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Peter

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Reply with quote  #676 
Well, so much for my hopes expressed above. Following the ceaseless treachery of Conservative Remainers, Leavers are getting in on the act. If this ends up with a Marxist sitting in No 10, I hope all those concerned will be proud of themselves.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #677 
To be fair, there are higher things than party. If there was a good chance of getting a lasting and full Brexit, I wouldn't care if the Tories turn on each other. I could probably just about put up with the strong chance of Corbyn coming to power, if we got such a Brexit. But I doubt that much good will come of challenging May now. There are too many remainers and indifferent Tory MPs for there to be much hope that a Brexit saviour will swoop down and unite the Tory party behind a strong Brexit position. Dissension might even strengthen the Tory Europhiles, who love to cast Tory Eurosceptics as trouble-makers.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #678 
When it is actually them who have been playing that role. Exactly. But I don't think anything is more important than keeping an unregenerate Marxist out. I'd rather see us stay in the EU altogether, or even end up in the worst-of-all-worlds position of in the Single Market but out of the Union itself, than have Corbyn in charge of affairs. What next? Mrs May has shown amazing staying power, but surely this blow will test even her ability to survive. If she does go and someone like the infantile Rees-Mogg (a cult figure does not a national leader make) or even Boris (sure, i like him, it's almost impossible not to like him, but a big kid does not ...) replaces her, then the game is up and Labour will win.

I would have fancied David Davis, but he's surely out of the question now. My pick would I think be Michael Gove. He has an outstanding record for competence, is a determined Leaver yet has shown a recognition that politics really is the art of the possible, and a willingness to compromise in order to get things done. The new leader and Prime Minister, if there is one, simply has to be a person who can gather both Leavers and Remainers behind their leadership, which I think Gove could. Not the fruitcake fringes on either side, sure, but no one could get both sets of nuts entirely behind him or herself. Actually, anyone who could get the support of either set of them is probably leaning too far that way to be a suitable pick.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #679 
Johnson goes now. I can't see any way this is going to end well.
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #680 
Theresa May must go. That's all I'm going to say. Rees-Mogg for PM.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #681 
To be immediately followed by Corbyn as PM, to be immediately followed by the end of our island story. Even were it not for the loomimg Corbyn threat, Rees-Mogg is totally unfitted for the role. Which isn't to say he won't get it, look at Trump. But I do hope not. I don't actually agree with 'May must go', either. And that's not to say she won't have to, but I wouldn't write her off just yet.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #682 
Rees-Mogg is untested in leadership, but I am not sure why he should be thought unsuitable, except for differences of philosophy and policy. He's nothing like Trump. He is articulate, thoughtful, and a man of integrity. Alongside Davis (who I wish had won the leadership all those years ago), he is one of the few Tory figures who I think could be a genuinely good PM. Of course, he is unlikely to appeal to the BBC and the rest of the left-liberal media, which do carry a lot of weight, unfortunately.

On Brexit, the problem is that the EU will not accept a deal that doesn't fudge Brexit. It is central to the European project that power and influence gained by Brussels cannot be returned to national governments. So not only will the EU leaders try to retain as much control over Britain as possible, they will also want to punish it as a warning to other members who get any ideas about reversing, or even slowing, integration. May's position has many red flags - it seems, for example, it will prevent Britain seeking independent trade deals with non-EU nations. But even it is likely to be rejected by Brussels. The alternative is no deal, which will likely be what happens. I can live with that (though, admittedly, I will still be in Australia fora few years yet), and I doubt it will be catastrophic, but any pain will be amplified by the BBC et al., so will be very risky.
jovan66102

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Reply with quote  #683 
I'm quite sure Rees-Mogg would make an excellent PM. However, as a sincere, believing Traditional Catholic, the chances of his becoming PM are slightly less than those of Her Majesty declaring a Royal dictatorship to carry Brexit through or of Pope Francis becoming a Catholic.
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Peter

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Reply with quote  #684 
He has experience in business leadership, but in politics the experience he has gained in his eight-year Parliamentary career to date has been of attacking and undermining leadership. In all respects he has been a maverick and divisive figure, not a mollifying and unifying one. His views on racial and sexual equality are questionable at best, while his views on other social issues aren't questionable at all. They're appalling. I do give him credit for frankness, though none for subcontracting out the entirety of his moral thought. And I accept his public statements that opposed as he personally may be to any legal abortion and to equal marriage rights, he would make no attempt to reverse the current position on these questions.

Overall, he could be considered a far-right counterweight to the far-left Corbyn, but I can't see him having Corbyn's unexpected and unwelcome electoral success. Actually, if Jeremy Corbyn had a vote in any Conservative leadershiip election, I reckon he'd cast it for his fellow J.

The people looking for a soft exit are essentially saying 'Look, let's give the EU everything they might want before negotiations even begin'. That might work with someone who is going to negotiate in good faith, though i would still counsel against it. The EU though has never negotiated in good faith. The only way to get anything out of it is to nail it to the wall first, à la Thatcher. Otherwise, intransigence will be its first, last and only negotiating position, and every concession will produce only a demand for more. But with a government so weak and divided we aren't in a position to negotiate successfully, so I too would be happy with no deal, being greatly preferable to the terrible deal which is all we'll get otherwise.

It wouldn't be at all catastrophic, in fact I think it is a bit of a Nibiru, not in the sense of never having existed but in being a phantom fear. But, as usual, we shall see what happens. Mrs May does thus far seem to have ridden out the crisis so unnecessarily and disappointingly created by Johnson and Davis with her customary impeturbability, and my hope is that the next leader question will be resolved by her being it.

PS Jovan to friend: Fancy a pint? Friend to Jovan: Is the Pope Catholic? Jovan to friend: No. You coming anyway?
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #685 
But those do seem differences of philosophy and policy, not his ability to lead, although perhaps these aren't completely separate. The left-liberal media will savage him, as they did to Tony Abbott in Australia (though Mogg's humble charm may help him here). Shall we say, many here, and amongst the Tory rank and file might not quite agree about the acceptability of his Mogg's views (it also seems a little strange to call them far-right). I also think we can take him at his word that he wouldn't try to change the laws on abortion and gay marriage without a significant shift in the party and the country. His moral and social views, therefore, would at most help push the party back towards a mildly social conservative or just socially moderate position, which not only seems eminently sensible, but more in line with the ethos of a true conservative party.

But, anyway, the claim he subcontracts his moral principles seems a little strange. For a start, most people today, and always, are not moral philsophers. Few think deeply about their moral principles. They, rather, imbibe from the society and culture that surround them, or most influential parts. This is even true of many in government. I would think Mogg has thought about his moral and social views far more deeply than the average person or even the average parliamentarian. I say this because, one, he seems a very thoughtful and intelligent man, and, two, he is aware that his beliefs are considered strange and problematic by the majority today, which is bound to make a man like him think more deeply about them and their foundations. Besides, the real question is whether his views are true and what arguments can he give for them, not how he originally came to them. And he has as rich a tradition of philosophical, moral, and social thought to draw from in the Roman Catholic tradition as any other.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #686 
My hope is that his leadership abilities, or lack thereof, will not be put to the test. I don't greatly fear they are going to be, but then I didn't greatly fear that with Trump either, so can make no claim to accurate prophecy. He accepts his moral principles wholesale from someone else without examination. While that is in essence what Catholics are required to do, I don't see subcontracting as an unfair characterisation of it. And of course I profoundly disagree with the Catholic position on many matters, but that's a different argument, one I could not have without causing offence to people here I don't wish to offend. I did say that I accepted Rees-Mogg's word that he would not attempt to reverse existing rights.
Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #687 
Well, as noted, that wouldn't make him any different to most people. The only difference, perhaps, is that his positions are based on one relatively clear, explicit authority, whereas most today absorb theirs in a rather inchoate and piecemeal way from the dominant elements of our society and culture.

But I would actually be surprised if Mogg hadn't given deep thought to his faith and its moral teaching (remember how we view the world and our normative views are intimately connected). One might almost as well say that Aquinas, Suarez, or Anscombe just took their moral views unexamined from the Church, in that case
Peter

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Reply with quote  #688 
Pretty heavyweight company for our Jacob. Let's hope it'll never matter which of us is right on this point. Or rather I'll hope that, while you hope the reverse.
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #689 
I'm somewhat still cool to the idea of Brexit since I think that there will be economic upheaval no matter whether there is an agreement in place or not by the time the U.K. leaves.  The months of waffling almost guarantees that things are going to be a mess no matter what.  The lack of decisiveness is not inspiring confidence in any quarter.  I'm not fan of an overreaching E.U., but I think that there were some benefits to membership and it will be a shame to loose those.  However, the Tories are wrecking things badly and the possibility that this will result in a Labor government under "that man" gives me hives.  The Conservatives need to get their act together and prop up May.  She may not be an inspirational leader, but she tries hard and she is trying to achieve realistic results.  It's a shame her own party may be responsible for Brexit issues leading to the opposition entering No. 10. 
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DavidV

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Reply with quote  #690 
The EU has to be dissolved at some point. If a forced, artificial union like the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia can be dissolved, the EU will be too.
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