Democracy

You cannot “draw the poison from Brexit” without extracting deception from the human heart

‘Where there is no vision, the people perish’, the Archbishop of Canterbury writes in the Mail on Sunday, reminding is that the Authorised Version still resonates down the ages, and that God’s revelation is the source of public morality and eternal salvation. A whole acrimonious year on from Independence Day UK, when the majority decided that the UK should leave the EU, Justin Welby’s grand vision for restoring national unity – to reconcile the regions, social groups, faiths and generations – is to draw the poison from Brexit divisions by establishing a cross-party commission:

Brexit continues to divide us. Exit negotiations will be fierce and the differences on what we should aim for, and how, are very deep. They divide our politicians and our society. With a hung Parliament, there is an understandable temptation for every difference to become a vote of confidence, a seeking of momentary advantage ahead of the next election.

…we need the politicians to find a way of neutralising the temptation to take minor advantage domestically from these great events.

We must develop a forum or commission or some political tool which can hold the ring for the differences to be fought out, so that a commonly agreed negotiating aim is achieved. Obviously it would be under the authority of Parliament, especially the Commons. It would need to be cross-party and chaired by a senior politician, on Privy Council terms. It could not bind Parliament, but well-structured it could draw much of the poison from the debate.

Justin Welby’s motives are honourable, as ever: the Brexit debate has become poisonous to society, so politicians must focus on national reconciliation and the “common good arrived at through good debate and disagreement”. His exhortation is unarguable: “Let us do everything we can to ensure the right values are at their heart.” But there is in his proposal for a cross-party commission a certain political naivety, if not a simplistic Christian idealism, which underestimates the potential apocalypse or miscalculates the future imperative.

A commission cannot produce unity of aim any more than a parliament can impose harmony on society. Parliament is an expression of a pre-existing national unity: the minority accepts the will of the majority, and the rights and liberties of the minority will not be infringed by the majority. That is the social contract. A commission which is divided at the outset by fundamental definitions and understandings of meaning is not only destined never to report; it is anaesthetised to reason. If its objective is to “find a way of neutralising the temptation to take minor advantage domestically”, it would be paralysed at the outset in trying to distinguish partisan “minor advantage” from the majority will of the people. Is ending free movement of people a partisan minor advantage, or is it intrinsic to the Leave thesis? The neutralising of political temptation soon becomes the nullifying of the democratic voice.

The outcome of the EU Referendum was for the UK to leave the European Union. It may have been close at 52:48, but a win is a win. You can bet your bottom Scots pound that if the SNP had won their Independence Referendum by that margin, Scotland would be leaving (or would promptly have left) the UK, lock, stock and rejoicing Glendronach barrel. Indeed, if that referendum had been won by 1000 votes, or 100, or even just 10 votes, there may have been a dozen recounts, but Nicola Sturgeon would have piped down Princes Street from dawn ’til dusk until the democratic will of the Scots had been realised.

There would have been no debate over ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Scottish secession: independence would have meant independence. And the Kirk would not have proposed some mediating commission to “draw the poison” from ongoing division: the people would have spoken; let’s just get on with it.

Some 1,269,501 more people voted to leave the EU than remain in it.

Of the 16,141,241 who voted to remain, a vocal contingent (a very vocal contingent) is intent on overturning the result of the referendum under the pretext of ‘soft Brexit’, which is to say that we will leave the the EU (“We accept the result of the referendum”), but remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union, and so subject to the edicts of the European Court of Justice (and unable to negotiate trade agreements independently).

It is not clear, then, in what sense we would have left the EU, since the EU is super omnia its institutions and laws. If we remain in them and subject to them, parliamentary sovereignty would still be compromised, and the people would not have taken back control (indeed, they would have been thwarted from doing so).

The Brexit poison does not derive from the result of the referendum, but from the dogged refusal of certain powerful and prominent agitators across the Establishment – the political, legal, financial, aristocratic, ecclesial, media and academic elites – to accept the lawful outcome. There is no consensus on the way forward because of this fundamental denial of democracy. Those who repudiate any notion even of ‘soft Brexit’ argue for a second referendum ‘to make sure’, with some now even making the case for a super-majority. Those who repudiate a second referendum argue for Parliament to decide (ie the Commons and Lords combined, among whom the majority favour remaining, as all elites do). The onslaught against Brexit is relentless, and is epitomised by the duplicitous crusade of Gina Miller and the increasingly deranged ranting of Professor AC Grayling. “Yes, #Brexit is wrong. It must & will be stopped,” he tweets and tweets, again, again and again.

A cross-party commission would not resolve this disconnect, not least because it would need to consist of representatives of all parliamentary parties (which unhelpfully excludes Ukip at the outset, but perhaps the Archbishop prefers it that way). The immediate problem then is that each of these parties is itself divided: does Kenneth Clarke represent the Conservatives on this Commission, or Iain Duncan Smith? Does Hilary Benn represent Labour, or Kate Hoey? You get the picture. There may be parliamentary unity of purpose in the SNP and Liberal Democrats – the principal Remainer parliamentary groups – but these parties also have politicians (members and supporters) who voted Leave.

The proposal to summon a commission to “hold the ring for the differences to be fought out, so that a commonly agreed negotiating aim is achieved” presupposes a pre-existing unity of purpose which simply does not exist. Kenneth Clarke will never agree a negotiating aim with Kate Hoey; or Hilary Benn with Ian Duncan Smith. The prospect of the SNP agreeing a common Brexit position with the Conservatives is simply laughable: they will go on milking it for every drop of anti-Tory dissent they can in order to further their political super-objective. Such sophistry and incitement is intrinsic to democratic division, and has been since democracy was invented.

To resolve the impasse (or to preempt deadlock), the strategy would be for parties to cram this commission with moderates (soft Leavers and Remainers who “accept the outcome of the Referendum”) to mitigate the extremes – a good old Anglican via media. But the outcome then could not be anything but an Anglican fudge – neither fully in nor properly out – and so the poison would persist in its malignant course, and the body would go on ailing. If democratic history teaches us anything, it is that when people are denied resolution by the ballot box they may resort to alternative means. And those means aren’t always predicated on peace and reconciliation.

But the poison which Justin Welby seeks to draw from Brexit is not confined to that debate: it is the same bile which insists that Jeremy Corbyn really won the General Election and so Theresa May must be ousted, by fair means or foul. It is a contagion which emanates in the denial of democracy, and an aloof cross-party commission – even one subject to Parliament – would be perceived by many of those who voted Leave (and, indeed, many of those who voted Remain but now want to leave) as a mechanism for obstruction, obfuscation and perpetual frustration. A political commission cannot produce consensus when its members cannot agree the difference between darkness and light.

Perhaps if the Archbishop had not only quoted half of the proverb, the way forward might have been clearer to him. ‘Where there is no vision, the people perish‘ is not a plea for politicians to set out their manifestos of hopes and dreams. It continues: ‘but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.‘ The context is man’s sin and rebellion, set against God’s law and judgment. It is inseparable from the Covenant relationship which YHWH established with His people: God is the God who revealed His name to Moses, and the fear of Him is the beginning of wisdom. He is made know not by political (or ecclesial) visions, but by divine revelation (‘out of his mouth‘ [Prov 2:6]). People are exhorted to acknowledge him in all their ways (3:6), or literally, to know Him, and (most importantly) His ways are not ours.

Justin Welby’s plan is welcome (‘Every purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war‘ [20:18]), but man’s planning is subject to to God’s plan, which is supreme (‘There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand [19:21]). Democracy is by no means perfect, but it is a political mechanism which permits participation, accountability and change. If people participate but find that the ruling powers refuse to be accountable and so nothing changes, the poison which presently exists will be as nothing to the battle which will ensue.

The vision without which the people will perish is that which denies prophetic revelation and revolution. This is a spiritual imperative. The law must be kept because it is the source of peace and prosperity – or happiness. This is a moral imperative. But ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked‘ (Jer 17:9), and that, with enormous respect to the Archbishop, is the source of the poison in Brexit and, indeed, the venom in all our politics. You cannot draw the poison from Brexit without extracting deception from the hearts of those who misrepresent it or seek to thwart it. You cannot draw the poison from Brexit without denying the deceptions and divisions inherent to a functioning democracy. The glory on the mountain will not be found in a contrived cross-party commission, but in hearts which are reconciled to the pre-existing unity of the collective wisdom of democracy. The alternative is a tyranny too fearful to contemplate.

  • Inspector General

    We are seeing a new order established, Welby. There’s bound to be disappointment. Them for whom the old order rather suited don’t like it one bit. To call it poison is going over the top, though. It’s not as if armed conflict is in the air. So, be adult about it then, and forget any schoolgirl notions of co-operation in parliament. That’s not how our parliament works.

    As you have the Inspector’s attention, he might mention the poison in the CoE resulting from SSM advocates scheming therein. Of practising homosexual priests defying canon law, and the mess caused by appointing women bishops. But as we all know, it’s hardly poison if you are resigned to all these ‘progressive policies’ yourself, is it? For what is poison can be viewed as blessings. If you practice the art of the poisoner yourself, that is.

    • Manfarang

      More like an old order being re-established, or an attempt to go back to the 1950s.

  • Anton

    There is no poison in Brexit. The very title of the Archbishop’s essay is loaded.

    As for this Archbishop quoting “Where there is no vision, the people perish”… Lead your flock, Justin. Lead it with fidelity to the scriptures. It’s never too late.

    • Merchantman

      With Welby it’s more of the same; more Fudge Sunday.

      • Anton

        Unless he has a liberal-theological agenda and is deliberately cloaking himself as an evangelical. How would one distinguish?

        • Martin

          Anton

          He doesn’t seem too good at cloaking.

    • David

      Hear, hear !

  • len

    Man has been trying for centuries to find a system which will will produce a fair and equal society.
    No long term workable solution has been found yet!.
    But man persists. Socialism is the way forward now,( no matter that socialism is a failed system) lets give it one more try.Noooooooooooo.

    Gods solution for all the ills of mankind is too radical , too unacceptable for modern,’ liberated’ man(and the church apparently) to accept. God brings life out of death, a death of the old , to bring forth new life.

    Mankind has been judged and found wanting(no more ‘systems’ please)

    Gods intention is a new man and a new creation(, because this one just doesn`t work for all the trying.)

    So Welby, lets get Gods solution (The Gospel of Jesus Christ)at the forefront of the church’s teaching and give the social gospel a rest please.

    • David

      Well said Len.

    • Watchman

      Amen, len

    • It is the ONLY way. So many opportunities for ABC to preach and pronounce the gospel. Is he ashamed if it?

  • len

    I have been concerned about exactly how committed some in the government were about Brexit and that their nerve might fail when entering negotiations.
    We in the UK might be left with the illusion that we have left the EU but in fact we would remain in the EU.
    ‘Face’ will be saved all round, but (as someone once said) you cannot fool all the people all of the time.

    • Inspector General

      We will be out of the EU. Be assured of that. Whatever we obtain in trading arrangements, we will be sent a bill for. Annually. To keep the EU together will still need bribe money for the poorer states to keep them on board, you see. There are a lot of those. The only consolation is that the price extracted from us should be way lower than what we pay in now.

      See, Welby. A gentleman’s agreement WILL result.

      • Merchantman

        The EU has a more than a whiff of the Mafia about it. Threats, intimidation, backroom deals, protection money. To deal with such, it all needs to be out in the open.

        A commission tucked away in a backroom issuing an occasional briefing ‘by those who know best’ is not the way Democracy works. It has to be in the open plain for all to see. That is why we have a Parliament or we have strife.

        • Maalaistollo

          Have you noticed how, when a particular election result does not suit the EU, trouble rapidly ensues, followed in due course by the removal of the person who had been lawfully elected? Think of Greece, Italy and the Ukraine – all of them happy recipients of the EU’s fraternal assistance.

          • Merchantman

            Watch ‘the Godfather’ and you are watching the EU in action.

          • bluedog

            Heavens. One never realised the film was a documentary.

          • Anton

            Politics was always a dirty business, ours too.

  • Maalaistollo

    And just how successful has the ABC been in reconciling opposing factions within his church so as to arrive at a ‘commonly agreed.. aim’? Physician, heal thyself.

    • Charitas Lydia

      Cranmer loves Welby. All editorial judgement goes out of the window when he writes on Welby.

      • Inspector General

        A bit hard. One would say Cranmer is generally supportive of Welby, and naturally the position of AoC, but when the incumbent errs, the heavy hand…for his own good, you understand…

      • bluedog

        Not in this case. Read the post again, it’s critical, not supportive.

  • Chefofsinners

    A superb article, which does us the great service of describing precisely the machinations of those conspiring to thwart democracy. It will bear much repeating:
    “The Brexit poison does not derive from the result of the referendum, but from the dogged refusal of certain powerful and prominent agitators across the Establishment – the political, legal, financial, aristocratic, ecclesial, media and academic elites – to accept the lawful outcome.”

  • Charitas Lydia

    An interesting article on Welby’s rank hypocrisy. http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/rebel-priest-rev-jules-gomes-welby-guilty-rank-hypocrisy/ The article on Brexit is simply Welby’s way of distracting the public from the abuse scandal of the week.

    • Anton

      Scorching stuff! All of the links in it are worth reading too.

    • Merchantman

      Hanging certain churchmen out to dry is becoming an addictive habit.

    • Anton

      The Archbishops can bully but they are beginning to face what the article calls the mortal sin of “border crossing” (trespassing into another bishop’s diocese). Anglican evangelicals have had enough of liberal theology and liberal bullying and are starting to call themselves the true CoE while arranging their own episcopal oversight. I welcome this move and look forward to the resulting spiritual battle. The evangelicals need to realise how intense it will be and how dirty the liberals will fight. But only one side has the belt of truth. As a nonconformist I shall in one sense be a spectator but I’ll be praying hard for the evangelicals and that the liberals get evicted.

      • David

        Thank you. Us conservative evangelicals would really appreciate your prayers.

    • ecclesiaman

      I read your link to TCW before opening the weekly blog. Rev Gomes is not a man to trifle with and espouses a genuine evangelical viewpoint as has been apparent from his previous articles. His Grace’s forensic demolition of the ABC’s Daily Mail article is excellent. I anticipate the UK is not leaving the EU despite the referendum. The UK Column live 1 pm broadcast for Wednesday 21st June will explain the significance of Her Majesty’s hat. A travesty of treason.

      • Chefofsinners

        Jules Gomes is a true Christian who, after years of trying to stand for the truth in the CoE, has finally been unable to remain. As a canon theologian he saw first hand the manipulation of synod by those diametrically opposed to the truth.
        CoExit is now an inevitability for all true Christians. If you cannot bring yourself to leave, you will be forced out. It is better to vote with your feet than to live on your knees.

        • Inspector General

          Really? Where’s he off to then. Rome? You protesting fellows are rather bitter of Rome, but at least you can walk past an RC church and not find a poofs wedding in progress. Not now, and more importantly still if you are a true Christian, not ever…

          • Anton

            You won’t find homosexuals exchanging vows in the church that Gomes runs on the Isle of Man either. Google him and be educated about a patently fine Christian. I just did.

          • Chefofsinners

            Some fine sermons available too. I had the pleasure of his extended company a couple of months ago, when he stayed the weekend at Chef Towers.

        • Anton

          I think it’s too soon to say whether the trickle of conservative evangelical parishes refusing their liberal bishop’s authority, and seeking episcopal oversight from flying bishops consecrated in the Anglican communion overseas, will turn into a flood; and what the outcome would be. They’d have to pay for their vicars themselves but such parishes generally have a large turnout and their parish share would no longer go to the hierarchy. You can expect the liberals to fight dirty but bullies often ultimately fold when faced with resoluteness.

          Let nonconformists support our Anglican evangelical brethren by prayer and other means while showing them by example (rather than by words) that if they fail then there are genuine protestant alternatives to the CoE.

          Interesting times ahead!

        • ecclesiaman

          I have tried to see if ABC Justin is an evangelical and he does make some comments that qualify. However on the all round test he fails, spectacularly with the EU IMO, and especially as a Benedictine Oblate. Why is that necessary? I wonder if HTB produce charismatics rather than evangelicals. As a young man I heard Dick Lucas, Ronald Francis and Canon H W Cragg. Do we have there likes today? I think they must be around its just that I never hear of them. I have never espoused C of E but enjoyed these men of calibre.
          If Gavin Ashenden and Jules Gomes believe it impossible to stay within the C of E ship, it is leaking rather badly. Leaking to starboard?

          • ecclesiaman

            I should have said leaking to port!! Apologies to all mariners.

          • Anton

            Not as good as leaking port!

      • betteroffoutofit

        Yes, will read. I suggested yesterday (independently) that HM’s hat symbolizes the parody “Her Government” has become. She may not be permitted to speak — but the English always did find ways . . .

    • Martin

      That really is rather hard hitting.

      • Anton

        I agree with almost all of it although this paragraph is overdone:

        Above all, Welby’s rank hypocrisy stinks to high heaven regarding his own presence at the camps where the pervert John Smyth was abusing Christian boys. Initially Welby denied any knowledge of the abuse even though he was dormitory officer at the Iwerne Christian camp during the mid-1970s where John Smyth, the camp’s chairman, had groomed and beaten more than 20 boys and young men. Welby said that he had ‘no contact’ with the organisation between moving to Paris in 1978 and his return to the UK in 1983. However, this month Welby changed his tune after fresh evidence emerged that he had indeed had come back to the UK and given a talk in 1979 to people at the camp, which was also attended by Smyth.

        Stating dates and events inaccurately nearly 40 years later does not imply that Welby knew what was going on. A lot more information would be needed from those who attended the camps in order to investigate that issue independently of his own statement.

  • John

    What a blessed relief that Jesus had more to offer a broken world than the political mechanics of Israel leaving the Roman Empire.

    • Royinsouthwest

      Or of staying in the Roman Empire.

  • David

    What a splendid article, thank you Your Grace.

    But the current ‘Your Grace’ is a naive and foolish man who entirely misunderstands the source of the “poison”, that he rightly wants to rid us of. Well the “poison” comes from your chums, the dedicated establishment Remainers !

    Archbishop Welby, a convinced Remainer, is maybe wilfully blind to the arrogant refusal of the sections of the establishment to accept, in good grace, our legally arrived at, hard worked for, thoroughly democratic decision to leave. We are leaving – totally – got that you anti-democratic establishment types !

    Following the referendum the country, again democratically, elected more Conservative MPs than Labour ones; so the Conservatives stay in power – that’s how the constitution works. Theirs is now the responsibility to negotiate Brexit, aided by the DUP. Governments are there to govern; we don’t govern using quangos or, to make them sound more prestigious, ‘Commissions’ !

    But perhaps that silly man Archbishop Welby is unhappy with democracy generally, and would like all crucial decisions handled, not by the elected government but by an impossibly fractious, divided Commission ? Yes let’s suspend democracy shall we, and govern the entire country by a cumbersome Commission – now that should work well !

    • Merchantman

      Steady on, surely we can be taught a thing or two about democracy by Canterbury. The Bishops after all……..

  • Little Black Censored

    “Justin Welby’s plan is welcome…”
    No it isn’t. He should keep quiet.

    • Merchantman

      With respect, no he shouldn’t, but rather he should think through consequentially, scripturally and Spiritually before he does speak (or act or not).

      • Charitas Lydia

        He is incapable of thinking. Which is why he should keep quiet. “Fine speech is not becoming to a fool; still less is false speech to a prince.”(Pro 17:7)

        • Watchman

          And presumably so as to avoid having to address the the problem of islamification.

      • Martin

        I’m afraid Welby wouldn’t know a scriptural thought if one were to rear up and bite him

  • not a machine

    A lot to think about your grace , and thank you for expanding the quote he chose .
    mmm I would think the opposition chancellor mis aimed comment today will not help him out for it could be that some councils were so overbloated with the very well paid , that cutting specifications may have been a way of keeping the tea trolley free and free bar ……
    That aside ,the archbishop of Canterbury , perhaps senses some poison , he has some skills ,and just because he was a devout remainer ,I perhaps adopt a wait and see approach , given what your grace has pointed out ,he will realize that his faith can be a curious guide in such moments , also being part of Gods will .
    However to please happy jack , I have recently been reading a copy (they seem fairly rare) of crossing the threshold of hope , by His holiness pope John Paul II , Whilst I put pope Bendicts Jesus of Nazereth in my personal top 5 , this book would also get in and perhaps a timely read for those that may have forgotten how learned doctrine can become so beautiful.
    I have no intention of apostasy , the lord Jesus Christ is true and for all as the good news , I just hope my lord archbishop sees similar.

    • “Be not afraid!”

      • not a machine

        yes I thought it was powerful chapter and when he opens it out it is beautiful quite beautiful

  • Watchman

    Has the archbishop not heard about the confidence trick used to get us to join believing it was simply a trading bloc. At the time it seemed the obvious thing fo which to vote. The trading bloc has turned into a form of imprisonment into a socialism run by protection racketeers.

    Why the archbishop could theologically justify remaining in such an organisation is difficult to believe: God’s existence is not even acknowledged in its charter, it seeks to destroy nations which God created and we are not allowed our own policy towards Israel with whom God has a covenant that whoever blesses Israel will themselves be blessed.

    I am old enough to have voted in the original referendum and feel let down by successive governments in the way they have agreed to having the grip of totalitarian socialism tightened at every opportunity. Does not the archbishop think that God would honour a nation that released itself from this evil empire?

    • Inspector General

      It would be interesting to squeeze out of Welby his understanding of the requirement for ‘ever closer union’ imposed on EU members, whether they want it or not. Does he realise that it must bring to end not just our parliament in which the ingrate sits, but the union of the kingdoms of this precious land.

    • Charitas Lydia

      The Archbishop has used his confidence trick to get us to talk about something else and distract us from the Moira Gibb report.

      • Anton

        That report highlights the utter spineless uselessness of George Carey as Archbishop.

    • David

      Very similar to my thoughts.
      Why would so many, presumably high ranking Men of God, argue so strongly for us, as a country, to remain shackled to a political empire that refuses to recognise, even the historical fact that Europe has at bottom a Christian bedrock ? The EU wishes to defy Babel, creating a godless empire from disparate cultures, and nations with different languages; it does all this whilst denying the one thing that they do share in common, a Christian heritage ! The EU promotes the worship of humanity, Humanism, and not God, and as such it will not succeed.

      • Watchman

        I think my reply to your second sentence is that we are engaged in a spiritual war that entails much deception as well as a political war.

        • David

          Agreed.

  • Andrew Holt

    Whenever I hear the likes of Junker, Macron, Blair, Campbell and the Dark Lord Mandellson pontificating and patronising, assuring me that I really didn’t know what I was voting for I want to take to the streets and start a revolution. As the red mist clears however, I am reminded of C.S Lewis’s brilliant ‘sci-fi’ trilogy, the last part of which, This Hideous Strength, always reminds me of the EU. The ghastly head kept artificially alive, the supine academics and false bonhomie of the adherents. The great encouragement is though, that good wins out in the end as merlin, summoned up by the evil powers, wreaks terrible revenge on the evil regime and restores Albion to its former glory under God. Oh, how I pray that this will come to pass!

    • betteroffoutofit

      Must say I appreciate C. S. Lewis’s take on Merlin!!!! I have met academics who claim he’s the AntiChrist: I was horribly upset – but this suggests that he has the marxists fooled 🙂 Luvvit.

  • Inspector General

    It’s not at all surprising that the EU mandarins, current and those highly pensioned off, admitted to weeping when the referendum result was announced.

    Decades of grooming the UK, in much the same manner as the worst pederast would practice, including opt outs and that rebate Mrs Thatcher won to reassure us have come to nothing. But it was a near thing. Opening the borders in 2012 was the downfall. A country losing control of who comes in and who goes out is no longer functioning as a sovereign state.

    That’s a poisonous state of affairs, Welby. And what did YOU say about it at the time? The answer wouldn’t be nothing, would it. But you seem equipped to sniff out poison now. How dare you, sir!

    • Charitas Lydia

      Hear! Hear!

    • Manfarang

      Well Global Britain finds itself having to trade a lot more with Asia. Good luck with that one, doing business in Asia is not so easy.

      • Inspector General

        Asian countries down your way love Britain. Didn’t you know!

        As well as English goods, and hi tech ones at that included, they love Scotch.

        Cheers!

        • Manfarang

          The top export destinations of Thailand are the United States ($28.6B), China ($28.5B), Japan ($20.3B), Hong Kong ($11.6B) and Malaysia ($10.6B). The top import origins are China ($40.9B), Japan ($29.6B), the United States ($12.3B), Malaysia ($11.8B) and Singapore ($7.59B). The UK isn’t in the top 15 of either list.
          Japanese food is the most popular foreign food in Bangkok. Wine is becoming more popular. However Triumph motorcycles are made in Thailand.

  • Royinsouthwest

    the majority accepts the outcome of the minority, and the rights and liberties of the minority will not be infringed by the majority.

    Surely Your Grace, you meant to write “the minority accepts the outcome of the majority …” and not what you actually wrote above.

    • Maalaistollo

      What HG wrote seems a neat description of how Mr Corbyn, the Corbyn Broadcasting Corporation and the Archbishop of Corbyn would like things to be!

  • vsscoles

    This is how Welby runs his church – he appoints commissions which are heavily stacked to ensure the “right” outcome. But Brexit has already been decided by the people of the UK, and there must be no turning back at the behest of the likes of Welby.

    • David

      Pretty close to the truth I’d say.
      Instead of relying on the traditional sources of authority, which in classical Anglicanism are primarily Scripture, but also Tradition and Reason, with Scripture trumping any clashes, he searches for “progressives”, which is not difficult amongst an overwhelmingly, although not totally, liberal episcopacy.

    • Coniston

      This is how all commissions are appointed – church, government or any other.

  • Chefofsinners

    Thank you Justin, but we already know what you think: ‘Where there is no Eurovision the people perish.’
    We have vision in spades, it’s just that the vision isn’t yours. It’s not a vision of lukewarm compromise or a woolly yes-to-everything, while subtly twisting the dream, Animal Farm style, until we end up back where we started. It’s a sparklingly clear vision of the sunlit uplands of independence.
    Drawing the poison, Justin?
    Time to start drawing the pension.

  • bluedog

    Bravo, Your Grace. An important post on the broader subject of commissions which lays the ground for the burial of the commission against extremism. It is quite clear that if such a commission finally sees the light of day, Justin Welby is the wrong man to represent the Christian faith on that commission.

    It is quite extraordinary that Welby can once again take a partisan position on Brexit by declaring a need to draw the poison from a majority decision of the electorate. Does he think before he speaks? Has he learned nothing from his earlier interventions on Brexit in which he successfully insulted the Anglican communion? How long is his tenure?

  • Proverbs 28:19 in the Authorized Version must be one of the most abused verses in Scripture.

    Here’s what it really means: https://wordpress.com/post/marprelate.wordpress.com/329

    • IanCad

      An excellent commentary Martin – Thanks.

  • betteroffoutofit

    Your Grace – I see that Mr. Rees-Mogg is among those who are generous in considering AHCWelby as being “naive.”
    Saw the vid on FB:
    https://www.facebook.com/MyBrexit/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf

    Also love the R-M’s ‘positive’ stance in expressing appreciation of G Miller’s part in assuring the completion of Brexit! I hope he’s right . . .

  • Manfarang

    A couple of weeks ago I was talking to a lady from Lancashire who is now working in Thailand. She thought the Leavers were mad. It turned out she lived in Spain and had moved there years ago. It seems a lot of Britons dislike the UK.

    • David

      A lot of Britons are restless and that in itself is neutral, morally. But it becomes wrong when they combine this very human feeling with an active undermining of the country into which they were born.

    • Anton

      It seems you do too, based on your constant flow of snide comments. It’s futile because criticicism is only listened to when it is constructive rather than destructive.

      • Manfarang

        Not at all. A half century ago people would look south across the border and say the Republic was fifty years behind the times. Now it seems it is the other way around. The north is behind the times.

        • Maalaistollo

          When the times are evil, that’s not a bad place to be.

          • Manfarang

            I have found somewhere where it is sunnier.

        • Anton

          My comment was not about the border in Ireland at all.

          • Manfarang

            And my comment wasn’t side. People have different views. A lot of Britons who have gone to live in Spain are very concerned about Brexit. The land border is another big question.

    • Pubcrawler

      The plural of ‘anecdote’ is not ‘data’.

      • Manfarang

        TM thought it was when she called the election.

        • Pubcrawler

          So?

          • Manfarang

            £1.5 billion funding package for Northern Ireland.

  • HedgehogFive

    The European Project was dreamed up by a group who had been imprisoned on the island of Ventotene by Mussolini, foremost among them Altiero Spinelli, a former Italian Communist.

    What many people miss about the European Charter is that it calls for an ever closer union OF PEOPLES.

    Hedeghogs do not like that sort of Eurovision (hat tip to Masterchef).

  • Watchman

    One of the reasons many voted to leave was to restore our democracy. It is interesting that the remainers, who presumably were unperturbed by the lack of democracy in the EU, are now showing scant regard for our own democracy by refusing to accept the referendum result.

  • David

    Given the EU’s unbending doctrine of “ever closer union”, there is no doubt that the end goal would be for the H of C to have no more power than a County Council (Ken Clark confirmed this), for the division of England into mere geographical regions, and of course for the Queen and monarchy to be quietly pensioned off and forgotten. The armed forces would then swear their allegiance not to the Crown but to the EU. All this would make it exceedingly difficult to ever revive our nation state.
    So it is entirely legitimate to question the loyalty of any well informed public person towards our nation and constitution, if they continue pushing for this “ever closer union”. The endless attempts that are being made, including this latest and rather feeble one from Wobbly Welby, shows how determined sections of the establishment are to surrender us unto foreign powers, subverting the will of the people.
    Few, even amongst the Conservative faithful, are impressed by Mrs May’s clumsy, controlling and rather cold leadership style. But for the sake of ensuring a safe and orderly Brexit and the clear return to us of control of our laws, taxes, trade policy, seas and borders, this Conservative led government, backed by the DUP, and with Mrs May as PM, must be supported by all reasonable patriots regardless of their true political allegiance. We have had a democratic GE and she leads the party that won the most seats, and by a long way; so there must be an end to this nonsense of Comrade Corby seizing power through an artificial unsettling of our present position. In three years it may be the right time to return to the nation again, but now the job must be to achieve a decisive Brexit. Responsible Christians should pray for that. It is only once we have returned to that happy state that the tensions will begin to decline.

  • len

    Welby is a company man and his main objective seems too be to preserve the status quo. This of course will only come about through endless compromise trying to keep all factions on board.
    But the Gospel of Jesus Christ is an offence to many, the Gospel is divisive, the Gospel reveals sin but also the Gospel is our only means of salvation.
    But who dare preach the full Gospel of Jesus Christ ?.

  • SomeBlokeFromCambridge

    “leave the the EU (“We accept the result of the referendum”), but remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union, and so subject to the edicts of the European Court of Justice (and unable to negotiate trade agreements independently).”

    You are conflating a number of things: 1)To be out of the EU we must also leave the Customs Union, because it is the EU Customs Union of Member States. If we are not a member state of the EU we cannot be in the customs union. 2) The restriction on making trade deals comes from the EU Common Commercial Policy, not the Customs Union (but still comes as part of being an EU Member State). 3) EU member states are subject to the ECJ which is an EU institution. 4) We could however trade in the EEA Single Market without being in the EU by re-joining EFTA. We would then not be subject to the ECJ because EFTA has its own dispute resolution court, we would be free to negotiate trade deals and we would be able to apply unilateral restrictions on the four freedoms.

    It is a serious problem that the debate on Brexit is almost entirely fact-free and without vision of where we want to be heading. “Where there is no vision, the people perish” is indeed true, but even with vision we also need to understand what it is we are talking about. If we do not we will make decisions based in error and so perish anyway.

    NB: eureferendum.com has some well thought out and researched information – including something that no-one else appears to have: an exit plan.

    • “You
      are conflating a number of things..” No, if you read the article properly, it is the advocates of ‘soft Brexit’ who conflate these things and believe them to be divisible. You make the precise point made in the first line of the next paragraph: “It is not clear, then, in what sense we would have left the EU…”

      • SomeBlokeFromCambridge

        My apologies for attributing others’ error to Your Grace, and thank you for correcting me!

        The “Soft Brexit” that they advocate however is a thing that cannot exist: a state cannot be or remain in the EU Customs Union without also being a Member State of the EU. We could not “Leave the EU” but remain in the Customs Union. Therefore, there would be no sense in which we would have left the EU, because the thing “Soft Brexit” as described is itself a nonsense.

        We could however leave the EU while remaining in the EEA single market by rejoining EFTA. This would have a number of benefits as a temporary safe haven on our path after leaving the EU – but of course one also needs a vision of what that path might be.

        It is a problem with the debate that we are even using the terms “Hard” and “Soft” – what do these mean precisely? Are they not just undefined labels used mainly for waving at political opponents? Would we not be better to debate the actual options available and their likely outcomes?

        For instance, instead of “Hard Brexit” should we be talking about the merits of leaving the EU with no agreed settlement? We might then think about the sudden effect of all those non-tariff barriers (of which our politicians seem entirely ignorant).

        Or we could examine the merits of leaving the EU but staying in the single market for a period to ease the transition. I don’t know if this would be “Soft” but it would certainly be less hard and painful than “Hard” – more a journey than a plane-crash event.

        Most of the debate (sic) has not even reached key stage one level – so I would recommend anyone (if they haven’t already) to read the monographs and the “Flexcit” Exit Plan on eureferendum.com.

        Her majesty’s speech to parliament ended with the words “I pray that the blessing of Almighty God may rest upon your counsels”. Their councils till now seem entirely in the darkness of unconscious ignorance so I hope He makes haste to help them.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Isn’t it just terrible that so many British people are “divisive” in their attitudes? If only the majority had listened to their betters and voted the same way as everyone who matters, e.g. the bishops, most people with senior positions in the media, etc. then all this bitterness over the referendum result would have been avoided.

    The majority need to repent of their divisiveness and accept a version of Brexit that means we will still be subservient to EU laws and still be one of the largest, probably still the second largest, contributor to EU funds.

    • David

      Oh yes, we need to doff our grubby hats and listen to the words of “great wisdom” from the smug, elitist Remainers who have an instinctive dislike of anything remotely near democracy.

    • ecclesiaman

      Also from the South West (via London many years ago). To quote McEnroe, “Are you serious?” I believe you are being sarcastic. Please confirm. Thanks.

  • TropicalAnglican

    I have to admit I was expecting something else to be brought up, and that was the Archbishops’ scheduling of an emergency debate on, guess what, the “state of the nation” (note, not the state of the C of E) for next month’s synod meeting. The link is from Christian Today:
    https://www.christiantoday.com/article/archbishops.call.emergency.debate.on.state.of.the.nation/110161.htm
    That must mean the C of E is in fine shape, no interference necessary, thank you very much, and especially not from non-British evangelicals (we are not racist nationalists by any means, but hey, borders have to be respected. We definitely draw the line at Lines, etc., etc.).
    The article includes this rather unbelievable statement from A/b Justin:
    “Justin Welby told peers in the House of Lords on Thursday the state’s response to the Grenfall fire victims had been ‘inadequate’ and ‘such failure is ultimately a failure of values’.”
    “Failure of values” on the part of the state? How about the C of E and its leadership? How is Brexit a moral issue (i.e., those who voted for or support it are morally suspect), but when it comes to same-sex marriage, archbishops and bishops apparently cannot decide whether it is right or wrong?
    This is what happens when you have drippin’ wet, indecisive, no-convictions leadership, whether in the political or religious arena.

    • David

      If we weren’t so obsessed with the suspect theory of man-made global warming, and providing heat insulation regardless of other risks, and if we didn’t have such an incredible over-population of London due to an open doors policy, all due to left wing policies supported by globalists like Welby, we could have long since replaced these hideous towers with decent low rise, high to medium density terraced housing. But don’t ever expect the left to take responsibility for the tragic ramifications of its own failed policies !

    • IrishNeanderthal

      This might be of interest:

      New Research Debunks The Claim That Your Beliefs Can Kill Gay People

      Subjects such as this are notoriously prone to Proofiness, which is

      basically finding statistics you want to believe to enhance your confirmation bias. It was coined by Charles Seife, a long-time science writer who teaches journalism at New York University, because he was outraged at skewed representation on both sides of the aisle, like Al Gore for cherry-picking data about global warming and George Bush for cherry-picking data about how tax refunds would save poor people money. He wrote a book on it called “Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception” to clobber everyone he found doing it.

  • len

    Where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not preached the people have no hope.

    Perhaps if the C of E got on with preaching the Gospel?.

    The EU is an anti Christ organisation and we need to come our from under its influence as soon as possible. We can be IN Europe but not OF Europe. This is what the UK public voted for.

    • alternative_perspective

      We need to be careful with using terms such as Anti-Christ with regard to the EU. It may well, and I believe it does, embody elements of the spirit of Anti-Christ but there are many who fought to build a Europe founded on Christianity. If we are to win the arguments we need to avoid isolating and offending potential allies. I believe we need to be more circumspect and gentle with out terminologies.

      • Anton

        It would be needlessly offensive to call the EU antiChrist in documents presented to it, but Len isn’t doing that. If we self-censor in discussions in a public forum then the EU has won already.

        • alternative_perspective

          Yes, you’re right but one must be wise about these things.
          The EU is not just a golf club to many. EU citizenship has become part of their identity. We as EU-sceptics haven’t truly appreciated that.
          Damning the whole EU as anti-Christ will necessarily alienate people, especially pro-EU Christians who see the EU as a vehicle for building God’s kingdom. I believe they are wrong but calling evil something they believe good will only alienate them. Moreover, what if I am wrong and the EU is such a vehicle – should I damn something God has called good? We must walk humbly and curtail our human lusts.
          If we are to win them over we need to do it carefully, thoughtfully, with good arguments and even with a Godly passion. Being offensive about something others consider worthy is not going to help.

      • David

        Rubbish !
        To test ideas and see which one is best we need to drop all this PC ultra-sensitivity and use plain English to describe things as they are.
        Of course we must avoid giving insult when negotiating with the EU’s leaders, but outside that diplomatic environment we must be plain about matters.

        • alternative_perspective

          No. You are conflating Christianity with politics.
          Our job is to preach the kingdom first and foremost. Politics comes second. Thus how we conduct ourselves always must be kingdom orientated first and foremost.
          Seek first God’s Kingdom and his righteousness, — then — all these things will be added to you.
          It is not PC sensitivity to act justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with God. It is not PC sensitivity to love your neighbour as yourself. It is not PC sensitivity to be gentle as doves yet wise as serpents. It is not PC sensitivity to be meek.
          If you cannot recognise this then I must question the shape of your faith. The truth will set us free but a bruised reed he will not break.

    • David

      Hear, hear !
      Any Christian influence on the EU is now long in the distant past. It is essentially a God denying atheistic political machine for controlling an entire continent.

  • len

    Brexit has split the UK there can be little doubt of that. There is division between the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the north and the south etc.

    Those who remember the freedom won at such a cost of lives from the threat of the Nazis see their freedom as a thing worth preserving(even if it means going through a little hardship to achieve it.)

    Our youth seem to have been indoctrinated into an Orwellian state of mind where the Ministry of propaganda has fashioned them into believing whatever big brother wants them to think. The EU has been churning out pro EU propaganda for decades. But some of us oldies remember life before the EU and it was better in most respects, but liberty has a price and many in the UK do not want to pay the price that freedom costs.

  • alternative_perspective

    Adversarial politics has both its advantages and disadvantages. The great weaknesses being that a winner takes all threshold isolates and marginalises potentially large parts of the population, possibly on the narrowest of margins. For topics of great consequence this can be a bitter pill to swallow for the losing side. We end up with binary politics that swings back and forth to extremes. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater is a British disease.
    Moreover is it just? Yes the majority wins the binary choice but is not the mechanism, the implementation: the “how” a different question from the “if”. Brexit was never defined and we all had a different vision of what this might look like. Surely a commission should have been established from the offset, led by the Brexiteers, but informed and sensitive to the opinions of the Remainers. Perhaps we should have had a second referendum, employing the single transferrable vote, to select from various options developed by the commission. In this way the strength of Britain’s Brexit ambitions would be de-coupled from the authority and popularity of the current PM.
    As it is, we’ve all been labouring under misapprehensions, muddling along, whilst a small minority of MPs within the Conservative get to define the shape of Brexit for everyone.

    • Anton

      Ultimately whether we are in our out of the EU is unavoidably a binary issue, so a considerable proportion of the population are unavoidably going to be disappointed. And you can’t have a further referendum on the details of Brexit because those details are not, unlike the In/Out decision, solely in British hands – they depend on the EU’s position too.

      • Some are pushing for the eventual proposed deal to be put to a further referendum.
        Why not?

        • Anton

          Because the people have already been consulted.

          You know how the abortion issue gets asked again and again in some places until the secular pro-abortionists get the answer they want, and people like you rightly complain that it’s a dirty tactic. Well it’s still a dirty tactic when you advocate it, as here.

        • James60498 .

          The decision has already been made.

          If the referendum went against the particular deal agreed, what happens then?

          No doubt the Remoaners would insist that this was a vote against leaving but why should it be? It might equally be a vote that the deal was not acceptable and that we want to leave more fully.

          Do we then have another in/out vote? or does the government then have to negotiate another deal which then has to go to referendum too?

          • Ask more than one question.

          • James60498 .

            So what will you ask then?

            And if the second is if you don’t like this deal, then do you want to remain, is that it? Or is it best out of 3?

            It is a regular trick of the EU. In Holland. Ireland. France. If not others too. Keep them voting until we get what we want.

        • CliveM

          If the EU believed there was a deal we wouldn’t accept, why offer a deal that we would accept.

          • That’s probably what they’re planning to do now anyway given the GE has made us a laughing stock.

          • CliveM

            Maybe. Still you don’t deliberately make your negotiating position even weaker.

            As I said to David, the GE weakened our position, but even with an overwhelming majority, wouldn’t have strengthened it.

            It was a catastrophic strategic error and had no chance of bringing benefit.

        • len

          How about when we have the next government elected(democratically)we then find we don`t like their policies .Does that mean we can have another election?.
          This seems to be they way things are going?.

    • CliveM

      Sadly the authority and popularity of the U.K. PM would have meant nothing to the EU. It didn’t help the Greeks , it wouldn’t have helped us.

      The EU would say that their concerns will be mounded by EU citizens and not by those wishing to leave.

      The lack of a clear result has made it harder, a clear result wouldn’t have made it easier than it was going to be without the election.

      • alternative_perspective

        The point I was trying to make was, if we had a popularly agreed vision for brexit pre-negotiations then it would be far easier to work for this goal than something which rests entirely on the popularity of the PM. ie/ the vision rather than the person has the mandate.

        • CliveM

          Unfortunately the EU has a vision for Brexit and that is to make it as difficult and humiliating as possible to ‘Pour Encourager Les Autres’.

          I think we in the UK underestimate the strength of political will and capital invested in the EU. It will not be allowed to fail, even if results in economic disintegration as with Greece. People who think the EU is on the brink of collapse kid themselves. If the project was being decided upon rational requirements it might be. But it isn’t. The political class are willing to court any disaster as long as the ‘project ‘ survives.

  • Let’s be honest, most folk voted to leave the EU because of the “free movement of peoples” and the strain this was placing on local communities, public services and the benefit system. Somehow this got wrapped together with Muslim immigration from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. There’s now talk of a “free movement of labour” i.e. only those with a secure job can settle in Britain.

    However this now progresses, Britain is on the back foot because of the election and EU leaders will make leaving very painful and damaging for us. We have a Prime Minister with no authority in the country, in Parliament, in her Party or in Europe. Her mantra: “No deal is better than a bad deal” failed to appeal to the electors – as did her policies on public spending.

    • Anton

      The problem is that the EU has just let in several million Muslims and guess which country they’d rather be in?

      • Germany.

        • Anton

          Merkel let in one million. I’m talking about the larger numbers entering elsewhere at a steady rate.

          • We’re under no obligation to admit them as they are not EU citizens.

          • Anton

            They are given citizenship of other EU lands.

          • Are they? Refugee status is not citizenship. If it was, then they wouldn’t need to be warehoused in France.

            Anyway, you’ve proved my point. The issue is about “free movement of people”. Address this and the majority in Britain would be in favour of remaining.

          • Anton

            That’s a distortion. Just because I addressed the issue of Muslims coming here via the EU doesn’t mean I have no views on other issues. You opened this subthread with the manipulative comment “Let’s be honest, most folk voted to leave the EU because of the “free movement of peoples””. That was only one reason and many people can see the endgame of “ever closer integration”, ie a United States of Europe that we want no part of.

          • It’s not a distortion at all. And most people did want to leave because of the “free movement of people” which does not apply to refugees.

          • bluedog

            No need for you to swim the Tiber, HJ. But if Brexit goes badly you may have to prepare to swim the Channel. Let us know when you kick off.

          • Jack can always claim citizenship of Eire – or Israel, for that matter.

            Define Brexit “going badly”.

          • big

            ….yup staying in,thats my fear of brexit “going badly”,although it’d dressed up as ‘out’

          • bluedog

            Easy. see post by big. We could end up with too many compromises. The critical determinant is whether or not the UK escapes from the jurisdiction of the ECJ.

            There’s an irony in all this, if you like. Corbyn seeks a return to Britain c1973, so do the Brexiteers, but both for different reasons.

          • Anton

            People were asked to rank their reasons in order. Saying as you are doing that each person’s top reason is the only one that counted for that person is nonsense.

          • alternative_perspective

            Jack polls following the leave vote put immigration as the second or third ranking reason, depending on the poll. The number one reason was sovereignty, consistently. So… are you lying as well?

            My mantra: “love mercy, act justly and walk humbly with your god”

          • Sovereignty to control our borders.

      • CliveM

        Depends to some extent on the country of origin.

        • Anton

          And to a large extent on the welfare states of the EU’s countries.

      • That’s just not true.

        Results from the United Kingdom Census 2011 give the UK Muslim population in 2011 as 2,786,635, 4.4% of the total population. The vast majority of Muslims in the United Kingdom live in England: 2,660,116 (5.02% of the population).

        British people were especially far from the mark when asked what proportion of the UK population is Muslim. The real answer is just one in twenty – but Britons believe it to be almost one in six. That would mean there were almost 10 million Muslims in the UK when in reality there are 2.8 million.

        Britons also think the UK’s Muslim population is growing much faster than it is. Those surveyed believed 22 per cent of the population will be Muslim by 2020 – suggesting they expect the number of Muslims in the UK to increase to 14 million in the next three years.

        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/british-people-muslims-uk-inequality-happiness-ipsos-mori-survey-a7476526.html

        • Royinsouthwest

          How fast is the Muslim population increasing? What will it be in another 25 years time?

          • Dreadnaught

            With four wives and dozens of cash-cow kids it will be all over and irreversible bar the crying in 25 years.

        • Anton

          I am aware of the real demographics in the UK. But they are not any kind of answer to my comment “the problem is that the EU has just let in several million Muslims and guess which country they’d rather be in?” are they?

          • Except you lied. The EU has not “let in several million Muslims” and they’re not gaining entry to Britain.

          • Anton

            Now you are lying because I never said they are gaining entry to Britain. I actually said that they wanted to.

          • The EU has not let in several million Muslims. There’s the lie.

          • Rhoda

            In 2010 Europe was home to about 13 million Muslim immigrants according to Pewresearch.org
            (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/07/19/5-facts-about-the-muslim-population-in-europe/)

          • They’re not all immigrants.

          • Rhoda

            Several means “more than two but not many” so even if not all of those were immigrants when you add on the numbers of Muslim immigrants (1,321,650 in 2015 according to the BBC) in later years there are several million Muslim immigrants.

          • Inspector General

            Of alien immigrant stock, Jack. Sadly, it seems that the issue of them have a more potent understanding of Islam than their parents.

          • Anton

            The link you are replying to says specifically that 3 million of France’s 4.7 million Muslims are foreign-born, and that’s just one EU country. Care to retract and apologise?

          • The 3 million foreign-born Muslims in France are largely from France’s former colonies of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

          • Anton

            If you are going to claim I’m lying then you had better give the numbers that show I’m wrong.

          • alternative_perspective

            Surely the refugee crisis, the mass influx of millions of people from Turkey, Syria etc. are Muslims? How is that a lie?

        • bluedog

          The Muslims may number 5% of the English total but what of the children? One reads that 10% of teenagers in England are Muslim. In France, despite Linus’ denial, 20% of teenagers are Muslim.

          • And? Not sure the figure is 10% but so what? The global age of Muslims is universally lower than other faiths. The gap is now slowly closing both in the West and in Muslim nations.
            Is it the fault of Muslims that the West is refusing to give birth to children and is not replacing its population? What do you want to do – impose birth control and abortion on ? minority groups?

    • David

      The Brexit negotiations were always going to be very tough no matter what resulted from the GE. The left and its allies in the media are talking up May’s difficulties and exaggerating the weaknesses for domestic political gain. From the conservative point of view an agreement with the DUP is no bad thing and will remind social conservatives just how much conservatism has been surrendered by the Conservative Party to the left.

      • It’s not just the Left – there’s a sizable number of Conservatives MP’s opposed to Brexit.

        • IanCad

          They’re not Conservatives.

          • It’s not a right v’s left issue.

          • IanCad

            You’re probably correct. It’s – more accurately – a right v’s wrong issue.

          • Manfarang

            Whigs?

          • IanCad

            I think, to a man, the Whigs would be opposed to any dilution of our sovereignty, and, as to subordinating our laws to another power, war drums would sound.

          • Manfarang

            The Whigs spread sovereignty. Act of Union1707 and to an overseas empire.

          • IanCad

            They did, and those once colonized lands reached the zenith of their civilization during our – generally – benign rule.

        • Royinsouthwest

          The enemies of democracy.

    • Dreadnaught

      The free movement of people was a promising step away from past conflicts and benefited this country in opening up opportunities for work and retirement.
      This was working well when there were 6/9 countries with similar values and economies but wrecked when the number rose to 27 and Blair refused to fix a lead-in time scale.
      Commonsense was not permitted to prevail and the social impact of rapid migration irrespective of the quality of migrants affected people in the already socially deprived regions.
      That said, we had and still have the right to control migrants from outside the EU but for reasons beyond my understanding, no one is prepared to apply the brakes to that. We even have African war criminals, housed, fed and protected by our public funds with a pathetic border force [if the TV progs are to be believed] that is hamstrung by human rights niceties and legislation.

      • So … why not a free movement of labour? Only those with a job and the means to support and house themselves are admitted.
        As for refugees:

        How many people in the UK are asylum seekers?

        An estimated 65 million people throughout the world have been forced to flee their homes. The numbers of protracted conflicts have increased. This has created more than 22 million refugees worldwide – but developing countries host over 80 per cent of people.

        There are an estimated 118,995 refugees living in the UK. That’s just 0.18 per cent of the total population (65.1 million people).

        • Dreadnaught

          Of course free movement of labour. Have a job to go to or sufficient funds for three months while in search of work and no benefits until five years of PAYE or Tax returns slips.

          • Was this ever proposed in the past? It’s being floated now.

          • Dreadnaught

            Not sure but it was always something I believed in and it should also be applied to UK school leavers and ‘casual’ workers.

        • Royinsouthwest

          How many of the refugees in Germany are simply economic migrants who decided to claim asylum as a way of ensuring that they stay in the country? How many safe countries did the refugees in Sweden pass through? Of the refugees in developing countries how many are not in countries that share a border with the countries they have fled from?

          • Dreadnaught

            All migrants are economic migrants but somewhere along the line we seem to have ditched the concept of Illegal migrants which demeans those who apply through the proper channels.

          • big

            cheep,skilled labour to look after old Germans

          • Dreadnaught

            If only they would stay there and forego spawning.

          • Anton

            Yes, they’re basically queue jumpers.

          • Dreadnaught

            Gate crashers I calls em.

          • big

            the Germans wanted the millions of migrants, because its a decadent country,and basically stopped having enough children, so Merkel has cynically gone along with the ‘war on terror’ to re-populate her country.

          • Which is precisely why Britain opted out of the Schengen Area in 1997 and still retains control of its borders, and why Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Sweden temporarily imposed controls on their borders with other Schengen states in 2017, as France did in 2015.

        • bluedog

          If there was no welfare state the queue of refugees would miraculously disappear.

    • Terry Mushroom

      How do you know “most people voted to leave…because of ‘the free movement of peoples’?”

      • Because it figured prominently in the Brexit campaign.

        • So did other things like make our own laws, get back our fishing waters and Sovereignty that we have lost. We voted to take back control which covered all this as well as the control of our borders through sensible controlled immigration.

          • The main angst was about immigration from the new eastern European countries and Muslim refugees.

          • Anton

            Muslim refugees or economic migrants posing as refugees?

            As for Eastern Europeans, as Farage said, how can you do forward planning of hospitals, schools, other infrastructure etc, when a billion people can come here at zero notice and many millions plausibly would?

          • Where would the billion come from? Or the many millions? Get a grip, do.

          • Anton

            Roughly a billion EU citizens; the millions from eastern Europe’s poorer economies. You are ducking the question: how can you do forward planning of infrastructure when millions of people have the right to come here according to how their economy is doing relative to ours?

        • Terry Mushroom

          Both campaigns said lots of things. When push comes to shove, no one knows what motivates people at that moment in the privacy of the polling booth.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    If I may be permitted to introduce a little elementary mathematical thought into the proceedings, the AoC should have talked about drawing the poison from (Brexit and anti-Brexit). The brackets are essential.

    • SomeBlokeFromCambridge

      Mathematically…

      anti-Brexit = not Brexit

      So…

      (Brexit and anti-Brexit) = 0

      The brackets are irrelevant 😉

      Drawing the poison from 0 would make it negatively poisonous – possibly nutritious?

  • len

    We seem to have entered a different sort of democracy now where those who shout loudest win. Minorities have found that they can control the majority by being very vocal, enlisting the help of the media, and playing the victim (.A tactic which seems to work very well on the football field ) Speech control where certain words are used (or not allowed to be used) has been devised to shame those who dare voice an opinion against these (sometimes violent ) extremely vocal minorities.
    The propaganda ministry in Nazi Germany created an atmosphere where right became wrong and vice versa lets make sure that that we are not led into places where it is better not to go.

  • A £1billion bribe to Northern Ireland for the support of 10 DUP MP’s. Can the Conservatives possibly get it more wrong?

    • Royinsouthwest

      I doubt if the DUP would have brought the government down if the Conservatives had simply chosen to govern without a majority and simply relied on some, at least, of other members of other parties supporting them or abstaining on votes on particular bills. It would make life a bit more difficult for the Tories but it would be fairer. It is unlikely that Scotland will lose out as a result of the extra money for Northern Ireland because the government doesn’t want to give Sturgeon an excuse for another independence referendum but I imagine Wales might lose out and so might those parts of England where the proportion of the population in work and household incomes are less than the national average.

      • One can expect Corbyn and others to reap political capital from this. As you say, it was unnecessary.

        • CliveM

          Depends how she plays it………

          Oh what am I saying, she’ll blow it.

          • She hasn’t got the balls to govern as a party without a majority, I would be very surprised if she does end up doing this.

    • David

      “Could the Conservatives possibly get it more wrong?”
      Yes. Two possibilities exist, firstly fail to make a clean, total Brexit and thus frustrate democracy, and secondly, allow Comrade Corbyn to come to power which would have disastrous effects on many, many things of value.
      But I agree Maybe May isn’t exactly an impressive leader.

      • The Tories keep digging …..

        One wonders if the 52% who voted to leave wanted “a clean, total Brexit” or understood what this entails. The campaigns of both sides were piss poor.

        • Chefofsinners

          Remember how the establishment manipulated the campaign, spending millions of taxpayer’s money, issuing scare stories every day and shipping in Obama with his ‘back of the queue’ rhetoric.
          For every leave voter who was misled, there were probably two remain voters who were misled.

        • David

          Oh I think the 52% were very clear – they wanted ALL the powers returned, for us to revert to the full sovereignty we enjoyed before the treachery started.

    • Chefofsinners

      We are still paying the price of Cameron’s coalition. £650 million a year on free school meals.

      • Anton

        Not even Bunter could eat that much.

    • Dreadnaught

      Its not wrong at all – its Politics and money going to a loyal sector of the Union.
      Stuff the bleats of the pinko-commie subversives.

      • Bleats that we know were very effective with voters.

        • Dreadnaught

          Of course – no one under 40 remembers what the socialist scan do in a couple of terms. They still believe in Castro and Chavez as mythological social crusaders because we have no one prepared to stand on the Right wing of politics an speak out about it.
          Just as ISIS grabbed onto social media, so has Corbyn while the Tories are still trying to fathom how to use the TV remote.

          • They need to wake up – and quickly.

      • David

        Hear, hear !

    • IanCad

      Sure – If Hammond or Boris get the leadership.

      • Which looks increasingly likely. Certainly, his influence has increased.

      • Dreadnaught

        We have had May and Hammond, its time to give Clarkson the gig.

        • Anton

          Brilliant!

          • IanCad

            Am I missing something???

          • Anton

            Get your mind into top gear to work it out.

          • IanCad

            I know Clarkson belongs to Top Gear- but May & Hammond? – I’m lost.

          • Dreadnaught

            Groan…

          • IanCad

            OK! OK! Wiki sorted me out, all is clear now. I try to learn something new every day – Thanks.

          • Dreadnaught

            ha-ha-ha – sorry about that IC.

          • Merchantman

            Stig too- get it

        • IrishNeanderthal

          Not Clarkson.

          He wanted to remain so he can have easy access to French Restaurants and Polish shops.

          • Anton

            Is that to polish his cars?

    • Anton

      Shafts Sinn Fein and Labour. Sounds OK to me.

      • Strangely, the majority in this country probably don’t share your opinion. Such a deal hardly enhances the Union and gives the Welsh, Irish and Scottish nationalists ammunition. Corbyn will have a field day.

        • Anton

          Probably? Nice hedge there. Borders need hedges, of course…

          • There is a touch of irony in Jack’s comment.

          • Anton

            And of humour in my reply…

        • Chefofsinners

          All that matters in the final analysis is parliamentary arithmetic. Corbyn can complain, Carwen can carp, Gerry can gripe and wee Jimmy Krankie can splutter something incomprehensible in Glaswegian. It will not avail. When the votes are counted they will find that the ayes have it.

          • What actually matters is that ordinary people consider our government’s actions are fair and reasonable.

          • Chefofsinners

            When have they ever thought that?

          • David

            Ordinary people can become rather tired of Scotland receiving the lion’s share of subsidies !

          • David

            Carwen can harp !

        • David

          “Such a deal hardly enhances the union”
          Really ? I rather think that it does enhance the union, because it demonstrates how the smallest part of it can influence the whole for the greater good of all.

          • Oh, come on!

          • Chefofsinners

            This deal will also, very likely, restore devolution, which faltered over Arlene Foster costing the Irish taxpayer £490 million through the RHI scheme. Now that she has brought home the billion, Sinn Fein will have the excuse they need to re-enter power sharing. Thus the greater good is enhanced and the union strengthened.

          • bluedog

            The Shinners must be quietly cursing their decision not to sit in the Parliament, which renders them political impotent.

    • Chefofsinners

      They could all join the Catholic Church.

      • len

        lol

      • If only …
        The DUP and Catholics agree on many things. No abortion. No same sex “marriage”. No transgenderism. No need for a grubby deal to hang onto power.

    • alternative_perspective

      What’s wrong with that?
      Is the brinkmanship of the SNP any different? Power versus money?

  • jsampson45

    The rights and liberties of the minority will not be infringed by the majority? Only at their whim.

  • Ant Pettit

    “the rights and liberties of the minority will not be infringed by the majority. That is the social contract.” Does that include the infringement of my rights to be a citizen of the EU (as I have been for the whole of my life)? I suspect you do not mean this, as I find those who support Leave only like the bits of keeping the “Law” (to quote you) that support their position. At least the real Archbishop seeks to have a conversation,whereas you wish to let us boil in the pressure cooker of our own misery and loss. Your version of democracy and faith, I neither support nor recognise.

    • Anton

      You don’t get to define your own rights. Anarchy lies that way. The word is generally taken to mean civil rights, things like trial by jury.

      • IrishNeanderthal

        Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, referring to Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (29 June 1992), wrote:

        At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life …

        I fear that all too soon, history may record him as being a significant player in the unravelling of America.

    • David

      If you are serious about retaining EU citizenship, then become a citizen of Holland or whichever continental country takes your fancy; you can retain your UK citizenship as well, and have your cake and eat it. So it is simples for you ! What’s stopping you ?
      But those of us who were treacherously tricked against our will into becoming EU citizens by the sly lies of the Heath government, and all the lying governments since then, can only lose our unwanted servitude to the EU and regain our historic freedoms, by ensuring that the country we love leaves the wretched, undemocratic EU. You have options – we only have one road to freedom, and still retain British citizenship.

    • Chefofsinners

      If you have been an EU citizen all your life then you must be 24 years old or less, since EU citizenship was established by the Maastricht treaty in 1993.
      You are mistaken in thinking you have a right to this citizenship. It is something you want, not something you have a right to. Like a mobile phone. The young frequently confuse these two concepts.

    • CliveM

      I never asked to be an EU citizen, it was forced on me . What about my rights?

      • Dreadnaught

        As much as I agree with you I’m afraid that it was our own country that sold out our birthright – the EEC’s over all position was and is consistent in its aim in evolving into a European Super State.

        • CliveM

          All true, but doesn’t conflict with my comment either.

      • Chefofsinners

        You have the right to remain silent.

        • CliveM

          Is that a request?

        • Maalaistollo

          Soon to be an obligation (or face the consequences).

    • Inspector General

      You’ve been a citizen of the UK all your (young) life. Had we stayed in, there would be no UK. Think about it.

    • bluedog

      The process of Brexit started when Gordon Brown held us back from joining the Euro in order to spite Tony Blair.

      No currency can exist without a sovereign, and the perma-crisis that surrounds the Euro reflects the fact a sovereign has yet to emerge in a properly structured form in Europe. By retaining Sterling, Britain clung to a degree of sovereignty no longer enjoyed by the rest of Europe. In their wisdom, the electorate decided to build on this limited sovereignty and make it absolute.

      You may not understand this, but your own interests in the long term will be better served by a British government rather than being subordinated to decisions made in Brussels. Britain with 65 million people acting independently is a better option than being part of an unwieldy bloc of 500 million. Look at what is happening in Scotland, where the penny has dropped, if the polls are right. The Scots can see that if they, as 5 million, joined the EU ‘independently’ they would be just 1% of the total. Their influence? Zero. This writer predicts that the Scots will become among the strongest supporters of Brexit, despite their original vote for Remain.

    • Royinsouthwest

      I was born before the EU existed and was born British. I never applied for EU citizenship nor did any other person who was born British. No politician ever asked us if we wanted to be citizens of another state. You cannot be a citizen of a state that is not sovereign. If the EU has sovereignty that shows we are right to leave it.

    • David Harkness

      Ant, you don’t have any rights to be a ‘citizen of the EU’. The EU does not have any citizens. Member states of the EU have citizens, but they hold, German, French etc passports.

      If the EU folded tomorrow, would you claim it as a right that it be reconstituted so that you could remain as a ‘citizen’ thereof. Effectively our rights are what the law says they are, not what we would like them to be. Ultimately ‘rights’ derive from God, and they are few and far between.

  • Chefofsinners

    The Jackson Five have re-released ABC in honour of Theresa May:

    You went to the country and learned, girl
    Things you never, never knew before
    Like 3-1-8 for the Tories
    And 2-6-2 Labour
    Now now now, I’m gonna teach you
    Teach you, teach you
    All about leave, dear
    All about leave
    Sit yourself down, keep your seat
    All you gotta do is repeat after me.

    DUP
    Easy as
    one, two, three
    Oh simple as
    Do re mi
    DUP, one, two, three, baby, you and me girl!

    Come on, let me leave EU just a little bit!
    Come on, let me leave EU just a little bit!…

  • Simon

    The Referendum was essentially a binary choice: either we decided to remain or to leave. There is no sensible, rational middle way of half-in, half-out. Such would likely be the outcome of any attempt at consensus by a commission. Staying in the primary EU systems, the single market and Customs union, means we are still bound by their rules on freedom of movement, and no bilateral trade deals. We would have lost our democratic input to the collective EU will, but still be seriously constrained by it, in ways that those who voted out wanted to be released from. Remaining in fully is better therefore than half-in. But we voted to leave, and that must logically mean out of all the EU institutions. It was not a qualified leave, but a total leave. The archbishop’s commission would be likely to deliver the worst possible deal by fudge and mudge. The clear majority voted to leave and so regain independence and sovereignty, and that is what the Government must deliver.

    • Inspector General

      The archbishop is an arse who should confine his opinions to Christianity. There. Said it. It needed to be said.

      • Simon

        I disagree with Justin Welby’s conclusions, but I defend his right to speak his mind, as I would for anyone else. His Christian faith is clearly crucial to all he does, including this statement. He is concerned by the division in society. BREXIT was and is a fundamentally a divisive issue, but one that was democratically decided. It is incumbent to those in the minority to accept that most did not agree with them, and to respect the people’s decision, preferably with good grace.

        • Inspector General

          How can you post this after the reply you have so received…

        • Inspector General

          Look, understand this. Christ was implored by some to rid Judea of the Romans. He wanted nothing to do with that as his kingdom was NOT of this earth. Now, do you see where Welby is going wrong…

          • Simon Marshall

            I just disagree with the concept that Christians, including Archbishop’s, have no right to a political opinion. Rather, we need more Christians active in the public sphere, to be fruitful. Christ taught to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and to God that which is God’s. He hence recognised secular power, if subordinate to Devine power. Our faith should inform every thing in our lives including our politics.

          • Inspector General

            Perhaps when you are older…

          • Simon Marshall

            Pathetic…

          • Jon of GSG

            That’s true, of course. Like William Wilberforce.

    • David

      Exactly !

    • alternative_perspective

      I disagree.

      People voted to leave the EU. That was won in the referendum but what the UK’s new relationship with the EU would be was not discussed even though we all took these ideas in to the ballot box with us.

      There is certainly a place for a commission to determine what the different options open to the UK are with regard to a new relationship with the EU. This should have been conducted immediately after the first referendum. It seems unjust that a small minority of individuals within the conservative party get to determine the shape of our future relationships with the EU.

      I voted to leave but I was not looking for isolationism. I was hoping to re-establish something akin to the EC, pre-Maastricht, less the clause for ever closer union.

  • Politically__Incorrect

    The Archbishop is not an impartial bystander in this matter. He nailed his colours firmly to the Remain mast and now he describes the result he didn’t want as poisonous because he is more concerned about the whining of bad losers than the benefits of Brexit. Instead of misquoting scriptures he clearly doesn’t understand, it would be better if he called on those who wish to overturn the result to grow up and stop being so bloody childish, selfish, and cowardly. Not much chance of that happening in Welby’s Wonderland.

    • Manfarang

      The EU can do without Britain but can Britain do without the EU? People are beginning to see the full economic consequences of leaving. The drop in trade and movement of financial services elsewhere.

      • Politically__Incorrect

        The balance of trade figures indicate that the EU is more dependant on us than the other way round. The point is that trade between an independent UK and the EU need not be a problem. If it is an problem it is only because certain politicians want to weaponise it to make a point about member states not leaving. When BMW workers in Germany are under threat of redundancy then common sense may kick in. However, it doesn’t have to even get to that point if politicians can grow up a little.

        • Manfarang

          German automaker BMW Group announced that its sales in China achieved double-digit growth in January, hitting a new record.
          A total of 51,345 units of the premium brands BMW and Mini have been delivered to Chinese customers, representing a year-on-year increase of 18.2 percent.
          It is the first time the Bavarian automobile company delivered more than 50,000 units in a single month in China, the largest market in Asia for BMW Group, the announcement said.
          In January 2017, a total of 163,288 vehicles were sold worldwide, an increase of 6.8 percent year-on-year. Among them, 21,219 vehicles were delivered to customers in the United States, down by 0.5 percent compared with January 2016.

      • Anton

        The idea that you can disentangle the consequences of leaving from other economic effects, in recent economic time series, is absurd. Why? Because economics can’t even predict the effect of a single financial choice by a central bank accurately. Your comment is drive by your usual motivation.

        • Manfarang

          Mr Hammond mocked Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s claim that the UK could “have our cake and eat it” after Brexit.