Monday, 30 September 2019

All that's left is the consequences.


Today I'm supposed to be chattering about Boris Johnson and whether he did or did not grope a female journalist. Or at least I think that's the story. I couldn't be bothered to check. It relates to an event from some years ago which was not brought to the attention of the police thus was not regarded serious enough to waste anyone's time with. Number Ten has denied the allegation but then Boris Johnson is a liar so we can safely assume that he probably is a lecherous sex pest.

That, though, is all part of the persona, and if it was to have impacted his career then it would have by now. The is a man who effortlessly grazes his way through the corridors of power with those around him making allowances for him. That's how he became PM. We are told that "Boris is Boris" with a casual shrug as though that were meant to explain or comfort. Boris is Boris, sure. Which is another way of saying he is a conniving, dishonest, thieving, boorish snake in the grass. This is not news.

This court gossip, though, is of no real interest to anyone. Nobody outside the media bubble cares. On some level we should care that the PM is a pig but there has been such an assault on basic standards of decency in politics over the years that this doesn't register. But then the central reason no one cares is because there are bigger fish to fry. I'm not interested in lurid tales from Westminster court prostitutes. The only thoughts on my mind is if, when and how Brexit is being delivered.

With the Remain clan in parliament moving to install a dictatorship headed by the reanimated corpse of Margaret Beckett with Jo Swinson pulling the strings, I couldn't give a tinker's toss if the PM is the devil himself. I can write excoriating pieces about Boris Johnson til the cows come home but ultimately the alternatives are a magnitude worse.

There are times when I have suggested that a no deal Brexit with a government led by Boris Johnson would be worse than Corbyn. I was drifting to that point of view about this time last year - but Corbyn's Labour have seemingly entered a race to the bottom. Vile as Boris Johnson may be I would rather stomach whatever he throws at us than tolerate any of the garbage on the opposite benches. 

And it seems, if the polls are anything to go by, the nation agrees. That is why parliament has no intention of letting Johnson have a general election. We are now at a point where we have to pick the least worst option where the least worst option is still unimaginably bad. Johnson appears to be doing everything possible to avoid striking a deal, further antagonising Ireland, failing to present any serious alternate proposals and driving us irretrievably toward the cliff edge.

Meanwhile it seems that parliament has lost the plot entirely. Generally I take the view that parliament is there to serve as a goalkeeper against abuse of power so I should've in theory been against prorogation. The line I took was that it didn't matter because they wouldn't do anything remotely useful with the time. I was right. For all the fuss about the supreme court ruling last week there is no sense of urgency from MPs and nobody is calling Johnson out on the inadequacy of his Brexit strategy. The only Boris Johnson story that should concern the media today is his complete miscalculation that he can handbag the EU into a last minute deal. Anything else is light entertainment and trivia.

One suspects, though, that MPs themselves have no idea what's going on outside of their insular little circus. Justine Greening in the Guardian calls on Boris Johnson to disclose what he is currently negotiating, failing to note that Johnson isn't negotiating anything. There are currently no official negotiations. There is only posturing about the backstop - for which he has no viable alternative proposal. There will not be a deal come the October Council meeting.

The reality is that our neither our media nor MPs have the first idea what to do or even what they can usefully do to stop no deal. Hence the trivia and displacement activity. But then to be quite honest with you, I have no idea what can be done either. There is some vague hope in the Kinnock amendment of resurrecting a deal but if (and it's a big if) it can be utilised, parliament will more than likely squander the opportunity and bring us right back to this limbo. Very probably they blew it when they elected for a third time not to ratify a withdrawal agreement.

You can then forgive Boris Johnson to some extent in seeking to sideline the so-called "surrender act" so that we do leave on Halloween. There is zero chance of parliament ever getting its act together and there doesn't seem any sense in wasting another nanosecond of our time with this endless futile bickering. The Article 50 process has failed, the media has failed and parliament has failed. All that's left is the consequences.  

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