Brexit

Election Results 2019 – Who and what were the real winners?

It’s results day 2019!

In this episode, we discuss the UK General Election results. We look at statistics, trends, vote share and debate who, & what, were the real winners and losers this time around.

We may be relieved, but is the result actually bittersweet?

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A La Cartism, Boris and the next UK General Election

Has Boris found the magic centrist formula for winning the election with his championing of both the free market and the public sector? Or will the Conservatives desire to spend, spend, spend, cause them to look like Labour Lite?

After writing this blog post before there was a general election set, has anything changed?

We review Boris’s first campaign video and discuss whether this is all very smart politics, or if by shifting the Overton window ever statewards without making practical and moral cases for shrinking the state and getting out of our lives, it’s only a matter of time before a Communist gets into power.

Blog Post in the intro – https://soundingboard.com/boriss-a-la-cartism-is-exactly-what-the-public-will-vote-for/

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Does a General Election Mean we Finally Get Brexit?

We’re finally having a general election.  But will it really solve the parliamentary problems we are currently experiencing?
Why are we in the situation we are in? Why are we having a General Election at all?
In this edition, Andrew and Nic discuss the craziness of the last couple of weeks in UK politics and that we have finally arrived at an early General Election.
Is it good for Boris and Tories, or are we about to see Jo Swinson swept to power on a tide of remain?
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Proroguing Parliament: What does it really mean for Brexit?

As predicted, Boris Johnson has decided to end the current parliamentary session (the longest in modern times), and trigger a new Queen’s Speech. Remainists are naturally going crazy, and talking of constitutional outrage.

But what does it actually mean for Brexit on 31 October? Is there time for fast-tracked, Bercow-enabled law that would either revoke Article 50, extend the deadline, or somehow prevent a “no deal”? What about passing a law that would stop prorogation itself? Is there even time left now in the parliamentary session?

We discuss all this and the finer details of the Fixed Term Parliament Act, and whether Boris has pulled a blinder.

Fixed Term Parliament Act 2011 – http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/14/enacted

House of Commons Library Briefing Paper on Prorogation – https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8589

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Bit of a chat: driving whisky, ruining Monopoly and the Chuka Umunna Award

In this edition, we have a longer chat than usual, but try to get in all the smaller topics that we feel were too short to be podcasts in their own right, or that we just want to rant about.

We discuss gaming culture, and whether the terminology is creeping into political life, how Andrew feels like we’ve been brainwashed into thinking the game Monopoly is really capitalism, and Nic names the first recipient of the Chuka Umunna Award.

And over a whisky or two, we talk about how Brexity the new Boris Johnson cabinet can be, and whether the Tories are missing a trick with making everything about Corbyn.

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Should May, Not Boris, Prorogue Parliament?

How could the Remainer establishment blunt Boris Johnson’s threat of proroguing parliament to force through Brexit?

Maybe, just maybe, there is a way of playing politics that blunts Boris’s endgame ambitions for no-deal.
In short, what if Theresa May prorogued parliament now, before Boris gets a chance to?

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Lib Dems and Change UK: Anti-democratic Politics in the UK

In this latest episode, we discuss the Lib Dems and their recent successes in the EU elections and the latest polls. We reason why they’ve experienced a recent uplift before discussing Change UK: The Independent Group and why they’ve seen precisely the opposite.

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Brexit isn’t threatening our constitution, Theresa May is.

It’s easy to say we are going through a constitutional crisis.

The assessment is a lazy one.

But this issue is bigger than Brexit (although that was the trigger) and dare I say it, it’s bigger even than the overturning of the clear democratic mandate of the referendum.

In most people’s eyes Theresa May, or indeed any Prime Minister that were to replace her, has the responsibility to implement the result given.

But there is something, I think, even more sinister happening that threatens our entire system of government, and that’s the overthrow of the executive in favour of the legislature.

In our system, as distinct from the US and others, the executive is appointed from members of the legislature. In particular, the vast majority are members of parliament, rather than members of the house of lords.

So they are each elected by their constituents, part of a political party, and on the winning side before they are then chosen by the Prime Minister to serve in the government.

But what happens if parliament “takes back control”. Well this is what media pundits like to tell you, although I’m not sure in its history it ever actually had the control it is purported to be taking back.

But the point is a serious one and it’s also important to understand who is enabling it.

One Theresa May.

Yes, we have a Speaker who doesn’t respect the office he holds, turning it into a specifically political and therefore ultimately party-political position.  The is dangerous in and of itself.

But it’s May who is continually letting MPs now call the shots.  MPs who lost. MPs who haven’t been chosen to form a government. MPs that’s function is to scrutinize law, not rule.

The Bill has been defeated. That should be it.

She could withdraw it. She could end this parliamentary sitting and reset proceedings.

But instead she enables potential policy outcomes that she says she is against while attempting to prevent the one outcome that is still government policy (just leaving).

In my eyes this now transcends Brexit.

This is about process. And process is important.

Not least of which because we need to hold our elected officials to account, but also because big constitutional change surely needs democratic support. Say… a referendum on what organisations and structures govern us and whether we have sovereignty?

This parliament with the support of Bercow and May, egged on by Anti-Democrats on all sides, is neutering the executive, but without a credible or warranted alternative.

So while Brexit is the catalyst, or at least the trigger of this spasm of protest and sudden flexing of muscles by MPs who five minutes ago were happy to be ruled from Brussels, to me it doesn’t matter that it’s about leaving the EU.

To me, in any circumstance where the executive feels it is being usurped, it should defend itself, and our very system of government, with its checks and balances and separation of powers.

I may not agree with the amount of power our government holds in general, but exchanging one set of useless despots for another is not my idea of liberal reform.

The larger mistake that Theresa May is making, and this is obviously saying something, is letting MPs over rule not only the referendum result, but the government’s control of negotiations with the EU when they have no authority to do so.

And the fact that she blames MPs now publicly for the mess she is in, just shows how delusional she has become and how she’s forgotten what it truly means to hold the office of Prime Minister and defend our constitution.

Photo by Deniz Fuchidzhiev on Unsplash

No deal but no no deal either

It turns out no deal isn’t better than a bad deal even though the commons has certainly expressed its opinion that the Withdrawal Agreement is very bad indeed.

The Irish Backstop is the clincher, and this week the power was firmly in the hands of Geoffrey Cox, the government’s lawyer in chief, who with one decisive blow, single-handedly ensured that the government would be defeated again.

We discuss the events of the day after, when the commons voted on a motion to take “no deal” off the table, and on the Malthouse compromise amendment.

Will members of the Cabinet resign after abstaining? What about those who voted for the Malthouse version of Brexit?

And finally, we discuss the shenanigans in the Labour Party, and how in “normal” times, this would have been big news.

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The Conservative Party splits. What happens now?

Only two days have passed, yet another Labour MP has quit and, more significantly, 3 Conservatives MPs have too.

Now that the Independent Group has 11 MPs and eclipses the Lib Dems in all the polls, what does this mean for Brexit, the two old parties, and politics in general?

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