The Bog of Eternal Brexit

Brexiteers say – used to say, repeatedly, that leaving the EU would offer us a better future, quickly, easily and absolutely. It doesn’t because, apart from the fact that May’s Cabinet can’t even agree with itself, on any current world-trajectory, it doesn’t really exist. Not as a roaring success that will make all the divisive pain, the time and the cost worth the risk, anyway.

Every day brings more depressing confirmation of how Brexit is a term for the chasm between the promises people were falsely sold and the dire consequences of what they will actually get.

The options, though, are the same as were known before the vote: basically Norway, Canada and WTO. Not one is better than full EU membership. The consequences are the same as they were before the vote: the way we leave the EU will determine our relationships with the rest of the world; leave ‘well’ or leave badly, we will be a desperate little fish in a very big sea of sharks.

Remain was never about how marvellous the EU is but about how relatively bad all the Brexit options are and the dreadful calibre of the politicians to whom it has been entrusted. Remainers can tick their share of “left behind” boxes. Remainers, too, protest decades of socio-economic cynicism and ineptitude in Britain’s leaders. They also recognised that this was the result of perfectly rectifiable domestic government policies, not the EU, not immigrants, not the ECJ… Remain knew that to choose to stay was not to accept a flawed status quo but to participate, heartily, pushing for reforms in our interest. Those paying attention saw that this was possible, whatever Farage et al said.

Still, between its duplicitous architects à la Minford Mob & Legatum Institute and its fools’ puppets, the Lexiteers Stuart, Hoey and Field, Brexit is going strong. The right-wing Press is vociferous, the BBC and media, generally, are too slow and even supine; voters who did more than cross a box then promptly forget about it, are highly frustrated. Anyone whose motive is – on either side – the well-being of both individuals and the whole and is paying attention, is rightly very anxious.

Brexiteers keep making the same incorrect statements and asserting the same silly fantasies. Lay-Brexit voters keep parroting them. Journalists keep letting them. Remainers keep watch. And the clock keeps ticking.

Brexit stinks but Brexiteers can neither seem to bear the stark reality nor the responsibility for its toxic fallout. Whether everybody else can continue to bear the Brexiteers, remains to be seen.

 

 

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Brexit Elephants

What do you do when the government of the day is utterly appalling on nearly every level and Her Majesty’s Opposition presents with little more than a highly flammable comfort blanket? What can you do when there is a herd of Brexit elephants – dinosaurs – in the room? Where on earth do you start?

Wisdom = Knowledge + Understanding. Our Dear Leaders have only the vacuous equivocations of ad hoc formulae:

”Most left-wing figures in politics, journalism, academia and trade unionism are very critical of Brexit. But it’s a significant minority view and one that dominates in the Labour leadership.” – Ian Dunt explains ‘The left-wing case for Brexit’

”Putting politics above prosperity is never a smart choice.” Yes, he did actually say that. David Davis’ speech to the Suddeutsche Zeitung Economic Summit, last night and his subsequent interview with BBC’s Political Editor, Laura Kuenssberg

”May and Corbyn, for different reasons, remain committed to EU withdrawal” – Neat summary, by George Eaton, of the current state of play: “In the months following the June 2016 referendum, Brexit was regarded as near-inevitable…”

Where, when and how will this all end? Who knows.. but it isn’t over, yet.

Oversold

Opportunities are not results,
So do not oversell,
For the leverage of your theories
Are as nowt without the actual clout
And where there are made winners,
Are more losers made, as well.

***

”Not enough attention is paid to a similar cliff edge on the other side of the English Channel” – Institute for Government

”Home Affairs Committee raises serious concerns about the Government’s contingency planning for post-Brexit customs operations” – UK Parliament

”It is the UK which is choosing to leave the single market and customs union and that means, by definition, creating a border” – Chris Grey

Excellent reality check: ’A beginners’ guide to trade negotiations’ – UK Trade Forum

***

Lull me a lullaby
Sand in my eyes
Buy me a mockingbird
Give me the sky

Betcha by golly
Wow, build me a folly
Bring me some Kool Aid
Let’s fill up the trolley

Sprinkle the pixie dust
Set up a blind trust
Go short of a picnic
And cut off the crusts

Pipe me a loony tune
Red, white and blue my shoes
Kansas is dying
Jump over the moon

[December 2017]

Political incorrectness gone mad

When meaningful is meaningless
And meaningless is meaningful,
Political incorrectness has gone mad;
When the Government is synonymous
With conquering ignoramuses
Why are these Brexits still so fucking sad?

***

‘David Davis is still denying MPs a “meaningful vote” on Brexit’ – “Things can only get bitter.

Why are Brexits so unhappy? They won. Scrutiny and accountability are fundamental to Sovereignty and Democracy. Well, it might be rather late in the Brexit day but that is exactly what is happening. Brexits said they were fighting to take back control but they are busily trying to give it away with no discernment, whatsoever. And they say it is the remoaners who are not patriotic…

Other words for people doing their jobs:
Saboteurs
Enemies of the people
Mutineers (£)

On Twitter, @ LeaveEUOfficial even précis a link to a ‘Westmonster’ post, today (I won’t dignify it with a direct link), with “The 15 Tory MPs who voted against enshrining the Brexit date into UK law are the cancer within their party and traitors to their country. Total disregard for the people’s democratic choice”

It’s that kind of crazy-arsed paranoia that started all this catastrophic crap.

The value in the tale

In pride of place
That cut your nose to spite your face
And say you did not recognise it, anyway

Of all the scapegoats in your myth
Did make yourselves its greatest gift
Of value in the tale

***

At the heart of all this is the political irony that defines our times: that the very thing so many places voted for makes any attempt at their area’s revival even less likely.” – John Harris (Guardian)

So having advised investors to remove their money from the UK, the Rt. Hon. John [Brexiteer] Redwood told the UK government to go for ‘hard Brexit’”. – Frances Coppola (Forbes)

Brexiteer James Dyson says he wants to make it “easier to hire and fire” people and for the government to scrap corporation tax (Metro) – Then “warns government not to cut farm subsidies”, his total farming estate – Beeswax Dyson Farming – is the biggest in the UK (Farmers Weekly)

[”100 reasons why Brexit was a good thing” (Telegraph)] 🤷🏻‍♀️

‘much worse than that’

World: Are you really this stupid or have you completely lost control?

UK Government: 🍰

**

“Brexit Britain doesn’t even have a solid relationship with the rest of the archipelago it inhabits… If it were a personal ad, it would read: ‘Petulant bolter seeks stable, lifelong relationship.’” – Fintan O’Toole (Guardian/Observer)

”If only we were still in the days when governments did things which were merely stupid. This is much worse than that.” – Ian Dunt

“No One Knows What Britain Is Anymore” – Steven Erlanger (NYT)

“To old friends, Great Britain, as they used to call it, is in the clasp of an inexplicable fever. Renowned for solidity and pragmatism, the Brits have fallen to rage and resentment. Carefully judged self-interest has surrendered to dangerous dogmatism.” – Philip Stephens (FT)

[I highly recommend politics.co.uk and Brexit: What the Hell Happens Now? by Ian Dunt, who is widely considered an authority on the matter]

Dear scaredy-cat politicians, especially you, Government,

Dear scaredy-cat politicians, especially you, Government,

Re: Brexit

You do not have to tell the electorate that “they got it wrong”. You have to tell the electorate that YOU got it wrong. You have to tell them that research, debate and wise counsel have made you realise the scale and scope of the risk. You need to describe the effort you have made, to carry out the wishes of Brexit voters. You need to provide the coherent narrative that backs this up. Then, you either arbitrarily revoke or persuade Parliament to vote to revoke Article 50 or you pause/extend Article 50 and you hold a new referendum. You don’t campaign. You just provide the best, honest analysis that backs up the narrative.

Because of all the traps you have created, about Democracy and Sovereignty and ‘the will of the people’ and ‘taking back control’ and patriotism and all the scapegoating, it’s probably safer and more honourable to go the route of a fresh, Brexit-specific public vote.

[The EU would probably roll its eyes and then breathe a (mostly) collective sigh of relief.] I bet you that no more than a quarter of the British electorate, at most, would actually put up a real fight. You may have to remind them that they, too, will be allowed to vote again – Democracy truly isn’t a one-time event – that they must respect that democratic principle is an expression of will, produced by civic enlightenment. Tell them that they might show more faith in the merit of their cause. And tell them that, should they vote to remain, this time, no one need even know.

Now, please, for the love of our country: get a grip.

Regards,

 

Brexit can be reversed‘ – Lord Kerr, though no legal expert, has the weight of legal opinion on his side – that this an issue of political will more than legality – barring a court (ECJ – *chortle*) adjudication, were the opinion to be tested, in Law. From his interview, on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’.

And here is the thing. No business charged with a decision of existential importance makes it earlier than they must. No business chooses to make it before the evidence is in.” – Jolyon Maugham