There is a solution to the backstop deadlock. If Cox and Grieve can put subpoenas envy behind them and find a form of words that will time limit it with force of law the deal is done

5 Feb 2019 at 08:28

There is not a lot of humour in Brexit, but perhaps I could be forgiven a little chuckle when I read that Martin Selmayr, whom carpet biters regard as the the sperm of the devil, asked the opinion of Andrea Jenkyns about a matter of national importance. It was quite clever really because our Andrea, not perhaps blessed with the judgement of Solomon nor the wisdom of Confucius, is the Brexiteer’s Brexiteer. She has never been Brexit vegan. More the full blood spattered, throat slitting, goat bleating Halal. And without wishing to be too unkind, her answer to the tricky question of whether she would support Madame’s deal if backstop assurances were given legal force, her answer was a cross between a Sunderland Nissan car worker and Mark Francois on not being beastly to the Germans. Talking about Frank, where was our Canvey Island Cicero when you need him? Surely he had a relative who fought the Japs in the war? “I ain’t going to be bullied by no Nip”, he might have said.

But back to our Andrea, “Er, eighty percent”, she squealed. How strange. Selmayr had given the hint of an assurance that a few days ago would have been a slam dunk for the deal. The fact is that our Andrea had been cornered. She knew what the Ergonaut policy was a few days ago, but not sure what it is today. I blame Owen Paterson Spode and his badgers. So we await the Papal Bull in a china shop from his holiness Mogg.

There is a solution to all of this. There is an ancient club whose members stick together like shit to a blanket. The Attorney General’s Club. They are delightful old cynics who have seen it all. And they share the camaraderie of knowing that their advice will be lauded as sage and magnificent if it fits in with their political masters and derided as delusional if not. So Cox and Grieve, get your heads together and work out the ultimate face saver. Find a form of words that the EU can agree that sets a legally binding time lock on the backstop. This has to be a joint effort and a joint statement. Boys, put subpoenas envy behind you and earn the nations’s gratitude

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After lying in front of a JCB for £10k Boris is setting the trend for sponsored MPs. Grayling for Anusol and Mogg for Domestos, ‘clean round the bend’.

27 Jan 2019 at 08:38

Well, for once in this sorry Brexit psycho drama there is light at the end of the tunnel. And it may not be the train. It looks as if Madame might just squeak home with her deal if she puts the kibosh on the backstop. It shouldn’t be too much of a hurdle as the EU were not in favour of it the first place. And if the price is some form of customs arrangement provided that we can, after full negotiations, strike our own trade deals, why not?

To be fair the government shouldn’t claim too much credit for it. If it hadn’t been for the Supreme Court (and Gina Miller) the executive would have steam rollered article 50 without consulting Parliament at all. If it hadn’t been for Dominic Grieve there wouldn’t have been a meaningful vote. If it hadn’t been for Yvette Cooper we would be sleep walking into a no deal catastrophe. And now it looks like Graham Brady may save the day. He is probably the most powerful and influential Chairman of the 1922 in living memory. But have no fear, there will be plenty of other opportunities for the government to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Although I have tremendous sympathy for those Remainers who want a second referendum it was always going to be doomed unless they had the support of Corbyn, which was never going to be forthcoming. Nowadays, unless a policy involves Venezuela or Palestine, his concentration span is that of a gnat. He is truly Caracas.

A second referendum is only going to be on the table again if Parliament can’t make up its mind what it wants. So please Anna, Chuka and Dominic support Madame’s deal. Follow the lead of Ken Clarke. Trying to stop Brexit is a fool’s errand and plays into the hands of the carpet biters.

But do not under estimate Jacob and the Ergonauts who will sail the seven seas in search of the impossible. They will never give up. Like a stale fart in a lift they will linger indefinitely and continue to get up everyone’s nose. To them the May deal is a skirmish that they can afford to lose. The big prize is part two. The future relationship between the U.K. and the EU is where the real heavy lifting begins.

Mogg has been on an amazing journey. Once admired as a great Parliamentarian and tipped as a future Speaker. Then a wannabe king maker utterly convinced that his coup would topple Madame. But it was just a charge of the Light Headed Brigade. Then after his defeat he demanded that she resign. Then he said that he now supported her. After that it all became a bit mucky. The great Parliamentarian was rather saddened to see that Parliament might just do something he didn’t want therefore the the Queen should shut it down. Finally, although it won’t really be finally, he drawls that the government were responsible for her realistic comments to the Sandringham women’s institute. You couldn’t make it up. We leave that to him.

Which brings me on to Bozo. The JCB leadership entertainment was a theatre of the absurd. Denying to professional political Rottweiler, Michael Crick, that he had said anything about Turkey in the campaign is serious suicide jacket stuff. And then, joy of joys, he was paid £10k for the speech with David Davis trousering about £60k for twenty hours of ‘advice’.

It must all be in the spirit of free enterprise. In future, let business sponsor our MPs, who in return for a few bob will wear the company logo in the chamber. Grayling could sponsor Anusol, although he would be probably be sacked after an unfortunate poster of him orally administering one with a glass of water. But sponsorship should only be the sole preserve of backbenchers as most of the cabinet are unemployable. Oh, if only the splendid Paddy Ashdown was still with us. He would obviously be sponsored by Rentakill. But I understand that Mogg is very much in demand. The word is that he will be wearing the Domestos logo, “Clean Round The Bend”.

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Most front benchers address the House. Gove and Watson command it. They could be the future

17 Jan 2019 at 11:04

Don’t be too mystified about that stream of silver that is trickling down the corridors of Westminster. It is the blood a dozen slain unicorns. Brexit is not dead, but it is not going to be of the brutal Mad Max Moggian variety. These fools have blown it through their piety and are nothing more than a sad joke. Threatening to vote their own government down? Pleeeease.Compromise is the new purity.

It is fashionable to say that politics is broken. It’s not. It’s evolving. That wise Old sage and constitutional expert, Peter Hennessy, remarked the other day that the true definition of the British Constitution is, ‘what happens’. Well, there’s a lot happening. Parliament is beginning to take back control. It is inevitable that article 50 will be extended and that No Deal will be shot at dawn. Yes, I know, these are matters only in the gift of the executive. At the moment. But if the beginnings of a compromise across the aisle can be thrashed out more time will be needed. That’s not a betrayal, it’s just common sense. And it will hopefully avoid another referendum which would be further evidence that Parliament is weak and clueless.

This is a time for politicians to shine. And none shone more brightly than Michael Gove and Tom Watson in the last few days. Articulate, thoughtful and had the House in the palms of their hands. Both front benches looked at them in envious awe. I used to think that Gove would be the kingmaker, but I have become more convinced over the months that he could be the king. It will be more difficult for Watson because of the cult of Corbyn. Nevertheless, both men have emerged as very big beasts and heavy weight leadership alternatives.

The Mayan era is drawing to a close. Tom Watson was right to say that nobody can doubt her perseverance, decency and sense of duty. But now is the time for big tent politics and Madame is just not equipped to work a room let alone be the ring master. She just can’t do it. So it is right that Liddington and Gove do the charm offensive and heavy lifting. Her deal has to be the beginnings of plan B. It was interesting to see that even Barry Gardiner agrees. And it would be wise not to slam Barnier for not setting aside a few hours this weekend for talks. They’ll talk when we have a united front on a policy.

So day by day power is draining from Number 10. There is no shame in that. She will be delighted when she heads off, job done. With the gratitude of her party and the country.

Corbyn and Sturgeon have taken the coward’s way out in not coming in to the tent. Yet they condemn Madame for being inflexible with their own inflexibility. This will go down very badly with the voters. The negotiations will continue with backbenchers who will eventually call the shots. How ironic that all the main party leaders have lost control.

But we have all seen a glimpse of the future. An executive that can really be held to account. We have also seen two throughly professional men at the very top of their game. Most frontbenchers address the House. Gove and Watson command it.

Both of them make the other leadership contenders look like pygmies. The Tory line up pales into irrelevance compared to the Gover. Hunt blew it at conference and his Singapore speech. Boris is dead in the water, Williamson has been a disappointment by chasing headlines. Only Javid is still in the race as a serious player. If he has any sense he will be part of a dream ticket. Gove for PM with Javid as his deputy and Chancellor. This could work. Whether it will is entirely another matter. But don’t forget that Gove and Watson have had their fair share of disastrous judgement failures. I hope that have learned from this. And who in politics dares to throw the first stone? But Gove as PM is worth a tenner at William Hill.

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I watched with horror as Esther McVey launched her leadership campaign today a terrifying confection of Farah Fawcett Major meets Hannibal Lector. Hair today but sadly not gone tomorrow

14 Jan 2019 at 12:30

Well, there appears to be only only two grown ups in the Commons. Madame and Bercow. To the delusionists the Speaker is a class traitor. He is leading the Westminster elite bubble that is hand in glove with those who want Juncker’s tanks on College Green. He is part of a conspiracy to mock, undermine and destroy democracy. What is particularly interesting is that you won’t hear the likes of IDS, Jenkin, Cash, Redwood, Chope or Leigh agreeing with this analysis. It is left to the likes of young pups like the never knowingly undernourished Adam Holloway, who has the manner of a schoolboy who has nicked the last of the pork pies from the tuck shop and always keeps a spare one under his pillow. The reason the long marchers supportive is that they realise that Bercow, despite being mind bogglingly irritating, has done more for defending backbenchers against an over mighty executive than any Speaker in living memory. He allowed the long marchers every opportunity to be heard. And they remember in the good old days of Betty Boothroyd when they tried every procedural trick in the book to makes their points and wreck their own government. So deep down how can they blame Grieve and co for doing the same?

This morning I had the misfortune to watch Ether McVey on GMB. A terrifying confection of Farah Fawcett Major meets Hannibal Lector. Hair today but sadly not gone tomorrow. But boy can that woman blow. This was the launch of her leadership campaign. Dear God what sort of reptiles will a leadership election disgorge? Priti Patel? Penny Mordaunt?Liz Truss? I have never seen the point of these people except to make me feel decidedly unwell. I have never seen the political attraction of Truss. She strikes me as very odd. Unsure of herself on the media. Caught like a rabbit in the headlights. Terrified of being interviewed by the likes of Andrew Neil, which is fair enough, but bloody useless when she tries. And then she makes profoundly unfunny jokes about her cabinet colleagues. It’s the Adams family without their sense of normality. They won’t get anywhere but it will be fun to watch them crash and burn.

But back to McVey. She was in full unicorn mode this morning. ‘WTO rules are nothing to worry about. It’s what people voted for. The Irish border problem is just all made up. We have the technology. Anyhow, computers tell us in advance which lorries are carrying drugs and weapons’. It just borders on the psychotic. I wonder if she really beliefs this guff.

So tomorrow is a big day. There will no doubt be a competition for who will: pick up the mace. Shout abuse. Behave disgracefully enough to be thrown out.
Corbyn will demand a general election which he won’t get. There will be points of order which will just be a primal scream. Francois will say something stupid. Brigden will say something even more stupid. Boles will want Norway. Boris, if he has come up for air from his latest squeeze, will ape statecraft. And Skinner will be a grumpy old shit. Same old, same old.

The key to the puzzle is the Speaker. If the government is defeated in such a way that the deal is dead and cannot be revived. If it is clear that the Commons cannot reach a conclusion on any deal is he entitled to allow an all party Bill to extend article 50 and allow a referendum? The answer is he can. If the Commons votes against this ruling on a motion, then he can’t and would have to go. But if the executive has lost control a sovereign Parliament is the only way to save itself and the country.

My personal preference would be to vote for the deal. Another referendum has to be the very last resort. And it may not be conclusive. But that is where we may have to go.

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It’s not just the hard right that have brought out the inner gammon in the dregs of society the hard left have been at it for years

9 Jan 2019 at 09:36

I don’t want to make light of the vile behaviour meted out to Anna Soubry, Owen Jones or anyone else running the gauntlet from Parliament to College Green. Or anywhere else. Brexit has unleashed the inner gammon in the the dregs of British society. But this sort of behaviour is not the property of the far right. Momentum has sporned an army of foul mouthed, vitriol spewing mobsters who are more concerned with attacking Labour moderates than the Tories. In many ways Twitter and social media are far more intimidating than the College Green mobs. It’s armchair violence, where the perpetrators are wired, aggressive and know no fear. Because they have little to be afraid of. The threats, the intimidation, the casual wickedness of the language and imagery is deeply troubling. It is not uncommon for women MPs to be regularly threatened with rape. And why? Because they can be.

The sight of extreme Brexiteers, burning flags, puffing their chests like overweight silver backs is encouraged by more mainstream enthusiasts warning of civil disobedience if their pure type of Brexit is not implemented. And the similar antics of the hard left are tolerated by those who should know better. Political debate has descended into shouting matches between the believers and the infidels.

Last night I watched the Uncivil War. Of course, it is a docudrama, but it is based on a horrible and cynical truth which will reshape political campaigning for a generation. Everyone has a room 101 which contains something that they are deeply afraid of. Find out what they are, who they are and where they are and feed their horrors. Exploit them. In real time. It was unnerving to watch the character of Cummings jump on a table chanting two terrible lies, ‘£350m and Turkey.’w It is now accepted that they were lies. But who cares? They won. That’s the end of it. Suck it up. To do anything else is treason. And a tweet that sent a shiver down my spine in relation to the 200 MPs who put down an amendment to stop a no deal Brexit? ‘Traitors it’s time that Parliament was cleansed’.

Actually, stopping a no deal Brexit is in line with Mayspeak. Her oft quoted line, ‘it’s better to have no deal than a bad deal,’ still works as she claims that her deal is a good one so the government is hardly supporting a no deal. Although the vote last night was symbolic it clearly shows that there is not a majority for no deal. Not surprisingly the twitter response from supposedly educated people is horrific.

This is the problem with finding a solution to Brexit. There isn’t one because nobody is entirely sure what exactly people voted for. After all, Bozo warned us in 2016 that a no deal would be ‘insane’. But we know some of the things that they voted against: immigration, Muslims, the political elite, foreigners taking their jobs, foreigners driving down wage levels, foreigners taking over their communities, a Federal Europe, our laws being made by foreigners. The vote was a Christmas tree upon which to hang any grievance. Yet I still have a gut feeling that Madame’s deal will eventually come through. Although perhaps not on the first vote. Whether this is wishful thinking or evidence based is still a mystery to me.

But back to bad behaviour on College Green. Firstly, have any criminal offences been committed? Calling someone a Nazi? No. Making a threat to safety? Possibly, if it had put someone of reasonable firmness in fear. These are all minor public order act offences which the police could have dealt with using a little common sense.

The trouble is someone has pressed that dangerous red button marked, ‘Something Must Be Done.’ Remember that the police have a statutory duty to stop people from impeding MPs from going to Parliament. Just ensure that there is a presence and a menace.People have the right to protest. To shout and scream. To let off steam. Politicians are regarded as lower than vermin. If they are seen to go into hiding, to be even more remote and out of touch than people already think they are then we are in for more disillusionment and disconnect. However, College Green and Parliament Square have become a magnet for the weirdos and the just plain nasty. The police must be vigilant or else there will be a fatality.

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Corbyn’s sin was not the comment but the cover up. Lying to the House is usually a resignation matter. But he will be tarnished but safe. He is the government’s greatest asset

20 Dec 2018 at 13:40

It’s rarely the offence that sucks the life out of a politician. It’s the cover up. Whether it was Watergate, Profumo, Huhme or that ghastly MP from Peterborough. And now it is the turn of Corbyn, the leader who in the eyes of his acolytes can be forgiven anything from rampant anti semitism to consorting with the enemies of the United Kingdom. He has glided through the shit storms with relative ease. Although not smelling so much of roses as Domestos. Yesterday’s little outing was far, far more serious then anything he has ever faced. Some of you will say, ‘don’t be daft he only muttered under his breath that Madame was a stupid woman. Get perspective.’ And I can agree with that argument. What he should have done is come back the the House and said, ‘Mr. Speaker, this afternoon I was accused by the party opposite of using unparliamentary and sexist language. As you know, Prime Minister’s Question Time is the most fast moving, high pressure arena that any politician has to endure. Feelings run high and sometimes things are said that are immediately regretted. To be honest I have no recollection of saying that the Prime Minister was a stupid woman. It is against everything I have fought all my life. However, I have since looked at the playback and can see that to my horror I have muttered those offending words. I unreservedly apologise to this House and in particular the Prime Minister. What I meant to say was stupid people.’

If he had done that, it would have been the end of the matter. But he didn’t. His hounds spun that he said ‘people’ not ‘woman’ and that they had a well known lip reader who would attest to this. Well, the lip reader has vanished like a Will O’ the Wisp if he/she or Zi had ever existed, which I doubt. Corbyn then came back to the chamber and lied. A lie, so big, so venal and so obvious that it made Boris’s battle bus promise look like a bit of fib.

In the Commons if you apologise with good grace and humility you can just about get away with most things. But if you lie to them it is the most serious Parliamentary offence on the charge sheet. Which is pretty long. Profumo didn’t resign because of shagging Christine Keeler, he resigned because of lying to the House about it. If he hadn’t done that and bluffed it out he might well have survived.

So what will happen to Corbyn? Difficult to say. It’s not long to go before Christmas. But anything that unites Anna Soubry and Loathesome borders on the miraculous. And Madame yet again bestrides the moral high ground. Corbyn won’t resign. Good God it would be a disaster for the Tories if he did. But the fluffiness, wide eyed innocence and the lovely old grandad veneer is wearing thin. We have the ocular proof.

And poor old Bercow’s reputation took a serious beating. One of the favourite sayings of Speakers who wanted to avoid making a tricky decision was, ‘I am unable to make a ruling on this as my wig slipped over my eyes.’ His antics yesterday were simply embarrassing. To say that the images were ‘ambiguous’, is a serious porky. And stupid. I have never never known a Speaker who has lost the confidence of the House. If he tries to cling on it will be the death of him.

But isn’t it wonderful not to write about Brexit? It’s like the story of the Brighton lavatory attendant who was getting rather fed up with the hedonistic activities of his clientele. ‘Do you know I had a guy come in here the other day for a shit? It was like a breath of fresh air.’

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Once again the common sense pragmaticism of Ruth Davidson will give the country a life line. A second referendum is risky but inevitable

15 Dec 2018 at 13:38

Mercifully, none of our tribunes have treated us to that well worn sound bite, that, ‘lessons have been learned’ after the trouncing of Mogg and his barmy army. There is only one lesson and it was learned many years ago. These people will never be satisfied unless they have everything they have demanded. And then they will demand more. They will not make compromises, they will not make the slightest move towards party unity and they would be perfectly content to see this government come crashing down and replaced by a Corbyn/McDonnell junta. What is so troubling and rather strange is that after years of banging on about democracy, they didn’t want Parliament to have a meaningful say over any deal. And rather than gracefully concede defeat on the vote of confidence, they demanded that Madame should resign. Mogg has transformed from an eccentric faux gentleman who was respected, into a bitter old curmudgeon spitting venom at anyone with whom he disagrees. It is not a pleasant sight. Meanwhile, Owen Paterson Spode tries to rally his back shorts to down tools. To go on strike. To paralyse government business. Some regard him as a ‘true Tory’. The world really has gone mad.

It saddens me to say that the time has come when someone is going to have to make a decision about what to with these people. They don’t care about their party or their government and are under a dangerous delusion that they have a higher duty to deliver something that cannot be delivered rather than turn their guns on the horror of Corbyism. Being a Conservative is about tolerance and compromise. They have lost the right to even call themselves Conservatives.

The vote against May was higher than I expected, but I am not surprised. Votes against leaders are rarely about single issues. And it’s rarely about confidence. Some of the 117 would have been Remainers, many Brexiteers, some who have been sacked and a few have been overlooked. It was like that with the first vote against Thatcher in 1990. Mike Brunson and I predicted it within single figures because we didn’t divide it between wets and dries. We took into account the pissed off and the very pissed off.

So where are we now? Sadly in no man’s land. The deal is dead. Norway was never a runner, Canada plus a fantasy and no deal is Armageddon with a cherry on top. Which is sour. And this has been the easy bit. We haven’t even started negotiating about trade deals or our relationship with the EU.

Madame has been dealt an impossible hand where every card is a Joker. She had to offer the Rampton Wing red lines to try in the vain hope that they would settle down. But this is what the EU thrives on. National difficulties weaken that party in a negotiation. And they stand together united as the Club. As Britain will always put Britain first the Club will always put their own interests first. Does anyone honestly believe that they would allow us to have frictionless trade with them, allow us a say in the rule making and give blessing for us to do trade deals with the rest of the world? Or on the backstop who do you think they will support us or Ireland? And do you really think they are going to support us against Spain over Gibraltar? Even yesterday Nigel Evans was on Sky saying that the Italians will still sell us their Prosecco and the German’s their cars. BUT WITHOUT A DEAL THEY WONT BE ALLOWED TO. Sometimes I could weep over the selective ignorance about what a trade deal is all about.

Against all my previous thoughts Inow see no other choice than to have a second referendum. And what will clinch it is Ruth Davidson’s Tories. They will announce next week that they support one. For Scottish Tories it’s good but risky politics (think SNP and what they want). For Parliament it will be a lifeline. The Brexiteers will scream betrayal and the Telegraph will become even more of a deranged hate sheet than ever before. The rest of the press will be more sanguine. As that great European compromiser, Margaret Thatcher once said, there is no alternative. Strange isn’t it that for generations Brexiteers fought and won the battle of Exit. Now it looks like that their collective incompetence and tunnel vision will let it fall from their grasp. What stupid, venal, selfish fools. They should be cast into the outer darkness of Parliamentary hades. The eighth circle of hell, which is every politician’s room 101. Risible irrelevancy.

And once again it will be the Scottish life boat captained by the good sense of Ruth Davidson who will provide the party and the country shelter. It is a very risky strategy. But wasn’t this first suggested by Bozo and Mogg? Have a second vote once people know what was on the table. They are now saying that it was not quite what they meant. Well, we’ve all heard that before.

A referendum is almost the last thing that Madame wants to contemplate, but I suspect and profoundly hope that she sees the inevitability of it. She has fired the starting gun for a leadership election and when she finally bows after the final curtain her legacy will be that she did her damnedest to save the country. But nobody can save the Conservative Party. In its present form it has decided to head off to EFTA, but it’s finall stop will be the Dignitas Clinic for a final farewell. A tragedy in the making.

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The the unruly mob of the Commons is a disgrace. Shuttle diplomacy begins again. The choice is simple. May for the Continent, Rees Mogg for the incontinent

11 Dec 2018 at 09:42

“Why can’t they just get on with it?” says Colonel Mad to his good lady wife at the Felchingham Conservative Club.
“What Brexit dear?” She simpers over a schooner of Cyprus Sherry.
“No! Fucking Christmas!” thunders the colonel, raising a fluffy grey eyebrow to the steward for another tincture. After all, it was nearly ten thirty in the morning. The sun surely must be over the yard arm somewhere.
“But Madders, that nice Mr. Johnston said it was going to be a doddle, that the beastly Krauts want to sell us their cars and those awful Dagos their prosecco. And don’t forget we cancelled our health insurance because of the the £350 million extra a week for the NHS”.
But the colonel wasn’t listening. The steward had failed to deliver his drink and was flirting with a barmaid.
“Steward. My whisky and soda. Chop. Chop,” he barked in full military mode.
The youth in a stained white jacket reluctantly broke off his attentions and sauntered over.
“Enough of the chop, chop grandpa. I’m running this bar now.”
“But what happened to that nice chap from Poland? Nothing was too much trouble for him.”
“Gone back to Poland where he bloody belongs. Oh, and before I serve your drink, if I can be arsed to, I want a pay rise.”
By now the colonel’s rheumy eyes were fixed on the television above the bar.
“Oh it’s Mr Johnson darling,” wet gussetted his lady wife.
But this was too much for our thirsty hero who slumped back dangerously on his bar stool.
“Fucking man.”
“But listen dear. He is telling us that if he was Prime Minister, which he doesn’t want to be, all he needs to do is shout loudly at Johnny Foreigner and they will give us everything we want.”
“I’m afraid my dear that we are up shit creak and nobody can find the bloody paddle. Steward! Drink! Pronto!”
But of the steward there was no sign. He had gone on strike.

This is a terrible time for democracy. Members of Parliament are failing us. They are stuck in the headlights of a speeding truck and don’t know which way to jump. Some are just praying for a miracle. That somehow the truck will screech to a halt and the driver, dressed as Santa, will distribute sacks of wonderful presents to us all. The rest are just hiding under the duvet hoping it will all go away.

Yesterday the Commons was in turmoil. “Let’s have a People’s vote……..let’s crash out with no deal…..go back and tell Brussels what we want…whatever that is…..let’s have a vote of no confidence…let’s elect a new leader who will be …..better…”

So Madame does what she has always done. Tries to square the circle. Attempts to reconcile the unreconcilable. Puts up with unspeakable abuse. And sits in the Parliamentary stocks being pelted with rotten fruit.

The Tory mob is just as unpleasant, violently irrational and unstable as the Paris yellow shirts. Anna Soubry has lost her marbles. Priti Patel beyond a disgrace. And in India Esther McVey would be sacred. All the while Owen Paterson Spode leads his black shorts to a land fit for unicorns.

Corbynistas are just as bad. Mad eyed Momentum Williamson tours the country as chief Witch Finder General. “I see the mark of Blair on the body. Confess, confess and I will purify your soul through the burning fires of deselection.” Whilst McDonnell, Corbyn’s Beria, draws up lists of those to be executed after the revolution. For them Brexit is just a side show on the long march to power. No deed or thought will be too cynical.

Parliament has become like Bedlam where the aristocracy used to come and wonder at the sad antics of the seriously deranged. And at the moment one of the few voices of sanity is Madame. Off she goes again for another round of shuttle diplomacy. The choice is simple. May for the continent and Rees Mogg for the incontinent.

Heaven knows what the twenty seven think of all of this. Well, I’ll hazard a guess.
“Britain has decided to leave. It was their choice not ours. We have negotiated a deal where both sides have made concessions in good faith. The Anglo Irish Agreement makes it clear that there cannot be a hard border between north and south. We will not let Ireland down. In no circumstances will we allow a deal which will put British interests above EU interests. We will give you assurances regarding the temporary nature of the backstop. But they cannot be legally binding. We will not allow the negotiations to be reopened because we have more pressing issues. Massive unemployment. The Italian economy tanking. A new Chancellor in Germany. The French have become an ungovernable basket case. And don’t let’s forget the migration crisis”.

Let’s be honest, Britain has just become an irritation to the EU. They have calculated that if we crash out without a deal it will be a catastrophe for us and a minor disaster for them. The best Christmas present they can give Madame is a beautifully wrapped package with some helpful words on the card. But the gift will still be the same. Parliament would be mad not to accept it. Sadly, there is no available certificate of their sanity. But their worst crime is that they have become the Grinch that stole Christmas.

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The Cox advice is neither sinister nor devastating just explaining the bloody obvious. To say that Northern Ireland should be treated no differently than the rest of the U.K. is a fantasy. It always has been.

6 Dec 2018 at 11:23

If anyone bothers to read the full text of the Attorney General’s advice they will be shocked at how uncontroversial it is. There is nothing there that hasn’t been trailed or leaked for weeks. However, there are three stupidities surrounding it’s publication that need to be addressed. Firstly, by trying to suppress it the government gave it a sinister status that it doesn’t warrant. Secondly, by acting against the will of the House which ordered its disclosure previously, it gives a wonderful opportunity for MPs to jump on their high horses and proclaim that they need to strike a blow against their masters in the executive. And the last really moronic stupidity is to pretend that Northern Ireland is treated no differently from the rest of the United Kingdom.

The whole bloody history of the place is based on its differences with the U.K. Apart from the election of MEPs, who nobody has ever cared about nor really understood what they are there for, proportional representation plays no part in our electoral life. Stormont is elected by proportional representation. We have always prided ourselves on our jury system, but in Northern Ireland it was abandoned for years and replaced by the Diplock Courts. And we certainly wouldn’t tolerate thousands of marches every year with bowler hatted orange sashed people marching through the streets of England proclaiming territorial rights. And we tolerate abortion and welcome same sex marriage over here too. Oh, and they haven’t had an elected government for months. So please don’t let’s pretend that the Province is not different nor treated differently from the rest of the U.K. . It always has been and always will be.

Northern Ireland does not represent the easy going tolerance of the rest of the U.K. The Gaels, whose badge is republicanism, like to see themselves as part of the whole of Ireland, whilst the Celts whose badge is Unionism tend to be Leviticans protecting their way of life and culture which they have always perceived to be under threat by endless betrayals. There are very good historical reasons for both these positions. Both are steeped in blood and injustice. And neither the Gaels nor the Celts have right on their side or occupy the moral high ground.

Of course, Brexiteers never gave much, if any, thought to the consequences of leaving the EU would have in Northern Ireland and Gibraltar. Both are historical anomalies. The irony is that despite its many imperfections the EU gives stability to both. The Spanish wouldn’t have dared send a warship into our waters playing their national anthem were we not exiting the club. The EU has always stepped in to prevent the Spaniards from blockading the rock. The backstop provides them with protection until we reach an agreement. Talk of joint sovereignty is rather chilling. And in the Province the Gaels enjoy the illusion that they are part of the island Ireland of Ireland because they are citizens of the EU. The backstop preserves that.

So the EU has prevented the Spaniards from wrecking the Gibraltarian economy, and kept the Gaels and Celts from slaughtering each other in another civil war. The total irresponsibility of the Brexiteers is that they shut their minds to all of this. The hard border issue has little to do with commerce and everything to do with symbolism.

What May and her team have done is keep all the plates spinning. If she loses the vote then they all come crashing down and all those banks and companies who have put their exodus on hold will get the last stage out of Dodge.

But Huzzah! Parliament now has the last word on it all. It can instruct the government on how to proceed. May and Juncker are smart enough to realise that once you let the Genie out of the bottle of re negotiation you have to be very careful what you wish for. Cox warns in his advice that the backstop is not necessarily in the interests of the EU. Oh, and if the U.K. wins the right to unilaterally withdraw from the agreement so will the EU. Not a happy place to be.

Whatever happens nobody will be totally happy. It is the nature of politics that they never are. At the moment both sides are accusing the other of betrayal. That is not a bad starting point. But nobody knows where it will all end. My instincts lead me to believe that May will eventually win. But this is not the the end, nor even the beginning of the end. It’s just the end of the beginning.

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If the May Agreement is voted down we are on a one way ticket to economic hell. But I am not buying my hand cart yet

29 Nov 2018 at 09:13

Is it too much to ask politicians to behave like grown ups? Is it such a terrible ask for them to tell us the truth? And why is it impossible for the sneering rabid mob that support Mogg and his peculiars to realise that the emperor is stark bollock naked? Lastly, do we get the politicians we deserve?

It’s easier to answer the last question first. No. We have been cheated. We have been lied to and most of them know it. But they are too supine, spineless and cowardly to admit it. The greasers and chancers want promotion. The rest just want a quiet life. No more constituency meetings whereby their diminishing and elderly supporters have been whipped into a frenzy of betrayal- speak by Brexit Puritans. And no more rants from the gammoned pitchforkers who lead the mob on social media.

Let me explain the obvious. There is no better deal than we have now. But that ship has sadly sailed. So any other plans place our economy in jeopardy on a scale of awfulness. Least awful is the May agreement, because for now, that’s what it is. It is an international Treaty that technically doesn’t need the ratification of Parliament, but in reality does. And then we have the phantom plans. Canada plus and Norway. For reasons beyond the comprehension of your average mollusc on a bad hair day I cannot understand the primal attraction of this to the right, other than the instinct that moths have to fly into flames. Let me give you a bit of a clue why it is such a crap idea. Barnier said it was on the table at the outset. Doesn’t that make a few alarm bells jangle, Klaxons whoop, and robotic voices shriek, ‘danger,danger collision ahead’.

And then there is the Norway option which is basically remaining in the EEA but, and it’s a very big but, still allowing freedom of movement. We will be members, subject to whether members want us, until heaven knows when a brilliant deal is thrashed out giving us the competitive edge over the EU. In other words forever. And there are indications that Norway and co would block us. Lastly, there is the Death Star, eternal damnation, fires of hades option of no deal. This is the carpet biter’s, mouth frother’s and snake wrestler’s Valhalla. The popularity of this amongst the low wattage wing of the Tory party is a real and genuine mystery to me as most people would rather spend a few years in an Hieronymous Bosch themed holiday park than embark on this act of national self harm.

But all the warnings of industry, the Bank of England, the OECD and anyone who is capable of counting without the assistance of fingers and toes, are shouted down, abused and screamed at. This is so depressing and so dispiriting that I could weep.

Let me explain another unpleasant reality. The May Treaty is decried by normally sensible people like Jo Johnson (what is the matter with this family?) as making us rule takers rather than rule makers. But isn’t that what happens when we leave the EU? We won’t be able to help make the laws and regulations. Does anyone honestly believe that we and we alone will make the rules and regulations with anyone we do a trade deal with? That our Parliament with all the the omnipotent power of its sovereignty will tell the world how to trade? This is delusional and downright dangerous.

But will anyone listen? Will anyone act with honesty and integrity? And if you think that the Tories have become the party of the mob Labour has become a national disgrace. They don’t give a damn about what happens to the economy. They just want to get into power. And they don’t want to be part of any EU that won’t allow them to subsidise failing industries. They know damn well this could never be on the table as it would give us a competitive edge. So the leadership want out and always have done. The DUP look at everything through the prism of Ulster and the SNP for independence and power. What a shower.

Nobody voted for this economic Armageddon which we are sleep walking into. Years ago Margaret Thatcher was called Tina, simply because There Is No Alternative. It’s the same with the May agreement. I just pray that Parliament has the courage backbone and common sense to support her. However, there is a ray of hope. I hear that Justine Greening is going to announce a five point plan. Thank God. The nation will sleep easier in their beds.

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