British Prime Minister Wants Election Now, Before Cost of Brexit Becomes Clear

British Prime Minister Wants Election Now, Before Cost of Brexit Becomes Clear

Prime Minister Theresa May, who was actually against Brexit before she was for it, made another dramatic U-turn on Tuesday, declaring that Britain needs to elect a new Parliament in June, three years ahead of schedule, despite her clear promise not to call an election when she campaigned to succeed David Cameron last year.

Her decision to subject Britons to a third national election campaign in just over two years — after the 2015 general election and the referendum on exiting the European Union ten months ago — was met with something less than enthusiasm by many voters.

In her address to the nation, May claimed that a fresh election was necessary to keep opposition parties from obstructing her Conservative government during negotiations over Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

That argument rang hollow, however, given that the opposition Labour Party had just voted for the government’s bill to begin the process of leaving the E.U. and is not campaigning to overturn the results of last year’s referendum.

To most political observers, it was clear that May’s decision was driven by something else: a desire to capitalize on the unprecedented weakness of the Labour Party, which is divided over Brexit, and its own leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and has trailed the Conservatives by up to 21 points in recent polls.

As the writer Robert Harris and the broadcaster James O’Brien suggested, it might also be in May’s own self-interest, and that of her party, to ask the nation for a five-year term now, before the costs of Brexit become apparent.

Although even many die-hard Labour supporters seemed resigned to defeat, some on the left welcomed the chance to vote against what they see as the potentially disastrous policy of a complete break with Europe.

Paul Mason, a journalist and filmmaker, suggested that Labour should accept that under Britain’s current electoral system, it can no longer win power alone and should form “a progressive alliance” with other center-left parties, including the Greens, Scottish and Welsh nationalists and, perhaps, Liberal Democrats.

This idea was described in detail last year by Jeremy Gilbert, a professor at the University of East London, who argued that it was nearly impossible to see “Labour winning a parliamentary majority without first completely selling out,” as it had under Tony Blair.

“In practice, Gilbert explained on the website Open Democracy, such an alliance “would mean coming to some kind of arrangement with other parties — especially Greens and Liberal Democrats — according to which they and Labour would stand down their candidates in key marginal constituencies in order to give whichever party had the best chance a clear run at beating the Tories.”

“Significantly, such a pragmatist strategy would probably mean accepting that Labour is finished in Scotland, and coming to some kind of arrangement with the SNP,” he added. “For now, most Scots don’t want independence — they want radical federalism. But they also want to be represented both in Holyrood and in Westminster by an unambiguously social democratic party. They do not trust Labour to be that party.”

While such a strategy seemed in line with the first remarks on the election released by the leader of the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon, it seemed significant that the Labour leader’s statement made no mention of opposing Brexit, the Conservative government’s signature issue and the specter haunting the nation.

Despite the confidence of the bookmakers and pollsters in predicting a Conservative victory in June, not everyone was convinced it would be a rout.

“Conservatives will not just win seats. They will also lose them,” observed Ian Dunt, the author of “Brexit: What The Hell Happens Now?”

“The Conservatives are likely to lose most of the 27 seats they took off the Lib Dems in the last election,” Dunt explained, as a result of anger over Brexit from the 48 percent of the country that voted against it. “These are uniquely chaotic and volatile political times,” he added. “If a progressive alliance against hard Brexit could be formed, it would hit the Conservatives. It might not defeat them — but the prime minister needs to massively increase her majority in order to justify this decision.”

In other words, the fact that the U.K.’s major parties were both sharply divided over Brexit makes it hard to predict exactly how an election dominated by the issue will turn out.

“The fact that the leadership of both main parties has disintegrated would under normal circumstances be a big story, but in the current chaos it is no more than a side effect,” John Lanchester wrote in the London Review of Books last year, just after David Cameron resigned.

The deeper problem is that the referendum has exposed splits in society which aren’t mapped by the political parties as they are currently constituted. People talk about Britain being ‘divided’ as if that’s a new issue, but societies are often divided, and the interests of all groups and individuals do not align. If they did, humanity would be the Borg. Political parties are the mechanism through which divisions in society are argued over and competing interests asserted.

The trouble with where we are now is that the configuration of the parties doesn’t match the issues which need to be resolved. To simplify, the Tories are a coalition of nationalists, who voted out, and business interests, who voted in; Labour is a coalition of urban liberals, who voted in, and the working class, who voted out. This means that if a general election were held tomorrow on the single issue of the referendum, the voter wouldn’t know whom to vote for. It wouldn’t be at all clear which faction in either party was likely to prevail when the hugely important details of what Brexit means come to be debated.

10 things you can do to resist hard Brexit

Source

0 things you can do to resist hard Brexit

Adam Ramsay 28 March 2017

As Article 50 is triggered, here’s what you can do to stop Britain’s slide to the hard right. Add your own suggestions in the comments.

Whichever way you voted in the referendum, hard Brexit is not about fulfilling a democratic mandate to leave the European Union. It’s about Theresa May’s government using the process of leaving the EU to force through its hard-right Daily Mail agenda – at a high cost to the majority of people living in the United(ish) Kingdom. Here are ten ways you can resist, and we’d love to hear more from you in in the comments below.

1)    Join a migrant solidarity group

Jimmy Mubenga, Wikimedia

What Brexit will mean for those who moved to the UK from other European countries is still up in the air. But let’s remember that there are already huge numbers on the rough end of Britain’s increasingly brutal anti-migrant rhetoric. And as Brexit fails to transform Britain into the Land of Hope and Glory that Boris Johnson and UKIP’s Nigel Farage promised, we can be pretty sure about who will get the brunt of the blame from the prime minister who, as Home Secretary, brought us the infamous racist van.

Long before Brexit, there was the tale of Jimmy Mubenga, a 46 year old father of five, who was suffocated to death by the G4S security guards on his deportation flight. Right now, there’s people like Manchester’s Abbey Kyuyene, who faces being deported to Uganda, where he can expect to be imprisoned for the rest of his life because he’s gay. There’s the child locked up for five months alongside a convicted child abuser simply because he came here from somewhere else. And there’s the hundreds of people we imprison indefinitely just because they want to live here.

There are the families Britain breaks apart because Theresa May believes they aren’t rich enough for love. There’s the horrific conditions we expect many of those seeking asylum in the UK to live in and there’s the people freezing in refugee camps just across the Channel. There are the workers who suffer exploitation rather than risk their paperless status being exposed and there are the families still dying in the Mediterranean as they attempt to make it to European soils.

All of these situations were bad before Brexit. All of them risk becoming worse as the government and its cheerleaders in the press cast around for someone to blame for the fact that Brexit will fail to give people any more sense of control over their lives.

All across the country, there are migrant solidarity groups organising to stop their neighbours being deported, demanding the closure of detention centres and providing a range of kinds of practical solidarity. As hard-right Brexit accelerates, they will need more people, more help and more support. Powerful people like to scapegoat migrants because they believe they can be divided from their communities most easily. Organising those communities to fight back is the best way to scare them off.

There’s Glasgow’s Unity Centre, Liverpool and Manchester migrant solidarity, No Borders, Calais Migrant Solidarity, the campaign to close Yarls’ Wood, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, Stop Funding Hate, Student Action for Refugees, the People & Planet Undoing Borders campaign… and many, many more people organising to support migrants here in the UK. Work out what’s going on near you, ask how you can help, and get involved – whether you speak another language, have research or legal skills, or can phone an airline to help stop a deportation, there are lots of thing we could all be doing to help our neighbours.

2)    Stop the trade deal shock doctrine

Protests against the EU/US trade deal, “TTIP”. Image: stop-ttip.org

One of the most terrifying potential ramifications of Brexit is a Trump-May UK/US Trade deal. And a UK/China trade deal… and… I could go on. While the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy has vast problems, American agribusiness will be very keen to ensure that what replaces it is nothing like the careful environmental protections that eco-Brexiters like Paul Kingsnorth will have been hoping for. With vast corporations desperate to prise open British markets after decades of EU subsidy and protection, one of the most predictable consequences of Brexit is Britain’s countryside becoming the latest item shed in Westminster’s accelerating asset striptease.

One of the most predictable consequences of Brexit is Britain’s countryside becoming the latest item shed in Westminster’s accelerating asset striptease.

And the fire-sale of the English countryside will only be one item in such a negotiation. Expect US health insurance companies, with their famous lobbying heft, to try desperately to bury both mandibles into what’s left of the NHS. Expect all of the worst bits of the EU/US Trade Deal to be regurgitated back onto the table. Expect the return of some version of the ‘Investor State Dispute Mechanism’ corporate courts, which have been used to ban regulations designed to protect us from cancer or workplace accidents because they damage company profits.

And expect people to organise against them. Global Justice Now and War on Want have so far led the fight in the UK, working with partners across the world and winning astounding victories along the way. Of them, the former is probably easier to get involved with, as it has groups across the country. You can join here.

3) Stand with Scotland

Forth Bridge, George Gastin, Wikimedia Commons.

The Conservative party made very clear before the referendum that they expected to keep the UK as a whole in the single market. As such, May doesn’t really have any mandate for her hard Brexit. But the situation north of the Tweed is worse: Scotland voted by 62% to remain in the EU, and yet people here face being dragged out against their will. May hasn’t even been willing to consider any of the potential ‘special deal’ options proposed by the SNP, Labour and Lib Dems in recent months, along lines I once called a ‘Reverse Greenland’. The only democratic way to resolve the constitutional conflict between the result of the 2014 independence vote, the 2016 result, and the situation Theresa May insists on dragging Scotland into is another independence referendum.

Last night, a majority of members of the Scottish parliament voted to hold such a referendum. For Westminster to block it would be a democratic outrage. And yet that is what Theresa May seems to be proposing to do. Pressure from outside Scotland will be key if Scots are to be allowed to vote on their constitutional future once more.

Write to your MP and demand that they allow they people of Scotland to vote on their constitutional future. (But make sure you read the next point first.)

4) …and with Northern Ireland

The Peace Bridge, Derry, Northern Ireland. Discovernorthernireland.com

If Scotland faces a democratic deficit, the North of Ireland faces disaster. Like Scotland, people in Northern Ireland voted to Remain in the EU. Unlike Scotland, there are significant reasons why Brexit will be a particular problem for people there. The imposition of passport and customs controls along the border between the North and the Republic will cause real economic harm. It will provide another opportunity to return to the old days of sectarian discrimination. The chances that border posts will become a target for violence, which could then escalate, are not trivial.

The chances that border posts will become a target for violence, which could then escalate, are not trivial.

And it’s not just the border. The EU and its human rights laws provide the framework for the Good Friday Agreement which has brought two decades of relative peace, and gave a constitutional framework in which people could be either Irish or British in both identity and citizenship, and live side by side without violence.

So far, the British establishment has got away with treating Northern Ireland with disdainful disinterest. In the run up to the European referendum, their unique case was largely ignored by politicians and the media. In the run up to their recent election, no one paid any attention. It’s only with the death of Martin McGuinness and the collapse of negotiations this week that the media has started to take note.

What should happen in Northern Ireland? It’s too easy for those not from there to propose simple solutions: a united Ireland is certainly tempting, and may be the solution, but that’s as contentious a question as ever. Certainly, we need to make sure that the British government realises that there are people outside of Ireland who care about it. And so, again, a simple place to start may be writing to your MP and demanding at the very least that they do all they can to prevent a hard border. You might even want to include points about both Scotland and Northern Ireland together.

5) Take part in a Reclaim the Power action

Leaving the EU means leaving behind inter-state collaboration on one of the defining issues of our time: climate change. And that means grassroots action will be more important than ever. Fortunately, the good folks at Reclaim the Power (whose name long predates the similar sounding Brexit slogan ‘take back control’) are organising a wave of direct action against the fossil fuel industry, and offer you the chance to get your hands dirty in the fight against the fossil fuel industry. They tell you how to get involved here.

6) Confront racism where you see it

Image: http://blacklivesmatteruk.org/

For people of colour, racism is a lived experience and, well, you don’t need some white guy telling you what to do about that. But for those of us who aren’t from racialised groups, we’re going to have to up our game. There has already been a surge in reports of hate speech and worse since Brexit, and we all need to play our part in stopping it. Check out groups like Black Lives Matter UK and see what you can do to help, and stand up to the racism which surrounds us all, whether that’s a quiet conversation with an uncle or confronting fascists in the street.

7) Read up on what the British empire was really like

Caricature of Cecil John Rhodes,Punch Magazine, public domain.

It often feels like a lot of this couldn’t have happened if Britain had ever come to terms with its colonial history. British imperialists really weren’t the cheerful engineers, kindly building railways for people in far off lands that our culture keeps trying to tell us about. It was all a lot more blood and torture-filled than that. And there is a whole lot more that most of us could be doing to learn about what really went on, and how it is Britain really got rich in the first place.

Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, find a few books or articles about what the British empire was really about – ideally written by people from the places we colonised – and begin to sample a flavour of the carnage and plunder that the UK unleashed on the world for centuries. One thing you might want to do is start with one war from the list below, find a book or article on it by someone from the colonised group, and take it from there:

The Opium wars; The Carnatic wars; The Anglo-Cherokee war; Pontiac’s rebellion; The Anglo Mysore wars; The Anglo Maratha wars; The American Revolutionary war; The Irish Rebellion; The Kandyan wars; The Anglo-Turkish war; The Xhosa wars; The Ga-Fante war; The war of 1812; The Anglo-Ashanti wars; The Anglo-Burmese wars; Canada’s Rebellions of 1837; The first, second and third Afghan wars; The Anglo Sikh wars; The Flagstaff war in New Zealand – and in fact the New Zealand wars in general; The Anglo-Persian war; The Black war; The Indian Rebellion; The First Taranaki war; The invasion of Waikato; The Bhutan war; The Klang war; Titokowaru’s War; The 1868 ‘Expedition’ to Abyssinia; The Red River Rebellion; The Anglo-Zulu War; The Sikkim Expedition; The Anglo-Zanzibar War; The Boer Wars; The Anglo-Aro War; The British expedition to Tibet; The Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War; the Irish War of Independence; The 1920 conflict between British forces and the Dervish State; the Great Arab Revolt in Palestine; The British–Zionist conflict; the Korean War; the Mau Mau Uprising; the Cyprus emergency; the Suez Crisis; the Border Campaign against the IRA; the Falklands War. (Just a few, then.)

8) Join a trade union

 

photo: Timm Sonnenschein, TUC.

Brexit is also likely to mean a significant attack on rights at work. But, while the EU certainly helped drag Britain forward, it’s not international treaties which created the real pressure for workers’ rights in the first place: it was workers themselves organising for basic safety standards, weekends, paid holidays, sick pay and decent wages. Without the EU, we’re going to have to get good at that. Check out the TUC website and work out which one is for you. If, like millions of people, you’re already a member but aren’t involved, then get in touch with your union and find out what you could be doing.

9) Start paying for your media

Fewer and fewer people are paying for the news they read, watch and listen to. This means that journalism is more and more dependent on ‘native’ advertising and the patronage of vested interests, blurring the lines between editorial decisions and business or political ones. We can’t fix our politics without mending our media. And that means paying for it. You can set up a regular subscription to openDemocracy here – but whatever media you read and value, support it.

10) Come to the Convention on Brexit

openDemocracy is proud to be a media partner for a major national convention on Brexit, where we will have the conversations that have been largely absent from parliament and the media. It’s happening on 12 and 13 May in central London and will be the first large-scale event to offer organisations and individuals the chance to take part in crucial debates about the United Kingdom’s future, the wider changes that are sweeping western democracies and to debate and strategise together about what to do next.

Be there.

 

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UK’s Delusional Threats to Europe over ‘Hard Brexit’

UK’s Delusional Threats to Europe over ‘Hard Brexit’

UK’s Delusional Threats to Europe over ‘Hard Brexit'

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May delivered her much-anticipated speech on Brexit this week, and it was suffused with delusions of grandeur. When are British leaders going to realize that their days of imperial greatness are long gone? Listening to May, however, one would think that the world’s map was still splattered in red, white and blue colors of the Union Jack – otherwise known by former colonial subjects as the Butcher’s Apron.

The Conservative prime minister gave a bravado speech that heralded a blissful, prosperous future for «global Britain». May said that Britain was now open for free trade with the rest of the world, after having voted in a referendum last June to quit the European Union, after 43 years of membership.

Finally, after seven months of dithering and confusion on the matter, May declared that Britain would henceforth be seeking a «hard Brexit», whereby the United Kingdom would no longer seek to be part of the EU’s single market. It would therefore be free from obligations concerning migration and free movement of European citizens. That is, Britain would gain full control of its borders. A «soft Brexit» option would have involved a compromise between retaining single-market membership and accepting a degree of open borders.

No way. Theresa May was at last supposedly giving clarity on Britain’s position, saying there would be «no half measures, no half in, half out… Brexit means Brexit». The Financial Times approved of her upbeat message with the headline: «No more Theresa Maybe».

Listening to May’s prognosis of glowing prospects for «global Britain» – trading with the US, Canada, China, India and the Persian Gulf among others as bilateral partners – makes one wonder why Britain ever bothered joining the EU’s single market back in 1988, as her predecessor Margaret Thatcher had zealously committed to (15 years after its original accession to the European Economic Community, the precursor of the EU.)

Perhaps it has something do with the fact that nearly 50 per cent of the UK’s exports go to EU markets – free from any trade barriers. How Britain’s exports will fair in a global marketplace of cut-throat trade tariffs is a moot question.

According to the British government it’s all going to be rosy. That, by the way, wasn’t May’s position prior to the referendum. She campaigned for remaining in the EU and in doing so she had predicted that leaving the bloc would spell economic disaster for Britain. All that doom seems to have dramatically disappeared now in May’s apparently revised upbeat world outlook, without providing an explanation for her U-turn.

Here’s the thing: Downing Street’s supposed announcement of clarity on the Brexit this week raises, on the contrary, even more befuddling questions. May is aiming to conclude Brexit negotiations in two years with the European Commission based in Brussels. But that timescale is impossibly optimistic. Only a few weeks ago, her top diplomat charged with negotiating the Brexit was forced to resign because he dared to warn that a separation deal would take up to 10 years to finalize. And that longer-term view is probably a realistic assessment. For instance, it took Canada seven years to recently conclude a free-trade pact with the EU. For Britain, with many more legal entanglements to resolve, any less timeframe seems in the realm of «daydreams» – as some EU politicians caustically remarked following May’s speech this week.

Britain’s Foreign Minister Boris Johnson can crow all he likes that «the world is queuing up to do business with Britain». One of those potentially new trade partners is Britain’s old colony, the United States of America. Following President Donald Trump’s welcoming remarks for a «quick trade deal» with Britain earlier this week, there was much excitement from Johnson and other Brexiteers that a new lucrative horizon was indeed dawning.

The harsh reality is that Britain will be technically and legally a member of the EU until it concludes departure negotiations that could several years. Under those circumstances, as several EU politicians have pointed out, Britain will not be free to negotiate bilateral trade agreements with the US or any other nation. That means that Britain will not be able to gallop off into supposed new trade deals with the US, China or anyone else, until it finishes its no doubt protracted divorce proceedings with the EU.

The Brexit process is going to be a rude awakening for British leaders who seem to harbor delusions about Britain’s stature in the world.

This delusional thinking was revealed when Theresa May issued a barely veiled warning to the EU that Britain would not accept a «punitive» Brexit deal.

Despite her speech opening with charming talk of Britain being the best of friends with Europe, May drew a dagger towards the end.

«I know there are some voices calling for a punitive deal that punishes Britain and discourages other countries from taking the same path. That would be an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe. And it would not be the act of a friend,» said the British premier.

With a foreboding tone, she added: «Britain would not – indeed we could not – accept such an approach. And while I am confident that this scenario need never arise – while I am sure a positive agreement can be reached – I am equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain.»

It was a glinting threat from May, akin to flashing a knife at the EU.

Earlier, May said in contradictory fashion that while Britain was leaving the single market, at the same time it was demanding «full access to markets as an associate member to make trading as frictionless as possible».

So, only in a rhetorical sense is the British government declaring a «hard Brexit» by purportedly «leaving the single market». For all intents and purposes, however, the British still want «full access» to the market, as May stipulated in her speech. And this privilege is to be had at the same time that Britain takes full control of its borders over EU migration.

That sounds like Britain wanting to have its cake and eating it. Supposedly being out of the market, but still in it for all practical purposes, while pulling up the draw bridge on the rest of Europe. Moreover, the British prime minister is declaring that if Britain does not get «full access» it will be perceived as «punitive» – and then in that case her country will «walk away» from negotiations.

Her haughty attitude sparked outrage across the EU. Guy Verhofstadt, the EU Parliament’s point man on Brexit, reportedly fumed that Britain’s «days of cherrypicking and a la carte Europe are over».

Tomas Prouza, the Czech’s EU minister, noted sardonically of the British position: «Trade as free as possible, full control of immigration… where’s the give for all the take?»

What May was alluding to in her threat of walking away was that Britain would undercut the EU by slashing corporation tax, thereby luring foreign companies away from continental Europe to set up shop in Britain. That is, turning Britain into a tax haven to cheat the rest of Europe.

May also hinted that Britain’s military forces in NATO might be pulled out of Poland and the Baltic states, which would have the effect of destabilizing these EU members, given their congenital paranoia over alleged Russian aggression.

The British government’s threats to the EU stems from a misplaced arrogant attitude of a has-been world power, which somehow still thinks that it can pontificate to other, perceived lesser nations.

With a ballooning trade deficit with Europe and an all-but extinct industrial base, the only asset that the UK can claim is its City of London global financial center – which accounts for 80 per cent of its national economy. Despite Theresa May’s supercilious tone, Britain will find that it needs Europe a lot more than Europe needs Britain. And if cut loose harshly, the former Great Britain is in no industrial shape to ply the global markets as it once did with the backing of its colonial armies of occupation.

Britain’s «hard Brexit» is all «hard talk» belying typical British subterfuge to wheedle self-serving concessions. Such conceited British attitude will only stiffen EU resolve to make minimal trade concessions in the final separation. If the British are seen to get a «cherry-picked» deal of access to the single market, yet be able to spurn any immigration, that would be tantamount to giving an exit license for other members of the EU to do likewise. And given the level of Euro-skepticism rising across Europe, Brussels and other pro-EU governments must, of their own necessity, act sternly towards Britain in its divorce arrangement.

Britain can indeed expect a «hard Brexit». On much harder terms from the EU than delusional British politicians are arrogantly demanding. Less Rule Britannia; more like Fool Britannia.

Scottish Zionist Wants to “Bomb the lot of them”

See you on the dark side of the moon? The lunatics are everywhere these days.

Beware of British Exits

Beware of British Exits

The new British government of Theresa May is playing for time and stalling with the triggering of Article 50. It is clear that the whole machine of British governance was completely unprepared for the result of the EU referendum. It is also an indication that withdrawal from the European Union is going to be a mammoth task that will consume all the energy of Whitehall for many years to come. In many ways it is mission impossible which further reinforces the reckless irresponsibility of David Cameron for calling the referendum in the first place. No responsible Prime Minister would ever have agreed to open such a dangerous Pandora’s Box.

History teaches us that British exits are fraught with peril and have been handled in the usual British governmental way of incompetence and ensuing disaster. As Dr Henry Kissinger has said, «time is not neutral». The past is still very much with us and informs the present while shaping the future. Ergo, it is instructive to review the success of British Exits of the past and the consequences that have flowed from them which are still with us today. When it became clear to the British ruling elite that the British Empire was no longer financially sustainable (rather than any moral considerations) that was the trigger for Brexit from the imperial colonies which Britain had acquired through invasion, land grabs and colonisation. 

Take India for example. The borders that the British Government in the late 1940s drew up to partition India into Hindu and Muslim areas with two separate States creating Pakistan left tens of millions of minorities stranded in newly divided India and Pakistan. Millions of Muslims travelled into Pakistan and Hindus vice versa into India. The ethnic shuffle this partition created led to terrible violence costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in the ensuing population transfer. The issue of Kashmir is still a flash point of tension between India and Pakistan to this day.

A similar situation was left behind by the British partial exit in Ireland. By the end of the First World War and the excessively draconian crackdown on southern Irish nationalist rebels after the attempted insurrection of Easter 1916, the British Government decided to partition the island of Ireland into two separate states similar to the exit strategy they had pursued in India. While the South of Ireland was set on a path to become an independent republic, the North was reduced to a rump of six counties, roughly the size of Yorkshire, with its own devolved Parliament and local Government but still within the UK, purposely designed to ensure a pro-British majority due to the presence of descendants of English and Scottish Protestant settlers (shipped in during the 16th century as colonists known as «unionists» or «loyalists») by omitting three counties from what is known as the Province of Ulster.

As with the partition of India and Pakistan, a significant minority of Roman Catholics who felt more Irish than British were left stranded in what became Northern Ireland and were confronted by a sectarian devolved administration that actively promoted discrimination against the Catholic minority in housing, employment, cultural rights and local government. The civil unrest that broke out in British administered Northern Ireland mirrored the violence that erupted with the British partition and exit from India and Pakistan.

Then there was Rhodesia, what is now known as Zimbabwe. After trying to get rid of the racist white minority government of Ian Smith, the British Government cut a deal with the equally unsavoury extremist Robert Mugabe handing over the country to him which he still runs to this day. With the washing of their hands of Zimbabwe the British Government left the country in the hands of a crazed, megalomaniac dictator who has run Zimbabwe into the ground ever since.

Along with Brexit from the European Union and the concerns over British withdrawal there has been quite a to do recently concerning Chinese investment in critical British national infrastructure, namely the proposed nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point C. While the Chinese have no history or record of interfering with other countries key national assets, the British have a track record of this which also highlights another disastrous British Exit. The Suez Canal was stolen from Egypt by the British Government of Benjamin Disraeli in the 19th century. Rather than return the Suez Canal to its rightful owners, the Egyptians, the British Government attempted to maintain possession of it even when they were divesting themselves of their imperial possessions elsewhere even going to the extreme lengths of invading the canal when the Egyptian regime of Colonel Nasser rightly nationalised it bringing it back under Egyptian control. The British military intervention ultimately failed, thanks in part to the wise decision of the Eisenhower administration to initiate a run on the pound to reign in British imperial pretensions and adventures abroad. The British led military disaster had the counterproductive effect of strengthening the rule of Nasser, not weakening it. It was also one of the greatest military humiliations the British had suffered since their inability to stop the advancing Wehrmacht during the Fall of France in the summer of 1940 and the infamous retreat and scuttle at Dunkirk.

Now Europe and the rest of the world are braced for the next great Brexit in a long line of inglorious, inept and in many cases as illustrated above – deadly – British exits and withdrawals. Unfortunately, many British Governments whether they be Tory, Labour or Liberal down the ages have not acquitted themselves well when it came to disentangling themselves from commitments either abroad or within the British Isles. Sadly, as history has shown, wherever the British State has inserted itself abroad where it had no business interfering in and then exited, a litany of death, violence, destruction and civil and ethnic unrest has followed. So the historical portents are not promising. The EU is rightly in no mood to bend over backwards to accommodate the peculiarities of the UK in its self-induced Brexit crisis. Other European member states have spent the last forty-three years constantly accommodating the peculiarities of the UK and giving out special dispensations to London.

Now, after the disgusting Leave campaign which was endorsed by the majority of the British electorate, Brussels patience with the difficult Brits has understandably been exhausted. There is very little good will left towards Britain in Brussels which makes the next epic British Exit just as fraught as the previous Brexits.

Palestinians Say Thank You To Celtic Football Fans!

Posted on August 23, 2016

Celtic Palestinians!

Palestinians express their thanks for the amazing display of solidarity shown by Celtic football fans in Glasgow, Scotland last week. Humanity at its finest! Sadly, in a show of pettiness, the Union of European Football Associations, or UEFA, is attempting to punish the fans by imposing penalties, in the form of a hefty fine, upon the team. The fans, however, seem to be taking it in stride, having set up a crowdfunding appeal, raising enough to pay off the fine as well as to send some extra money left over to Palestinian charities!

See report by RT. The UEFA should hide its head in shame.

Scottish Football Fans Wave Palestinian Flag During Match With Israel

[ Ed. note – Amazing! See more on the story here, plus commentary by Yvonne Ridley here. By the way, the Scotts won the match 5-2. Bravo! ]

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