick in if more ‘power’ is ceded to Brussels; it inevitably will be as the EU juggernaut drives on.
    A General Election is now needed to weed out the arch Remoaners like Grieve, Soubry, Wollaston et al as a start to the political realignment that is needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. arfurbryant · · Reply

    Another excellent post, MM.

    For what my sixpenneth is worth…

    I voted to Leave in a referendum which only asked one simple question.
    I did not vote for a deal.
    Nobody mentioned a deal.
    Now, it appears that we absolutely MUST have a deal or hell will break loos.
    Where did this idea of needing a deal come from?
    It came from the Politico-Media machine which is now in full ‘Mencken’s Hobgoblin’ mode.
    If you tell a lie often and loudly enough, it will become truth (paraphrasing some German bloke).
    No-one I know voted for a deal.
    When I leave a club, i just leave. I pay my dues and leave. The Politburo would be very proud of the way the EU have conducted themselves up to this point.
    I take offence at being told I did not understand what I was voting for. I have since proved to this people that I did understand, and understand more about Brexit and the EU than they do. Why? Because they get ALL they information from either the BBC or the Guardian.

    Rant nearly over.

    The one shining light in this whole charade is that I sense that the proletariat are getting fed up with MPs who seem to think they are cleverer than the people who voted them into their taxi-payers paid jobs. I agree with the comment up thread and I actually think that, if democracy is thrown away and a second referendum is enforced, then an even stronger Leave vote will likely ensue. But there is no future for a democracy after that.

    But what will the question be? Ah, there’s a thought…

    Remember, you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. (Abe Lincoln)

    Best to all,


    Liked by 1 person

  9. “Populism”
    Took off in Italy on its way in the Netherlands, probably going to succeed in France soon, gaining traction in Spain.
    These nations all had referendums that were overturned as well, or Parliaments reduced to little more than Puppet governments.
    For “Populism”, an MSM term that could be thought of as a smear, I would ascribe the meaning “Democracy”, it is a vote for a return to Democracy.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. reallyoldbill · · Reply

    Another thought provoking post, for which I thank you.

    It is now apparent, from posts on social media such as Twitter, actions in the Commons and quotes from an uncomfortable number of MPs on all sides, including preposterously some who still claim to be Brexit supporters, that any pretence of trying to respect the referendum result has been abandoned; efforts to strangle if not completely revoke Brexit are being openly made. I have never in my lifetime seen the result of a democratic vote being so blatantly and consistently challenged and defied by those who were on the losing side. They seem either incapable of understanding the dangerous precedent that this sets for the peaceful continuance of our democracy with every future vote on any subject being open to challenge, or simply don’t care as long as they achieve their objective of stopping Brexit. If it is the latter then it betrays an ideology that is not unlike the religious fervour of extreme cults. Being a member or not of a political union with our European neighbours is a political choice, nothing more and nothing less, and it is unnerving to see so many outwardly sensible people unable to accept that a majority of their fellow citizens don’t share their personal choice on the matter. That the same people routinely accuse those with whom they disagree on the subject of being the ideologues and extremists only heightens the irony.

    Whatever now happens with Brexit, the way in which it has been mishandled by both the government and parliament has exposed the serious limitations in our constitutional arrangements, and their apparent inability to guarantee that the votes of the common man and woman count for anything, which is a basic tenet of any democracy. What is more, the level of dishonesty displayed by a majority of our political class, promising to respect the referendum result both before and after it was made and standing on manifesto pledges which they clearly had no intention of trying to fulfill, has caused genuine surprise and mounting anger; it is now clear that the democracy in which we believed we were living has been a myth. I have made the point before that King Charles I was beheaded supposedly to resolve for all time the question of any monarch’s divine right to rule as he saw fit, but it is now clear that we simply replaced one individual with 650 (if we ignore the anachronistic absurdity of an even greater number in the unelected Lords) who feel just as entitled to ignore the expressed wishes of the majority and behave as autocratic rulers rather than public servants and representatives. If our own parliament is exposed as tyrannical then to whom should people turn for protection of their rights?

    It is that latter question which should now be exercising the minds of all sane MPs as they reach the Brexit end game. Parliament has shown itself to arrogant, aloof, patronising and completely out of touch with the views of those it is meant to serve. That cannot ever be a recipe for anything but massive social unrest; the days when the majority were simple serfs who unquestioningly accepted the judgement of their betters has long since gone, and the modern electronically connected world brings information into the hands of any and everybody who bothers to look for it. No longer can people be fobbed off with half-truths and obfuscation by politicians because the reality is there for all to see. When, in addition to the above mentioned traits parliamentarians are also blatantly dishonest and treat their voters as fools then the pressure for real change will be unstoppable. We are almost certainly living through the last days of the accepted political order and the establishment is in line for a seismic shock when it finds itself washed away in the inevitable tsunami of public disgust. It is impossible to predict the exact form that the public reaction will take, but at the very least the composition of parliament may never look the same again with UKIP, The Brexit Party (if it stands in UK elections) and other challengers finally overcoming the obstacle of our FPTP system to unseat supposedly safe-seated incumbents; even should they not manage to get elected themselves in many constituencies the migration of millions of votes to them will almost certainly alter the colour of the political map. And frankly that will be a good thing for us all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      Great comment Bill.

      Yes, the great danger in all this is that the British public will wonder what on earth is the point of voting for anything in future? The whole ‘we’re the oldest and most stable democracy on earth …’ trope will have been exposed to be bolleaux; a sham.

      Like millions of others I’m aghast at the total disconnectedness of our political masters. How can they be so completely and utterly out of tune with the zeitgeist? Aside from one or two notable exceptions, people are absolutely sick to death of the political class. And yet day by day, hour by hour they come on the wireless and the TV spouting and regurgitating the same unmitigated cr*p and you listen to them wondering just what the hell planet do you live on?

      It’s extraordinary. I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. And, I would say this wouldn’t I, but I believe quite firmly that it is primarily a symptom of us having abrogated all political, legislative and governance responsibility to the European Union for a generation. We’re not supposed to know how to govern ourselves as a sovereign nation and – sure as hell – we don’t.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Gordon Diffey · · Reply

    Well MM you have summarised all the issues pretty well. My concern is that the Remain supporters do not and will not read anything that is contrary to their “Groupthink”. I have discussions with some of them on their Forums and they lack any concept of the use of data or “fact”. They just assume that because they make a statement it becomes fact or is true. I always argue with them using only data and information taken from official EU document and websites, and they accuse me of spreading fake news. When I signpost them to the relevant EU documents they claim I have set up a spam link to a cloned site or document. As you know I am open to discussion and to change my mind if someone can show me that my views are incorrect; as you have done to me in the past on other subjects ;).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      Yes, I know what you mean Gordon. I think the only thing to do is what I’ve done here. One states the case as objectively as possible and hopes (against hope?) that the message will get through, in whole or at least in part. I try to apply those principles of service writing that we were taught in our yoof: make your writing clear, accurate, logical, relevant and brief, and you’ll always stand a chance of persuading the reader of some if not all of your case. M


  12. Another tour de force Mr Mint…..

    Will be shared with my circle of remaining friends …….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      Thanks H!


  13. Old Goat · · Reply

    Thank you for that, sir very interesting and most enlightening.

    I’ve reposted on Going Postal, and also Biased BBC.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      Thanks Old Goat. Keep up the good work yourself …


  14. Reblogged this on Wolsten and commented:
    An excellent summary of how we got here with sound advice for Remain Voters to make a positive case for rejoining the EU rather than fighting a democratic decision.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      Thanks wolsten …


  15. Excellent article, MM.

    What you highlight so effectively is that there was never any ambiguity about the meaning of the referendum result. Any supposed ambiguity has been introduced subsequently, by those determined to thwart the decision of the voters.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      Thanks Tim. It is quite extraordinary the extent to which the losing side of the democratic process is almost wholly in command of events! There can never surely have been a similar situation in modern times? Imagine a General Election where the losing side had completely stymied the formation of government for 3 years after the result. It is all quite bizarre – and becoming increasingly dangerous in my view …

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Indeed so. Ten years on from the expenses scandal, it seems that most politicians have learned absolutely nothing.

        This isn’t a purely British phenomenon, of course. The recent Dutch poll was topped by a nationalist party which, until recently, got fewer votes than the animal welfare party. A majority of the French people support the objectives of the gilets jaunes. Mrs Merkel has timed her departure astutely. Mr Trump turns out not to have conspired with Russia after all.

        And still these clowns in Westminster think they can rely on deference, and ignore the outcome of a referendum! They make Louis XVI look astute………

        Liked by 1 person

        1. moraymint · · Reply

          Groupthink par excellence …


  16. Robert Polatajko · · Reply

    We are in the middle of a coup, orchestrated by foreign powers with the full connivance of the British establishment, political class and media.
    A few hundred years ago the Thames would already be running red and ten thousand headless corpses would be keeping the nation’s pigs well fed.
    Today, we tut tut and pretend we can’t see our new German masters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      There is potential for this to get out of hand if the politicians don’t wake up soon and smell the coffee …


  17. I debra barnett · · Reply

    I feel so let down and frustrated over the fact we may not leave! The sad thing is remainders think this is a point scoring exercise that they want to win never mind what this has done to British democracy! In future any thing can be changed don’t they understand that? This is the reason we vote. But what’s the use of it stands for nothing. I am so ashamed to be British! We have no values any more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      Thanks debra. Despite everything, I do think that we’ll come out of this on the right side of democracy in the end …


  18. Lee Taylor · · Reply

    Superb stuff as always MM there is nothing really to add. I am deeply depressed by the events of the past two years. The only positive is that whilst I have yet to meet anyone who voted leave who has now changed their mind. I have spoken to several people who voted to remain who would now vote to leave.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Tim Bird · · Reply

    Well, that was a hefty read 🙂 beautifully constructed, while i do not agree with your views entirely , a lot of what you say is both correct and informative, it’s a pleasure to read another’s pov put so eruditely and politely, something that has, sadly, been missing from both camps . A lot to think about !

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Peter · · Reply

    Great summary! It’s incredible to think that in a competition the losers end up controlling the game. The PM, Cabinet, Parliament, Speaker, Civil Service, Media, Pressure Groups – all Losers but all controlling events. Is it any wonder that Brexit is in trouble.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Boyd Stokes · · Reply

    A tremendously well structured and factual writing Mr Chatterer. I couldn’t have empathised and summarised the sad farce any better myself…….on reflection I couldn’t have done it 25% as well sadly?!! Theresa and the Queen should be taking your scribing along with their porridge tomorrow, taking note and acting accordingly and appropriately in a truthful honourable way. The Queen would understand, respect and I’m sure honour your words whereas Theresa won’t have a clue such is her arrogance and ignorance. I share your wish for peaceful resolution but fear otherwise with the degree of disrespect that our sovereign state and its peoples are being treated with. Thank you again for this piece and keep up the sterling work. Kind regards Boyd

    Liked by 1 person

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      Thanks very much Boyd! We’ll get there in end, I feel sure. It’s just that it’s all so unnecessarily agonising!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Jack Little · · Reply

    The words of another US President (Theodore Roosevelt): “Bully For You” Moraymint and your efforts since the referendum vote.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. moraymint · · Reply

      Thanks Jack, and all the best to you …

      Liked by 1 person

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