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Showing posts from July, 2016

What the Brexit result means. And what it doesn't mean.

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If the outcome of the Brexit referendum was unexpected, so much more the wave of hysteria which engulfed otherwise rational people after the votes were counted.  Many of the politicians across the UK who didn’t resign, or lapse into eerie silence, instead exploited this frenzy to claim that their particular agenda was legitimised by the result. 
Some members of the ‘leave’ campaign act as if the poll were a general election, which gave them the authority to form a right-wing, anti-immigration government, while nationalists in Scotland and Northern Ireland use it to justify their attempts to pull the United Kingdom apart.  Both are exploiting the sense of disorientation enveloping post-referendum politics, and a leadership vacuum that plunged the two biggest Westminster parties into crisis.
In this feverish atmosphere, there is a pressing need for calm thinking and a sense of proportion, so that the UK’s best interests and constitutional integrity can be protected outside the Europea…

Judged against his own priorities, Cameron was a failure as PM

Apparently David Cameron intends to be an active back-bench MP, so he might dispute the idea that his political career has ended, never mind in failure.  However, he must know that a prime minister’s term in office has rarely imploded so quickly, or so spectacularly.  Barely one year ago, he confounded the pollsters and became the first Conservative leader to win an outright majority in the House of Commons for 23 years.  Now he is set to hobble out of Number 10 in the Autumn, leaving behind a party divided by a bitter leadership contest.      
Mr Cameron was the moderniser who became Tory leader on the back of a pledge to stop “banging on about Europe”.   Yet, first he put a referendum on membership at the heart of British politics and then he lost a campaign to keep the UK in the EU, with the odds stacked heavily in his favour. 
While Mr Cameron looked to have secured the country’s constitutional future when Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom in 2014, a second independence r…