Monday, 9 July 2018

Matters of little importance.

For a blog primarily concerned with Brexit you'd think I would have had something to say last night. But then Brexit is as much about policy as politics - and those famed aubergine marketing standards are infinitely more interesting to me than the twists and turns of the Westminster bubble. After all, what difference does it make?

Both the prime minister and her miscreant Brexiters have chosen a particularly strange hill to die on. All this fuss is over a Brexit proposal that stood no chance of being accepted by Brussels. For sure the demise of Boris Johnson is something to be celebrated and one would hope this spells the end of his less than illustrious career, but beyond that it makes no difference.

As to David Davis, a schmuck, he added little to the process in any event so his departure is only symbolic. The less said about the deeply crooked Steve Baker the better. As it happens, if May asserts herself, she is well rid of the lot of them.

This though, is still a massive distraction from the task at hand. We still need a viable Brexit proposal and with the media deep in its comfort zone, preoccupied by Westminster shenanigans, the central issue is drowned out. Sooner or later this will come to a head. We still need a withdrawal agreement and one which satisfies the political obligations.

For all that we have seen a flurry of florid resignation letters, not one of them contains a viable alternative proposal. Moreover, should any leadership bid prove successful, the political obligations to Northern Ireland remain and the intractable dilemmas do not go away. A hardline government would simply see us leave without a deal - which was looking increasingly like the direction of travel anyway.

If there is any hard and fast conclusion we can take from yesterday it is that, without a radical change of direction, the EEA option is dead in the water - but even then the option has been declared dead many times but lingers on in the absence of anything workable. Negotiations will go right up to the wire and anything could happen. It could come down to the toss of a coin.

Were I to put money on it I would say the chances of leaving with a deal are now minimal. There lacks the necessary coherence and the politics is too atomised. Brexit is set to go down in history as a teachable lesson to those who thought trade was simple. Too bad we will all pay dearly for their education.

The sad part of it is that there is one man whose resignation could have made a difference yesterday. Jeremy Corbyn. With the Tories in all out war, and a jaded public approaching maximum tolerance, virtually anyone but Corbyn leading the opposition could finish the Tories off. Corbyn has become the dog in the manger.

It would, therefore, seem that we are headed for a total collapse of our politics along with our European trade. We have, for a time, seen the end of passably good government. With too many moving parts politics is more unpredictable than ever and with such a diminished talent pool it scarcely matters who stays or goes. Our politics is ill-equipped to the task and in all probability this outcome was the inevitable one. If you voted for a new kind of politics your wish has very much been granted. Enjoy!

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