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.

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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 way the Tories roll

The principle that’s principal
Is risible
Dirigible
The higher ones invisible
The way the Tories roll

Integrity neglected
Law and ethics disrespected
Fact and fiction self-selective
That’s the way the Tories roll

The gap in credibility
Is sizeable
Revisable
And utterly derivable
The way the Tories roll

Logic magic’ly fragmented
Half the party looks demented
Even sound as though they meant it
It’s a leading Tory role

Can’t tell their elbows from their arses
All hot air and whoopsie farces
Sinister, the stink that passes
Whereabouts the Tories roll

Crony ring of tooth and claw
Surviving on revolving doors
And carousels of dizzy poor
Sees Tories on a roll

With patronising platitudes
And breathtaking ineptitude
They then expect our gratitude
Oh, how the Tories roll!

Avoiding liability
Financial incivility
So hostile to humility
There’s no deniability
That Tory heads must roll

For the slope of plausibility
Grows slippery
With trickery
And, trip! There goes fuckwittery
How fast can Tories roll?

 

[November, 2015 – plus ça change…]

Brexit: it boils the blood

You know what makes me the most angry about Brexit, right now? That 17,410,742 people who spouted ill-informed crap throughout the referendum campaign and, afterwards, claimed that they knew what they were voting for, are still spouting ill-informed crap and claiming that they knew what they voted for, even though they failed utterly to base their opinions on any fact and despite the mounting evidence that no one knew or fully understood what leaving meant. And especially when the Brexit pushers admit, daily, to still not knowing the answers to the most basic questions. Christ! Most of them are not even asking them. They are just doubling down on hopium, hyperbole, denial and censorship. It’s all they have.

What makes me so furious is that, even if they genuinely thought they knew exactly what they were voting for then, they bloody well don’t know what that is now. And, if they did not realise what they were voting for, they bloody well should do, by now – chaos, isolation, ridicule and diminution.

People who refuse the responsibility of keeping up with developments that are a direct consequence of a decision to commit a collective act of national self-harm, that they deliberately and knowingly made but have continually refused to ask pertinent and intelligent questions about or accept readily available truths and very strong evidence: they have no fucking right, whatsoever, to their vacuous “will of the people” “respect democracy” “enemy of the people” “you lost, get over it” “stop talking the country down” bullshit.

Yes, I know that most of those 17 point blah blah million voters lead busy lives. So do most of the voting population. I know they only have time to grab a bit of broadcast news, watch a debate or two, skim a newspaper, check what Facebook thinks. But this only makes their arrogant certainty look more dumb and more irresponsible: what the hell makes them believe that they are properly informed and what the flaming holy heck makes them assume that all expertise, common sense, honest resistance and challenge is not informed but based purely on some bizarre unpatriotic bias? How the fuck would they even know? Brexit: it boils the blood.

 

[Sorry, I meant to warn about the swearing at the top]

High Tide

’”A rising tide lifts all boats” but others will run aground
And if you have no boat, at all, eventually, you drown.

Conservatives: You down there: where’s your boat?
Libertarians: You’re gonna need a bigger boat. We have armbands to let.
Corbyn’s Labour: There will be only one boat.
Brexiteers: Come on in; the water’s lovely!

 

Hugh Muir on Capitalism: “a ‘better model’ is needed”. A better aphorism wouldn’t go amiss, either. And not the one about ladders.

If I were Theresa May…


As you are aware, it has been fifteen months since the referendum on our membership of the European Union. Fifteen months ago, a little over half of British citizens, who voted that day, expressed a desire to leave the EU. The majority of MPs in the two main parties told you that we recognised and respected the result to leave as representing the democratic “will of the people”. Your tick on the ballot paper: that was just the start of a complex and costly process and, since the day I took over as your prime minister, a little over a year ago, my team and I have been entirely focused on enacting your will. (*cough*)

This past year has been a steep learning curve, not least, for your members of Parliament. You see, we often start with no more understanding of a subject than the rest of you because we are no more or less expert, intelligent, sensible or open-minded, than the rest of you. We are no more or less patriotic or ambitious than you. We are you. Our advantage, however, is that MPs are generally better-placed for access to divers sources in our search for facts, expertise and well-informed opinion and it is our privilege and duty to serve, to our highest ability, your best interests. My duty, right now, is to be straight with you.

Today I have to tell you that this has been a very difficult year. I have charged the very best and most enthusiastic Leave minds available with delivering a good Brexit and, though vigorous in their efforts, they simply cannot reconcile the realities of the choices and consequences with your expectations.

Arguments regarding the real choices and their very serious consequences were not had at the appropriate time. The appropriate time was before the referendum. What was presented to you as a simple choice was disingenuous, at best.

I regret to say that you have been terribly misled. Misled by the enthusiastic wild promises and ill-informed narrative of the Leave campaign; misled by a Remain campaign which failed to acknowledge that your concerns and disaffection were the result of the domestic failings of successive governments.

The lack of affordable housing, work that provides a decent living, rising household bills, the intergenerational unfairness, our underfunded and undermined public services and servants, our disjointed infrastructure… I came into politics to do good. My speech, in Downing Street, a little over a year ago, is why I became an MP and why I was keen to lead my party when David Cameron abandoned his responsibilities. I greatly fear that none of my vision – nor any of Jeremy Corbyn’s vision – is sustainable, perhaps even possible, while we remain on our present course.

You will be aware, I am sure, of the rumours and incidences regarding splits within my Cabinet and my party in general. This is because of the conflict between those who understand and are panicked by the risks and impracticalities and those who feel ideologically certain that leaving is worth any price. The pressure to reconcile such stark difference has been – is – an enormous challenge.

But, quite simply: not a single thing about which advocates of Brexit complain can be adequately solved, if solved at all, by leaving the European Union – the very club that already affords us as great a global and domestic advantage as we could possibly have. Hard Brexit is an abyss and all variations of a Soft Brexit are pale imitations, irrespective of the way you voted.

The world is a confused, frustrated and unstable place, right now. If we continue on our current path, we risk feeling and being quite alone in a precarious and rapidly shifting world. Already we can see that we will be the smallest partner and weakest voice in almost every meaningful circumstance, whether it be trade, technology, environment or foreign conflicts; whether we are acting for ourselves or as part of a collective. The rest of the World understands the dynamics of what we are inviting upon ourselves. They see how we will turn Britain into the country with the most urgent needs and the least leverage. This makes us prey. To allies and foes, alike – from country to corporation. What then of our integrity? What then of our rights, our standards and our ethics? What then for our economy and society? For our prosperity and well-being?

I cannot see how such a reckless course will give this country more sovereignty or strengthen our democracy. My inclination would be to seek to withdraw Article 50 and return to as near the status quo as is now politically, and legally possible. I propose an appeal to the EU for a pause in the current process and to inform them of our intention to hold a fresh public vote.

I do not say this lightly. I do not seek to undermine democracy or ignore your will. On the contrary. I seek to enhance your power through democracy by confirming your will. It will still be your choice. I need you to affirm or withdraw your better-informed consent. To this end, I shall ask the Open University and the BBC to present an objective programme of public information broadcasts.

I am sorry that it has taken so long to be honest with you but Brexit is, perhaps, the greatest act of unnecessary self-harm that this country has ever committed. Yes, of course the European Union is flawed. British democracy is rather flawed, too. Both are best reformed from inside.

There is no deal outside of the EU that can be a real, sustainable and ethical improvement on what we already have. The best place to safeguard and improve our lot is from that established base. I believe that it would be wise to remain and shape our interests as the Union reforms. My most sincere hope is that you will agree.

 

Field of (Dis-eased) Wheat

If you build it, they will come
The optics dropping, one by one
The British Dream undone

John Crace: ”Opera heroines have died a less public, less agonising, death” – though it seems almost cruel to say any more…