Saturday, 8 July 2017

Fabian Phil

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ab/N26FabiusCunctator.jpg/300px-N26FabiusCunctator.jpg 
Philip Hammond is still advocating the very slow, almost glacial exit of the UK from the EU.
A google search reveals that Spreadsheet Phil likes to bring up the transitional arrangement about once a fortnight. And he has been doing so since November 2016.

Mr Hammond must be buoyed by the EU-funded C.B.I, the Confederation of Brussels Industrialists, wailing that an end to the uninhibited movement of goods will cause a 1929 recession and end the world. The CBI much prefers a more nuanced and slower exit. No cliff edge. 
Instead the UK gradually removes itself from the current EU arrangements and languidly replaces  them with new arrangements, that are in effect identical. 
Except they will have a different title and be contained in a different coloured folder. And will undoubtedly be slightly or even significantly worse than the current agreements that the UK has with the European Union.

Chancellor and hostage survivor Philip Hammond is very much in favour of a leisurely transitional Brexit. A process that he would be happy if it took anything from three years, to five years, to five hundred years.
 Mr Hammond is the great hope for Remain. 

Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, was a Roman general who fought Hannibal. At the time Roman armies were being destroyed by the invading Carthaginian forces. Each new legion created, met with defeat and panic ensued across the Roman republic.
Quintus developed the strategy of guerilla warfare. Harassing the invaders, without engaging them directly. Conserving his own forces whilst whittling down the enemy. 
Quintus understood he could not defeat the enemy head on. But he could slow them down. Giving time for his untrained army to develop. He realised that trading space for time, could be a winning tactic.

His fellow Romans were incensed with him. This wasn't how Romans fought! Hiding in bushes and running away after each javelin throw. They  added the name 'Cunctator' to his titles. 
Cunctator translates roughly from the Latin as  'To Linger' or to 'Delay.' 

Quintus The Delayer. Ultimately this originally unpromising senator, unlikely military hero,  defeated the Carthaginians and became dictator of Rome.A national hero.  He was revered and celebrated in history long after his death. Fabian Strategy has survived the 2000 years since his death and is still a term in use today. The word Fabian is derived directly from his achievements.

'Fabian Phil' must be aware that if we remain after the end of the negotiations, on a transitional deal, that we would still be subject to EU regulation. Still required to make payments to the EU of a similar, or larger amount than we do now. That we could not begin to make new trade deals on our own. That we would still be subject to the freedom of movement of EU citizens. And still be subject to the laws of the European Court, that have a higher status than our own.
That we not have, in any way on any area, Taken Back Control.

In effect, we would not have left at all. And would probably have a more costly and less favourable arrangement than we have now. With no fixed timetable to do anything to change the terms and conditions.

That is why, despite all the very sensible reasons,from very sensible people, for having a transitional arrangement, we should avoid it at all costs. 

It simply keeps the guerilla war in being. It keeps the insurgency fighting and gives heart to the partisan sniping until the will to carry on fades and the campaign is lost.

Fabian Phil is well aware of the power and effect of procrastination. 

He's a bit of a Cunctator himself.


19 comments:

Demetrius said...

Personally, I think the world would be a better place had Hannibal and The Carthaginians won.

amcluesent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
amcluesent said...

TBH, you could say the same about Mayhem herself plus, in a reprise of the 1970's, the entire Civil Service is committed to merely managing Britain's decline.

john cheshire said...

Why is Mr Hammond chancellor? Does he have a strong following among the Conservative MPs?

andrew said...


... because no-one else wants such a horrid job?

until revenues (i.e. incomes / corp profits) start rising and we have eliminated the deficit, this is a job that only be done with varying degrees of failure.

Electro-Kevin said...

Labian Phif.

Not clever but you get my drif.

Graeme said...

Isn't the problem that leaving the EU combines a number of different subject areas,for example political, geopolitical, economic independence. Political independence seems possible. But the other 2 can only happen on a partial basis. I cannot see the UK turning its back entirely on what happens on the European landmass, simply because there are players other than the UK and EU. Similarly, given international trade and financial flows, a complete severance from the EU is both unlikely and undesirable.

Electro-Kevin said...

Graeme

I think most Brexiters understand that - hence their patient and sensible use of due democratic process to achieve their aims.

This took place over a long period of time and against all odds. As the man said "I made my mind up long before the battle bus was painted."

We understand the nuances but a Norwegian proposition is a con.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/staying-customs-union-after-brexit-would-be-disaster-britains-trade-1628721

Whilst in the EU us 'boomers' have seen our kids thrust back into the 1920s. Debt laden renter serfdom. Never mind the '70s when a man could pay for a home, a wife to raise his kids full time and look after both parents.

Sexist ?

Luxury by today's standards.

Electro-Kevin said...

Remainers totally ignore the biblical scenes from the Mediterranian and the EU debt and unemployment. They never explain to us the intended destination of the EU.

All very well Line-wanker telling us "no positives with Brexit" when the Remain camp abjectly failed to sell us remain positives in the Referendum.

All they had to sell was Project Fear.

The EU is SHIT.

THAT's why we voted to leave it.

Bill Quango MP said...

EK - Craig Oliver, head of project fear, and getting fed up with being told the referendum was only a conservative ploy to sort out its backbencher said the other day.

" we had a referendum on membership of the eu. And leave won. Which tells you exactly why we had need of a referendum."

I don't think anyone believes it can all be done in the time scale. But the destination can be set. And it mustn't include any base camp halfway up the mountain that eventually becomes a home. Trump is willing to give a deal. He will too.

There are people wailing that us will demand so much from us a deal won't be worth having. USA/eu style.

Trump, uniquely, is about Trump. If he wants to do a deal, then Washington can follow up after wards. But the deal will be done.
We need to grab the offer whilst he is still needing good publicity and still in office. He won't be there for long.

And china will do a deal. Pretty much whatever we want. They have more sets of forks and spoons and pop up tents, shirts, canoes, televisions than we could possibly buy.
They will say what they want, and will happily ship us their stuff in exchange.

People continue to moan that china and USA trade is only" x" % of our Eu trade.

Well, naysayers...we will still have the eu trade. Or most of it. And it's a miracle we have ANY Chinese or US trade at all, a we are in the eu.
It must be obvious even to the most remoaniest of remoaners that non eu trade WILL rise to replace lost eu trade.

Nothing stands still.

Electro-Kevin said...

Trump was mightily unexpected but he is here.

The BBC dislike it (good)

The default of the Tory Party is:

- Remain in the EU

- Follow Blairism (whom they mightily respect)

The Tory Party is our problem - Not Corbyn.

In the advent of Brexit they gifted us.... MAY !!!

Hitchens was absolutely right to abstain from the referendum on the basis that there was not the party to lead us out of the EU.

I wish I had listened. The Tories are the enemy.

The country is too disparate to organise. We are cats being herded through a single cat-flap because none would commit.

Electro-Kevin said...

Sort out the Tory Party mainstream and the BBC sharpish. They are the ones thwarting Brexit.

Nick Drew said...

the real need for a fabian strategy is Tory Party vs the oncoming Corbyn

unfortunately I wouldn't credit May with being able to devise a strategy for reaching the end of the garden path, that wouldn't get blown off course by a sparrow looking at her askance

andrew said...


She doesnt need to get to the end of the garden path

She just needs to gain a sense of timing - when to step out.

I remain convinced that the cons lost so badly in 97 because they were just dead people walking and clearly either not exercising power - or if they did, not for any rational purpose.

Most things do not have to be done _now_ - apart from brexit.

There is reason for her to reach out and build a genuine cross - party consensus on brexit.

Not because she really needs to.

More that when it is clear that it is all going horribly wrong and our economy is set on converging with Romania's, the great british public will not blame themselves,
they will blame the legislators.

You think it will succeed?

How naive
- all I will say is by what standard
- and by the standards of the bbc, ft, economist, guardian, about 40% of the sitting MPs and the 48% of the UK population who look to show that they were right, anything short of complete success is utter failure, and we know that as we we will lose frictionless trade (or at least friction will increase post brexit), we have failed already.

What the exiters need to do is define what a successful brexit is before the failure meme becomes completely entrenched.
Otherwise their careers are over.

- What will a successful brexit look like in 2022?

Anonymous said...

If we delay leaving we won't leave. Transitional arrangements must be time-limited, and the shorter time the better.

"Nought shall make us rue
If Britain to herself do rest but true"


Trouble is, we have a lot of influential people for whom 'Britain' is nothing but an economy with some good private schools, theatres and landscape attached.

BlokeInBrum said...

Like renovating a dilapidated house; sometimes it is necessary to take a step back, survey the landscape, then realize that the path forward involves razing everything to the ground and starting from scratch.
So is it with Brexit.
Richard North and many others would have you believe that years, nay decades are required to ease into a new relationship with Europe. To unpick laws and treaties one step at a time.
Anyone with experience of the real world will know that once the bureaucracies get involved then nothing will get done.
It's all or nothing.

Anonymous said...

The analogy with the Second Punic War will not entirely correspond. The aim of Quintus Fabius was to use delaying tactics in order to defeat the Carthaginians, which he did.

The aim of the CBI and other Remoaners is to use delaying tactics in order to surrender to the EU/Carthaginians. Indeed, this would offer a closer analogy, since the EU is becoming more like North Africa with every passing day.

In fairness to Hammond, his job as Chancellor is to minimise the risks to the British economy. That, combined with his natural Eeyorish outlook, inclines him to caution and procrastination.

Fortunately, David Davis is in charge of Brexit negotiations, not Hammond. Furthermore, Davis is buttressed by Liam Fox and by Boris Johnson. We also have a Prime Minister who knows that her only chance of redeeming her Premiership now is through a successful Brexit.

I happened to see David Cameron today, all alone and unrecognised, wheeling his bicycle through St.James's Park. I don't know if Theresa May rides a bicycle, but she might take his personal fate as a warning.

Anonymous said...

Spent a delightful weekend cycling the byeways of Kent and enjoying the beautiful English countryside. Noticed on the way the high levels of building of Europark This and Europark That and Europark the Other 3.

Would be interested to know where the property development community are land banking in that in the new Liam Fox inspired world would entail a shift in trade patterns.

Land must be cheap near Southampton, Ipswich, Plymouth and Liverpool so where are the post Brexit bets being placed.

Early mover advantage?

By the way, there are shitloads of Bulgarians about at the moment

Bill Quango MP said...

My neighbour commutes to Hungary.
One of the few going " the other way." University lecturer.

He says Hungary is breaking towards the extreme right! ( he means they favour no immigration.and would , almost, rather leave the EU than take any of the African-Syrians.)
Putin is very popular, I'm told. Neighbour says he is at the point of giving up his job there. It's a very regressive atmosphere.

This, from a country that defied Russian tanks and was always the least signed up of the Warsaw Pact nations.
They, I'm told, prefer the strong man dictator to the democratic liberalism ideology of the EU.
It's only the cash keeping them in.
If there was a referendum, they would vote leave.