This seems like bad news for Boris Johnson, but who even knows at this point?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson departs for PMQs at Downing Street, London, England, UK on Wednesday 4 September 2019. Picture by Justin Ng/UPPA/Avalon.

For years now, I’ve truly had no idea what is happening to Great Britain’s political system. Brexit threw everything into chaos in 2016 and I can’t keep up with – or even understand the fundamentals of – the elections and votes and prime ministers and whatever. I get that Boris Johnson is doing a massive power grab and he’s trying to shut down dissent about his push for a no-deal “hard” Brexit. I also understand that the Queen has cosigned Boris Johnson’s scheme and that people are still having big conversations about what she should have done or what she could have done. Well… things are happening this week. I’m at a loss – I can’t summarize what’s happening. Hopefully this will make sense?

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a devastating loss Tuesday on his first key Brexit vote, setting up a legislative battle Wednesday that could lead to a snap general election. A rough day for Johnson, when 21 members of his own Conservative Party joined opposition lawmakers to take control of the parliamentary agenda and force a vote on a Brexit delay, concluded with the prime minister introducing a bill seeking a general election. He suggested he would seek action on that election bill if Parliament votes Wednesday to postpone Brexit by three more months.

“Parliament is on the brink of wrecking any deal we might be able to strike in Brussels,” Johnson said. “Because tomorrow’s bill would hand control of the negotiations to the E.U. And that would mean more dither, more delay, more confusion.” While denying that he wanted an election, the prime minister added, “If the House votes for this bill tomorrow, the public will have to choose who goes to Brussels on October 17 to sort this out.” That is the date British and European Union officials are scheduled to meet next.

Johnson was selected as leader of Britain in July through a vote involving only dues-paying members of his party. A general election — putting all seats in the House of Commons up for a vote — could either sink his government or give him a popular mandate for his promise to leave the E.U. by Halloween, “do or die.” The prime minister would need the support of two-thirds of Parliament to schedule an election, which could happen as soon as Oct. 14. It would be Britain’s third general election in five years.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said his party was prepared to fight an election, but he first wanted Parliament to pass the delay bill and ensure that Britain won’t abruptly crash out of the E.U. in October without a deal to manage the withdrawal. Analysts say a “no-deal” Brexit could be economically damaging and lead to food and medicine shortages in Britain. Johnson has dismissed those predictions as fearmongering.

Johnson lost Tuesday’s procedural vote, 328 to 301. That capped a humiliating day for the prime minister, who was appearing before Parliament for only the second time since taking Britain’s top job. He was heckled mercilessly as he defended his hard-line Brexit stand.

[From The Washington Post]

Okay… so it’s bad news for Boris Johnson because he can’t even keep his Tory caucus in line, and if he doesn’t get what he wants, he’ll ask for a general election? Is that it? And if there is another general election, it could be as soon as, like, six weeks from now? But there’s some suggestion that if there is a general election, the Conservatives might retain power and BoJo’s position would be even stronger? Parliamentary systems are bonkers. I know our American system is bonkers too, so no judgment. I’m sorry, British peeps. From what I understand of this, it sounds like a f–king clown show.

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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152 Responses to “This seems like bad news for Boris Johnson, but who even knows at this point?”

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  1. Lisa says:

    Huge mess.

    • Becks1 says:

      I don’t fully understand what is going on but this is my takeaway as well. Just a huge ugly mess.

      • StarGreek says:

        We cannot get it either anymore. Yesterday Johnson deselected 21 Tory MPs who voted in opposition to him, among those the longest-serving MP in the House of Commons (Ken Clarke) and Churchill’s grandson (Soames).

        Peak Orwell’s 1984 and beyond here. Commenters on rag papers like the Express and the Daily Scourge call for beheadings and ‘to stop surrendering’.
        It feels like an alternate reality.

      • Megan says:

        Don’t fully understand what happened yesterday, but if 21 republicans voted for country before party in the US, we’d consider it a miracle.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Megan – LOL!!! yes, it would be a miracle. Sigh.

      • StarGreek says:

        @Megan it was a miracle for us as well ;-)

    • StarGreek says:

      Yep.

      We cannot explain to CBers what’s going on because we don’t get it either.

      It’s a 3-year-long colossal clusterf**k with no end in sight.

    • AnnaKist says:

      Big, high-profile divorces usually are very messy, but I’m finding it riveting and bloody hilarious! 🇦🇺 🐨

  2. Nanea says:

    The 21 dissenters, who voted their conscience and for the country last night, not for the party line, are to be fired. So that leaves Johnson with a majority of -43, after those who already left to join the LibDems or remain independent Members of Parliament.

    Well done, BoJo!

    Meanwhile the government is spending £ 100 million that could be very well spent elsewhere, e.g. education or public health, on a Get Ready advertising campaign.

    Get Ready for what exactly, after all they always said nothing would change, and if, only for the better.

    • stokesout says:

      Don’t worry though, there’s no one more capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory than shambolic racist Jeremy Corbyn!

      It’s such a terrible time for the Labour party not to have an effective leader.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Hear hear – Labour is a dead party walking and they don’t even know it. Its not just Corbyn’s fault but also largely due to the people he has around him. Seamus Milne is another Steve Bannon, Len McCluskey fancies himself as some sort of Kingmaker – a mover and shaker behind the scenes. And then there is Momentum, his cultists who have previous for bullying and intimidating anyone who does do kiss the arse of the Great Ditherer.

      • pearlime says:

        I don’t get why Labour hasn’t replaced Corbyn either. Great performance yesterday, but he will not win them an election.
        John Bercow on the other hand, especially after how he handled that whole shit show these past days, might just be the man. He was a Tory MP, but there were rumours of him defecting to Labour, like his wife did.

      • StarGreek says:

        @DU

        I am not a fan of Corbyn or even a Labour voter, but saying that Corbyn is like Johnson is a bit like saying that to have Hillary Clinton as POTUS was like Trump.

        @Pearlime

        I liked him yesterday but he has no crunch, Labour wouldn’t win an election with him as a leader for sure.

        If we go to a GE we are done. Fromage has already started collecting his cult members through Facebook.

    • StarGreek says:

      @Nanea

      Did you follow Javid’s spending announcement?

      He has promised billions of spending out of nowhere.

    • BeanieBean says:

      How does the PM get to ‘fire’ MPs? Weren’t they elected by their constituents?

      • Prairiegirl says:

        The PM can refuse to sign their nomination papers, essentially ‘kicking them out’ of the party. They’d sit in Parliament – and run in an election – as independents, unless they ‘cross the floor’ to join another party. Does this help??

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        ‘Removing the whip’ is basically kicking them out of the party, they will still be MPs who will continue to serve their constituents but as independents. It also means that if they ran again in their constituencies they’d have to do it as independents or join another party.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Oh, wow, thank you both. Seems to be an odd system, but then I’m American and have no room to talk. I really don’t understand how our damned electoral college can overthrow the will of the people.

  3. stepup says:

    Orrrrduh! Orrrrduh! Orduh!

    (I watched the clip on repeat yesterday.)

    • Wow2 says:

      Is that John Bercow? Love that guy, but I really only know him from Last Week Tonight so he may be an ass irl

      • stokesout says:

        John Bercow is technically a Tory (though as speaker he doesn’t really belong to any party) but all the worst slimiest Tories HATE him, which is obviously a point in his favour.

      • lanne says:

        watch TLDR news on Youtube. They have great videos on the British parliamentary system, and some great videos about the speaker (DIVISIONNNNN! Clear the lobby! Orduh! Orduh!) Bercow. They do a great job of being informative and nonpartisan

      • Elizabeth says:

        Thanks for that Ianne!

    • ds says:

      Me too! Bercow shouting ordeeeeer is the best.

      • lucylee says:

        Bercow is a jumped up little **** and if he talked to people outside the House the way he does inside, someone would deck him. He is an arrogant jumped up little twerp.
        Bring back Betty Boothroyd.

        Just my view of course!

      • StarGreek says:

        @Lucylee

        I don’t get your comment. He is a little dips*!t because he does his job, I.e. putting people in their place?

        He has no reason to talk like that outside…

      • lucylee says:

        @Stargreek – no because it is the way he does his job. Even before the referendum his arrogance got up people’s noses. He talks down to MPs in a rude and condescending manner which is totally unnecessary, and which previous speakers, in my lifetime, have never felt it necessary to do. There are more ways to do a job well than his way. And don’t you think he should treat people with courtesy inside or outside the House?

      • StarGreek says:

        @Lucylee

        If this was all normal you would be right. But given that these are not ordinary times even at Parliamentary level, I cheer up every time he beats people down. This is not a situation where you can afford to be polite and good mannered. If you think that I have a bridge to sell you.

        And if yesterday he had decked that c*ockwomble of Rees-Mogg I would have him hailed King of England on the spot.

    • BeanieBean says:

      I listen to the Now Show on podcast; now I understand one of their continuing bits. Orderrrr!

  4. Lily says:

    I don’t understand the political system and I don’t understand what Johnson is saying. “Parliament is on the brink of wrecking any deal we might be able to strike…” I thought he wanted a no-deal Brexit? All the concerns were fearmongering?

    • OriginalRose says:

      I think he’s getting everything in place for a no deal so that he can play chicken with the EU and force them into some sort of agreement that is good for us….but then i really have no idea. He’s rich and from money so he doesn’t actually give a crap about the country and business etc so he probably does want no deal. It’s all such a mess. I think a lot of us are just watching in astonishment now

    • StarGreek says:

      Johnson is saying that legislation blocking a no-deal is effectively causing no deal by binding his hands in his made-up negotiations with the EU (it was confirmed he made that assertion up, because negotiations were shut down months ago).

      If all the above seems a twisted, paranoid logic to you, don’t worry, it seems the same to us too.

    • duchess of hazard says:

      @Lily, the Telegraph (the paper that Johnson wrote articles for, for many a year) reports that the whole notion of a ‘deal with teh EU’ is a sham and that he’s just looking to run down the clock so that we crash out without a deal. This was confirmed by representatives of the EU27 yesterday at tea.

      Which is why when Phillip Hammond (former exchequer, and one of those who got his whip pulled) asked Johnson point blank to release the documents, all Johnson could do was bluster.

      In addition, the team of delegates have been cut to the bone. So Johnson is lying. Again. Like he always does.

      The hilarious bit of it is that last night Dominic Cummings (the guy behind vote leave and now Johnson’s de facto chief of staff), spent last night drunk and leering and shouting at everyone.

      • StarGreek says:

        @duchess of hazard

        I would have liked to be a fly on a wall while Scummings was roaming the corridors drunk

      • notasugarhere says:

        Oh to have cell phone video of Scummings (brilliant name, StarGreek) plastered all over SM. Well a girl can hope.

      • StarGreek says:

        @NOTA

        To be fair I have borrowed it from a Guardian commenter ;-) it perfectly describes the man.

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @StarGreek – so would I! Someone needs to have a phone and do the thing and upload it to Twitter. But Cummings is Johnson’s brain at this point. All Johnson has is blubber and bluster. He thinks that it’s 2012 again (when he was the apex of his political power) or even 2016.

        If nothing else though, he’s blown up the Conservatives on the altar of his ego (h/t to the Independent). Any moderate Tory who held out hope about their party coming back to them knows that it’s all Brexit now. The broad church has gotten a whole lot narrower.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Scummings needs to be exposed as the liar he is – he is as nasty as they come.

    • notasugarhere says:

      The EU leaders hate Johnson and are weary of all of this. They have reiterated, many times, they will not negotiate. The deal on the table is it. Any changes Johnson wants to make would have to be ratified by all 27 member states, and they’re all sick of him. EU leaders have said previously they’ll only grant another an extension is if there is a vote scheduled about Brexit. Not another “Let’s delay and keep dithering” vote by Parliament, but a vote of the people to accept the existing deal or undo Brexit.

      The EU is planning for a hard Brexit on Oct 31. From France24
      ‘It’s not just Britain that’s getting ready to respond to no deal. The EU is freeing up 780 million euros in emergency funds to help cushion the impact a no deal outcome on member states, officials announced on Wednesday.’

      France24 tweet
      ‘After the EU Commission reiterated its unyielding position on the backstop, the Irish government also chipped in Wednesday lunchtime. The Republic of Ireland’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said that the UK has not yet presented any workable solutions to end the Brexit impasse and find a deal. “This process cannot move forward unless and until the British government comes forward with actual proposals that make sense so we can interrogate them,” Coveney told reporters.’

      France24 tweet
      ‘For its part, the EU has made clear once again that the backstop is non-negotiable and that any deal between the EU and UK would have to include it in order to protect both the integrity of the single market and the Northern Irish peace process. “The backstop… is the only solution identified that safeguards the Good Friday Agreement, ensures compliance with international law obligations and preserves the integrity of the internal market,” the commission said in its latest Brexit planning document.’

      The EU_Commission twitter account is publishing assistance documents for businesses and employees, to help them get all their Hard Brexit paperwork in order by 31 October. Complete with #Prepare4Brexit tags.

      • StarGreek says:

        @Nota

        Thanks for posting this.

        Judging from Gove’s statements yesterday, we will be less prepared than EU for no deal.

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @nota – yeah, Brexit is going to be classified on the scale of a natural disaster. Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands will be most affected. Honestly, I wish the EU would actually say, “You know, sod the deal, you either crash out, or revoke.” And just have that stark choice, because May’s deal has muddied up the works, really.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @Stokesout – I agree and it seems that certain MP’s are beginning to see that as well. BoJo and Scummings will destroy this country to get what they want, they do not care about the people.

        Why hasn’t our media done an expose on D Scums – makes me wonder what kind of skeletons he’s got. A secret bank account in rubles/30 pieces of silver.

        EDIT: Actually he worked in Russia after the fall of communism. Hmm…

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @stokesout – and May’s deal was a crap deal. No Customs Union, all devoted to fisheries and farming, nothing to services – which make up 80% of our economy – all because she had a raging hate for foreigners. Not to mention the trouble the 3 million E27 citizens are going through here re: settlement. It’s too much. So just put it to a stark choice, Revoke or Remain.

  5. stokesout says:

    All of yesterday was sort of, well, imagine the House in the US was evenly split. Let’s really simplify, and pretend the GOP had 268, and the Dems had 267.

    Imagine, right before a big vote (like, say, the healthcare one) a GOP member had got up from his seat, walked over the Dems, and said “I’m a democrat now”. Then, imagine the GOP said “anyone who votes against us will not be able to run as a republican again”, as a threat. And then imagine 20-plus GOP members actually did so.

    In some ways, it’s quite incredible.

    In others, it just adds to the madness.

    • Goldengirlslover34 says:

      Thank you for the breakdown. I have been reading articles trying to figure out what exactly happened but this is the most straight forward explanation. There is so much information out there. Love this site because I find so much matter of fact information about Brexit here to help tie in what I have been reading.

      • stokesout says:

        Do watch out for misinformation, of course.

        A shockingly good place to find a “for dummies” breakdown of these things is Buzzfeed UK.

    • VintageS says:

      Wow. That dramatic. The PM has the power to stop someone from running in that party?

      • stokesout says:

        Indeed. They can do what’s called “removing the whip”, which means that they can tell someone they can’t run in the next election as a member of the Conservative party. But it’s sort of one step back from completely removing someone that moment from the party (which tends to be used for dramatic things, like if an MP was convicted of a crime). If this happens, you could obviously run as an independent or member of another party, but may be seen as a turncoat by those who initially put you in office. OR who knows, they may really like the individual and recognise their courage.

        So, again to use an analogy, imagine if someone like Jeff Flake had voted against a bill Trump wanted passed, and then Trump had said Jeff Flake wasn’t allowed to run as a Republican. What are the options really? For most people, just retire.

    • stokesout says:

      Another thing to try to explain is the election talk.

      Boris thinks if he calls an election, he can increase his majority. This is, in fact, quite likely.

      In order to call an election, Boris needs 3/4 of the MPs to approve. But Corbyn is saying they won’t approve until Boris agrees to not having a No Deal Brexit.

      BUT if Corbyn stuffs this up, and Boris agrees but then calls an election mid-October (pre-Brexit day), and wins a majority, this “new government” he’s in charge of WON’T HAVE TO ABIDE BY THAT AGREEMENT not to leave with no-deal.

      Lots of manoeuvering.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Cobryn only wants another Gen Election because he thinks he can win it and he thinks by getting no deal off the table legally will make him a shoo in. He is DESPERATE to be a ‘caretaker’ PM. Neither of them will stick to any deal around the ‘no deal’ in the scenario of an election.

        What I and many many others want is another referendum – take a deal or remain! And both our main parties want to leave (Labour’s party line is to remain but Corbyn and his acolytes are Brexiters and he has always put his personal politics above the party politics).

      • StarGreek says:

        Johnson would get a majority only through Farage.

        @DU

        You will never, ever, ever, get a second referendum with remain as an option. To think so is like hoping for unicorns. You might get a second one only with options to leave.

        The country’s majority is clearly for Remain now, even up here in Northern England, and that is why Labour and Tory parties will never agree to put remain on a ballot.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @Stargeek – I live in hope (misguided I know) that we can reverse this but sadly its not going to happen as the gov won’t give us that opportunity now. The boomers really have fkd it all up for us this time. I don’t care if they’ve changed their minds, its too late for that. They need to take responsibility.

      • TrixC says:

        @StarGreek, the Labour Party’s official position is to hold a second referendum with Remain on the ballot paper, the other option to be agreed by Parliament. I don’t think it’s as unlikely as you think.

      • stokesout says:

        DU,

        If Corbyn’s boss Seamus is telling him they can win, the Labour party is in even worse shape than I thought. I presume he’s drawn some little crayon drawings to get this information through to Corbyn but he’s wrong.

        And of course, Corbyn has been on the record hating the EU since the 1970s. I also joke about how he’ll kick all us Jews out of the country the second he’s in office, but I can’t even say it’s 100% a joke!

      • Mary says:

        Yes, but is Boris’ winning a sure thing? Doesn’t he represent a part of (remain-leaning) London? It would be funny if Boris gets the re-electiom he wants and is defeated!

      • StarGreek says:

        @Digital Unicorn @TrixC

        I wish you were right but I live in a Leave area, surrounded by other Leave areas.
        You won’t get a second referendum because many Brexit supporters are Labour members too (plus Corbyn is pro-Brexit as well). Corbyn has shown that he does not give a flying fig about some parts of his party’s policy.

      • TrixC says:

        Not sure I understand your logic. It may not be the case where you live but the majority of Labour members and MPs support Remain, this has been pretty well established in opinion polls. It does seem Corbyn and some of his senior team are probably sympathetic to Brexit and have seen a second referendum as the last resort but we are now in last resort territory. As far as I’m aware Corbyn has never gone against his party’s official policy, not sure what you mean by that? The leader has a pretty significant role in setting the policy (basically they can veto anything they don’t agree with), so if Corbyn wasn’t willing to hold a referendum I doubt he would have allowed that to become policy.

      • StarGreek says:

        @TrixC

        Corbyn has gone several times against Labour policy, the latest one I can remember is him and McDonnell clashing over a second Scottish independence referendum.

        No it is not just the area where I live, the Brexit party disease has spread all over the North.
        Pro-Brexit Labour voters, ca 35% of the total have voted for Brexit. These are all votes that will go to Farage. I know this first hand, just talking with neighbours, shop owners, etc.

        If we don’t vote tactically Labour party is lucky if it gets to 20% in the next GE.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Posted in wrong place

    • sassafras says:

      I think one thing that’s confusing to Americans is that “parties” in the UK are different from the US. The reason that members of a party can be banned (or whatever the term is) is that voters vote for the -party- not the MP. So the party giveth seats and can take them away. (And please correct me if I’m wrong!) Those MPs “defecting” are only doing so as a protest move / temporary diversion tactic/ act of conscience. It doesn’t actually mean the *seat* itself has transferred, except the party has lost those votes until they get new members in (and I don’t know how that process works.)

      In the US, we vote for the representative – and if they switch parties of their own choice/ conscience – that’s between them and their voters to figure out during the next election.

      This whole thing is giving me serious John McCain Summer of ’17 vibes, when he did his infamous thumbs down on that horrible health care bill. Acts of courage, no matter how big or small, is what is needed from our leaders now.

      • StarGreek says:

        @Sassafras

        No, we vote for the MPs, not the party (our PM is then elected by the party with a majority and can be changed without going for a general election).

        What Johnson did yesterday was removing them from the party but not from the Parliament as he cannot do that. If there is no general election, those 21 MPs will still sit in the House of Commons without a party but they are still MPs representing their constituencies.

        Johnson has damaged himself with that, Tory party’s majority is now -43.

      • stokesout says:

        I think you’re confused, sassafras.

        People do indeed vote specifically for MPs. MP means Member of Parliament.

        They don’t vote specifically for the PM, that is, the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister (PM) is the leader of the party that has the most Members of Parliament (MPs).

  6. OriginalRose says:

    It’s like a bad cheese dream. But there’s no waking from it

  7. Rapunzel says:

    I’m confused: how can they delay Brexit? I thought the EU wasn’t having any more postponements?

    • stokesout says:

      People wanting the delay are counting on the EU, no matter what they’ve said, doing everything possible to avoid a no deal Brexit because, well, people will die.

      Also, to simplify the issue, an important tenet of the EU is a principle of unamity, and that the interests of any particular member country shouldn’t be sacrificed for the “greater good”. No deal Brexit would be disastrous for the EU country of Ireland, which has done nothing wrong and in fact is one shining example of a country that entered the EU and saw huge benefits to its economy and standard of living.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Johnson was using the border to run the clock down on the EU to get favourable deal agreements, the EU were actually coming around to dropping the backstop (as last week they said it was up for discussion).

        Personally I think Boris has been renegotiating May’s deal BtS, the big sticking point for that was the Irish backstop – if that gets removed from May’s deal then I think it will get through Parliament.

      • StarGreek says:

        @Stokesout

        Co-sign to everything you said.

      • stokesout says:

        That’s possible, DU, but I don’t see the maths working out. The issue has always been that you’ve got hardcore Brexiteers, soft Brexiteers, centrists from both sides, and some Remainers.

        But everything that gets one group in your basket removes enough others to never get a majority. It’s like the dullest, deadliest logic problem.

      • Cerceau says:

        @DigitalUnicorn The EU were never going to drop the backstop. They just set BoJo a challenge to finally define what he means “alternative arrangements”. But there is no workable alternative to the backstop as the border has to stay open in any agreement. The Irish government has been consistent in this message. A possible solution is a Northern Ireland only backstop but the DUP will shoot that down straight away.

      • StarGreek says:

        @DU

        Nope, the EU never said they were available to drop the backstop. They told Johnson “let’s hear what your alternative arrangements to drop the backstop are”. Clearly Johnson is full of hot air and platitudes so he and Scummings have come up with nothing.

        Agree with what Duchess of Hazard said below.

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @Digital Unicorn
        Personally I think Boris has been renegotiating May’s deal BtS, the big sticking point for that was the Irish backstop – if that gets removed from May’s deal then I think it will get through Parliament.

        The EU 27 have confirmed that Johnson hasn’t negotitated anything with them. Johnson and Cummings want us to crash out without a deal. The Telegraph (the paper that has an intimate relationship with him and his team) have said that the deal is a sham. Which is why Hammond asked Johnson about this matter, even saying that might have swayed the votes for the 21 rebels later that night, and all Johnson did was sneer.

        So yeah, Johnson is all about the crash out, I’m afraid.

      • notasugarhere says:

        France24 tweet
        ‘After the EU Commission reiterated its unyielding position on the backstop, the Irish government also chipped in Wednesday lunchtime. The Republic of Ireland’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Simon Coveney said that the UK has not yet presented any workable solutions to end the Brexit impasse and find a deal. “This process cannot move forward unless and until the British government comes forward with actual proposals that make sense so we can interrogate them,” Coveney told reporters.’

        As others have written, Johnson wants the hard Brexit and anything from him now is BoJo hot air.

      • stokesout says:

        notasugarhere,

        A hard Brexit is unlikely if Johnson gets his way. It would be a no deal Brexit, a very different thing.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Yes, sorry, my vehement typing got away from me. My poor keyboard may never recover.

      • notasugarhere says:

        p.s. I have been told people *know* to avoid my office when they can hear a certain speed and loudness to my typing.

  8. Kitten says:

    Man, I wish Congress heckled our POTUS.

    This is so confusing and yeah, seems like a big ol’ mess. I’ll probably just creep around the comments section while I let UK celebitches explain it all.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Heckling in both houses (Commons and Lords) is a tradition and highly entertaining. Johnson called Corbyn a ‘chlorinated chicken’ today. He also then said about Corbyn “call an election, you great big girl’s blouse”.

      • Kitten says:

        LOL I can’t.
        I had a friend who always used to used to refer to himself as a big girl’s blouse and it used to crack me up so much. Hey, at least your RWNJs are witty. The GOP is completely bereft of (intentional) humor.

    • Lilypot says:

      Bold of you to assume any of us in this country know what’s going on anymore ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  9. Digital Unicorn says:

    Its a sh!tshow, designed to delay Brexit as the House of Commons want ANOTHER extension which is NOT going to happen as they EU have already said there will be no more. There is talk of resurrecting May’s deal but Labour have shot that down. Johnson set himself up for failure and I must admit I did NOT feel sorry for him, he deserved it. He’s going to get another slap in the chops today when his call for a snap election is shot down (he needs 2/3 of the commons vote).

    Also, someone PLEASE SLAP Reese-Mogg.

    As for our great and powerful opposition, what a joke. The Great Ditherer (Corbyn) choked as usual – he had a great opportunity to show himself as a ‘leader’ but as usual left it to others to lead. They are now saying they won’t support another General Election (even thou they’ve been whining about wanting another ones for some time) – they want a deal and then a Gen Election, so they can rip that deal up and push through their own ideals.

    If there is another Gen Election the Tories will win again, Labour is a dead party walking as the Lib Dems will pick up their votes. If they (Labour) have any chance of getting into power they NEED to get rid of the Great Ditherer and put someone like Keir Starmer in.

    • stokesout says:

      I really wouldn’t be so sure the EU won’t allow another extension. I don’t think they’ll do that to the Republic of Ireland.

      • aurora says:

        Of course the EU would grant another extension. And another one. And another one. I’m sorry, Brits – I’d be sorry to see you leave but I’m sick and tired of this never ending drama (and so are many, many more people in the EU).

      • stokesout says:

        The most disgusting part of it, to me, is what the EU was set up to avoid/stop – more wars that utterly destroy the continent. A way forward, for Europe. Community, a feeling of neighbourly appreciation. No more concentration camps or genocides.

        And of course, that was always mostly a dream, but to just push it all off a cliff because some old monsters were angry about some Polish builders is so. so. so. so. infuriating.

      • StarGreek says:

        @Aurora

        You are so right. Well a Brexit positive has been that Brexit has taken off from the EU table all the various Nexit, Frexit, Grexit, Italexit, etc.

    • OriginalRose says:

      I wish David Miliband would come back

    • StarGreek says:

      Agree with everything but in particular “can someone PLEASE SLAP Rees-Mogg?”

    • gingersnaps says:

      Labour may be a dead party walking but other alternatives like the lib dems and green party are starting to gain from labour’s loss. My partner and I talked that should there be a general election, he’ll vote for lib dems for what it’s worth.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Yes same for me and many people I know, they are now looking at the Lib Dems and Greens. I think people are ready to forgive the Lib Dems for their selling out to the Tories years ago and I like their new leader.

      • gingersnaps says:

        yeah, we couldn’t stand the previous one, their current one is someone who looks to be a viable leader.

      • StarGreek says:

        @Gingersnaps

        Husband and I voted for Lib dems in local elections. Unfortunately for us in northern England there must be tactical voting.

        In a GE, LibDem/Green votes are wasted in the northern counties. Therefore, considering that the choice is between Tory, Brexit party and Labour, we must draw a breath and vote Labour. We really have no other choice.

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @gingersnaps – I think it’s going to come down to tactical voting, like we did in 2017. I do remember loaning my vote for Labour in one area, and someone voted Green for me another part of the country. The way how First Past The Post works, we’re going to have to go it that way and go for another hung parliament, I’m afraid.

    • duchess of hazard says:

      @DIgital Unicorn – the reason why the opposing parties (with the exception of the SNP) aren’t willing to call an election is because Johnson can change the date. They want to hold him to shielding against no deal (which, just revoke the bloody Article 50 already), and the court of laws are refusing to get into parliamentary matters, because it’s political, not legal.

      Johnson will get his election – once the bill to tie his hands passes- because he cannot be trusted. But the fear is that he’s going to tell the queen not to give Royal Assent, and basically blow up the constitution and politics. If I were the Queen, I’d be making holidays and taking them about now.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I agree he will eventually get his election and the Tory’s will win again –

        As for TQ, she has already proven she has no backbone to stand up for the will of the people and if she did do what Johnson tells her then she can kiss goodbye to her crown as the people will NEVER forgive her.

        I missed the news yesterday about the EU saying no discussions had been going on. then I got caught up on all the drama. Hollywood take note, I expect a movie or 3 about this in a few years.

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @DIgital Unicorn – I’m not so sure. Corbyn might want the election, but most of Labour don’t, the Lib Dems and Greens don’t. I think the only party who are keen on an election (apart from Johnson) are the SNP. Since Ruth Davidson has thrown in the towel, the Tories in Scotland are toast.

      • lucylee says:

        @ DU as far as politics is concerned TQ is purely a figurehead, and if she did intervene that would be a major constitutional crisis.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @duchess – I agree about the Tories in Scotland, Davidson was popular and she is reason they did well the last time. But it depends on who replaces her and how much Nippy pisses everyone off with her harping over Independence (and from what my family back home tells me, its quite a lot – the scottish people are sick to death of her indy talk).

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @DigitalUnicorn
        Re: Scottish Independence – the thing is, they do depend on migration and a lot of EU 27 citizens are leaving, especially with teaching and medical services. But they can’t change their immigration policy because the English government is straight nationalist. As much as people might be put off by Sturgeon’s schtick, I can see how it would be tempting for Scotland, tbh. Westminster has failed us all.

      • StarGreek says:

        @Digital Unicorn

        Despite Scots being sick of independence talk, many of my Scottish friends would support a yes now. All of them voted no in 2014.

        Also take into account that the 200k Europeans living in Scotland would also vote yes this time, because their major issue against an independent Scotland was leaving the EU, a problem that wouldn’t exist anymore.

        And as a EU citizen now dual, Nippy might have been self serving with her post referendum comments but after 2 xenophobic attacks against me, her words of inclusivity (fake or not) meant really something to me.
        Always better than being called a card or a citizen of nowhere or told to go home.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @Duchess. It depends on how much the SNP want immigration devolved. And I agree that Scotland really needs immigration to fill those mostly unskilled jobs in small towns/villages. However a recent Spectator poll showed that many Scottish people think that immigration is too high.

        https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/05/scotlands-dirty-little-secret-were-as-anti-immigration-as-england/

        https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/poll-reveals-sharp-rise-in-opposition-to-immigration-bwqsxj8tj

        Westminster and Holyrood has failed the Scottish people, it will be interesting to see how they vote in this upcoming election.

        @StarGeek, I have no doubt some people have changed their view on Independence. However if there is another indyref I think the answer will still be no – people would rather stick with the safer bet of staying in the union rather than going it alone into a brave new world with a political party they do not trust, esp as any re-entry into the EU would take years (the EU said at the last indyRef that an independent Scotland would have to apply to join like any other new country, they wouldn’t get special treatment although it might be faster as they already meet some of the entry requirements).

        As for Nippy herself, she needs to be very careful – Alex Salmond’s assault case is coming up next year and she has already implicated herself in that. It will be interesting to see what happens as Salmond is petty AF and he will chuck her under the bus, esp as she chucked him under it first. Thats a court case that is likely to damage them even more.

      • StarGreek says:

        @DigitalUnicorn

        That poll about immigration does not surprise me as in northern England all Leavers are obsessed about immigrants… without having immigrants around. Scotland has low immigration rates compared to the rest.

        I don’t think people will stick with the union after a no-deal Brexit. We are fed up here in the north too.
        There is no chance of that happening (remain in the union), independence would be in the bag. And I always thought that Nippy knows what she is doing, the fact the referendum should take place after Brexit date shows she counts on the chaos to push that through.

        ETA: are you following the live feed? It is a shambles really

    • TrixC says:

      The EU probably will agree to another extension given that a no deal exit is also economically damaging to the EU and risks a return to hostilities in Ireland. They will almost certainly agree to it if the UK has plans to hold a general election or (less likely) a second referendum.

      I’m also no fan of Jeremy Corbyn but you are dreaming of you think Keir Starmer is popular in the North. The next leader should not be from London. Even with Corbyn Boris’ victory in a GE is by no means assured, they’ll lose all their Scottish seats to the SNP and swathes of the South to the LibDems. They may pick up some Labour seats in pro-Leave areas of England, but it may not be enough, particularly if those opposed to a hard Brexit vote tactically.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Am not so sure about the SNP taking all the seats, they are pretty much hated more than Labour in Scotland (am Scottish). Saying that, it was a big blow to the Scottish Tories when Davidson resigned as she as a person is well liked by the Scottish populace – it depends on who they have replacing her. Sturgeon is not liked and people are fed up with her constant harping on about Independence but thats a whole other conversation.

        I think the Tories and Labour in some areas will lose seats to any Brexit party candidates but I think the Lib Dems will surprise people.

        In terms of who can take over from Corbyn, who do you guys think can unite the country behind Labour?

      • StarGreek says:

        @DU

        I don’t know whom you know in Scotland but I never met anyone who voted Labour or Tory in 4 years there. My hubby is Scottish too. We always voted SNP and anyone I know did too or they stayed home.

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @TrixC – The Labour presence is nothing up in Scotland, and Corbyn’s paternalistic attitudes whilst he’s been head of Labour haven’t helped (he and McDonnell seem not to mind if Scotland went its own way, tbh). I’d probably say Lib Dems might have a chance with getting the odd Tory seat, but Jo Swinson (the head of the Lib Dems) really seems to hate the SNP (and Sturgeon) with an intensity that I find odd.

        But yeah, the SNP would snap the Tory seats up. Most people I know in Scotland (especially up North), seem to be satisfied with the SNP. More than say the Tories or Labour.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        @StarGreek – I’m Scottish although I now live in London. Growing up everyone around me voted Labour, the tide changed in the mid 2000′s when the SNP got in – that’s when it all went wrong for Labour in Scotland. They’ve never been able to regain any serious foothold back into Scottish politics at the national level primarily as they haven’t had any strong leaders to counter the SNP. I have often thought that is Gordon Brown went back into politics he’d be First Minister.

        And well it was Labour politician that achieved devolution NOT the SNP – the legend that was Donald Dewar, there will never be another like him.

        Labour do well in local elections, they recently got back into power in my home area which had historically been SNP for a long time.

      • StarGreek says:

        @Digital Unicorn

        I shut up about the last elections, it makes me weep…. Tories won the local ones in my borough and Brexit party won the European ones.

        Very interesting what you say about Scottish elections, thank you.

  10. StarGreek says:

    The thing about Johnson coming out stronger from a general election would only be due to the Tories forming an alliance with the Brexit party, i.e. the party led by Trump’s poodle Nigel Farage.

    • gingersnaps says:

      brexit party have hardly won any seats though? Anyone endorsed by dump is an automatic red flag, looking at nigel and boris.

      • StarGreek says:

        They haven’t won seats because there was no general election with them in it.

        Brexit party at the European elections had like 35% of the vote, the highest. Farage is already gearing up for a GE.

      • stokesout says:

        gingersnaps, when would they have won seats? There hasn’t been a general election since the creation of the party.

      • TrixC says:

        The Brexit Party can have great influence without winning many (or indeed any) seats because they will split the pro-Leave vote in many seats that would otherwise tend to go Tory. What they want is a deal with the Tories that would guarantee a hard Brexit and perhaps gift them a few key seats in return for them not standing candidates in Tory marginals.

        Also, the BP won’t get anything like 35% in a General Election, people tend to use the European elections as a protest vote. In a first-past-the-post contest a lot of them will vote for the traditional two parties.

      • gingersnaps says:

        Confused them with ukip, think they are the same to be honest. I’m confident that they’ll never win any seats, especially where I live, it’ll either be lib dem or labour here.

      • StarGreek says:

        @gingersnaps

        I wish I was living in your borough! 38% Brexit party voters here in the EU elections. Weeping!

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      I thought the Brexit party only have seats at the EU level, not at the national level?

      • StarGreek says:

        @DU

        You are right, but we are getting brochures about them already so Farage is canvassing for GE capitalising on what his party gained for the European elections.

        Salvini in Italy wanted to do the same, the Bannon’s blueprint is everywhere, but he got sc**wed by the left wing Democratic Party forming an alliance with the centre-right M5stars

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Ah, I have not received anything like that yet but they will be going straight into the recycle bin when I do.

      • Mignionette says:

        @DU – even though the Brexit Party do not have any elected officials, under the right circumstances they would help Bozo win a General Election as the Tories would need all the leave votes which theoretically the BP could split. Also Farage has made it clear to Johnson that he would back the Tories and not stand against them in Local Elections if a No Deal Brexit can be guaranteed.

        Also given that the current Tory Party is effectively the BP v.02 that alliance is a very real possibility and I suspect this was always the plan hence why Boris / Cummings have been clearing out the moderates and pro-remain MP’s.

        IMHO a Hard Brexit is a vanity project for the 1% seeking to avoid taxes and roll back unprofitable rights and freedoms protected by the EU under the guise of UK protectionism and parliamentary sovereignty. In actual fact the real point of Brexit has always been a hard right take over to make their lives easier and align the UK ideologically with the US.

        In any other universe we would have a credible Labour Party who would sensibly and tactically position themselves as left of centre to provide a viable alternative for voters. Sadly Jeremy Corbyn has shown a consistent need to doggedly stick to personal ideology which is harming the party thereby prolonging this Brexit agony. JC is a known euro-skeptic and would welcome the UK leaving the EU if he ever made it into office as that would leave him with unfettered discretion to implement a raft of changes which would destroy lives and decimate our economy.

        IMHO Bozo and JC are equally as dangerous and currently it feels like as a UK voter I am stuck between the devil and the sea.

        Full disclosure I am a traditional labour voter born to immigrant parents whom have also traditionally voted labour (but whom are in actual fact quite centrist and take views from both sides). I am struggling with the idea of having to vote labour as even I find some aspects of JC’s extreme politics unpalatable . Luckily in my ward my vote does not make a difference to the seat as it’s a safe labour seat. That said I am considering voting Lib Dem for the first time.

  11. ConnieFused says:

    Is it true that Rees Mogg moved his money to Ireland in anticipation of a no-deal Brexit? I wonder how many other Brexiteers have done the same. They must have great faith in the future of their country (sarcasm)

    • gingersnaps says:

      Yup, it’s true. That arrogant smug nanny’s boy (no offense to nannies) moved his money to Ireland and earned loads in the process. He doesn’t care about the ordinary citizen but in it for himself.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        If there is a deal he’ll lose out as he’ll have to pay sh!t loads of taxes or something so he has very personal reasons to want a no deal.

    • StarGreek says:

      @Conniefused

      Yes, it is true.

      However, only deluded Leavers think this has not happened on a large scale. We have transferred much of our savings into a euro account because by November the pound will be worth peanuts. My inlaws have done the same.

  12. gingersnaps says:

    The Guardian’s John Crace has a spot on take in this whole shit show.
    “boris johnson was stripped bare. Exposed as the Great Pretender. A mere carapace of vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself and falls on th’other.

    …They had been promised a new Churchill. Instead they had an amoral chancer who was planning to deselect Churchill’s grandson for doing what he himself had done on two occasions just months previously. They had been promised a Clown Prince. Someone who could charm both the party and country. They had been landed with a music-hall act who was long past his sell-by date. An amateur stand-up who would be booed off stage within seconds at the Edinburgh Fringe.”

    Also, someone needs to take jacob rees mogg down a peg or two, the arrogance of this f*cking cockwomble is beyond measure, I hope he loses his seat. The w*nker.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Love it. In my office we’re taking bets on how long he will last and who the next Tory PM/Leader will be!!

      BoJo is going to down in the history books but not for the reasons he wants. He’s going to be the shortest serving PM in our history.

      • gingersnaps says:

        My son just recently turned 3 and there have already been 3 prime ministers. Unbelievable. David Cameron has a lot of answer for.

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @gingersnaps – Cameron’s memoir comes out this month, iirc, and I think he’s going on tour. With any luck, hopefully someone can tell him how we really feel (I’m with you), because I’m not buying his book.

      • StarGreek says:

        @duchess of hazard

        Hoping that someone might throw the book at him is too much?

      • notasugarhere says:

        But if they purchase the book before throwing it, he still wins.

      • StarGreek says:

        @nota

        Let’s hope they just buy one and then pass it on lol

      • duchess of hazard says:

        @StarGreek – I just hope that someone gets him with an egg or rotten fruit before he goes into the BBC on September 19. I mean, what can he say? “I broke up the country and made my friends billions, I suppose.” After Cameron pimped out his poorly son to for votes, I was done, tbh. About “I love the NHS” only to start hacking at it. T*sser.

      • StarGreek says:

        @duchess of hazard

        He is the most disgusting t**ser ever.

    • Toi Filles says:

      smdh at rees mogg and his high-class man-spreading.

    • StarGreek says:

      Crace today: “Johnson is going to go down a storm on the world stage. Making Britain Crap Again”

  13. Cerceau says:

    If anyone needs a laugh amid all this misery check out the hashtag #brexitmehole. Irish Twitter is nailing it today.

  14. Nikki says:

    Ugh, this sh*tshow is making me long for the likes of Tony Blair. I have NO LOVE for that guy, but at least he’s an asshole who is an adult and could handle the likes of Johnson and Rees Mogg.

  15. HK9 says:

    Holy hell. As a Canadian with relatives in the UK (which is why I’m following this so closely) I have my head in my hands. In all seriousness, I hope you in the UK gets a deal that will really help people. I have absolutely no idea if that’s even possible but something good has to come out of this because I can’t believe that the UK has gone through all of this to come out on the other side with a bigger situation to fix.

  16. JanetFerber says:

    As an American living with political chaos and mayhem for three years, my advice to Brits: speak up, support organizations that help, BUT do not read eleven newspapers a day as I did until it drove me insane. Protect yourself first– you do not need to know every iteration of the clusterf-ck that is modern government. Believe me, if the news is important enough, you will know it STAT. Small note of comfort: at least on the hair front, his is looking less unruly. That’s all I’ve got for you.

    • StarGreek says:

      @JanetFerber

      I took the high road of not watching or reading anything for 4 months. But we have an inept government that will make us crash out of the EU, which means foodstuff and meds will get stuck at the border.

      So it is a bit difficult to ignore media these days when what we do in our spare time is buying huge plastic boxes to stockpile food items for us and our pets. The pile in our dining room is growing steadily.

  17. Candikat says:

    Speaking as an American who has a better-than-average (for an American) understanding of UK politics, I’m all confused too! It’s head-spinning for me to process that the leader of Labour is a despicable racist, and the party that calls itself the “Liberal Democrats” is, I guess, now the party of the typically Conservative? And the most selfish wing of Parliament is headed by a bad-haired bloviating would-be despot? Oh wait, one of these things feels familiar…

  18. Tw says:

    Well this is exactly what Putin wanted, isn’t it?

  19. J ferber says:

    Tw, you win the internet today. A tower of Babel.

  20. FF says:

    The push for GE on 14th is pure textbook Shock and Awe. I’m surprised The Guardian isn’t warning about it.

  21. StarGreek says:

    Now motion for a general election…. and Boris Johnson, who tabled it, has left the chambers.
    Probably getting drunk with Scummings.

  22. one of the Marys says:

    Why is there a faction that wants a hard Brexit? What is the advantage of this over negotiating a deal? This is the most confusing aspect to me. Are they expecting to negotiate something better post Brexit than pre Brexit?
    If hard Brexit happens what are UK folks expecting, actual shortages of medicine and supplies for example?
    An early post mentioned France, Germany and other countries preparing and it being very harmful to them. Is this because trade will come to a halt, for example, like they won’t be able to access the UK market?

  23. Kay says:

    I’m visiting the UK for the first time ever right now and it’s a very strange time to be here. It’s all anyone can talk about and they’re upset but at the same time it feels calm…too calm