“It is for the sake of accountability that winners take all in our system….”

Great piece from Janan Ganesh today which is worth reading into the Slugger record..

The British people have instructed their rulers to leave the EU. The execution of their will is the work of years and soul-sapping detail. It cannot be done by a prime minister who believes the instruction was foolish in the first place. It is awkward enough that the technical process of extrication will be managed by reluctant, deflated civil servants.

As a point of democratic principle, the highest offices in government – prime minister, chancellor of the exchequer and foreign secretary – should now go to committed Leavers, preferably ones with compatible accounts of what Leave should mean. A government of all persuasions would be magnanimity for its own sake and a perversion of the referendum result.

This is an important point, and not just for internal rivals within the Conservative party. Whatever’s left of the Labour party after it’s tussle with its “be-tanked” leader needs to take careful note too.

Democracy, like sport, is governed by a cruel clarity. Forty-eight per cent of votes does not entitle pro-Europeans to 48 per cent of their manifesto or 48 per cent of major ministries. Victory and defeat are more absolute than that, and not out of some misplaced machismo. It is for the sake of accountability that winners take all in our system.

That accountability is now everything. Leavers have won what was essentially a referendum and a general election all in one. They must be responsible for the country in the coming years. The economy, the union and the commitments made during the referendum campaign are all theirs to safeguard. A European settlement that simultaneously satisfies Brussels and the 52 per cent is theirs to negotiate.

He concludes:

But Leavers will understand one thing on taking control: Cameron and George Osborne, his chancellor, did not sex up the official advice they received about the economic costs of exit. If anything, they sexed it down to avoid the charge of lurid alarmism that came anyway.

The private dreads of people at the summit of the British state were worse than was ever let on. Unless they are taken with a sudden intellectual sunniness, it will remain the advice that Johnson and his ally Michael Gove, justice secretary, hear as the new masters.

The advice may turn out to be wrong but, on the morning after the referendum, the two men wore the haunted look of jokers at an auction whose playfully exorbitant bid for a vase had just been accepted with a chilling smash of the gavel. They must now govern as well as they campaigned.

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  • chrisjones2

    “Cameron and George Osborne, his chancellor, did not sex up the official advice they received about the economic costs of exit. If anything, they sexed it down to avoid the charge of lurid alarmism that came anyway.”

    Thats just untrue. They used all the worst possible assumptions to exaggerate!

  • articles

    Janan in his beancounter view of democracy and the simple weighing of the vote forgets one simple point; we live in a liberal democracy. Where there’s democracy there’s majority rule, where there’s liberal democracy there’s doubt and uncertainty and in part that’s why the majority have at all times to safeguard the minority or minorities. We can even work it to our advantage by use of dialectics. Magnanimity has a role. In Norn Iron terms “always give someone their bus fare home”; once the fight is over shake hands and go forward together.

  • lizmcneill

    “A European settlement that simultaneously satisfies Brussels and the 52 per cent is theirs to negotiate.”

    That’s a bit of a tall order, especially as a fair chunk of the 52 percent thinks they were getting an extra 350 million a week or the immediate departure of all immigrants currently in the UK.

  • On the fence!

    “Fair chunk”, really???? I’ve yet to meet, see, hear, or read one single
    “leaver” complaining about feeling short changed by the outcome of
    their vote

    All the wittering on about the two issues you mention
    is coming from “remain”, and they didn’t vote for it anyway so it’s
    really nothing more than something else to gurn about!

  • Declan Doyle

    Lord help us all. On Spotlight tonight a Duper claimed that the SNP’s approach to Scottish Independence was nothing more than a bluff. Recent Unionist electoral success has led to obvious delusion. Unbelievable.

  • Now that all the earlier carefully prepared, business as usual, political scripts for supposed representatives of the people have been rendered null and void, is everyone running around in hysterical confusion and panic, trying manically to find an original narrative which leads everyone forwards in a visionary direction.

    However, what is so evidently lacking in those little closed circles of remote influence, is working imagination and new ideas taking full advantage of the chaos of markets and spin which have lost mass command and control.

    That indicates there is no viable proactive and HyperRadioProActive leadership from the media hosted charade that has ugly actors in roles of politicians. But then such has been the case for some considerable time now, and the cumulative result is now much easier for all to see.

    One can expect much mischief to be afoot taking full advantage of the opportunities available and stupidity which abounds.

  • aquifer

    That is not what people in the markets are saying with their own money.

  • aquifer

    Boris wraps a french pocket watch inside a hanky and pounds it with a hammer.

    Will he open the hanky?

  • Reader

    Is that why the FTSE 100 is nearly back up to its previous level?

  • doopa

    The FTSE 100 isn’t indicative of market response to Brexit since it is composed of a lot of companies that make money elsewhere.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/27/why-we-should-be-looking-at-the-ftse-250-and-not-the-ftse-100-to/

  • kensei

    You need to look at the FTSE in $ – international conpanies for international investors, mostly -and the FTSE 250.

    It is also unwise to call the markets a few days in. I doubt we are close to through the volatility.

  • doopa
  • On the fence!

    Yes, happily I did miss those “stories”!!!

    I mean, are those people actually for real.

    I think this tweet best sums it up,
    “‘I never thought leopards would eat MY face,’ sobs woman who voted for the Leopards Eating People’s Faces Party.”

    Is that the bottom of a barrel I hear being scraped?

  • Kev Hughes

    Read that this morning too, very good piece.

  • On the fence!

    OK, so when the FTSE fell on Friday morning it was, “we told you so, doom and gloom, sob sob, we lost, the morons won, etc, etc”.

    Now it’s back up and it’s, “well the FTSE isn’t really an indicator of anything is it”.

    You couldn’t make it up!!!!!

  • doopa

    A move of 4.5% on Friday for the FTSE100 wasn’t exactly great. Such large movements are indicative of massive unease. So no-one is arguing it is a good thing. Taken together with continued falls in sterling and the FTSE 250 the clear result is that the markets have reacted poorly to Brexit.

  • doopa

    These people are for real.

  • On the fence!

    Sterling is rising today.

    But no doubt there’ll be some reason why that’s bad as well!

  • doopa

    Sterling is currently trading way below what it was last week. Imports are about to get more expensive.

    Any comment on how the large swings are good for economy? On how massive drops in the value of the FTSE250 are good?

  • On the fence!

    I’ve heard that the people at Wrightbus are delighted with the wee fall in Sterling already and are hoping it doesn’t recover too far.

    I’ve also heard that there’s a good chance of an increase in milk prices with further potential to explore new markets that were previously off limits.

    Both proper export based industries, just what we need for the future rather than government funded, non-productive employment.

  • doopa

    The UK economy overall has been a net importer for some time and by some margin. Just how big do you think the market for buses is?

  • On the fence!

    Big enough to employ about 1500 people!, some of whom in return are my customers and help to keep me in business.

    You know, the way a proper economy is SUPPOSED to work.

    In fact that’s actually quite a ridiculous and unintelligent reply.

  • doopa

    Ah… shouting and insulting – a double whammy.

  • On the fence!

    Cop out!

  • doopa

    I’m not copping out. I’m just pointing out that you are being rude, which I don’t appreciate. I’m still waiting on answers to my questions. I would prefer to see answers to those than further shouting.

    Just how big do you think the market for buses is? (Looking for a figure expressed in £)
    Any comment on how the large swings are good for economy?
    how massive drops in the value of the FTSE250 are good?

    I’ll add – given that the UK economy is a massive net importer, how big a fall in the value of sterling is required and how much would the export economy need to grow in order to compensate for the increase in the cost of imports?

  • Kevin Breslin

    Complete binary thinking to assume that all 52% Leave side will agree with whatever is negotiated or that all 48% Remain side will disagree. There needs to be a reasonable level of pragmatism to keep the political vectors central.

    Many of the 52% Leave side have heard a lot of the Leave side’s key promises reneged upon in 2 days after the vote, so that cared about these issues they will naturally distance themselves from any agreement where the matter is not addressed. They may be able to stomach having no extra money for the NHS or the cuts that are faced elsewhere.

    I don’t believe in winner takes all in politics, I believe it is always a case of winner takes some.

    With a new Prime Minister in the Autumn, we could be seeing a winter of discontent soon to follow.

  • On the fence!

    “I’m just pointing out that you are being rude,”

    >shakes head in disbelief<

  • StevieG

    Sources please? Or is this your opinion?
    We are in a worst case scenario here…political upheaval and opportunism in England has resulted in a vote that will have detrimental impacts to our (specifically NI inward investment) economy (please note…the stock market does not equal the economy) and leave the UK out in the cold (unless it becomes part of the EEA – that would be acceptable to me).
    The point is, BoJo et al., you broke it, you fix it!