Brexit madness and British delusions

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Ever since May’s defeat she, her cabinet and the right wing media, have been hinting about possible compromises from Brussels. They’ve suggested that in this stand off the EU will blink first. That the Irish will be up for renegotiating the Good Friday agreement, you name it. However the Irish have now put their foot down and made it clear there will be no compromise on the backstop, even if it means a no deal.

This doesn’t surprise me, for the last few weeks I’ve been reading the news on Irish websites (e.g. the Irish times or RTE news) and the British news and its like they are reporting on two entirely different things in different parts of the world. So either May and her cabinet (plus large elements of the media) are delusional, or they are wilfully deceiving both the public and parliament. Whichever it is, there is nothing to be gained by Ireland or the EU compromising, after all we could never trust the British to hold up to their side of the bargain.

And some of the comments coming out of the UK have frankly added fuel to the fire, hence why I’m not really surprised Dublin is taking such a firm line. For example, in a blatant breach of the BBC’s supposed impartiality radio 4 host John Humphrey’s preposterously suggested that the solution might just been that Ireland leaves the EU, gives up independence and becomes part of the UK. Ya and maybe the solution to a trade deal with the US is for the US to become part of the UK? Or, rather than a 2nd indy ref, how about we dissolve the act of union and go back to direct rule of the UK from Edinburgh castle? Or we could resolve the issues at Gibraltar by reversing the treaty of Utrecht?

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Why Ireland left the UK is still a mystery to many Brits

Unfortunately, what Humphrey’s betrays is something I’ve heard several times from those who went to posh boarding schools. They have a warped view of history that’s about as biased as the sort you’d get in a madrasa and comes with an equivalent fanatical zeal to match. They can’t for the life of them understand why Ireland left the UK in the first place, nor the Americans or Canadians. Nor can they understand the hostility that references to the British empire stirs up among many in Asia. Or why it might be a bit of a diplomatic faux paus to quote Imperialist poets in a Myanmar temple (yes Boris actually did this!).

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…Or why the Indians left the Empire? Its a baffling mystery!

And there are large elements of UK history that the British believe in which is just flat out wrong. For example, you’ll often be told that there’s been no successful invasion of the UK since 1066. Well actually, there have been dozens of them. Numerous ones by the Scottish (the Welsh even had a go once or twice), two successful invasions during the war of the roses, another which put William of Orange on the throne and of course the infamous raid on the Medway (the Dutch sailed down the Thames and burnt the British fleet at anchor)to name a few. Hell one wonders why the UK landing cards, don’t include under “reasons for visiting” the option “invade this wretched isle and reclaim my birthright”.

And this also warps their world view leaving many brits with a form of selective blindness. Its what drives their view of British exceptionalism (that the UK should be allowed to leave the EU and yet still enjoy all the benefits, without paying for the privilege). Which leads to an inability to spot the obvious hypocrisies of, for example, leading brexiteers loudly proclaiming how brexit is a great idea, while moving their firms outside of the UK in advance of brexit. Or availing themselves of an EU passport (a privilege that’s not open to those who can’t afford a 2nd home overseas, doubly so now that its been made clear british expats will lose access to healthcare).

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The Royal navy helps “negotiate” a trade deal with China. And you wonder why British talk of “exciting free trade agreements” worries many

But surely the UK will win against the EU? Its not as if they’ve lost numerous battles and economic wars in the past? Like I’ve said, that the EU would take the line it has, or that the Irish would react so strongly to threats against the peace process, should not come as a surprise to any sane individual, whose even remotely familiar with this thing called “history“. For there is also a long standing failure of the British government in taking ownership of EU policy that it had a hand in.

They’ll whinge about unpopular legislation that Brussels “imposed on them”…while failing to point out it was a proposal the British supported, overwhelming number of British MEP’s voted for and the UK government could have vetoed had they wished. And equally British governments will take credit for things that were an entirely EU proposal.

And this extends to the withdrawal agreement. After all the backstop was May’s idea to placate the DUP. Now she’s saying she wants to get rid of it to placate the DUP……WTF! So you can imagine the incredulity in Brussels. And frankly the last thing the UK wants to do now is unpick a deal, remember the EU will inevitably ask for something in return (likely a commitment to a permanent customs union and/or extended freedom of movement indefinitely). May is again prioritising remaining PM for a few more days over the best interests of the country.

Women might be from Venus, men from Mars, while brexiteers seem to inhabit a different universe entirely! Brexit is a right wing project born out of a deluded and warped view of history among posh upper class twits who all went to fancy lads school. Hence why they are blind to the fact that brexit, as I’ve pointed out before, is a choice between May’s (existing) deal or no brexit at all.

But unable to comprehend this, the brexiteers (and large elements of the British public, who’ve had the same warped education) are instead prepared to dive off the the no deal cliff. Now the thing is, I’m increasingly of the view that this is what’s going to happen (hence the wave of stockpiling going on in the UK by both companies and the public).

What’s that you say? A citizens assembly to sort out brexit? It would have been an excellent idea….3 years ago! But now, let’s just say there are easier (and cheaper) ways of organising a riot.

And while a no deal brexit would be generally bad news all around, but it would be especially bad for the upper classes. The likely outcome I suspect will be either some sort of hard left government, a fascist coup, the break up of the UK, or a revolt of the centre and a rapid push for a 2nd referendum to rejoin the EU (under the terms of a new member, which will mean the end of non-dom status and the UK’s offshore tax havens).

So in essence, should the upper class types come to their senses in the next 60 days, it is for them a choice between either backtracking on brexit (good luck with that one! I’ll have the popcorn at the ready), or facing the Russian roulette of either Corbyn, Tony Robinson or Vince Cable ending up in charge.

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Brexit, the Frankenstein child disowned by its creators

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The Guardian view of the no lobby after the vote….also the first of the paper’s “spot the fool competitions”

I came across a comment somewhere online comparing the UK parliament to a bunch of seven year olds. I immediately reported this comment to the moderators, as its grossly unfair…..to seven year olds!

This week the government suffered one of the worst defeats in UK history as May’s brexit deal was put to the house. Inevitably many pro-remain MP’s voted against this, no surprise there. But so also did many of the brexiteers! Like the Frankenstein monster, the brexiteers created this monstrosity and now having glimpsed their creation, they’ve recoiled in horror and disowned it. But yet, still it lives and it stalks the realm.

The funny thing is that most of those who voted in favour of May’s deal were the releaver block within the Tory party. These being MP’s who backed remain, but accepted the result of the referendum (flawed as it was). As one pointed out during the debate, he didn’t like May’s deal, but he (and his constituents) just wanted the government to get it over and done with, as they are all sick of hearing about brexit.

Well the bad news is, if your sick of hearing the phrase “brexit” buckle up, because your going to be hearing about it for at least a decade to come. As Sir Iain Rogers has pointed out, brexit is a process, not a destination. It will take ten years for the UK to completely untangle itself from Europe and sign new trade deals with the rest of the world (longer still in a no deal scenario). If you are sick of brexit, then nothing short of its cancellation will wipe it from the agenda.

So the question is, what next? Because having a few meetings (As May is currently doing) isn’t a plan B.

Well lets cross off the first option, May cannot keep putting her deal to parliament over and over again until they accept it. Parliamentary procedure states that you can only put forward a bill once in any particular parliamentary session. So in the absence of significant changes, or another election/referendum, it cannot be brought back to the house. Some clever use of legal language could allow one more go, but even that’s risky and she’d want to be certain it would work. Which means she needs to get the brexiteers to back it first.

But the brexiteers in her own party can’t back her deal. Why? Because, having sold the country on free unicorns and a land of milk and honey, backing her deal would end their political careers. Every election from now on, inevitably those empty promises would be brought up. They want it to go through for sure (ignore all the bravado about no deal brexit), but they also want to be able to create their own Dolchstoßlegende myth and blame the negative consequences on brexit on someone else (adamant that had THEY been in charge, oh it would have worked out soooo much better).

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A group of culture jammers called “led by donkeys” have been putting up bill boards showing past Tory promises on brexit.

So, what about the one true saviour Corbyn? He’s in a huff because May initially excluded him from any talks on a way forward (and visa versa). Well for once I agree with her. In fact, might I suggest a compromise. How about we take a potted plant from his allotment and put it in May’s office instead. Because it would make about as useful a contribution as he can.

Corbyn, even thought he’s also a brexiteer, has to oppose her deal (even though its actually quite close to kind of brexit he wants) for several reasons. Firstly, not invented here syndrome. He can’t be seen to back a deal proposed by a Tory PM. And openly supporting brexit is risky, given how strong opposition to it is in his party and how badly its going to impact his largely young and less than wealthy support base (while Tory brexiteers represent wealthier, older and often retired voters whose gold plated pensions will protect them from its worst effects). Supporting May’s deal amounts to Corbyn admitting the UK is worse off out than in and he just can’t do that.

And to be fair, supporting May is a risky game. This is the Tories we are talking about. If labour back May’s deal, the Tory narrative going into the next election will be, oh brexit was a disaster yes, but we all voted against May’s deal, while Corbyn and labour supported it….so you should vote Tory. Sounds stupid I know, but I guarantee you, that’s their plan. The problem for labour is that Corbyn is such a divisive figure, you don’t have to give voters a huge amount of reasons to vote against him.

Take the no confidence vote, I mean seriously, does anyone in the commons really have confidence in May? Hell I doubt she has confidence in herself (how about we repeat it but with a lie detector, doubt you’d get a single vote in her favour). You’d expect at least a few of her party to be suitably fuming to back the motion. But no, to a person, they all voted with their PM. If there’s one thing that unites the Tory party, its stopping Corbyn becoming PM. And while they might not have confidence in May, they have less confidence in Corbyn.

On which point, consider his objection to dealing with May. He wants her to take no deal off the table. Well she can’t. Why? Well as laid out in bills, which passed in no small part thanks to Corbyn, no deal is now the default option unless parliament can agree an alternative (he was warned of this at the time by remainers in his party, he ignored them). She can give personal reassurances yes (which she’s already done, question is would anyone believe her!), but she can’t legally guarantee anything. Its like one of my students refusing to turn up to class because I won’t guarantee they’ll pass. In short, Corbyn, with two months to go, hasn’t got a clue what he’s doing (even less so than May). Even the lib dems seem to have given up on him, making it clear they’ll not support any further no confidence motions.

Doesn’t the failure of Corbyn’s no confidence motion mean he’ll now back a people vote, much like he promised at conference? LOL! These momentum types crack me up! I’ve watched with some bemusement over the last few weeks labour supporters going into meltdown, whinging why oh why is Corbyn ignoring our views and going back on what was agreed at conference…..because he’s Jeremy f*’king Corbyn (you did at least google his name before joining?). The only way he’s backing a 2nd referendum is if wild horses drag him there. And of course May ain’t going to support one either (that would require her having a spine and making a decision and they’d don’t call her the yellow submarine for nothing!). So some brave MP’s are going to have to grow a pair, defy the party whips and propose it.

And realistically the only obvious way to break the deadlock IS another referendum. This would give the brexiteers cover to back May’s deal, while also silencing the remainers (if they lose of course). Why would it have to be remain v’s May’s deal? Why not no deal v’s May’s deal? Well firstly, because no deal is a fantasy which would violate international law. Secondly, you’d need to get it through parliament and nothing with no deal on it is going to get passed. And thirdly, you’d have to extend article 50 and the EU won’t agree to anything that involves an option they oppose. They’d rather the UK just crash out.

So in theory, if you are a leave supporter you should now back a 2nd referendum. Not least because there is a rapidly closing wind of opportunity for one to go ahead. After that, it becomes a choice between no deal and no brexit. And no brexit is likely to win in that scenario. Once you exclude the crazies, those who’ll vote against anything, no matter how sensible regardless of the consequences, the commons is split between remainers and the aforementioned releavers.

The releavers want brexit to go ahead, but not at any cost. Many represent districts which will suffer immediate negative consequences from a hard brexit. Kent will become a lorry park, hospitals and shops in Scotland and the North of England will run out of supplies, factories in the Midlands will shut. The releaver block will support some form of sensible brexit for now. But the closer we get to the end of march, the more tempting it will be to just cancel brexit altogether. And you can be all but guaranteed some remain MP will put that forward closer to the day. And in fairness to the releaver MP’s, should it come to pass, they’ll have a point. They didn’t want to leave the EU in the first place, but respected the decision all the same. They tried to push it through, but the bexiteers choose to sabotage their own project.

So again, brexiteers need to choose, its May’s deal or remain….or hand it over to the people to decide in a referendum (which polls suggest would likely mean remain). You have to choose one of these options, or the decision will be made for you.

Managing the shutdown and Trump

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The thing that I don’t get about the US shutdown is how can the government just shut down and stop paying its workers? This is the sort of thing you’d expect to happen in a failed state, where corruption meant the president (or one of his cronies), emptied the treasury into an offshore bank account and fled. Its clearly a sign that something has gone terribly wrong. Again, imagine you’re and investor in, well any other country on the planet, and you heard the government had run out of money. You’d be pulling your cash out of there and making for the airport right quick.

And, don’t US workers have some sort of rights? I mean in most countries, your boss stops paying you he’s in breach of contract. You are within your rights to withdraw your labour, quit without giving any notice and potentially sue for back salary (or redundancy money), even force your employer into liquidation if he refuses to pay up. Or is this one the things we can look forward too after the UK leaves the EU? And keep in mind that this exactly the problem facing US private sector employers who might have to start laying off staff soon.

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Its worth noting that the shutdown effects some states more than others, and a lot of them are swing states or republican….

Speaking of brexit, as a last ditch way of stopping a no deal brexit, its possible the UK government’s tax collecting powers will get vetoed by MP’s. While that won’t cause a UK government shutdown straight away, obviously there’s only so long the country could keep going if the government loses tax income. But certainly, such shut-downs, or even the threat of one, should tell you something has gone terribly wrong in that country and the political system has essentially failed to do its job.

The sticking point is Trump’s wall. However, given how much he’s flip flopped on this issue, its far from clear what he actually wants. Within weeks of his presidency starting it was pointed out to him by border agents, and all of the US states who line the US/Mexico border that they don’t want a wall built, for a variety of simple practical reasons. He seems to have accepted this and stated that instead we’d be getting a fence. But trouble is there already IS a fence. It doesn’t cover the entire border, but largely because it doesn’t have too. Natural barriers, such as the Rio Grande, high mountains, fields of desert cacti, etc. present formidable obstacles to anyone trying to cross (more so than his wall). And putting up a fence/wall here would present various practical problems. For example, ranchers on the Rio Grande need access to the river bank for their cattle.

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Already most of the US/Mexico border is covered by fences

So on the one hand the $5+ billion he’s asking for is too much to upgrade the existing fences, and far too little to build his fabled wall. Keeping in mind that a wall (or fence) would be ineffective without someone there to guard it. As I pointed out in a prior post, any determined group of fence jumpers will make short work of Trump’s wall (delaying them for perhaps 20 minutes to an hour), unless there’s an army of border guards to stop them. Which would cost several billion a year to operate. And speaking if which, I thought Trump said the Mexicans would pay for the wall. And doesn’t he claim to be worth tens of billions? Surely he could afford to build it himself and then the Mexicans will pay him back?

Furthermore Trump says we need the wall to stop the flow of drugs. Well there was a BBC episode of “Stacy Dooley investigates” recently which looked at drugs smuggling into America and you know where most of it was coming from? CANADA! Yes, America’s friendly neighbour to the north just so happens to be the main source of Opioid’s, Methamphetamine’s, MDMA, illegal Cannabis, etc. as well as the source of ingredients for numerous other narcotics. And there’s no fence and very little security (during the show they took them out to remote spots where literally one side of the road is the US, the other side is Canada, you can just show up with two pickups, toss bags between the two). So you’d think it would make more sense to beef up security at the Canadian border.

Of course this highlights the real reason why Trump and his supporters want the wall. It has nothing to do with security and more to do with security theatre. He and his supporters are racists and bigots and they want to turn the US into some sort of giant whites only gated community. You can sell illegal drugs in the US (or commit acts of terrorism, the majority of which are committed by white males) all you like. Just so long as you are white, they don’t mind.

In essence Trump is trying to blackmail congress into signing a blank cheque for reasons that are racially motivated. And if there’s one thing that Congress doesn’t do, its sign blank cheques. In fact its strange the Republicans aren’t up in arms over this. I mean Obama asked for the slightest amount of money for anything, even things that were essential and good value for money and the GOP howled with fury and claimed he was trying to bankrupt the country. Now the deficit be damned we need our tax cuts and our wall. It just goes to show the GOP has become little more than the cult of anti-liberalism. They are in favour of things because the democrats are against it.

So, where do we go from here? Clearly the democrats backing down to Trump’s childish behaviour would be ill advised. Appeasing chest-puffing, table bagging vain autocrats never ends well. In fact I’d argue where in this mess because in the past congress has given in to the boss baby, just to avoid total national paralysis. This for too long has been a flaw of the democrats, their willingness to be the grown ups in the room and concede ground to the GOP, for the sake of the country. But, like a spoilt little child, this just encourages more bad behaviour from the GOP. If the democrats do concede, what’s the bet Trump will shutdown the government again in order to get the Mueller investigation stopped, or the election rules changed in his favour, or maybe try to rig the election with threats of a shutdown for the full duration of the transition period.

One possible way out would be to concede to Trump, but with the caveat of some independent review of border security and its needs. Given that such a review will inevitably conclude that such measures would be a waste of time and money (instead the focus should be on border crossing, airports or, as noted, the Canadian border). And by the time it reaches this conclusion he’ll have been either impeached or voted out of office. While Trump might not go for it, it would at least allow the democrats to ensure the blame falls squarely on his shoulders alone.

If that doesn’t work, the democrats will just have to be strict parents. The worst thing you can do as a parent, if you’ve got a screaming brat, is spoil him and give in. Rewarding bad behaviour, will result in worse behaviour. If Trump rejects the above, I’d suggest the democrats withdraw the offer, as well as the current offer of $1.6 billion for extra border security and end all negotiations with the white house (keeping channels open with moderate Republicans of course), focusing instead on something that will infuriate Trump (such as the Muelller investigation or publishing his tax returns). This (after a bit of kicking and screaming) will force Trump and the GOP to act like grown ups and come up with some sort of compromise.

North sentinel Island – a case study in first contact

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Late last year, there was the story about a young missionary who, with Darwin award levels of foolishness, landed on North Sentinel Island, an Island populated by an uncontacted tribe known to shoot dead any intruders. And I’m pretty sure, even if you’ve not read the news, you can guess what happens next. And unfortunately, that was really the only outcome that could have come from this foolishness.

They speak a language nobody else can understand, how was he supposed to preach the good word to them? He’d have had to teach them English, then reading and writing from scratch. Then, after several years, bring up the topic of Jesus. And given that they have no immunity to outside diseases, chances are that rather a few of them would die from infection during this process.

The North Sentinelese has survived for so long precisely because they shoot any…

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Japan and the whale: A case study in how ideology wrecks ecosystems

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Seeing a government pursue bad policies is bad enough, but what is worse is when they do so for no good reason. Just pure ideology and pigheaded unwillingness of politicians to admit they might be wrong. Issues such as gun control in the US or climate change denial are good examples, as is brexit in the UK. However, there is perhaps no greater example of this sort of behaviour than Japan’s obsession with wanting to hunt whales. So much so, they’ve just announced their intention to resume whale hunting.

The Japanese will claim that whale hunting is a vital part of their culture and whale meat has long been a part of the Japanese diet. Neither is entirely true. While a handful of coastal communities in Japan have historically hunted whales, they did so only occasionally and usually opportunistically (e.g. if sick whales came close to…

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Corbyn the brexiteer unmasked

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So some labour supporters were shocked to learn last week that Saint Jeremy Corbyn, the lord and saviour, was actually a brexiteer, who has no intention of reversing or stopping brexit. Indeed, even if he gets his early election, he wants labour to campaign on a leave platform. Needless to say this is at odds with what was agreed at the party conference. And the fact that 90% of labour supporters voted remain and 86% of whom want another referendum.

Of course this is only news to those who never googled “corbyn” and “eu”. Or those willing to ignore the fact that he’s voted against every piece of pro-EU legislation that has ever come up. So it should only come as a shock to aliens recently arrived from outer Glaphobia. And the polls now show labour’s lead slipping, even despite the chaos within the Tories. In fact among young voters Corbyn’s support has fallen by 12% since the start of the debate on May’s deal. And those same young voters have previously indicated that if Corbyn was to back leave then support for him drops from 60% to as low as 26%.

In fact, just to highlight the insanity of Corbyn’s policy, let’s pick it apart. His grant scheme is to first win a confidence vote, get a general election, win it, then go to Brussels and get a better deal than May managed (in about 4-5 weeks, while she had 2 years). Well firstly, he ain’t going to win a confidence vote. The only way he’d convince all of the opposition parties and a handful of Tory rebels to back him is if labour were backing remain. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Even then in any election Corbyn’s brexit policy would fall apart in the first week. The EU have made clear there will be no re-negotiation. I’d guess they might be open to further discussion during the transition phase (and allowing an extended transition) but they’d probably insist and May’s deal being accepted as an interim solution. In short, Corbyn’s choices are May’s deal or no brexit. So he’s going to go to the country having provoked an election at one of the most inconvenient times in UK history, because he didn’t like May’s deal….only for his brexit policy to be May’s deal!

Voters will inevitably see this for what it is, a cynical power grab, and punish labour accordingly. And the idea of young millennial remainers, who are going to get screwed over by brexit (a right wing project that strips millions of both UK and EU citizens of their rights), going out and selling his leave policy on door steps is fanciful to say the least.

In the best case scenario, the vote’s he’ll lose to pro-remain parties of the left will be cancelled out by gammon’s, angry at May, voting for UKIP. But that still leaves the Tories the largest party and leading a minority government. The worse case scenario is a party spilt and a collapse in labour support. And in any event, the only way he’s getting into power is via a coalition. And none of the other parties will back any coalition with him, while labour adopts a leave position.

Of course, what Corbyn won’t mention is that not only does he wants leave, but he actually doesn’t mind if there’s a no deal. Because the chaos of a no deal might be what it takes to get the country to vote for him. However, if this is his plan, its a crap plan and it won’t work.

The Tories are clearly trying to position themselves so they can blame Corbyn for any no deal chaos. They’ll point out that they had a perfectly good deal with the EU, which would have passed if he’d have supported it (and, if like him, you are committed leaver there really is no other alternative to May’s deal). No doubt some pro-Tory hack will come out in the middle of any election with revelations from a whistle blower (real or fabricated) that the above was labour’s strategy all along. Again, the odds are he’ll still lose the election, possibly by an even larger margin, as the consequences of any no deal are likely to be strong shift to pro-EU parties (or the far right), not other forms of euroscepticism.

Bottom line, a labour party that is committed to leaving the EU at all costs, is a labour party committed to losing the next election no matter how badly the Tories screw up. Doubly so if Corbyn is in charge. Yes a policy of remain will cost them votes, but not as many as they’d lose by supporting leave.

And recall, we’ve been here before, Corbyn would be PM already if he’d been willing to do an election deal in 2017 with the other left wing, but pro-EU parties. He refused and as a result about a dozen Tories got in by margins of a few hundred votes or less. And he’d have destabilised and brought down the Tories by now, or killed off their EU withdrawal bill, if he’d been a bit more aggressive and willing to delay or disrupt the brexit process. I mean he’s had an open goal for the last month, which he’s failed to exploit. Bottom line, Corbyn has already chosen supporting leave over becoming PM. And as a result, he will almost certainly never be PM. So what’s the point in labour having him as its leader?

What’s that I hear labour party supporters say, well we’ll censure him. We’ll call an emergency conference on the matter and maybe even force a leadership contest if he doesn’t listen. LOL. Did you not learn anything at the last conference? Corbyn doesn’t give a damn what the members of the party want. He’s not changed his mind about anything since the 70’s. Trying to reason with Corbyn is a waste of time, his actual reasons for backing leave are simply wrong and ignores certain realities (notably that the EU does allow state aid, they just want to prevent states turning their state owned companies into monopolistic money burning machines). You’d have more luck trying to talk my neighbour’s cat into becoming vegan. And he sure as hell ain’t going to change policy just because a bunch of millennial’s had a vote and are worried about the post-brexit fate of the NHS. What, do you think the labour party is a democracy or something? As for a leadership challenge, that ship sailed some time ago.

The only alternative is to force Corbyn out and to do it quickly. And failing that, set up a new pro-EU labour party. That means his MP’s need to resign the party whip en-mass, give him a week to resign (changing policy isn’t good enough, he’s flip flopped so often you can’t trust him anymore at his word) and if he doesn’t, switch to another party (or set up their own party). And his supporters heed to follow their lead, notably those in Momentum, leaving labour and joining the lib-dems, SNP, greens (or this new party) all at once. Only then when confronted with the threat of total annihilation can we expect any form of movement on Corbyn’s part. But even that’s unlikely to succeed.