1. Exquisite Tweets from @Independent, @Lafargue, @Metatone2, @rfitz77, @stephenkb, @DavidMarkHerman

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    At least 60 anti-prorogation protests planned across Britain independent.co.uk/news/uk/politi…

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    Independent

    The Independent

  2. Really wish I was in the damn country ☹️☹️

    The Independent @
    At least 60 anti-prorogation protests planned across Britain independent.co.uk/news/uk/politi…

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    Lafargue

    Lafargue

  3. Metatone2

    Metatone

  4. How likely is a no deal brexit do you both think? Is there any real chance it'll be prevented?

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    rfitz77

    Ronan

  5. I'd be much more inclined to listen to @Metatone2 on this than me tbh, because I've been systematically too optimistic on how things would unfold. Still, fwiw, seems to me there's still a path to stop it, it's just frighteningly narrow without much room for error.

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    Lafargue

    Lafargue

    In your view, would the plan be to schedule an early election pre-Brexit day; post-Brexit day encompassing a no deal outcome; or post-Brexit day with 'real Brexit' as the platform but on the assumption that A50 has been extended?

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    Lafargue

    Lafargue

  6. If they are rational it is (1) or (3) as it's real galaxy brain stuff to risk that everything goes so well that it's a good time to have an election not long after a No Deal exit. But... "if they are rational" is doing a lot of work there I fear.

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    Metatone2

    Metatone

  7. Yeah I think if I were in Number 10 I'd be advising (1) (for fear of a backlash from Brexit Party people if there's another extension), which might in turn lead me to try to force a VONC as early as possible by (say) proroguing parliament a week or so after it returns...

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    Lafargue

    Lafargue

    But I've been caught out so many times already by over-interpreting strategy that I don't know how much weight to give that...

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    Lafargue

    Lafargue

  8. @rofitz22 This is the problem I grapple with, and aware that I find “the government is lying to us about its intentions” more palatable than “the government is crazy” - but that doesn’t mean the latter ain’t true.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  9. @rofitz22 This kind of language ("the government is crazy") has no place in our political discourse, least of all from one of the most (deservedly) respected political commentators.

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    DavidMarkHerman

    David Herman

    @rofitz22 "That doesn't the mean the latter ['the government is crazy'] ain't true." Any evidence for this?

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    DavidMarkHerman

    David Herman

  10. @rofitz22 At a loss as to why it is an inappropriate word for going for no deal having done very little of the infrastructure and staff spend *midway through an election*, which is the expressed policy of the government.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  11. @rofitz22 "That doesn't the mean the latter ['the government is crazy'] ain't true." Criticise policies and politicians but don't call either "crazy" as a substitute for argument or evidence.

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    DavidMarkHerman

    David Herman

  12. @rofitz22 Because we have a choice: either the government’s rhetoric is designed to maximise its chances of winning, or it is embarked on a project of no deal with no majority and no infrastructure midway thru or shortly before an election.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

    @rofitz22 You have badly misunderstood the point of that tweet.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  13. @rofitz22 The government has made a promise. They are trying to keep that promise. If they don't keep that promise they will lose the next election. You may not agree with the people who voted for Brexit or, more recently, voted for Johnson but all of this is perfectly sane.

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    DavidMarkHerman

    David Herman

  14. @rofitz22 What I am saying is: there's a gap between rhetoric and policy. The gap can either be explained as political manoeuvring or self-delusion. The onus is on *you* to explain a more accurate description of the latter.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

    @rofitz22 If you think the issue is that I don't agree with people who voted for Brexit or of political disagreement, then I can't help you. My point is the government is *not* trying to keep that promise.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  15. @rofitz22 The rhetoric says: Leave on 31 October. The policy is to leave on 31 October. You argue that the UK government is not ready to leave on 31 October. That's a perfectly reasonable argument. It does not, however, require the language of pathology ("crazy", "self-delusion").

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    DavidMarkHerman

    David Herman

  16. @rofitz22 The rhetoric is to be prepared to leave, deal or no deal. We have an on the record set of priorities set out by senior members of the government which they are visibly not attempting to meet.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  17. @rofitz22 I understand your point. It's perfectly interesting. I am making a much simpler point and I am sorry if it isn't clear: don't call policies or politicians "crazy" or "self-delusional". The political atmosphere is getitng more and more toxic. We don't need any kind of name-calling

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    DavidMarkHerman

    David Herman

    @rofitz22 Thank you for your time and patience during this exchange. I understand your argument. Really I do. I am sorry you don't want to acknowledge my very simple, even prosaic, point about name-calling but there are worse things in life. I wish you well.

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    DavidMarkHerman

    David Herman

  18. @rofitz22 Name-calling is describing BJ or JC as traitors. The ability to say that decision-making is "crazy" is an important part of being able to analyse a policy or a strategy, be it and a GNU or a no-deal approach that falls far short of Cummings' own expressed targets.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush

  19. It's a description of behaviour, not name calling.

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    rfitz77

    Ronan

  20. @rofitz22 Thank you for this: This is where we disagree. The history of mental illness, going back at least to the 17th c (see Roy Porter's 'Mind-Forg'd Manacles') is full of how people have called each other mad in order to rule out their views as illegitimate. We shouldn't do this.

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    DavidMarkHerman

    David Herman

  21. Indeed. Under the auspice of "not censoring" politicians it denies our ability to make full judgements. Important to be able to conclude that, e.g. Macmillan's sense of what EEC membership would mean *was* based on self-delusion about the UK's possible role in the 20th century.

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    stephenkb

    Stephen Bush