Author Archives: Jay Currie

It’s not the racism, it’s the hypocrisy

Justing trudeau blackfaceI fear I can’t get all that outraged about Justin Trudeau’s black, er brown, face. It was a party with a theme and he dressed and made up. (The black marks on the brunette’s clavicles may be a little more suspect but unless she was a student, in bounds.)

Scheer’s reaction was, I fear, the measure of the pasty faced man.

Max, on the other hand, got it right:

 

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What amazes me is the fact that the MSM, the NDP and the great and the good seem to think our black and brown and other shaded citizens are going to be outraged by Trudeau’s behaviour seventeen years ago.

Is this a campaign issue? Not the thing in itself, but the sheer hypocrisy of the man and his party accusing all sorts of Conservatives and People’s party candidates of “wrong think” for standing on the same patch of ground as alledged white supremacists will rankle.

Elections often turn on the question of “moral high ground”. Trudeau’s claim to that ground has just collapsed in a heap. He can apologize until the proverbial cows come home. His moral position, his sunny ways, are done.

The biggest winner? Maxime Bernier. Because now the Libs and the Cons have no racist stick left to beat him with. Try to use that stick – outrageous as it is – and Max points to Trudeau and his hypocrisy.

The way fifth parties become third parties is when they expose the lies the leading party and its “lite” version are based upon.

Trudeau gave the People’s Party a gift and Max is bright enough to exploit it.

 

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The trivialization of Canadian Politics

faith goldy and justin trudeauDock Currie (not related) apparently posted something to the internet several years ago which was offensive. So he felt he had to resign as an NDP candidate. [Anyone who sees Dock on Twitter has to wonder if he has ever posted something which is not offensive, but there is is.) Several conservatives have, at various times been in the same crowd of several hundred or thousand people as Canada’s answer to Toyko Rose, Faith Goldy. The shock, the horror.

I realize that a race between Trudeau, Scheer, Singh and May is not very inspiring. (It would have been so much more interesting had the Conservatives actually run a conservative like Max Bernier rather than whatever the hell Scheer is, but them’s the breaks.) But piling on to candidates for ancient statements or mau-mauing them for distant association with a cartoon fascist simply sets the bar even lower.

Having accomplished nothing of substance in their years in government – they even screwed up the pot file which took real ingenuity – the Libs are reduced to going negative from the outset. Their war room knows that Canadians are unimpressed with “climate change needs higher taxes” as a campaign theme. They also know that Trudeau’s legal and ethics problems offset what charisma he has as a campaigner.

So now it is time for “Project Fear”. Scheer = Harper = Trump. Scheer is going to take away abortion rights, Scheer is not an ally of the gay community because he does not jet all over the country to march in pride parades. The Conservatives hate immigrants and so on.

Going negative this early strongly suggests that the Lib’s internal polling is suggesting a fair bit of weakness. Conventionally, a party will save the negative stuff for the last couple of weeks of the campaign when it is the most damaging and the hardest to refute. I suspect the Libs have realized that with their own leader either under RCMP investigation or credibly accused of impeding that investigation, they need to distract and terrify the under 30’s, newer immigrants and the ladies if they are going to win.

After years of public school and woke university, the under 30’s are ignorant enough to fall for the climate scare. Newer immigrants might be frightened by conservatives who attended a rally at which Faith Goldy was present because, well, that would make them Nazis too. And the Libs think the ladies will swoon over the suggestion that Scheer (a major breeder and Catholic) will be jumping right in to create a Handmaiden’s Tale anti-abortion dystopia where the State will mandate that pregnancy will only end with birth.

With a bought and paid for mainstream media pumping out those themes, keeping Max off stage and lobbing Nerf ball questions at Trudeau, the Liberal war room may well be right.

After all, when not plotting with the Pope to make pregnancy mandatory, Scheer is a dull, decent, dog of a candidate. Dirty him up a bit and the poor man may never recover.

The Liberal war room and the mainstream media seem to think this is what politics is about. It isn’t. Right now there are actually serious issues facing Canada beginning with the fact that because of the disaster which is Canadian energy policy, the shut down of 50% of Saudi Arabia’s oil production may mean the Eastern Bastards really do freeze in the dark this winter. Will that come up on the campaign trail? Will real, if painful solutions to Canada’s deficit and debt problem come up? Will the fact that our current External Affairs minister is persona non gratia in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US come up?

These are real issues. Dock Currie’s usually odious comments and being in the same city as Faith Goldy are not.

The Liberals and the paid for Canadian media are pretty sure we’re too dumb to see the difference.

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Live From Belmoral

The PM spent Friday and some of Saturday with Her Majesty. A transcript has just been released.

The Queen: Prime Minister.

Boris: Your Majesty.

The Queen: Bit of a pickle Prime Minister.

Boris: Well yes, Your Majesty. Dominic thought it might turn out this way.

The Queen: Boris, you may think you are Pooh but I assure you, Dominic is more Owl like than you realize. He sounds quite smart but isn’t.

Boris: Perhaps your Majesty. But what can one do?

The Queen: Are you asking seriously?

Boris: Oh yes, your Majesty, I am up the spout without a pickle, or paddle.

The Queen: Well, yes, Boris, you are. Not the first Prime Minister and, the way things are going, not my last. But being a bear of very little brain you might take some advice. Do you know about residual powers?

Boris: I have heard of them but they have not been used in centuries.

The Queen: They most certainly have. Each time a Prime Minister cocks something up and needs to make Parliament go away for a while I prorogue the thing. Or, as my royal prerogatives are being abridged by the act I, or, rather, you can withhold consent. And you might suggest to me that my assent to the bill might be withheld for, say a month or two. And you might want to do that after prorogation. Or, and I doubt your clever Mr. Cummings has thought of this, you might ask me to write a letter to the EU asking for a one day extension to November 1. I am, after all the Head of State and can write in my own name on the advice of Cabinet which would put paid to any question of violating the “law”. Or you might try a combination of some or many of these maneuvers and then move a motion of non-confidence against yourself just for the sheer joy of the expression on Mr. Corbyn’s rather scruffy face.

Boris (doing a small dance as bears do when finding an unexpected honey pot): Thank you very much, Your Majesty. You have given me much to ponder.

The Queen: Well don’t ponder too long. My powers grow rusty in their scabbards and if you wait too long I might die and you’ll have to deal with Charles who has forgotten what a scabbard looks like.

Boris: Thank you Kanga, I mean, Your Majesty.

The Queen: You’re very welcome, Prime Minister. Now get on with it. Lovely gal by the way. Phillip was very impressed.

The Mighty Mueller has Struck Out

I have been watching snatches of poor Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress. Seeing him flailing and apparently not remembering what was actually in his own report was sad. We all get old and Mueller showed all the signs of decline which older people can experience.

None of which was a secret going into the hearings which raises the question, “Why were the Democrats so insistant on having Mueller tesitify?” While I think the two Democratic Committee Chairmen, Nadler and Schiff are dolts, they have been in the game long enough to know Mueller would be a weak witness. So why ask the old fellow to subject himself to five hours of Democratic posturing and some quite serious counter barrage from a number of Republicans who actually know what was going on during the Trump campaign and into the Trump Presidency.

My own surmise is that the Democrats are so invested in the idea of impeaching Trump (because they are pretty sure they can’t beat him in 2020) that they had to try to keep the story alive by bringing out Mueller. Not because he would reveal anything very new nor because he would be a dynamite witness, rather because without at least trying Mueller, the whole impeachment narrative would have been over. So out came Mueller and, in five hours of testimony, he managed to end the whole impeachment narrative.

However, Mueller did let a little light into the origin story of the Special Counsel investigation when he indicated that he did not know what Fusion GPS was, who Greg Simpson was and refused to discuss why spook and professor Joseph Mifsud was not charged with lying to the FBI when a) he did, b) various Trump connected people were so charged.

What Mueller did not know, what his investigation did not examine, are the starting points for what I expect will become the largest political/justice/intelligence scandal America has ever endured.

Mueller’s strike out retired Team Obama/Clinton but now Trump and his AG Bill Barr get their turn at bat. With impeachment off the table, Barr has a clear shot at what very much looks like a broad, co-ordinated, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice (Hillary exoneration on the email file) and conduct illegal surveliance on the Trump campaign and, possibly, the Trump Presidency through the use of fraudulently obtained FISA warrants. The bottom of the inning promises to be something of a hit fest as compared to the strikeouts, foul balls, walks and pop flies which were the best the Dems could do to impeach Trump.

Dog Days of Summer

My friends back East are gently broiling in temperatures not seen since my 94 year old mother was a girl. No AC then, but no idiots or Liberals telling you that the heat was caused by CO2. Judging from the ever reliable Twitter just about no one is actually buying that nonsense.

Twitter is covering itself in glory on other fronts. Having banned Megan Murphy for daring to report on the chap who wants his testicles waxed and is taking any number of waxing providers to BC’s Human Rights Commission in a transparent shakedown, Twitter has now banned Lindsay Shepherd for discussing Yaniv’s junk. [I note for the record that Yaniv, in full drag, has one of the most punchable fat faces I have ever seen. And, as I am quite certain he is not in the least bit genuine, I am certainly not going to use his appropriated pronouns.] Sheperd’s banning and the lifting of a publication ban on Mr. Yaniv has led all sorts of significant platforms to investigate Mr. Yaniv and to discover that he might not be a super great guy. Apparently, he has a rather greater than normal interest in how very young girls handle menstruation. Nice work Twitter.

Then, in the last few days, Twitter has been playing silly buggers with the hashtag, “TrudeauMustGo”. It was trending, then it wasn’t, then some dimwitted Liberals and CTV decided that it was being promoted by “bots”, then it came back to trending and now, last time I looked, it’s gone.

And, just because it can, Twitter floated the idea that it might be a good idea, in Canada, to allow people to remove replies to their tweets. The replies would not be deleted. They would simply not be visible on the same page as the tweet itself. Twitter got ratioed hard on this looney idea. My own sense is that this came up because poor Cathy McKenna is butt hurt that her prodigious climate change bad, carbon tax good Twitter output attracts nothing but negative, fact-based, replies. As Climate Barbie has announced she has no time for political adversaries who deny climate change is real, eliminating replies to her fact-free tweets would free up a lot of staff time.

Possibly the best news Andrew Scheer has had in some time is that the “Brain of Justin” and Twitter hate monger, Gerry Butts is back (assuming he ever left) advising youngish Mr. Trudeau. The Libs had made a good deal of progress in burying the SNC Lavalin interference with justice scandal. Now Justin has brought back Butts who is on record as saying, and I will provide full context,

“When Butts and Telford suggested seeking legal advice to review the SNC-Lavalin decision, Prince told them it would inappropriately interfering in the decision. “Jess, there is no solution here that doesn’t involve some interference,” Butts told her, according to text message transcripts from Wilson-Raybould.” national post

If we had an independent media in Canada, that quote would be hung around Justin’s neck from now until a) the election, b) Butts leaves any position, formal or informal, of influence. Unfortunately, as Andrew Coyne (quite clever except about Trump when derangement makes an ugly appearance) points out, we no longer have an independent media. We have a media which is looking desperately to be bailed out by the Federal Government. And the legacy media is intent on excluding dreadful upstarts like Rebel Media or the Post Millennial so an “independent panel of experts” is setting the criteria for “what sorts of publications should be accredited as Qualified Canadian Journalism Organizations” and what, exactly, a journalist is. (Extra points if you are in JT’s Chief of Staff, Katie Telford’s Op-Ed go to Rolodex.)

$600 million for legacy media and $1.2 billion for the CBC and, I suspect, the Libs will think they have pretty much sewn up positive media coverage for Justin. If only. Here is a little experiment: take a stroll through a shopping district or mall (thank you air conditioning) and look at people having coffee. Are any of them reading newspapers. The old style, printed on paper, newspapers? If so, is that person over or under the age of, say, forty? Let me know if you spot one. Most of us get our news from the internet. We might read the National Post online, but we will also have the opportunity to read The Rebel, Post Millennial, Spencer Fernando, Blazing Catfur and CEO.CA and literally thousands of other outlets.

Legacy media may limp along for another few years but, to quote Coyne,

For an industry whose chief shortage is less cash than credibility, this is a dire turn. The mere prospect of government funding has already opened us to accusations, on any occasion we are less than critical of the government, of singing for our supper. And not entirely without cause: whatever our claim to impartiality in other matters, there is no doubting our views on the supper. national post

With the arrival of federal government subsidies the legacy media will become even more identified with the interests of the Liberal Party (if that is possible) and even less reliable. It’s ability to decide what is and is not news, already under attack will be destroyed. After all, when the “gatekeepers” are paid by the Federal Government it is reasonable to suppose that they take dictation from Katie Telford and the PMO. Not all the time and not all that directly, but Certified Canadian Journalists are bright enough to know who is buttering their toast.

So are we.

 

 

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Wheels within wheels

Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Kim DarrochMuch outrage at the leaked cables of the British Ambassador to the United States, Sir Kim Darroch. The Intercept, bless its crusading heart, suggests that the cables may have been leaked to force the replacement of Sir Kim with a more Brexit friendly Trump whisperer. Which may be true. But if you want to go deep consider this.

Boris Johnson is about to win the leadership of the Conservative Party and with it the Prime Ministership. Unfortunately for Boris, our old pal Nigel Farage has whipped up a Brexit Party which will almost certainly take enough seats to produce a Tory, or, God forbid, Labour minority. Nigel is the Brexit Party as he was UKIP and he is a real problem for Boris.

The one position on Earth which Nigel Farage wants is to the Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States.

Now Boris who for all his looney behaviour is no one’s fool needs to nobble Nigel without actually appearing to do so. Dangling the plum of the Washington Embassy in front of Nigel’s, easily turned, head might be just the thing to get Nigel to come to a deal on terms favourable to the Johnson Conservatives. (Basically, run hard in Labour held Brexit supporting constituencies and go easy on all but the most remoaner Tories.) Nigel gets Brexit and a seat at the table in Trumpworld. Boris gets to be the Prime Minister in full without having to worry too much about the Brexiteers going a little bonkers every so often.

Win/win.

So who leaked the cables?

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Happy Canada Day!

Canada Day, Canadian ElitesMy little town on the Saanich Peninsula really puts on a show for Canada Day weekend. Because of the competition from Victoria’s Inner Harbour, we have our fireworks on Canada Day Eve. My youngest son, a fireworks enthusiast, rode his fixed gear bike the five miles in and five miles back. Tons of fun. Today there will be a parade, concerts and a general sense of a holiday. There are Canadian flags everywhere – we are not quite American with our flag mania, but there are a lot of them on display. Curmudgeons such as myself make sure our kids know that the real name for July 1 is Dominion Day and all that.

Meanwhile, the CBC has been polling Canadians and found that “nearly 80 per cent of Canadians either strongly or somewhat agree with the statement: “My country is divided between ordinary people and elites.” CBC At that link there is a long article suggesting that populist politicians are making use of the term “elite” in a derogatory way and that no one really quite knows what “elite” means.

Given that, in democracies, there is a certain amount of delicacy which surrounds frank discussion of elites, it is not surprising that no one is able to precisely describe what makes up an elite. The CBC and the guy on the street they interview are clear that it is not “money” per se. In fact, culture is more important than money in determining a person’s elite status and that culture, while in principle accessible, is, in practice, exclusionary. And it is exclusionary in very subtle ways.

To give an example, a million years ago I arrived for my first day at a very elite law school. It was actually, on the numbers, harder to get into than Havard Law. If ever there was an elite in embryo it was the hundred and fifty young men and women in that class. After a silly welcoming speech, there were cocktails and we set about getting to know each other as only a group in which fully 50% had been their high school president can. After a while, it got a little tedious as people humble-bragged about going to a “Boston area college” and how doing a triple honours degree set them up for the rigours of a legal education. My mind wandered and I began looking at the actual appearance of this class. There were virtually no fat people. In general, both the men and women seemed a bit taller than average. There were few, if any, people of colour. There were lots of WASPs and lots of Jews (the school shut down for Jewish High Holidays). There were lots of what I later came to understand were “good” hair cuts and the clothes were casual but lots of Ralph Lauren. But what was most striking were the teeth. So far as I could see there was exactly one person in that class who had not either been born with perfectly straight teeth or had access to orthodontry from an early age.

Now, having straight teeth does not make you a member of the elite, not noticing how unusual it is for a group of a hundred and fifty people to have straight teeth, does.

The CBC interviewee, Tony Laino, at Fordfest, said describing elites, “”Those that think they’re better than me,” he said. “Because I don’t espouse their beliefs.”

Which misses the point. Elites really don’t think of guys like Tony Laino at all. Largely because, as Charles Murray points out in Coming Apart, the new upper class rarely, if ever, meets the Tony Lainos of the world. Murray was writing about white people in America but much the same social bi-furcation is taking place in Canada. Murray looks at education, wealth, marriage, access and what he refers to as the rise of the super-zips, areas where highly educated, well connected, well off people live with others of their class and kind. It is an accelerating phenomenon in the US and it is plainly visible in Canada. Murray quotes Robert Reich as calling this, “the segregation of the successful”.

Inside elite communities “the issues” look very different than they do in the more pedestrian parts of the country. A few pennies extra for gas or heating oil or natural gas to fight the universally acknowledged menace of “climate change” makes perfect sense if your income is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. It is downright terrifying if you are making $50K. Only bigots and racists could be anti-imigration when you, yourself, live in virtually all white, old stock, Canadian enclaves and welcome refugees and migrants who you will never see.

The populist moment has not yet come to Canada and, if Andrew Scheer’s brand of Liberal lite wins in October, there will probably be another decade of elite consolidation before a proper populist movement gets off the ground. Whether it will be right populism a la Trump and Farange, or left populism with a firebrand NDP leader, is hard to say. However, as the Canadian elite grows more insular and disconnected from the ordinary life of Canada and Canadians, that populist moment draws closer.

Happy Canada Day!

 

 

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We Need a Sunspot Tax

“The resulting summary curve reveals a remarkable resemblance to the sunspot and terrestrial activity reported
in the past millennia including the signifcant grand solar minima: Maunder Minimum (1645–1715), Wolf minimum (1200), Oort minimum (1010–1050), Homer minimum (800–900 BC) combined with the grand solar
maxima: the medieval warm period (900–1200), the Roman warm period (400–10BC) etc. It also predicts the
upcoming grand solar minimum, similar to Maunder Minimum, which starts in 2020 and will last until 2055.” Oscillations of the baseline of solar magnetic field and solar irradiance on a millennial timescale, Nature

Peer-reviewed and everything.

For a long time, I have maintained that climate “science” is not robust enough for policy work. If Zharkova et al are even close to right the entire CO2 hysteria and the malinvestments resulting from that hysteria are worse than useless. If we are, in fact, heading into 35 years of a grand solar minimum we need steady, reliable, scalable energy sources – nuclear springs to mind.

Now, the interesting thing about Zharkova et al is that they make a testable prediction, namely that we are heading into a Maunder Minimum like period. So we should expect longer, harder winters, an overall drop in global temperature and shorter growing seasons. And we should see those effects in the next couple of years.

I trust Climate Barbie is on top of this.

 

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Being smarter about Iran

It is always a mistake to read ZeroHedge before finishing your first cup of coffee. I made that mistake today and came across this article Jerusalem Post: U.S. Bombing Of Iran “Will Be Massive But Will Be Limited To A Specific Target”.

The article outlines all the ways that this approach to war with Iran would be folly and while I don’t necessarily agree with all the points made, the general point that massive force however strategically deployed will almost certainly produce results that the US and the rest of the world will not like one little bit. While you can bomb the Hell out of Iran, Iran has a number of retaliatory options rangine from the possibility of an EMP hit (they may have a rudimentary nuke) to closing the Strait of Hormuz to using Hezbollah sleeper cells in the US to hit critical infrastructure. While I have no doubt the US could beat Iran in a straight war, it would be long, bloody, politically suicidal for Trump and nasty for ordinary Americans.

Worse, it would be a strategic error. If the US leaves its current sanctions in place the Iranian economy will grind to something of a halt. Support for the current Iranian regime, already shakey, will decline. Yes, the current regime will continue with its provocations – I have no doubt it was Iranians who put holes in the sides of two tankers. But, so what?

Exciting as a hot war with Iran would be for assorted policy wonks, it would be an expensive exercise in futility compared to a longer term cold war with some clever extras.

First off, the Americans should make it very clear to the Iranians and the world that while they are committed to freedom of navigation, they are not interested in massive responses to minor incidents. If there is to be any response at all to the tanker mines (if that is what they were) it should be very local indeed. Find the boat in the video and sink it (or one very much like it – no need to be too picky).

Second, using US cyber assets – such as they are – it is time to see just how effectively infrastructure can be disrupted rather than destroyed. A sense of humour would be a huge asset here. Being able to cut into TV broadcasts is one thing, telling jokes at the Ayatollah’s expense is another.

Third, the Israelis did a very good business in the selective assasination of Iran’s nuclear scientists. A similar tactic against Iranian civil and military officials engaged in terrorism or attacks on shipping would be throughly demoralizing for the Iranian regime.

Fourth, use US, Arab, Iranian and Israeli inteligence assets to mount a serious campaign of exposure against the corruption of the clerics and Revolutionary Guard. There is a lot of evidence that a great deal of the wealth in Iran since the Islamic Revolution has flowed to these two groups. Expose that and conduct a campaign world wide to freeze and seize those assets.

Fifth, roll up Hezbollah and the Revolutionary Guard operating outside Iran. Again, this need not be a shock and awe operation. Just the relentless raiding of rocket storehouses, arms depots, command and control infrastructure where ever it is located. Yes, there will be some unexplained explosions in southern Lebannon and in Syria. But there may be raids in South America and in the US and Canada. This would have the double effect of blunting Iran’s capacity to attack outside its borders and would, consequently, improve the safety of various civilian populations.

Sixth, and this should be done in any event, get to work hardening and creating redundancies in key infrastructure. A few years ago someone, who was never caught, was shooting up transformers at remote electrical substations in the US. The fact is that the grid in the US remains open to cyber attack, EMP attack, a guy with a 50 cal sniper rifle and a Carrington Event: how quickly it can recover is a matter of preparation.

President Trump has suggested that the Iraq and Afghani wars were expensive wastes of time. A war with Iran would be much more expensive and just as much a waste of time. The US and its allies have plenty of tools to fight a cool war of attrition which would be relatively cheap, have clearly defined goals and which, over time, would neuter the hardliners in Iran.

If Trump wants more people to think he is indeed “a stable genius” he’ll resist the temptation to get into an overt shooting war with Iran. Instead, he and his allies will fight from the shadows and beat the Iranian hardliners without dropping a single, traceable, bomb. (There maybe some Hellfires here and there.)

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The Strange Death of Tory England

Nigel Farage, Brexiti PartyWell, not actually “Tory” but I wanted the headline to line up with George Dangerfield’s 1935 classic The Strange Death of Liberal EnglandDangerfield took a close look at the political chaos which engulfed England just prior to the beginning of WWI when, he argues, the spirit of progressivism was largely eliminated from English politics. Essentially, the gentry progressivism which had dominanted both the Liberal and Conservative parties since Victoria’s day was crushed between the class politics of the Labour Party, the intractable problem of Ireland (specifically Ulster) and the demands of the Suffragettes. The subsequent mass murder of the British Officer class in the trenches of France meant that there was very little left of the spirit of liberal progressivism by the end of the war.

In a few hours we will find out just how well Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party have done in the European elections. Given that the party was only launched six weeks ago, anything over 20% of the vote will be astonishing but the bookmakers and pollsters are seeing numbers north of 30%. Farange is being seen as the most significant English politician of his generation.

The resignation of Theresa May because of her failure to get a “Brexit deal” no matter how lame through the House of Commons has opened up the Prime Ministership and the leadership of the Conservative Party. The party itself is significantly split between Remain leaning, establishment MPs and Leave supporting Conservative Party members. It seems clear that were it left up to the Conservatives in Westminster there would be no Brexit at all. The country may have other ideas.

Across the aisle, the Labour Party is lurching off in all directions. It is pretty much impossible to get a straight answer from Corbyn as to what the Party’s position is on Brexit. I am reminded of MacKenzie King’s marvellous circumlocution, “Conscription if necessary, but not necessarily conscription.” Corbyn’s problem is that the more lumpen of his supporters, particularly outside London, are full-throated in their support of Brexit while gentry Labourites cannot imagine who let these dreadful people into the party. Corbyn’s position is further complicated by the rise of a Jacobian ultra faction in the form of Momentum demanding a clear “Remain” stance or, at the very worse, a Second Referendum.

The great Brexit wars in England are as much cultural as they are political. Elites, the media, the academy and some sections of the business community are fervent Remainers as much for social signalling reasons as for any political analysis of the Remain position. Supporting Remain is simply what “smart” people do and who does not want to be smart?

Brexit supporters are more about downmarket ideas like “votes matter” and “politicians should do what they promised to do”. They are immune to the elite argument that the Referendum voters had no idea that Brexit meant leaving Europe or that Brexit supporter’s votes should be discounted because they are all old, white, racists and other clever arguments which make sense in BBC studios if nowhere else.

“Liberal England” died because its political class, smug in its sense of moral and intellectual superiority, could not imagine that the Labour movement, much less the gels prattling on about “votes for women” were even slightly serious threats the liberal, progressive, established order. Within a decade that order was swept away by war and radical political reform.

“Tory England” by which I mean the upper levels of the Conservative Party, the media, the academy and much of the non-Momentum Labour Party is walking towards the same fate. The luvies were quite right to understand the Brexit Referendum vote as a vote against uncontrolled immigration, political correctness and political hypocrisy. But their reaction which was to dismiss Brexit voters as unworthy of the new, enlightened, modern England was a huge, strategic error. That error was compounded by the House of Commons being unwilling to actually reach agreement on a deal to leave the EU.

All of which has given Mr. Farage and the Brexit Party an unprecedented chance to remake the politics of England. First, by providing a measure of the anti-EU, anti-Westminster sentiment in England. A rock hard 20% would be destabilizing, but if the Brexit Party manages 30% or better, Farange becomes the effective kingmaker of the Conservative Party.

The Brexit Party currently does not have any seats in the House of Commons (though that may change). What it does have is a well oiled, motivated, mass organization. How that organization is deployed in the next General Election – which could be coming up very quickly as Labour has promised to welcome the incoming Conservative leader with a no-confidence vote – is very likely to determine which party attains government and which leader becomes Prime Minister.

There are, perhaps, fifty seats in England that the Brexit Party could win outright in a General Election. But there are several hundred more where Conservative or Labour Remain supporting MPs would be vunerable to defeat if the Brexit Party ran a candidate. And there are many seats where Brexit supporting MPs of both parties would be very grateful if the Brexit Party refrained from running.

The current Parliament has refused to implement the clear results of the Brexit Referendum despite have been elected in a General Election to do juist that. For Brexit supporters the tactical defeat of Remainers – either in straight up contests or by running or declining to run spoiler candidates – is Job #1. Farage understands this. The question is which of the Conservative leadership candidates is bright enough to realize that Farage and the Brexit Party are the key to the survival of the Tories in England?

Let’s first see how big a noise the Brexit Party and Farage make in a few hours.

UPDATE: Winner? Obviously Nigel Farage and the Brexit party with 31.7% of the vote and on track to take a minimum of 21 of the MEP positions. Second place to the Lib Dems who provided a refuge for all those decent people who were simply appalled at that dreadful Farage chap and worried about their ability to reach their summer homes in Tuscany. (Greens picked up 3 seats for much the same reason.)

Biggest loser? Right now the Conservatives are running at 9.2% of the vote for 2 MEP positions. Total disaster. But Labour did not do all that much better getting a mere 13.9% of the vote and going down to 7 MEP positions. Where Labour was really beaten up was in London where the metro elite defected in droves to the Lib Dems.

There will be more results coming in but at this point, it is safe to say that neither Labour nor the Tories have much to look forward to in British politics if they stay with the politics of flannel mouth on Brexit. There is much commentary about how the “Remain” vote Lib Dem+Labour+Green was larger than the Brexit vote but in the coming general election run on first past the post, those percentages will be uninteresting.

As I said, the question is whether or not the new Tory leader can cut a deal with Farage to ensure that Leave Conservatives have a clear run at their seats. Which means that leader has to be commited to real Brexit.

If the Conservatives elect another squish leader, the Brexit Party has nothing to lose running strong candidates in close-fought constituencies and hoping i) that rank and file Tory supporters will vote Brexit, ii) that the Lib-Dems, Labour and the Greens will hoplessly split the Remain vote.

A serious Tory leader will have already been on the phone to Farage who is, right now, and for the next few months, the most powerful person in British politics.

 

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