Brexit and the Sanguinistas

Their approaches take many forms, the Sanguinistas.

“By resisting Brexit you lose the ability to influence its shape.” “Theresa May needs a bigger majority so she can face down her rebels.” “Brexit is a done deal. Make the best of it.”

And I ask: how will I influence its shape by accepting it? What evidence do you have to support that notion? How do I make the best of it?

And they remain silent.

The Conservatives had nine months between the referendum result and triggering Article 50. Did they use those nine months to engage the country in a discussion about the form our departure from the EU should take? They did not. Did they recognise that on the Leave side there were a dozen contradictory positions – to save the NHS, to cut immigration, to select immigrants, to kick the establishment in the teeth, for the principle of more autonomous law making, out of fear of a rush of Turkish immigrants, and many more? They did not. Did they seek national unity in advance of national strife? They did not. Did they want engagement? They did not.

Did they march public expectation to the top of the hill and leave it to others to march down again? Did they use the press to belittle our judiciary? To tar as unpatriotic, or worse, those who sounded notes of caution? Or who sought to establish that the control to be taken back should rest in the hands of Parliament not an unelected Prime Minister acting in the teeth of her Manifesto? Did they rattle their sabers at our European neighbours? Did they threaten to withhold security co-operation, whilst risking our own? Did they cosy up to Trump and Erdogan and Saudi Arabia and the Philippines as they threatened and belittled France and Germany and Italy and Spain? Did they offer to turn the United Kingdom into a tax haven on the doors of Europe? And hold an enormous carbon-emitting bonfire of the regulations that seek to salvage a home for our children?

They did.

And now? Now that the Government has turned the rhetoric dial up to eleven? Now that the Prime Minister has accused the EU of interfering in domestic politics and willing us to fail? Now that she makes the clear choice to put parochial interests before those of the nation? Now, as the gap yawns? Between the imagined reality of a clique of tax dodgers, climate change deniers, profiteers, and fascists and the politics and Government they fund? And the actual reality in the actual world.  As that chasm gapes and widens? Now that a chaotic Brexit that stands to leave hundreds of thousands of Britons living in Europe without healthcare or residency rights? And the same for millions of Europeans here – our colleagues, our neighbours, our friends, our husbands, our lovers? And cause enormous chaos and unrest in relations with our closest and dominant trading partner? With huge consequential disruption for lives and livelihoods? Now that Brexit hoves into view?

Should we work with them now?

Answer for yourself.

But I ask you this, you Sanguinistas. Those who make a living from cutting their political cloth to suit the day’s prevailing fashion. Whatever the price. What would cause you to say, “I have changed my mind. Although I hope for success, the risks of Brexit outweigh the prospects of delivering it? These are not people who I can influence, or influence for the better? The interests of my country are not served by this cause?”

What would it take for you to recant? What evidence would persuade you? Is there any?

13 thoughts on “Brexit and the Sanguinistas

  1. I believe that I am correct in saying that to become an MP, you need to be elected. Therefore the PM is elected. The difference is that she had opposition at the polls and within the party. Somebody had to win and it was her. By contrast, Juncker was elected from a short list of 1. Not really an election.
    You are right. The climate is changing. It has always changed. In Roman times, Scotland was a wine producing area. Not any more. Then, in the 16th and 17th centuries, we had a mini ice age when the Thames regularly froze over. Not any more. To suggest that these two weather states were as a direct result of industry, cars or just plain mankind is clearly nonsense. There were far, far fewer people on the planet. Therefore, there must be a different reason.
    CO2 has been rising, as has the global population and during that time, world hunger has dropped. Why? Additional CO2 has generated bumper crops, which is a good thing.
    But here is the main point. The planet’s temperature is now being monitored by satellite, which is extremely accurate and the results are interesting. CO2 continues to rise, but the temperature stopped rising in the late 90s and has not risen since. Therefore, CO2 CANNOT be causing climate change.
    What the renewables are doing is condemning millions in third world countries to eternal poverty and premature death. The IPCC claims that 80% of the world’s power will come from renewable by 2050. The wind farms must be doing sterling work because solar can only work for half the day. In fact, this claim is total nonsense.
    The International Energy Authority estimates that 5, possibly 6% at a pinch of world energy will come from renewables.
    In our own country, we are condemning our poorest and most vulnerable to fuel poverty by forcing up prices to fund absurd renewables, or to be rather more accurate, intermittants. We are condemning the poorest on the planet to respiratory disease through burning wood or dung inside for cooking. One figure suggests 20 million such people die each year as a direct result of breathing fire fumes.
    In 1990, 85% of China lived below the poverty line of $2 a day. Today, that figure has dropped to 20%. The reason is cheap, abundant electricity created by burning coal. The Chinese rise in GDP is exactly in line with her growth of electricity generation.
    In polluted Bejing, the life expectancy is 75, the same as in Brittany, France, not noted for its smog. Chinese life expectancy has increased by 10 years, no mean feat.
    Costly electricity has driven out our energy intensive industry, paradoxically to areas who care much less about pollution, never mind low carbon emissions. Jobs have been destroyed and our economy damaged as a result. Jobs have been exported, never to return. They have been sacrificed on the alter of CO2 emissions.
    Plants love CO2. They grow rich and luxuriant on the stuff. Our harvests boom and world hunger recedes. Animals feast on the abundant grass and grwo big and fat as a result, which is just as well because we eat them too.
    To suggest CO2 is bad is failing to understand photosynthesis at any level. And before anybody claims that the thicker CO2 layer, currently 4 parts in 10,000 reflects head back down, bear something in mind. You cannot heat something from a colder source. It is cold on the edge of space and hot air rises and cools.
    But if you do not believe me, stick your dinner in the fridge and wait for it to heat up.

  2. I tried asking my MP this: was there any point at which he would see the cost as being too high? He replied with a round robin

  3. Jolyan is correct in his analysis, but emotion and misplaced loyalty often trump common sense. An example is the contribution from Chippindall-Higgin. The science counters all his points, so instead I will quote Jonathan Swift. “It is impossible to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.”

  4. It’s a question worth asking, but I suspect people have become so entrenched in their view that it’s perhaps now a matter of dogma and ideology.
    How many a man likes to concede he was wrong? How many would say “I told you so”? Would it also not be taken as a personal criticism of someone’s credibility to concede they were delusional for years?
    In response to the gentleman referring to climate change, here’s what scientists at MIT think wrt the Venus-type runaway greenhouse effect:
    While from Nasa, and quoting multiple other sources on the scientific consensus of whether humans are driving climate change or not:
    And finally, from NASA, what a c2 degree increase might do to the planet
    My view: If there’s a huge scientific consensus that relates to the survival of the planet, perhaps best to err on the side of caution, otherwise challenge NASA, MIT et al and publish your work for review.

  5. It is hard to know where to start with Kevan’s denialist rant on climate change. Virtually everything he wrote is nonsense.
    But perhaps he makes Jolyon’s point without intending to. “What would it take for you to recant? What evidence would persuade you? Is there any?”

  6. Kevan C-H,
    Yes, climate changed in the past for reasons other than human activity. This is well known and accepted in the mainstream scientific community and is not inconsistent with the notion that human activity is the primary cause of the warming we are seeing now. One of the factors in climate change in the distant past has been changes in the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from non-human causes, why should the climate behave differently now?

  7. Hello Jolyon

    You ask:
    “What would cause you to say, “I have changed my mind. Although I hope for success, the risks of Brexit outweigh the prospects of delivering it? These are not people who I can influence, or influence for the better? The interests of my country are not served by this cause?”
    What would it take for you to recant? What evidence would persuade you? Is there any?”

    Well, having campaigned years for a referendum and finally getting one, then winning that referendum, then campaigning for a large Conservative majority at a general election and, I hope and believe, winning one so that every ‘meaningful’ vote will go our way and in two years time getting the Brexit I want: nothing, nothing at all could lead me to surrender the spoils of this victory.

    You also ask whether you should work with us now. You know, I suspect that question is as hypothetical as it is rhetorical. I wouldn’t lose sleep over it.

  8. Hell no. So what are we going to do about it, Jolyon?

  9. “What would it take for you to recant? What evidence would persuade you? Is there any?”

    Two things – the name of any non-EU territory in Northern or Western Europe that is worse off than its nearest EU neighbour.
    And secondly a rebuttal to the 2016 OECD study by Fournier and Johansson that a 1% GDP reduction in subsidies is associated with a 7% increase in GDP – subsidies being the EU’s primary financial activity, they surely need looking at again, and it was not going to happen if the UK remained.

  10. Brexit is most definitely the most popular topic of conversation in our Bristol accountant office

  11. The question can be turned back. What would it take for the remainers to recant in their view? What evidence do you need to recant?

    We are always going to do business with Trump (being the President of one of our largest trading partners and also very important ally – the point is you deal with who is President regardless of their political beliefs).

    It is the remainers who believe (and it is as much a belief as the Brexiters belief they’ll be better off out of Europe) – no one knows as economics is not a science it’s a quasi science at best – and no one knows the future.

    The way in which remainers can get involved is to use their undoubted talents to make sure that the country gets the best deal from the EU (without continued bleating and wringing of hands) and also to make the best of the opportunities there undoubtedly will be from Brexit i.e. don’t have closed minds

  12. Reblogged this on RemainerAction.

  13. Julian, leaving aside the patronising tone of your comment and your strawmanning of pretty much every economist, the reason we haven’t been swayed by any facts showing Brexit is a good thing is because there aren’t any. It’s been almost a year since 17.4 million people fell for complete garbage, and the best your lot has managed to come up are a bunch of easily debunked articles and studies. For example:
    We ARE working for the best deal in the EU i.e. the one we’ve already got. On a personal note, the reason I’m fighting this mistake is because doing so would mean appeasing the far-right. You know, the sort who burn down halal butchers shops, and go on and on about how Jo Cox deserved to be murdered by a terrorist… sorry, “mentally disturbed loner”.

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