Monday, 7 October 2019

Bored


Apart from yet another futile court case today there's nothing doing. There's been a sporadic feed of official opinions over the Johnson proposal and we can safely say there isn't a basis for opening up more detailed negotiations. There is too much wrong with it so that leaves us back where we were on Friday, making guesses as to whether Johnson will extend or not.

Meanwhile, cross party talks have failed ensuring there is no credible option for a government of national unity, so if there is an extension we are looking at the same deadlock which may or may not come to a general election - which Johnson will probably win, bringing us roughly back to where we are now.

As each day passes I become more convinced that MPs blew their last chance of averting no deal when they slapped down Theresa May for the third and final time. They just don't seem to have clocked it yet.

This leaves me very bored indeed. I'm bored of this endless speculation. I'm bored of pointing out that no deal is an insanely bad ideas. I'm bored of warning what will happen if we remain. I'm bored of venal supine MPs posturing. I'm bored of pointing out that EEA Efta was the only credible mode of Brexit. I'm bored of pointing out that everything else just means a massive hit to our trade and a ball and chain when we go grovelling back to the EU for any deal we can get.

Most of all I'm bored of the tedious tribalism on Twitter. Twitter is little more than a popularity contest. It's a game to score the most likes and retweets. Virtually nobody is interested in informed debate and the spoils go to those who grunt the most pleasing slogans to their respective tribes.

And then today we hit peak Brexit with actual Brexiters accusing the EU of being dishonest, pointing to the Norway-Sweden border as an example of soft borders. The same zealots who wailed about the EEA for the last four years. What can you do but laugh?

There was a time when the intricacies of trade and customs was infinitely fascinating, but now we're looking down the barrel of no deal it ceases to be a matter of interest. If we're leaving without a deal then we are immediately in damage control reacting to crises as they occur - so policy instruments are far less interesting. Policies are for those in the position to make choices - and the UK won't be. Instead it'll be ultimatum after ultimatum.

It's days like this when I wish I was a "news junkie" so that I could fill this space with chatter about today's court case but after four years of this I have become expert at spotting a tiresome distraction when I see one. If we focus only on that which matters then we're not much further forward on the last time I gave the matter any serious thought. One is almost looking forward to "interesting times". We can't take much more of this. 

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