A Tragic Loss

EU Referendum campaigning was suspended today after the murder of Jo Cox MP. Oddly enough, she was present at the Battle of the Thames that I wrote about last night – although I’m not sure whether she was actually on any of Bob Geldof’s flotilla of boats.

Jo Cox MP by the Thames yesterday.

Jo Cox MP by the Thames yesterday.

Clearly she was an active campaigner for Remain. But was that why she was shot? Early reports said that the killer had shouted “Britain first!”, but this was fairly rapidly denied. But the Guardian is now repeating the early reports. So maybe she was shot by a Brexit supporter?

If so, it’s a huge blow to the Brexit campaign. Public opinion may well now swing away from Brexit – which has been gaining momentum over the past week -, and back towards Remain.

And there’s unlikely to be much in the way of clarification of what actually happened over the next week – even though the killer was rapidly apprehended walking slowly away -, so it’ll probably all be rumours and counter-rumours for the next week.

But even if the Brexit vote does hold up, an article in the Evening Standard made it plain that the government would not feel bound by a Brexit vote:

Anthony Hilton: Why we may remain even if we vote Leave

Back in 1975, the last time we had a referendum on whether we should continue to be a member of the European Union, the Government spelled out in advance that it would not necessarily do what the people decided.

The Labour government of Harold Wilson made it clear the referendum was advisory — the ultimate opinion poll if you like — but that “the British parliament in Westminster retains the final right to repeal the Act which took us into the Market on January 1, 1973”.

People seem not to understand that this is still the case. The referendum next week is not binding and the result does not constitute a final irrevocable decision either way. People talk about notifying the EU of our intention to leave and then having two years to organise it, but that is not the core issue either. If we are to leave the EU, it will take a fully fledged Act of Parliament to do so. It is hard to see how a notice to quit under Article 50 could be served, given it sets that process in train without the agreement of Parliament.

The article goes on to point out that most MPs in the UK parliament are in favour of remaining in the EU. If the British people vote to leave, will these MPs do what they don’t believe they should do, and pass the appropriate Act of Parliament? Probably not.

Which is roughly what I’ve been predicting all along – which is that if we vote to leave, we’ll be made to stay anyway.

About the archivist

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to A Tragic Loss

  1. harleyrider1978 says:

    More Like the shooter was yelling allah Akbar………..seems to be the going terminology these days

  2. “People seem not to understand that this is still the case. The referendum next week is not binding and the result does not constitute a final irrevocable decision either way.”

    I didn’t think it was as plain as that, but I stand by my thought that a close call might be ignored, but that feelings among the Brexit folks are strong enough that they’ll be hesitant to ignore a decisive vote. Remember that governments govern by consent of the populace. There are many and varied ways to “non-cooperate” with a government, and from the strength of feelings floating around about Brexit I think you’d see some real problems with popular cooperation if the government outright defied a strong electoral mandate… particularly since the various resentments, whether they’re based in something as unacceptable as racism, as in-betweenish as just cultural conflicts with a larger than usual pool of immigrants, or as solidly acceptable as economic problems and generally increasing rules, bureaucracy, and tax/duties — all of which are likely to grow over the next few years regardless of UK’s status.

    The Remainers might actually be taking the smarter step if they went along with even a narrow victory: as things got worse they could blame it on the Exit and head toward an even more insoluble re-entry five years down the line.

    – MJM

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      Mikle after everything that’s gone down the EU is pretty well over,this is just window dressing for it. It appears all over Europe everybodys ready to pull the plug on the EU

    • “as things got worse they could blame it on the Exit and head toward an even more insoluble re-entry five years down the line.”

      Sheesh! “insoluble”??? What the Q were my fingers thinking when my brain wasn’t looking? :> What I *meant* to type was “unassailable” ::sigh::

  3. Tony says:

    “Britain First” is a political party. A rather unpleasant offshoot of the BNP I believe and at least as bad. The Brexit campaign would not have anything to do with them under any circumstances. Members and former members are not allowed to join UKIP for example.

    The story does sound odd because several people have come forward to state that he had no interest in politics. On the other hand he does have a history of serious mental illness.

  4. jaxthefirst says:

    Maybe Parliament will choose to ignore a Brexit vote. I certainly wouldn’t put it past them. After all, they’ve spent best part of the last half-century studiously ignoring pretty much everything that the British public have said they want (or don’t want) and getting away with it. The fact that in this instance there will be irrefutable evidence that this is what they’re doing, and they won’t be able to get away with glibly saying: “Oh, but my studies show that 80% (or 70% or 60% or whatever) of the public are in favour of xxxxx,” will be just a minor hurdle. The only problem with this approach is that I think this will pave the way for a very, very significant rush of voters in the next General Election voting for UKIP. Far more than the large number they got in the last one, and certainly enough to secure a significantly high number of seats for such an Act to be successful in the next Parliament, even if it doesn’t stand much of a chance in this one.

    On the Jo Cox murder. To be honest, I’m a teeny bit surprised that this hasn’t happened before. Not to Ms Cox, particularly, but perhaps to some other MP going about their daily business. I really don’t think that MPs have the slightest real idea how many members of the public despise and loathe them, and how much. Oh, they know at an intellectual level that their “popularity” and “respect” are at an all-time low, but I don’t think (until, perhaps, now) they’ve truly grasped the visceral resentment which many people feel towards them. Probably because, to be honest, they don’t much care – which, of course, just deepens the loathing even further. Luckily for MPs themselves, most aren’t people with a mental illness who just also happen to be able to get access to a firearm; most might wish a ignoble end to many politicians’ careers, but few would ever consider the possibility of forcibly ending those careers in such a violent way themselves. But, if they’re sensible (which they often aren’t), MPs would do well to take very careful note of this terrible action and recognise it, not just as the unusual action of a disturbed individual, but rather as the actions of someone who is no more and no less angry than many other people, but who simply doesn’t have the same capacity for self-control as the rest of us. The actions are vastly different, but the anger is the same.

  5. Tony says:

    If the political class decides to ignore the will of the people then things could get interesting. I suspect there’ll be a huge surge in support for UKIP and mass defections from the Tory and Labour party. The upshot is that we could even get a majority UKIP Government headed up by Nigel Farage as Prime minister by 2020. I say bring it on.

    They would have to be very stupid to risk that. And they’re not stupid are they?

  6. Tony says:

    I haven’t watched it yet but a quick heads up: ‘Lexit the Movie’ is now out. The crowd funded left wing case for Brexit.
    Lexit the Movie: https://youtu.be/pq72f81kkM4

  7. harleyrider1978 says:
  8. Rose says:

    I’m not sure whether she was actually on any of Bob Geldof’s flotilla of boats

    Frank, it was Bob Geldof and Momentum she appears to have been with.

    Geldof and Momentum lead river protest against Farage’s flotilla.

    “Momentum actvists and Bob Geldof have clashed with the “Farage Flotilla” as part of a bizarre day of EU campaigning on the river running past Parliament.
    Supporters of the In campaign squared up to the “Brexit flotilla” stunt which began when Leave campaigners launched boats on the Thames to protest against the EU’s fishing regulations.

    Bob Geldolf and fellow In campaigners met Leave flotilla with rival pro-Europe boats. The group attempted to drown out Nigel Farage’s messages with their own sound system.”
    “Activists from Corybnite faction Momentum also joined the response to the Brexit boats.”

    The comments are scathing.

    And the image of her in the dinghy complete with family and holding the In flag are in a tweet she sent that was printed in that Express link I posted to show that it was relevant to your piece.

    “Jo Cox MP
    My hubby @MrBrendanCox & children taking part in the battle of the hashtagThames – because we’re hashtagStrongerin hashtagRemain.
    5.20 PM – 15 Jun 2016”

    Though the article has been updated, the image and tweet are still there and that image has been used on several tv news bulletins this morning edited in various ways.

    It’s quite dreadful that she was shot the day after that happy picture was taken.

  9. Rose says:

    Apparently there was a BBC film director in one of the dinghies.

    Posh BBC Director Joins Anti-Brexit Attack On Working Class Fishermen
    15 June 2016

    “A film director who has worked extensively for the BBC was spotted in a dingy, harassing Brexit supporting fishermen on today’s flotilla up the Thames.
    David Kew has made numerous documentaries and dramas for the UK’s supposedly “neutral” and “objective” taxpayer-funded national broadcaster.

    He was spotted in a boat flying “IN” flags as it pulled alongside the UKIP boat, which Nigel Farage was aboard, around the same time musician Bob Geldof shouted insults over a loud speaker and swore at the fishermen.

    “I’m not here with the BBC,” insisted a panicked Mr. Kew when Breitbart London Editor in Chief Raheem Kassam queried him.”

  10. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Many MPs are widely perceived as being on the EU gravy train and are loathed by lots of people. Take the Kinnock family for example !

  11. Rose says:

    Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer faces backlash for perceived slight at fishermen
    16th June 2016

    “Plymouth MP Johnny Mercer has sparked a social media backlash for a perceived slight against members of the fishing community.
    The criticism centers around a tweet the Moor View MP sent during this week’s mass protest by fishermen outside Parliament.

    After posting a picture which appears to show him standing alongside fellow MPs to watch the flotilla, he made a comment about guns aboard London-based warship HMS Belfast.
    The tweet has been interpreted as a dig at the protestors – prompting accusations of “sneering” at fishermen and failing to stand up for the local industry.

    Johnny Mercer MP
    “Do the guns on HMS Belfast still work?
    1:04 PM – 15 Jun 2016

    “Wednesday’s high profile event in Westminster saw trawlers from across the UK – including the South West -gather in the capital for a pro-Brexit rally.
    Led by Ukip’s Nigel Farage and campaign group Fishing for Leave, the group traveled up the Thames to Parliament where they were confronted by boats of Stronger In supporters.

    Levels of Euroscepticism among members of the fishing community are well-documented, with recent studies estimating up to 92% of fishermen want to leave the EU.

    But despite the value of the fishing industry in Plymouth, Mr Mercer appeared to mock the event, tweeting: “Do the guns on HMS Belfast still work?”.

    Brian Monteith: We must reclaim UK waters for mistreated fishermen
    17th june 2016

    “I write of course about the bizarre scenes on the River Thames this week when a flotilla of British fishing boats from Fraserburgh to Falmouth sailed up the Thames to protest about the devastating effect the European Union has had on our fishing fleet. They were met by millionaire Bob Geldoff on a floating gin palace who proceeded to shout obscenities at the fishermen and give them the vickies.

    Why? All because the fishermen had taken some politicians, including UKIP leader Nigel Farage, on their lead boat. Ignoring the Labour MP Kate Hoey, Geldoff tried to drown out the fishermen who were raising their genuine concerns, with abuse and invective.

    It was an example of so much that has been wrong with the campaign to keep us in the EU, with the vested interest of bankers, politicians, economists and professional glad-handing lobbyists all trying to drown out the voices of ordinary people.

    Fuel is not cheap and the fishing boats are very thirsty, especially the bigger trawlers, so it cost most boats over a thousand pounds, some much more to make the journey. It was at their own considerable expense that the fishermen on their boats set sail and gathered at the mouth of the Thames.

    Many fishermen have lost their jobs and whole communities have been turned into ghost towns. Practically all of our once-bustling fish markets have closed down like the one in once-prosperous Eyemouth. One Dutch trawler has a quota for 25 per cent of all English fish – and lands it in the Netherlands.

    So appalled were some of the “remainiacs” with Geldoff’s behaviour that they mutinied and got off his unpleasant pleasure cruiser at the first opportunity.

    Our fishermen were sacrificed by prime minister Ted Heath back in 1973, who agreed that allowing their industry to die was a price to be paid for entering the Common Market. Now, with the largest fish stocks of 60 per cent in the EU we only are allowed to fish 13 per cent of that catch. We now import fish from far and wide from others who catch it for us – not because we cannot fish or our costs are too expensive, but because the EU quotas limit what our boats can do and give an unfair share in catches to other nations that have their own seas. The extra cost to every family in dearer fish and seafood is nearly £200 a year.

    The EU has meanwhile given huge grants to scrap British fishing boats while giving even bigger grants to build new bigger boats for the Spanish and Portugese fleets. No wonder whole communities are angry and embittered. No wonder people don’t trust politicians.

    Our fishermen have been waiting forty-three years to reverse the injustice that was served upon them.”

    Skipper calls for Sir Bob Geldof to apologise for obscene gesture
    17 June 2016

    “A leading north-east fisherman has demanded an apology from Sir Bob Geldof for “ambushing” a Brexit flotilla and making obscene gestures.

    Peterhead skipper Jimmy Buchan accompanied UKIP leader Nigel Farage on one of 30 fishing boats which sailed up the Thames on Wednesday as part of the campaign to leave the EU.
    But the “peaceful” armada was broadsided by a pro-EU vessel carrying the charity campaigner Mr Geldof who was pictured holding two fingers up towards Mr Farage.

    “Mr Buchan, who previously stood as a Conservative candidate for MP in Banff and Buchan, has now called on the Live Aid campaigner to apologise to “hard working” fishermen.

    He said: “Angry would be an understatement.

    “We went to the Thames to make a peaceful demo to campaign for the Brexit leave campaign because of being suppressed by the EU for many years.
    “Whether it was a personal attack on Mr Farage, at the end of the day it wasn’t a UKIP event, Mr Farage was there supporting the fishermen.

    “Mr Geldof’s gesturing and everything about it was so wrong. I was on the boat standing next to Nigel Farage when this happened and I could hardly speak.
    “I’ve seen a lot in my 56 years but I’ve never seen hard-working people being attacked like this.”

    “Last night, a spokeswoman for Mr Geldof stressed he was there to counter Mr Farage and not the trawlermen.
    She added: “Yesterday, he was clear – it was absolutely not against them.
    “It was against the argument Farage was making. It’s important someone makes the counter argument.”
    https: //www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/north-east/peterhead/949549/skipper-calls-for-sir-bob-geldof-to-apologise-for-obscene-gesture/

    I am beginning to think that none of the activists who organised the attack on the fishermen’s boats had any idea of who or what they were really attacking, they only heard the name Farage and reacted, from that point not one of them or their supporters seems to have questioned what they were doing until it was too late.

    • nisakiman says:

      “Last night, a spokeswoman for Mr Geldof stressed he was there to counter Mr Farage and not the trawlermen.
      She added: “Yesterday, he was clear – it was absolutely not against them.

      To quote the inestimable Mandy Rice-Davies: “Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he”.

      Methinks he badly misjudged the mood, and his prancing contempt for the working fishermen had the opposite effect to that intended. He and his army of PR bods are frantically deploying damage limitation tactics, but I rather think he has gone beyond the pale this time, and is unlikely to recover any credibility. Not that he ever had any in my eyes anyway. I’ve always thought he was a self-publicising twat with nothing to say.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:
  13. harleyrider1978 says:

No need to log in

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.