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Boris Johnson's Coup Is Eerily Reminiscent of Erdogan's Rise to Power
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Britain is experiencing a slow-moving coup d’etat in which a right-wing government progressively closes down or marginalises effective opposition to its rule. It concentrates power in its own hands by stifling parliament, denouncing its opponents as traitors to the nation, displacing critics in its own ranks, and purging non-partisan civil servants.

Some describe this as “a very British coup”, which gives the operation a warmer and fuzzier feeling than it deserves. It is, in fact, distinctly “un-British” in the sense that the coup makers ignore or manipulate the traditional unwritten rules of British politics over the past 400 years whereby no single faction or institution monopolises authority.

What we are seeing has nothing to do with the British past but a very modern coup in which a demagogic nationalist populist authoritarian leader vaults into power through quasi-democratic means and makes sure that he cannot be removed.

This new method of seizing power has largely replaced the old-fashioned military coup d’etat in which soldiers and tanks captured headquarters and hubs in the capital and took over the TV and radio stations. Likely opponents were rounded up or fled the country. The military leaders sought popular passivity rather than vocal support.

I first witnessed the new type of coup in action three years ago in Turkey when it took place in reaction to an old-fashioned military coup. Part of the Turkish army tried to stage a military putsch on 15 July 2016 and provided the then prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with what appeared to him to be a heaven-sent opportunity to install an elective dictatorship in which subsequent elections and the real distribution of power could be pre-determined by control of the media, judiciary, civil service, security services and, if people still stubbornly voted against the government, by outright electoral fraud.

I spoke to plenty of people in Istanbul in the days after the abortive military coup who saw clearly that its failure meant that they might have escaped rule by the army, but only at the cost of being gripped ever more tightly by civilian authoritarian rule.

“Erdogan’s lust for power is too great for him to show restraint in stifling opposition in general,” predicted one intellectual who, like almost everybody I was interviewing at this time, would only speak anonymously. This was certainly wise: TV stations, radios, newspapers, critics of all sorts were being closed down by the minute. When one small-circulation satirical magazine dared to publish a cartoon mildly critical of the government, the police went from shop to shop confiscatingcopies.

Some Turks comforted themselves by quoting the saying that in government “the worst politician is better than the best general”. Three years later, those not forced into silence, in exile or in prison may not be so certain that the difference between a civilian and a military dictatorship is quite so great.

Less than a year after the failed military coup, Erdogan held a blatantly rigged referendum which marginalised parliament and gave him dictatorial powers. Despite the harassment and silencing of critics, it passed by only 51.4 per cent in favour of these constitutional changes as opposed to 48.6 per cent against. Even this narrow majority was only achieved late on election night when the head of the electoral board overseeing the election decided that votes not stamped as legally valid, numbering as many as 1.5 million, would be counted as valid, quite contrary to practice in previous Turkish elections.

By the day of the referendum in 2017, some 145,000 people had been detained, 134,000 sacked, and 150 media outlets closed. No act of persecution was too petty or cruel: one opposition MP, who denounced the “yes” vote, found that his 88-year-old mother had been discharged by way of retaliation from a hospital where she had been under treatment for two-and-a-half years.

Turkish elections are not a complete farce as in Egypt and Syria, as was shown by the election of an opposition candidate as mayor of Istanbul earlier this year. But the political process as a whole is now so skewed towards Erdogan that it will be extraordinarily difficult to dislodge him. This is a feature of the 21st-century type coup: once in office, leaders are proving more difficult to evict than a junta of military officers a century earlier.

Could the same thing happen here in Britain? This is one of the strengths of the Johnson coup: many people cannot believe that it has happened. British exceptionalism means that foreign experience is not relevant. Few knew or cared that Turkey had a strong tradition of parliamentary democracy as well as a grim record of military takeovers. But it is these slow-burn civilian coups which are such a feature of the modern world that we should be looking at – and trying to learn from – and nor what happened in Britain in the 1630s when Charles I sought to impose arbitrary government.

Opponents of the suspension of the parliament have a touching faith that the present government will stick by the historic rules of the political game when everything it has done so far shows a determination to manipulate and misuse these rules to gain and keep political power.

Many in Britain are now springing to the defence of parliament and elected representation, but they should have sprung a bit earlier. Those in the Labour Party who were neutral about Brexit – or even saw it as a welcome disruption of the status quo and an opportunity for radical reform – only now seem to be noticing that Brexit was always a vehicle whereby the hard right could take over the government.

Progressive Turks have been down this road and knew all too well what lay at the end of it. Revolutionaries on the left suddenly discover that the right also stages revolutions and that there is virtue in a fairly elected parliament. “So here I am, gone from post-structuralist anarchist to ballot-box monitor,” tweeted one Turkish convert to this view as he vainly tried to thwart fraudulent elections.


The quote comes from How to Lose a Country: The 7 Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship, the compelling and instructive book by the Turkish writer Ece Temelkuran which forecast a year ago where the Brexit crisis was heading. Her work should be prescribed reading for anybody seeking to understand and resist the global trend she describes.

A weakness of such resistance is that its potential leaders, including supposed radicals like Jeremy Corbyn, really do look at Britain’s past as a guide. It is those who have been mocked for trying to recreate a fantasy England, such as Johnson and his chief lieutenants, who are much more in tune with the modern world and instinctively follow in the footsteps of Trump, Erdogan and their like from Washington to Sao Paolo and Budapest to Manila.

The annus mirabilis of the new populist nationalist authoritarians was 2016: the Brexit referendum took place in June, the Turkish military coup and Erdogan’s counter-coup in July, and Donald Trump’s election as president in November. Johnson, Erdogan and Trump are alike in specialising in aggressive patriotism, defence of an endangered national independence, and nostalgia for past glories.

Successful resistance to this toxic trend means learning from the fresh experience of other nations similarly blighted and not from British history.

(Republished from The Independent by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Boris Johnson, Brexit, Britain 
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  1. Smith says:

    Yeah, I predict this in the Hong Long thread, now rise the CIA-funded Remoaners to fight against the dirty fascists/nazis who vote to leave the USSR.

    Bring it on, yids, no one is scared of you pansies. You slander Hong Kong now time to get clobbered.

    Good luck Boris and good luck the people of Britain!

    • Replies: @El Dato
  2. Smith says:

    Ah, yes the howl of democracy now that the bureaucrat cannot hold the population in check anymore.

    Democracy in China = BAD.
    Democracy in Russia/Ukraine = BAD.
    Democracy in UK = GOOD!

    Never mind that people have voted to leave the EUSSR in 2015!

    Bring on the CIA funded Remoaners, we will see how them fare compared to genuine protesters like Yellow Vests and Hong Kongers!

    Good luck Boris and God saves the Queen in England’s darkest time.

  3. > It concentrates power in its own hands by
    > stifling parliament

    As provided for by… parliament! –

    > traditional unwritten rules of British politics over
    > the past 400 years whereby no single faction or
    > institution monopolises authority.


    I stopped reading this garbage at that point.

  4. I really don’t understand where Cockburn is headed. Democracy ended decades ago. The “tradition” of the British Parliamentary system, is that those elected to the House of Commons, actually represent the wishes of those who elected them. Tell me Patrick, when was the last backbench revolt, and what was it about?
    I can understand the “remainers” in Parliament from London, Scotland and Ulster, where the vote was strongly remain, but what about elsewhere? Irrespective of party affiliation, most of these parasites are voting against the wishes of their constituents. That is the real issue.
    Bringing May’s crappy “deal” back twice to be voted on after it’s defeat, is unprecedented in the history of Parliament, yet prorogation, which happens all the time, is supposed to be a big deal? Prior to fixed date elections, governments often prorogued parliament at the most politically opportune time, in order to call an election. Were those called constitutional crises?
    Tell us, other than plotting to delay Brexit again or pushing for a second referendum, which would again be ignoring the results of the referendum, just what Parliament was going to act on? It’s been a circle jerk for three years. If the remainers were successful in a achieving second referendum and winning it, would Parliament have to abide by the “remain” vote? How many votes does it take, before “democracy” is achieved?
    All Johnson has done is bring this mess to a head. If the EU really wants a deal, other than May’s turd, they have an opportunity. In the meantime, Johnson is going to tell people, through the throne speech, what the government plans are post Brexit. Something to which no one seems to have paid any attention, because they’ve all been plotting to remain.

    • Agree: Digital Samizdat
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    , @animalogic
    , @Lol
  5. Gordo says:

    Boris Johnson’s Coup Is Eerily Reminiscent of Erdogan’s Rise to Power

    Coup? Not even in the ballpark for a coup.

    Johnson I hope is acting because he realises that the tiny metropolitan elite have held back the will of the people in a way that will lead to civil strife, and is attempting to prevent this.

    • Replies: @Alternate History
  6. non-partisan civil servants.

    Bigfoot is spotted more often than a non-partisan civil servant. But I guess one might exist somewhere, over the rainbow, beyond the deep blue sea. He is probably friends with leprechauns and mermaids.

    • Replies: @animalogic
  7. @Curmudgeon

    The UK is a representative democracy not a system of delegates. MPs act in the constituents intersts not according to an immoveable mandate.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  8. Wow, the right is beginning to behave like the left has behaved for the last one hundred years.

  9. Herald says:

    Cockburn gets a lot of things wrong, but here he gets it mostly right.

    Worrying to find that there are those on this site who actually believe that Johnson is some new version of Moses and as such will lead the UK out of the darkness of the EU to the promised free trade wonderland.

    Such trust in any politician is touching, but is nevertheless crazy thinking, bordering on insanity. I have to wonder just what these people have between their fluff filled ears, as it certainly isn’t brains.

    The UK is f**ked, whether in or out of the EU and realistically both Johnson and Trump will do do their utmost to keep it that way.

    • Replies: @Smith
    , @Digital Samizdat
  10. Ugh. For three years the American MSM has portrayed every disagreement with Trump as an “incipient fascist takeover,” a “threat to Democracy,” blah, blah, blah. I guess the Brits are in for the same hysterical treatment for Boris Johnson. Have fun with that.

    I do, however, appreciate that Mr. Cockburn at least used an Erdogen analogy instead of the usual Germany 1933 cliche.

  11. Smith says:

    If the UK is fucked, it is better to let it be fucked alone, instead of being gang-fucked by the EU jews.

    Nice try.

    • Agree: Alternate History
    • Replies: @animalogic
    , @Herald
  12. Erdogan is not like Johnson. A coup is not like a referendum. Cockburn is not like an intelligent person.

    • Replies: @Herald
    , @Amerimutt Golems
  13. @Curmudgeon

    I agree that Cockburn is probably exaggerating the implications of Johnson’s proroguing Parliament.
    However, the question of leave/remain has become largely nugatory.
    From the day of the referendum result the matter has been handled in such a negligent, delusional, cynical, incompetent & utterly stupid manner that the original result is now meaningless.
    This situation has not been helped by Corbyn’s lack of political nous & the DUP’s blind self interest.
    Another referendum is irrelevant. A general election in which all parties clearly state their intentions is needed. Of course, we’re probably in the realm of fantasy now.
    What ever happens, the UK is in deep trouble.

    • Replies: @Digital Samizdat
  14. @Chris Mallory

    Civil servants are non-partisan (like polictians) in the sense that they are motivated purely by self interest.

    • Replies: @Chris Mallory
  15. @Smith

    “…instead of being gang-fucked by the EU jews.”
    As opposed to the US “Jews” ?

  16. @Herald

    No Brexiteer needs to trust Johnson. They only need to trust their own decision to brexit. Johnson is just a means, not an end in himself.

  17. A coup? Really, Patrick? A coup d’état? You Remainiacs are really scraping the bottom of the barrel now.

    I first witnessed the new type of coup in action three years ago in Turkey …

    Ah, that would be Sultan Erdogan! He’s famous for making the people vote over and over until he gets the result he wants. You know who else does that? The EU! And you know else wants to do that? The Remainers! But go ahead and pose as the defenders of democracy or whatever … you’re only fooling yourselves. We see right through you.

  18. Herald says:

    The UK has its own legions of the chosen, who along with their dishonest little helpers, have been gang-banging the country for aeons. Whether in or out of the EU is totally irrelevant, you would never know the difference.

    • Replies: @Smith
  19. El Dato says:

    You are deluded.

    If the US TLAs are on anybody’s side in this (except on their side) it would be for a good Brexit.

    Ok, the Brits are already gay for the US at every possible occasion (participating in “Persian Gulf Security” right now, Rule Britannia LOL) but…

    A fat Airstrip One separated from the EU, with a “special trade relationship” with the US and tighter integration of the two-eyes surveillance-capitalist state than is even the case now. Who can resist?

    • Replies: @Smith
  20. Herald says:

    Erdogan had a US inspired coup thrust upon him, but Johnson needed no help from Uncle Shmuel and has organised the coup himself, this time against the UK parliament. It seems Boris can teach Trump a thuggish thing or two, so better watch out Congress.

  21. Smith says:

    Yeah, I do know the difference between one legion of chosen in the UK, and the ten legions of chosen in the EU.

    And the one legion in the UK wants to keep the UK in the EU so they can share the loot with the ten legions.

    Do not give them that.

    • Replies: @Herald
  22. El Dato says:

    Successful resistance to this toxic trend means learning from the fresh experience of other nations similarly blighted and not from British history.

    The UK is moving towards a “breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire” situation.

    Get a move on.

  23. @WorkingClass

    Erdogan is not like Johnson. A coup is not like a referendum. Cockburn is not like an intelligent person.

    Paddy is actually hypocritical. His wages are paid for by a Saudi investor.

    He knows the evil ruling class never expected the sheeple to vote leave. Cameron was foolish enough to allow a referendum. This whole saga has exposed the sham that is British democracy.

    Bojangles the Turk is only interested in political survival as the Conservative Party’s future depends on Brexit. He is just pretending to carry this out so that in the end he can blame remainers and get sympathy votes at the next election. Remember this is a guy who renounced his American passport to avoid IRS obligations.

  24. Smith says:
    @El Dato

    The people can resist of course.

    Rather having than having US+EU+Brit Big Brother in your state, it is LESS WORSE to only have the Brit CCTV on your state.

    Or are you implying the CCTV in the EU jews are less malicious than the ones in the UK and US, then I will tell you that you are wrong and are falling for false dichotomy.

    Ah yes, the infamous coup by politicians against other politicians.

    Suddenly, the EU is good! Because it’s not the US, LOL.

  25. Smith says:

    I think I have understood how the shills here work.

    There is no principle, there is no fact, there is one simple directive: Anti-US (the government and maybe the people).

    Yellow Vest, fought against France (which belongs to the EU but is an US ally), thus France BAD but Yellow Vest GOOD.

    Hong Kong protest, fought against Chicom (which is US enemy) thus Chicom GOOD but Hong Kong BAD.

    Brexit, which fought against the EU (which is US ally but is not the US itself), thus EU GOOD and Brexit BAD.

    Turkey, which fought against Syria (which is US enemy, but Turkey also recently a coup blamed on the CIA) thus Syria GOOD but Turkey ALSO GOOD.

    Ukraine, which fought against Russia (which is US enemy) in hope of getting into EU (which is US ally and not Russia) thus Russia GOOD but Ukraine BAD.

    It does not matter which ideology (neoliberalism – UK parliarment/Russia, communism – China, banana republicanism – Turkey) you hold, as long as you are perceived to be anti-US/the Great Enemy, you are the GOOD GUYS.

  26. Anonymous[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website

  27. Sucks to be English, but this is no big deal. You could see this coming when the City of London tried to wiggle out from under the ECtHR, and then derogated every human right in sight with pure Orwellian INGSOC. Who would set foot in an underdeveloped basket case like Britain? If you don’t give them all your passwords at the airport, they’ll dump you in prison for five years. Stick your cheesy tourist attractions up your sore reamed-out ass, you pedos.

    The result will be British influence and national standing piddling down the Queen’s leg. Already Britain got kicked off the World Court Bench. Ultimately it will lose its veto – even if that ends the UN. The whole world wants a successor organization that can’t be balked by six blackmailed NATO assholes.

    • Replies: @Smith
  28. @animalogic

    They are usually progressives who advance the party line of bigger government. Makes them partisan hacks.

  29. Smith says:

    The jew/muslim-ruled London that votes to remain the EU?

    That London?

  30. Lol says:

    The EU doesn’t really want a deal as a majority of EU citizens oppose any deal with the UK that doesn’t include freedom of movement and I’m not even sure why the EU continued the charade of negotiating so far considering the effects of hard brexit on most Europeans will be marginal at best. The EU should just make sure as many jobs and as much capital will leave the UK for the EU and negotiate for a deal only after the effects of hard brexit and hard borders take place.

  31. Lol says:

    Or maybe people are just tired of a cat meowing to get out while the door is already open. Just hard brexit already since everyone is bored of this. Not sure why the EU doesn’t just make sure as many jobs and as much capital as possible while move from the UK to the EU instead of wasting time on a deal a majority of Europeans are against if it doesn’t include freedom of movement.

    • Replies: @Smith
  32. @animalogic

    A general election in which all parties clearly state their intentions is needed.

    Why didn’t they do that during the election of 2017?

  33. @Smith

    We’re not anti-US; we’re anti-globalist.

    • Replies: @Smith
  34. Herald says:

    And the one legion in the UK wants to keep the UK in the EU so they can share the loot with the ten legions.

    There’s not a lot of difference being shot once or ten times, when the bullets pass clean clean through the head.

    Brexit has allowed the UK government to be captured by a right wing sociopath, who now knows he can dispense with Parliament, whenever the going gets a bit too tough. A very dangerous state of affairs, the significance of which sails completely over the head of the those Brexiteers, whose horizon extends only as far as the Straits of Dover.

    Since joining the EU in 1973 the standard of living in the UK for the normal working person has increased significantly. Johnson will place these gains in dire jeopardy, whether the UK is in or out of the EU.

    • Replies: @Smith
  35. Thirdeye says:

    So where is the repression of opposition, purging, restructuring of power, and seizure of media that accompanies civilian coups? Johnson’s use of arcane rules is no different from a committee Chairman or Majority Leader in the US Congress using such rules to frustrate a majority coalition. Does a US President stage a coup against a congressional majority when they veto a bill? Parliament was using process to overturn the results of the referendum and turnabout is fair play.

  36. @Smith

    I remain unconvinced. The difference between the two countries is huge-just the basic literacy rate alone. Islam hates democracy and participatory government. It is totally, since its inception, a Top Down operation.

    This is all in all, a shallow attempt at analogy and parallel. The assertions are supported by weak and low correlation comparisons.

    Finally, let’s talk about anti-democratic. Most MPs are in some or another elites’ pockets, i.e. they are puppets from bribe or blackmail. They DO NOT represent their constituents. This is transparently true. So, an authoritarian (maybe) is taking over from a group of authoritarians (proven). **Yawn**
    Much doo doo about nutmeg.

  37. @Smith


    Why is Russia USA’s enemy? What has Russia done to the US to become its enemy?

    If China is US’s enemy then why has US transferred so many industries to China, why has it allowed for technology transfer to China, why are so many US brands made in China?

    And how can tiny Syria half way around the world be US’s enemy? Has Syria committed any aggression against the USA?

    But of course they’re all enemies because USA says so. In fact USA is their enemy but they seem slow to realise it and are not yet enemy enough to USA or at least not as much as they should be given that USA is their enemy.

    Now if USA is such a great country that others should try to emulate, then let USA start by making it a better, more secure, safer, prosperous country for its own American people first within its own borders instead of going out there and trying to wreck other countries trying to improve their own lot.

    • Replies: @Smith
  38. eah says:

    What’s not to like about the current UK governing elite?

    • Replies: @eah
  39. eah says:

    Yeah, Boris Johnson is the problem — something’s gotta be done about that guy — “LOL”

    • Replies: @eah
  40. Smith says:

    I disagree, there is a lot of difference between a rape and a gang rape?

    Do not trust me, try both then get back to me.

    Otherwise, keep supporting the UK parliament i.e. neoliberalism.

  41. Smith says:
    @Commentator Mike

    They are all USA’s enemies because they are perceived to be so by the respective shills on the internet.

    The same reason Russia and China are great enemies of Israel despite their economic and technological ties.

    Shills want their favorite countries to appear to be anti-US to have good goys point.

  42. Smith says:
    @Digital Samizdat

    If so, why would you be pro-EU, Russia or China?

    Be a nationalist. All of the above plus US are globalist and work in tandem with each other.

    • Replies: @Digital Samizdat
  43. Smith says:

    The people of Britain want hard Brexit. Johnson is doing hard Brexit.

    There is a cabal in the Parliament who cries about democracy despite being a minority.

    • Replies: @Lol
  44. eah says:

  45. 22pp22 says:

    Brexit derangement syndrome

  46. @Smith

    I am not pro-EU. I am a nationalist and pro-US. The US as a country is not globalist; it’s the US government–under the control of the Anglo-Zionist élite–which is globalist. Do not confuse a people with it’s government.

  47. Smith says:

    Parliament suspends for three months before = NO PROBLEM.

    Parliament suspends by Boris = FASCIST NAZI UPRISING!

  48. Lol says:

    How come the British people want hard brexit considering that’s not what the brexit campaign was about? What the British people voted by a razor thin margin is on Farage’s delusion that a majority of EU voters are VW stock owners that will want a deal with the UK regardless of what’s in it because the UK is so special. Lol

    • Replies: @Smith
  49. The phenomenon of Brexit has a lot to do with ‘nostalgia for past glories.’ Empires rise, gain power; once gained that power has to be retained; once it is lost, the effort is to regain it. Nationalistic populism preceded the first and second world wars. But it is not nationalism itself that is the cause of war. It is our need for power. Power (manifested as interest) has been present in every conflict of the past – no exception. It is the underlying motivation for war. Other cultural factors might change, but not power. Interest cuts across all apparently unifying principles: family, kin, nation, religion, ideology, politics – everything. We unite with the enemies of our principles, because that is what serves our interest. It is power, not any of the above concepts, that is the cause of war. All the evidence points to another world war.

  50. Greg S. says:

    This is the most pin-headed Cockburn article I’ve yet read (and that’s saying something!). The whole thing is disingenuous and is basically a giant straw man. Spend the entire article talking about how bad Turkey is and then imply, with no evidence, that all of that COULD happen in the U.K. What nonsense. Anyone who honestly believes that mass arrests of political opposition could happen any day now in the U.K. is deluded to a point of requiring psychiatric medical aid.

    Speaking of which, the media does the exact same thing with Trump, or any one else that dares to even mildly opposed the unbridled march of globalism, cultural Marxism and mass immigration. Recently a talking head on CNN said that Trump was worse than “Hitler, Mao, and Stalin combined.”

  51. Smith says:

    The people want hard Brexit because the political class does not want Brexit (let alone be hard or soft).

    And now Johnson is delaying it again! Soon, there will be NO Brexit.

  52. Smith says:

    I swear to Odin if Brexit isn’t delivered this time.


  53. Weird how “eerily reminiscent” turned out to be ‘not even remotely similar.’

  54. So Boris Johnson had to ask the Queen for permission to suspend Parliament , for how long has the UK been a monarchy ?

  55. Well, well! Thanks to some Tory-turncoats, looks like there’s going to be yet another delay. We are now entering Year Four of Brexit.

  56. Smith says:

    Since forever.

    It’s the United KINGDOM, not the Republic of Pakistan.

  57. @Philip Owen

    “MPs act in the constituents interests” – so why did they vote for a referendum? We know the answer – because they thought they’d win. What kind of “the Government will implement what you decide” do you not understand?

    MPs are (and have been for three years) deliberately sabotaging negotiations with Brussels.

    You can’t go into any negotiation without the power to walk away. If you walk into a BMW dealership and the salesman knows that your wife will leave you if you don’t come back with a new X3, what kind of discount are you likely to get?

    Another British leader facing the prospect of negotiations with a united, German-dominated Europe dictated an uncompromising response and added “a firm reply of the kind I have outlined is the only chance of extorting from Germany any offers which are not fantastic“.

    But our home-grown Fifth Column (Hammond has been getting his legal advice from Brussels!) want to tie Britain’s hands – because they don’t want to honour the vote.

  58. It’s a joke to call the UK and the US democracies they are more like plutocracies . With both Trump’s and Johnson’s cabinets comprised mostly of Zionists , a White Nationalist would call them ZOGs .

  59. Smith says:

    The Parliament controls Britain now.

    But the partliament doesn’t represent the people, so who does it represent?

    • Replies: @greatwings
  60. @Smith

    The Yellow Vests are the only genuine protester group. The HK protesters are fomented by the National Endowment for Democracy NGO , which is, not surprisingly, a CIA funded Amwrikkkan tool.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
  61. If you look back over Turkey’s descent into despotism, you can see a point where it is not apparent that Erdogan would be a dictator. In the UK, we are at a point where it is not apparent that Boris will be a dictator. Therefore, Boris will be a dictator, just like Erdogan.
    Also, I’d like to write fatuous nonsense in the Independent like Cockburn, seems a pretty cushy gig.

  62. @Gordo

    It is nice to “hope”, but, maybe BJ is, like Trump, not there to drain the swamp, but for his own agenda, for the elite.

  63. @Smith

    In your reductionism, your conclusion,

    It does not matter which ideology (neoliberalism – UK parliarment/Russia, communism – China, banana republicanism – Turkey) you hold, as long as you are perceived to be anti-US/the Great Enemy, you are the GOOD GUYS.”

    is not supported by some of the examples you give. The examples of Hong Kong, Brexit and Ukraine, three out of five examples don’t suport your conclusions.

    • Replies: @Smith
  64. How ridiculous! Some of us have knee-jerk reaction to anything from the right. Meanwhile the left destroys Europe with unchecked illegal immigration.
    The coup is being done by the Labor party and other Remoaner allies. For 3 years Teresa May, her Remoaner deputies, and Parliament liars who campaigned on “honoring the will of the people” have lied , stalled, pussyfooted around, spread unfounded fear. May toured the nation parroting “No deal is better than a bad deal”. More lies. Now coward Jeremy Corbyn is afraid of an election to let the people decide again. For months he has cried for a general election, but he would rather stall Brexit again than be routed by his former supporters. A direct referendum overrules a shady Parliament!

  65. @Notafan de PatrickC

    The PMs involved have given Parliament three times to vote on the May-EU fake deal, and now a chance for a general election, which in effect would be their beloved People’s Vote. Parliament is no victim here.

  66. @Smith

    Global elitists, high finance, billionaires, and people devoted to mass migration.

  67. Some men who have suspended parliaments in the name of the People.

    Some German fellow
    Pol Pot
    Boris Johnson

    These episodes did not end well, even for the people in whose name the corrupt and disputatious parliaments were suspended.

    • Replies: @Matra
  68. Matra says:
    @Philip Owen

    Proroguing parliament didn’t end that badly for Stephen Harper: He won a majority government the following year. Clement Attlee prorogued parliament in 1948 and seemed to survive well enough.

    As for Patrick Cockburn, the number of columns he’s written on Brexit combined with the tenor of them suggest some kind of a mental breakdown. I hope he gets the help he needs.

  69. Icy Blast says:

    Cockburn is a whiny old Marxist bitch who can’t get over people rejecting his sick 19th Century religion. He’s a funny relic of 1968.

  70. Smith says:
    @Alternate History

    How exactly?

    Hong Kong – anti-China, but China is anti-US, so China GOOD, Hong Kong BAD,
    Brexit – anti-EU, but EU is now anti-US (somehow) so EU GOOD, Brexit BAD.
    Ukraine – anti-Russia but Russia is anti-US, so Russia GOOD, Ukraine BAD.

    How does it not support my conclusion?

  71. whodunnit says:
    @Notafan de PatrickC

    Thanks for the information that corrects the ravings of Cockburn.

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