17 March 2019
Well, who’d have thought it!
Britain, which once considered itself a proud and independent nation and has, for about 45 years, been one of the big three countries in an increasingly powerful union, has finally thrown it all away. And, as Theresa May herself admitted, “We can’t blame the EU for this”.
After almost three years of dithering, she left everything to the last minute in the hope of blackmailing Parliament into supporting her deal (as amended following her umpteenth discussion with EU officials – look, it is different, I’ve used a different typeface). And she failed, permanently and irreversibly sacrificing her and her country’s credibility in the process.
Indeed, one senior EU negotiator rather brilliantly described the vote to block a no-deal exit as like “the Titanic voting for the iceberg to get out of the way”.
The whole thing was also nicely summed up in the Washington Post this week: “All across Europe, people are reassessing their views of Britain, its politics and above all its politicians … European negotiators, accustomed to clever British diplomats, have been amazed by how ill-prepared the Brexiteers have been, how little they understood about Europe, about treaties, about trade. It will be a long time before they assume, as they once did, that Britain is a serious country to reckon with.”
Despite having redefined (or perhaps just not having understood) the word ‘meaningful’, May’s time as PM must be limited now her role is reduced to gurning at the opposition, many of whom are sitting behind her, and one shudders to think who might take over. Boris Foot-in-Mouth Johnson seems to be the bookies’ favourite at the moment and he’s had his hair cut to show he’s a serious contender.
Well, I mean, she can’t go on can she? She wouldn’t really change the typeface again and make Parliament vote yet again (and again and again?) on her deal until they all got so fed up they agreed it would she? Would she??
Even the Chancellor of the Exchequer made a bid for power by offering an extra £3bn boost to fund the building of 30,000 affordable homes. This seems remarkably tactless just after Persimmon announced it had made a profit of £66,000 on every house it built last year, and we learnt that the Help to Buy scheme had lifted the premium on new houses to around 15% (so, if you buy a new house today from the developer for £300,000, you could only sell it tomorrow for £260,000 because it’ll then be ‘secondhand’ – a brilliant way of transferring Government money into developers’ pockets under the guise of helping first-time buyers onto the property ladder at inflated prices).
Still, nothing really matters any more. If we leave, we’re just another small and insignificant country; if we stay, we’re just another small and insignificant country with our reputation for competence and integrity so irretrievably damaged that we’ll have dropped down the EU power list to somewhere just below Belgium.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to use the three-month extension (if it’s approved by the EU before we crash out) to carry out research into why people who voted to leave did so? Did they want to shake up the Brussels bureaucracy? (probably quite a few did, including a friend’s daughter who was then horrified by the result). Or curb immigration? Or chuck out everybody whose grandparents weren’t all British citizens? Or shoot migrants crossing the Channel in leaky SRIBs? (or all three of these). Or make British business more profitable? (in an isolated market, hidden behind tariff barriers). Or increase employment? (fat chance with so many foreign-owned businesses now pulling out of Britain). Or re-start the killings in Ireland? (presumably nobody actually thought of that). Or break up the Union and get rid of Scotland? (och aye and awa’ the noo?) Or help swing Britain to the right? (do-si-do)
Is Ipsos MORI busy next week?
Wouldn’t it have been better if Wossname had done this three years ago before he pulled the trigger on the referendum?
However, thinking of good British cooperative ways of doing things, the new mutual bank for Devon and Cornwall is close to its target and its offer closes on 31 March so you need to move fast if you want to help – contact South West Mutual.