Friday, 13 September 2019

Welcome to the idiocracy!



Last week I wrote an article detailing the extraordinary bad faith tactic of Performative Stupidity, which is the increasingly prevalent journalistic method of attacking something, not by detailing it and then highlighting criticisms, but by simply pretending to be too stupid to understand it!

This week I've come across the most glaring example yet of this Performative Stupidity dumbing-down of political discourse, which takes the form of a Tweet that implies that any policy that takes more than three words to explain is somehow inferior to policies which can be expressed in three words or fewer, or "less" as the supposedly award-winning journalist puts it.

The intended take away being that super-simple policies for dealing with massively complex and divisive issues are credit-worthy, while anything that takes more than three words to explain is open to derision!



Labour's Brexit policy

Labour's Brexit strategy really isn't that difficult to understand. Here it is again:
1. Prevent Tory No Deal chaos and economic ruination. 
2. Remove the Tories (who created all this Brexit chaos in the first place) from power. 
3. Renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement (Customs Union, Single Market access, no border in Ireland, protection of workers' rights, cooperation on environment, science, and security). 
4. Put the renegotiated deal to a confirmatory referendum with remain as an option, meaning that there are sensible (non-meltdown) options on either side.
Of course this is more than three words, because it's rather difficult to cram a 4-point action plan into "three words or less [sic]" isn't it?

But if you did insist, for some unfathomable reason, on dumbing it down to just three words, you could say "Final Say Referendum" - but why on earth would you even want to do that?

Labour's policy is to offer representation to both sides of the Brexit divide in a way that avoids completely trashing the economy if people once again reject the option to Remain (sorry 27 words is far too many for my tiny little journalist brain to comprehend, how about you cut it down to 3 and I'll have another go!).


But then you look at the Lib-Dem and Tory Brexit policies that are supposedly so wonderful and virtuous for being reducible to just three words, and they really should be setting off all kinds of alarm bells, at least for the kind of journalist who uses the traditional method of actually scrutinising things, rather than the new method of pretending not to understand them.


Lib-Dems: Revoke Article 50

Two questions about this spring immediately to mind.

The first is what the hell happened to the Lib-Dem policy of demanding another referendum?

Demanding a People's Vote referendum has been the Lib-Dem shtick for the last couple of years, but now they've transitioned to a completely different policy, of revoking article 50 with no democratic mandate from the people via a referendum, and there's no criticism from the mainstream media hack pack whatever!


Every time Labour has even slightly modified or reworded their Brexit stance it's been met with a barrage of mainstream criticism and derision, but the Lib-Dems publicly tear up their entire policy and flip-flop to something entirely different, and they actually get praised on the basis that the new policy can be summed up in just three words!

The second glaringly obvious question is how?.

How do the Lib-Dems intend to revoke Article 50 when a parliamentary majority to revoke Article 50 with no democratic mandate from the people is literally impossible in the current parliament, and vanishingly unlikely in the next parliament?

These are the kind of questions that award-winning journalists should be asking, rather than evaluating policies purely on how few words they can be reduced to.



Tories: Leave October 31st

There are plenty of questions any reasonable journalist could ask about this, but I'll just stick to the two most glaringly obvious ones.

How do the Tories ensure the UK leaves the EU on October 31st when they've thrown away their parliamentary majority by hoofing 20+ Tory MPs out of the party for daring to defy Dominic Cummings, when they've completely lost control of the parliamentary order paper, and when they've lost every single parliamentary vote since Johnson became Prime Minister?

Just like the Lib-Dems, it's easy having simple ambitions. But without a realistic plan of action for how you actually achieve them, what are they actually worth?

The other glaring question is why?

Why the rush to leave on a specific date, even if the consequences of leaving in such a rush are likely to be extremely catastrophic (by your own government's internal Yellowhammer impact assessment).

Little children know to wait for a safe opportunity to cross the road rather than rushing out across busy traffic because an arbitrary amount of time has passed, but somehow the Tory government don't, and furthermore their "run in front of traffic" Brexit strategy is apparently praiseworthy for the fact it can be condensed to just three words!

Welcome to the idiocracy!

Any journalist with any kind of integrity would seek to present all of the main parties' Brexit strategies, and then subject them to criticism. But the current trend is to either pretend to be too stupid to understand Labour's position, or to praise other parties' policies, not because they make any kind of pragmatic sense, but because they can be simplified into the simplest of simple sound bites!

Is the best measure of a policy whether it is achievable from a pragmatic perspective, or how few words it can be expressed in?

Apparently the new answer to this question is the word count!


And the guy responsible for this deliberate stupidification of British political discourse isn't just some Twitter idiot mouthing off, he's an apparently award-winning Financial Times journalist.

If award-winning journalists at one of Britain's most prestigious newspapers is engaging in this kind of ludicrous performative stupidity, then it just goes to show how broken our mainstream media is.

We want super-simple solutions to massively complicated and multi-faceted problems or we're going to pretend to be too stupid to understand is a corrosive and irresponsible bad faith stance in its own right.

But in light of the fact that Brexit was caused by exactly this kind of simple solution (quit the EU) to complex problems (austerity, failing public services, unaffordable housing, negative wage growth, soaring utility bills, NHS queues, over-crowded schools, vandalised social safety net ...), it's illustrative of the fact that award-winning journalists at the top of their god-damned profession haven't even learned one of the most basic and salient lessons from this whole Brexit debacle: "sometimes things are a lot more complex than a slogan you can fit on the side of a bus, let alone into "three words or less [sic]".


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OR

50 comments:

Stu said...

Remove, renegotiate, referendum.

If you have to push the salient points in three words or fewer.

Yatty said...

That works for me!

Gulliver Foyle said...

The LibDems Brexit policy could more accurately be described in 3 words as - "re-enable Tory Government".

And Tory policy on more or less anything can be described in 3 words as "screw the poor"

Barry B Benson said...

Swinson said “The faultline in British politics is no longer a left-right divide, and that is what the Labour-Conservative duopoly of politics was predicated on,” Yep you've heard it they've transcended the political compass by...making sure a far right authoritarian Tory government continues. Better yet, she then claimed “The fundamental faultline now is between liberal and authoritarian values, and as Liberal Democrats we are clearly on one side of that." Yes, Revoking article 50 is not at all authoritarian or supporting a government which doesn't care about the rule of law. Liberal Democrats are as bad as the Tories.

Anonymous said...

Idiocracy? Firstly, you completely characterise Labour's Brexit "policy". Having watched the TV over the last couple of weeks it is quite clear that Labour's position is "Remain". Having watched Thornberry and McDonnell desperately trying to "sell" the ridiculous, current, policy to incredulous journalists. When Fiona Bruce raises her eyebrows even further (quite a feat) at Thornberry's "position" on QT ... you know you have got problems.

An idiocracy demonstrably exists, when the vast majority of Labour MPs vote for the UK to hold a referendum on the Eu. Then the vast majority of Labour MPs commit to honouring the outcome of the referendum. Then the Labour party fights a General election on a Brexit ticket. Then the vast majority of Labour MPs vote for the UK to invoke Article 50. Then .... then the Labour party squeals like stuck pigs when the government tries to honour the Labour parties policies!

The "revisionism" within Labour is simply breath taking.

Notwithstanding all of the above, the UK electorate, and Parliament, will never allow a couple of unreformed Marxists to run the country and "destroy capitalism" (as McDonnell is clearly on record as saying is his "job").

Those above that pretend to be democrats whilst desperately trying to stop Brexit, by any and all means, are the idiocracy. But its always the way with lefties ... authoritarian bullies that couldn't give a fig for democracy .... and are desperate to avoid a GE!

You couldn't make it up.

Unknown said...

Just give up, you're only wasting your own time with this drivel, you aren't fooling anybody.

Anonymous said...

Drivel? Do please feel free to point out any inaccuracies in my comment.

... can't wait.

Ultraviolet said...

Well, the woman in this video didn't seem remotely confused about Labour's Brexit policy when correcting Johnson's lie about it.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-news-latest-woman-brexit-video-austerity-doncaster-cheek-visit-public-a9103906.html

"They'll negotiate a deal and give us a vote on it".

And in reply to Barry Benson, it is noteable that Political Compass puts Labour on the libertarian side of that particular divide, alone among the main parties, and the Lib Dems on the authoritarian side.

https://www.politicalcompass.org/uk2017

Mr. Magoo said...

Politics and journalism have been so dumbed down since the banking crisis of 2008 that I half expect a newspaper article to be written in 'Tarzan speak' (e.g. Labour bad. Conservatives good).

Oversimplifying complex issues is exactly how the UK got in this mess to begin with: 'Do you want the UK to remain in or leave the EU?' - How would the Irish border be kept soft? Would the UK join EFTA to remain in the Single Market? Would the UK leave the Single Market but remain in the Customs Union?

Barry B Benson said...

Nobody can be bothered with your nonsense Anonymous. You reactionary Tory bot.

Simon J Broome said...

Some things need more than three words, some things don't.

What doesn't in my mind? The path to rebuilding Britain.

Invest, Imprison, Innovate.

Invest in the Social Safety Net, to be Expanded to a full Basic Income for anyone 18+.

Imprison Billionaires, Aristocrats, and anyone who Hoards Money.

Innovate in the Technological Space, as Britain has done for decades.

Okay, add a Fourth Word: Nationalise. (Rail, Health, Utilities)

And for certain, there are going to be challenges along this route. However, if we put our heads on straight, and wear our grown-up trousers, We can rebuild a Britain that is the Envy of the World, and a great place to live.

PaddyT said...

Renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement? it is never going to happen and this mantra displays the ignorance of how the EU works. UK placed red lines of No Single Market and no Customs Union, Corbyn was in Dublin lost June and he went on about the Single Market but bo more free movement which is a pillar of the EU, he is as deluded as Boris if he thinks that the EU will grant a special deal for Ex-Members. Corbyn was always Anti-EU by the way.

Anonymous said...

Obviously revoking Article 50 is anti-democratic BUT, as the LibDems don't expect to win a working majority, this shouldn't be an issue.

For Labour the policy of renegotiating leaves them with the same one Boris has, the EU aren't willing to move on it. As Labour weren't willing to vote through May's deal, then there's no real chance of having anything other than that to present to the public. Although, principle in their objections was a lack of firmness on the 'Future Relationship' which was being left as 'to be negotiated' for a two year implementation period which, understandably, they didn't trust the Tories on. Would they feel differently about the Withdrawal Agreement if THEY were going to be the ones doing this negotiation AND had a suitably large majority to vote it through? Who knows, I'm quite sure they can't know either. BUT putting THAT against 'Remain' without having implemented the referendum result after having promised to do so, voted to trigger Article 50 and then putting it in their manifesto and getting into parliament on it (at the last GE) you could see why people who voted Leave would feel betrayed and even those who voted Remain would wonder if ANYHTING that Labour now said could be trusted if they went back on something as major as this. To be TRULY democratic the only referendum they could have is on the METHOD of leaving ie May's Deal or a New Deal OR New Deal Vs No Deal etc.

The (current) Tory Government (can I still call them a 'government'?) idea that the default position is to leave on 31st October is (well, WAS) the nearest we have come to anyone actually respecting parliament and the public vote at the same time. 99% of those who voted Remain respect the result and they also want to see it done and frankly, over with. This looks like it won't happen now.

That brings us to whether Boris will respect the law, never mind respect parliament. Given what I know about Boris, being that he is well known to be a liar we can't take his word for it even when he says he will 'defy parliament' But, as I have been saying to Brexiteers for months, and Cameron has also now confirmed in his biography, Boris WASN'T a Brexiteer. I have been warning Brexiteers NOT to hero-worship this idiot for MONTHS now. Boris decided who he thought he could get most advantage out of if they won, THEN decided who to hitch his wagon to. he doesn't care either way about Brexit, it just doesn't affect him, he is insulated against its affects by wealth and connections. He IS in this purely for power. Whether we leave on 31st October is only now dependent upon how far Boris is willing to take us down the road of dictatorship.

Having said all that, the only advantage for Boris of ignoring parliament is that he will have us out of the EU three months sooner. He could take the hit, deliver the letter and make the next GE about supporting the party for a straight exit on 31st Jan. If he did so then The Brexit Party would step aside to give him votes and potentially Labour voters could vote for him too. No doubt some of the LibDem will move across too due to the revocation of Article 50 may just be too much for them to stomach.

The thing is, who wants to take the blame? This could be a VERY lacklustre campaign by Labour, do they want to be remembered as the party who either took us out of the EU or reran a referendum or revoke Article 50? It's a lose/lose.

Catch 22 - we are f*cked whatever happens...

David Penn said...

Perfect

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 16 September 2019 01:24 seems in need of some truth; A change of Government would be a significant event to re-open negotiations is the policy of the E.U. which is also on record as saying the the Labour Party proposals put forward by Kier Starmer and his team would be acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Just popped back to see if Barry Benson had highlighted any inaccuracies in a previous comment of mine. I see that he wasn't able to!

I also made a comment about the "authoritarian left ... but I hadn't noticed Simon Broome's comment which included the phrase "Imprison Billionaires, Aristocrats, and anyone who Hoards Money".

It is noteworthy that Mr Broome writes this sort of stuff here on AAV and absolutely no one questions or criticises him. Now, Billionaires and aristocrats and people who save money for their old age, probably do not need my help in defending themselves from imprisonment purely on the basis of identity politics, but, if this is Labour Party policy, I trust it will appear in Manifesto (in the event that JFC ever grows the balls to hold a GE).


That tacit acceptance and condoning of such bile by other readers tells the casual reader everything they need to know what life under the likes of Corbyn and McDonnell would be like.

It is actually quite sinister.

Gulliver Foyle said...

@anonymous - 18 September, 2019 10:31

"That tacit acceptance and condoning of such bile by other readers......."

I would like to think that only those who have committed crimes should feel the full force of the law and, if warranted, face imprisonment but I can't help wondering if Anonymous, in his support of the current "not at all authoritarian" Conservative party is tacitly approving of the "not at all authoritarian" policy of deporting British citizens of a certain colour? or is tacitly approving of the "not at all authoritarian" policy of impoverishing disabled people just because they are disabled? Or tacitly approves of the “not at all authoritarian” proroguing of parliamentary democracy because the executive can’t get its way?

I always find it fascinating when poster like Anonymous project onto others their own "not at all authoritarian" viewpoint.

“in the event that JFC ever grows the balls to hold a GE”

Performative stupidity or ideocracy, call it what you will but the above comment is just plain stupid, and, in the light of De Pfeffel's recent humiliation in Luxembourg, is probably more projection. The imminent possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a deal changes only the date of a GE which Labour still want, they just want it at a time that can impose maximum damage/humiliation on De Pfeffel (and why not). We're only talking about delaying it a few weeks for obvious political reasons, that De Pfeffel has manufactured a situation where he is no longer in control of the timing of a GE is entirely his own stupid fault with his "not at all authoritarian" decision to expel 20+ members of his own party for having the temerity of disagreeing with him on his policy to impoverish the rest of us.

Unknown said...

All emails that end "you couldnt make it up" play fast and loose with the facts.

Anonymous said...

Unknown @ 12.57

.... again, please feel free to correct any inaccuracies. I rather suspect though that you are just another lefty idealogue that really doesn't like the mirror being held up!

A loony comes on and says imprison people (not sure whether he proposes that there would be a trial or whether he is the sole arbiter as to who should be in prison (I suspect the latter) because they have been financially successful, or their forbears were "titled", or they were rewarded by successive governments with a title for some reason (worthy or unworthy) or because they save their money rather than spend it - and no one says a dickie bird ... other than a democrat like me!



Unknown said...

Anon, you should get your own blog. I'm sure it would be really successful and not at all rubbish.

QueueEDee said...

Anonymous asks to be taken to task over inaccuracies. In an earlier post, he said: "Then .... then the Labour party squeals like stuck pigs when the government tries to honour the Labour parties policies!" It would be helpful to know which Labour party policies he is referring to, the generality here makes it impossible to agree or disagree as there aren't any facts.
Ta

Anonymous said...

QueueEDee @ 23.51 above

You wrote "It would be helpful to know which Labour party policies he is referring to"

errr.. I wrote above: "An idiocracy demonstrably exists, when the vast majority of Labour MPs vote for the UK to hold a referendum on the Eu. Then the vast majority of Labour MPs commit to honouring the outcome of the referendum. Then the Labour party fights a General election on a Brexit ticket. Then the vast majority of Labour MPs vote for the UK to invoke Article 50. Then .... then the Labour party squeals like stuck pigs when the government tries to honour the Labour parties policies!

... I hope that helps..... them policies!

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Anonymous said...

To GF above ... Ah! a pseudo intellectual leftie! Love 'em! Mr Foyle writes "only those who have committed crimes should feel the full force of the law and, if warranted, face imprisonment". Here, Mr Foyle shows his humanitarian credentials by generously conceding that he would like to think that only people who have been found guilty of a crime - should feel the full force of the law. So can I take it then that you think QueueEDee is a d**k?

Notwithstnding your requirement for using your made up nick names for Mr Johnson, you demonstrate a lack of awareness of the views of people outside your "right on" set. Whilst we can probably agree that the pipsqueak from Luxemburg's aims were to humiliate the Prime Minister - you probably won’t understand that it is only loonies that think he was humiliated (because they wanted him to be). No Mr Foyle, Mr Johnson wasn't humiliated because he didn't allow himself to be. You, as an undemocratic Remainer, wish ill-fortune to befall anyone that supports, or is fighting to, implement the result of the referendum. Naturally, you therefore support anyone, including yer' man from Luxemburg, that you believe is on your side.

The rest of us see just another reason to Leave the EU. What you don't understand Mr Foyle is that occurrences such as those in Luxemburg are not perceived as "humiliating" by Leavers, because he wasn't humiliated. They see it as just another Eurocrat desperately trying to influence the views of the majority, failing, thus increasing resolve.

Moving on further, in an outbreak of cognitive dissonance, you wrote "... has manufactured a situation where he is no longer in control of the timing of a GE is entirely his own stupid fault with his "not at all authoritarian" decision to expel 20+ members of his own party for having the temerity of disagreeing with him …".

Again, implicitly, Mr Foyle refuses to accept that Parliament (including the vast majority of Labour MPs) voted to hold a referendum and to give the "people" the choice of Leave or Remain. You do not accept that every Labour MP I ever saw interviewed then said that the result of the referendum should be respected. You ignore the fact that both the Labour and the Tories fought the GE on Brexit tickets. You then choose to ignore the law, voted for by the vast majority of MPs (including the vast majority of Labour MPs) to invoke Article 50 and to leave the EU. Instead, you choose to cite the fact that Mr Johnson removed the whip from 20 odd of his MPs who, like you, seek to frustrate the democratic result of the referendum - as being the problem.

You fascinate me Mr Foyle. You are clearly of reasonable intelligence and yet, right there in your very soul, you believe that democracy should and can be ignored, and/or undermined, if you personally, happen to hold a different view to the majority. In your warped world you see Boris Johnson's attempts to Leave the EU (as voted for by the majority of UK voters and the majority of UK Parliamentarians (i.e. its the Law)) as undemocratic! - whilst your minority position is the righteous path!

In the end, it will be your lack of understanding of these issues that means one day (hopefully soon) you will wake up to the results of a GE where Labour will have undoubtedly received an unflattering judgement of the people of the UK . Who knows where it will end but, thank god, we can be sure that Corbyn will never get to be Prime Minister of the UK. The Momentum loonies will then inevitably vote to be lead by another Marxist probably John ("its my job to destroy capitalism") McDonnell and off we will go again.

On the subject of democracy, didn't you just love that moment yesterday at the Labour Party Conference, when the composite on Labour's Brexit position was voted upon? The way she had to be immediately corrected for seeing the wrong outcome, despite being the Chair!!!! Priceless. And as I have said previously, you couldn't make it up.

Unknown said...

I bet you read these posts back to yourself in your best thespian voicea you check this blog for replies several times a day.

Anonymous said...

Unknown @ 12.48

Haha! It does read back as a rather good speech doesn't it.

As usual though, still no references to any inaccuracies in antything!

Gulliver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gulliver Foyle said...

@ anonymous - 24 September, 2019 11:07

"Notwithstnding your requirement for using your made up nick names for Mr Johnson"

The art of 5 seconds googling will reveal to you that his full, given name is Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson. He chooses to use his second name, presumably because he thinks it sounds less grandiose and more "chummy". I refer to him by his third name as it is more in tune with his own sense of misplaced pomposity.

As for the rest of your latest ill-informed tirade……yeah, your projecting again.

Quick question for you, have you ever posted on these blogs under another name? your inability to do basic research (ref. your ignorance over the use of the name De Pfeffel) together with an innate capacity of putting words and opinions in the mouths of others leads me to believe you may be cravenly hiding under the Anonymous by-line.

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Anonymous said...

Gulliver Foyle @ 25 September, 2019 10:39

Firstly, I note that you are keen to demonstrate your smug liberal elite credentials by showing your superior knowledge of politician's middle names and using them ... for some reason. Is it to demonstrate to the "home" crowd how incredibly clever and smart you are? Others might think you are just being a somewhat childish smart arse (it sorta goes with the liberal elite tag)?

Secondly, stating facts isn't projecting. You might not like the facts. You may wish that labour MPs hadn't voted to hold a referendum, honour the result, fight a GE on a Brexit ticket, vote for Article 50 .... but they did. So suck it up sunshine and try again.

Thirdly, why is using the "anonymous" method any different to using an alias? Personally, I dont use my Google account to make comments. So, since AAV changed its comments format I have stopped using my real name so that I dont get a doxxing from the your pals in Momentum.

If I have missed the point of AAV's blog and I am only supposed to comment with a "hear hear" or a "me too", I am sure he will let me know.

In the meantime me old snowflake, maybe you can tell me why the use of the term "surrender bill" (the one that surrenders the date at which the UK can leave the EU ... to the EU ... i.e the exact opposite of the result of the referendum) is inflammatory language. Is it because truth hurts?



Gulliver Foyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gulliver Foyle said...

@ Anonymous - 26 September, 2019 11:57

"Is it to demonstrate to the "home" crowd how incredibly clever and smart you are?"

No, it's to demonstrate to anyone still awake after reading your latest diatribe how incredibly ignorant you are. I also note the deflection here, rather than admitting that your original accusation, that I somehow made up a nickname for our current PM when in fact I did not was incorrect, you decide to dish out the whole "smug liberal elite" bullshit, as if you have any idea whatsoever of my “elitist” credentials. I mean, if being less stupid than you makes you a “smug liberal elite” then my goldfish qualifies.

As for your second point, yeah you keep trying the “it’s both sides fault” line but I’m sorry to say it’s utter bollocks. Try this thought experiment, voiced in your very best Rod Serling impression: -

“Imagine if you will, on the 7th May 2015, David Cameron had not won the general election where he promised a referendum on membership of the EU if he did win in a bid to prevent UKIP stealing a handful of seats from the Tories. Imagine instead that we had “chaos under Ed Milliband”. Would the country have been ripped in two, would an MP and mother have been murdered by a far right terrorist, would we be in the throes of a full-blown a constitutional crisis the likes of which we have not known in living memory or would we now be in the last months of a fairly inauspicious period of mild social democracy?”

I mean, I understand why an individual like you would want to paint everything as being “both sides fault” or even more stupidly, “It’s all Corbyn’s fault”, because the thought that the country is in this absolute shambolic mess due to the incompetence and self-serving nature of the party you appear to uncritically support is anathema to you, but the fact is, this is a mess entirely of the Conservative Party’s own making and the only solution to it involves people like you admitting it and handing said Conservative party their collective P45’s. God knows, if De Pfeffel gets his way, an awful lot of people will be getting handed theirs in the not too distance future. What I'm saying is, there is no solution to this mess that involves the continued existence of the Tory Party.

As for as the rest of your most recent comment, now you've admitted you've posted on this blog before why not have the courage to tell the group who you are? I mean, the utter and complete ignorance of what you are writing seems very familiar but it would be good to have it confirmed..........

Anonymous said...

Gulliver Foyle 26th Septemnber 11.57 Good Morning Mr Foyle (or whatever your real name is as you prefer to remain anonymous)

I note, again, that you you are unwilling to respond to the substance of my original comments.

1. Only a smart arse, "look at me i aren't I incredibly clever and well read" sorta a guy would choose to start using the name De Pfeffel, on a blog, in reference to the Prime Minister.

2. You indicate that I suggested that (and you pretended to quote me) “it’s both sides fault”. Fake News Mr Foyle!!! I did no such thing - you are just making stuff up.

3. I think you are starting to lose it Mr Foyle. The description "straw man" doesn't even come close to what you did in your paragraph 4 above. What on earth are you talking about??? Notwithstanding a minor side issue, like democracy, you appear to be making the argument that, before the referendum, the country was not divided on the subject of the EU!! Maybe in the trendy little bistro where you met your "right on", trendy lefty friends, you were totally unaware that 52% of the voting population harboured the view that no one was representing their views and that they were ignored by successive governments. How many other countries in the EU were never given the opportunity to express their views on the Maastricht and Lisbon Treaties? This argument that David Cameron, or indeed anyone, is "responsible" for the current division is just facile. The division was always there but those that wanted to Remain held the status quo position and the electorate were never given the opportunity to express an alternate view. Your annoyance that the electorate were given the opportunity to vote in a referendum, and that you "blame" David Cameron for allowing a democratic process to take place, speaks more about your real views on democracy than anything else I could write.

4. You then choose to enter the realms of fantasy and one-eyed discrimination when you wrote "God knows, if De Pfeffel gets his way, an awful lot of people will be getting handed theirs in the not too distance future. What I'm saying is, there is no solution to this mess that involves the continued existence of the Tory Party." I think what you really meant is that the "minority" won’t be able to impose its views on the "majority" whilst a party (any party) exists that might represent the views of the majority. I honestly can't work out whether you truly believe we should just do away with democracy, alternative views, etc, when you personally disagree with the majority view ... or whether you actually do not believe in democracy at all.

As a result of the referendum, a GE and the huge majority vote in Parliament to invoke Article 50 ... it is your half arsed conclusion that it is Boris Johnson's fault that we are leaving the EU (or trying to) ?!?!?!? You are truly from another planet.

In closing, I want to return to your subject of Jo Cox and that tragic event. No sane person of any political persuasion has any "truck" or sympathy for anyone that uses violence to pursue their political cause in a democracy. Sadly "Radicals", mentally ill people, religious extremists, political extremists exist, in relatively very small numbers, throughout society. Whether it’s the far right, the far left, Islamic fundamentalists or other anarchist or loonie fringe. When you, or anyone else, plays the "Jo Cox card" you seek to besmirch, denigrate, damage and insult, by some association that you draw, anyone that you decided is part of the same grouping as the perpetrator of a despicable crime. Are all Muslims responsible for the despicable acts of a few fundamentalists? Are the actions and antics of ANTIFA representative of mainstream Labour party voters? So Mr Foyle, take your pathetic and insulting insinuations about all the folk in the UK that vote to the right of you ...and stick em where the sun don't shine.

Gulliver Foyle said...

@ anonymous - 30 September, 2019 13:23

Wow, that’s some rant there “anonymous”, did you manage to get everything off your chest?

I’m not going to respond to most of what you’ve written simply because it’s based on your own imagination of who I am and what my political beliefs are as opposed to anything grounded in reality but I will make the following comments: -

1 - Lets go back to the start shall we, you initially accused me of “making up a nick name” for our current PM, when I pointed out that it was, in fact, one of the names his parents actually gave him you immediately switched tack (in an attempt to deflect away from your own ignorance) to accusing me of being some sort of “liberal elite” for having the temerity of knowing something you didn’t. You now double down and are calling me a “smart arse” again, for simply knowing something you didn’t. To re-phrase my earlier observation, if you think anyone who knows more than you is a “smart arse” then my hamster is also a “smart arse”.

2 - You might want to re-read your earlier comments beneath this blog post, after which you will see I am not “making stuff up”. I mean, you spent a whole paragraph in your first comment ranting at how the labour party voted for the referendum….

3 - Aside from the fact that you clearly have no idea what a “straw-man” argument is there’s this: -

“you appear to be making the argument that, before the referendum, the country was not divided on the subject of the EU!!”

It is a very well-established point of fact that with respect to the EU, the electorate placed it well down in its list of priorities, indeed as recently as May 2014 it was identified as an issue for only 8% of the electorate. You need to stop conflating “The Tory Party” with “everyone else”. The Tory party WERE split on EU membership, with many defecting to UKIP on the subject and it was for this precise reason, and as mentioned previously to stop UKIP winning 5 or 6 seats from the Tory’s, that young Dave offered the referendum if he won the 2015 election. Another way of looking at this is to interrogate UKIP’s polling. If holding a referendum on the EU was so important to the British public, why did they never return more than 15% in opinion polls and never win a seat in a general election?

And just because I point out the above does not make me “anti-democratic”. For the record I think we should either implement the referendum IN THE WAY IT WAS CAMPAIGNED FOR (i.e it would be the easiest deal in history, the EU would cave in and we would get all the advantages of EU membership with none of perceived downsides) or if the current impasse cannot be breached then a further vote is required where the REAL choice between membership and non membership is more clearly defined.

Most of the rest of what you have written is, as I say above, based on your imagined perceptions of who I am, I mean we don’t have bistro’s where I come from, we go down the chippy and eat out of a polystyrene tray on the way home.

Anyway, I see you still haven’t plucked up the courage to tell us all under what alias you have posted before, I’m not after your real name and address here but it would be really funny if you could confirm your previous pseudonym? I mean, you're prose (for want of a better word) is really similar to at least 2 other idiots who commented under unique nom de plume's prior to the current comment facility coming on-lone.

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Anonymous said...

Gulliver Foyle @ 30 September, 2019 17:30

Your whole diatribe is a total deflection ... you have made no substantive response to the issues originally raised. Instead you want to remind everyone again that you study and use the middle names of people in the news and then use those names in comments only to show how "knowledgeable" you are ... when in fact, its just another childish demonstration of your attempts at smug elitism.

My original comment went thus:

"An idiocracy demonstrably exists, when the vast majority of Labour MPs vote for the UK to hold a referendum on the Eu. Then the vast majority of Labour MPs commit to honouring the outcome of the referendum. Then the Labour party fights a General election on a Brexit ticket. Then the vast majority of Labour MPs vote for the UK to invoke Article 50. Then .... then the Labour party squeals like stuck pigs when the government tries to honour the Labour parties policies!

The "revisionism" within Labour is simply breath taking.

Notwithstanding all of the above, the UK electorate, and Parliament, will never allow a couple of unreformed Marxists to run the country and "destroy capitalism" (as McDonnell is clearly on record as saying is his "job").

Those above that pretend to be democrats whilst desperately trying to stop Brexit, by any and all means, are the idiocracy. But its always the way with lefties ... authoritarian bullies that couldn't give a fig for democracy .... and are desperate to avoid a GE!"

Please write something very clever in reponse to that ... unless, of course, you think it is more important to discuss your knowledge of Politician's middle names and/or why using the offered "anonymous" option rather than hiding my identity behind an alias is such a concern to you (i.e. anything but the actual, substantive, subject matter).

Explain to me why the country should support the installation of Corbyn and McDonnell (who consider it their job to destroy capitalism ... I can send you links, if you would like, to videos including unequivocal statements proving it. While I am at it, I could send you a link to Corbyn speaking candidly (and actually expressing his personal views (so very rare)) on the subject of the EU (when he spoke in Ireland on the subject of their second referendum).

BTW I am Spartacus!



Gulliver Foyle said...

@Spartacus......

“Your whole diatribe is a total deflection”

So by answering some of your specific points* I am deflecting am I?

“you have made no substantive response to the issues originally raised”

So by making substantive responses to the issues raised* I have made no substantive responses to the issues raised? Ignorance really is strength for you isn’t it?

“Instead you want to remind everyone again that you study and use the middle names of people in the news and then use those names in comments only to show how "knowledgeable" you are”

I don’t “study the names” of people in power, I do however “Study” people in power in so far as I like to know their background etc. And I’m not trying to remind “everyone”, because “everyone” didn’t accuse me of making up a nickname for our PM. Only you. You apparently take great exception to being corrected when you make false accusations, but I think that says an awful lot more about you than it does about the one doing the correcting. I mean, you could of course admit you made an false accusation, it's what Spartacus would have done after all.....

“Those above that pretend to be democrats whilst desperately trying to stop Brexit, by any and all means, are the idiocracy..”

Whether or not Brexit goes ahead is currently in the hands of our democratically elected representatives, are these the people of which you speak? Are you calling MP’s undemocratic?

“But its always the way with lefties ... authoritarian bullies that couldn't give a fig for democracy”

Was it the left that attempted to side line parliament at this crucial time, or was it the authoritarian right, among very many more authoritarian actions? I refer you to my comment on the 18th September.

“and are desperate to avoid a GE!”

I’m sure that once we have established whether or not De Pfeffel is prepared to obey the rule of law with respect to the Benn act, we will see whether this is true or not won’t we?

“BTW I am Spartacus!”

No you’re not, although your rant in the second half of your latest comment has now helpfully narrowed the field of candidates for who you actually are to just one idiot. so go on "Spartacus", stop being such a coward and tell us all under what alias you've posted on here before?

*I gave a very detailed answer to your point about the UK’s view on the EU before the referendum, which you conveniently ignored because it renders your accusation obsolete.

Gulliver Foyle said...

Addendum to my previous comment: -

"I gave a very detailed answer to your point about the UK’s view on the EU before the referendum, which you conveniently ignored because it renders your accusation obsolete"

And I should go on to say that, despite accusing me of not responding to your "substantive" comments and "deflecting", you completely failed to respond to what I wrote RE: the UK electorates pre-referendum view on the EU (that it was, contrary to your assumption, not that big of an issue for the vast majority of them). So it would appear that you either fully agree with my analysis (based as it is on facts not assumption) or,as I have previously stated, you are projecting on to me your own tendencies and ideology.

Anonymous said...

Gulliver Foyle 16.44 and 17.06

I am guessing that you and I are not going to have a meeting of minds on these issues.

My overall position is that the major parties voted, democratically, for a referendum and to give the decision to Leave or Remain, directly to the electorate. The MPs, voted, democratically, to pass sovereignty and the democratic process over to the people on this issue. You disagree.

The two major parties then both fought the GE on a Brexit ticket and both promised to implement the decision to Leave. That "contract" was implicit in attracting votes to their parties. You disagree.

The vast majority of MPs from our two major parties voted to invoke Article 50 to leave the EU on 29th March.

Here we are on 3rd October - and we are still in the EU - and the Labour party and the Liberals both want another extension.

However, somehow, as part of the reasoning behind wanting to take back control and have more independence, the Labour party and the Liberal party have introduced the Surrender Act - which allows the EU to tell us when we can leave!!!!

Like you I guess, I watch a lot of TV; Newsnight, Peston, Marr, Sophie Ridge, QT, Politics Live, etc, and I see senior Labour figures, Shadow Cabinet Ministers, the likes of John McDonnell, Emily Thornberry et al, telling me that they are Remainers and that they will vote to Remain in a second referendum. Seamlessly, and laughably, they tell me that they will renegotiate with the Eu, to the "best of their abilities" and then vote against the deal they have negotiated!!!!

Continued .....

Anonymous said...

Continued from above ....

Note: If you spot any factual errors in the summary above, then please point them out and I will humbly make any appropriate corrections.

As I may have said before ... You couldn't make it up.

Anyway, moving on, what do you think is going to happen next Mr Foyle?

Watching Peston last night, I get the impression that Labour is getting extremely "jumpy". Senior Tory politicians are continuing with the mantra that we will leave the EU on 31st October - with or without a deal - although we don't know how. Boris's new deal has been presented to the EU. The EU are trying to work out a) if Boris's deal would get through Parliament (my guess is that it would) b) What are Boris's plans to Leave (how) if they reject his proposals c) will they be seen as the intransigent party that forced a "no deal" on the people of Europe?

I am also wondering, if perhaps, Boris will ask Parliament for an an indicative vote on his deal very soon. That will throw the Labour Party into a spin and, effectively, force them to declare as a Leave or Remain Party. If Parliament indicates that it would vote for Boris's deal then the EU will, in my view, probably, accept it. If Parliament votes against the deal then, either Boris has some ruse by which we will leave anyway - or perhaps he will resign (because he personally will not send the surrender letter).

Some half-arsed National government of losers would then have to send the surrender letter. There would then have to be a GE.

The GE will then be about Brexit with the Tories in pole position whilst Labour swirl around desperately trying to hang on to their "leave" voters whilst having come out as Remainers. I predict a good majority for the Tories in such circumstances.

I am sure there will be new "moves" from both sides in the coming days though. Watching Sturgeon last night was very illuminating. Normally she is a consummate politician and rarely "flappable". But you could see how frustrated she was that the the Leader of the Opposition, even in these times, could not be accepted by Remainers as a rallying point for the fight. We know that the majority of his parliamentary MPs don't want him as leader, the Lib Dems have said they wont accept him, and the Tory Party defectors are unlikely to vote for him. He simply cannot get the numbers himself - and he sees it as political suicide to allow another individual to lead the Opposition.

What do think Mr foyle?

Anonymous said...


.... I'm still waiting Mr Foyle!

Gulliver Foyle said...

@ Spartacus

Yeah, have a bit of patience Spartacus, some of us have actual lives you know and anyway, good things come to those who wait: -

RE: Your first three paragraphs, I refer the not at all honourable idiot (that would be you) to the replies I gave on the 26th and 30th September above. The politics surrounding the referendum, and the ensuing mess, are wholly the responsibility of the Conservatives in that they instigated everything in an attempt (now failed) to side-line the Faragist flank within their own party by promising a referendum. Everything we are seeing now is as a result of internal Tory party management. It really is that simple.

“However, somehow, as part of the reasoning behind wanting to take back control and have more independence, the Labour party and the Liberal party have introduced the Surrender Act - which allows the EU to tell us when we can leave!!!!”

This is simply absurd; you’re literally and obediently regurgitating what you’re being told by the chief polecat, his subordinate and their propaganda clerks (Cummings, De Pfeffel and the billionaire owned right wing press in that order), I mean, come on Spartacus, have a bit of self-respect and try formulating your own opinions, stop reciting what this bunch of arseholes tell you to, trust me when I say they really don’t give a shit about you or me. All the opposition parties have done is told De Pfeffel to either bring back a deal or extend A50 until such time as a deal can be reached. And let’s not forget, one of the chief promises made by De Pfeffel and all the rest on his side was that a DEAL would be EASY. If it’s Soooooo easy why haven’t we got one yet that matches their pie in the sky aspirations?

As for the rest of your latest rambling, you’re simply filtering what has been said by all sides through the lens of your own prejudice and pre-conceptions. But if you want a prediction here it is, this shit’s never going to end, this country is going to remain divided for at least the next decade irrespective of who wins the next GE or whether or not we leave on 31st October with a deal or not. And when the chronical of this time is written the historians will come to the same conclusion I’ve already stated, this fuck-up is entirely the result of internal Tory party management and their desire to cling on to power at all costs. And I repeat what I have written previously, no solution to this problem involves the continued existence of the Tory party because they – are – the – problem.

Now, if you want any more pearls of wisdom from me, you’re gonna have to stop behaving like a (chlorinated) chicken tell us all under what alias you’ve previously commented on this blog.

Anonymous said...

@ Gulliver Foyle

Thank you for responding Mr Foyle. To take your last point first, no. In these times, it isn't worth the hassle from loony left. Sadly, there are those who seek to make mischief (to put it lightly) for those that are perceived to be the very devil for holding political points of view that are different to the hard left wonks.

Your are clearly an intelligent person (unlike some above) and yet, clearly, you have, from my perspective, some very odd views on life. You have convinced yourself that whether we are members of a single market that wants ever closer political union, heading for a United States of Europe, is only a problem for people in the UK ... because a section of the Tory party says it is. It is my view that you are just plain wrong sir/madam. Even Mr Corbyn talks about "Remain and Reform" - when he knows that there is, in reality, actually no chance of the sort of reforms favoured by the average Brit (notwithstanding the fact that we absolutely know that Corbyn has always been a euro sceptic).

It is obviously a truism that the larger the democratic area (i.e. the more people that have a vote on a particular issue), then, ipso facto, the more people that can end up feeling disenfranchised when outvoted. We see it here in the UK with the result of the EU referendum where the SNP represent the majority Remain vote in Scotland and argue that they are being taken out of the EU against their will. Which is true - but irrelevant, if a UK vote is based upon the binary result of a headcount (note: many Tory "shire" constituencies voted Remain by very large majorities too).

Similarly, the situation exists in the EU where a particular member state could vote against every new initiative/law/political aim ... but their views will not be represented in policy ...because they are democratically outvoted every time. Quite rightly. There is nothing wrong with that. If you are a member of the club then you have to accept the rules of that club. However, it would then clearly be the case that the electorate of the member state that is outvoted each time - would feel that their membership of the club might not be in their overall best interest.

I suspect we could probably agree on that?

continued .....

Anonymous said...

..... Continued

It seems pretty clear to me, that the majority of "normal" folk in the UK were quite happy with the common market. They were quite happy until things like the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties came to pass and the accelerating direction of travel became clearer. At the same time, as a result of EU expansion and the abandonment of the previous fiscal rules of qualification for membership of the EU, meant that there was a rapid rise in movement of the population of EU members moving within the EU. The UK then experienced a relatively rapid rise in population under the free movement rules. It is perceived by many, rightly or wrongly, that the speed of the increase in population was too fast, that we were unprepared, and that has then had effects on the indigenous population in terms of increased housing costs, falling wages and increased pressure on Public Services.

Now, I don't know whether you are arguing that the points I have raised above are all the "fault" of the Tory party and aren't "real" - or whether you are arguing that those views should not have had representation in elections (i.e . as a lefty, you have your views and others should not be allowed to express their different views) (i.e. as per, pretty much, is the outcome where socialism has been implemented).

Where it gets really sinister is where you write “And I repeat what I have written previously, no solution to this problem involves the continued existence of the Tory party because they – are – the – problem.”

What am I supposed to make of that Mr Foyle? What can you possibly mean?

Mr (or Ms) Foyle, the Tory party actually only exists because ordinary folk vote for them. What you actually mean is that the ordinary folk that vote for them “are the problem” isn’t it.

I really, really hope that no one that thinks like that ever gets close to the reins of power in the UK.

Chris said...

I enjoyed reading the comments more than the article, thanks to both for writing such lengthy replies. I have to say I agree with anonymous on the points he has raised so far in the discussion.

Gulliver Foyle said...

@Spartacus

Your latest comments together with previous statements lead me to believe that you have me at a disadvantage in that you have previously entered discourse with me under a unique alias. If this is the case, then as a matter of common courtesy you should indicate under what “AKA” you have previously corresponded on this blog.

I will consider responding in detail to your latest musings if and when you provide the above requested pseudonym and not before.

Anonymous said...

@ Gulliver Foyle

I note your increasingly desperate desire to want to play the man rather than the ball. Given your somewhat sinister comment about the problem of the "continued existence of the Tory Party" (and by implication those that may vote for them) I choose to maintain my anonymity thank you.

You are not at any disadvantage Mr/Ms Foyle, all you need to do is respond (or not) to my comments above. I don't know you (you use and alias) and you don't know me so there is no disadvantage either way.

I also note that you haven't highlighted any factual errors made in my comment at 13.31 and 13.34 above. Anyway, I trust you agree that the thawing of relations with Varadkar, apparent yesterday, is good news? Its amazing what the threat of "no deal" does if the other side actually believe it eh? Hopefully that will continue and the Commons vote for a deal.

It appears that the government have got some plans to give individual MPs the opportunity to "clarify" their position on Brexit on Saturday 19th.

More popcorn!

Gulliver Foyle said...

@ Spartacus, this is not about playing the man or the ball and there’s certainly nothing sinister in making the obvious point that no solution to the current crisis involves the political party that instigated and is perpetuating said crisis, I mean, a bit if basic root cause failure analysis would tell you that.

You have already stated that you have corresponded under a unique nom de plume on this blog before, it's also clear that WE have corresponded previously, I'm not asking for your real name, just the alias you've previously used. And if you’ve used an alias, I’m struggling to know what it is you’re trying to hide here? (although I suspect I know the reason).

But to repeat, if you want any further detailed discussion on the topics you want to debate then you know what you need to do, it’s really no problem for me if you don’t but I do find it funny that you’ve spent a fair bit of time expressing how much of a coward you believe Corbyn is, but you’re too afraid of using your old pseudonym. maybe it’s just more of your projection eh?

Anonymous said...

Gulliver Foyle

... we are going round in circles.

"a bit if (sic) basic root cause failure analysis" ... pretentious? Vous?

So if I follow your logic, if a party promotes an initiative and then there is a vote in parliament, and that initiative passes with an overwhelming majority of around 450, with almost the total support of the opposition .... it the promoting parties fault, and blame, that the initiative gets carried forward?

No, Mr/Ms Foyle.

A response from you is, of course, not compulsory Mr/Ms Foyle, free country (well unless/until Corbyn ever gets in) and all that. Although, having dug a hole for yourself, I can quite see why you might want to cut your losses at this time - given that you have still failed to point out an inaccuracies in my previous comments.