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What’s that about political careers? July 18, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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A gloomy analysis of the future in the Observer by Andrew Rawnsley if you happen to be Theresa May.

This is one strand of thought in the febrile hive mind that is the Conservative party. It sees a version of Mrs May’s future that goes something like this. Brexit will be accompanied by a host of setbacks, retreats, disappointments, compromises and crises. And that will be so even if the horrendous process of extricating Britain from the EU is not an unmitigated disaster. Someone has to absorb all the toxic feeling that this will arouse. Someone also has to endure the weekly torture that will come with attempting to get all the Brexit-related legislation through parliament when the government does not have a reliable majority. Since it was Mrs May who landed the Tories in this predicament by messing up the election, it is only appropriate that she should be the human sponge who soaks up all the blame. This will be a thankless and joyless role, but she made it her fate and at least she will get to be prime minister for a bit longer. Then, when the Brexit job is done, the Tory party will bid her thank you and goodnight. Mrs May will be consigned to a Shelburne-like obscurity and the Conservatives will install a fresh leader to try to rejuvenate the party in time for the next election.

I think this sounds about right. Not least in terms of the mountain that has to be scaled politically in relation to Brexit. Even if the problems are lesser again than the unnamed Tories think it would still make sense to have May carry the can because, one way or another this is a wrenching change in… well… just about everything.

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1. sonofstan - July 18, 2017

Meanwhile David Davis goes to Brussels for an hour, gets his pic taken with Barnier and hurries back to blightly for a commons vote.

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WorldbyStorm - July 18, 2017

What’s your read of it sos, ineptitude, arrogance, an inability to face up to the scale of it, something else – weirdly the thought strikes isnt there an almost parochial vibe off the Tories, its as if their horizons for all the lofty rhetoric of global Britain are actually very limited.

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Michael Carley - July 18, 2017

And much is being made of the two sides of the table: three EU negotiators turning up with their papers, three UK empty-handed.

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sonofstan - July 18, 2017

And the gender balance. Two women on the EU side, all old white men on the UK side of the table.
Struck me last night that, far from being a big Norway or Switzerland after they leave, a friendly neighbour, the UK’s position will be more like Turkey or Russia; a slightly threatening, unstable, and only occasionally friendly presence on the fringe.
@WBS – not quite parochial exactly, it’s more that the view of the world from a ‘big’ country is entirely different than that from a small one; we’re fairly realistic about our position and influence (with exceptions!) and understand the necessity to build alliances. We appreciate that other countries are places in their own right and approach them on a presumption of equality. Whereas for the UK (and the US) the rest of the world is a resource, understood in terms of use value. Hegel’s master-slave dialectic writ large.

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crocodileshoes - July 18, 2017

V true, SofS. I spend a fair bit of time in the UK and that attitude comes out very much in conversation, even with the well-disposed and willing-to-listen. In Ireland and other smaller countries it’s not that we don’t value our sovereignty, but it’s always been limited or compromised, we’ve always had to be willing to pool it or bargain with it in some degree. The visceral Brexiteer resentment of the ECJ, for example, just doesn’t make sense to us. I’ve found the same in the US when 9.11 crops up: it’s so self-evidently, even to Democrats, the worst thing that’s ever happened to any country, anywhere, that any attempt to put it in context provokes real anger.

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2. crocodileshoes - July 18, 2017

Bit harsh on Shelbourne too – even if they did lose to Wexford at the weekend! 😊

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sonofstan - July 18, 2017

Shelbourne FC at least had some success in Europe!

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3. GW - July 18, 2017

If I were a Tory I’d recommend calling an election in Autumn and dump the Brexit mess in Labour’s lap.

Ideally with Labour in coalition or with a very small majority, and still divided about what it imagines can/should happen in the context of Brexit.

But I guess that would mean some Tory MP turkeys voting for Christmas.

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