Saturday, 7 July 2018

We are twenty feet short



There is a reason why politicians from all parties are almost universally disliked and not trusted. They say one thing, but mean another. They promise, but keep their promises in name only. It is for this reason that while I am philosophically conservative I have never joined the Conservative Party. I don’t knock on doors at elections. I’m not like those ghastly Scottish nationalists who are incapable of criticising the SNP. I don’t canvass because I might vote for someone else or I might not vote at all.


It looks for the moment that we are going to get a Brexit in name only. Theresa May will be able literally to say that she kept her promises, but only because she hopes that she has found a cunning way to leave the EU in such a way that it closely resembles staying.

In the short term this is going to be worse than if we had voted to Remain. It will be as if we stayed in the EU Single Market because we will mimic and follow its rules. It will be as if we stayed in the EU customs union, because we will remain in something called a “combined customs territory”.

Well if it looks like the EU, swims like the EU and quacks like the EU. It is reasonable to assume that it is the EU.

This is clearly unacceptable to the vast majority of Brexiteers. But let us be calm and let us think carefully.

Our task has been to escape a burning building with no exits or perhaps a Stammlager with no hiding place. I don’t think anyone quite dreamed how hard it would be when we began. Our great escape has had set backs. First they found we were hidden under the branches, then they caught us sneaking under the wire. They discovered Tom, Dick collapsed and finally Harry is twenty feet short. But we can still get out.

The first hope is that the EU will reject Theresa May’s Brexit in name only. Let us first wait and see what they say.

The hope is that we can string things along until the EU finally requires something that even Theresa May and her cabinet find unacceptable and there is no time for anything else. Let them ask for just one wafer thin concession too many. I think they just might. At that point we leave completely and deal with things from there.

It would cause disruption and short term economic damage, but we would manage, because we would have to manage. It would be worth it. It is becoming ever more obvious that we were right to vote to leave the EU. I didn’t guess two years ago that they were quite such a malign organisation. I want nothing whatsoever to do with these people. The cause of getting out of the EU is as good a cause as any we have fought for in all our history. We have fought for many causes that are much worse. It is worth a little bit of a struggle.

My second hope is that if we can just leave the EU even in name only we can fight on from there. No treaty can bind a future Government. A new election might bring about a Government that truly supports a complete break with the EU. Let us above all get out in March 2019 even in a completely inadequate fashion. Let us do nothing that might hinder or prevent this from happening.

After next March with our Brexit in name only in the bank it will be time to get rid of Theresa May as quickly as possible. At this point it might still be possible to get a Brexiteer as Prime Minister and it might be possible to go into the next election promising to complete the job. Whether anyone would believe such promises is another matter. Trust in British democracy is going to be wafer thin for a while.

My third hope is that the Treaty of “Rome shall perish”.



We could have been a friendly neighbour and ally. Now for the moment we are to be a sullen prisoner still striving to be free. I think the EU will come to realise that it would have been far better to let us depart in peace. We shall be semi-detached. We shall have most of the costs of being in the EU, but few of the benefits. The will of 17 million Brits will have at least in part been thwarted. If anyone thinks this situation will last long I suspect they will discover that they are mistaken.

We are not alone. The Poles and the Hungarians are plotting their own path and not doing what they are told by their masters. The Italians are gradually realising just how much membership of the EU and the Euro is ruining their country. Everywhere in the EU they are putting up fences and breaking the rules of Schengen. The EU allows them, but won’t allow us to put up cameras in Northern Ireland. They won’t bend the rules even a little bit if those rules can be used to lock our prison.

It may be that the Austrians in time will run off over the hills singing Edelweiss Edelweiss. The Greeks may beware the EU bringing gifts. Even the Germans might eventually decide to bash down the Wall again. Let us therefore resolve if we are to be prisoners, even for a short time to do all that we can from within to make the EU regret that they did not let us go. Let us by our example show that we still strive for a Britain where Parliament is sovereign and the voters are listened to and that this should be an ideal for twenty-seven not just one.  

Let us remember that we have received no help whatsoever from the Republic of Ireland, that they have conspired with the EU to hinder and prevent when a friend might just have made the difference. Let us therefore resolve to learn that if Irish history traps them into hatred of Britain, then we ought to treat them as something less than friends and something closer to strangers.

Above all else let us be patient, cunning and clever. We need some British optimism, some British grit and we need some better politicians. But it is not hopeless. We will get there in the end. The EU won’t last. “Shame and ruin wait for you”.

We are twenty feet short, but we shall still escape.

23 comments:

  1. A fudge was always the most likely outcome from the beginning. There is and was too much at stake. Why are people deluded into believing politicians will somehow make their lives better, more satisfying and complete, given the evidence to the contrary?

    Those who stir up discontent and present their supporters with grievances, and the existential reasons for these feelings, should be outed and treated with distain by our communities.

    They are self-serving, tribalist pygmies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Precisely! The absolute mess that our legions of career politicians in both London and Edinburgh are making of running our lives makes the argument for free-market libertarianism all by itself. They hate the working classes. In fact, they hate anyone who isn't part of the establishment clique. The solution is pretty obvious: abolish the Scottish Parliament; replace the House of Lords with a senate of 100 members; cut the Commons down to 400 members; and have a bonfire of government, including the NHS and the BBC and universities. Drastic situations, etc.

      Delete
    2. I'm Irish and I'm livid how my government allowed itself to be used as stooges by the EU.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for your sober analysis, Effie. I was seriously down in the dumps last night when I heard about our surrender - a surrender, I would submit, which is worse (though, admittedly, perhaps not as deadly) than Chamberlain's in Munich. But you are right: the long-ish, and perhaps most sensible game, it to stick it out until the EU collapses under its own weight. I am also somewhat cheered by recalling A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, in which Churchill constantly laments the poor quality of the leadership of Britain, which he attributes to getting the country into many of the scrapes it could otherwise have avoided...but in pretty much all instances (the great exception being America), the British eventually pulled through. I am hoping that the utterly inept and malevolent current leadership of Britain is a similar aberration, and that we'll successfully extricate ourselves in the end.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I concur with all of the above.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Interesting...certainly.
    But I think T May has rather found a way in which she can do what she always wanted; stay in the EU! And she thinks we are stupid enough not to see through it.
    When we joined the EU it was also not binding on future givernnents but in the way of things it was just accepted as the status quo. No one seriously thought to look again...and then we were in too deep. Similarly, no one will attempt to adjust or better our leaving package, but you can bet your life that the EU will decide all sorts of dirty tricks or rules, to bind us ever closer.
    We will not loose the shackles...and as yet we have have not seen the detail!
    I will only vote for ForBritain in future after having voted Conservative all my long life.
    I also wait for the demise of the EU; it cannot come quick enough for me.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It certainly is not what we voted for in 1975..... we did not vote to be governed by Europe, we voted to be in a Common Market, not this monster that grew arms and legs and an ugly head that wants to dominate all who must submit to its will....
    I have said it before and I say it again, leave, leave now, don't look back.... RUN!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Consequences of Effie's proposed anti-Irish policy:
    Irish Tories such as Detta Ó [sic] Catháin expelled from House of Lords;
    Genial Dubliners such as Grey Gowrie banned from Tory Cabinets;
    Several regiments disbanded ...

    Back to the drawing board on this one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just because a regiment has an Irish name does not, nor has ever, meant that the regiment is staffed by only or even a majority of Irish people.

      Delete
  7. For possibly the first time ever, a French TV bulletin led this morning with a Brexit story.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Another phenomenon (albeit a *very* curious one) to which Effie wishes to put an end is the predilection of some Irish Republicans for serving in the Blue Mob and, to a lesser extent, the Grey Funnel Line.

    ReplyDelete
  9. No one can fail to be inspired by the extraordinary acts of bravery, endurance, skill and imagination of the British and other cavers as they reached and now try to save those Thai children...making the seemingly impossible possible. Human beings have been doing these things for hundreds of thousands of years, usually led by individuals and small groups. The USA and Canada would not exist if our recent ancestors had looked at the sea and said ...its too far or too difficult. Equally we have a profoundly conservative side that fears change and reinforces inaction with 'groupthink'. This is exactly why Brexit is failing...we are divided into the enterprising 'can do's' and the fearful 'stay at homes'..at the moment the plodders are winning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When Brexit delivers havoc across the land will you blame yourself for allowing and supporting it ?

      You know this is for real ? The estimates are 2.5M job losses....and a financial/economic impact from 1 to 3 times greater the recent financial crash. There is no a single economist anywhere who is saying there will not be a major economic impact now. Not one.

      Will you Geoff take your share of the blame or will you blame Johnny Foreigner ?

      Delete
  10. Sir Robert Geldoff and Sir Terence Wogan would never have been accorded royal approbation for their devotion and loyalty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr. Churchill would have been unable to engage Mr. Bracken's services.

      Delete
    2. I have to admit that I needed to pour myself a *very* generous small one when Ian Paisley Jr. advised his constituents to take out Irish passports.

      Delete
  11. I'm still worried that a hard brexit hands victory to the SNP i.e. independence. In the past you have said that this wouldn't happen as independence would become very unattractive under those circumstances (hard border, no pound, trade barriers inside Great Britain and so on). This supposes that the voting population can always be relied upon to think rationally. They may just see the companies leaving, jobs going down the pan and think "screw this - we didn't vote for this". It wouldn't be the first time that angry people have acted in a self defeating way.

    As much as it pains me I support May and her soft brexit position. It brings minimal damage and distances us slightly from Europe, whilst leaving the option open to move further away in the future once political and economic circumstances allow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Damage limitation? The best option sometimes. Occasionally, the only one.

      Delete
    2. I'm okay with enduring great damage to get away from Europe, provided we are able to sustain the damage. Britain is disunited and lacking in moral fibre. Our grandparents would have laughed off the challenge of brexit. It would have been nothing to them. But full brexit today could well kill the United Kingdom. I can never support that. So, we need to water it down - dilute the medicine.

      Delete
    3. Ooohhh Aldo, the old Kaltefussen......Bit late for that old boy.

      This is the best opportunity for the nationalists now, among the chaos people might as you say "bugger it". The EU will for sure be very open to it as it will help them and make them look good while putting a toe in the gonads of Westminster.

      I also don;t put it past Nicola to fumble the ball...There will be a sweet spot moment, not sure what it is but it will be apparent once the SHTF.

      Delete
    4. The "bugger it" factor is very strong in human beings. I have done some truly stupid things in my time, just to stick it to someone who pissed me off. This is what Effie seems to overlook with her 'hard brexit kills independence forever' shtick. It may just make people mad enough to attempt the unthinkable and then future generations can ruminate on the rights or wrongs of it - but the deed will be done.

      My money is still on a soft brexit and the clock running out on the SNP. But the tories deliver a gift to the nationalists every time they appear disunited. Any more of their bullshit and I can see myself becoming a reluctant Corbyn supporter.

      Delete
  12. Are you then advocating damage in small homeopathic doses, Aldo?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Could it be the case, Running Man, that your coy euphemism refers to natural fertilizer striking the ventilation equipment with no little force?

    ReplyDelete