What if Parliament passed a law preventing No Deal Brexit and Boris Johnson simply ignored it? It’s that kind of behavior would tip the UK into revolution and civil war.
The two sides are still not sure what is going to happen. The clock continues to tick. I have no idea what is going to happen — and I don’t think they do, either. Things could pretty much devolve into the absolute worse case scenario of revolution and civil war. The Brits may be growing ever closer to a 10 Days That Shook The World type situation.
Brexit is currently such a clusterfuck — and I know so little about British politics — that I honest have no idea what might happen. Anything could happen, it seems.
I do know, however, that should “the good guys” (Remain) win in Great Britain in the next few weeks, it definitely will give me some semblance of hope that it might happen in the United States as well.
It definitely seems as though the Americans and the British are trying to on-up each other on political stupidity mixed with needless tragedy. Both MAGA and Brexit are, at their core, self-owns on a strategic level. I’m not British, but I would like to take this opportunity to make my own case for Remain.
As I understand it, one of the arguments of those who say “Brexit means Brexit” is that it’s the “will of the people.” And, yet, as is often noted, No Deal Brexit was not on the ballet. As such, that, in itself, I feel enough to negate any further push towards Brexit for the time being.
I would also note that given how close the vote was and how obviously the whole thing was passed on a series of lies, the need for the consent of Parliament becomes ever more obvious. So, to claim that not allowing Brexit to happen is against “the will of the people” is rather disingenuous on the face of it.
While all of this may be true on a theoretical level, there is problem that if you did put the brakes on Brexit the very forces that caused the whole thing to happen in the first place would pop out again. And that’s an issue that is extremely difficult for me to figure out how to fix.
It’s that a small, organize minority — much like MAGA in the United States — is more than willing to drive the entire country off a cliff for its own selfish ends that makes you realize it’s unlikely that anything but No Deal Brexit is going to happen.
I’ve idly mused about a Very British Revolution that would revoke Article 50. But the chances of that seem to be growing far less by the moment. Boris Johnson hasn’t made the strategic screw ups he would have to make for that to happen. It seems like either the whole thing will be punted down the road again or there will be No Deal Brexit and any catastrophes will happen after that.
It is eerie how similar MAGA and Brexit is. Spooky even. Both are based fundamentally on lies and a fear of the “other.” How either America or Great Britain will fix these chronic problems in real terms is anyone’s guess at this point.
Let me be absolutely clear — I’m a nobody American in the middle of nowhere. No one reads this blog and so, relative to my point of view, I’m kinda talking to myself. I just find myself growing ever more alarmed with what’s going on in the UK and feel compelled to write about it.
The Brexit crisis in the UK continues to be chronic. The two sides are growing ever more angry at each other. But, so far, there’s no sense of radicalization. Everyone wants to at least pretend to work within the existing Constitutional structure. As such, I have yet to see anything concrete that would indicate all of this won’t be solved politically.
For what I fear will happen, to happen, something has to change. Someone — like doofus Boris Johnson — would have to make a strategic error that would radicalize things. When he prorogued Parliament, he came pretty close to doing it. And, yet, I can see a lot of ways this will either be punted down the road or simply solved politically via a General Election. The Government would have to make a major power grab in a ham handed manner that would shock and enrage the populace to such an extent that talk of extra-Constitutional methods of solving the problem would start to be taken seriously.
The key issue right now is both sides are beginning to think they have a legitimate claim to having their will enacted. Brexiters think “Brexit is Brexit” and say the the referendum’s results give them the right to make Brexit — even No Deal Brexit — a reality. Meanwhile, Remain thinks that given it’s self-evident that No Deal Brexit would be a complete clusterfuck that maybe there should be some more debate on the issue.
What I fear will happen is there will be a succession of power grabs and miscalculations on the part of the Government such that people begin to think there simply can not be a peaceful political outcome to all of this. And once you cross that Rubicon, things could grow pretty spectacular pretty quick.
The Last Taboo might be broken — people will start seizing shit. Parliament might tell radicalize enough that they would go rouge en masse. Then what? Would the Government risk the optics of the military force being used to disband Parliament? From where I am in the States, at least, it wouldn’t take too much for Remain protesters to become republican revolutionaries. Revoking Article 50 would be the initial goal of such a revolutionary government, but that would, of course, only be the beginning to a much broader event in history.
All that is just the absolute worst case scenario. I don’t want anyone to get hurt. So, I think — I hope — things will calm down and be solved politically one way or another.
Absolutely no one reads this blog, so I feel comfortable indulging my personal love of scenarios here without much thought that anyone is actually take issue with it. And if they do — I don’t mean to advocate anything. Sometimes I grow a little obsessive with my flights of fancy and write a lot about something I have no business writing about.
So, here I am again, mulling A Very British Revolution. The scenario goes like this — sometime very soon, the Government (Brexiters) and Parliament (Remainers) find themselves on a collision course. The scenario only works if Parliament, sensing it has the support of the populace, tells Boris Johnson’s Government to fuck off. I just don’t see this happening, but for the sake of the scenario, let’s say it happens. If this did happen, the things would grow pretty momentus pretty quick. It would not be too difficult to assume that Parliament would find itself in the position of nearly being forced to form a Revolutionary Government of its own. If they had their wits about them, they would use their popular support among Londoners to seize City Hall, the BBC and the police.
At this point, things would grow murky. I would propose that they would feel a lot of pressure to form a Republican Parliament that would abolish the monarchy. One issue would be what would happen to the other divisions of the UK. In a way, the case could be made that you could probably keep Scotland in the new republic a lot easier than you might think. In fact, I would use revoking Article 50 as a bargaining chip to keep Scotland joined with the England. You promise the Scots a written constitution that would give them formalized rights much like an American state. This would avoid the Scots having to formally leave the EU in the first place and keep the some semblance of the UK effectively in existence. If you can keep the Scots, you can keep the rest of the country together. (Which to me would be the goal in the first place.)
What you would call this new country is anyone’s guess. United States of Britain? United Republics of Great Britain? And then if you want to get all technical about it, the issue of the flag would also be up for debate, I guess. But I don’t really know enough about that to be able to pace that part of the scenario out.
But all of that is the absolute worse case scenario. That would be the political equivalent of an asteroid striking the planet. In all likelihood, either the bad guys of Boris Johnson’s tinpot dictatorship Government wins or the whole thing is punted down the road again. Or the real damage, the real crisis happens after No Deal Brexit itself.
As I have noted before, just because you had a revolution in Great Britain, doesn’t mean you wouldn’t have a civil war immediately afterwards. Just because the Government lost the mandate of heaven, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t go down fighting. And if things have gotten so bad that the Crown is overthrown, then all bets are off. People would likely get hurt and I definitely don’t want that. That’s why this is just me idly mulling possibilities for my own “enjoyment.” The moment any of this scenario becomes a reality, it won’t be much fun at all.
But if the United Republics of Great Britain did manage to survive a Second English Civil War, I would guess the Crown would leave for the bosom of Canada. That makes the most sense. I guess. It would be a bit surreal — much like when the Portuguese crown fled to Brazil during the Napoleonic Wars.
And, really, me writing about this says more about me being unhappy that nothing seems to stop Trump from turning the States into an authoritarian state than my desire to see a revolution in Great Britain. I just wish the Good Guys could win in Great Britain and maybe encourage Americans to have a little bit more spunk in their resistance to Trump.
Let me stress, I don’t want anyone to get hurt and I’m not advocating anything. It’s not my country and I know real people would be involved — and put in danger — if any of what I’ve suggested were to actually happen. And, again, no one reads this blog so it’s not like anyone should care what I have to say. I’m just a nobody in the States looking across the pond with growing unease as to what’s happening in the UK.
Let me get some things out of the way. First, I’m not British and I’m not in the UK so I feel my ability to express my opinion is limited. Or, if nothing else, I encourage you to actively ignore my views and simply read this for infotainment, if nothing else. Also, very, very few people read this blog so I feel like I’m simply talking to myself. But I can, if nothing else, simply try to give my value-free opinions on things going on in Great Britain right now.
The rise of Trump has taught Americans, or at least me, that in the modern age the bad guys always win. So, in a sense, I’m not expecting anything unexpected to happen in the next week. I think Boris Johnson’s government will “win” one way or another. No Deal Brexit will happen on Oct. 31st and that will be that. The Anglophonic portion of the Western World will lurch closer to a dystopia and we’ll all shrug and go back to enjoying our sucky world.
But the argument could be made the conditions are there for something pretty extraordinary to happen in the UK this week. We could find a situation where the Government and Parliament play a game of chicken to see who blinks first. If all else fails, Parliament might appeal to the populace to help them and then things get really interesting, really fast. I’m not advocating that, just observing that it’s possible. And I don’t even know enough in real terms to know if what I’m suggesting is even possible. I’m not claiming to know that. I like to run scenarios and this is just another scenario to entertain.
The reason why I don’t think this would happen is as far as I can tell, the leadership of Parliament just doesn’t have it in them to stand up to the Government in the way they would need to to be successful. It would take a lot — a lot — of courage to think outside the box to the extent necessary to pull of this scenario. And as of right now, neither side is radical enough. I think the Government from its actions definitely has decided to take whatever measures necessary to get its way. And I think both Parliament and the populace have not been pushed to the point that they’re willing to take the concrete measures to combat the Government’s moves. So, barring something truly extraordinary, the Government “wins” and that’s that. Everyone waits until post No Deal Brexit to see what happens.
I mean, what Parliament & the populace would have to do is so jaw dropping as to be outside the bounds of what most people would believe possible. Parliament would have to, effectively, declare war on the Government by not standing down as the Queen as ordered them to do. There’s a short distance from that form of open rebellion against the existing Constitutional order to a Revolutionary Government seizing London and declaring a republic. If that Revolutionary Government were to revoke Article 50 then, well, a civil war likely erupts. That doesn’t even begin to address the issue of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Or, hell, even Wales. This scenario would be, in a sense a sequel to 10 Days That Shook The World.
But like I said, I just don’t see the leadership existing. And I don’t want this to happen. I don’t want anyone to get hurt, full stop. I’m not British, so I think for everyone involved a political resolution is best for the UK. The States and the UK have long had a “special relationship” and so maybe post Brexit that will help,or something.
Though, in passing, the question of what would happen to the Queen in this scenario does arise. I have a hunch she would flee to Canada. That would be a bit surreal, but she would still have a large Commonwealth to “rule.” And, really, the strange thing about Brexit is how it is — at least from the States — appears to be an existential crisis for the Crown.
If Trump has taught me anything, it’s that in the modern era the bad guys always win. So I’m generally rather pessimistic about what might happen in the UK in the next few days. But it is fun to daydream. Besides, no one listens to me anyway.
Regardless, here are some great protest songs for Remainers to use should the mood strike them.
I’m not British and as such I feel I have limited say in all of this. But I am a student of history and politics and so here’s a rambling v-log about what might happen in the coming days in Great Britain.
I don’t want anything dramatic to happen, but it definitely appears as though the conditions are now there for it to happen. But I have my doubts. I think either Johnson will win or the whole thing will be punted. The leadership of Parliament would really have to surprise me.
In a lot of other countries, the events going on in Great Britain right now would be seen as a precursor to a revolution. The reason why I say this is it would not take too much for Remainers to reach a tipping point where they turn radical.
By “radical,” I mean they start to take concrete action to do something about Brexit and / or overthrow the government. Just watching events from the States, it definitely seems as though if Parliament rebelled against Boris Johnson that it would have a lot of support amongst the populace. It would not be too much to assume that under the right circumstances, things like seizing the BBC on the part of the Remainers might not be off the table.
And, yet, this is the UK. And I still don’t see any indication of radicalization. This is a low key crisis, but still a political one. Usually for there to actually be a revolution in a liberal democracy, someone, somewhere in power has to screw up. They have to misjudge things on a strategic level. So, while the conditions are there for something dramatic to happen, I’m not convinced it actually will happen.
If does happen, it’s more likely to happen after Brexit is formalized, not before.
In a sense, the political fates of the United States and the United Kingdom continue to be intertwined on a macro level. The thing about what’s going on in both nations is they each face systemic, existential problems. With the United States it’s the attempt on the part of the Trump Administration to turn the very idea of America from open and aspirational on an international level to one of “blood and soil.” Meanwhile, the British have a far more convoluted crisis.
With Great Britain, there is actually more than one crisis. There’s the obvious crisis of Brexit itself and in what exact manner it will take place. But there’s an even deeper problem — is Great Britain going to continue to exist in the first place? A simple and superficial sketching out of the future give you any number of endgames that result in Scotland leaving the UK altogether. I think that’s why Trump was babbling about “not hearing about England that much anymore.” He was struggling with Boris Johnson telling them was a chance that England may lose everything because of No Deal Brexit.
I only keep writing about this because I guess the idea that the people of the United Kingdom might take control of their fate once and for all in opposition to Brexit gives me some hope that Americans might do the same when it comes to Trump. I continue to think that there is a 99% chance that anything dramatic that happens to UK on an existential level will happen after No Deal Brexit, not before it.
The reason why I say this is from America, at least, neither side appears to have radicalized to the extent necessary to stop Brexit before it happens. Remainers are simply too disorganized. Just like MAGA in the United States, Brexiters are willing to use “new rules” to get what they want. Not until Remainers radicalize will anything happen. (Not that I want this to happen, of course.)
And, so, what little hope I have about the whole situation stems more from just the general uncertainty of the situation than any sense that what I want to happen — Remainers right the ship of state and save the country from itself — will happen. If that did happen, of course, then maybe Americans would be inspired to address the systemic problems that Trump represents. Or something.
But it’s not to be, at least as of right now. The bad guys will continue to win.
Let me be clear — I’m just a random American in the middle of nowhere. I’m not advocating anything I write here, just noting from a historical and political standpoint some events that may — or may not — happen.
Revolutions in modern liberal democracies are rare, almost unheard of. The closest I can think of is the riots in France in 1968. Otherwise, things have been pretty copacetic since the end of World War II. So that’s why I’m not really all that worried about what’s going on in Great Britain right now. Nothing concrete has happened to make me think we’re in any type of precursor to a revolution in the UK. But just for fun, let’s pace out a scenario where there was actually something akin to a revolution in Great Britain in the next few days. I’m not a British constitutional scholar by any stretch of the imagination, so any mistakes I make I apologize in advance for them.
A Matter Of Perception & A Crisis Of Legitimacy To date, the Brexit process has just been a chronic political headache. It’s moved along in fits and starts gradually moving towards what seems to be an inevitable No Deal Brexit in late October. The recent move on the part of Boris Johnson to suspend parliament, however, has at least popped the seal on Pandora’s Box, if not opened it outright.
Some of this stems from the existential questions it has brought to the fore. That the Queen would simply do Johnson’s bidding to enact what growing numbers of people see as a parliamentary coup has sparked some outrage on the part of a lot of people on Twitter. That #abolishmonarchy was trending at one point today on Twitter is the type of thing that in the past would have been a huge ping from the future as to what might lay ahead. Just as student of history, it seems the British monarchy has survived so long in part because it has stayed out of the way. Add to this Queen Elizabeth evokes medieval devotion and it would superficially seem the Windsors will cruise peacefully into yet another century of power. And, yet, from a revolutionary-political perspective that people are beginning to see the Queen as a part of the problem does not bode well. It is at least possible that the fate of the Windsor’s continue power is now wrapped up in what the outcome of Brexit is.
This plays into something else — revolutions, once formally begun, by definition have a dynamic all their own. The Islamic revolution in Iran in the late 1970s was originally as socialist revolution. As such, what could start off as a simply people protesting what they perceive as a coup could very well morph into a republican revolution.
And here’s a side note — another reason why I think the UK is simply going to slouch towards No Deal Brexit is far as I can tell, is new, more radical, leaders have not begun to bubble up. In fact, neither side is really all that radical at this point. A night of large protests in London do not a revolution — republican or otherwise — make. Now, it is my impression that there is the possibility that there might be a question of legitimacy in the coming days. Johnson tells Parliament to stand down and it’s possible they won’t do it. This act of defiance has been called The People’s Parliament.
Now, take a deep breath.
I honestly don’t know how valid The People’s Parliament notion is. But it’s existence would be a crucial step towards some sort of revolution. It would give the populace something to rally around and would be an instant revolutionary government. Then things get really murky in ways I know absolutely nothing about. What happens when the Government the Parliament begin to give orders that the other opposes? Who would have the authority to give these directions? How likely would it be that different part of the government might abide by different orders?
This is all just a fantasy, but it is “fun” to think about. If things have gotten this bad, then we reach another milestone of a revolution — protesters become revolutionaries. There would be demands. They might start to seize the organs of state such as the BBC and the police. This is likely when new leaders would begin to be seen in the media. I could definitely see one of the demands of the revolutionaries being the abolition of the crown and some sort of written constitution.
But wait, there’s more. This is just what would be happening in London. The Scots would likely see this as their moment. They might unilaterally declare independence as the revolution progresses. I have no idea what would happen or even if I have any of this right in the first place.
At some point, of course, Brexiters would also radicalize.This is where things are no longer fun to think about. It may be, tragically, that if things have grown this radical, that actual violence would occur between the two sides and a civil war breaks out. Again, this is all me simply sketching out a scenario. I have no idea if I’m anywhere close to being right in any of this.
Then the endgame would be up to the fates. Either the revolution succeeds and a new Republic of England is formed, or it’s crushed and something a lot more long the lines of Airstrip 1 comes about. Or maybe I’m being a bit too American in my hope for a successful revolution. Revolutions are only cool long, long, long after the fact. Even then, their consequences often suck. So, really, I hope for some sort of peaceful middle-of-the-road solution to the Brexit mess and that will be that.