Bimble bumble

But faithiness was fact enough,
as brexiteers,
with zip between their tinnied ears,
did bimble bumble utter tosh
and bury Britain before she died
of scam so wide, so deep, so sly,
that some might call it treasonous.


’Just-in-time’: The production system Brexit is set to sabotage – ”Imagine the scenario where goods are waiting at port but are held up by protracted customs checks, compliance procedures, rules-of-origin paper work and the rest. Things could be held up for days or weeks.”

‘How shared regulation can help, rather than hinder, trade’ – Ian Dunt: ”Their (Brexiteers’) error here is a fundamental one and one that speaks to how heavily influenced they are by nostalgia. They think about trade as if it were the Victorian times.”

’Jacob Rees-Mogg is in line for a huge personal windfall when Britain exits the single market’ – But of course, he is.

Headspace #20—Crunch time on Brexit’ – Featuring John Curtice with a #finalsay appraisal and a glorious calling out of Gisela Stuart’s constant and ridiculous Brexit/Lexit hopium by Ian Dunt who knows a load of nonsense when he hears it.

In which ‘Greg Hands gets on the wrong side of exasperated Andrew Neil’ over single market and customs union during the two-year transition period. Eventually, an exasperated Neil asked: “Do you know what you’re talking about? Do you have any idea what you’re talking about?”

But, then, nineteen months after the referendum and nearly a year since invoking Article 50, Theresa May and her ministers still can’t agree because the Brexiteers still don’t know or even understand how what they want compares with what is desirable, sensible or even possible…






Visited by ghosts,
unholy hosts to yesterday,
with resurrected symbols,
making thimble-deep conjecture
into psychotropic nectar,
where old fading folks,
for token gestures,
trade away the days
they won’t see anyway,
except as sorry spectres
that will haunt tomorrow’s
hollow architecture.

Happy New Year

Every December people speak hopefully about the next year being better than the last and no more so than of these last few years. But better, though infinitely possible, is made elusive. Worse is still accelerating and such yearning sentiment, by the arbitrary turn of a clock, has become a naive cliché of wishful thinking. Hope requires follow-through.

Bad things happen. We know this. Sometimes they come out of the blue, sometimes little could have been done to prevent an event but, more often than not, the bad stuff is merely the consequence of dreadful and preventable decision-making. Nothing so new in that, is there? In fact, I can’t remember a time when ideology, incompetence, indifference, self-service, arrogance and complacency have not been political staples. You could fill a page with appropriate descriptors. Once upon a time, such poor character and method were mostly judged by hindsight. Today, we see a great deal of it as it happens. Today, by our “will”, we are even charged with creating much of it.

But one seemingly simple choice can change everything. Tomorrow, then, we shall be as responsible as those whom we have blamed. Amazing, how quickly we have lost control but, really, the choice made that inevitable. Power is being wielded without wisdom. Wisdom is a betrayal. Tribe is all. Comfortable; collegiate; anchoring. Divisive. Narrowing. Dangerous.

There are better ways to express and grow our national character but our current trajectory is not derived of sufficient integrity, principle, foresight or rationality. We live in the age of at least and whataboutery. Relativity unto distortion. We trip on shifting carpets, measure truth by reaction, lean on there but for the grace of and count our luck and blessings as though they were the deferred successes of good, sound judgement. We have crunched the outer rim of thought and our emotions find and leave us wanting.

The past has overtaken the future and the present cannot – will not keep up. If you believe it can’t get worse, then you have not been paying attention and you are in for a bit of shock. 2018 is going to make this year look like a picnic. Buckle up. Brace. Keep a sense of humour and look, always, for the pockets of Light. Hold on to your loved ones and your hats. It’s going to be fraught.

Happy New Year. ⚡️

We’re, all of us, Remainers, now

Identity is Brexit blessed
Our passports,
Wherever they be pressed,
Though living memory holds them black,
In navy blue, are coming back.
But standing out in any queue
Is easier with red, white and blue,
Then English dicks could boldly shout
And wave their union flags about.
But stay put and put your pounds to use
Where less is duty’s first excuse.
To freely move can ill-afford
And isn’t London still “abroad”?
And who’d leave Blighty, anyhow?
We’re, all of us, Remainers, now.
But symbols grow most as they rot
And Law is real world, like it or not.


The blue passport is taking back control? – “The new US requirements have been imposed on the UK via the EU.. the UK would only be able to escape these requirements after Brexit by giving up visa-free travel to the US”’

Consular protection rights of EU citizens – ”Any EU citizen in a non-EU country where his/her own national state has no representation is entitled to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any other EU state. EU citizens are entitled to protection under the same conditions as the nationals of that country.”

”It would be ludicrous if our passports were made in Europe.” 🤭

Dear Daily Mail

Daily Mail, why are you so angry? Your front page is, yet again, so disappointingly petty. It implies that you do not understand what is at stake if the Government is not held to scrutiny and account. Of course, you are not the only newspaper to constantly be furious but you are the daily publication that the government and Today would seem to pay most attention to.

Why aren’t you over this silly and divisive behaviour, though? Why do you feel so threatened? Don’t you like the idea of Parliamentary sovereignty, anymore? The people keep being told that there will be no second referendum and I keep reading about polls saying that even Remain voters don’t want to stop Brexit. Your sense of betrayal is very odd, Daily Mail. Is the “will of the people” not made indelible? And does not Brexit mean Brexit? Do you regret your enthusiasm for triggering Article 50 so that you could just get on with it? You said that you knew what you were voting for.

I think you’re being ridiculous. And mean. Yesterday was a good day for Humanity and Democracy. For a start, we woke up to discover that that awful, bigoted, misogynist, Islam-hating cowboy and Trump-licker, Roy Moore had lost Alabama to a Democrat. A Democrat won in Alabama! It uplifted our hearts and restored some faith. And then, we went to sleep, knowing that here, at home, some true public servants had bravely fought a righteous battle for the well-being of our own country. And they won! We felt the joy of small but significant progress. It was one good day after a drought. Why would you begrudge us that, Daily Mail? You can afford to be bigger than this. You won, remember?

Why begrudge us the comfort of the sovereignty you so fussed about when you still believed that the EU had actually taken it? We have humiliated ourselves, yes. Plenty. But not by this vote. Our country has acted “in accordance with its own constitutional requirements” as Article 50 expects. The EU respects this. How can you so despise Parliament for simply doing its job – its patriotic duty? Why are you not more proud? Why so much paranoia over a victory that you, too, will benefit from? Do you no longer want us to take back control? What is wrong with you?


[A link to this prolific and pathetic rag? Ok, then. Here]

Chris Grey: Two cheers for amendment 7 – “All it really opens is the tiniest keyhole of possibility for affecting what happens with Brexit… This has been so ever since Article 50 was triggered”

Daily Mail – Junk Mail


We have a ‘#BrexitDeal’!

We’ll get our country back, control our borders and make our own laws and forge our own trade deals. It will be quick, easy and absolute. We will thrive beyond our wildest dreams.

No, not that deal.

And it isn’t a deal. It’s just Phase One of Article 50.

The UK has agreed to all three of the key EU demands on the divorce settlement: finances, citizens’ rights and the Irish border. It is a relief, of course, because it takes away the cliff edge of ‘no deal’ or ‘hard brexit’ that would so imperil us but it is also kicking some hefty cans down the road and it drives us towards exactly the ‘soft’ kind of Brexit that highlights the absurdities. We leave, having stayed. We are staying with having left.

Relief that we are not going over the cliff is merited and palpable, if you ignore the Faragists. Really, though, we are leaving the favour of the big house on a grand estate, where we helped to make the rules, so that we can keep to ourselves, in our crumbling old shed, at the edge of the grounds, while continuing to pay our old maintenance fees and to do as we are told. What a pity that George Osborne did not fix its roof while the sun was shining.

No cliff
For the Brexit feels
Nor milk and honey
Facts got real
Fudge found appeal
An utter waste of time and money


’Joint report on progress during phase 1 of negotiations under Article 50 TEU on the United Kingdom’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union’ –

“No, the Brexit deal hasn’t just ‘sold the country down the river’” – Oliver Norgrove

”The EU deal is a victory for a softer Brexit” – Osborne’s Evening Standard

“All sides have signed up to something, but nobody is clear how it will be achieved.” – Irish Times

The phase 1 deal and where it takes us – Chris Grey

Oh and just to rub it in, the EU and Japan finalised negotiations of the Economic Partnership Agreement, today: Joint Statement


Say it with me, dear Reader: ’Soft Brexit’ takes the piss out of both Leave and Remain. There is still no Brexit available that is better for Britain than no Brexit, at all.

Radio 4 Today’s John Humphrys was twitter-trending, this morning, as he often does but, this time, it was actually under the correct spelling of his name. Previously he has been ‘Humphries’ and ‘Humphreys’ and ‘Humphry’. No divergence, today, from the accuracy of what actually exists. That is what progress looks like when the manifestation of perception is in “full alignment” with reality. Take note, Brexiteers.

It’s gonna be great

It’s gonna be quick
It’s gonna be easy
We’re gonna thrive
It’s gonna be great
Can’t wait

”Data? What data?” laughed Davis
“We have our judgements and wishes
Look! over there! Foreign fish! By gods:
They’d better have visas!”

These things take time
It’s complicated
We will survive
Nothing has changed
This is fine


Bulldog Blighty Brexit Secretary, David Davis: how it all unravelled – BBC

“It’s incredible to see a man so utterly ignorant of facts leading this country towards a destination that hasn’t even been determined” – James O’Brien

’What Brexit impact papers?’ – Guardian quiz on what David Davis said

“If the Referendum result makes Brexit inevitable then within the spectrum of ‘soft’ to ‘hard’ to ‘no deal’ Brexit the hard Brexit possibility disappeared this week” – Chris Grey

Easy-read report on the evidence from Norwegian and Swiss customs officials to the House of Commons Northern Ireland Affairs Committee – Flipchart Rick explains why there are no magical solutions.

“But if we’re going to make the best of it, the government needs to listen to sound advice on trade. We haven’t had enough of experts” – Philippe Legrain


There on the stair!
Where on the stair?
Right there!
A little mouse with clogs on
Well I declare!
Going clip-clippety-clop on the stair”

’A Windmill In Old Amsterdam’

The brimstone caress of Brexit swagger and blag

Brexit is bringing the whole country down
And Boris is waving his Johnson around.
Fox is a toxic shock, trading in war-game stock;
Gove is a dab-hand at taking the Michael
And Hannan and Minford and Redwood and Mogg
Are up-cycled dog whistles for Farage’s gob.
Here’s Double D Davis, whose swagger and blag
Is fading since he proved that that’s all he had.
There’s knee-capper Hoey and Stuart and Field,
Who, frankly, banked hard on ukippy’s left yield.
Then there’s dinosaur Lawson, Mills, Batten and
Paterson, Digby and Dyson and WetherspoonTim
And that JCB bloke playing punchline and joke
And that dim-witted woman who went to the jungle
For gravy and lolz and Priti pretentious who went on
Her own misadventure and took the household.
And Esther McVey, who will not go away,
Follows IDS’ faithiness, cruel in its cluelessness,
Making the DUP run for its blood money,
Fuelled every day by the brimstone caress
Of the priests on high-horses in an amoral Press.


This is the priest all shaven and shorn,
That married the man all tattered and torn,
That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
That tossed the dog that worried the cat,
That chased the rat that ate the malt,
That lay in the house that Jack built.

’This is The House That Jack Built’ –


Who is the UK to become? A mere quirk of geography and history? It is certainly not united. Brexit makes our collective identity increasingly pertinent. What a tragedy that we are making such a veritable constitutional, economic and civil mess out of reactionary misdirection and misinformed, short-sighted, ideological expedience.

When Brexits inevitably don’t get all the goodies that Brexiteers gave them to expect, it is said that they will blame Remain, along with the rest of the EU. Well, they’re already blaming everyone but themselves – and getting away with it. It is currently the turn of the Republic of Ireland and those in Northern Ireland who did not vote Leave in the EU referendum (55.8%) and did not vote or for the DUP in the last General Election (64%).

They will blame the EU for being bigger and better at negotiations. They’ll blame the Remainers for softening Brexit. They’ll blame the EU for looking after its own interests and people. They’ll blame the Remainers for trying to prevent rather than help the UK to hobble itself.

Of course, it’s a dreadful prospect that the inevitable regret and anger might direct its recriminations at either but it’s a bigger disaster that the time it might take to reach critical mass in Bregret may well come too late. Too late to stop it happening, at all. Too late for most leavers to say sorry on account that they will likely be retired, dead or old enough to genuinely have a bad memory. Too late to do much but muddle through the disintegration or, cap in hand, apply to rejoin, oh, dear gods…

It will be left to historians and news archives to explain why and how a once great nation became a global pipsqueak.


Anand Menon explains ‘Why the Republic and Northern Ireland need shared regulatory frameworks

Chris Grey’s essential explainer on ‘Why Brexiters are flummoxed by the Irish border’ and why their solutions are so badly flawed.

For excellent context and perspective, Naomi O’Leary: ‘Britain’s ignorance of Ireland is leading it blindly into crisis

RTÉ reports ‘UK to make Brexit concessions over NI’ – The DUP and Brexiteers will certainly have something to say about that. As will Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Gibraltar, London, Grimsby…


And Phase One is supposed to be the easiest bit!

I repeat: ‘hard Brexit’ is shitty death and ‘soft Brexit’ takes the piss out of both Leavers and Remainers. There simply is no Brexit available that is better for Britain than no Brexit at all. Brexit was supposed to provide a superior state of being, remember. It, self-evidently, can not; will not. It is still not worth the costs, the time or the risks.