I have been so excited recently, having been really critical of the USA—
I have never been more optimistic about the USA than I am now ( I will write about this soon).
I take great pride in being ahead of the curve. I look at the numbers, look at the trends, look at human psychology and often see, sometimes with absolute clarity, what will happen. We have been on the ball in the USA and also the UK. I knew with absolute confidence that that the Scots would vote to stay in Britain, I knew that Cameron was likely to get close to an overall majority in the most recent general election (in spite of the all the polls saying no) and I was never worried about Brexit.
Luckily I never wrote a blog about that last one–so it was never on the record. But I have decided to come clean anyway. I do have an ulterior motive for revealing my mistake–and boy do I hate to be so wrong. When I say wrong–I mean really really wrong.
If I had bothered to write about it I would have said that Brexit would lose by 10 points not win by four points. So I was wrong by 14 points–well outside any acceptable margin for error.
I am not going to dwell on why I was so wrong, I remain stunned. I have always understood why the population were quite rightfully angry. I will try and excuse myself by saying that I was so unconcerned that I never really followed the issue (I do believe however the answer may be connected to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s mindbogglingly poor leadership skills—a man who is single-handedly destroying the Labour party—it would have been his job to explain to working class voters in places like Sunderland and Newcastle, that these regions secure more from Europe than they put in).
I had presumed that facts played a bigger role in British politics (and they do) in spite of the tabloid newspapers. I had always respected Boris (Bike) Johnson as a politician, as a good mayor of London and I found it peculiar that someone who understood the needs of London would stab London in the back—I had presumed he would fight a relatively decent campaign. I have not really bothered to investigate, but I suspect that he did not. Was his position simply opportunistic? I do not know. Regardless, Boris Johnson is not like the UKIP (the UK Independence Party), a party who sail too close to being like the US Republican party (but even then not as bad) who only have one MP, who works hard at trying to be relatively moderate and as such is way to the left of the GOP.
So why am I airing my dirty washing so needlessly? Even as I went to bed on the night of the Brexit vote–and seeing those shocking Sunderland and Newcastle results–I knew that I had screwed up.
I was bewildered, but I kept asking myself, is this really the final word? Most British MP’s do not want Brexit. Large numbers of Brexit voters immediately confessed that they had not bothered to research the issues, as they felt Brexit would never win. The referendum is not legally binding. The Brexit lies were immediately coming home to roost. How can you force the Scottish, the Irish (Northern) or Gibraltar, or London for that matter to leave Europe? Everything that the remaining people had been warning of came to fruition. Brexit campaigners may not want so many immigrants, but what is the point of that fear (understandable fear) if the pound becomes so devalued that foreigners can buy up the Country at bargain basement prices?
Cameron resigned. The labour party is in total disarray. The Liberal party is united–they will run on going back into Europe. So what power base really wants the UK out of Europe? Oh UKIP and their singular MP.
I kept asking myself a simple question –if Boris Johnson is looking like a dog by the end of the summer how does he win the Conservative leadership? It sure looks like Boris Johnson is going to look like a dog. His biggest lies about how much would be saved by pulling out of Europe have now been thoroughly debunked, other assertions looking sillier by the day.
In the depth of my depression I did find an inspiring video, courtesy of The Washington Post who had raved about the performance of one seemingly obscure politician. Not even an MP, but leader of the a resurgent Conservative party in Scotland. Until just recently the Conservatives had made themselves totally irrelevant in Scotland. Ruth Davidson seems to be changing that—and then she had this special moment:
So just imagine this lady as leader of the Conservative party—what a tonic for great Britain it would be to have an articulate, formidable, female, gay Scot as it’s leader. What a great way for the Conservatives, for the British parliament to reconnect with the disgruntled Scottish, for the Conservative party to shake off it’s old boy image, all while the labour party, which has also been been destroyed in Scotland, are only getting sillier by the day. Sadly this will not happen by the end of the summer—so that dream solution will not come to save the the day.
But then two more items became apparent over the weekend, the ramifications only just beginning to sink in and align with my Boris-the-dog theory.
First Cameron, breaking his promise, said that he was not going to be the person to trigger the Brexit nuclear option—his successor would have to do that.
Then the Europeans completed the trap by saying that there would be no Brexit negotiations until the nuclear option had been triggered by the British.
So overnight it has gone from a stunning Brexit victory to a very probable Brexit defeat. I will now let someone else explain how Cameron has effectively checkmated Boris Johnson. The following is an explanation from a Guardian reader and poster.
If Boris Johnson looked downbeat yesterday, that is because he realises that he has lost.
Perhaps many Brexiters do not realise it yet, but they have actually lost, and it is all down to one man: David Cameron.
With one fell swoop yesterday at 9:15 am, Cameron effectively annulled the referendum result, and simultaneously destroyed the political careers of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and leading Brexiters who cost him so much anguish, not to mention his premiership.
Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor.
And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legislation to be torn up and rewritten… the list grew and grew.
The referendum result is not binding. It is advisory. Parliament is not bound to commit itself in that same direction.
The Conservative party election that Cameron triggered will now have one question looming over it: will you, if elected as party leader, trigger the notice under Article 50?
Who will want to have the responsibility of all those ramifications and consequences on his/her head and shoulders?
Boris Johnson knew this yesterday, when he emerged subdued from his home and was even more subdued at the press conference. He has been out-maneuvered and check-mated.
If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over—Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession … broken trade agreements. Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this. When he acts like the dumb blonde it is just that: an act.
The Brexit leaders now have a result that they cannot use. For them, leadership of the Tory party has become a poisoned chalice.
When Boris Johnson said there was no need to trigger Article 50 straight away, what he really meant to say was “never”. When Michael Gove went on and on about “informal negotiations” … why? why not the formal ones straight away? …[He] also meant not triggering the formal departure. They both know what a formal demarche would mean: an irreversible step that neither of them is prepared to take.
All that remains is for someone to have the guts to stand up and say that Brexit is unachievable in reality without an enormous amount of pain and destruction, that cannot be borne. And David Cameron has put the onus of making that statement on the heads of the people who led the Brexit campaign.
So yes I was wrong—but I am going to double down, and this time do it in writing.