The 1st Duke of Wellington
Why this image of the 1st Duke of Wellington, you may well ask! It’s because his strategy to beat the French ought to apply to our own Brexit Battle, as I’ll explain below.
Today is the official start of the GE campaign. Parliament was dissolved at 00.01am, the manifestos are being written, the polls are being polled, the MSM are ‘oven-ready’, to borrow Johnson’s latest Brexit-phrase, and while nowadays a day is a very long time in politics and predictions are impossible, the battle lines can be discerned.
Don’t believe for a moment that this will be about Brexit if we let the establishment Parties and their allies in the MSM set the agenda! This morning’s headlines show how the MSM will play this. In one corner we have the Tories who are still struggling about how to ‘get Brexit’ into their manifesto – more on that below. In the other corner we have Labour whose policies are already attracting criticism from across the board. In the yellow corner are the Libdems whose Leader firmly believes she can become PM and in the last corner we have TBP and Nigel Farage, the devil incarnate whose sole existence means Brexit will be scuppered.
Yes, that’s right: it’s not the Remainers’ policies of obstruction since the EU referendum which have been wrecking Brexit for over three years, it’s not Labour with their rejection of ‘a Tory Brexit’, and the pledge to do better: three months negotiations and then six months for a 2nd referendum even if their leader is still not sure what he’ll do. Above all, it’s not Johnson with his ‘oven-ready Deal’ who is the wrecker – it’s Farage, having shown the traps in Johnson’s deal, who is the official Brexit wrecker.
Predictably, RemainCentral is coyly avoiding dealing with Johnson’s ‘oven-ready deal’ while taking some serious swipes at Labour in their leading article:
“The most basic law of economics is that things add up. Labour’s programme shows scant awareness of this fact. It promises revenues that will not materialise, productivity gains that are speculative, taxes that will be paid by business rather than employees, and an industrial renaissance due to a weaker pound. All of this is a fantasy that will depress living standards and cause a flight of capital. Labour’s economic policies are, even so, less deluded and dangerous than the party’s approach to national security, which we detail today. If, as is perfectly conceivable, Jeremy Corbyn enters Downing Street next month, he will be the first postwar prime minister of either party to believe that the defence on which Britain’s national security depends is a provocation rather than a guarantor of peace and freedom.” (link, paywalled)
It’s worth noting in an aside that the Whitehall chief Sir Mark Sedwill has blocked the Treasury’s publishing a report detailing the costs of Labour’s economic policies (link). Our unbiased Civil service bites again … ! The problem of national security under Labour is reinforced in another article in the Times:
“The intelligence services and Foreign Office fear that national security would be put at risk if Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister […]. Senior Whitehall insiders say that the flow of information that Britain receives from the “Five Eyes” alliance, which includes the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, would dry up because of a lack of trust in the Labour leader.” (paywalled link)
That’s a bit more serious than the plaintive Remain cries that we’d be cut off from EUROPOL in case of Brexit! Finally, here’s what may well become normal occurrences should Labour win:
“The Rail Maritime and Transport Union announced [yesterday] the unprecedented 27 day walkout as part of a long-running dispute over guards on trains. […] It comes amid threats from Britain’s most powerful unions to paralyse airports, universities and the postal network before the election on December 12. […] Tory MPs likened the disruption to the notorious ‘Winter of Discontent’ in 1978/79 and accused union leaders of coordinating a plot to boost Jeremy Corbyn’s chances of victory. The latest strike will involve South Western Railway workers walking out for 27 days between December 2 and New Year’s Day. Conductors will only return to work on election day and for Christmas Day and Boxing Day – when there are no trains running anyway.” (paywalled link)
How that is supposed to ‘help Corbyn’ I confess I do not understand. At least so far the Labour Party isn’t overtly ‘split’, unlike the LibDems where Mr Umunna aims to form an alliance with the Party he left, Labour. Non-paywalled reports are here and here while their leader is going to sue ITV for being sexist pigs and not including her in their planned leadership debate between Johnson and Corbyn (here).
Amazingly, the Tories are also split! The ERG demands that ‘No Deal’ not be taken ‘off the table’ in their forthcoming manifesto. It’s really quite delicious:
“According to a senior Tory source: “Key ERG members have been lobbying Boris but Downing Street wants the focus to be on the wonders of the Prime Minister’s deal – they don’t want to be distracted or drawn into the previous arguments about deal or no deal. They want to say that the Conservative Party is completely lined up behind the deal, which has won the approval of Brexiteers and Remainers. But the very simple point being made to Boris is that he will be asked the question during the election campaign: ‘If you don’t get a trade deal with the EU during the two year transition period, will you leave on WTO terms?’ Some people in Number 10 are worried including no deal in the manifesto will put off soft Tories who voted remain and are tempted by Labour and the Lib Dems. The leavers are saying that a commitment to no deal could help to entice voters back from the Brexit Party.” (paywalled link)
There you have the evidence that Brexit is just a counter in the Establishment parties’ game to win the GE! We’ve noticed that many fair-weather Brexiteers have swallowed the Johnson lie about that oven-ready deal uncritically, demanding Farage fall into line.
No matter – it’s the ‘split’ in TBP which is important. Lookit here: candidates of TBP are leaving! 20 of them! And another one left yesterday! (link, paywalled). The reason? Farage is mean to the Tories and must change. So say Express readers (here). Meanwhile, Tory candidates are allegedly pleading with Farage to please not put up a candidate standing against them (paywalled link) while Nigel reiterates that he’s open to talks. While this report of a surge of TPB in a poll is interesting, the main battle slogan of the Establishment – Parties and MSM in concert – is that voting for TBP will split the Leave vote.
They overlook that we out here have learned a few things since 2016: Party manifestos are not worth the paper they’re written on while Brexit has been wrecked by the Remain Establishment. We do not trust that lot one inch! Expect to be patronised, expect to be vilified, expect to see more Project Fear ‘news’. The Establishment is fighting for their lives: they know it, we know it, and we should act accordingly.
As I mentioned above, we Leave voters should recall a famous war – which we won – and a famous General who won it: the 1st Duke of Wellington. During the battle at Waterloo he said “Hard pounding this, gentlemen; let’s see who will pound longest.” That should be our motto: to pound hardest and longest.
Never forget that this election is about Leave and Remain, nothing else matters. And let’s remind ourselves of this answer by the Great Duke when he was asked how he beat the French: “They came on in the same old way and we saw them off in the same old way”. He referred to the French columns getting beaten by the British lines, again and again.
The ‘Line’ of us Leavers will have to beat the Establishment Columns. That’s all there is to it. Moreover, just as Wellington’s Army was made up of contingents from different, allied nations, so must we fight this war for our country with our Leave allies from all parties.
Evoking Waterloo and the Peninsular War is not far fetched. By now anyone who’s read about how the EU works has learned why our and their continental system are fundamentally incompatible. That’s why we must fight this battle against those who’d sell us out into Napoleonic bondage. The battle lines are drawn, and we will