Tag archives for Brexit

Why vote in the European Elections tomorrow?

You might be forgiven for thinking that tomorrow's European elections are a waste of effort. If you care about brexit, either way, then it's vital you go and vote tomorrow. European Elections Tomorrow we have an opportunity to vote for the members of the European Parliament that represent the UK. After the brexit referendum and the shouting about the EU being unelected this might surprise you. However we've been able to elect Members of the European Parliament (MEP) for decades. Most of us don't, the turnout for European elections is usually really low. Bizarrely, Nigel Farage is an MEP and routinely claims his salary and expenses. The process uses proportional representation. You vote for a party and the parties have lists of candidates. The constituencies are huge. Scotland is one, London is another. Typically they have a population of about…
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Is it Time for a Government of National Unity?

Parliament Square last night as the defeat of the EU Exit Withdrawal Agreement was announced (photo: James Kemp) In the UK we're living in divided times, so is it time we had a government of national unity? After last night's defeat of the government's proposed withdrawal agreement it may be time for something different. Labour have tabled a no confidence motion in the government. While it looks likely to fail. However, all it takes is a couple of Conservative or DUP MPs to abstain or rebel and our government will fall. We'll find out later today. Government of National Unity We last had a government of national unity from the early thirties until the end of the second world war. The government was formed of all parties, as was the loyal opposition. The original reason for forming the coalition was…
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Snap Election – Some Analysis GE2017

London skyline, with Big Ben (Elizabeth Tower) in the background. (Photo: James Kemp) Yesterday's unexpected announcement of a snap election for 8 June is an interesting development for the UK government. It makes complete sense when you view things with a Conservative party lens. The Conservatives are massively ahead in the polls. The Labour party clearly aren't united enough for an election (especially as it is three years early). It deals with the jibes that the Prime Minister has no electoral mandate (whether you believe those claims or not). Caveats on Polls Opinion polls have significant margins of error. I've blogged about this previously several times. Mid term polls are especially prone to large errors. Voters blatantly misdirect pollsters, or simply change their minds on the day. Either way the apparent 25 point Conservative lead over the Labour part doesn't…
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Narrative and Social Media

I had a bit of a lightbulb moment the other day about social media and the driving of narrative. It was when I was doing my analysis on the recent coup attempt in Turkey. Narrative Power Terry Pratchett - master of narrative (Photo credit: Wikipedia) As any reader of Terry Pratchett knows, narrative has a power of its own. Humans are storyphiles. We just love stories, and where we have a narrative in play we will ignore inconvenient facts so that the narrative can continue. Some of what appears to constitute shock might simply be the disruption of narrative. Social media and the filter bubble Social media is well known for creating a filter bubble effect. This isn't a new phenomenon, but the effects are becoming more obvious. See Guido Fawkes on the Brexit filter bubble. Humans are social animals, and maintaining group cohesion requires…
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Article 50 – How will we Brexit?

After the referendum there's been a lot of speculation on how we invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon. Article 50 (see below) is the provision for a member state to leave the EU. Article 50 Here is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. It helps to know what it is before giving an opinion. 1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty…
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