Category Archives: Brexit

Compared with this parliament of fools, Pinochet was a democrat

The British parliament, writes Dalrymple,

voluntarily called for a referendum on the issue of Britain’s EU membership, on the understanding that the government would abide by the result.

Since then, the parliament

has done everything possible to oppose, obstruct, delay, dilute, or straightforwardly annul the implementation of the result, which was unexpected.

Jo Swinson, leader of the Liberal Democrats,

has said that if a second referendum were to take place, she would accept the result only if it were in the direction that she favoured—that of remaining in the EU. War is peace, freedom is slavery, liberal democracy is the unopposed rule of the leader.

Guy Verhofstadt, one of the leaders of EU-loyalist members of the European rubber-stamp parliament,

has sided with those who have striven might and main to overturn the result of a vote that no one can deny was democratic while simultaneously trying to cover themselves in the mantle of democracy.

In other words, says Dalrymple,

true democracy is the rule of the right-thinking, and the purpose of a referendum anywhere in Europe is—as under Napoleon III—to provide legitimation for a decision that has already been taken.

He adds:

By comparison with those who have attempted, and are still attempting, to obstruct Brexit in Britain, Augusto Pinochet was a democrat. When he lost a plebiscite, he stood down.

Verhofstadt

prefers as democrats those who, like the British MPs in the middle of a political impasse, refuse to hold elections in case the electorate gets the answer wrong again.

 

Motherfucker of parliaments

The political class has set itself against the people’s will

Dalrymple writes that the temporary suspension of Parliament by Boris Johnson

has been depicted, in the world’s Press and in Britain, as all but a coup d’état, the manœuvre of an incipient dictator, at the least an authoritarian measure.

It is, he says,

the opposite. It is designed to prevent a coup. The mirror-image of truth has largely prevailed.

Three years of manufactured chaos

Dalrymple lays out the facts.

Parliament agreed to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. Although it had no force from the purely constitutional point of view, it was not intended as a glorified opinion poll and it was implicit that the winning side would decide the issue. No strong objections were raised in advance by those in favour of Britain remaining in the EU because they felt they would win with ease. Despite — or because of — the support of David Cameron and Barack Obama for the campaign for Britain to remain, those in favour of leaving gained 52% of the votes. Parliament, the majority of whose members were in favour of remaining, passed a resolution in obedience to the result; it would have been too brazen a defiance of the popular opinion that they had canvassed to have done otherwise. But having done this, they opposed both the deal negotiated by Theresa May and the withdrawal of Britain without any agreement. The EU had reiterated that it would not renegotiate the terms: it had no reason to do so, given May’s surrender on all fronts. Thus Parliament wanted neither the only deal then possible nor no deal.

The élite knows best

Parliament was

attempting to prevent any kind of withdrawal whatsoever, even in May’s extremely attenuated form. It set itself up against the will of the people as expressed in the referendum. Parliament was expressing its authority over popular opinion, presumably on the ground that it knew best what was good for the people on whose opinion on the question it had sought. If anyone could be accused of mounting a coup, albeit a slow-moving and indirect one, and of political authoritarianism, it was Parliament.

Suppose, says Dalrymple, that the vote had gone the other way — that 52% of those who voted had done so to remain.

Does anyone suppose for a moment that the disappointed leavers would have refused to accept the vote and manœuvred to thwart the will of the majority? A few might still have argued for eventual withdrawal, but would not have obstructed or threatened the continuance of the government as the remainers have done. Who are the democrats round here?

Those who demonstrate against Johnson’s manœuvre

do so because they claim to want Parliament to have its say. But Parliament has had its say for three years, without resolving the issue, and with a determination to thwart implementation of the resolution it had passed — because it never had any intention of carrying out the people’s wishes as expressed in the referendum.

Dalrymple notes that

to hold a plebiscite and ignore the result is now a European tradition, but to call it a democratic procedure is to twist the word beyond any possible meaning. Both the French and the Dutch publics voted against the proposed European Constitution by a wider margin than that by which the British voted to leave the EU, but got it anyway in a revised form, as a binding treaty rather than as a constitution. The political class thus triumphed over the population, banking on the fundamental apathy of the latter. But this a dangerous game.

Outraged dignity

The protesters against Johnson’s manœuvre

are not trying to defend parliamentary democracy, about which they do not give a fig: what they are protesting against is that the votes of those persons whom they consider ignorant, uneducated, prejudiced and xenophobic have a chance of being taken seriously, indeed as seriously as their own. This is an outrage to their dignity.

But as Dalrymple points out,

the educated are not ipso facto wiser than the uneducated, nor are they necessarily the stoutest defenders of freedom, a fact evident on many American campuses where opinion is free only as long as it coincides with the doxa. Among the greatest foes of freedom today are many of the educated. They are the anointed whose vision must prevail, and mirror-image truth serves that end.

He adds that

time is short, but ample enough for further betrayal.

The political class is a law unto itself

A real ray of sunshine: Philip Hammond is one of the leading Quislings

The anti-Johnson protesters are enemies of democracy

Dalrymple writes:

You would have thought, from the howls that greeted Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament, that he had appointed himself prime minister for life. Our democracy was in danger, said the demonstrators, meaning that Johnson’s manœuvre had made it harder for Parliament to obstruct the wishes of the people as expressed in the referendum.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, he says,

was right when he said that the outrage was bogus: it was that of a spoiled child who doesn’t want to go to bed.

Plebiscitary democracy,

in which a government puts questions to the population in the expectation of getting the answer it wants, is dangerous. The modern European tradition is to hold a plebiscite and take no notice of the result if it is ‘wrong’. This is what the demonstrating ‘defenders of democracy’ want. If they had objected beforehand to the procedure, pointing for example to the absurdity of deciding so complex a question on the basis of a single vote decided by 50% of the votes plus one, they might have had a point. But they did not. They expected to win the referendum and only turned against it because of the unexpected result.

Parliament, Dalrymple points out,

has conducted a long rearguard action against putting into effect the vote that it called. The majority of MPs were opposed to Brexit, but instead of coming straight out with it, they prevaricated so long and so efficiently that they almost scuppered the whole process. Having canvassed public opinion in a supposedly binding referendum on a vital subject, to ignore the result can only strengthen the impression that the political class is a law unto itself.

Johnson is no guarantee of a clean Brexit

Dalrymple points out that the ascension of Boris Johnson

by no means guarantees that Britain will leave the European Union by October 31.

He notes that although hardly dull like his predecessors, Johnson

is not a man of firm and unalterable principle, either.

The British prime minister might

  • wring some minor concession from the EU, declare victory, and try to get some version of Theresa May’s deal past Parliament—in effect, leaving the union without leaving it.
  • suffer a motion of no confidence, his majority being wafer-thin, with many enemies in his Conservative party.
  • call an election, which he might lose.

Any policy you want, so long as it is mine

The vision of the anointed

Dalrymple writes that Britain’s Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson, might very well

emerge with the most Parliament members and go into coalition with the Scots nationalists, who would impose as a condition of their adhesion a second referendum on Scottish independence.

He points out that if the nationalists were to win such a referendum,

there would be no third.

As for Brexit, Swinson

has made it plain that she would respect the result of a second referendum only if it went in favour of remaining. There has probably never been a clearer expression of what Thomas Sowell calls ‘the vision of the anointed‘ — the supposition that one’s views are so beyond moral dispute that anyone with the temerity to dispute them must be a moral Neanderthal.

Dalrymple notes that Swinson’s statement, that she would do whatever it took to prevent Brexit, including ride roughshod over public opinion,

shows how Europeanised she is. She is young and probably representative of the educated persons of her class and generation, to say nothing of those yet younger. They apparently have no objection to authoritarian rule, provided it is their own.

Guide to the Brexit shambles

The House of Commons, writes Dalrymple, has

deprived Theresa May of leverage with which to renegotiate, because it voted that it would not accept leaving the European Union without a deal.

This, he says,

deprived the EU of any reason to renegotiate anything: it was a pre-emptive surrender to the demands of Brussels that makes Neville Chamberlain look like a hard-bitten poker champion.

Dalrymple explains that May,

who will not take no for an answer, wants to try a fourth time to get her deal through Parliament. This is unprecedented: no unchanged bill is supposed to be presented to Parliament more than twice. May therefore much prefers to violate the constitution than to lose.

Dalrymple explains that four options remain:

  1. Parliament could accept May’s deal. If it does, it discredits itself by its abject surrender and futile previous resistance to what it claimed was a bad deal. If it was a bad deal before, it is a bad deal now.
  2. Britain could leave without a deal. This would cause disruption, but only for a relatively short period.
  3. Britain could hold another referendum. It is by no means certain what the result would be. If the result were the same, it would be back to square one. If the result were different, it would reinforce what is a European tradition: referenda as confirmatory plebiscites of what the political class wants, exactly as Napoleon III used them.
  4. The Government and Parliament could unilaterally revoke Article 50, which, incidentally, was framed by a British diplomat with the express purpose of making it difficult for any country to leave the EU. This would annul the result of the referendum. It would also have long-term and intangible damaging effects on Britain as a parliamentary democracy.

Britain’s noxious Leftist opposition party

Dalrymple points out that Britain’s opposition Labour party is as divided as are the Conservatives. The Labour leader

was, until recently, ardent for leaving the European Union, which he believed to be a capitalists’ club. He changed his mind for reasons that he has so far not condescended to disclose.

Irrespective of what its MPs actually believe about Brexit, Labour’s main concern, Dalrymple explains,

is to force an election that it believes it can win, a victory that would soon make Brexit seem like a minor episode on the road to ruin.

The majority of Labour MPs

want first to bring about the downfall of a Conservative government and second to prevent Britain leaving the European Union without an agreement—what might be called the leaving-the-Union-without-leaving option. But they want the first more than they wanted the second, so under no circumstances can they accede to anything that Theresa May negotiates.

Britain’s putrid political class

Dalrymple points out that Brexit required leadership, but

there was none to be had from the political class.

From the very first, the political class

overwhelmingly opposed Brexit. For some, the eventual prospect of a tax-free, expense-jewelled job in Brussels was deeply alluring.

But the political class

found itself in a dilemma, since it could not openly deny the majority’s expressed wish. Many MPs sat for constituencies in which a solid majority had voted for Brexit.

The Brexit imbroglio, Dalrymple says,

has the merit of revealing to the British public the extent of its political class’s incompetence.

However,

if it is accepted that people get the leadership that they deserve, thoughts unflattering to self-esteem ought to occur to the British population.

Brussels triumphant

The EU has successfully united the vested interests of the European political class

Dalrymple notes that the European Union’s approach to democracy is:

If the voters get the answer wrong, either ignore the verdict or make them vote again until they get the answer right.

Whether the British population will take it lying down

remains to be seen, but after three years of deliberately created political chaos, it is likely that Britons will shrug and get on with their lives.

Dalrymple writes:

It should have been obvious from the first that the EU would never want an agreement that was anything other than disadvantageous to Britain—for if Britain did not suffer markedly by departure, it would be a disaster for the Union, already not exactly at the height of its popularity.

Britain has been humiliated by the episode, but, says Dalrymple,

history has no end, and Yugoslavian-style wars of secession may yet occur.

Fools and shysters manœuvre for a second referendum

Dalrymple writes that the present impasse

will probably lead to Britain never leaving the European Union.

He explains that

except for a hard core of about a fifth of Parliament, the legislators are adamantly opposed to Britain leaving without a deal; and the Union, knowing this, has no reason to negotiate further.

But the legislators

will not agree to the deal as negotiated. They want a second referendum, in the hope that the result of the first will be reversed. (And if it is, there will never be a third.)

An extension to Britain’s departure

will be granted only if Britain has a concrete proposal to offer—and the only such offer it can make is to hold the second referendum.