A ‘wistful’ Gideon Rachman on the possibilities of a ‘hard’ or a ‘soft’ Brexit. Political Observer’s wry observations

In Mr. Rachman’s latest essay on the Brexit he quotes an anonymous source :
‘… one leading British political analyst to predict to me recently that Brexit will not happen because “there is no version of Brexit that can get a parliamentary majority”.’

And Charles Grant from ‘Centre for European Reform’, a think-tank...’

‘This is a  lobby group closely associated with the American Enterprise Institute and the (NATO-funded) Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom.


Also the endorsements for Mr. Grant’s lobby group are telling:

“The Centre for European Reform, by far the best of all EU think-tanks in London”
The Guardian

“A think-tank that manages to be both Atlanticist and Europhile”
The Economist

“A think-tank with an increasingly influential role in the shaping of official policy”
Financial Times


This Think Tank’s advisory board is to long to list:


But as telling as the Financial Times’ calling The Centre ‘increasingly influential in shaping official policy’. This organized EU/Atlanticist  propaganda arm is valuable to the   Financial Times’ portrayal of the Brexiteers as not just misguided but mendacious. Mr. Rachman here performs his role as ‘the voice of wistful reason’ with a collection of speculation to persuade the reader that the retention of The Customs Union is the last best hope of the Remainers. Yet, May is the roadblock!

The customs union issue is critical because it marks the frontier between a “hard” and a “soft” Brexit. The May government’s determination to give Britain the freedom to negotiate its own trade deals after Brexit has led it to stress repeatedly that it intends to leave the customs union.

Those Brexiteers are more importantly the apostates to the shared Neo-Liberal Faith, Neo-Liberal avant le lettre, of Jean Monnet’s cartel that became the EU, that cannot, will not, reform itself into an actual functioning, democratically based Federalism.

This and many other readers can only marvel at the utterly bad judgement of David Cameron, for calling the Referendum in the first place. And again, for Mrs. May’s continued incompetence, while Corbyn, despite this publication continuing defamations, continues to galvanize the whole of British politics.

Mr. Rachman concludes his political speculations, with this utterly desperate attempt at a  ‘joke’ . Call it gallows humor!

So hardline Remainers should not give up yet. The whole situation reminds me of an old joke about a horse-trainer serving a mad Russian tsar. One day the tsar insists that the trainer must make his favourite horse talk within the year — or face execution. The trainer instantly agrees to make the horse talk. When his friends warn him that he has taken on an impossible task, he replies: “A lot can happen in a year — the tsar might die, I might die, the horse might die. Or the horse might talk.”

It is just under a year until Brexit. Remainers should not give up hope. The horse might talk.

Political Observer





@RandomCommenter7 @StephenKMackSD

Thank you for your comment.

Your right about one thing:

But you sound like a tinhat so I shouldn’t bother wasting my time.

Why would you waste your very valuable time, with your playground taunt of ‘tinhat’ ? When I obviously am on the Left , which could have been how you might have framed your counterargument, if you were in search of the actuality of debate. (To express it in all its convoluted might have beens.) Or just a casual put-down, with a bit more argumentative cogency.

AEI manufactures Capitalist propaganda of a very special kind: the von Mises/Hayek/Friedman variety of Red in Tooth and Claw Social Darwinism, of a bankrupt Neo-Liberalism, that passes for the dismal Economic Centrism of the present. Read Arthur C. Brooks in The New Times for the latest bourgeoisified chatter of AEI’s CEO, or some other bloated honorific. That’s what Mr. Rachman and the Tories, New Labour share with AEI, CER.

As for your:

All think tanks represent a certain political strand or trend, but the CER is not really EU values but British light sceptic …

Think Tanks are another name for manufactures of strategic political opinion, in sum propaganda, under the guise of the Pseudo-Academy. CER represents the ‘values’ of the EU, and its partner NATO, and its propaganda arm The Atlantic Council. For one who prides herself/himself on your penetrating gaze of the political scene, you manifest a kind of startling naivete.

Your final question is one the moderators of this comments section should seriously consider, and they should act accordingly!

Shouldn’t this comment be deleted though for promoting the poster’s blog?  






@The Unmasking of Kendo Nagasaki @Ithaca

You are correct in your statement, yet you fail to factor into your comment the continuing onslaught of Ant-Brexit propaganda. From the pages of this newspaper, and all the respectable bourgeois publication’s hysteria mongering. That Democratic fluidity, subjected to propagandizing, isn’t completely explored as an idea/practice in your observation.
Its about that unrelenting propaganda, that seeks to undermine the Vote on Leave called by political bungler Cameron, succeed by the dour Mrs. May. Cameron was jut a run of the mill snobbish bully-boy, May is just the nasty face of Tory self-delusion.
The Remainers can engage in propaganda as the a last ditch effort to rescue Monnet’s Coal and Steele Cartel, that ‘evolved’ into an ersatz Federation. @Ithaca points this out to the chagrin of the True Believers. (Eric Hoffer)



@Timothy Reay @StephenKMackSD

Thank you for your comment. Firstly, Mr. Rachman is not a Political Cosmopolitan, for that see Ulrich Beck’s Cosmopolitan Vision. Mr. Rachman is not, in the remotest sense, a thinker of any real depth. He is ,in fact,  a ‘pundit’ who is paid to write propaganda:

It’s only seen as propaganda if viewed from a nationalist point of view.

Explain to me  how your statement applies to me, a writer on the Left? Perhaps, you might argue that I’m a dupe of that ‘nationalist’ point of view? You are a modern day Augustine perusing the Arianism, Donatists, Pelagain apostates .

According to your narrative, I am unable to  see this home truth , that the EU is the next step in the evolution of the nation state, into a Utopia called the EU. That EU is  governed by Corporatist principals  Your first paragraph is instructive. According to your diagnosis of the nation state being ‘a dying concept’  even ‘quaint’ : an insulting trivialization: prima facae the EU marks the arrival of Utopia. Except that this Utopia demonstrated, in the Greek Crisis, that those  who pulled the levers of power, in the EU were Merkel, Schäuble and the ECB. That Germany was a four time defaulter in the 20th Century, see Gillian Tett’s ‘A debt to history’ at the @FT. The Germans exercised a self-serving political amnesia!

Mr. Reay, your last paragraph sounds like what the political leadership, in so many towns cities, say to each other and their constituencies. When they are asked to make concessions  to giant corporations,  like Amazon, who want to locate in those towns and cities. What strikes me is that a company like Amazon needs to have large hubs in big cities, and smaller hubs, to realize the selling point of fast delivery. These large companies need these hubs, large and small, so they are the ones who should be making offers, that will improve these towns an cities. Not the other way around.







About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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