The professor of political something or other doesn’t understand the political then

The net result is that May thinks she has torn up the basis on which almost all our international relations are defined; has threatened to change the entire cost structure of our economy; has utterly changed our rights to travel and reside elsewhere; has threatened the residence of three million people living peaceably in this country and that of maybe two million more living in the EU; has threatened economic warfare; and has done all this without three things.

The first is a mandate: the referendum clearly did not sanction these actions as they were not referred to.

Err, the referendum very definitely discussed whether or not we should leave the EU. And freedom of movement was most certainly mentioned, as was membership or not of the single market and so on.

The second is authority: she is herself unelected.

Going back, umm, which PMs got into office in roughly the manner that May did? You know, leave aside that we don’t actually elect them directly wanyway, let’s at least say people who weren’t running their respective party at the time of the previous election?

I’ve got May, Brown, Major, Callaghan, Hume, Macmillan, Eden and Churchill in 1940. Which is a majority of PMs since then, no, we can only add Cameron, Blair, Thatcher, Heath, Wilson and Attlee.

So, it would appear that a British PM becoming so by not leading a party triumphantly at a General Election (what I take the Spud to mean by “elected”) in in fact the modal manner of becoming PM.

And before that Chamberlain, Baldwin (first time), MacDonald (first time), Bonar Law, Lloyd George, Asquith, Balfour……and before that we get to PMs in the Lords n’stuff.

So, even in the sense that Ritchie means PMs aren’t elected.

That political in his title is looking a bit odd, no?

The third is any apparent idea as to the consequences, none of which she appears to have reasonably anticipated, let alone explained or costed.

But aren’t we supposed to be ruled by Curajus politicians who just tell us all what to do?

What has happened then? It would quite reasonably seem that a government without a mandate has taken power without the necessary authority to do so and is using that power to ensure that the politics, economy and constitution of the state are to be irrevocably (it hopes) changed. I can’t quite call that a coup, but it is about as close to one as it gets. If that gives rise to a backlash in the future when the consequences become even more apparent I really would not be surprised. Treating much of the country with the contempt that so much of her language revealed yesterday is not a basis for political stability.

And that worries me almost as much as the near coup itself.

Hmm. Maybe that international lithium shortage has found a victim?

47 thoughts on “The professor of political something or other doesn’t understand the political then”

  1. I read a biography of Home once – more interesting chap than I first thought.

    Also a key component of one of my favourite pieces of trivia.

    The only Nobel prize winner to have played first-class cricket was Irish. The only British PM to have played first-class cricket was Scottish.

  2. Wow! So much delusion in the space between Murph’s ears. The EU is the only polity with whom the UK transacts! Leaving the EU changes the cost structure of our economy, whatever that might mean. It is not worth continuing. Everything in that tirade is either false or meaningless.

  3. While I don’t like what the PM is doing, the referendum result was clear. ‘Leave’.
    If that causes the economy to crash, jobs to be lost and prices to go up then that’s what voters who voted chose when they voted the way they did.
    Things may become a lot better. Again, consequences.

    As for election – she is an MP elected under normal rules for MPs. Elected leader of her party under the party rules, which is internal to the party. And as her party holds more seats in parliament than any other single party she is the PM. Much to the annoyance of many idiots.

  4. Call me a pedant, but I would say an attempted coup which fails after days of hard fighting with bodies in the street and government buildings in ruins is “as close to one as it gets”.

    At the risk of repeating myself, fucking bellend. Fucking pearl-clutching, hysterical, bullshitting fat bellend in fact.

  5. So let’s see.

    Direct referendum by popular vote, clear decision: Ritchie screams that “Parliament is sovereign”, Parliament has the right to do what it wants regardless of the referendum, even the House of Lords has the right to overrule the referendum and it would be DEMOCRACY, if the gov’t tries to use the referendum result as it’s justification that would be undemocratic.

    Queen asks Theresa May to form a government as she commands the confidence of the House: May has no mandate; that can only come from a direct election.

    I say: already known to be a libellous little shit, Murphy has no independent core values at all other than what suits his own desires today.

  6. Back to the Venn diagrams… He has one where economic well-being intersects with self inflicted harm. He is batshit crazy!

  7. So ‘unelected’ PMs Major and Brown signing treaties to bind us into Europe is ok (with the latter reneging on a manifesto pledge to boot).

    But May acting on a reasonable interpretation of a referendum promised and delivered per a manifesto pledge is a coup.

    Seems legit.

  8. Re-reading one of the rare masterpieces of sociology, Parkinson’s Law, I came across one striking passage about the difficulty of making the right appointments:

    “The failure of other methods is mainly due to there being too many candidates. There are, admittedly, some initial steps by which the total may be reduced. The formula “Reject everyone over 50 or under 20 plus everyone called Murphy” is now universally used …”

    Astonishingly prescient advice from the 1950s: would that it had been followed more often.

  9. Someone here posted on his site as Florence Foster Jenkins recently, which is ironic, as the man is the living proof of that mentality when it comes to his own knowledge and competence in the subjects in which he holds his professorship.

    I wonder if there are many students in his classes who are forced to leave the room stifling sniggers at the wisdom of his thoughts.

  10. To be fair, I was a little pissed off when the rival candidates dropped like flies, or rather like strips of flesh from a leprous body, and as a long term conservative party member I did not have a vote – the PM is appointed when they are the leader of a party, and the Conservative Party’s rules do allow for the membership to have a say in who is the leader. However, best that the parliamentary party is led by someone they approve of.
    Not that any of them really appealed to me.
    May seems to be going at a snal’s pace, but that is probably as fast as her MPs will follow, and realistically she had to find her feet in the job before taking some momentous decisions. I’m still undecided as to what she will actually achieve, but it would be good if it was the Brexit the majority voted for.

  11. Err, the referendum very definitely discussed whether or not we should leave the EU. And freedom of movement was most certainly mentioned, as was membership or not of the single market and so on.

    ..well , sort of .Hannan was claiming that we could still be in the single market after the referendum and during it as was Boris Johnson . For most of the time Leave stuck to saying things like” Don`t worry the Germans will sell us their BMWs(( Grayling ) , rightly guessing that most people would not grasp the risks we are talking .
    Most Brexit voters actually expected to be better off post Brexit and for no more complex reason than the one Leave gave, £350m per day to SPEND woo hoo
    Had the referendum been limited only to those who knew more or less what the single market was or , shall we say , what the importance of passporting is then remain would have won about 90% of the votes .
    In the last two weeks , having played delicate footsie with the single market Gove took Leave off the fence to clear ther way for an all out attack on immigrants who, Leave claimed were responsible for low wages , expensive housing NHS queues and Islamic terrorism and ….haemorrhoids
    He rightly judged that only a tiny number who grasped what thiks meant would vote Brexit under any circumstances anyway

    The truth is we had no choice .Merkel told us that we were not cherry picking same as before ., Thus we have “decided” to have the worst deal we could possibly get and one Cameron could have got at any time . I don`t know why you are in favour of protectionism and poverty all of a sudden Tim but I a disappointed with you..very very disappointed indeed

  12. “Most Brexit voters actually expected to be better off post Brexit and for no more complex reason than the one Leave gave, £350m per day to SPEND woo hoo”

    You have no evidence for this ludicrous assertion. You have no insight into what people thought when they voted. None.

    The rest of your post is just dribble about how clever you are and how stupid everyone else is. If you want timocratic voting at least have the guts to say so.

    I’m not sure why you think it’s a-ok that what Merkel says goes re Europe. She is, after all, just the Chancellor of one of its member states.

  13. @Newmania

    Tim W and I are not in favour of protectionism; we are in favour of Free Trade.

    Your ill-informed rant demonstrates your delusions.


  14. I was going to offer a point-by-point response to Newmania. Those tough are for debates. And the debate is over, so I simply shouldn’r mmustn’t bother.

    Newmania demonstrates all the delusions of the Remoaners who still haven’t quite got it. Haven’t quite got thay they lost. Haven’t quite got that we will wake up tomorrow as determined to get out as we were the day before we voted. Haven’t quite got yet that the gov’t is going to make it happen. Haven’t quite got yet that they have nobody to vote for who can change the situation. Havem’t quite got that they simply don’t count anymore.

  15. Meanwhile Murphy is calling Theresa May a lame duck… in the same post he is accusing her of staging a coup!

    What a fucking moron.

  16. There are those of us who voted remain because it was the best option. The voters by a majority chose leave. Hence that is the result whether people like it or not.
    So we are all now part of Brexit. Those who find that insufferable have a lot of choice regarding where they can live within the EU, the rest of us simply get on with life. The majority vote goes through.

  17. Bloke in North Dorset


    Tim W and I are not in favour of protectionism; we are in favour of Free Trade.

    Your ill-informed rant demonstrates your delusions.”

    I think that goes for 90%+ commenters on this blog. Off the top of my head I can’t think of on protectionist.

  18. Bloke in North Dorset

    I find it really depressing that a professor of political economy either doesn’t understand or won’t acknowledge that we are a representative democracy. I can understand the man on the Clapham Omnibus needing reminding what that means, but not someone who purports to be a thinker?

  19. Witchie, May indeed might be proceeding slowly, however, there might be at least one very good reason for dragging it out a bit this stage – there are elections in France and Germany this year.

    Of course, that does depend on your view of how much control the elected leaders of France and Germany are able to exercise over the EU President and the Commission.

    Beginning to wonder myself.

  20. BiND – kind of depends doesn’t it? I’m fairly sure that there are some British hard working girls you wouldn’t want to bump into in a dark alley.

  21. Also Czech and Dutch elections, as it turns out. The Dutch could turn out to be unusually interesting.

  22. I can’t quite call that a coup, but it is about as close to one as it gets.

    And in 2020 the people get to decide again. If Spud is right and May is acting against the general will, then we can reverse any and all of her decisions.

    That’s not a particularly effective coup, even if it were one.

  23. It’s almost enough to want me to leave the single market.

    I, for one, voted Leave with the hope that we would stay in the single market. After all, the question was about leaving the EU, which is demonstrably not the same thing as the single market.

    As it so happens there isn’t really an alternative to remaining in the single market or some arrangement that amounts to virtually the same thing. So I am not extremely worried.

  24. So Much For Subtlety

    Dennis the Peasant – “With Obama one can only assume it will be unimaginable to decent folk.”

    One word: Mumia

  25. “The truth is we had no choice .Merkel told us that we were not cherry picking same as before”

    That’ll be the Merkel who presides over a Germany that steadfastly refuses to allow a free market in services within its borders then…………………strange how the 4 pillars of the Single Market are immutable for the UK, but mix and match for Germany……………

  26. +1 for LPT
    My preferred outcome was leaving the EU but staying in the Single Market. The question on the ballot was on EU membership, and I voted leave accordingly. No-one told me that this meant leaving the SM was compulsory, it was just up for negotiation, along with EHIC, universities, space agencies, common aviation area and all the rest which would be up for negotiation and would stay in or out based on the merits of the case, so long as EU membership ended.
    For the SM I like free movement of people, labour, goods and services, and especially like the rule forbidding State Aid.

  27. The Eternal Pessimist

    Fair enough, Ducky, and Witchie will no doubt concede, May is not operating in a vacuum. Trump is a positive, and an unexpected one. Who knows what will be the result in Europe of the elections?
    As for the £350M, it turns out to be about £220M per week, nett. The 350 goes, and 130 comes back.
    Reminds me of t’coal miner who hands his wages to t’missus, and she gives him his beer money. Does he give her his unopened wages? Sure. The fact he gets some back earmarked for a specific job doesn’t mean he didn’t hand the lot over in the first place.
    I’m sure that I could find a better use for £220M per week than giving it to various fuckwit people and projects on the mainland.

  28. “As for the £350M, it turns out to be about £220M per week, nett. The 350 goes, and 130 comes back.”

    True. But we’re told where that £130M goes, even if its on complete bullshit, like the BBC.

  29. It may turn out that the UK does remain in the Single Market, but without free movement and so on. It depends on how much the EU values exporting to the UK.

    One thing does trouble me about free movement:

    I was, a few year’s ago, an employer in the South of London and in Kent. The Polish influx came as a Godsend; one minute scrabbling to find lower-wage employees who could tie their own shoelaces, the next a surfeit of educated, very pleasant and very hard-working Eastern Europeans. Great.

    There was the nagging thought, however, that we were in some way “exploiting” them (“exploiting” not being the right word), and in some way denuding their home countries.

    Okay, both sides were winning in the short-term, however getting well-qualified staff for a pittance is a fool’s paradise. Market failure even. There was nothing fluffy-bunnies-rainbow-melting-pot reasons, it was just hard cash on both sides (however well we integrated with each other).

  30. The EU can stuff their customs union up their Mastricht.

    Free trade with all and to hell with the whiners.

    I don’t and never will trust May but her Thatcher 2 posing can still pay dividends.

    Odd the number of previously unseen nom de plumes on this thread to say “I voted “Leave” but…”

  31. Bloke in North Dorset


    “For the SM I like free movement of people, labour, goods and services, and especially like the rule forbidding State Aid.”

    State aid is allowed in the EU but you have to demonstrate market failure first and then how you will fix the problem without distorting the market that is functioning. On the one I worked on we had to demonstrate that the 2G market had failed in rural areas but showing there were areas with no coverage from any operators (we called them Not Spots) and then make the sites that were being built open to all MNOs. We could only provide Capex support and not Opex.

    As it iscontrolled by the bureaucracy it doesn’t take much imagination to see the system being abused, but on the whole it has worked well from I’ve seen.

  32. Cheers BiND, I wasn’t aware of details like that. If we were already out of the SM, I fear the government would have been overtly subsidising loss-making steel in Redcar and Port Talbot, that sort of thing, It seems to be a good set of rules that we couldn’t.

  33. My taxi driver used to own a business doing central heating repairs. Employed a dozen guys all earning decent but not spectacular money.

    Rival firm employed a dozen East Europeans on minimum wage and undercut him. Drove him out of business and all his employees out of the industry. Also no more apprentices getting trained – why do that when you can whistle up a fully trained pro for the same price ?

    Great for the consumer but repeat that tens of thousands of times in the professional trades all over the country and you start to understand why the blue collar class is annoyed.

  34. How do the Germans get away with insisting that state funded institutions (and there are a lot of them) have to use German suppliers? Or has that been stopped?

  35. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Murphy whining about May becoming PM under the currently-existing rules is like Democrats whining that Trump lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College. Tough shit, sonny boy, them’s the breaks.

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