The dust has settled a little since last weeks extraordinary Brexit antics and MP’s are back in the Commons asking questions.
But as usual, the people answering the questions look uncomfortable and ill at ease with what they are saying. Let’s take David Davis on the Andrew Marr Show responding to a clear and direct question about whether we’ll pay-up even if the future trade agreement (if there ever is one) doesn’t result in a great deal for the country. First of all he leans forward in his chair, elbows on knees and points his eyes at the floor, then starts mumbling something along the lines of, ‘We won’t pay if we don’t get the deal..that’s been made clear by No.10 already, so that’s not news...’ - no eye contact, no confident denial, no positive statement of government policy. Now to Mrs May when challenged by Jeremy Corbyn over what a ‘Canada plus, plus, plus deal’ actually meant - referring to Boris Johnson’s ever vague wittering about the Brussels outcome. No answer, of course, merely a political snarl back that the Labour Party had as many as twelve different Brexit policies, so don’t go asking what ‘plus, plus, plus’ means - pretty obvious to everyone, eh ?
And so the Commons debate went on - many questions, almost no answers. Part of the problem that that mode of political conduct engenders is...wait for it...nothing. Seldom is the question repeated, answers demanded, explanations offered - it just fizzles out and the next unanswerable question gets asked. It’s political charades - ‘ you ask a question and I’ll fudge some sort of response and then we’ll move onto another question’. And the shame of it all is that this is what goes on at the negotiations in Brussels - ping, pong let’s move on. No wonder we’ve got an EU mailed first tightly around our throats squeezing at intervals to elicit a gurgled ‘OK’ and then moving on to the next issue. We appear to have capitulated at every throat squeeze applied.
I notice that the online petition by Remain supporters demanding a second Brexit referendum has got to the stage of being debated in parliament. Yet there is no need for the Commons to take any heed of any outcomes, for the petition, like all others, carries no political or social imperative to do anything. It has no force in law, moral obligation, political expediency, common sense, or anything else - it is only a mechanism for letting pressure groups to let off steam and, as many MP’s have stated, nothing will change as a result of the debate. Nothing. This is how our democracy works - disagree and shout a great deal, excite the public and get lists of names compiled to appease that sense of free expression, involvement, concern and let ‘government of the people by the people’ be readily seen. But to what end ? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. That’s part of the charade - democracy in name, not in practice. I have no truck with Remainers and their petition but it does bother me that we have this theatrical process of making democracy appear to be at work when in fact it’s nothing of the kind. And on that subject I refer you back to Bristling Brock’s gritty comments in the previous blog to this one...
As for what Trumpland is up to, I’d prefer not to get started on that one today. Words fail me in every possible direction at how government in the US is being carried out. When there’s no news in the UK I’ll have a pop at el Trumpo.