Garvan Walshe Profile picture
Founder antipopulist strategy & tech @trdpolicy. Once Tory National & International Security Policy Adviser. Cofounder @unhackdemeu. More Irish than you think.
Hugh #FBPE Profile picture Birger Leth Profile picture 2 added to My Authors
24 Jun
Before the referendum I wrote that a vote to Leave would turn Britain into Argentina, with Peronist politics, a volatile currency, leading to long term relative economic decline. 1/

conservativehome.com/thecolumnists/…
It’s too early to judge the long term economic effects, but here are some straws in the wind 2/
Peronist politics: a politics where a self-dealing traditional elite uses the politics of resentment against a cultural elite to win over working class voters 2/
Read 9 tweets
19 Jun
Largely peaceful and voluntary dismantling. This is such an absurd rewriting of history and unbecoming of Danny Kruger who really should know better.

Here is a thread showing some peaceful and voluntary dismantling of the British empire. 1/
2/ The Battles of Lexington and Concord, generally accepted to be the start of the peaceful and voluntary dismantling of the British Empire.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battles_o…
3/ Rebellion by the United Irishmen, 1798

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Reb…
Read 15 tweets
6 May
The governments of Poland and Hungary are deliberately misrepresenting the German Constitutional Court’s judgement on the ECB to bolster their attacks on the EU’s legal order.

Rather than repeat their propaganda, it is important to understand why it’s misleading. THREAD
1/ HU and PL are asserting that it shows that member states can individually decide the applicability of EU law on the grounds that member state constitutional law is superior to EU law (even if EU law is superior to ordinary national legislation)
2/ This is of course not what actually happens. The way the #BVerfG understands the situation rather is through the conferral of competences.
Read 17 tweets
30 Mar
Hungary's Enabling act is a grave miscalculation by Orbán. 1/
First, it removes the disguise from a disguised regime. As @DanielHegedus82 put it - Hungary is now an autocracy without Adjectives.
Second, it refutes Orbán's own legitimation narrative. His rule was supposed to depend on electoral legitimacy: this law allows him to rule indefinitely without them. 3/
Read 10 tweets
6 Mar
This outdated focus on potential far-right voters will drive moderate voters to the left, as it has done in Germany. Aggressive migration policies polarise at the expense of the centre-right. 1/
2/ It is also a mistake to buy the far-rights characterisation of voters’ instincts. Yes, they’re afraid and the far right stoke the fear, but it is therefore a mistake to join the stoking yourself because you only play into their hands.
3/ In fact voters tempted by far right anti-immigrant parties are more compassionate and generous than their leaders give them credit for. They will help refugees if they think it’s safe to do so.
Read 11 tweets
3 Mar
This set of tweets from the @EU_Commission pays no regard whatever to the EU’s own asylum law. Instead of following its own asylum laws, it is parroting far-right anti-refugee narratives. 1/
2/ It should be clear by now that the EU needs to start by defending its own law — otherwise, what is it for? This means as well as talking about securing borders, it also needs to talk about processing asylum applications
3/ The combination of both is essential to a civilised response. Yes, there needs to be order at the border, but there also needs to be acceptance of the basic values of the EU and the reasons it came into existence after WW2
Read 9 tweets
1 Mar
No ECHR impossible within GFA. Breach GFA say goodbye to US trade deal.

If govt wants its Brexit to work it needs to prioritise and focus on the essential, not pick spurious fights.

Thread 1/
2/ Start by defining Brexit in a more coherent way. Brexit can’t mean unconstrained sovereignty because that’s not feasible for a middle sized power like the UK.

It can mean being free from constraints of EU Treaties.
3/ This is not he same as being unconstrained by EU power. The EU is nearby, huge and rich, and has a highly efficient mechanism for exercising its power through trade negotiations. The UK needs to accept this fact and choose from the trade offs this entails.
Read 15 tweets
27 Feb
What stands out about the new british hard right? It’s obsession with stuff that’s not actually a problem. Some examples. Thread. 1/
2/ Immigration. Not actually a problem, only “legitimate concerns” people have not actually based on impacts. Easier to address those concerns with community building than do what’s needed to stop immigration.
3/ Judicial activism. The government wins around 97% of judicial reviews. The Miller cases (both of them) only became an issue because the executive didn’t have a majority in parliament.
Read 6 tweets
19 Oct 19
The Brexit deal being debated only includes permanent arrangements for Northern Ireland. Everything else is part of the "future relationship". This has several implications
1/ Govt policy is to have a "Canada minus" type FTA (minus because EU will insist on environmental, state aid, and labour law alignment)
2/ Other types of agreement are possible. They still range from EEA and customs union membership (Norway) to No deal (but later)
Read 7 tweets
17 Oct 19
Key articles in Ireland/Northern Ireland protocol of Brexit deal. Thread
1. Article 5.2: sets burden of proof for customs goods. Treated as being subject to duties, *unless* conditions are established to confirm that they are not "at risk of subsequently being moved to the Union".
2. VAT. Essentially EU VAT applies, but revenues will not be remitted to the Union
Read 7 tweets
16 Oct 19
My morning predictions of gloom may be confounded. (I still don't think the numbers are there even with the DUP, but it will be close)
Now back to work...
Read 3 tweets
11 Oct 19
While this report from @SMFthinktank is well intentioned, the mechanisms it suggests are focused on compliance requirements rather than incentives and would be better dealt with by other areas of policy. Thread with constructive suggestions. 1/
2/ It seems focused on what to do with low skilled, relatively low paid jobs that leave people stuck. As my company grows, it’s likely that I will employ people (e.g. in call centres) in such circumstances so it’s worth thinking about how to do so in a socially responsible way.
3/ But reporting requirements don’t seem to me to be the right answer. They create bureaucracy but don’t have a clear mechanism to effect change. The examples cited in the report were anectotal (e.g. Walmart) and no attempt was made to assess continental European policies.
Read 9 tweets
3 Sep 19
I’m going to suggest a constructive way out of this mess. Maybe this is a naive thing to do, but here goes anyway.

Thread
1/ Boris Johnson should not withdraw whip from rebels, but in exchange make clear that candidates opposed to it should not stand for the Conservative party.
2/ The EU Withdrawal Bill (No. 6) should be allowed to pass
Read 13 tweets
13 Aug 19
1 Burke’s constituents said much the same, and threw him out of Bristol for his opposition to anti-Catholic rioting.
2. Constituents don’t agree with each other, or even hold consistent view. Politicians’ somehow have to seek government while understanding their constituents’ opinions are various and inconsistent.
3. (and even les zeitgeisty than @pswidlicki here) we don’t have populism because we failed to listen to the people, we have populism because demagogues tell the people their unrealistic or base desires can be satisfied.
Read 3 tweets
9 Jul 19
It’s become increasingly common to explain current failings by evolutionary biology, but this argument isn’t valid. Because 1/
2/ Current failings are different from (and sometimes opposite to) failing we had in the. Evolutionary biology therefore has to explain the occurrence of X now, and not-X in the past.

But then it reduces to a trivial statement
3/ This is that because we evolved, everything about us is the result of evolution, which is like saying that because God created the world, everthing we do is God’s work.
Read 6 tweets
21 Jun 19
Things getting back to @alanbeattie 's quatre-vingt banter heuristic.

Now to plug this into electoral calculus for a laugh
@alanbeattie And here goes...

BXP 270
LAB 141
LIB 85
CON 58
@alanbeattie And with Greens at 9% (no TV)
BXP 266
LAB 177
LIB 84
CON 60
Read 4 tweets
13 Jun 19
Why it's relevant that @RoryStewartUK has experience of working in countries where constitutional conventions are weak or ignored altogether. Thread.
1. Pro Brexit extremists have exploited on the complacency of the British governing class to propose ever more outrageous ideas. The political establishment laughs them off as unrealistic until it's almost too later. Viz -
2. Leaving the EU at all, leaving the single market, no deal, proroguing parliament, etc. The extremists set the terms of the agenda, and it becomes the new pole of debate versus the status quo.
Read 7 tweets
24 May 19
Early days, but if this differential turnout picture is sustained it could be a very close battle between LDs and BXP for first place. Electorate looking between 55% and 60% REMAIN

(Rough estimates 2015 GE - 51% REMAIN. 2017 GE - 54% REMAIN; 2016 REF 52%LEAVE)
Turnout in labour leave areas looking very low, so overall LAB vote shares probably will be too.
Britain’s a country divided in two within the margin of differential turnout. It’s taking huge decisions based on who turns up on the day...
Read 5 tweets
3 May 19
Tip for people commenting on the local election results. More than one thing can happen at the same time. Both parties are paying the price for an ambiguous brexit position, as leavers and remainers vote UKIP, Lib Dem (or stay at home).

This means...
Tories should vote for the Brexit deal. The few who think of it as “not proper Brexit” will be dismissed as fools, cranks, gadflies, swivel-eyed loons, and the party can get on with attacking Labour as anti-Semitic communists. /
Labour should support a second referendum. A loss of leave votes will be outweighed by a gain in Remain ones. /
Read 4 tweets
21 Feb 19
If you want to understand politics read, learn and write history. It’s a far better guide to politics than political science. 1/
2/ History teaches about power, and the people who use it. It uncovers the importance of luck, contingency and the individual will of people who hold it.
3/ It doesn’t offer rules and laws, because there aren’t any. At best there are tendencies and if we’re lucky guidelines.
Read 5 tweets
12 Feb 19
Britain never really bought into the idea, but acquiesced in it for economic reasons, and even then only stayed with all kinds of special exceptions. It did so because 1/
Opponents of Britain’s membership ran an energetic campaign against it. Some of their arguments were honourable (different history, different perspective on world etc.) but others rested on myths and self-deception 2/
The biggest myth was that they were only joining a “common market” and political union was subsequently foisted upon an unwilling British public.

In fact the debate in the 60s and 70s involved plenty of discussion of its role bringing peace to Europe 3/
Read 9 tweets