Thursday, 10 November 2016

Reader's Letter Of The Day

From The Evening Standard:

I wish that David Reed [Letters, November 8] and others would stop peddling the myth that the EU referendum was advisory.

I doubt he would say the same if the vote had gone the other way. Prime Minister David Cameron gave a clear commitment to put into effect the result of the referendum and, while the terms of Brexit remain open for discussion, the initial part of the process is not, and must be put into effect.

Jeremy Rayner.

Exactly. I was pleasantly surprised that Leave just edged it, but had it been 52/48 in favour of staying in, I doubt whether the UK government would have said, ah fuck it, let's leave anyway.

I would have been mildly disappointed if the vote had been to remain (as widely expected), but that would have been the end of that AFAIC, shrug it off, move on, the same as with the AV referendum, where the government got the result it wanted by subjecting us to a torrent of lies and propaganda.


Ralph Musgrave said...

It wasn't just that Cameron gave a "commitment to put into effect" the result of the vote. Government blurb issued before the vote (presumably approved of by Labour) said in black and white that government would abide by the result.

Mark Wadsworth said...

RM, did it? I waded through the first few pages of lies and bullshit and threw it in the recycling in disgust.

Frank said...

It's on the website. I tried to post a link but it threw up an error so Google* for EU referendum leaflet. The bit you want is on page 14:
"This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide."

* Other fine search engines are available. So I'm told.

Bayard said...

AFAICS, legally, the Referendum was advisory. The rest was just printed bullshit from "Cast-iron" Dave, who never thought he'd lose. When push came to shove, the government had more sense than to overturn the result.

Mark Wadsworth said...

F, thanks. Leaflet is here.

"This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide."

B, advisory, shmadvisory. In UK constitutional law, Parliament is top dog, even if they had said it is legally binding, they'd be perfectly within their rights to ignore the result afterwards. So of course it was only advisory.

As to Dave, he is a twat, He won the AV referendum with lies and propaganda, he won the Scottish referendum with lies and propaganda and thought he'd go for the treble and win the EU one with lies and propaganda.

Bayard said...

"As to Dave, he is a twat,"

At least he is a twat that had the grace to go, unlike his co-twat, George.

DBC Reed said...

The point is that legally in the UK referendums are advisory: what the brutally ill-educated Cameron made up is, as usual,erroneous. There has been huge debate over thousands of years (see Plato)over whether the majority can tyrannise the entire jurisdiction, something which is at its most acute when one ethnic or language group has a much bigger population than others in the same country.
It is routinely pointed out in British Constitution A level lessons that if the UK allowed routine referendums we would end up with the return of hanging and nasty discrimination against homosexuals. (Just for starters)Or we could have groups of foreign residents being menaced by O' Farage and his low life supporters, as now, something which has ,disgracefully, been accepted on this blog on occasion.
If you want a flavour of the depth and complexity of this issue reference MAJORITARIANISM on Wikipedia : even arcane cases like ABINGTON are really fraught. Why should followers of the majority religion decorate local public buildings at Christmas? Tricky.
This is precisely not an issue which can be kicked around by the it "sobvious" crowd which turned up at Hartlepool Question Time to boo
a Polish woman who had been here 20 years.

Bayard said...

DBCR, I was taught that the idea of the majority kicking the minority in the teeth was brought over by the Normans and the last vestiges of the pre-conquest consensus decision making was the jury system, which too has now gone to a majority vote arrangement, AFAIK.

DBC Reed said...

@B I would have thought that the majority English ordering the minority Scots to leave the Single Market is a more pertinent case in point.And what about Londoners?
There is a tricky argument about the Supermajority (see Wikipedia) which customarily applies in decisions to change the constitution (even of a small club!)No such cautionary proviso was made in our Referendum.
Mark is enthusiastic for pushing us into the wide word of globalised free trade or as it used to be called: oriental cheap labour raising massive investment funds; Trump wants to impose huge tariffs on this problem, exactly what the Common/ Single market was set up to facilitate.
As I keep saying the persistent tendency to try to bracket right wing Brexit with LVT, a rare all-party measure, is to devalue LVT by bad associations.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, you are tilting at windmills as per usual.

1. Of course the referendum was "advisory", it was a glorified opinion poll and of political rather than legislative significance. Where have I ever said otherwise. Without getting bogged down in detail, it will require an Act to repeal to ECA of 1972, everybody knows that. I do not know about the requirements for submitting an Article 50 application and neither does anybody else.

2. As to oppression of minorities, oppression is always A Bad Thing, whether the minority oppresses the majority (the 1%, the landowners, the PC mob and the terrorists) or whether the majority oppresses the minority (racism, smoking bans etc).

Each Scot had one vote, the same as each English person. Don't play the "minority" card here, as we know that Scotland is over-represented in the UK Parliament, so as often as not it is the minority oppressing the majority, which is just as bad. As Sturgeon says, during their independence referendum, Project Fear said that they have to vote to stay in the UK to remain in the EU, so she is entitled to ask for another independence referendum and the Scots can decide for themselves.

3. As to your "ring wing Brexit" ramblings, don't pin that on me. Personally, I like free trade whether within the EU or world wide. And personally, I'm in favour of free movement of people provided they are willing to fit and adapt to the way of life of the country they are going to. That is not the point, I am thoroughly against the EU as an institution as it is entirely unnecessary. All this can be regulated on an intra-governmental basis.

To give a folksy example, there is nothing to stop two groups of 11 people playing a match under normal international FA or cricket rules without those 22 people being "members" of and paying massive subscriptions to the relevant associations and having those associations interfere in their private lives off the pitch.

And tariffs are shit just like VAT is shit. Tariffs are the polar opposite of LVT hence why Mr H George was dead against them.

Bayard said...

DBCR, that wasn't an example, it was a guess at the origins of the process.

DBC Reed said...

You agree that the Referendum was advisory and denounce the Remainers for insisting on just that. Bad sportsmanship don't you know?Play the game fellows.
We then get a lot of Hippytime fantasy about we don't need no regulation: to play cricket!( I presume both sides can play to different rules? Mustn't get too heavy, man!)
It never occurs to you that oriental cheap labour plus bought-in computerised machinery will put even a Continental sized country like the US , somewhat unencumbered by socialism (sarcasm), under so much unemployment pressure after imports that a Wall is proposed.

Mark Wadsworth said...

DBC, you are now adopting an irritating Sobers tactic… "So you agree then…" as if you'd cleverly won an argument and convinced me of something, when actually I have been saying it all along (because it is simply true).

Of course politicians can ignore the referendum vote if they wish, in which case, why bother having one? (The answer is: because they never thought they'd lose).

"we don't need no regulation: to play cricket!"

More windmill tilting, please read what I said: it is quite possible for two teams to play cricket under agreed normal rules WITHOUT THE PLAYERS ALL BEING PAID UP MEMBERS OF SOME ASSOCIATION!

DBC Reed said...

@MW Not some clever-clever trick. If you been "saying all along" that the Referendum was advisory why are you getting so irritated by Remainers who agree with you?( Perhaps you should start calling the latter Ingrates for being so ungrateful as not to welcome the golden opportunities of being ejected from our principal export market without preparation , largely at the behest of anti-immigrant knotheads.)
You then perpetrate a classic: make a comparison between organised international trade and pick-up cricket, then argue about the second term of the comparison rather than the first , the international trade.

Bayard said...

"of being ejected from our principal export market"

I think Mark is rather complaining of this sort of fact-free hyperbole. What evidence is there that the remainder of the EU will even place tariffs on our exports to them, let alone refuse to trade with us altogether?

DBC Reed said...

As it is the Beleavers' plan to jump out of the single market, it is up to them to prove that their will be no ill effects. It is up to them to adduce evidence that the EU will not impose tariffs.

Bayard said...

DBCR, no it isn't. Why should the leavers have to scurry about disproving wild theories put forward by remainers, only to have each totally unsubstantiated prediciton replaced by another, requiring even more debunking?
In any case, you cannot "prove" the future, only the past can prove predictions. Yes, you can argue on the balance of probabilities, and the probabilities are that what will happen is what will make the most money for business. That is what all of history tells us. Business on both sides of the Channel will make most money if things continue as they are, therefore that is the most likely outcome.