Thursday, 6 December 2018

The braindead Ella Whelan

Typical of the Spiked Online mentality, Ella Whelan (the Spiked Office junior) demands that "If the EU won’t respect British demands for sovereignty, we should tell it to go to hell". It's cute when they get to that age.

The irony here is that for the purposes of Brexit the EU has been largely accommodating. It has set out many times the options available to us, only it stipulates that the issues created by our departure must be resolved to our mutual satisfaction before it can go as far as discussing the future relationship. In this it is we who are not respecting the sovereignty of the EU.

The UK is demanding that the EU leaves a gaping hole in its system of frontier controls so that UK goods can cross them without any regard for the integrity of EU product controls. The UK believes it has a right to unilaterally diverge from the EU regulatory ecosystem and that the EU should roll over and allow our goods without demanding conformity.

We could, if that were the consensus view, tell the EU to stuff its terms and conditions but it is we who seek concessions from them. Should we do so, the EU is well within its rights - and indeed is obliged, to treat us as a third country with no formal relations. That means no enhanced customs cooperation, no trade in services and the death of our just in time supply chains.

Here we find there are limits to sovereignty. We can very easily "take back control" of our own fish, but unless we have a system of food safety and habitat preservation controls reviewed and approved by the EU then we have no right to expect we can export out fish to the EU. This is the EU exercising its own sovereignty over its own customs territory. It will respect our sovereignty if we choose to do things differently but there won't be much point in taking fish out of the water if nobody is going to buy them.

In the binary little world of Spiked none of the international norms of modern trade apply. Britain can just sever its moorings to the European mainland and sail into the mid-Atlantic with no ties and no obligations to its former alliance.

Here Whelan urges us to ignore the naysayers. "We should tell it to go to hell. And if our MPs can’t do their job and deliver on a clear directive from voters, we should tell them the same. It’s time for a radical alternative in British politics. It’s time for something new". She does not say, however, what that something is. Nowhere on the Spiked site do I see any fleshed out idea of what this alternative is. 

Sadly we will get no elucidation from Spiked as to what our future relationship should look like or indeed how this new era of democracy unfolds. You see, Spiked like to talk about debate but can always been seen avoiding them when it comes to anything more challenging than their usual fare - the Streatham free-speech knitting club. For further insight we must turn to Ella's boss who makes it all clear. 
One of the most regrettable features of public life today is the crisis of good faith. The refusal to accept that people say the things they say because they really believe them, and the hunt, instead, for the real reason people hold and express certain beliefs. Who put them up to it? Who are they a front for? What’s the hidden agenda? Do they know someone or get funding from someone and might this explain why they hold the views they hold? What is the story – the true, dark, shadowy story – behind their points of view and their political activity?
He then goes on to outline how Spiked has received nearly half a million dollars from the Koch brothers. I'm not at all surprised they would stoop that low but I do have to question how they can spend so much to produce so little?

But you know what? I believe him when he says there is no sinister motive. I really wish there was. I really wish there were a coherent agenda masked by this wall of issue illiterate dribble. I could at least then be assured that there was a vision and a plan of some sort. But there really isn't. This really is as good as it gets - and nobody at all is paying them to say this stuff. They would say it anyway. Just as well really. 

For much of the Brexit campaign I have wondered if these people are mendacious or simply thick as mince. Where the IEA is concerned we know there is deep corruption and dirty dealings in respect of their future trade ambitions, but Spiked must simply accept that they are the useful idiots of the Tory hard right fringe - much like the Taxpayer's Alliance sock puppet. 

Not coincidentally, in grooming Whelan, Spiked has acquired its own version of Low Fact Chloe; a young, dim but telegenic mouthpiece to rattle off slogans and empty rhetoric. This is the intellectual debasement of Brexit that has allowed its opponents to out-think and out-gun the leavers at every turn.

There is no argument from this blog that Theresa May's deal is possibly the worst deal imaginable - but ultimately we are lumbered with it because none of the Brexiters save for The Leave Alliance ever put forth a deliverable alternative. Being that we have been no-platformed by the media, as far as the bubble goes, there really is no alternative. We shall die of old age before the likes of Spiked turn their attentions to the dilemmas of modern trade and produce something worth our time. 

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