Mueller Investigation Affects Brexit


Two tweets from a thread by Tony Venables:

Complete thread:

What I will say is this: the only way Brexit will be undone is through a challenge to the referendum result itself. We know there were issues with postal ballots, funding illegalities, misinformation and outside interference. These raise serious questions. [1/13 thread]

The problem we have is that while a few dedicated individuals have been attacking hard on this front, it has never been taken seriously by the mainstream. The line ‘the will of the people’ continues to be trotted out and will justify anything until it is shown to be false. [2/13]

Having questions raised such as those above should be enough. Other nations have re-run elections for less. But we’re ploughing ahead regardless. At present, no one in mainstream politics – by which I mean Parliament – seems to have the will or support to tackle this. [3/13]

This might change soon, and rapidly. Already, the desperation is showing, and there are voices centre stage saying things that only months ago were considered fringe opinions. But as the realisation (possibly) dawns, the 29 March deadline closes. [4/13]

Brexit would inflict (if not Brexit itself) bear in mind that some do not. No Deal is not rolling towards us unaided. Disaster capitalists are driving us harder towards it. [5/13]

Many are against delaying Brexit and extending Article 50, and there are some good reasons for that. Extending this uncertainty for another year is damaging in itself, no matter what the final outcome. Businesses leave. The economy shrinks. [6/13]

But there is one scenario in which delay makes sense – investigating the referendum itself. That is a delay with a definite, clear goal. It’s addressing the right question. [7/13]

While many are behind the notion of a People’s Vote, the stark truth is that nothing has been done to avoid the abuses, disinformation and meddling that marred the first referendum. We’d just be playing again against someone who has loaded dice, blindly hoping to win. [8/13]

But does anyone, anywhere, have the clout – or the balls – to really start pushing for postponement pending proper investigation? It doesn’t seem so. But there is one person who could make a difference: Robert Mueller. [9/13]

His investigation centres on Trump, not Brexit. But we know they are linked, and when Mueller moves, there *will* be significant fallout this side of the Atlantic. Whether it is enough to halt Brexit, and whether it comes in time, is another question. But it’s possible. [10/13]

What this requires, though, is for people to get behind it NOW, to make their MPs raise the question NOW. A People’s Vote is not the answer. Compromise is not the answer. No Deal will cripple us. But go back to the root. Question the vote. There is good cause to do so. [11/13]

Tell them you do not have sufficient confidence in the way this was run to accept that this was the will of the people. You’re not saying it isn’t, simply that the vote itself is tainted, and cannot (should not) be used as a reliable indicator. We need to be certain. [12/13]

Push for postponement on *this* basis.
I see no other way out of this. All other routes are further self harm. [13/13]


Mark Rutte on the Backstop

 Mark Rutte, PM of the Netherlands

Martial Law

Something is going wrong here.




Trump Is Playing the Media

I think that a very important point in Jared Yates Sexton‘s twitter thread is the suggestion that the media in the US [in my view not only the US] have a really bad history of collapsing political maneuvering and actual reality. Donald Trump understood that development of the media, and with his wall rhetorics he quite consequently created a situation where he took something that was just a mnemonic device, something “that wasn’t real and trusted that the media would then make it real”.

The too predictable echoing of rhetorics (eristics actually) is not something which only Trump can relay on. People like Nigel Farage in the UK play the press in Trump’s way as well. The facts of the Brexit just disappear in all the eristic noise which keeps the media very busy.

Actually, I believe that Trump and Farage need what they call “fake news” media just as they are to instigate permanent exitement. Unfortunately the media nicely play along with what Trump and Farage expects them to do. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the game could be changed within the media. Therefore I assigned a “hope” tag to this thread, because responsible people in the media could tackle this issue without waiting for a change in the present communications strategies of politicians.

Journalists have no choice if they want to survive as journalists. The game needs to be changed simply “because if it doesn’t we’re going to end up in a nightmarish hellscape where meaning’s not just broken, it’s lost forever.”

Full thread of Jared Yates Sexton’s tweet:

Hey, so, this government shutdown narrative has swallowed itself and been bled of all meaning. Let’s get down, on the record, the important facets of this story that are getting lost and prevent its resolution, as well as see where this thing went so, so wrong. 1/

First of all. There’s no wall. There isn’t going to be a wall. There was never going to be a wall. It’s a metaphor, a story that was constructed by Trump [it probably was constructed for Trump in 2014] as a means to get elected and having this fight is a means of either saying he’s getting the wall or saying he tried. 2/

The media in this country has a really bad history of collapsing political maneuvering and actual reality. In this case, Trump understood that history and created a situation where he took something that wasn’t real and trusted that the media would then make it real. 3/

Throughout his first two years, Trump had control of the government. If the wall was a feasible thing, if anyone actually wanted it besides his rabid base, the Republican government would have passed it. This is a posturing, a battle he picked with an incoming Dem house. 4/

Trump is only able to stay in this fight for 3 reasons: 1. the media automatically reports political maneuvering as fact. 2. We have swallowed the lie of “security” in a post-9/11 world. 3. The GOP are still examining Trump’s base and determining whether they need them. 5/

For historical context, it’s important to remember that the largest attack on American soil in modern history (September 11th) happened during a Republican administration that was given due warning and did nothing. But what they did was grasp the narrative and rhetoric… 6/

The Republican Party is TERRIBLE at national security. They have no nuance. They only bomb things and overthrow governments that are eventually replaced by despots. They ruin up huge hypocritical debts. It happens over and over and over again. That’s the GOP’s legacy. 7/

Let’s talk about ACTUAL SECURITY. Right now, this shutdown is lowering America’s status in the world. It’s making us a laughingstock and is ensuring that other countries won’t partner with us. Trump does this daily, of course, and the GOP are standing idly by. 8/

Trump and the GOP sit there and talk about Democrats not being for security while shutting down the government and stripping funding from Homeland Security and other security efforts. NOT TO MENTION the security of safe food, safe flights, safe everything. 9/

Oh. Here’s another thing. I’ve been talking to people working in federal prisons. Get this. They’re working skeleton crews. The situation is getting very dangerous and very unstable. Guess who’s in some of these prisons?


That’s right. The places where the ACTUAL TERRORISTS ARE KEPT are being starved for funding and are thus becoming unstable and more dangerous. That’s not being talked about because REAL SECURITY isn’t RHETORICAL SECURITY. The media loves RHETORICAL, not ACTUAL. 11/

So. Because Trump and the GOP will act in blatant bad faith, we’re in a situation where the media and pundits are asking the party that acts in good faith to simply give them what they want, which doesn’t exist, won’t exist, shouldn’t exist. That’s what’s happening. 12/

Because horserace/status quo media want everything to be about the rhetorical process instead of the actual reality, we have a situation that has been completely drained of meaning and has no sensible way to proceed. But there’s something even worse than that… 13/

Because segments of the media refuse to learn from their mistakes of 2016 and earlier, they’re actually giving incentive for Trump and other politicians to create destabilizing crises in the future. If you do it, and if you lie, you’ll get a narrative that helps your cause. 14/

So, not only do we have a snake eating its tail, but we have a snake eating its tail that’s giving birth to more tail-eating snakes. There’s no way for this situation, as reported, as covered, as presented, to lead to a good solution. Not as long as the mistake continues. 15/

This is the result of decades, no, generations of bad faith and bad actions. Not to mention incompetency of history and context. It has to end, because if it doesn’t we’re going to end up in a nightmarish hellscape where meaning’s not just broken, it’s lost forever. 16/16

How the Tories Failed

Pre-Brexite Damage

One out of several valuable contributions by Edwin Hayward to writing the Brexit history:

 full thread