Saturday, 13 July 2019

The kingdom of the blind

Twitter is alight with praise of Andrew Neil for exposing Boris Johnson's total ignorance of GATT Article 24. But as usual the media through its own ignorance lets him off the hook. What was a relatively mild mauling could have been an evisceration - but sadly, Andrew Neil is only marginally less ignorant than Boris Johnson. Another hack who has yet to master the basics... 

It should be noted that the tedious row over Gatt Article 24 is yet another decoy. Supposing both parties did agree to use it as an interim measure, it doesn't even begin to address the issue of border formalities and regulatory barriers that make up, substantially, the larger part of the problem. It is a total red herring. By falling for the A24 decoy the debate is still confined to the matter of tariffs (exactly what the ERG wants). Johnson is not interested in whether A24 actually works. All that matters is the rank and file continue to believe it does. That is the deception in play. 

Then for all this gushing congratulatory praise of Neil, the circle jerkers seem to forget that Neil is chairman of the Spectator which regularly publishes breathtakingly dishonest "we have nothing to fear from no deal" pieces - and Fraser Nelson's tongue has taken up permanent residence up Johnson's bottom. If there is a fraud on the throne it's because they put him there.

This seems to have escaped the attention of the great and the good who tell us this morning that Andrew Neil is the greatest interviewer in the business. If that be so, it is only by contrast with the daily barrage of mediocrity we are subjected to. Perhaps this really is the best on offer. But that goes a long way to explaining why we got to this point to begin with. This is as much a failure of media as it is politics. 

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