I first drew attention to the fact that a second referendum was now inevitable when the Tory party lost its majority by holding a snap election in June 2017 – TWO YEARS AGO. I explained that I was only mentioning such an obvious point because none of the media reports seemed to be aware of it.
In subsequent updates on the saga I have consistently held that view, while Greg Sheridan has consistently blithered.
Last December 18 I wrote:
This article comes to much the same conclusions, confirming my point 8 that it will soon be “reasonably obvious”:
Meanwhile it is clear that several cabinet members as well as Downing street staff working directly with the Prime Minister, including her Chief of staff are actively making arrangements with other parties for Parliament to go through the motions of voting on all other options (which will demonstrate the total isolation of those advocating “no deal”) and then adopt the only one remaining – another referendum. That process could drag on for weeks or even months after April Fool’s Day, in order to guarantee a vote to remain, but not for years.
Here’s a report “denying” other reports of preparations in case a second referendum becomes inevitable (ie “in case” Parliament rejects both “no deal” and the only deal available, as is now pretty certain). The denial takes the form of insisting that the deniers do not “want” a second referendum, which is not quite the same as denying preparations for that becoming inevitable.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes Greg Sheridan to catch on. One would think even he would understand that the screams of treachery he is echoing from the Brexiteers are based on their reasonable assessment that they have been deliberately maneuvered into isolation.
You would think Sheridan might have got it when Prime Minister May actually announced it recently and cabinet objected that it must not actually be moved by the Tory party in a Bill but only forced on them by an amendment.
The answer to “how long it takes Greg Sheridan to catch on” is that he seems to have finally noticed TODAY, Saturday 2019-06-01.
Here is the second last paragraph of a long and tedious article “It’s up to Boris now that so much has been left to so few” on p12 of “The Weekend Australian”
Although Conservatives hate the idea of a second referendum, there are two reasons they might implement it. One, they could stay in government while it was held. And two, they could ensure a fair question was put, between a no-deal Brexit and staying in the EU (as opposed to a May-like deal or staying in the EU, a question the British establishment could use to thwart Brexit). This may be the only way to gain legitimacy for the tough decision ahead. Both sides have convinced themselves the opposing view is illegitimate and the prospect of this polarisation going on and on and on is real.
There is of course another reason – that they never had any other realistic option and have now exhausted all other alternatives in order to convince their most stupid supporters of this obvious fact.
As one of their most stupid supporters Sheridan appears to have finally got the message after proclaiming for month after month that the opposing view was illegitimate by joining in the bizarre chorus that holding a second referendum would be an outrage against democracy.
Nevertheless Sheridan now agrees with what I have been saying for THREE YEARS. Since he is so reliably wrong I do have to wonder whether I might be making a mistake.
Anyway I still cannot see the mistake, despite Sheridan agreeing. Perhaps the US State Department has recovered enough to resume regular briefings so that experts like Sheridan can spout expert analysis more plausibly than they have been since Trump was elected.
Sheridan’s final paragraph is:
Johnson is the only contender who is a certified Big Beast, whose campaigning and personality could possibly change the situation. It would be absurd to equate Johnson at this stage with Churchill. However, like Churchill before he became prime minister, he has enormous and obvious faults. But he still may be the best chance Britain has in a time of unique national peril.
I agree that it would be absurd to equate Johnson with Churchill at this or any other stage, which of course is precisely what Sheridan is doing.
I disagree that “Britain is in a time of unique national peril” – that actually manages to top the “Operation Fear” projections of the amount of damage that would have been done by the policies Sheridan has been advocating and is now reluctantly abandoning.
Nor do I agree that Bojo is the only contender who could possibly reverse himself to do exactly what he has been opposing.
But I do agree that as a shameless charlatan Bojo is quite well suited for the role as he appeals to idiots like Sheridan which are very plentiful among Conservatives. They can more easily reconcile themselves to completely reversing themselves and “conservatively” supporting entirely opposite views with a charlatan like Bojo, just as Sheridan did with Trump.
As for changing “the situation”, I won’t accuse even Sheridan of actually hoping that Bojo could succeed in convincing a majority to vote for a “No Deal” Brexit or win a general election for the party that created this mess. As a fellow charlatan he is fully aware that his outrage about such a violation of democracy as asking people to vote on the actual situation rather than the lies Bojo and Sheridan promoted was entirely synthetic and based on knowing that those lies had been exposed so there was little chance of winning another vote.
So I assume “the situation” Sheridan is referring to is the danger of the complete collapse of the party he supports following what Sheridan claimed two days ago was a great victory for the Eurosceptic policies he supports at the EU elections.
I doubt that the Tory party can recover from that “famous victory” and the breathtaking stupidity of the policy and tactics Bojo and Sheridan supported. But who knows? Bojo is not actually stupid like Sheridan, so while unable to recover quickly, he might well be the one who introduces PR to avoid obliteration, which could mean survival and eventual recovery since the other mainstream parties don’t have much to offer either.
On the other hand it seems implausible that a party facing imminent non-existance would be willing to put their fate in the hands of such a charlatan. There is a solid majority of Tory MPs who despise him and it should not be impossible for them to find two other nomineers for their party members to choose between.