Saturday, 21 December 2019

The Tories won't be spared from the cleansing fire of Brexit

Brexit thus far has revealed several fault lines in British politics, particularly how much the metropolitan remainer set actively despises their fellow citizens and holds the country in contempt for not being the place they imagined it was from inside their cosy self-satisfied bubble. I have taken some considerable pleasure in watching them face defeat after defeat of their own making. They could have leveraged a softer Brexit but instead dug their heels in, played double or quits, and now they walk away with nothing having put Johnson in Number Ten.

This to me, though, is only half the job. What will be perhaps more delicious is the fallout when Johnson's mishandling of Brexit blows up in the face of Tories. The Tories have always had one fatal weakness and that's a galactic arrogance. When they're convinced they're right they can't be told anything. There is no creature on earth less teachable than a Tory drunk on their own self-regard. They have swept aside any and all expertise in favour of cranks who sing their favourite tunes. They are pathologically incapable of treating Brexit with the seriousness it deserves because they've got high on their own supply of propaganda.

The short of it is that regulatory harmonisation is a massive facilitator of commerce, as are the multiple tiers of intergovernmental cooperation built into the treaties. The cut and run "trade deal" the Tories have in mind comes nowhere close to replacing the single market, and still they can't assimilate the idea that there is a galaxy of trade instruments expanding far beyond matters of tariffs and quotas. As much as the Tories are about to blunder into an ambush they have no serious contingency ideas as to how to mitigate the loss of trade because they don't understand why there will be a loss of trade. They have no idea how approach the issues either with the EU or anyone else.

Because this is a tribal disease and they listen to no one outside their clan, branding any dissenting voices as disloyal, there is no means of self correction. Warnings fall on deaf ears. The product of this is a party of sycophants led by an oaf with the attention span of a hamster let loose with single most important trade relationship we have, capable of wrecking thirty years of progress in trade liberalisation. There is no way this ends well for the British economy.

So far Brexit has destroyed pretty much it has touched, and not before time. It has burned through two parliaments now, shattering the Labour party and tipping the metropolitan luvvie class over the edge. As wonderful as that is, there is no reason to believe the Tories are immune from its deathly touch. In a year or so that galactic Tory arrogance will be repaid in spades. The Tory party may look united now but when the depth of Johnson's ineptitude becomes impossible to avoid and the consequences visited on ordinary people, it won't take very long for them to start fighting like rats in a sack. Johnson's superficial charms will wear thin when the bottom falls out of the Tory Brexit delusion.

I had hoped for an amicable reasoned departure from the EU but if Brexit just end up being a nihilistic arson attack on British politics then that's fine too since there's nothing about it worth saving. When Brexit immolates the empty husk of the Tory party that's when I'll be celebrating. Then we can get to work on salvaging something from the mess.

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