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Is Boris playing 4D chess?

LEAVE WINS: Boris Has Played 4D Chess And You Haven’t Realised It | Kipper Central.

I was directed to the article linked above by Tcheuchter, a welcome regular visitor here at The Last Ditch, in a comment on my previous post. It's an interesting read from a source I don't follow. It certainly made me think but – as it requires me to trust the Conservative Party (or at least its current leader) – I am not really sure it helps me decide how (or indeed if) to vote on December 12th.
I reminded myself, in my excitement at reading it, of a young Paul Simon's wise words in the lyrics to The Boxer – "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." I have often remembered them ruefully after haring foolishly down a path based on what I wanted to believe.
I would love to believe that Boris Johnson is cunning enough to plot the course outlined by the article's author. I actually DO believe that Dominic Cummings is. What I don't believe is that any such plan could be kept quiet in Westminster. Someone would have revealed what they are up to because everyone around them is of the narcissistic variety of human attracted to politics. One, more or all of them, in hot pursuit of the fame their imagined "specialness" deserves would have been on the phone to their favoured MSM'ers to crow about it, claim credit for it or denounce it.
The cleverest thing the Remain Ultra anti-democrats have done is convince a decisive minority of the electorate that a "No Deal Brexit" would inevitably be "disorderly", a "crash out" – a Thelma & Louise suicidal drive off the edge. The people advancing this view did so dishonestly. Their intent was clearly to sabotage negotiations so as to create confusion and delay in the hope that public opinion would change and the UK remain a member of the EU.
How can I be sure that they lied? No-one, and certainly not the likes of Hammond, May or even Soubry, is stupid enough to believe you can productively go into a negotiation of any kind having announced "No Deal" is off the table. You would be asking to be screwed.
The pessimists who have been fooled by these cynical, manipulative liars into believing that the impact of a "disorderly Brexit" would be catastrophic are looking at economic life from the wrong end of the telescope. Their mental image of the market is a parade ground of people, goods and services marching back and forth to orders barked by politicians.
In truth, there would not be "no deal" but "many deals" because everyone engaged in the markets (i.e. everyone, whether they know or like it or not) would make millions of adjustments in instant (and often imperfect, but then they'd learn from that and adjust further) reactions to the issues thrown up. Most of the businesses involved have already plotted those reactions on a "what if" basis. Only people in government, whom no-one in the real world would miss if they didn't show up at work for a month, can possibly not think about the future. People with businesses to run think about it constantly or die.
For example, I have a friend in France who makes his living supplied processed potato snacks to corner shops in England. If you've bought a no brand/obscure brand bag of crisps from a Pakistani shopowner in Bradford, you've probably eaten his stuff. His most interesting business stories used to be about such problems as illegal immigrants invading the trucks carrying his goods from Calais to Dover but of late they have been about Brexit.

Before you ask, I don't actually know his view about the politics of Brexit because we are practical men of the world, not politicians. We have spent our time discussing his preparations for the various possible outcomes.

Is he planning to shut up shop? No. He's had discussions with his haulage contractors who have sought (of course) to use Brexit to justify an increase in their rates. He's negotiating with them, while calculating if his business will still work, given his profit margins. Is he considering other markets? Yes, but mainly to assist him in negotiating with his trucking companies. They are exaggerating the possible impact in order to justify the highest rates. He's pointing out that if they over-charge, it's their business they'll harm not his. Whatever happens, and whenever it happens, they now both already know what the rates will be. My friend's customers in England also know what effect the various outcomes might have on the prices they will pay. Of course they've also evaluated alternative suppliers and pushed back against him. It's all precisely priced and everyone is going to carry on doing business under every possible scenario.

That's just a story from one little business, but such interactions are happening by the million every day while politicians make their endless, pointless noise. Goods and services find their way to market through the actions and choices of millions of strangers guided only by the magic of the price mechanism and driven only by their own need to live or make a living. They are not directed by those fools who go into politics because they have nothing valuable to offer the market.

So I hope the author of the post Tcheuchter has drawn our attention to is right. I suspect he isn't. Brexit, as a political matter, will drag on for a depressingly long time because it's existentially important to all the parasites living on the EU institutions or in receipt of its CAP largesse. My best hope is that, once we are perceived to have left, the healthy functioning of markets will reassure voters that there is nothing to fear from pressing on from Boris's BRINO to actual independence. 


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I have not read the article I don't want it influence my gut feelings about what I believe Boris is trying to do.

I agree with the thought that Boris is playing a chess game. With his moves and counter moves he is trying to position all the pieces on the board in just the right way to enable Brexit.

His strategy is dependent on how good the others are at playing chess...

Brussels blinked first!

Baron Jackfield

Although I'm a "supporter" of the Brexit Party, I'm hoping that they don't stand a candidate in my constituency. We have a rock-solid "Leave" tory MP (for whom I shall be voting) who has a rather slim majority. Any split in her vote will hand the seat to Labour - which IMHO is potentially a far worse outcome than Boris's slow-motion Brexit.


It would make a great story for an episode of The West Wing, but I honestly don't have any faith that the clowns in Westminster are capable of it. At least you have me hoping that they are more cunning than I think. That's a first!


I envy you that trip. I've never been to Japan but I love its art and architecture from afar. Thanks for your kind words. We are all in the dark here and how optimistic we feel must not be allowed to depend on the machinations of the parasites attracted to the political life.


I'll admit to being sceptical about Scott Kipp's analysis but Johnson and Cummings must be aware of the duplicity of senior civil servants and the unreliability of many MPs and may well have kept them in ignorance of their cunning plan.

It is interesting that true believers such as Rees-Mogg, IDS, Mark Francois and Steve Baker so quickly endorsed the deal (after private chats with Johnson/Cummings?) and have since been very quiet on the subject.

David Bishop

Tom, many thanks for the two connected posts – only three days apart, too. For someone who professed in the first to have nothing much to say, you nevertheless said much of merit and with no little erudition – considerable food for thought.

Like you I thought myself in a quandary, but also like you I find the 4-D chess thesis of Scott Kipp rather far-fetched, so I do not expect a clean break on 31st January, much though I would like it. As for the quandary, I’ve decided that The Brexit Party will get my vote. As many others have said, the Conservative party has been anything but conservative for many years now, and their betrayal over Brexit seals the matter as far as I’m concerned. It will be a pity at a personal level if my Conservative MP loses her seat; she’s a decent woman who as a leaver has stood firm in her remain-voting constituency in Greater London while on a majority substantially reduced from the 2015 election (the May effect). She was reappointed to the Cabinet when BJ took office, so has more to lose than average. (With that many hints, you could probably hazard a guess as to who she is.)

I didn’t like the way that when a muck-raking journalist and a gutter-dwelling labour MSP made accusations of racism against him, TBP dropped Moraymint as a parliamentary candidate faster than any hot potato. However, I take the point that TBP needs to be perceived as entirely above board in all respects. And as TBP is the only party which makes the case for a proper Brexit while forcefully pointing out what a polished t*rd the BJ deal is, they get my vote – and my wife’s.

On Pete North’s piece, I agree with your comment that it is both excellent and alarming. The loss of moral authority across society’s institutions is indeed alarming, and seems to be accelerating. Put bleakly, it is decadence, and I fear it’s destroying the so-called West. I’m glad that I live in my wife’s country of birth, Malaysia, even though it has problems of its own. And for another perspective, I’ve just come back from the RWC final in Yokohama, and the contrast between their cultural coherence and Britain’s is stark, and not to Britain's credit. I was greatly impressed by Japan – and not least their rugby team!

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