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politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Meet the ex-chief of staff to the BrexSec now the de facto Bre

SystemSystem Posts: 3,967
edited August 10 in General

imagepoliticalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Meet the ex-chief of staff to the BrexSec now the de facto Brexit opposition leader

Past time for sensible MPs in all parties to admit Brexit is a catastrophe, come together In new party if need be, and reverse it #euref19

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Comments

  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 21,220
    first, like Leave!
  • FishingFishing Posts: 279
    As far as I can tell, James Chapman wants a new, pro-Remain political party. I can't really see that happening myself, nor can I see what it would offer that the LibDems didn't at the last election.

    But if it did, it would presumably be likely to more votes off Labour and the LibDems (and maybe the SNP in Scotland) than the Conservatives and, in an FPTP system, therefore probably end up helping Brexit rather than harming it?
  • JohnLoonyJohnLoony Posts: 1,636
    I've never heard of him before this week, but if he wants to stop Brexit and call his party the "Democrats" then he's obviously a self-important self-deluded self-deranged insane anti-democratic traitor who is obviously hell-bent on destroying civilisation. He might as well call it the Self-People's People's Popular Undemocratic Self-Alliance Rally Democratic New Movement New Force March Party, and go and live in North Korea.

    In reality, nothing is going to come of this, and in a week's time everybody will have forgotten about it. More important things will be happening, like a few local council by-elections on 17th August. They will overshadow the new party in focus and importance; we won't even need to have a nuclear war to make us forget about it.
  • JohnLoonyJohnLoony Posts: 1,636
    "the de facto Brexit opposition leader"?
    HAHAHAHAHAHA
  • ThreeQuidderThreeQuidder Posts: 6,067
    JohnLoony said:

    "the de facto Brexit opposition leader"?
    HAHAHAHAHAHA

    Does Gina Miller realise that she's out of a job?
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 20,458
    No doubt, James Chapman's tweets made Remainers feel much better about themselves yesterday, and boosted their morale.

    But, a man who calls for Boris Johnson to be jailed, challenges Isabel Oakeshott to testify against him in court, threatens to grind his opponents into the dust, calls Brexiters jihadis, wants Miriam Gonzalez Durantez as foreign secretary, and worries that the photo the Guardian used of him makes him look fat, all in less than 24 hours isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.
  • MikeSmithsonMikeSmithson Posts: 3,925

    No doubt, James Chapman's tweets made Remainers feel much better about themselves yesterday, and boosted their morale.

    But, a man who calls for Boris Johnson to be jailed, challenges Isabel Oakeshott to testify against him in court, threatens to grind his opponents into the dust, calls Brexiters jihadis, wants Miriam Gonzalez Durantez as foreign secretary, and worries that the photo the Guardian used of him makes him look fat, all in less than 24 hours isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    Wishful thinking my friend
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 8,584
    edited August 10

    No doubt, James Chapman's tweets made Remainers feel much better about themselves yesterday, and boosted their morale.

    But, a man who calls for Boris Johnson to be jailed, challenges Isabel Oakeshott to testify against him in court, threatens to grind his opponents into the dust, calls Brexiters jihadis, wants Miriam Gonzalez Durantez as foreign secretary, and worries that the photo the Guardian used of him makes him look fat, all in less than 24 hours isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    Challenging Isabel Oakeshott to substantiate her sources sounds like a unicorn hunt!

    More seriously, maybe the guy ..... an insider .....has just had enough. And as OGH writes, August is traditionally politically quiet, and this one, as far as UK is concerned, especially so. As a consequence Mr C’s presumably informed voice is likely to be heard and his remarks thought about, although CR is right; good thoughts they may be but it’s easy to have too much of a good thing.
  • AlanbrookeAlanbrooke Posts: 15,320

    No doubt, James Chapman's tweets made Remainers feel much better about themselves yesterday, and boosted their morale.

    But, a man who calls for Boris Johnson to be jailed, challenges Isabel Oakeshott to testify against him in court, threatens to grind his opponents into the dust, calls Brexiters jihadis, wants Miriam Gonzalez Durantez as foreign secretary, and worries that the photo the Guardian used of him makes him look fat, all in less than 24 hours isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    Wishful thinking my friend
    he has more flip flops than a spanish beach

    who's going to view him as reliable ?
  • JohnLoonyJohnLoony Posts: 1,636
    Maybe the nuclear war between the USA and the DPRK will give a boost to The Democrats in the same way that the Falklands war gave a boost to the SDP. When we all get frazzled by fallout, we will realise how foolish we were to throw away the basic protection which the EU gave to us from the menace of abnormally bent bananas.
  • AlanbrookeAlanbrooke Posts: 15,320

    No doubt, James Chapman's tweets made Remainers feel much better about themselves yesterday, and boosted their morale.

    But, a man who calls for Boris Johnson to be jailed, challenges Isabel Oakeshott to testify against him in court, threatens to grind his opponents into the dust, calls Brexiters jihadis, wants Miriam Gonzalez Durantez as foreign secretary, and worries that the photo the Guardian used of him makes him look fat, all in less than 24 hours isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    Challenging Isabel Oakeshott to substantiate her sources sounds like a unicorn hunt!

    More seriously, maybe the guy ..... an insider .....has just had enough. And as OGH writes, August is traditionally politically quiet, and this one, as far as UK is concerned, especially so. As a consequence Mr C’s presumably informed voice is likely to be heard and his remarks thought about, although CR is right; good thoughts they may be but it’s easy to have too much of a good thing.
    you mean it;s silly season and nobody cares, ffs even Vince Cable made it into the news thats how slow things are

    Most people will be reading about Diana or Fat Boy Kim

    Yesterdays Sun was all about Sarah harding
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 20,458

    No doubt, James Chapman's tweets made Remainers feel much better about themselves yesterday, and boosted their morale.

    But, a man who calls for Boris Johnson to be jailed, challenges Isabel Oakeshott to testify against him in court, threatens to grind his opponents into the dust, calls Brexiters jihadis, wants Miriam Gonzalez Durantez as foreign secretary, and worries that the photo the Guardian used of him makes him look fat, all in less than 24 hours isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    Wishful thinking my friend
    Not really, he is speaking (venting) only to those who already strongly agree with him.
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 2,146
    I posted a few days ago about Peter Hitchens shift from true Brexiteer to 'we must stay in single market and that outweighs Brexit'...

    One of the commenters (JJ?) noted that many of the anti-establishment pundits and politicos now find themselves in the awkward position of supporting the government, which doesn't make for good copy/entertaining outrage.

    Doesn't mean they are right now or that they were right then... but we may see some of the Brexit media/thinkers watering down support, or perhaps saying - well I wanted this sort of Brexit and now the govt has messed it up.
  • Scott_PScott_P Posts: 30,811

    isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    But these guys are...

    image
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 2,146
    Fishing said:

    As far as I can tell, James Chapman wants a new, pro-Remain political party. I can't really see that happening myself, nor can I see what it would offer that the LibDems didn't at the last election.

    But if it did, it would presumably be likely to more votes off Labour and the LibDems (and maybe the SNP in Scotland) than the Conservatives and, in an FPTP system, therefore probably end up helping Brexit rather than harming it?

    Doubt it will ever happen.
    A better avenue might be a cross-party pledge for MPs which places conditions on Brexit...

    But while Brexiteers are divided - so too are Remainers I think - there isn't an agreed strategy for how to oppose... is it another referendum that's needed? Or a transition period? etc.
  • AlanbrookeAlanbrooke Posts: 15,320
    Scott_P said:

    isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    But these guys are...

    image
    those guys were smarter than your guys - thats how bad you were
  • foxinsoxukfoxinsoxuk Posts: 21,220
    rkrkrk said:

    I posted a few days ago about Peter Hitchens shift from true Brexiteer to 'we must stay in single market and that outweighs Brexit'...

    One of the commenters (JJ?) noted that many of the anti-establishment pundits and politicos now find themselves in the awkward position of supporting the government, which doesn't make for good copy/entertaining outrage.

    Doesn't mean they are right now or that they were right then... but we may see some of the Brexit media/thinkers watering down support, or perhaps saying - well I wanted this sort of Brexit and now the govt has messed it up.

    The opposition to Brexit is in cabinet. Either they are incompetent, or they know concrete preparations are not needed as we will back out. I suspect the former:

  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 20,458

    No doubt, James Chapman's tweets made Remainers feel much better about themselves yesterday, and boosted their morale.

    But, a man who calls for Boris Johnson to be jailed, challenges Isabel Oakeshott to testify against him in court, threatens to grind his opponents into the dust, calls Brexiters jihadis, wants Miriam Gonzalez Durantez as foreign secretary, and worries that the photo the Guardian used of him makes him look fat, all in less than 24 hours isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    Challenging Isabel Oakeshott to substantiate her sources sounds like a unicorn hunt!

    More seriously, maybe the guy ..... an insider .....has just had enough. And as OGH writes, August is traditionally politically quiet, and this one, as far as UK is concerned, especially so. As a consequence Mr C’s presumably informed voice is likely to be heard and his remarks thought about, although CR is right; good thoughts they may be but it’s easy to have too much of a good thing.
    I'm not sure a previously strong Remainer who worked in DexEU for 9 months as chief of staff, left after GE2017, and is now a strong Remainer again, is the killer story you think it is. His job was to build links within the Tory party and those who previously supported the Leave campaign, whilst also advising and managing David Davis's image with the press.

    Such is the personal nature of some of his tweets, it's clear he had some serious falling outs with leading Tory figures.

    If he'd had a key policy role, was previously a Brexiter, or was a waverer, or even a neutral, who'd had a Damascene conversion whilst at DexEU, and now calmly but quietly killed with the facts, I'd agree it'd could be very damaging.

    But, his twitter feed is just ranting and goading.
  • AlanbrookeAlanbrooke Posts: 15,320

    rkrkrk said:

    I posted a few days ago about Peter Hitchens shift from true Brexiteer to 'we must stay in single market and that outweighs Brexit'...

    One of the commenters (JJ?) noted that many of the anti-establishment pundits and politicos now find themselves in the awkward position of supporting the government, which doesn't make for good copy/entertaining outrage.

    Doesn't mean they are right now or that they were right then... but we may see some of the Brexit media/thinkers watering down support, or perhaps saying - well I wanted this sort of Brexit and now the govt has messed it up.

    The opposition to Brexit is in cabinet. Either they are incompetent, or they know concrete preparations are not needed as we will back out. I suspect the former:

    Someone who works for an organisation that cant plan its workforce calls others incompetent

    rich
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 8,168
    August is traditionally the month when some economic or political cock-up happens: the invasion of Kuwait, Russia defaulting on its bonds and the demise of Long Term Capital Management, the start of the financial crisis, the coup against Gorbachev etc etc.

    Never mind Mr Chapman. Will North Korea be another August disaster?
  • ThreeQuidderThreeQuidder Posts: 6,067

    rkrkrk said:

    I posted a few days ago about Peter Hitchens shift from true Brexiteer to 'we must stay in single market and that outweighs Brexit'...

    One of the commenters (JJ?) noted that many of the anti-establishment pundits and politicos now find themselves in the awkward position of supporting the government, which doesn't make for good copy/entertaining outrage.

    Doesn't mean they are right now or that they were right then... but we may see some of the Brexit media/thinkers watering down support, or perhaps saying - well I wanted this sort of Brexit and now the govt has messed it up.

    The opposition to Brexit is in cabinet. Either they are incompetent, or they know concrete preparations are not needed as we will back out. I suspect the former:

    Someone who works for an organisation that cant plan its workforce calls others incompetent

    rich
    Am I supposed to know who he is? His Twitter bio doesn't explain (unlike Chapman's, which explains that he represents everything that the people have been voting against for the last few years).
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 20,458
    Scott_P said:

    isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    But these guys are...

    image
    Bless. You still haven't figured it out, have you?
  • Scott_PScott_P Posts: 30,811


    those guys were smarter than your guys

    Link?

    Being prepared to lie without shame does not mean smarter...
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 13,037

    No doubt, James Chapman's tweets made Remainers feel much better about themselves yesterday, and boosted their morale.

    But, a man who calls for Boris Johnson to be jailed, challenges Isabel Oakeshott to testify against him in court, threatens to grind his opponents into the dust, calls Brexiters jihadis, wants Miriam Gonzalez Durantez as foreign secretary, and worries that the photo the Guardian used of him makes him look fat, all in less than 24 hours isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    Challenging Isabel Oakeshott to substantiate her sources sounds like a unicorn hunt!

    More seriously, maybe the guy ..... an insider .....has just had enough. And as OGH writes, August is traditionally politically quiet, and this one, as far as UK is concerned, especially so. As a consequence Mr C’s presumably informed voice is likely to be heard and his remarks thought about, although CR is right; good thoughts they may be but it’s easy to have too much of a good thing.
    I'm not sure a previously strong Remainer who worked in DexEU for 9 months as chief of staff, left after GE2017, and is now a strong Remainer again, is the killer story you think it is. His job was to build links within the Tory party and those who previously supported the Leave campaign, whilst also advising and managing David Davis's image with the press.

    Such is the personal nature of some of his tweets, it's clear he had some serious falling outs with leading Tory figures.

    If he'd had a key policy role, was previously a Brexiter, or was a waverer, or even a neutral, who'd had a Damascene conversion whilst at DexEU, and now calmly but quietly killed with the facts, I'd agree it'd could be very damaging.

    But, his twitter feed is just ranting and goading.
    The movement against Brexit is real and isn't going away.

    As Mike said, the significance of Chapman's role in the opposition is the combination of his previous role in DexEU and his journalistic skills. His remark calling on MPs to label Brexit the catastrophe for the UK that it is were even reported in China.
  • GeoffMGeoffM Posts: 5,977
    Scott_P said:


    those guys were smarter than your guys

    Link?

    Being prepared to lie without shame does not mean smarter...
    Still waiting for Cameron's WW3 to start....
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 20,458
    JohnLoony said:

    "the de facto Brexit opposition leader"?
    HAHAHAHAHAHA

    Yes, that is the real wishful thinking.
  • FF43FF43 Posts: 4,117
    This is why Brexit is interesting despite all the repetition here. How do you implement the practically impossible and the politically necessary? Saying other countries manage fine outside the EU misses the point. It's like saying to Gaul that the Picts manage fine outside the Roman Empire. They weren't in the system.
  • AlanbrookeAlanbrooke Posts: 15,320
    Scott_P said:


    those guys were smarter than your guys

    Link?

    Being prepared to lie without shame does not mean smarter...
    as Osborne proved
  • Scott_PScott_P Posts: 30,811
    GeoffM said:


    Still waiting for Cameron's WW3 to start....

    Read a newspaper, or turn on the TV...
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 16,655
    Is it worth noting g that Chapman used to work for Osborne and was one of the leading figures in Project Fear?

    A little balance - noting that to avoid giving the impression that he is a recanting Brexiteer due to his Davis role - would be fair to those who bet based on information provided on this blog
  • logical_songlogical_song Posts: 5,004

    Scott_P said:

    isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    But these guys are...

    image
    those guys were smarter than your guys - thats how bad you were
    Irrelevant, who cares whose guys were more stupid.
    Cameron should never have got us into the situation where such things mattered. What we need is some way of getting out of the mess.
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 2,146

    rkrkrk said:

    I posted a few days ago about Peter Hitchens shift from true Brexiteer to 'we must stay in single market and that outweighs Brexit'...

    One of the commenters (JJ?) noted that many of the anti-establishment pundits and politicos now find themselves in the awkward position of supporting the government, which doesn't make for good copy/entertaining outrage.

    Doesn't mean they are right now or that they were right then... but we may see some of the Brexit media/thinkers watering down support, or perhaps saying - well I wanted this sort of Brexit and now the govt has messed it up.

    The opposition to Brexit is in cabinet. Either they are incompetent, or they know concrete preparations are not needed as we will back out. I suspect the former:

    I don't think they are incompetent, and I think the overwhelming majority of Cabinet are committed to Brexit. They just realise it's a big job, and have civil servants turning up every day with new challenges. How many for instance had even heard of Euratom before it became an issue?

    The leaks from Chapman are embarrassing but shouldn't really surprise us. We know there all kinds of issues that need to be dealt with to make Brexit go smoothly.

    I think it's understandable that Cabinet seem to be coming round to the transition period plan - it must be scary to keep hearing of new problems.
  • GeoffMGeoffM Posts: 5,977

    rkrkrk said:

    I posted a few days ago about Peter Hitchens shift from true Brexiteer to 'we must stay in single market and that outweighs Brexit'...

    One of the commenters (JJ?) noted that many of the anti-establishment pundits and politicos now find themselves in the awkward position of supporting the government, which doesn't make for good copy/entertaining outrage.

    Doesn't mean they are right now or that they were right then... but we may see some of the Brexit media/thinkers watering down support, or perhaps saying - well I wanted this sort of Brexit and now the govt has messed it up.

    The opposition to Brexit is in cabinet. Either they are incompetent, or they know concrete preparations are not needed as we will back out. I suspect the former:

    Someone who works for an organisation that cant plan its workforce calls others incompetent

    rich
    Am I supposed to know who he is? His Twitter bio doesn't explain (unlike Chapman's, which explains that he represents everything that the people have been voting against for the last few years).
    *Everyone* knows who Johnny Morris is.

    He presented Animal Magic in the 70's and 80's.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 13,037

    JohnLoony said:

    "the de facto Brexit opposition leader"?
    HAHAHAHAHAHA

    Yes, that is the real wishful thinking.
    I suppose there must be people who think that the UK will publish a position paper on Northern Ireland in the next few weeks that will leave everyone wondering what all the fuss was about. Thinking doesn't get any more wishful than that.
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 2,146
    Cyclefree said:

    August is traditionally the month when some economic or political cock-up happens: the invasion of Kuwait, Russia defaulting on its bonds and the demise of Long Term Capital Management, the start of the financial crisis, the coup against Gorbachev etc etc.

    Never mind Mr Chapman. Will North Korea be another August disaster?

    Who knows!?

    On the one hand - it does seem as though Trump has taken a more provocative stance than the US normally does. On the other - China supported sanctions, which could be a good sign.

    In terms of British political implications - Corbyn would probably oppose an invasion/military action against N. Korea, but I imagine most of his party would be fine with it given sufficient provocation.

    May of course will support Trump - but I would imagine that being the more popular position amongst the public providing there was sufficient provocation.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 16,655
    As an aside I am reading a book about British government in 1840 (as you do) and came across this quote from William Macnaghten:

    "It requires the most cautious steering to refrain, on the one side from alarming popular prejudicies, and on the other from leaving the government in the same imbecile state in which we found it"

    Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 24,181
    Reading Mr Chapman's tweets he seems in high spirits - possibly even has ingested some - and his Twitter profile pic does look a lot thinner that the Guardian photo.....what's going on? First we had the tabloids 'darkening' Gina Miller (sic) - now we have the Guardian 'fattening' Tories?
  • ThreeQuidderThreeQuidder Posts: 6,067
    GeoffM said:

    rkrkrk said:

    I posted a few days ago about Peter Hitchens shift from true Brexiteer to 'we must stay in single market and that outweighs Brexit'...

    One of the commenters (JJ?) noted that many of the anti-establishment pundits and politicos now find themselves in the awkward position of supporting the government, which doesn't make for good copy/entertaining outrage.

    Doesn't mean they are right now or that they were right then... but we may see some of the Brexit media/thinkers watering down support, or perhaps saying - well I wanted this sort of Brexit and now the govt has messed it up.

    The opposition to Brexit is in cabinet. Either they are incompetent, or they know concrete preparations are not needed as we will back out. I suspect the former:

    Someone who works for an organisation that cant plan its workforce calls others incompetent

    rich
    Am I supposed to know who he is? His Twitter bio doesn't explain (unlike Chapman's, which explains that he represents everything that the people have been voting against for the last few years).
    *Everyone* knows who Johnny Morris is.

    He presented Animal Magic in the 70's and 80's.
    Oh. Before my time.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 40,988
    I'm seriously starting to wonder if I voted the right way in the referendum, the extent of the "we know best" whinging from politico-media figures on tw@tter is starting to become very very boring.

    Remain lost
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 37,194
    Good morning, everyone.

    Mr. Pulpstar, although we disagree on the EU, I think it's worth remembering the majority of Remain voters do accept the result even if they would've preferred it go the other way.

    What we're seeing/hearing from both sides is a vocal minority at the extreme edges get disproportionately more airtime. Votes should be settled on the issue itself. The idiotic conduct of some on either side (such as the baffling stupidity of Cameron forbidding departure planning or May not doing nearly enough, then triggering Article 50 and then, with the clock ticking, having an unnecessary election) does not alter the issue itself.

    I agree, however, that a risk is being utterly ignored by those advocating a new party to stop our departure, or who want the Commons to just rescind Article 50. If people learn the lesson that their votes can be ignored by those they elect, that could not only heighten disengagement but lead to the formation of more extreme parties. The only way our position can be changed in a morally acceptable, as well as legally correct, way is to have either another referendum [that itself would be controversial] or a General Election.

  • AlastairMeeksAlastairMeeks Posts: 16,461
    The current does seem to be flowing away from Leave. Some Remain supporters had been prepared to give Brexit the chance to show it could succeed. Mr Chapman doubtless didn't take his job with DEXEU on the basis that it would inevitably prove a failure. But bar one or two Conservative Remainers with Stockholm syndrome, those Remainers have seen enough of the Leave operation to make them realise that they had been right in the first place. Mr Chapman's intense hostility should worry the hell out of Leavers.

    The squawking of the likes of Single Source Oakeshott is funny but a sideshow. Leavers who fancy themselves as thoughtful should be urgently asking themselves why they are so utterly unpersuasive. The answers are obvious, but perhaps some Leavers are getting to a point where they can start to consider the unpalatable truths about their campaign and the catastrophic consequences that they have for the nature of the Brexit terms that will be secured.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 20,458
    Pulpstar said:

    I'm seriously starting to wonder if I voted the right way in the referendum, the extent of the "we know best" whinging from politico-media figures on tw@tter is starting to become very very boring.

    Remain lost

    Empty vessels make most noise.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 20,458
    If I were a close friend of James Chapman I'd advise him to be very careful about posting tweets like that.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 6,454
    rkrkrk said:

    In terms of British political implications - Corbyn would probably oppose an invasion/military action against N. Korea, but I imagine most of his party would be fine with it given sufficient provocation.

    About the only light relief from a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsular would be watching Jeremy Corbyn rediscover his pacifism to oppose the Americans while they are carrying out his long held goal of moving nuclear disarmament forward.

    Watching him twist on that hook wouldn't make up for the deaths of all my friends in Seoul, but it would be amusing.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 13,037
    Pulpstar said:

    I'm seriously starting to wonder if I voted the right way in the referendum, the extent of the "we know best" whinging from politico-media figures on tw@tter is starting to become very very boring.

    Remain lost

    Hillary lost. Remain is an idea, not a candidate, and if people think the idea is right, they have every right to say so and to seek to persuade others.

    Debate doesn't end because we had a vote - the same would have been true if Leave had won. At least with the way the referendum turned out we've all had a chance to see what Brexit means in practice. It will never again be able to be sold as a catch-all easy fix for everything under the sun.
  • MJWMJW Posts: 122
    Buried amid the obviously demob happy tweets showing the immense relief of someone now able to say they think their old employer is an incompetence ridden disaster area, there's a few of Chapman's tweets to ministers that make interesting reading. For example asking about whether the government planned to purchase swathes of land around the Kent crossings to cope with the backlog caused by extra checks and the customs border effectively moving to Dover. He was a chief of staff and so will at least have broad knowledge of whatt DexEU has been doing up until June, and so not really someone you want throwing bombs. His stridency has been pretty staggering for someone who's been inside govt and obviously still has friends there.

    Mind you, Brexiteers should be less worried about his attacks and more that there's a lot of truth to them. As even Chapman's old boss admits, Brexit is an infinitely more complex task than it's supporters portrayed it as, especially as you have to prepare the country for the consequences of a deal you're having to try and shape it. As we saw with Cummings' recent intervention even a few ardent leavers are worried that a government not exactly brimming with the brightest and best aren't up to the task.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 24,181

    No doubt, James Chapman's tweets made Remainers feel much better about themselves yesterday, and boosted their morale.

    But, a man who calls for Boris Johnson to be jailed, challenges Isabel Oakeshott to testify against him in court, threatens to grind his opponents into the dust, calls Brexiters jihadis, wants Miriam Gonzalez Durantez as foreign secretary, and worries that the photo the Guardian used of him makes him look fat, all in less than 24 hours isn't going to be taken seriously in debate.

    Challenging Isabel Oakeshott to substantiate her sources sounds like a unicorn hunt!

    More seriously, maybe the guy ..... an insider .....has just had enough. And as OGH writes, August is traditionally politically quiet, and this one, as far as UK is concerned, especially so. As a consequence Mr C’s presumably informed voice is likely to be heard and his remarks thought about, although CR is right; good thoughts they may be but it’s easy to have too much of a good thing.
    I'm not sure a previously strong Remainer who worked in DexEU for 9 months as chief of staff, left after GE2017, and is now a strong Remainer again, is the killer story you think it is. His job was to build links within the Tory party and those who previously supported the Leave campaign, whilst also advising and managing David Davis's image with the press.

    Such is the personal nature of some of his tweets, it's clear he had some serious falling outs with leading Tory figures.

    If he'd had a key policy role, was previously a Brexiter, or was a waverer, or even a neutral, who'd had a Damascene conversion whilst at DexEU, and now calmly but quietly killed with the facts, I'd agree it'd could be very damaging.

    But, his twitter feed is just ranting and goading.
    The movement against Brexit is real and isn't going away.
    When do you expect to see it reflected in the polls, Mr Godot?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 6,454

    If I were a close friend of James Chapman I'd advise him to be very careful about posting tweets like that.
    Well, it could be interpreted as a sign he's nervous of prosecution.

    Seems a groundless fear in my view. If Alistair Campbell could get away with everything he did, then Brexit isn't going to register.
  • dr_spyndr_spyn Posts: 8,517
    Might shift some pixels, and words on line & in print, but is another centre party likely to work. Didn't for Lloyd George, Mosely, Roy Jenkins & David Owen.

    In all this excitement I kinda forgot...go ahead punks make my day and read some of Matthew Goodwin'ts Tweets on this.

  • MonksfieldMonksfield Posts: 1,739

    Pulpstar said:

    I'm seriously starting to wonder if I voted the right way in the referendum, the extent of the "we know best" whinging from politico-media figures on tw@tter is starting to become very very boring.

    Remain lost

    Empty vessels make most noise.
    Not really, he's realised late in the day that Brexit is a cult, no more no less.
  • dr_spyndr_spyn Posts: 8,517
    edited August 10
    Cyclefree said:

    August is traditionally the month when some economic or political cock-up happens: the invasion of Kuwait, Russia defaulting on its bonds and the demise of Long Term Capital Management, the start of the financial crisis, the coup against Gorbachev etc etc.

    Never mind Mr Chapman. Will North Korea be another August disaster?

    2 world wars...if one counts 32 of August 1939.
  • ThreeQuidderThreeQuidder Posts: 6,067
    Blimey, what did he do at DEXEU that he's so worried about?
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 17,511

    If I were a close friend of James Chapman I'd advise him to be very careful about posting tweets like that.
    If he's concerned about being prosecuted for misconduct in public office, he should seek legal advice.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 13,037
    dr_spyn said:

    Might shift some pixels, and words on line & in print, but is another centre party likely to work. Didn't for Lloyd George, Mosely, Roy Jenkins & David Owen.

    In all this excitement I kinda forgot...go ahead punks make my day and read some of Matthew Goodwin'ts Tweets on this.

    The difference is that, as the New European put it in a headline derided by SeanT, Brexit is a 'tower of lies that is swaying alarmingly', and both the main parties are tied to it because of the vote last year. A new party made up of serious figures who were prepared to 'push it over' could potentially push the Tories and Labour over with it.

    Goodwin focusses far too much on UKIP, in every respect.
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 17,511
    Pulpstar said:

    I'm seriously starting to wonder if I voted the right way in the referendum, the extent of the "we know best" whinging from politico-media figures on tw@tter is starting to become very very boring.

    Remain lost

    Most people have accepted the result and moved on.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 13,037
    Sean_F said:

    Pulpstar said:

    I'm seriously starting to wonder if I voted the right way in the referendum, the extent of the "we know best" whinging from politico-media figures on tw@tter is starting to become very very boring.

    Remain lost

    Most people have accepted the result and moved on.
    Moving on sadly isn't an option for the poor people tasked with implementing it.
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 2,146
    ydoethur said:

    If I were a close friend of James Chapman I'd advise him to be very careful about posting tweets like that.
    Well, it could be interpreted as a sign he's nervous of prosecution.

    Seems a groundless fear in my view. If Alistair Campbell could get away with everything he did, then Brexit isn't going to register.
    IANAL but Official Secrets Act covers "“information that affects the economic well-being of the United Kingdom in so far as it relates to national security”.

    The stuff he said about customs being a shambles... well that might count.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/02/exclusive-spies-civil-servants-leak-secrets-face-14-years-jail/
  • Scott_PScott_P Posts: 30,811
    dr_spyn said:

    Might shift some pixels, and words on line & in print, but is another centre party likely to work. Didn't for Lloyd George, Mosely, Roy Jenkins & David Owen.

    In all this excitement I kinda forgot...go ahead punks make my day and read some of Matthew Goodwin'ts Tweets on this.

  • GIN1138GIN1138 Posts: 9,587
    JohnLoony said:

    I've never heard of him before this week,

    As someone once said....

    Who are you? I've never heard you? The people of Europe have never heard of you?

    :D

  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 17,300
    rkrkrk said:

    I posted a few days ago about Peter Hitchens shift from true Brexiteer to 'we must stay in single market and that outweighs Brexit'...

    One of the commenters (JJ?) noted that many of the anti-establishment pundits and politicos now find themselves in the awkward position of supporting the government, which doesn't make for good copy/entertaining outrage.

    Doesn't mean they are right now or that they were right then... but we may see some of the Brexit media/thinkers watering down support, or perhaps saying - well I wanted this sort of Brexit and now the govt has messed it up.

    T'was me. I still think it's right. It's hard to gain readers or publicity when arguing for the status quo.

    It's one of the factors that makes me think that for Brexit the party ain't over yet ...
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 11,176
    All turning rather bitter by looks of things:

  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 40,988
    How many days until Britain leaves the European Union?
    1 : 230 : 15 : 49 : 30
    Year Days Hrs Mins Secs
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 11,176
    How long before Louise Mensch wades into this Chappers twitter war?
  • PeterCPeterC Posts: 905
    We are in a quandry but the obstacles to a top down new party are overwhelming. The SDP had much more promising prospects in every respect than any putative new anti-Brexit party could plausibly muster.

    Looking through Chapman's twitter feed it looks to me like the disconsolate ranring of people who have rarely if ever been denied anything in life and who now cannot come to terms with the fact that they lost a democratic vote in 2016.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 9,877
    edited August 10
    rkrkrk said:

    rkrkrk said:

    I posted a few days ago about Peter Hitchens shift from true Brexiteer to 'we must stay in single market and that outweighs Brexit'...

    One of the commenters (JJ?) noted that many of the anti-establishment pundits and politicos now find themselves in the awkward position of supporting the government, which doesn't make for good copy/entertaining outrage.

    Doesn't mean they are right now or that they were right then... but we may see some of the Brexit media/thinkers watering down support, or perhaps saying - well I wanted this sort of Brexit and now the govt has messed it up.

    The opposition to Brexit is in cabinet. Either they are incompetent, or they know concrete preparations are not needed as we will back out. I suspect the former:

    I don't think they are incompetent, and I think the overwhelming majority of Cabinet are committed to Brexit. They just realise it's a big job, and have civil servants turning up every day with new challenges. How many for instance had even heard of Euratom before it became an issue?
    The critical issue here, and one which the cabinet (any politicians) are unprepared for is that there is a firm deadline. Think of any previous "most important issue", housing, for example. Every previous government has managed to kick the can down the road and not grasped the nettle and the issue remains critical and outstanding today.

    A50 means there is a deadline so the government can't obfuscate, draw up plans, call for reviews, or set up inquiries. It has to act and it has to act to a strict timetable. Of course a transition period gives some can-kicking wiggle room but this will be perceived as a failure (and of course betrayal by doltish Brexiters).
  • MonksfieldMonksfield Posts: 1,739
    Sean_F said:

    Pulpstar said:

    I'm seriously starting to wonder if I voted the right way in the referendum, the extent of the "we know best" whinging from politico-media figures on tw@tter is starting to become very very boring.

    Remain lost

    Most people have accepted the result and moved on.
    Doesn't mean they don't still disagree with it and will get angry at the ongoing Tory incompetence. If the narrative changes seriously, they will shift back from passive to active opposition.

    You may have won the battle for Brexit, but the Brexit that gets implemented will not be the one the cultists want, as there is no majority for it. People did not vote for impoverishment.
  • CornishBlueCornishBlue Posts: 832
    First action of the so-called Democrats... overturn a democratic decision of the people.

    What a joke.
  • GIN1138GIN1138 Posts: 9,587
    edited August 10

    All turning rather bitter by looks of things:


    Think he must be a bit loopy. I thought some of the Remainers on here were a bit "odd" but this guy he making a complete laughing stock of himself TBH.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 15,881
    Sigh.

    The idea that some self important twat on twitter is going to make a difference seems remarkably persistent.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 11,176
    PeterC said:

    We are in a quandry but the obstacles to a top down new party are overwhelming. The SDP had much more promising prospects in every respect than any putative new anti-Brexit party could plausibly muster.

    Looking through Chapman's twitter feed it looks to me like the disconsolate ranring of people who have rarely if ever been denied anything in life and who now cannot come to terms with the fact that they lost a democratic vote in 2016.

    I don't see what is gained when there is already a manifestly pro-EU party in the LibDems.

    If you hate Brexit and believe it is going to be a catastrophe you vote Liberal surely?
  • Sean_FSean_F Posts: 17,511
    Scott_P said:

    dr_spyn said:

    Might shift some pixels, and words on line & in print, but is another centre party likely to work. Didn't for Lloyd George, Mosely, Roy Jenkins & David Owen.

    In all this excitement I kinda forgot...go ahead punks make my day and read some of Matthew Goodwin'ts Tweets on this.

    I'd have thought the difficulty for an anti-Brexit party is that it would be mostly competing for votes with non-Conservative parties, making the Conservatives' task a lot easier.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 8,164
    If the Dutch can't be trusted then how dangerous might food from the more corrupt members of the EU be:

    ' Europe’s latest food scandal has deepened as Belgium accused the Dutch authorities of failing to sound the alarm after discovering eggs were being contaminated with a harmful insecticide as early as November last year.

    The Belgian agriculture minister, Denis Ducarme, told a parliamentary hearing that his officials had obtained an internal Dutch document that reported “the observation of the presence of fipronil in Dutch eggs at the end of November 2016”.

    “When a country like the Netherlands, one of the world’s biggest exporters of eggs, does not pass on this kind of information, that is a real problem,” Ducarme said. The minister suggested the evidence had only come to him “by chance”, rather than through official channels.

    The insecticide scandal became public on 1 August when it was revealed that tests had found that fipronil, a toxic anti-lice agent, banned from use in the production of products for human consumption, had found its way into the food chain. '

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/09/contaminated-eggs-netherlands-failed-to-sound-alarm-says-belgium
  • not_on_firenot_on_fire Posts: 1,835

    How long before Louise Mensch wades into this Chappers twitter war?

    I'm waiting for Katie Hopkins' contribution
  • CD13CD13 Posts: 3,906
    I think you're clutching at straws, Mr Smithson, and not straws in the wind. Just a straw.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 6,454

    Doesn't mean they don't still disagree with it and will get angry at the ongoing Tory incompetence. If the narrative changes seriously, they will shift back from passive to active opposition.

    The key problem for us all is that while May's government is weak and erratic, there is no alternative setup that wouldn't be considerably worse.

    Can anyone honestly see Corbyn and Macdonnell making a better fist of it? One is thick as five posts and the other is an unabashed Maoist. As for Starmer, he's good at words but he proved graphically and beyond doubt as DPP that he's not only dogmatic but hopelessly disorganised.

    Vince Cable is 74 and appears to be rapidly disappearing up himself (oh for Danny Alexander to have survived 2015). Moreover the mighty rump of 13 MPs he leads has only two - Norman Lamb and Jo Swinson - who might be considered truly talented.

    A national government would have to include the SNP, whose only interest at Westminster is screwing things up and causing trouble to further the cause of independence (not that this strategy has been noticeably successful).

    So while we can mutter and grumble, the reality is there is no better option than May, Hammond and even Davis waiting to take over.

    That's not a cheering thought.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 13,037

    How long before Louise Mensch wades into this Chappers twitter war?

    She's too busy with Trump, Russia and friends.

  • PeterCPeterC Posts: 905

    PeterC said:

    We are in a quandry but the obstacles to a top down new party are overwhelming. The SDP had much more promising prospects in every respect than any putative new anti-Brexit party could plausibly muster.

    Looking through Chapman's twitter feed it looks to me like the disconsolate ranring of people who have rarely if ever been denied anything in life and who now cannot come to terms with the fact that they lost a democratic vote in 2016.

    I don't see what is gained when there is already a manifestly pro-EU party in the LibDems.

    If you hate Brexit and believe it is going to be a catastrophe you vote Liberal surely?
    That's right. But those who join the Lib Dems must fit in with the party and its leadership. I suspect those behind this twitter outburst are much too self-important for that.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 9,877
    On topic, there is certainly an appetite for a new party amongst Cons voters, members and MPs disillusioned with finding themselves back in the nasty party. And a nasty party with no particular economic USP any more.

    If the Cons are not able to claim economic competency, and an argument can be made that they can't any more, then what do they have? They become like the three me-too Cons-lite Lab leadership campaigners who lost out to a radical leftist. Cons will likewise become radical rightist.

    What is preventing a new party is the innate sense of loyalty of many Cons people. But we are by no means at the end of history with our two party system.

    If someone presented me with an economically rigorous, socially liberal, non-bonkers, EU-friendly party run by sensible people, I would certainly take a look. I think it would draw support across all current party supporters.
  • ThreeQuidderThreeQuidder Posts: 6,067
    PeterC said:

    people who have rarely if ever been denied anything in life and who now cannot come to terms with the fact that they lost a democratic vote in 2016.

    And who haven't even worked out that the fundamental principle of democracy is that sometimes you do lose.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 15,881
    ydoethur said:

    Doesn't mean they don't still disagree with it and will get angry at the ongoing Tory incompetence. If the narrative changes seriously, they will shift back from passive to active opposition.

    The key problem for us all is that while May's government is weak and erratic, there is no alternative setup that wouldn't be considerably worse.

    Can anyone honestly see Corbyn and Macdonnell making a better fist of it? One is thick as five posts and the other is an unabashed Maoist. As for Starmer, he's good at words but he proved graphically and beyond doubt as DPP that he's not only dogmatic but hopelessly disorganised.

    Vince Cable is 74 and appears to be rapidly disappearing up himself (oh for Danny Alexander to have survived 2015). Moreover the mighty rump of 13 MPs he leads has only two - Norman Lamb and Jo Swinson - who might be considered truly talented.

    A national government would have to include the SNP, whose only interest at Westminster is screwing things up and causing trouble to further the cause of independence (not that this strategy has been noticeably successful).

    So while we can mutter and grumble, the reality is there is no better option than May, Hammond and even Davis waiting to take over.

    That's not a cheering thought.
    I thought the idea yesterday that we should be importing some foreign political talent to make up for the dearth produced domestically had some merit. There is definitely a skills shortage.

    Agree about Danny Alexander but even more so Steven Webb.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 37,194
    Mr. Doethur, I agree, and second the thoughts on Alexander and Webb (Mr. L mentioned the latter).
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 6,454

    If the Dutch can't be trusted then how dangerous might food from the more corrupt members of the EU be:

    There actually I disagree Richard. The Dutch have always blatantly flouted every farming regulation that comes from the EU, whether safety, hygiene or animal welfare. They're even worse than the French and their cover-up of widespread BSE for 17 years. It is also worth noting the EU has been perfectly aware of this and done nothing. Indeed, in one of the stranger ironies of EU law, welfare guidelines for battery chickens were drawn up by the Dutch, then consistently broken by them. So the sign that they are getting caught, while amusing, is not surprising and says nothing about the rest of the EU.

    The really sad irony is if we had taken the same approach to EU law the French and Dutch did - ignoring it when it didn't suit us - there would be hardly any euroscepticism and we'd still be members. But if the EU had behaved more sensibly over the years, rather than appointing drunken expenses junkies and imposing arbitrary export bans on us, that would be true anyway.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 15,881
    TOPPING said:

    On topic, there is certainly an appetite for a new party amongst Cons voters, members and MPs disillusioned with finding themselves back in the nasty party. And a nasty party with no particular economic USP any more.

    If the Cons are not able to claim economic competency, and an argument can be made that they can't any more, then what do they have? They become like the three me-too Cons-lite Lab leadership campaigners who lost out to a radical leftist. Cons will likewise become radical rightist.

    What is preventing a new party is the innate sense of loyalty of many Cons people. But we are by no means at the end of history with our two party system.

    If someone presented me with an economically rigorous, socially liberal, non-bonkers, EU-friendly party run by sensible people, I would certainly take a look. I think it would draw support across all current party supporters.

    Despite having voted leave I miss the days of Dave and George too.
  • agingjbagingjb Posts: 64
    Brexit is decided.

    If you want to keep the NHS in something like its current form, and you don't want Marxist control, then you vote Lib Dem. Most people don't.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 24,181

    PeterC said:

    people who have rarely if ever been denied anything in life and who now cannot come to terms with the fact that they lost a democratic vote in 2016.

    And who haven't even worked out that the fundamental principle of democracy is that sometimes you do lose.
    Come the next GE I'm looking forward to returning their arguments; 'The winners lied', 'The majority did not vote for this outcome' 'Their supporters are less well educated and didn't understand the consequences of their vote'. 'We should have a transitional arrangement...'

    TBH, while I do still wish we weren't leaving the EU, we are where we are and must go. Whats shocked me more is the bien pensant (sic) response to a democratic vote....
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 11,176
    A bleak assessment of NK situation. In conclusion pray for the welfare of McMaster and Mattis.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-4776918/Two-men-playing-blind-man-s-bluff-cliff-edge.html
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 24,181
    This article is nearly a year old......and still substantially the case:

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/britain-no-regrets-brexit-polling-8882527
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 17,300
    Sean_F said:

    Pulpstar said:

    I'm seriously starting to wonder if I voted the right way in the referendum, the extent of the "we know best" whinging from politico-media figures on tw@tter is starting to become very very boring.

    Remain lost

    Most people have accepted the result and moved on.
    That's a dangerously complacent position for hardcore leavers to take. Yes, many people have moved on. But if Brexit turns out to be a chaotic shambles then opinion could shift very quickly. If someone moves once, it's easier for them to move twice or more times.

    Take my position: I voted remain, but after the referendum I felt a quick, hard Brexit was far preferable to a long and lingering negotiation. I remain of that view.

    But if there was to be another referendum, I would probably vote remain more strongly than my rather weak vote last time. The leavers in power have proved to be utterly incompetent and unfit for the task, yet alone the rest of the government and body politic.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 8,164
    DavidL said:

    TOPPING said:

    On topic, there is certainly an appetite for a new party amongst Cons voters, members and MPs disillusioned with finding themselves back in the nasty party. And a nasty party with no particular economic USP any more.

    If the Cons are not able to claim economic competency, and an argument can be made that they can't any more, then what do they have? They become like the three me-too Cons-lite Lab leadership campaigners who lost out to a radical leftist. Cons will likewise become radical rightist.

    What is preventing a new party is the innate sense of loyalty of many Cons people. But we are by no means at the end of history with our two party system.

    If someone presented me with an economically rigorous, socially liberal, non-bonkers, EU-friendly party run by sensible people, I would certainly take a look. I think it would draw support across all current party supporters.

    Despite having voted leave I miss the days of Dave and George too.
    The Dave and George of tuition fees increases, house price subsidies, disability benefit cuts, Middle Eastern warmongering ?

    If you want to look at the 'nasty party' image then try Osborne's decision to freeze for five years the income level at which tuition fees become repayable while increasing the debt at RPI+3% per year.

    That decision will likely cost the average graduate £6,000.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 15,881
    ydoethur said:

    If the Dutch can't be trusted then how dangerous might food from the more corrupt members of the EU be:

    There actually I disagree Richard. The Dutch have always blatantly flouted every farming regulation that comes from the EU, whether safety, hygiene or animal welfare. They're even worse than the French and their cover-up of widespread BSE for 17 years. It is also worth noting the EU has been perfectly aware of this and done nothing. Indeed, in one of the stranger ironies of EU law, welfare guidelines for battery chickens were drawn up by the Dutch, then consistently broken by them. So the sign that they are getting caught, while amusing, is not surprising and says nothing about the rest of the EU.

    The really sad irony is if we had taken the same approach to EU law the French and Dutch did - ignoring it when it didn't suit us - there would be hardly any euroscepticism and we'd still be members. But if the EU had behaved more sensibly over the years, rather than appointing drunken expenses junkies and imposing arbitrary export bans on us, that would be true anyway.
    I vaguely recall a Sci Fi book, possibly by John Brunner, where the government of the day become aware that the dominant company who claimed to provide "natural" and organic food to the masses at reasonable prices was doing nothing of the sort but chose to do nothing as people would otherwise starve.

    Holland is a bit like that. They mass produce cheap food. As with all mass produced cheap food it is better not to focus on the details.

    Probably hasn't killed nearly as many people as German cars anyway.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 8,168
    dr_spyn said:

    Cyclefree said:

    August is traditionally the month when some economic or political cock-up happens: the invasion of Kuwait, Russia defaulting on its bonds and the demise of Long Term Capital Management, the start of the financial crisis, the coup against Gorbachev etc etc.

    Never mind Mr Chapman. Will North Korea be another August disaster?

    2 world wars...if one counts 32 of August 1939.
    Quite a lot of financial disasters happen in August too. I have rarely had a calm summer at work. It's quite nice, for once, not to be working furiously during August....... :)
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 37,194
    Mr. L, what's happening about the German car emissions business anyway? Or have they decided rules are only for the less important members of the EU?
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 6,631
    PB brains trust...

    Is this NK standoff genuinely dangerous? What's the probability of action. Lots of hype in press makes it hard to judge.
  • another_richardanother_richard Posts: 8,164
    ydoethur said:

    If the Dutch can't be trusted then how dangerous might food from the more corrupt members of the EU be:

    There actually I disagree Richard. The Dutch have always blatantly flouted every farming regulation that comes from the EU, whether safety, hygiene or animal welfare. They're even worse than the French and their cover-up of widespread BSE for 17 years. It is also worth noting the EU has been perfectly aware of this and done nothing. Indeed, in one of the stranger ironies of EU law, welfare guidelines for battery chickens were drawn up by the Dutch, then consistently broken by them. So the sign that they are getting caught, while amusing, is not surprising and says nothing about the rest of the EU.

    The really sad irony is if we had taken the same approach to EU law the French and Dutch did - ignoring it when it didn't suit us - there would be hardly any euroscepticism and we'd still be members. But if the EU had behaved more sensibly over the years, rather than appointing drunken expenses junkies and imposing arbitrary export bans on us, that would be true anyway.
    Thanks - that's my new thing of the day already learnt.
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