BREXIT – Here’s the thoughts of an an expert – Vernon Bogdanor

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/03/second-brexit-referendum-case-getting-stronger-political-deadlock-life-raft

The Guardian has the story on its web site – see link above

If anyone understands the muddle (that’s putting it politely) that the UK is in following the EU Referendum then Vernon Bogdanor does.

Yes I know we are not supposed to take any notice of experts these days as we make up things to match our prejudices as we go along, but just for a minute please let’s consider that we are in a very deep hole and that the further digging of it by May and Corbyn just might not be in our interests.

Seriously, this article, which is a cut down version of Vernon Bogdanor’s major speech on this issue, is well worth reading if we really do care about what is happening to us.

Vernon Bogdanor is professor of government at King’s College London. The Guardian article is based on his Gresham lecture delivered in June.

My thanks to Bob for the lead to this posting

The world only the Lib Dems seem to be battling against

With a snap general election called to assist the Tories Brexit troubles it really does make you wonder why on earth Labour jumped into the Tory/UKIP bed and voted in Parliament to push on with a Brexit process that can only harm the poorest and most vulnerable in our fractured society!

We are all going to be losers in the Brexit process but as with every other social upheaval and economic downturn it is those who have the least who will suffer the most.

There is an alternative to this mad world of Brexit and that’s to vote Lib Dem in the election.

Labour – Goodness me they seem very troubled

It goes without saying that if UKIP were not in the mess that they are the press would be all over Labour’s internal troubles even more than they have been. So Labour must be glad of UKIP continually grabbing the political misery headlines (with the help of a BBC obsessed by UKIP) as it helps keep their troubles under the radar somewhat.

But just look at the facts, they are startling and they show how deeply troubled the Labour Party is despite it having a terrible far right Tory Party Government to hit against.

Here are just some of their troubles in no particular order as it is so difficult to know where to start and how to rank their difficulties.

* Is it me or does their Deputy Leader have difficulties being loyal to their Leader? Because that’s how it looks to me.
* On Brexit, why do Labour feel that their best interests and those of the UK are served by backing our far right Tory Government?
* How do you end up with a political party which has a Leader from the left whilst the vast majority of his MP’s are not of the left?
* How many times do you have to amend the membership of the Shadow Cabinet as Labour MP’s quit or are asked to leave.
* Just how unclear does a political party have to be about its policies? It seems that no sooner does their Leader say something than other MP’s and Shadow Cabinet members are queuing up to make their disagreement known.
* How come Labour seems to have almost forgotten that it’s the Official Opposition to the Tories in Parliament?
* How does an opposition party manage to lose a Parliamentary seat to the Government of the day (Copeland) – such has not happened for many a year.
* Why are Labour MP’s resigning mid-term (Copeland and Stoke so far) in seats held by Labour for generations.
* What on earth were Labour doing in the Stoke by-election trying to look for all the world as though they were a UKIP-lite Party?

And more locally

* How come that noises from within Sefton Central Labour are so openly negative about their chances in the future?
* It may only have been a Town Council by-election in Prescot last Thursday but Labour lost a seat to the Lib Dems by a huge margin. The Lib Dems took 68% of the votes cast with Labour tumbling down to just 28%!
* Why are Labour sources predicting that they will probably lose the Sefton Seat at the next election when the incumbent Labour MP is sat on a huge majority?
* How come Labour activists are openly speaking of their party coming out of the next General Election with 120 seats or less?

I could go on but this list is enough to make any political party wonder if it has a future.

My assessment of Labour is this. They have elected a Leader of the left but hardly a competent one, so the move leftwards has been made far more difficult than it needed to have been. Indeed, with so many Labour MP’s being not of the left (Blairites) a hardly functioning leadership keeps getting shot full of holes; not from Tories, Lib Dem’s or the SNP but from its own disgruntled ranks!

Labour has always prided itself on being both a broad church and having strong internal loyalty. The broad church is now the problem as the left and right wings of Labour’s congregation really can’t stick each other and loyalty well that’s very much a thing of the past. Interestingly, that once fierce loyalty came from the trade union movement that gave birth to the Labour Party and it was based on the fact that if the early trade unionists did not stand together at all costs they would be defeated.

The electorate generally does not like divided political parties so unsurprisingly, other than Labour’s core vote which will vote for it almost no matter what the Party stands for, progressive voters in particular are turning their back on Labour. What’s more Labour’s membership is falling too and the Lib Dem’s (and to a much smaller extent the Greens) are benefiting from that as people join them.

So what does Labour have to do to start to put itself back together? Well that depends on what it wants to be and there’s certainly no agreement there amongst Labour’s MP’s and members. The vast majority of their MP’s want a return to some form of a centrist/Blairite-type Party – just don’t mention the Iraq War or privatisation of parts of the NHS though! The vast majority of Labour’s members on the other hand want it to be an obviously socialist party. I think poor old Ed Miliband did try to bridge the huge gulf by nudging Labour leftwards but it was a hopeless compromise and as we all know the wrong Miliband had won their Leadership race back then and he was going nowhere.

Having been a member of a political party that pressed a huge self-destruct button (labeled Tuition Fees) and which only just survived it I can recall being in the self-dug hole and that almost unstoppable urge to dig it deeper. But the difference with that Liberal suicide attempt and the one that Labour is engaged in is that we Lib Dems stayed remarkably united even during our darkest hours.

Labour may be many things but united it is certainly not!

Labour – Still kicking lumps out of each other whilst backing the Tories Brexit plans

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39325559

The BBC has the story – see its web site via the link above

I don’t know about you but I see Tom Watson as one of Labour’s many problems rather than someone who is trying to unite his Party.

As Deputy Leader he has gone along with Labour backing the Tories over Brexit so I rest my case.

When on earth will Labour realise it is the official opposition in Parliament rather than a Tory lap dog?

Brexit ruling: BBC says Lord Chancellor backs judiciary amid row – Really?

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-37883576

The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above

I worry about the BBC and its lack of balls these days. It seems frightened of the right wing of British politics and we should all be concerned about that.

The BBC was a poor if not appalling commentator on the EU Referendum failing to expose lies that were told and often ducking the major issues that the electorate wanted to know the facts about by simply saying one side says this and the other says the opposite.

Now the BBC has this completely misleading headline which gives the impression that the Lord Chancellor is backing the judiciary when she is being little more than a fence sitter in the face a nationalistic and fascist media. Her job is to step in when our independent judiciary is under attack for defending the sovereignty of Parliament. After significant pressure, not least from some Tory MP’s, all she has managed is a vague generalised statement that means little.

“weak statement from a weak cabinet minister”

She and her Government are cowering behind the sofa as our right wing, out of control press tries to undermine the whole basis of our democratic system and the BBC knows that. We fought a civil war to guarantee the sovereignty of Parliament now it is now being undermined by our Government and press!

Admittedly the BBC does qualify somewhat better the actual position further down the piece but you get the impression that our BBC is struggling these days to really tackle big political issues with the tenacity it once did because it fears Government will attack it if it does.

We live in very dangerous times when the sovereignty of Parliament is under threat from Government and the right wing press and when our leading independent broadcaster also seems to be cowering behind the sofa. If this process carries on we are on our way to being a totalitarian fascist state which pretends to be a democracy. What’s even more worrying is that Labour, as the official opposition, seems to be looking for a spot behind the sofa too!