Good evening folks, there is much in this article that needs explaining, and I start by explaining my chart. I am running a new Twitter poll for 7 days. Yes, I know they are considered unscientific, mainly because Twitter doesn't actually tell me the details of how it was conducted. But they have not steered me wrong so far. The first time I ran one I got over 30.000 respondents and the second time almost 13.000.
The above poll was running for not even an hour and already some trends are becoming obvious. I apologize for the low numbers but a running result is available on my Twitter page @John56Myr. One of the greatest problems with this POLL tool is its serious restriction in the number of characters you can use to describe an option.
The intention of this poll was to be as non-partisan as possible. I am and always will be pro-EU, but that shouldn't matter. I tried to be fair by including not just NO DEAL but also any deal that Teresa May or even Boris Johnson may come up with. I specified that the deal would include the Irish backstop or some equivalent, because I believe that the EU will never ... ever ... ever ... ever remove that restriction. They can't. It would be suicide! They can't sell out their Irish member, they can't give Britain a better deal on the outside than what they have on the inside. I will return to this point later, but let me now explain the ROAD RAGE.
Last night, as many have already said, was a very poor showing of parliament, reminiscent of the Spanish parliament that once ended up in a punch-up. As for road rage, I don't know if you have actually experienced it, but it really is a spectacle to behold when the parties involved include someone meek and helpless like a little old lady or a priest. When they are behind the wheel they are not unlike a crazed killer that is on a rampage.
Psychologists have done many studies on this phenomenon, and have summarised the reasons for it as slow or bad driving, aggressive overtaking, flashing horns and headlights, tail-gating and so on. We have all come across such drivers, and the fastest way to becoming one yourself is to find yourself sharing the road with one such person. They further explain that there are two types of reasons for such behaviour. The habitual culprit and the situational culprit. The latter includes people who are stressed out for reasons other than driving, a bereavement, loss of job, problems with children. Once behind the wheel, even the slightest incident can set them off.
As a kid I once had an aunt that was always driving fast and rather recklessly because she was in a hurry for an appointment. Instead of setting of 5 minutes earlier, she would delay her departure until the very last moment and then drive like blazes to be on time. Her resulting driving caused much aggravation and honking by others on the road. This is the habitual road rager, and the people he/she meets could be defined as the situational variety. They were fine until they came across this S.O.B. on the road.
Boris Johnson and Donald Trump are the habitual variety. They have taught themselves to use provocative language in everyday parlance ... and include direct challenges to the people they are addressing. In many ways its like a spoiled child that is being ignored. Generally, they are friendly characters, but they are used to being the center of attention, and if you ignore them they will change their behaviour such as to provoke a reaction from you. They attack in order to defend themselves.
This was Boris Johnson last night in parliament, and he managed to get everybody really upset, including the BBC and many fellow MPs. The BBC fell directly into the trap, trying next day to analyse the behaviour and get everyone to say Boris Johnson was a very naughty boy. Ask any 'experienced' or trained parent. The best way to handle any spoiled kid that is demanding to have its own way all the time, is to ignore them - not to react to them or try to punish them. If you do try to punish them you might even find yourself being visited by socials services for cruelty. So don't respond to him, just smile benignly and ignore him. It will drive him crazy.
I come back to my poll. Even as we speak the number of respondents has climbed to 158, with 51% for remain and 30% for NO DEAL. I have found these numbers to be fairly common, but this is not my point. Look at the first option, a negotiated deal that includes some form of Irish backstop. It is only 6%. Think about it, this is the deal we consider to be a compromise - the target to which we all aspire. A solution that is fair and balanced and pisses absolutely everybody off, including remainer, Brexiters and the EU.
Nobody has the guts to stand up for revoke article 50 except the Liberal Democrats and we call them traitors. I don't doubt for a moment that Boris will not be able to get a proper deal that satisfies the Brexiters, because it doesn't exist. It is like trying to square the circle, an impossibility, and one that was impossible from the very first moment that the Irish problem became an issue.
One of the first rules of negotiation is to try to get into the mind of your opponents and recognize what they want and what they are prepared to give in exchange. You also need to recognize the limits, the step too far that they will not cross. This was and is the mistake of the UK side. They have been far, far too focused on their own team and reaching a consensus than they were with what the EU can never ever give up if it is to survive. It is meaningless to say, we will not accept the backstop. You might as well say, we will not accept to give up our first born, or our nuclear weapons. The danger for the EU was that first year 2016, right after the first referendum.
The EU was terrified because of the elections they had coming up, including in France, Austria and the Netherlands. In each of them a populist was running and should they have won, it would have been the beginning of the end for the EU. But they survived, and now as things stand, the EU will not give up much more to get a deal. Because everybody in the EU, even the Eurosceptics have realized that there is no easy way out and have more to lose than gain by being outside the Union.
The EU now use nice words, like "we are not wedded to the backstop", when they said there will be no renegotiation. Mendacious amateurs like Gove take this as a sign they are capitulating, when all they are really saying is ...
"OK wise guy, for 3 years some of the greatest minds in the UK and EU have fought with the problem and all we could come up with that satisfies all our criteria is the backstop, but if your so smart and eager to prove you are smarter, knock yourself out. You have 30 days - now go away."
There is no possible satisfactory Brexit, but it must be included in the referendum as an option even if it scores even less those who don't vote, because if it isn't included somebody will cry foul and prevent this matter dying out and us from moving on.
So people, stop kidding yourselves. You are the only ones that can solve this problem. Another election will not solve it, it must be a referendum, and there must be multiple choices. If one cannot reach 50% on the first round of voting, then on the second round only the top two scoring options will go thorough, ensuring someone wins. For the record, its called a run-off!