41 comments on “Eh?

  1. I once read an article in the Speccie which explained how most people fundamentally midunderstood the science of betting and that just because one has lost six times in a row, doesn’t mean that the next bet will win. In it the author said something along the lines

    “Look at it this way, if you think that a man cannot always be wrong, then you have never heard Roy Hattersley speak.”

  2. Who honestly cares about what Roy Hattersley says? He had some junior roles under Callaghan (secretary of state for prices and consumer protection) and then was in the shadow cabinet for decades and then left parliament at the election that Blair won. He had senior roles with the losers in a 2 horse system.

  3. I thought old people didn’t count.

    Indeed. We ought be listening to the young, urban elite. You know, the type of people who write headlines for ITV’s website.

  4. If it been a “who said that?” contest I would have gone for Prescott. Are they friends, by any chance?

  5. The only surprise about a front-page comment from Roy Hattersley is that the stupid old fool is still alive. From what he’s reported as saying though he might as well be dead though, since the mouth and arse are clearly connected to each other rather than any intervention from the brain.

    Typical commie scum, hanging would be a mercy.

  6. Oh no we didn’t.

    We’re a bunch of evil, ignorant xenophobic bigots who failed to appreciate the merits of EU membership.

  7. Roy Hattersley had a promising career in local government, and was even learning how to bend political ideals to fit reality, but was in the wrong generation to jump to Parliament. Those younger and older than him avoided the 80s/90s wilderness years.

  8. “For more than 30 years, I took the votes of Birmingham Muslims for granted. The Muslims themselves I treated with more respect. But if, at any time between 1964 and 1997 I heard of a Khan, Saleem or Iqbal who did not support Labour I was both outraged and astonished.

    My presumption was justified. It was the Muslim vote – increased by an influx of families from Kashmir, the Punjab and other parts of Birmingham – which expanded my majority from barely 1,200 to more than 12,000. ”

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2005/apr/08/uk.religion

    Cunt.

  9. I can never think of this man as anything other than his “Spitting Image” character, with the accent on spitting. Silly old sod.

  10. “We’re a bunch of evil, ignorant xenophobic bigots who failed to appreciate the merits of EU membership.”

    You forgot to include ‘senile’ and ‘economically inactive’.

  11. It appears that there is a typo in the headline. In the text of the article he says that Brexit will be worse than staying in the EU. Or am I missing something and merely pointing out the bleeding obvious?

    As for Brexit being bad, if it turns out that way the fault lies with our utterly useless government.

    Anyone who thinks that we need a second referendum is just wrong by definition.

  12. I recently had a conversation with a chap I regard highly (and whom I like to think regards me highly), in which he recounted the “you didn’t know what you voted for” thing.

    I was actually rather non-plussed. I knew of the existence of such an argument, but had never heard it to my face.

    It is hard to hear such an argument without sotto voce sub-titles translating that I am a moron.

    Hm. What did I say about high regard?

  13. Roy Hattersley had a promising career in local government

    “He would have made a good lord mayor of Birmingham in a bad year.” (Said by Churchill of Chamberlain)

  14. Mr Lud

    The “you didn’t know what you voted for” thing is staggeringly arrogant and patronising. I sympathise.

    All the remainers I know are hardly enthusiastic about the Fourth Reich. So far, I’ve converted two (reluctant) remainers to leave plus one abstainer.

  15. This idea that Leave voters didn’t know what they were voting for needs turning on its head.

    How many Remain voters just ticked the box like good sheep without knowing where it would lead? How many understand the democratic deficit to the point where they can defend it? How many believed the lies about no more ever closer union? And as for the denial of an EU Army, that lie’s been put to bed already.

  16. Re “you didn’t know what you voted for”, I have yet to hear a Remainer explain exactly why we would be so much worse off after a No Deal Brexit. On the other hand I have a pretty succinct 10 minute presentation that explains why as a country we would be up to £30 billion a year worse of staying in the EU, when all the EU costs and benefits are taken into account.

    Typical Remainer reaction is either to be gobsmacked, or simply to interrupt and say “no, no, that can’t be right”

  17. I do think these guys should be careful what they wish for – demographics are not in Remain’s favour as the bulk of the ‘new voters’ are probably disinclined to vote at all.

    I have yet to encounter any Remainer with even the vaguest knowledge of the coming Algerian crisis (15 million refugees in Southern France needing reallocation), The outcome of Target 2 Funding (potential AFD landslide) or invoking Article 7 against Hungary and Poland – those I have encountered who are willing to listen invariably suggest either abstention or a Leave vote. Beyond the wholly ignorant or those who are direct beneficiaries of the EU there is no positive constituency for ‘Remain’

  18. @BiND

    “How many Remain voters just ticked the box like good sheep without knowing where it would lead? How many understand the democratic deficit to the point where they can defend it? How many believed the lies about no more ever closer union? And as for the denial of an EU Army, that lie’s been put to bed already.”

    What I’ve noticed is how many Remainers are really pretty unenthusiastic about the whole European Project. They do want to remain but they don’t want the euro, the EU Army, a federal European treasury with substantial powers over taxation and spending, an elected EU president with substantial executive power etc etc. They’d generally like to keep all the opt-ins we have as members and wouldn’t mind if Britain carved out a few more (as Cameron failed in doing). Relatively few of them have lived or worked in another EU country, are familiar with the news media from elsewhere in the EU or speak another EU language.

    There might be an element of truth in some Brexit voters having unreasonable expectations of “sovereignty” in an increasingly interconnected world, a dewy-eyed vision of the strength of Britain based on when it was an imperial power etc. (I emphasise the “some” but there are certainly people who think that freedom from Brussels will let Britain do whatever it likes – or more specifically, what they would like – regardless of the laws of basic economics and the constraints imposed by globalisation.) But the flip side of that is that many Remain voters have a dewy-eyed vision of the EU as being all about trade cooperation to make us all better-off, and an unrealistic vision of the pre-referendum UK-EU accommodation as a status quo that can be preserved indefinitely rather than something that’s dynamic and subject to a ratchet effect, with the UK facing greater isolation and even impotence within the organisation if other states’ interests begin to coincide due to ever-deeper integration.

    If they generally aren’t too keen on the current state the EU is in, whether in terms of bureaucratic competence or the economic effect of the single currency, and they don’t share the fundamental pan-European values and intentions of the continental politicians driving the Project forwards, what makes them think they’re going to like the state of the EU, and the UK’s situation in it, after forty years’ further integration? The last twenty-five or so have chugged along pretty quickly.

  19. MBE,

    “The last twenty-five or so have chugged along pretty quickly.”

    That reminds me, in the ’80s all the talk was of us missing the EU train, or similar railway metaphor. I used to ask if anyone had wandered down to the front to see where it was going, they hadn’t.

    There’s another category of Remainers, those who were undecided or edging towards Leave but were put off by the nuttier and nastier elements of the Leave campaign. As I said on here at the time, they certainly made me think long and hard.

  20. In ’98 I chaired a debate on the motion “This House believes an EMU should not get off the ground”. I think it was Norman Lamont who made the point that pro-Euro people were saying we shouldn’t miss the boat, but that if the boat were the Titanic it would behove us to miss it.

    Perhaps interestingly, one of the speakers on the proposition side was one John Bercow.

    For those keeping score, the motion was carried.

  21. Regardless of the position, from monetary union to the contents and decoration of Cornish pasties, you are going to get the lunatic fringe.

    Why should “Leave” OR “Remain” be any different?

    For myself, I have no grandiose notions of sovereignty, but I do believe that a referendum should be required for parliament to transfer the temporary delegation of authority we give them every few turns around the sun.

    As for the notion of a referendum, I have no problem with it being a generational thing (check), being indicative in a parliamentary system (check) and the executive saying “we agree to implement the result” (check).

    All of that seems fine and dandy to me, regardless of which way the vote went “Remain” or “Leave”. But the idea of the speaker and backbench MP’s in cahoots over some dodgy deal to overturn the executive, that just ain’t on.

    If Mrs. May is unable to command the confidence of parliament then she should go to Buck House and tell Brenda she’s giving up and that her lackey’s should go and tell some other Tory chinless wonder to be PM.

    Alternately, she can make her piss poor “Brexit in name only” bill a confidence motion and see if her unwilling alliance will drink that cup of cold sick.

    She has options other than to put up with dirty tricks from slimy pricks like Bercow.

  22. UK facing greater isolation and even impotence within the organisation if other states’ interests begin to coincide due to ever-deeper integration

    I don’t think this point was emphasised enough (or even mentioned?) by the Leave campaign. It can be argued that membership gives us a more powerful voice in world forums (though this is a much stronger argument for smaller states, such as DK or NL), but if that voice is arguing for changes that wouldn’t benefit the UK, that isn’t much of an advantage.

    An association of nearly 30 states can’t proceed by unanimity and weighted majority voting (weighted against large states like the UK) is increasingly important. The EU is dominated by two blocs – the eurozone and Schengen (actually, for most purposes they’re the same bloc) – neither of which the UK could or should join for reasons economic and geographic. The UK is an outlier in the EU on law, economy, geography and politics – decisions won’t go our way and pointing out bad ideas (such as the euro), even when the warnings prove wholly accurate, doesn’t win you any friends.

  23. The problem with that Chris is that the UK has attempted to block 78 piece of legislation within the European Council and has been denied 78 times.

    That is a Priapus scale of political impotence if ever I heard one.

  24. Apologies. I stand corrected. 72 times, not 78.

    “The lack of influence is quite marked. Over the past twenty years… there have been 72 occasions in the Council of Ministers where the United Kingdom has opposed a particular measure. Of those 72 occasions, we have been successful precisely 0 times and we have lost 72 times. That is a fact.”

    Vote Leave Speech – Lord Lawson

  25. @Alex January 13, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Re “you didn’t know what you voted for”, I have yet to hear a Remainer explain exactly why we would be so much worse off after a No Deal Brexit. On the other hand I have a pretty succinct 10 minute presentation that explains why as a country we would be up to £30 billion a year worse of staying in the EU, when all the EU costs and benefits are taken into account.

    You should type it and post on eg Pastebin

    Then link to it.

  26. @John Galt January 14, 2019 at 1:06 pm

    Alternately, she can make her piss poor “Brexit in name only” bill a confidence motion and see if her unwilling alliance will drink that cup of cold sick.

    Isn’t that what Major did over Maastricht?

  27. @CM

    Agreed but for most people it wasn’t such a high minded, abstract, principles-based vote – much more about gut instinct (hence Project Fear vs Project Feel In Control Again) or practicalities (if you work in an industry where frictionless borders really matter to you and your family’s future economic wellbeing, vs the lack of barriers meant someone travelled a thousand miles over here to work on half your wage and take your job).

    It is a strong point though, since most Remain voters expect the UK to remain an outlier and if it doesn’t integrate deeper then it will be ever more so – hence not only do UK citizens not share the same underlying values and intentions as the EU’s driving forces but on a practical note the UK national interests will get ever further misaligned from the bloc its in. Committing to that forever just seems a daft thing to do. If someone has the “feelz” of being European rather than British and wants to live in a Europe without borders into which the UK is ultimately expected, even hoped, to painlessly dissolve, then that’s a sentiment I can comprehend even if I don’t share it. Committing to a Europe you don’t really believe in, though, surely requires a dose of critical thinking.

  28. “if you work in an industry where frictionless borders really matter to you and your family’s future economic wellbeing, vs the lack of barriers meant someone travelled a thousand miles over here to work on half your wage and take your job”

    It’s not even frictionless borders. Someone producing specialist shoes doesn’t care that much about a few hours delay at Calais. I worked for a factory producing specialist units and we didn’t care about JIT and stock holding. Most of the value wasn’t in the physical unit. It was in the software, engineering and support expertise that went with it.

    A lot of this is about reasonable to large scale factories and a lot of these are yesterday’s men. If you’ve got a large scale production line, other places are cheaper. Dyson doesn’t make here. Jaguar are moving to eastern Europe along with a lot of Western European car makers (Turkey now produces 1.1m cars compared to 1.7m in the UK).

  29. I’m not sure anyone cares about a few hours delay at Calais. It takes a minimum of 24 hours to transport parts from Europe to UK (more if they’re coming from Romania or Bulgaria). An extra hour at a border crossing is neither here nor there. And I don’t believe that these JIT systems are so ‘sophisticated’ that they can’t handle a few hours delay – that’s much more likely to arise from roadworks on the M25 or a badger on the points at Crewe than a bloody-minded French customs officer.

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