Posts Tagged ‘Labour’

News review – Wednesday 24 April 2019

News review – Wednesday 24 April 2019

Cross party talks

Theresa May has been told by Cabinet ministers that she should end talks with Labour “immediately” and focus on overhauling her Brexit deal and winning round the DUP. Ministers including Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary, and Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, are said to have warned that the talks are “damaging” the Government and the party. The Prime Minister defended the continuing talks with Labour, saying that while many in Cabinet disagreed with the ongoing discussions “we have to govern in the national interest” and “this course of action is what the country expects of us”.

THERESA May yesterday accused Labour of deliberately dragging out cross-party talks being held to try to find a consensus on the way forward for Brexit. In a sign that the discussions have hit an impasse, the Prime Minister told her Cabinet that the timetable for the UK’s departure from the EU had become a key sticking point between the two sides. She is also understood to be concerned Labour will wreck crucial Brexit legislation in the Commons to block her EU withdrawal deal for a fourth time.

Theresa May is preparing to challenge Labour to support the legislation needed to achieve Brexit if cross-party compromise talks break down. In a high-risk strategy, the prime minister is considering introducing the bill that would give effect to Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union within weeks. The move would effectively decouple the withdrawal agreement, which Labour largely supports, from the plan for a future relationship, to which it is demanding changes.

Theresa May has accused Labour of dragging its heels in the bid to find a cross-party compromise to deliver Brexit, even before the talks resumed after Easter. “The discussions with Labour have been serious but had also been difficult in some areas, such as in relation to the timetable for the negotiations,” the prime minister told her cabinet. No 10 fears Jeremy Corbyn does not share Ms May’s desire to avoid next month’s European parliament elections – which would require an agreement within days.

THERESA MAY will return to Parliament today to kickstart talks with the Labour opposition in hopes to break the Brexit deadlock before the forthcoming European elections. The Prime Minister has struggled to reach an agreement in cross-party talks, and faces increasing pressure from MPs to secure a Brexit deal before the European elections on May 23.


EU COMMISSION President Jean-Claude Juncker warned of “fake news” around next month’s European elections as he revealed his fears for the upcoming vote. The EU boss claimed there were moves from member states and countries outside the bloc to manipulate the May elections where eurosceptics are expected to gain ground. Mr Juncker told German newspaper Funke Mediengruppe: “I can see an attempt to rig the European Parliament elections.


Theresa May is planning to bring her Brexit deal back for another vote – even as Tory MPs plan to change the rules of their party’s leadership elections so they can oust her. The 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs met last night but discussions on whether a time limit banning successive leadership votes should be changed from a year to six months was said to be was ‘inconclusive’.

CABINET ministers are urging Theresa May to abandon Labour talks and force a fourth Commons showdown on her Brexit deal next week instead. Time is running out for the PM to avoid having to hold euro elections, with the poll to elect MEP on May 23 – four weeks tomorrow. As cross party talks to pass the EU agreement began again yesterday after the Easter break, frustrated Mrs May accused Labour of dragging its feet.

Theresa May is preparing to give MPs a vote on the key piece of legislation enacting Britain’s exit from the European Union next week, as negotiations with Labour continue. The prime minister will discuss Brexit with her cabinet colleagues, with government sources suggesting one likely way forward is to table the withdrawal and implementation bill (WAB) in the next 10 days.

Theresa May

THERESA MAY ‘loyalists’ launched a fierce bid to save her from the sack yesterday as rebel Tory MPs called for her head. Livid Ministers tore into senior Tories on the powerful 1922 backbench committee over their demand to rip up party rules to force a new no confidence vote in the PM this June. The demand was due to be voted on at a crisis meeting of the 18-strong Committee late last night. Brexit-backing 1922 executive Nigel Evans said he would be “delighted” if the PM quit NOW given the Brexit chaos – and said there was a growing “clamour” for her  resignation.

EMBATTLED Theresa May was facing a triple assault on her leadership today amid growing dismay over her handling of Brexit. She is expected to be told she must step down as Prime Minister by the end of June or Conservative MPs will change the party rules and force her out. Mrs May could also be challenged with an unprecedented vote of confidence this week as Tory grassroots anger boils over.

Pro-Brexit Conservatives are continuing to up the pressure for Theresa May to go sooner rather than later. Though we’ve been hearing this for a while, surely she must go soon?  Dinah Glover, a Tory Chairman in the East End of London, has told ITV News: “She does need to go now. And we need to reset the negotiations, set a different course. We do have an extension until the end of October which actually could be used positively. “But I think with Mrs. May its not going to be used positively.”


A VOTE of no confidence has been tabled in Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow, with MPs accusing him of not being impartial during the Brexit process. Furious Conservative MP Crispin Blunt tabled the motion after writing to all MPs asking for support, adding he would not publish the names of backers unless they hit three figures in order not to expose them to “retribution” by the Speaker.

Change UK

Rachel Johnson could become the fourth member of the Johnson family to become an elected politician after she was unveiled on Tuesday as a Change UK candidate at the European Parliament elections. The national newspaper columnist and former reality television personality could follow her Conservative MPs brothers Boris and Jo Johnson, as well as her father Stanley – a former Conservative MEP – into elected office.

Boris Johnson’s sister, a former BBC broadcaster and John Major’s health secretary will all stand for Change UK in next month’s European elections, but the party’s launch yesterday was marred when one of its candidates was forced to stand down within hours over comments about Romanians. The pro-Remain party announced its MEP hopefuls from almost 4,000 applicants at a campaign launch in Bristol yesterday. Rachel Johnson, Gavin Esler, a former Newsnight presenter, and Stephen Dorrell, a cabinet minister from 1994 to 1997, were among dozens of candidates on the stage.

Boris Johnson‘s sister Rachel and ex-BBC star Gavin Esler today revealed they will stand for Britain’s new remain party in the European elections next month. Heidi Allen, interim leader of Change UK, set up by The Independent Group of MPs known as the TIGgers, launched their EU campaign in Bristol today.    Rachel Johnson will stand in the South West region – where Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister Annunziata will represent Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party – and has already taken a veiled swipe at her Brexiteer brother, who wants to be the next Tory leader.

New centrist party Change UK could back the government in a no-confidence vote to avoid a damaging general election, its interim leader has said. Former Tory MP Heidi Allen said an election was “absolutely the last thing” the country needs during the Brexit chaos, as she launched the party’s campaign for the upcoming European Parliament elections, Her comments came as Theresa May faced pressure to name her departure date from frustrated Tory MPs after promising to resign once she had overseen the first stage of the Brexit process.

Morning Star
GAFFE-PRONE centre party Change UK has scuppered its claim to represent a new politics by choosing Boris Johnson’s sister as a candidate for the European elections, Labour MPs have said. Change UK – The Independent Group announced today that Rachel Johnson would stand for the party in south-west England next month. Ms Johnson cemented her super-posh credentials by editing The Lady, a women’s magazine popular with aristocrats, where she often wrote about her love of Agas – a brand of luxury cooker.

BBC News
Change UK has launched its campaign for the European Parliamentary elections, with 70 candidates including journalist Rachel Johnson – sister of Tory MP and leading Brexiteer Boris Johnson. The party – formerly known as The Independent Group – is made up of 11 MPs who quit Labour and the Tories. They are preparing for the European election as the latest Brexit delay means the UK may have to take part.

The anti-Brexit party Change UK has launched its European elections campaign, revealing a slate of 70 candidates that includes Boris Johnson’s sister, seasoned politicians disillusioned with their parties, and people completely new to politics. Rachel Johnson said she was standing to make sure Brexit did not wreck the chances of a bright future for her children and other young people, and that her decision to stand was not an attack on her Brexiter brother.

Heidi Allen MP launched the “Remain alliance” Change UK (CUK) party Tuesday, heralding the string of MEP candidates “from every background” including a yoga instructor, a former BBC journalist, and top politician Boris Johnson’s sister. One notable member of the new MEP candidates for the anti-Brexit party is Jessica Simor QC, who worked in the legal team that forced the Government to seek Parliament’s permission to invoke Article 50, the mechanism for leaving the EU.

The Brexit Party

Nigel Farage has seized on the words of a prominent Labour peer who wants to stop Brexit as he targets Labour heartlands with his new Brexit Party. The former Ukip leader said yesterday that he would repeat “every day” the words of Lord Adonis, a former cabinet minister and adviser to Tony Blair who is now standing for Labour in the European elections. Mr Farage pointed out that Lord Adonis had said: “If you’re a Brexiteer, I hope you won’t vote for the Labour Party”.

Ann Widdecombe has defected from the Conservatives to Nigel Farage‘s Brexit Party. The former minister has been a member of the Tory party for 55 years, but has been put her retirement on hold to ‘campaign vigorously’ for Farage’s party in the upcoming European elections in May. Widdecombe was earlier rumoured to be considering leaving the party after she campaigned hard for Brexit and was appalled by the failure to deliver on the Article 50 commitment to leave on March 29.

Conservative Party stalwart Ann Widdecombe has sensationally quit – to rejoin frontline politics with the Brexit Party. The 71-year-old has been a staunch Tory for 55 years – serving as Shadow Health and Home secretary. But now she has joined Nigel Farage’s fledgling party on a mandate to hurry up and get Britain out of the EU. Ms Widdicombe told the Express: “The public needs to send a very clear message and that is we expect the vote to be respected so just get on with the job of getting us out of the EU. “If I am elected in Brussels my message to (Jean-Claude) Juncker and company will be very simple, very loud and very clear. Nous allons (we go).”

Nigel Farage sent another strong message to establishment Labour and Conservatives today as his new Brexit Party unveiled their latest candidates for the European Elections including a nurse, a veteran, and a businessman. Mr Farage spoke at the event, during which five new MEP candidates were announced, saying how much the Brexit Party has grown since its launch on Friday, April 12th. The party now reports having over 67,000 registered supporters, with a registration fee of £25-a-head meaning the party may now be holding as much as £1.5 million in membership subscriptions alone.

NIGEL Farage yesterday vowed to go after voters in the Labour heartlands as he unveiled his star line-up of MEP candidates. War hero James Glancy and former Tory aide and smoked salmon millionaire Lance Forman are among the five hopefuls running for the Brexit Party. Mr Farage tore into Britain’s MPs for “betraying” the referendum and warned his new party will rock Westminster, as he addressed the launch in London.

Nigel Farage has said his new Brexit Party could thwart a second referendum if it is successful in the upcoming European elections. The former Ukip leader made the threat as he unveiled a fresh slate of candidates for next month’s poll, which includes a former communist and an ex-commando, who has fought in Afghanistan. The leading Brexiteer also vowed to target Labour voters in the party’s heartlands in south Wales, the midlands and the north of England, where he hopes to capitalise on Jeremy Corbyn’s equivocation over Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.

More United

More than 50 MPs from seven parties have formed a group to tackle issues “ignored” because of Brexit. The More United network includes Nicky Morgan, the Conservative former cabinet minister; Jo Swinson, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats; and David Lammy, a Labour former minister. It “is not and will not become a political party”, it said. The organisation was established after the EU referendum in 2016 with the backing of Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, the former Lib Dem leader, to support politicians regardless of affiliation.

Huffington Post
More than 50 MPs have launched a cross-party movement to work together on “issues ignored because of Brexit”. The ‘More United’ group, dubbed ‘politics for the Netflix generation’, features politicians from seven different political parties, including Labour, Tory, SNP, Lib Dem, Green, ChangeUK and Plaid Cymru. The new network, which includes leading MPs David Lammy, Nicky Morgan, Jo Swinson and Caroline Lucas, will help fund candidates who campaign on poverty and homelessness, responsible technology, mental health and urgent climate dangers.

St George’s Day

Politicians from all sides dutifully wished the nation a happy St George’s Day yesterday, but there was one snag. They all got the date wrong. The Church of England has confirmed that the feast has been pushed back to next Monday because of a clash with Easter week. April 23 is the usual date each year for the feast of St George, the patron saint of England, but church rules state that no feast days should be marked during Easter week. If a saint’s day falls during Easter week, it is “translated” to the following week.

The Labour Party has been left red-faced after posting a St George’s Day message on the wrong date. The official Labour Party Twitter account posted “Happy St George’s Day! With the next Labour government, we’ll celebrate the patron saint with a bank holiday — and bank holidays for St Patrick, St David and St Andrew too” a day early, on April 22nd. Clearly realising their error it was soon taken down, only to be reposted earlier today.


The home secretary, Sajid Javid, is under mounting pressure to head off an immigration scandal that MPs have warned could be “bigger than Windrush”. About 34,000 foreign students have had their visas cancelled or curtailed and more than 1,000 people were forcibly removed from the UK as a result of the English language testing scandal, which involved the government accusing tens of thousands of students who sat a Home Office-approved test of cheating. The Guardian understands that students who took the test of English for international communication (Toeic) five or more years ago are still being targeted by immigration enforcement officers and being taken to immigration detention centres ahead of enforced removal from the UK.


Theresa May has given the green light to a Chinese telecoms giant to help build Britain’s new 5G network despite warnings from the US and some of her most senior ministers that it poses a risk to national security. The National Security Council, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, agreed on Tuesday to allow Huawei limited access to help build parts of the network such as antennas and other “noncore” infrastructure.

Theresa May has defied security warnings from senior Government ministers and allowed controversial Chinese telecoms giant Huawei to help build Britain’s new 5G network. The National Security Council, which is chaired by the Prime Minister, yesterday gave the green light to give Huawei limited access to help construct sections of the network such as antennas and non-essential infrastructure.


One in ten road building schemes promised as part of the biggest upgrade of the network in a generation could be scrapped for financial reasons. Highways England said that plans to improve 11 main roads would be paused indefinitely because the investment could no longer be justified. A third of the upgrades would be delayed, possibly for five years, for fear of overloading the network with too many works at the same time.

Rail travel

Standing on long train journeys will be effectively banned under radical proposals by Virgin Trains to force all long-distance passengers to book a seat before boarding.  Train companies are currently often obliged to accept walk-up fares, meaning they have no control over the number of people getting on a particular train unless it is deemed unsafe. But under the plans for airline-style fares with one fare available at any given time for any one service, walk on tickets and open returns will be phased out.

Rail passengers should not be allowed to board long-distance trains without a reservation, according to Virgin Group.  The firm said inter-city services should use Eurostar’s model of requiring customers to book a ticket and a seat for a particular train.  Operators are often required to accept walk-on fares meaning they have little control over passenger numbers. Companies are also obliged to stick to rigid timetables which results in them running trains even when demand is low.

The post News review – Wednesday 24 April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL -Wednesday 24th April 2019

YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL -Wednesday 24th April 2019


Aaaand – they’re back! Aaaand – the ‘sources’ have started flowing again. Aaaand – they are all spouting the same guff as before. But: the political game is changing before our eyes, thanks to Nigel Farage and TPB. More on that below.

Yesterday’s main question was: will the 1922 Committee do something or will May stay? The answer is: it’s business as usual. We read this morning that both Remain and Brexit Tories are accusing each other of having a death wish (here):

“One of the leading rebels is Nigel Evans [Leaver], a member of the 1922 committee executive who claims there is a “clamour” for Mrs May to quit. However another 1922 committee executive member, Antoinette Sandbach [Remainer], is calling for Mr Evans to stand down over the plot.”

Edifying, isn’t it! The other possibility to oust Ms May is the EGM called for by Tory branch chairmen (see here) but this will only be possible after the EP elections after the horse has bolted.

The Cabinet met yesterday and it’s It’s instructive to note how different papers report on this same issue. Here’s the DT (paywalled link):

“Theresa May has been told by Cabinet ministers that she should end talks with Labour “immediately” and focus on overhauling her Brexit deal and winning round the DUP. […]The Prime Minister defended the continuing talks with Labour, saying that while many in Cabinet disagreed with the ongoing discussions “we have to govern in the national interest” and “this course of action is what the country expects of us”.

No, it’s not, Ms May! Here’s another ‘source’, focussing on Ms May apparently trying to put Labour under pressure:

“In a sign that the discussions have hit an impasse, the Prime Minister told her Cabinet that the timetable for the UK’s departure from the EU had become a key sticking point between the two sides. She is also understood to be concerned Labour will wreck crucial Brexit legislation in the Commons to block her EU withdrawal deal for a fourth time.” (link)

Then there’s this report, based on yet another ‘source’:

“ […] it emerged that the Prime Minister may try to bring her deal back again in the next ten days despite three defeats already. The Prime Minister is holding cross-party talks with Labour in an attempt to find a Brexit compromise which will win the support of a majority of MPs. But they appear to be faltering, and if they fail the Prime Minister could try and bring her Brexit deal back. Mrs May’s official spokesman also suggested Labour is dragging its feet over the Brexit talks and said: ‘Progress needs to be made urgently’. (source)

Finally, here’s how RemainCentral, The Times, has spun this Cabinet meeting, using another ‘source’:

“Theresa May is preparing to challenge Labour to support the legislation needed to achieve Brexit if cross-party compromise talks break down. In a high-risk strategy, the prime minister is considering introducing the bill that would give effect to Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union within weeks.The move would effectively decouple the withdrawal agreement, which Labour largely supports, from the plan for a future relationship, to which it is demanding changes. It would also bypass the so-called meaningful vote on the complete package that has been rejected three times by MPs.” (link, paywalled)

This next quote is very interesting:

“Downing Street hopes that the new approach will put pressure on Brexiteer Labour MPs to support the legislation needed to ensure Brexit happens before European elections in a month’s time. Mrs May is also understood to have suggested that the passage of the Withdrawal and Implementation Bill through parliament could be a “forum” to allow MPs to compromise. (link, paywalled)

At three minutes past midnight, i.e. after the May Extensions, she and her remainers now say that ‘progress ‘needs to be made urgently’? Goodness me, hasn’t May, hasn’t her Cabinet had enough time to ‘make progress’? Like – nearly three years? Really?

At three minutes past midnight, Ms May threatens to bring her WA back for a fourth time? Is she hoping for a No Confidence Vote after yet another defeat?

At three minutes past midnight Ms May, using a sickening historical twist, is now talking about ‘National Unity’, comparing Brexit in the Nation’s mind to WWII? Note that she seems to think that her desperate attempts to get her abomination through the HoC can be achieved by letting them talk about compromise!

We, unlike the pratfall of clowns, cabinet included, know that Brussels will not change the WA. It’s done, cooked, stick a fork in.

We also know that the EU Parliament is legally obliged to assent to this May WA. But: it’s gone – finished, done, reconvening on July 1st, after the EP elections.

The Tories fear these elections. They know that the only way to avoid them is to get ‘something’ on the table. The redoubtable Sir John Redwood wrote in his Diary:

“I do not favour the attempt to broker a deal for the PM to step aside in return for getting through a bad Agreement. I am urging the PM to lead us out on May 22nd, by cancelling the European elections. Under the Extension Agreement with the EU we would then automatically leave on May 22nd.”

Indeed. He knows that this is the only way out for the Tory Party because he and all the rest know that The Brexit Party is gathering momentum. The Tories don’t need to read the MSM who won’t report on TBP anyway, they have ‘helpers’ to scour the internet where they will have  found this, for example (names in the linked article):

“After the announcement of seven candidates last week, today Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has added five new candidates to their list. It’s an impressive lineup and a big change from the kippers of old. Just 58 to go…”

And how about this:

“Tory grandee Ann Widdecombe has defected to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party. The former minister has been a member of the Conservative party for 55 years, but has been put her retirement on hold to ‘campaign vigorously’ for Farage’s party in the upcoming European elections in May.” (link)

Ms Widdecombe will stand in the SW, against Labour’s Lord Adonis … that will be an epic fight!

No wonder that Labour is screaming blue murder, with a Labour MEP writing in RemainCentral (The Times) where he uses the same old and tired arguments attacking Nigel Farage (‘snake-oil salesman’):

But behind the fancy marketing and the fawning media platform, it’s the same nasty stuff that won’t solve a single ailment and instead will only make you sicker.” (paywalled link)

He and presumably Labour also haven’t grasped the tidal change in our country’s politics. They’re still fighting the 2014 EP elections ‘war’ …

He, Labour and their helpers in the MSM don’t get it that actual, real Labour voters outside the M25 regard Corbyn’s ‘negotiations’ with Ms May with as much disgust as do Tory voters.

They don’t get it that we out here have had enough, collectively, of the smoke-and-mirror performances by those inside the Westminster bubble.

They don’t get it that we’ve had enough of the political games they play just for themselves. We’ve had enough of the MSM’s support for that despicable status quo. And we will vote accordingly.

Be sure that the backroom ‘strategists’ of those parties know this full well. Be sure that the Labour strategists know full well that we won’t buy their 2nd referendum. Be sure that the Tory backroom boys know full well that we won’t buy Ms May’s WA. That’s why they’re so desperate to avoid having to run the EP elections next month.

What they don’t realise is that by somehow abolishing the EP elections they will have kicked off a political storm the likes we’ve not seen in this country for centuries.

It’s ‘Nigel ante portas’ – Nigel at the gates. Defeat for That Lot looms in the EP elections – and if May and her crew, with the help of Corbyn, is successful in scuppering the EP by selling Brexit out – then all I’ll say is ‘they ain’t seen nuthin yet’.




The post YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL -Wednesday 24th April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

Why Change UK may turn out to be neither democratic nor a force for change

Lea Ypi explains why Change UK – The Independent Group appears to be aligning itself to a very different tradition of thinking about the relationship between citizens and representatives.

Modern democracy, wrote one of the great political scientists of the past century, is inconceivable – save in terms of party government. If that is true, when democracy is in crisis, a new political party might in principle offer opportunities for a way out. The newly created Change UK/Independent Group sees itself as a fresh political force breaking the way old politics works. It wants to occupy a space in the centre that traditional party divides are accused of having left void. It urges people to make change happen.

Except Change UK is not your standard political party. It has no manifesto, no popular base, no memory of struggles, victories and defeats. Instead of being a movement in search of political representation, it is a group of elected representatives in search of a movement. Instead of being the many represented by a few, it is the few urging the many to get involved.

Elections are arguably one of the most important moments in which a political group consolidates its principles and identity. It is how a new political force gathers the popular support that legitimises its demands for change. But Change UK is not that interested in elections either. If members were interested in popular mobilisation – campaigning to persuade fellow-citizens for the need to change, deliberating with supporters over principles – they would seize the first opportunity to confront their adversaries in by-election campaigns. Instead, they argue, fighting a by-election would “crush the birth of democracy”.

Change UK may not have a manifesto but it must at least have a vision of democracy. Except, on closer inspection, it turns out to be not very democratic. The birth of democracy, to return to their favourite formulation, is associated to rule by the many. In the Greek polis, the many ruled themselves by making direct decisions in the Athenian assembly. In modern societies, the many are too many and too diverse to speak directly for themselves. They speak through representatives in parliament. The extent to which the relation is democratic depends on the degree of proximity between representatives and represented. When that relationship is not subject to ongoing scrutiny it is not clear who the representatives speak for. Or what they speak about.

The more democratic a representative relation is, the more likely it is that the voice of the represented is heard in parliament (and not just on election day). Maintaining a close relation between professional politicians and the people who elect them is the only way to ensure that the voice of the many is continuously heard. For radical democrats, the purpose of democratic politics was to ensure that powerful people with more money, knowledge, and means to access public office were kept in check by the masses; that the few were constantly scrutinised by the many. To this effect they advocated a number of measures: mass membership in political organisations, imperative mandate, mandatory reselection, mechanisms of deselection of MPs, rotation in office, and so on. This is what democratic theorists call “the delegate” model of representation.

The Labour Party’s recent moves to expand membership along with proposals to change the relationship between members and MPs are part of this tradition. MPs are seen as only one of the links in the chain of democratic participation, they are by no means the most important one. Every MP and every decision made by them must remain accountable to party members at every step of the way.

Labour party leaders are often accused of authoritarianism. But if Labour really had been in the business of silencing criticism and undermining democracy, it should have discouraged rather than encouraged the delegate model of representation. The current Labour Party may have many flaws but a lack of democratic commitment is not one of them.

The same cannot be said about Change UK. The expressed refusal to fight by-elections and the arguments given to motivate that refusal signal its alignment to a very different tradition of thinking about the relationship between citizens and representatives. Members of Change UK insist that there is no reason to subject their views to democratic scrutiny since their values have not changed. But even if that were true, MPs are not selected only for the values they embrace but also for how they interpret those values in public life, and for the policy proposals they generate on that basis. A cursory look at CHUK’s statement of values in connection to particular public policies reveals sharp differences between those policies and the manifesto of the Labour party on the basis of which its former Labour members were elected. The only argument in their defence is given by a view of representation where MPs retain independence from their constituents: what is often called the trustees’ model of representation.

Historically, the emergence of the trustees’ model is associated to an explicitly anti-democratic attempt to isolate politicians from the power of the many. Its origins are in the explicitly moderate (we might say ‘centrist’ thought) of authors like Sieyes, Constant or Madison. The trustee model seeks to conceive of the representative relation as one in which political institutions are authorised by the masses but isolated from them. The argument is essentially an elitist, technocratic one: since modern life is about division of labour, only those with accumulated knowledge, expertise, and the right degree of wealth or skill are in the best position to make decisions about common affairs. The point of political authority is to guarantee the minimal amount of security that enables particular individuals to pursue their private affairs. The institutions that work best are, as in CHUK’s statement of values, those where “well-regulated private enterprise can reward aspiration and drive economic progress”. Disagreements of principle are reducible to disagreements of policy.

On the trustees’ model of political representation, once representatives are selected, their link with the represented is essentially a fiduciary one, like the link between a bank manager and the people who put money in a bank account. Once money is in the bank, you trust the bank managers to do their job. Once elections are over, you trust politicians to represent the people. While that model is much more pervasive in the electoral systems and political institutions of Western liberal democracies, the divide between professional politicians and ordinary people on which it is premised is arguably at the heart of what citizens resent the most in contemporary liberal politics.

To revive democracy, one has to depart from the trustee model of representation and consolidate the radical democratic one. Change is needed and change is coming. But it won’t come from a group of politicians whose democratic antipathies go so deep that they resent confrontation with ordinary citizens at every level, including in by-elections, the most basic level of representative accountability.


Note: a shorter version of the above was first published in the New Statesman.

About the Author

Lea Ypi (@lea_ypi) is Professor of Political Theory at the London School of Economics and Political Science and co-author of The Meaning of Partisanship.


All articles posted on this blog give the views of the author(s), and not the position of LSE British Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Labour says Theresa May unwilling to offer key Brexit concessions

Little progress as talks resume, with Labour seeking changes to political declaration

Labour has accused Theresa May of failing to offer any substantive changes to her Brexit deal in cross-party talks, as Downing Street’s hopes of a breakthrough in time to avoid taking part in European parliamentary elections waned.

Brexit talks resumed on Tuesday between a team of ministers and shadow ministers. But Labour sources said the government team again appeared unwilling to countenance changes to the political declaration, which sets out the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

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Brexit: cross-party talks to restart as Tories step up efforts to oust May

Chair of 1922 Committee is reportedly planning to tell PM to leave by the end of June

Brexit talks between government ministers and Labour are due to resume on Tuesday amid distinctly limited expectations of a breakthrough, with the political focus likely instead to shift on to renewed Conservative efforts to oust Theresa May from Downing Street.

The executive of the 1922 Committee, which represents Conservative backbenchers, is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, with its chair, Graham Brady, reportedly planning to tell the prime minister she must depart before the end of June.

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Only Labour can stop Nigel Farage and his Thatcherite revival | Andrew Adonis

A win for the Brexit party at the European elections would be catastrophic for Britain. There is only one way to stop them

• Andrew Adonis is a Labour peer. He is standing to become a Labour MEP at the European elections

In the European elections, in just 31 days’ time, Britain faces a stark choice. Will we back Nigel Farage or stop him? To stop Farage, Labour must come out on top. This isn’t just a mathematical and presentational reality (no other opposition party is likely to outpoll him), it is also a political imperative. For to defeat Farage, it is essential that we not only outvote him but also overwhelm his hard-right Thatcherite ideology.

Related: Nigel and Annunziata’s Brexit show basks in the sun, but winter is coming

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YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Easter Monday, 22nd April 2019

YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Easter Monday, 22nd April 2019

Democratic desert?

~~~   ***   ~~~


The peace of Easter Sunday yesterday, the holiest of days for Christians across the world, was rudely and bloodily shattered in Sri Lanka by the atrocious attacks on churches and hotels. More on that below.

Here at home, there weren’t any ‘Brexit News’: all those ‘sources’, those ‘EU diplomats’ and ‘EU administrators’, those ‘cabinet sources’, always leaking so busily, have gone home to their families as well as our MPs.

One news item in this ‘news desert’ however has been picked up by our MSM: British Human Aid NGOs haven’t received monetary support from Brussels – see the report in The Times (paywalled, here) and in the DM (here):

“[Penny Mordaunt] revealed British aid firms have had to wind up life-saving schemes in Somalia and Yemen because the intransigent EU has refused to fund them. Others have been told to transfer projects which they have been running for years to European bodies. In a letter to the EU commissioner for humanitarian aid, Christos Stylianides, Miss Mordaunt reminded Brussels the UK is now set to remain a member of the EU until the end of October.”

One wonders if other UK organisations working in concert with the EU have also had their EU money denied. Of course, they might say that it’s just an admin error – after all, we were supposed to have been Out already, weren’t we …

Then there are the rumblings inside the Tory Party. Allegedly, Ms May’s “departure” might be “weeks away” (a bit late, one would’ve thought …):

“A vote on Theresa May’s future among the party’s grassroots supporters which could hasten her departure from office is just weeks away after enough local party chairmen signed a petition supporting it. The National Conservative Convention, which represents Tory volunteers, now has a duty under the party’s constitution to call an “extraordinary general meeting” to allow a no confidence vote in Mrs May to be held. Any vote would be unprecedented and would put pressure on Conservative MPs to change the leadership rules and allow them to hold an early vote on Mrs May’s future which could see her being forcibly removed from office. […] MPs on the executive of the 1922 committee of backbench Tory MPs are meeting on Tuesday to discuss an early vote, rather than waiting until December as they have to under current rules.” (paywalled link)

There are ‘rebels’ on the Tory Remain side as well though. Tory Party donors are now going to donate to MPs rather than to Tory Central Office:

“[Party donors] have called for MPs to back Mrs May as the only leader who can deliver Brexit. […] The warnings come as […] there were claims last week that the party’s top official is having to reach into his own pocket to cover some of the costs of the European elections. Sir Mick Davis, the chief executive and treasurer of the party, has told cabinet ministers that the Brexit impasse and infighting is putting off supporters.” (link, paywalled)

Oh really? Interesting that the Tory Grandees only take notice when it’s a question of money! Moving on:

“Many Conservative MPs believe a crunch moment for Mrs May could come next week if the party performs badly in local elections. […] Local election experts yesterday warned that the Tories were on course to lose 500 council seats on May 2. But the cost could be as high as 1,000 seats if polls showing a collapse in support prove accurate, they said in an article for The Sunday Times.” (link, paywalled)

Ah – those local elections … finally entering the field of vision of the MSM! This scandal however – and it is one, indicating how democracy is being killed off at the grassroots level – has only been mentioned in passing:

“New research by the Electoral Reform Society ahead of next month’s vote shows 300 council seats in England have been guaranteed for one party or individual before a single ballot has been cast, weeks before the May 2nd polling day. […] Nearly 150 councillors will win their seats without a single vote being cast, because candidates are running totally uncontested. They’ve already ‘won’. Around 270,000 potential voters in these ‘democracy deserts’ will be denied their democratic right of expressing a preference about who will represent them locally.” (source)

Given the Remain HoC, it seems we’re living an a ‘democratic desert’ anyway. The MSM however are only really interested in the EU elections because: Brexit Party! Nigel Farage! How exciting!

Labour’s Tom Watson, who fancies himself as a contender in a possible Labour leadership fight, has now come out on the side of those who demand a 2nd Referendum – like that Mr T.Blair …:

“Mr Watson said: ‘Labour won’t defeat Farage by being mealy-mouthed and sounding as if we half agree with him. We won’t beat him unless we can inspire the millions crying out for a different direction. We won’t win if we sit on the fence about the most crucial issue that has faced our country for a generation. Now that we know a bit more about what Brexit means, the very least that Leavers and Remainers deserve is a final say – a confirmatory referendum – on any deal.’ (link)

Note how, for Labour, Brexit is now only and exclusively about defeating not just the Tories but also Nigel Farage. It’s about their beloved political games – the EU’s intransigence, the fate of our Nation and our democracy: irrelevant!

Now allow me that brief excursion from Brexit: the atrocity which took place yesterday in Sri Lanka. You’ve seen the headlines, the photos, the number of dead and wounded.

There are two things, in addition to this crime ,which made my blood boil. One is the mealy-mouthedness in our MSM, where reporters and opinion writers simply could and cannot bring themselves to put the blame where it belongs: on islamic terrorists.

They more or less openly tried to insinuate that this could have been a return of the civil war – Tamil Tigers – or perhaps, given that Sri Lanka is mainly Buddhist, some fanatical buddhist group …That there was a warning received by the police, that the atrocities were committed by suicide bombers: that is shamefacedly hidden in subordinate clauses.

The other item is a report in The Times, and I quote:

“A sense of “post-colonial guilt” and a belief that Christianity is the religion of the rich and powerful have held Britain back from supporting persecuted Christians around the globe, according to the bishop leading a government review into their plight. […] Speaking before the attacks in Sri Lanka, Bishop Mounstephen told The Times that Britain had “something of a blind spot to the persecution of Christians”. The Foreign Office has conceded: “The UK’s foreign policy response has not always reflected the suffering of persecuted Christians.” (link, paywalled)

But wait – haven’t we been told for decades that everything is our fault because of our ‘colonialism’? And now the persecution of Christians across the globe is also our fault because we’ve accepted that burden of guilt? Oh my … words fail me!

Do enjoy this Bank Holiday and relax – it’s the last breathing space before the coming turmoil of the next weeks which will demand all our strength.




The post YOUR DAILY BREXIT BETRAYAL – Easter Monday, 22nd April 2019 appeared first on Independence Daily.

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