I suppose I ought to say something about Brexit, but I have nothing to say, except that I don’t think Britain will be leaving the EU on 31 October.
Here’s Raedwald‘s view:
This rogue parliament has placed itself in opposition to the people of Britain. We must clear it out, flush the odious feculence from our parliament. We demand an election NOW.
I agree that we need to flush out this parliament. I also agree that we need to have an election to do this. But I think that’s why we won’t get an election. It needs a large majority of MPs to vote for one, and given that a large majority of the same MPs are likely to be casualties in any such election, they’re hardly going to vote for one, are they? I think they’re going to hang onto their seats while they’ve still got them. I think they’re going to wait until 5 May 2022, the date of the next election under the Fixed Term Parliament Act.
I also think that, when they get the chance, the British people will deliver a terrible judgment upon all the MPs in this current parliament. I think the whole lot will be flushed out. Remainers, Leavers, Fence-sitters, the lot. It’ll be a clean sweep.
At least on 31 October, Speaker John Bercow will be stepping down as he announced he would a few weeks ago. But will he actually do so? I won’t be at all surprised if he reverses his decision, and announces that he’s going to carry on, if necessary until 5 May 2022.
Raedwald may be a smoker:
I am old enough to remember Franco ruling a Spain that had been politically and culturally shut off from democratic Europe since 1939. When tourism could be resisted no longer, from the early 1970s, the social impact was akin to dropping a lump of Sodium in water. The harsh, backward rule of a Catholic church complicit in fascism (unelected technocratic experts who thought they knew best what was good for people), a population fearful of the secret police and the night-time hammering at the door, could not withstand the bikini and the transistor radio. Democracy is contagious.
And in my heavy-smoking days when Spain sold cheap fags, the £60 cost of a day-return trip to Barcelona with easyjet was exactly equivalent to the saving of UK duty on just one single carton of cigarettes. The aircraft left Gatwick at about 7am and Barcelona at about 4pm, allowing for a leisurely lunch in the Ramblas and to be home in time for Eastenders. There were always little tents and roped off areas in the large expanse of flat, scrubby wasteland between the city and the airport; only later did I find that they were exhuming the remains of the victims of Franco’s death squads, clearing the ground for development. That made me value democracy even more.
If he was heavy-smoking back then, does that mean he’s light-smoking now? Or that he no longer smokes at all?
And was Franco a fascist? My impression has generally been that he was more of an ultra-conservative than a fascist. He was a traditionalist who simply wanted to keep Spain the way it had been. He wasn’t a fascist ideologue like Mussolini or Hitler. And he kept Spain out of WW2.
And if fascism is unelected technocratic experts who think they know best what is good for people, then isn’t modern Britain a fascist state? Fascism is also the exercise of state power, rather than the democratic will of the people, to achieve desired goals. By either definition, smoking bans are always fascistic in character. And with smoking bans nearly everywhere in the world, what we now have is global fascism.