Times for those who want to leave the European Union, no ifs, no buts, no conditional statement, no listening to inconvenient facts and stuff the reality are not good. The news from Downing Street suggests that alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is about to sell out the ERG, the DUP, and most of manufacturing industry has only darkened the mood. What was needed was yet another pointless gesture.
It was not going to come from the established punditerati. Beth Rigby of Sky News warned “So … legal text submitted but mood in No 10 a little downcast this morning. Govt source tells me it’s going to be tough to get something over line. PM held 3 hours of talks with DUP over past 36, but if he can’t get [Arlene] Foster over line, the ERG falls away & then no chance of majority”. Also at Sky News, Kate McCann had bad news, too.
“Brexit Sec confirms Boris Johnson will write letter to the EU on Saturday if no deal has been agreed. This is under the terms of the Benn Act and would mean extension until Jan 31 2020”. David Allen Green agreed. “Unless something exceptional and not in view happens, would now seem virtually certain that there will be an Article 50 extension”.
It got worse: Stewart Wood warned “Apologies for the spanner in the works, but a Brexit deal based on keeping just Northern Ireland in the EU customs union seems to directly run up counter the Government’s Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act 2018 … As Jacob Rees-Mogg knows: because it was his amendment”. JRM has screwed his own side.
And Jolyon Maugham observed “She 'fesses up. [Liz Truss] acknowledges the Withdrawal Agreement could be the only chance MPs have to say 'no' to chlorinated chicken and to US healthcare giants having full access to NHS contracts”. Was there no-one out there who could get the punters to, well, just “look over there” for a moment?
Sure enough, the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog had just the thing to induce a Squirrel moment among Brexit watchers. Or so they thought. “Huge Poll Shows Britons Want Brexit Delivered” claimed their headline, suggesting a 54% to 46% majority for Leave. So what had sandwich monitor Christian Calgie discovered?
“The biggest poll since the referendum itself, conducted for ITN by ComRes with 26,000 Britons, conclusively shows the public want Brexit sorted, with 54% of respondents saying we should support abiding by the referendum result and leave the EU. Even greater than the original 52:48 split”. That goes against all recent polling. Do go on.
“When ‘don’t knows’ are included, leaving still has a majority, with 50% wanting to leave (30% with a deal and 20% with no deal) versus only 42% wanting to remain. The Brexit train rolls on”. As Fred Flintstone might have put it, hold it … HOLD IT!
That’s not the same thing as 54-46 Leave, is it? And Anthony Wells was soon along to sound a cautionary note. “For the record, the ComRes poll doing the rounds today is presented as Leave 50%, Remain 42%. This would be a very unusual result, as almost every poll that's asked a straight Remain/Leave question since mid-2017 has round Remain ahead”. Was it something to do with that 30-20 deal versus no deal?
It certainly was. “The reason is that the ComRes poll was *actually* Deal 30%, No Deal 20%, Remain 42%, and the two leave options are added up. This is far less surprising, when polls split out different options like they they do often find the Leave options sum to more than the Remain ones”. So what is apparently skewing the poll?
“The reason is largely that some people who say they back leaving with a deal, will back remain if asked a straight remain/leave question”. So the Fawkes massive is lying. Again.
And while Wells concluded that “I don't think there's anything fundamentally wrong with asking people their preference between those three outcomes”, he also responded to the question “Do you think if you put in "remain with reforms to X" you'd increase the total remain support?” with “Almost certainly!” The ComRes poll is not a Leave endorsement.
All of which means not only that The Great Guido once again has his pants on fire, but also that the news for Leave fans really is uniformly bad.
If you have to lie just to put a positive spin on events, you’re screwed. Another fine mess.
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