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By Robert A. Vella

On December 12th, citizens of the disunited United Kingdom head back to the polls for yet another election.  The nation and its people have been torn and tortured from over three years of Brexit, and hopes that this issue will finally be resolved are optimistic at best.  Prime Minister Boris Johnson, once the boaster of a quick and hard separation from the European Union, has apparently changed strategy after a stunning string of defeats and is now pushing for a negotiated separation amenable to his fellow Tories.  Why?  Because that’s the only way he and his party can hold onto power.  Polling shows the Conservative Party is in the lead with Jeremy Corbyn’s opposition Labour Party in second place, although that lead is both tenuous and conditional among the electorate.  Most Britons want a divorce from the E.U., but not at the cost of a ruined economy.  So, Boris may be far right-wing and even fascist at heart, but he is practical.  From The Guardian:

Note that the center-left in the U.K., roughly half the electorate, is split between at least three political parties (i.e. Liberal Democrats, Labour, and the Greens).

Enter two more extreme right-wingers who are convincingly fascist – Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage and U.S. President Donald Trump.

From:  Trump-ally Nigel Farage offers Boris Johnson a Brexit election alliance

Johnson recently managed to negotiate a Brexit withdrawal deal with the EU and passed a related bill through the first stage of Parliament.

Farage said Friday he would not enter any alliance with Johnson’s Conservative Party unless that deal was ditched. The Brexit Party leader then offered a compromise plan.

[…]

The anti-Brexit leader is friendly with Trump and gained something of a media coup on Thursday evening when he managed to interview the U.S. president on his regular radio show.

During the phone-in, Trump hinted heavily that Johnson’s deal, which at first glance looks likely to retain many of the EU’s standards and practices, would not make it easy for the United States to do a trade deal with Britain.

From:  Boris Johnson will reject Nigel Farage’s election offer of a Brexit alliance pact

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage made his final offer of an electoral pact to Boris Johnson on Friday.

The terms were simple. If the United Kingdom’s prime minister was willing to drop his Brexit deal with the European Union by November 14, the two party leaders could form a “Leave alliance” at the December 12 election.

Farage would stand aside his candidates in hundreds of seats to give the Conservative candidates a clearer run. In return, the Conservatives would stand aside for the Brexit Party in a smaller number of seats to bolster their own chances of success. Such an arrangement would likely pave the way to a parliamentary majority for Johnson.

The problem for Farage is that Downing Street has no such interest in an electoral pact, something even US President Donald Trump urged the pair to do on Thursday.

Responding to Farage’s claims, Conservative Party chairman James Cleverly on Friday said: “A vote for Farage risks letting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street via the back door — and the country spending 2020 having two referendums on Brexit and Scottish independence.

From:  Brexit Party’s Farage set to fight every seat in poll battle against PM Johnson

LONDON (Reuters) – Nigel Farage opened his election campaign on Friday by telling Prime Minister Boris Johnson that his Brexit Party will contest every seat in Britain unless he ditches his EU divorce deal and agrees to an electoral alliance of Brexit-supporting parties.

The call was swiftly rejected by Johnson’s Conservative Party.

The snap election, set for Dec. 12, is highly unpredictable so an alliance on either side of the Brexit schism could be a game changer after nearly four years of political crisis over Britain’s decision to quit the European Union.

From:  Johnson, asked about Trump doubts on Brexit deal, says ‘UK has full control’

LONDON (Reuters) – Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his Brexit deal would give Britain “full control” after it leaves the European Union, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said it might hinder a future trade agreement between the United States and Britain.

[…]

The United States has previously warned Britain that keeping close ties with the EU after Brexit might prevent it from striking a future bilateral trade agreement with Washington.

There you have it, folks – los tres fascistas.  One is more or less practical about politics and wants to stay in power.  One is purely ideological, but is otherwise rational.  One is rabidly megalomaniacal and is meddling in a foreign election for personal political gain – the exact same offense which triggered a two-year long criminal investigation into his corrupt dealings with Russia and a current impeachment inquiry into his corrupt dealings with Ukraine.  For the unhinged megalomaniac, however, his political and personal future back home in America are even more uncertain.

From:  Growing number of GOP senators consider acknowledging Trump’s quid pro quo on Ukraine

A growing number of Senate Republicans are ready to acknowledge that President Trump used U.S. military aid as leverage to force Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden and his family as the president repeatedly denies a quid pro quo.

In this shift in strategy to defend Trump, these Republicans are insisting that the president’s action was not illegal and does not rise to the level of an impeachable offense as the Democratic-led House moves forward with the open phase of its probe.

But the shift among Senate Republicans could complicate the message coming from Trump as he furiously fights the claim that he had withheld U.S. aid from Ukraine to pressure it to dig up dirt on a political rival, even as an increasing number of Republicans wonder how long they can continue to argue that no quid pro quo was at play in the matter.

From:  China Wins WTO Case to Sanction $3.6 Billion in U.S. Trade

The damages awarded, in a document released Friday on the Geneva-based organizations’ website, are the third highest in WTO history. The amount is about half of what was requested by China, which argued that some U.S. anti-dumping rules were illegal.

The case began before the 18-month-old trade war between the two nations, which has led to tit-for-tat tariffs covering some $500 billion in goods going in both directions. While the ruling deals with matters outside current negotiations to conclude phase one of a comprehensive trade deal, it gives Beijing a new — and legal — weapon to wield against the Trump administration if it opts to do so.

The ruling also comes as the U.S. is mounting an assault on the WTO’s dispute resolution system, with the current terms of two of the final three judges on its appellate body due to expire in December and Washington blocking new appointments. The Trump administration is likely to cite the case as an example of what it sees as the overreach of the WTO’S dispute system.

China now can ask the WTO’s dispute settlement body to authorize retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. Such requests are typically granted.

Today’s news blurbs

Trump administration to pay $846G to California over failed bid to add citizenship question to census

The FDA learned of an E. coli outbreak in September. Six weeks later, the agency finally announced it.

Deadspin Is No More After Mass Staff Exodus: Former EIC

Beto O’Rourke Drops Out of the Presidential Race

England Suspends Fracking After New Study Threatens Powerful Earthquakes

5 million masks distributed as ‘toxic’ smog descends on Delhi during Diwali

Russia’s ‘sovereign internet’ law takes effect

3 thoughts on “Los tres fascistas: The twisted machinations of Boris, Nigel, and Donald (plus today’s news blurbs)

  1. Just to stick my oar in, I don’t think it’s true that most Brits want to separate from Europe. The referendum was virtually a split only slightly in favour of leave. And a very large proportion of the electorate didn’t bother to vote on the matter because they didn’t think they needed to. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay. Many realised they had been hoodwinked by the Boris Bus and claims of vast sums going to the NHS and that’s why they voted leave. Some vote leavers have since formed a ‘changed their mind’ pressure group and the Lib Dems are campaigning on revoke article 50. There will also be lots new voters since the referendum, the younger generation who see themselves as Europeans and are especially concerned about climate crisis.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks very much, Tish. Your perspective is much sharper than mine could be from over here in America. Still, the election polling tells me: 1) that the Tories have solidified their lead by rejecting a hard Brexit while embracing a softer negotiated divorce from the E.U., 2) that Labour is paralyzed over Brexit and has consequently lost support to the centrist Liberal Democrats, and 3) that – barring an improbable coalition between Labour and Lib Dems – Boris Johnson is likely to return as Prime Minister and effectuate Brexit.

      As in the U.S., young people in the U.K. could change the current political dynamic if they get motivated to vote. In our midterm elections last year, we saw evidence of that. Hopefully, we’ll see that in your elections next month.

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