Thursday, 25 July 2019

Whatever it takes

It's been an interesting couple of days on the Brexit front. The new government is essentially Vote Leave Ltd. Borisconi has appointed all the cronies up to including low fact Chloe. All the spivs, party hacks and court prostitutes get cushy non jobs inside the Borisconi apparatus.

Generally I have the political constitution of a concrete elephant. As a "notorious curmudgeon and misanthrope" who's had all kids of hell thrown at me, very little gets to me these days. But today I felt genuinely sick to my stomach. I now have an idea how remainers felt back in 2016. Just when you think it cannot possibly get any worse, it does.

But then I remind myself that, though it has to get worse before it gets better, this is only temporary. This government isn't going to hold together. It can't. For a tme Johnson can get away with quite a lot. His key promise that we will get a better deal doesn't really matter to the Brexiters because they don't want a deal anyway. He could come back with a deal sans backstop and Parliament still wouldn't vote for it. The remainers won't. The ERG won't.

As it happens a better deal is out of the question since Barnier has no mandate from the Council and wouldn't get one. The EU position is not going to change. Politically there is no advantage to giving a populist like Johnson even an inch. Moreover, they have made promises they intend to keep.

This is what puts us on course for no deal. Johnson has made a big deal of leaving on October 31st and he cannot extend unless there is a deal in sight. Which there won't be. I don't see how parliament can stop no deal so no deal it is. This I have been resigned to for a little while now.

What's clear though, is this administration cannot limp on with a majority of two or three. It needs a renewed mandate and it needs to go to the polls sooner rather than later or it'll be a lame duck administration. They're going to have to do this before the bad news starts to roll in.

Previously I've worked on the assumption that the Tories would hang on for as long as possible and then be kicked out, but with Labour in such a shambles and lacking any leadership, and with floating voters from Labour and the Tories drifting to the Lib Dems, by accident of numbers we could end up with a Tory landslide.

This doesn't fill me with delight, but I certainly will enjoy watching the wheels come off. For starters, Borisconies cronies will fight like rats in a sack, not least as they line up to replace Johnson, but this will also be an administration plagued by scandal. There's a lot of bad blood in Vote Leave's wake and a lot of eyes trained on them. Corruption probes will eventually unearth something.

But then there's Brexit itself.  This is where they're seriously painting themselves into a corner. They're making promises they can't keep. As much as we cannot go without a formal relationship with the EU, they cannot promise to "take back our fish" nor can they make all those "bumper deals" appear. Sooner or later, this government will be force fed slice after slice of humble pie. The grotesque incompetence will soon be noticed even by the most die hard Johnson supporter.

Then, as we know, once we do go back to Brussels and ask for a deal, it will come with terms and conditions not unlike the withdrawal agreement. Again the EU will play hardball and string us out to dry for as long as it takes. Being that the Tories would lose too much face, it will be their decision to keep us out in the cold while we haemorrhage exports.

Sooner or later the opposition will get its act together, not least because Corbyn will have to go if they lose and election to Johnson. The pressure will be on and all the while everything around us will be falling apart. Every one of the ERG assumptions and misapprehensions will crash into the rocks of reality, leaving them utterly discredited.

This is going to be a five year long humiliation of the Conservative party, where the bumbling bluff and bluster of Johnson is not going to win over an increasingly angry public. The boyish charm and "refreshing optimism" is not going to work when exports are collapsing and every promise made by Tory Brexiters turns to ashes.

This is going to be exactly the sort of political enema the country needs. We are going to have to learn the hard way that uncompromising tribalism and political hero worship leads to ruin. And what better place to start over than with a purge of the "free market"right? These psychopaths have been stalking British politics for three decades waiting for their moment to strike. Well, they broke it, they own it. We'll see them wiped off the face of politics for a generation.

Though I had hoped to see the UK reagin its position as a sovereign independent state, I no longer think that's going to happen. By the time the Tories are kicked out of office there will be a more EU friendly opposition in power that will sign virtually any deal to rebuild our trade and cooperation with the EU and it will involve the slaughter of all of the Brexiter sacred cows and Brexiters probably will, quite correctly, wail about us becoming a vassal state. But they should have thought about that before anointing Boris Johnson.

But if the second prize of Brexit is to destroy the Tory party and marginalise their ideas again then I'll take it. All my life I have never known a more intellectually or morally bankrupt entity (and I lived through the Blair era). If this is what it takes to bury the ghost of Thatcher then this is what it takes.

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