Exactly what it says on the tin

A guest post by Samuel Miller

This isn’t going to end well you know. Brexit that is. I mean. We are aware that there never was an exit strategy. A plan for removing the UK from the EU. Right? That everything done (or not done) in the past two years has been on the hoof?

So far as anyone can see, politics in the UK is currently in a state of complete chaos. Not threatening to become. Not descending into. But actually there. The two major parties which effectively form the traditional binary choice of the UK’s population for the big chair of government? Both are hopelessly divided on policies, agendas, futures and ideologies. Each party sunk in a swamp of leadership backstabbery and each leadership hopelessly trying to convince their parliamentary memberships, their wider party memberships and their voter base that:

a. They represent something to everyone within those groups

b. That they have a successful vision for the UK going forward through this galactofeck

c. That their respective visions are anywhere near credible or achievable

d. That they’re capable of uniting all of society around their respective leadership and getting said populations out of the shitstorm that they themselves brought about

In order? They don’t. They don’t. They aren’t and they can’t.

To say that both parties don’t have their troubles to seek on infighting, ideological division and delivery is another one of them understatement thingies. Each leadership hasn’t a hope in hell of delivering what their respective parties, memberships and support desire most.

Brexit has exposed the real divisions and issues which lie at the very core of UK politics and wider society. The traditional practice of socially divisive politics and manipulation of popular narrative has ensured that the sixty six million people inhabiting these islands don’t exactly sing from the same hymn sheet. (still shrugging) So, yes. A confusing and unpredictable mess at best. Given that this is probably one of the most critical and pivotal points in recent history to the populations on these islands? The political behemoths of the UK state are effectively holding a chimps’ tea party.

Who knew(?) that decades exercising short-termist dog whistle politics would have long term seismic ramifications.  What happens when the leaderships don’t/won’t/can’t deliver what their memberships, or the wider populations, want, need or even expect through this crisis period? I’m guessing the response will be loud, messy and all over the place. In my experience, most folk don’t appreciate being misled for decades. Makes them grumpy. Just so you know.

Back to the issue on hand though. Widely held opinion (and I’d include mine here) is that UK gov’s initiation of the EU ref and their subsequent handling of both phases of the negotiating period with the EU, have been and continue to be, inept, ignorant, disingenuous and ultimately disastrous. (That’s me being polite by the by)

Let me be crystal clear on what I think Brexit means here. There is no good Brexit. Deal or no deal. This IS going to hurt. A LOT! Budgets are going to contract radically and people are going to do without. If you thought the past ten years of austerity legislation were pretty dire? Then you’re about to discover whole new definitions of the word.

The cost of brexit to date, (that’s just the last two years negotiating period), has been in the region of £23bn per annum.  A 2.1% contraction of the economy, or about £900 per household to you and me. Worth repeating. This is just the negotiating period.

Currently we’re staring at either a blind Brexit deal or a no deal scenario. Just what do you think either of those will do to national budgets and home finances over the coming years readers? Y’know, given the veritable fiesta that’s been the past decade of austerity legislation.

Well? Let’s have a look at what some other folk think of a range of Brexit scenarios. And no, you really don’t have to be an expert in macro economics to understand that the outlook doesn’t look particularly shiny.

HERE and HERE and HERE aaaand HERE.

To be fair, you could fill digital pages with links and opinion like that and a LOT worse. Long story short? Less to go round, really does mean exactly what it says on the tin. This is going to hit everything and everyone for years to come. When the money is gone. It’s gone. And it WILL, under any of the linked scenarios, be some time before it returns.

So. Some simple questions. Do you think Scotland’s devolved government have the powers and the budget control necessary to mitigate (ooooh, my favourite f***ing word) any of that? I mean, they’re going to try. Mainly because that’s who they are and what they do. But do you think any devolved Scottish government could mitigate this kind of economic damage?

Could you, for instance, see Ruth Davidson, whose heid office party brought this shit show to our door, even trying? Do you think the people who drove this epic bout of idiocy even care about collateral damage to the populations of these islands? The agreements they’ve endangered? The settlements they’ve ridden roughshod over? The people they’ve put in harms way for their own self interest?

In Scotland, we may soon have the opportunity to limit the damage of this biblical bout of political self harm through the simple application of pen to ballot paper. An action which would fully empower a Scottish government and provide them with the necessary tools to deflect most of the oncoming hardship threatening our population, our economy and our politics. We can have that option if we really want it. We can then begin the process of repairing the damage already done. We can begin to build something that puts care of and service to, the people back into a government we get to choose and a practice of politics we get to define. Something worth passing on to future generations. Something better than mountainous debt, a democratic deficit, social inequality, party tribalism and a lack of hope or personal investment.

Or we could pass on that opportunity and continue to allow others to make our decisions for us. They’ve clearly done such a bang up job to date.

It’s up to you.

28 comments on “Exactly what it says on the tin

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Exactly what it says on the tin A guest post by Samuel Miller This isn’t going to end well you know. Brexit that is. […]

  2. Excellent stuff as usual.

    Technical problem: I think the first link to HERE was actually to this (shortened URL) – https://is.gd/qOiZoT.

    I.e., https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/apr/18/each-brexit-scenario-will-leave-britain-worse-off-study-finds.

  3. Angry Weegie says:

    And then we have the result of the Coatbridge South byelection, when large numbers of so-called SNP supporters, many probably with at least an interest in independence, looked out of the window and saw the pavement was wet, so they couldn’t be arsed dragging themselves away from the tele. Someone else can do the voting. It won’t matter if I don’t bother. Except, of course, it did.

    Do we really think that these people have enough knowledge, or interest, in Brexit to do more than complain after the event, when the true awfulness hits home, that the Scottish government didn’t sort it out. It was up to them to sort it out. They’re supposed to protect us from all the bad things that Westminster brings. Why should I vote for them when they didn’t protect us (except, of course, I didn’t vote).

    (In a bad mood today)

    • Anti McMafia says:

      Speaking as someone who know Coatbridge & Chryston SNP pretty well, I think there’s a bit more to it than that. There’s a massive amount of infighting in that branch, and some of the neighbouring branches. I know what side I’m on, and it isn’t the one that the candidate is from. You would hope that having Hugh Gaffney involved might make it more likely that the SNP could win that seat. They still didn’t. That should inform your view that the SNP in North Lanarkshire is a total mess.

    • East Neuker says:

      Hi Angry Weegie, I sympathises with your feelings about people who don’t vote, but according to James Kelly’s post on Scot goes Pop, this SNP vote in Coatbridge actually held up, and it seems likely that the decisive factor was people switching from independent ex Labour candidates back to the Labour candidate.

      Others who know the area suggest that the local SNP has problems which put off more people who might vote for them. I’m not local, so know nowt about that, but it’s clear that the SNPvote didn’t really fall.

      Who from outside can really comment on an area that can elect that poisonous clown Hugh Gaffney to anything? There must be something we don’t know.

      On the broader question of not voting, I’d go for a version of the Aussie system – compulsory voting unless excused with a fine for not doing so, but including th freedom to say “none of the above”. Do you know the Aussies close the pubs on polling day…. I wouldn’t go that far!

  4. wm says:

    First class post as usual Sam, I have been asking myself for the last two years, why leave one of the largest and most successful markets in the world to operate as a corner shop.

  5. mogabee says:

    Nicely constructed Sam, but I have to pull you up on one littlely thing…

    Chimps have the ability to make us smile at their antics and at their ability to copy/match what humans do too damn closely. 😀

    This lot at Westminster, the ‘leaders’ of the UK, have absolutely none of the above endearing attributes!!!

  6. Andy Anderson says:

    Very well put together Sam. I am sending this to everyone I know who voted Leave or No.

    I see countries are queueing up to oppose the UK request to the WTO to use our current EU trading tariffs. These include Russia, USA etc. Base tariffs are bad and would destroy the economy. For example 47% hike on lamb sales with about 80% of all lamb sold abroad.

    Can we take our MP’s to court for wilful damage to society?

  7. Derek Grainge says:

    I’ll rephrase that, mogabee: Chimps have the ability to create and use tools. Most politicians at Westminster ARE tools.

  8. Tol says:

    The problem with the post is that it never considers that THIS IS THE STRATEGY for leaving. What it falls for (as everyone is intended to fall for) is mixing up Westminster’s delaying tactics for that of the Brexit plan.

    If you flip that expectation…then it reveals a very frightening reality…even more disastrous than the effects of incompetence.

    • Tol says:

      The EU has never had to negotiate with a party who is deliberatly only there to self immolate. In every other negotiation, countries have actually wanted in.

      The EU is acting for a normal negotiation process (it has to). Where as the UK is using every step of the negotiation as a delaying tactic. The UK appears to have no interest in rational or sequential…In fact its randomness and back tracking on agreed positions has actually helped its delaying.

    • Tol says:

      The later the public get to know the reality of the full shit-show of Brexit (the bonfire of regulations version) the better.

      There is less time for people to organise against it…It becomes a Fait accompli.

    • Macart says:

      The post doesn’t deal with the intent or thinking behind the strategy Tol. Only the popular perception and the projected effects.

      I might cover the intent of the various parties involved at a later stage.

      • Tol says:

        Thanks for the information. Apologies, I didn’t realise you were only focusing on “popular perceptions” in this post.

        I started looking at Brexit through the lens put out by Westminster. However, too many of their own actions contradict there own statements. If you then look at what they have actually been doing…not what you think they should be doing the picture is very different.

        As we move deeper into the Brexit 2 year timetable, the fractures caused by this disjuncture of actual actions vs their words becomes more visible and they can’t paste over them any longer. I have yet to see anyone lay out the evidence of actual Westminster’s actions that supports the “popular perceptions” of Brexit.

  9. Stoops says:

    And add to the self harm that Britain’s vicious colonial past is long remembered, and like the nasty little kid at school who’s fallen out with his big pal and protector, the rest of the world will be lining up to give the UK a much deserved kicking.

  10. OT but maybe not.
    I tuned in ‘live’ to Brewdog’s Sunday politics today.
    Lord Adonis calling on a Tooting Popular Front led by our very own Wolfie Smith, Richard Leonard.

    Seriously, this Labour lord is trying to sell that Dick Leonard as a Labour ‘leader’.

    Adonis acknowledged that Nicola Sturgeon has the only credible plan to stop Mad Brexit but that a commitment from a ‘future Labour Government’ (no don’t laugh, he actually believes that England would vote in a Communist Government) to ‘allow’ a second Indyref was a ‘separate issue’, that this ridiculous People’s Front would see the Scottish Government team up with the Branch Office Red Marxists to deliver a Remain Vote in England, unconditionally.

    There followed a piece on that odious wee blonde Yank over here killing our wild life because she thinks it’s fun to kill harmless beasts and film herself posing over the carcass of the poor hapless beast.
    They had the usual ‘country sports’ suspects on arguing that it provides millions for our rural communities, as swathes of rich folk come up here to blow our wild life to bits, not for fucking ‘sport’, but because these fucking sadists get a thrill out of killing animals for fun.

    But, but, ‘The Scottish Government’ culls zillions of deer and other stuff every year for conservation, doncha know.

    You who stride across our moorlands and wander about the hillside of your vast privately owned estates with a gun draped from your shoulder are seriously flawed human beings, IMHO.

    I find it increasingly alarming that wealthy Americans and such can come here on holiday, bring their guns, and without any impediment wander about our land firing at anything that takes their fancy.
    No Police checks, so any foreign psycho could march down the Royal Mile with their hardware picking off the locals?

    Derek McKay was interviewed ‘earlier’, but they fecked up the editing.

    Asked a question about business rates in the High Street, his reply related to public sector pay rises.
    They edit it how they like.

    I warned the SNP Govt before.
    Don’t appear on TV. It is a set up. SNP BAD is the name of the game.

    Finally the wee summary at the end when Iain McWhirter and a female Hack whose names escapes me were encouraged by Waffle Brewer to agree with him that the Fraser of Allander Institute has predicted a real terms increase in Barnett consequentials because Spreadsheet Phil is ‘giving’ NHS England an extra £2 billion.

    Austerity’s over, hallelujah, the Brewdog announces.
    No it’s not, counters the bold Ian.

    This from the Huffington Post June, 2016.

    “Thousands of hospital beds could disappear under a Government efficiency drive in the NHS that will have a huge impact on patient care, it has been warned.

    An analysis by the British Medical Association (BMA) found regional plans for a re-organisation of the NHS in England – called sustainability and transformation plans, or STPs, which are designed to improve efficiency – will in fact have to deliver £22 billion in cuts by 2020/2021.

    Dr Mark Porter, council chair of the BMA, the doctors’ union, said the plans represented a “cover” for cuts.”

    It would be staggering to consider that Gordon Brewer does not know about the £22 billion in cuts, and that the £20 billion he waves around as a sign Austerity is over, merely means that there will be fewer cuts to services and personnel in NHS England.

    There is no more money. The Blue Red and Yellow Tories agreed a £32 billion package of cuts to public services, public service jobs, and welfare payments centred on the hateful Universal Credit Roll out.

    Brewer, this is still happening.

    Austerity will never be over until the Blue Tories return society to Victorian levels of decay and neglect.

    You come across as quite silly peddling this alt Right Brit Nat nonsense.
    An estimated 10 million citizens in and out of work will see their income drop by £2000 a year because of UC. Fact.
    And that’s before No Deal Brexit bites.
    What a silly wee programme this is.

  11. Robert Graham says:

    o/t – Try as i might i just cant tune into Brewers thinking when he asks questions, his baffling way of framing a question has me scratching my head , i caught a bit this morning and if i remember rightly he asked the scottish finance minister Derek Mackay to speculate on the upcoming budget based on some report by , well i cant remember who or which organisation , God now its Mystic Meg time on BBC Scotland , speculation based on a theory aye well ok i guess it makes sense to someone.

    I guess the Unions and Labours involvement in the equal pay dispute in glasgow won’t be touched with a 20 foot barge pole , because it is so damaging personally to the Shop Steward and the Labour party its deemed a caustic mess that cant be mentioned , even the solicitor who is representing these women against their own Union failed to mention even once the Labour party, this has echoes of PFI not once did the BBC link this to the Labour Party , well it’s time the SNP confronted people in Scotland with Labours record and how much this one party has personally cost them .

  12. susan says:

    I don’t think Labour has a purpose any more in Scotland and the way the unions are acting, neither do they. Sad but true.

  13. benmadigan says:

    whatever the outcome of brexit – which is now is a state of suspended animation – we are all in the hands of the DUP. Whoever ever voted for that fate? https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2018/10/28/suspended-animation-for-brexit/

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