Whilst we wait for the next round of Brexit talks to begin - is it really going to be March before they actually start this round ? - we have something of a silly season in play (although these days I’m more inclined to think the silly season lasts all year long).
Let’s start with UKIP and its blighted attempts at looking credible. New leader, girlfriend half his age, girlfriend makes some un-PC remarks, leader denounces remarks and claims split from girlfriend, party gets into a tizz-wazz over the leadership, counter faction tries to stay on message, result = party chaos. Since Brexit, UKIP has not found a viable platform to stand upon and yet it’s primary task is still unfulfilled. Yes, it successfully campaigned to bring about a referendum but the actuality of departure from the EU is still to be fought for, something their new leadership seems unable to grasp. It is interesting to see Nigel Farage keeping a discreet distance from all this theatre...it does look as though he’s waiting for the party to self destruct and then position himself to launch a new, parallel party of his own. We must keep an eye out for developments on this.
The Carillion collapse has raised the debate about nationalisation of critical providers to the public sector - right up Jeremy Corbyn’s street - and the panicky response of government to how to keep things running. There’s a lot for some folk to answer for here. This wasn’t an overnight situation unfolding, it’s been going on for years with both Carillion’s own management and financial controls patently ignoring the slide. Added to that we have a government who has continued to break its own procurement rules and hand out lucrative contracts to Carillion whilst being in certain knowledge of its fragile financial position. I’m generally not in favour of witch hunts as they tend to sweep up the innocent as well as the guilty but in this instance we have almost a conspiracy of several successive ministers and governments both ignoring the protocols of procurement and turning a blind eye to the mismanagement of a company that was handling billions of pounds worth of taxpayers business. There should be hangings from high branches for this exceedingly poor oversight of the company finances and additional nooses for government officials who have been party to the crime. This is exactly not what Britain wants to portray to the outside world and it needs to be seen taking severe penal action against specific individuals.
President Macron is in the UK looking friendly - mainly because he wants the UK to pay for his refugee crisis in Calais - but in real terms his best friend will continue to be Germany. The two are inextricably linked and we are just an aside to that relationship despite the government’s attempts to justify it in other ways. We have agreed with the EU (perhaps) a divorce settlement that should include a consideration for handling border controls and refugee influxes. We should not be paying them even more to bolster a French border nor agreeing to take in more of the refugees into Britain. Accepting that there are moral factors to consider in this, we find again that our weak and flabby government are bending over backwards to appease the EU and in this instance, France. We will gain nothing but cost and misery from this. The government will not achieve a better trade deal by being cosy with a French President, we are merely being used. Now there’s a novelty, eh ?
Boris wants a bridge over the Channel. The principle looks and sounds OK, but who do you expect to build it Mr Johnson ? Carillion, perhaps ? And more to the point, who do you want to have to pay for it ? Let’s think about that one for a moment - ah, we know. The British taxpayer.
Old Trumpy is running out of state cash again. Sooner or later someone is going to force a vote of no confidence in this fellow and his toupe will fall. Better sooner, I’d say.
Many more silly stories out there...for another time.