Monday, July 4, 2016

52 per cent is more than 48 per cent - get used to it

We Brexiteers or, as we used to be known, Eurosceptics are, according to a good many Remainers are stupid, ignorant and have a very low IQ. In fact, we are all bears of very little brain. Somehow we all seem to have grasped one elementary fact that not all Remainers have and that is that 52 per cent is more than 48 per cent. Or, in other words, if 52 per cent voted on the Leave side, that side won and that is the policy that will have to be put into effect.

This was certainly not understood by the marchers in London on Saturday who were shouting we are the 48% and other suchlike interesting facts. Yes, you are, and that makes you the minority in a referendum of fairly high turn-out. It's not quite clear whether the march really did have tens of thousands as the original story was just thousands but it seemed to improve with the telling of it.
“Un-Fuck My Future”, “No Brex Please, We’re British”, they read. Pictures of Whitney Houston with “I Will Always Love EU”, “Europe Innit” and “I wanna be deep inside EU”. “All EU Need Is Love”, “Fromage not Farage”, “Eton Mess” and, more seriously, “Science Needs EU”. “Hell no, we won’t go!” they shouted, rounding Piccadilly Circus.

At the end of the march, in Parliament Square, protesters listened to speakers including Bob Geldof and Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker as well as politicians such as the Labour MP David Lammy, and Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.

Geldof urged Remain campaigners to take to the streets, speak to their neighbours and work to stop the UK’s exit from the EU. “Let’s get real,” he said. “Going online and tweeting your indignation is only venting into the ether. It achieves nothing. Come out. Take action among your friends, work colleagues and in your neighbourhoods. We need to individually organise ourselves. Organise those around us and do everything possible within our individual power to stop this country being totally destroyed.” .

Cocker, in a recorded a video message for the rally, held up a world map saying: “You cannot deny geography. The UK is in Europe.”

The co-organiser Mark Thomas said the march was to address the “anger, frustration and need to do something”. “We would accept the result of the referendum if it was fought on a level playing field. But it was full of misinformation and people need to do something with their frustration.”
The list of speakers and their comments tells you all you need to know about this bunch of sore losers. Jarvis Cocker? Bob Geldof? These are the political geniuses of the movement? Do they even understand what they are saying, what they are advocating? Going on the streets to stop the democratic process is something Europe has seen before and it was not a healthy time. And, yes, as a matter of fact, I would say the same if, as expected, the Remain side had won. I expect the other side would not have been all that interested about the misinformation given out by both campaigns or about the percentage if that had happened.

A fine mess we would be in if elections were annulled because politicians, winning or losing, had misinformed he electorate. We would do nothing but have elections, elections, elections.

Take Hizonner the Mayor, for instance, who has done little except make meaningless statements about matters outside his control (no, Mr Mayor, you cannot detach London from the UK) and participate in selfies like a demented teenagers. His campaign was run mostly on the unarguable facts that his father had been a bus driver and he had grown up on a council estate. Unarguable but, I should have thought, irrelevant. Occasionally he made statements about making London a world city and a hub for just about everything as well as a centre for tolerance blah-blah-blah. London already is most of those things and is not going to change because Hizonner the Mayor. The one definite promise he made was to freeze TfL fares. Within a couple of weeks of his election he admitted that he could not do that fully and tried to weasel out by specious arguments. A good many people were annoyed. But did this invalidate his election? Well, speaking as someone who would never, in a million years, vote for that numpty I have to point out that no, it did not. Nobody even suggested it.

Social networks are full of people who have been posting links of varying importance to prove that the Brexit vote was wrong and should be annulled. In fact, it ought not to have happened because, obviously people who voted Leave are all stupid, ignorant etc etc. See above.

In a way, it is understandable why so many Remainers are demanding the annulment of a perfectly valid referendum vote, which had been called because of a promise in the Conservative manifesto that helped them to win the election. This does not apply to the majority of Remain voters but those who are getting hysterical now are clearly supporters of the anti-democratic nature of that organization. It is hardly surprising that their attitude should be anti-democratic as well.

Some opinion poll now tells us that 7 per cent of those who voted Leave would now vote Remain and 3 per cent of those who voted Remain would now vote Leave. I have no doubt the same opinion poll had predicted a Remain victory and a Coalition as the likely outcome of last year's General Election.

The young people are particularly upset, apparently, because 70 per cent of them voted Remain and now they do not know what to do except that Germany might offer them special EU passports so they can go on working across the EU. Since we do not as yet know what kind of arrangements will be made about labour rights this seems rather premature. Even sillier is the comment made by German vice chancellor and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel:
It’s a good sign that the youth of Great Britain are more clever than their bizarre political elite.
As it happens, most of the political elite were on the Remain side. As to the young voting on that side, that, too, is questionable. There has been a great deal of debate about turn-out according to age but even the estimates most anxious to prove that the "young" did turn out in large numbers to vote Remain have had to admit that the number of those voting tended to be considerably lower than average in areas where the population age is lower. That makes the famous 70 per cent who voted to remain a somewhat misleading figure.

In an earlier post I expressed the view that our side missed a great opportunity by not concentrating on the fact that the young are or should be looking out beyond the EU to the rest of the world. I still think that but I am also rather amused by the closed-minded lack of imagination of those young who are weeping about their "future having been taken away from them by the old" because there is, apparently, nothing beyond the EU. Are these really the people we ought to be listening to?

So where are we? Lots of Remainers still screaming about the need to overcome democratic decisions if they do not go the way the right-thinking people want them; various discussions about whether Article 50 should be activated or whether it would be better to start negotiations around that; no Armageddon and most economic indicators moving in a positive direction; a number of countries expressing interest in trade agreements with post-Brexit UK and chaos in the political parties.

Nigel Farage's resignation (presumably for longer than three days this time) has simply added extra spice to the brew - after all UKIP was important only during the Brexit campaign. Astonishingly, the party that has succumbed to a civil war, between the parliamentary party and the membership, was not the Conservative but the Labour Party and we are being provided with a great deal of entertainment. The Conservatives are indulging in their favourite pastime of ferocious fighting for the top job not to be resolved till September. To be fair, it would not be possible to start negotiations with the rest of the EU till then, anyway, because slowly but surely Brussels and the rest of Europe will close down for summer.

Meanwhile, in between watching the entertainment we, bears of little brain, must start putting together ideas for the negotiators. They might listen.


  1. "We would accept the result of the referendum if it was fought on a level playing field."

    He is quite right that the field was tilted, however what he fails to grasp is that the field has been tilted to his sides' considerable advantage for 40 years and they still managed to lose. If they can't win with the political, media and business establishment all mobilized in their support, what more do they need?

    1. An abolition of elections. Actually, there is something I left out in my discussion. Stealth edit to follow.

  2. Your polemic would carry more weight if the Exit campaign had not declared in as many words that a 52-48 vote was "unfinished business" when it was being suggested that would have been result for Remain. This isn't a football match, that kind of narrow vote settles nothing, get used to it.

    It was an entirely predictable result, the blame for the abject confusion lies squarely with Cameron who probably wouldn't know what a supermajority was if it hit him in the face. You may know better than I, but as far as I am aware most constitutions require a supermajority for change for just his reason (as in '75) - anything else is just divisive. This result indicates a country split across alternate lines to that of the two mainstream parties. Neither side has won or lost, the only current loser is the country as a whole.

    It would help greatly if there was a leader on the exit side who could step forward with anything but Micawber like planning for the future, but there isn't. There may be any number of reasons for that, but that is how it seems to be.

    For my part, I do not think a second referendum is appropriate or desirable.

    OK, if I'm honest I signed the petition for the sake of mischief and to record my deep dissatisfaction with the result. If there is no second referendum I'm happy. If there is one it will probably make matters worse but in the context of the confusion this country is in right now, that would be a minor addition to the pile.

    1. No referendum in this country since the first one on Scottish independence some decades ago has required a supermajority. None. The votes that gave Scotland and Wales an Assembly and started the real process of UK disintegration were won on far smaller turn-out and smaller percentages. Yet, they were accepted and nobody whined. Had the vote gone the other way neither I nor most of the Exit people (I am not sure whom you mean) would have challenged it and I, for one, would not have signed a really ridiculous petition of that kind.

      May I just add that there are plenty of ideas as to where Britain can go next. The IEA website alone can provide you with some. The negotiations will be conducted by the government not the Exit campaign.

  3. >>No referendum in this country since the first one on Scottish independence some decades ago has required a supermajority.<<

    And this is a good thing? Devolution if/when it happens is never likely to have the same impact on the UK that the exit vote is having and is likely to continue to have.

    By the way, I'm not saying that all is doom and gloom, but that we will be tangibly worse off in short and mid term as a result of the current situation. FWIW, I have first hand visibility of a number of major corporate decisions shifting business away from the UK, it is happening.

    Ideas where Britain can go next? I'm sure something will turn up.

    The Exit pre-complaining about the result? : Farage getting his retalliation in first, and the petition itself was created by an exit voter.

    1. Actually, the devolution votes had an enormous impact on the whole idea of United Kingdom. Whether not needing a supermajority is a good thing or not is irrelevant. We simply do not have them. I must admit I heard little about it from Remainers while the Bill was going through Parliament or through the campaign as they thought they would win. This is a completely new idea.

      Major companies shifting business away from the UK? Astonishing if true simply because major decisions of that kind are not taken by corporates within two weeks, particularly when things are unclear. What I hear from people who work in such companies is that the motto is wait and see, which is really quite sensible. And where are they shifting? France? Italy? Or out of the EU altogether like Branson?

      I did remember about Farage yesterday. I don't know how much of my blog you have read in the past but if you did you would have realized that I am not part of his fan club. One reason for that is his habit of coming up with idiotic statements like that and then having to backtrack, which he would have had to do, explaining that all he meant was that our work of trying to persuade the electorate will go on (as, indeed, yours can). He would not have had much support for any idea of a second referendum unless there had been definite evidence of fraud, which there was not.

      Ideas where Britain can go next? I thought I explained it in my previous posting. A referendum is not an election; those who won the campaign do not form the government who will be negotiating. What their ideas will be we shall not be clear on until there is a new government. In the meantime, I can assure you that there are many ideas in existence and available to anyone who is interested in the subject. Try the IEA website to start with. Many people who had come up with plans before are sharpening those ideas even as we speak and many (often the same people) are beginning work on certain sections of the negotiations to submit those papers to the Number 10 unit, already in existence and to whoever will be leading the negotiations. That is our role, the negotiations themselves are the government's role.

  4. Down in my little corner of the commuter belt the acceptance of the referendum result seems to be a problem for the Bremainers. In my local French language class I was taken aback by the sheer venom and anger of my classmates who had voted remain. They really thought the result had been stolen from them. I was interrogated about my reasons for voting leave and left in no doubt that they considered leavers as mentally challenged racists. These are people I have known for a long time and who I believed were very reasonable democratic sorts but I have had a very rude awakening.

    1. I am hearing the same from other people and have seen examples myself. It is as if the EU was some kind of a mystical religious body and not simply a political construct that has not actually existed for all that long and has many faults.

  5. I have just seen that six groups of Northern Counties Councillors have demanded an urgent meeting with Mrs May. They seem to be against it and all those of us who voted for out. They appear not to have noticed that we do not like what we are seeing of the governance of our Country.

  6. I have just seen that six groups of Northern Counties Councillors have demanded an urgent meeting with Mrs May. They seem to be against it and all those of us who voted for out. They appear not to have noticed that we do not like what we are seeing of the governance of our Country.