To get why Boris Johnson might be the UK’s PM one needs to get Brexit

“Cometh the hour, cometh the man” can seem very biblical but is perhaps rather apposite in the circumstances. People now faced with the possibility of Boris Johnson as the UK’s PM and national leader are asking, “How can this be?” It should be remembered that there are around 48% who favour Brexit and also Johnson still enjoys a lot of support. Equally one might ask how it was that Farage … Read more

The Tories are choosing an election winner to leave the EU

To clear the decks was a term in naval warfare, when objects were removed or tied down before battle. It looks like the Tories are clearing the decks for electoral warfare to fix Brexit through a General Election. There is probably now no other way forward and the crunch point for a final decision is fast arriving. There is an eerie unease, like we’re all waiting as the Tory leadership … Read more

Can the UK government force through a No Deal Brexit?

Could a new UK Prime Minister in effect force through a No Deal Brexit without Parliament’s consent? This is yet another tortured question to emerge in the ongoing conflict over whether and on what basis Britain should leave the EU. There has been more than one cliffhanger in the conflict already, where the sides have been deadlocked, the deadline for Britain to leave has got very close and in the … Read more

Populism, fascism, the Far Right and Brexit

Exploring potential links between Populism and authoritarianism today Just how democratic is early 21st century populism? It is a nagging question in the back of people’s minds as they watch the rise of populism in the US and Europe and the retreat from democracy occurring across the world. One is tempted to recall the that democracy was overthrown in the early 20th century by Fascism, National Socialism and authoritarianism in … Read more

Parliament tries to take contol of Brexit from the government

The power struggle over Brexit and between the legislature and the executive steps up a gear tomorrow, when we will see both May’s response to her massive defeat last week and publication of the Cooper/Boles/Grieve cross-party measures to take control of the Brexit Process from May’s government. At the same time steps are being taken to promote the idea of a second referendum both within the Labour Party and with … Read more

Brexit puts the UK constitution under massive strain

The Brexit crisis have underlined a number of serious issues about our unwritten constitution and even the viability of the British state. Arguably our current constitutional arrangements don’t cater effectively for certain problems raised by Brexit, but for which some mechanism or point of ultimate reference is badly needed to prevent abuse of power. One  such case is the role of the monarchy. We arguably do not have effective government … Read more

What now for the Brexit project in a time of maximum uncertainty?

The question must be, what now for the Brexit project? We are now entering a period of maximum uncertainty, with no clear option commanding a majority in Parliament, let alone the country. This will test the ability of politicians to compromise when the desire is to fight to the last for one’s viewpoint. Pragmatism now needs to trump ideology, but one wonders if today’s Populist ideologues that have established a … Read more

The problem of losers’ consent inherent in the UK drive to Brexit

Perhaps the fundamental problem about Brexit is that of consent, and that arguably almost half the voting population do not consent to it. A major underlying weakness of the Brexit strategy being pursued, almost to destruction, by PM May was highlighted today just as Parliament gets close to voting on, and it is being assumed at present, reject her deal with the EU. That is that the government took a … Read more

Parliament makes a stand for democracy

Over the last two days there have been two important votes in Parliament on Brexit that have potentially reasserted the power of Parliament in relation to the executive. As the Brexit endgame is being played out, the issue of Britain’s independence, real or nominal, has become wrapped up with the nature and extent of democracy in the UK. These issues take us to the very heart of representative government in … Read more

The Brexit conflict still remains in deadlock with the clock ticking down

The political deadlock in the UK at Westminster as we reach Christmas seems as solid as ever, with no apparent solution about Brexit on the table except Mrs May’s negotiated deal with the EU, a crash-and-burn no-deal Brexit or a second referendum. It is therefore a good time to assess where we are in relation to this all-consuming Brexit conflict, while other urgent, important or necessary domestic initiatives are on … Read more