Inevitably, the media – and a coterie of remain-supporting MPs in and out of the Labour Party – have spun last night’s European Parliament election results to support a claim that results for pro-referendum parties, primarily the LibDems, mean Labour must abandon its manifesto commitment to enacting the 2016 Brexit result and commit to a ‘new referendum with remain on the ballot paper’.
But if a picture paints a thousand words, the one below speaks volumes. Taken from the BBC’s EU vote results page, it combines two colour-coded results maps, one showing the density of LibDem votes across the country – and the other the density of Brexit party support in the same election:
The latest YouGov polling gives a clear indication to Labour of the impact of the continued attempts by centrist MPs, MEPs and candidates to push a new referendum in spite of the NEC’s decision this week to reject any commitment to a public vote in the party’s European election manifesto.
YouGov polling usually understates Labour support, but the headline figures show the new Brexit party leading strongly:
Brexit Party 30%
Fib Dems 10%
Change UK 9%
Anti-Brexit and pro-referendum campaigners are already attempting to spin away the significance of the results, claiming that the Brexit party’s strong showing is a result of a cannibalised Tory vote. However, the detailed results do not bear that out.
Open Britain, the company behind the People’s Vote campaign, was originally The In Campaign/Stronger In
Blue Telecoms was the company exposed in a Channel 4 undercover operation that led to a warning to the Tories from the Information Commissioner and a lengthy police investigation
TIC/Stronger In also contracted Blue Telecoms for apparently identical services, according to Blue Telecoms’ CEO
For full disclosure, the author of this article voted ‘remain’ in the EU referendum.
Saturday’s march in London by the “People’s Vote” campaign that is run by the organisation Open Britain has highlighted the strength of feeling among a significant number of people eager to reverse the UK’s impending departure from the European Union.
Open Britain claims to be a ‘grassroots’ campaign, but is run by or associated with an array of centrists and Tories – and critics of the campaign have accused it of being a vehicle for attacks on the Labour leadership.
With Basques, Bretons, Bavarians and many more eyeing the outcome of events, could this be the moment to formalise various levels of autonomy?
The EU countries may be right that Catalonia is legally a matter of Spanish constitutional law. But they should also be frightened. Catalonia is Europe’s problem.
The imprisonment on remand of eight Catalan politicians, on blatantly political charges, and the Belgian asylum sought by its president, appears to be an engineered confrontation.
Two days ago, the Madrid government reneged on an agreement that it would not suspend the Barcelona government if it did not declare independence and agreed to new local elections next month. Madrid then proceeded with suspension, and Catalonia duly proceeded with declaration – though with no mention of implementation. Madrid immediately arrested those Catalan politicians (and officials) it could find, on charges of rebellion and treason.
So far, so absurd. No poll has yet delivered a clear majority of Catalans for independence. Barcelona has proceeded within accepted democratic norms and without recourse to violence – unlike Madrid in the government’s efforts to stop the recent referendum.
Never in the long and far bloodier fight of the Basques for independence was the Basque leadership ever imprisoned. Catalonia now faces an election next month with the prospect of its entire independence leadership in prison.
Catalonia is being watched, with varying degrees of intensity, by Basques, Bretons, Flemings, Scots, Bavarians, Silesians, Ukrainians, Transylvanians, Venetians, Corsicans and others. Its struggle resonates among increasingly nationalist Poles, Bohemians, Hungarians and Greeks, across Europe’s patchwork of regional sensitivities and long-harboured grievances. Old feuds are rekindled and jealousies revived. Hypocritical Britain cannot talk. It long opposed Irish separatism and denied devolution to Scotland and Wales, while it sent soldiers to aid the break-up of Yugoslavia.
It is hopeless to seek recourse from these woes in statute books and legal niceties. Self-determination has been the essence of Europe’s stability since Woodrow Wilson’s 14-point programme for Europe’s future in 1917. How such determination is defined may be moot: what of the self-determination of Spaniards against that of Catalans? But it is in Europe’s interest to seek that definition, to formulate protocols whereby separatism can be resolved into grades of autonomy. European statehood has long been a “vale of tiers”.
Since the EU itself is inherently centralist, it makes sense for the Council of Europe, the 47-nation organisation which deals with democracy and human rights across the European continent, to undertake such a task, urgently. The EU has worked itself into a political straitjacket, such that few of its member nations would dare hold a referendum on continued membership. This cannot be healthy for the EU or for Europe. The rising tide of identity politics is now the greatest threat to Europe’s free development. Catalonia is not a little local difficulty. It is an awful warning.
It would appear that the Spanish Government is exceeding its power and using some illegally. The court of law also appears to be controlled by the Spanish Government when in a democracy it should be independent.
The sensible way forward would have been for the Spanish Government to have allowed the referendum to take place legally and then the result would have taken into account those for and against. Whereas, by stating the referendum was illegal this ensured that those who wished to remain within Spain, most likely did not vote. So it was the actions of the Spanish Government that screwed the referendum verdict.
By further acting to quash the Catalonian Government Independence declaration this could backfire on the Spanish Government as it could persuade more Catalonian people to side with the idea of independence.
It could also reinvigorate other nationalistic movements within Spain being the Basques and Galicians to name but 2 more. While eventually even more regions could also wish for some form of independence. referenced from Nationalisms and Regionalisms of Spain.
The government of Catalonia has now declared independence from Spain, in a move that’s likely to shake Europe to its core. The vote for independence was by a huge majority of 70 for to 10 against; although the opposition boycotted the vote. Immediately after the announcement, the Catalan parliament was surrounded by thousands of people, celebrating.
ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) – Almost 93 percent of Iraq’s Kurds voted to create an independent state, the High Elections and Referendum Commission said on Wednesday, in a referendum that has angered the Baghdad government and regional powers Turkey and Iran.
Voters were asked to say “yes” or “no” to the question: “Do you want the Kurdistan Region and Kurdistani areas outside the (Kurdistan) Region to become an independent country?”
More than 72 percent of eligible voters, or 3.3 million people, cast a ballot, with 92.73 percent of valid votes in favour of “yes” and 7.27 percent in favour of “no.”
Is this really occurring within a country that is part of the EU, is this democracy, is this freedom of expression, is it not likened to a tin pot dictatorship.
This, in the supposedly Free World is completely wrong and takes us back to the ways of Colonialism.
Can this really be the Spain of the future or is it in keeping with the future within the EU.
Either way it is not a part that I wish to belong to.
If Catalonia wishes for some form of independence, why should Spain be actively not only campaigning against it, but is treating Catalonia as a naughty child, in say if you behave as you are doing we will limit your freedoms until you desist.
Surely this cannot be happening in a civilised Society in the 21st century.
I agree for the UK as been reliant on immigrants for many, many years and the country as blossomed as a result. Before the European immigrants, there were the immigrants from the Commonwealth. Then well before then we had the invaders Celts, Vikings, Normans, Romans, Jutes, Angles, and Saxons to name but a few.
The media needs to be promoting non-racist values.
So to those who are uttering racist abuse, they could be doing so to some of their very distant cousins.
What has happened to this country? What is going on? We really do seem to be becoming a nation full of some very nasty people and I don’t like it. All I am seeing at the moment is story after story, report after report, news item after news item, on social and in mainstream media, of racist and xenophobic attacks and mind-boggling hatred towards our fellow man and woman. It’s horrible. Even though it’s now been a week since the Referendum, since we voted to leave the European Union, it’s going on and on and on. The hatred and racism is not abating in any way that I can see, if anything, it’s getting worse. According to newspapers and the news bulletins I’ve seen, read and heard just today, racist hate-crime has increased fivefold in the last week. A truly terrifying statistic and not a Britain I want any part…