There is one thing that puzzles me about our government. The popular and partisan phrases that are commonly used invariably have some reference to 'clarity'. As it is often used to respond to criticism of policy, decision or strategy and with such frequency there is almost a temptation to imagine that I must be the numpty here by not seeing the all crystal, ultra-obvious transparency of what's being said. So I must confess to 'clearly' being a numpty because all I can hear from government utterances are contradictions, denials, flabby statements and smug generalities. I can't remember a time when this government said anything that could be considered clear - by a numpty, of course.
But we are now at the stage where the warring cabinet are locked up in Chequers to decide upon what they are going to pitch to the EU as their negotiating position for Phase 2 of Brexit. The so called 'draft' document that was released yesterday which yet again cast so much doubt about the governments intentions on Brexit was like a grenade thrown into a still pond. The ripples caused have been not just large but also very vocal - and understandably so. The negotiating position that cabinet ministers and leading MP's had been previously made aware of - freedom of movement controls, freedom to negotiate non-EU trade deals during the transition period, a comparable regulatory system to that of the EU but one that would be decided by the UK - all stuff that most of us would think of as reasonable positions. But the PM has thrown all that to the four winds and pretty much arbitrarily agreed to the opposite, adding to the problem by strongly hinting that the transition period itself may be indefinite. This amounts to a non-Brexit in practical terms which Remainers might rejoice at but which is, in truth, a complete betrayal of the democratic process started with the 2016 referendum. Another startling example of clarity.
Quite apart from the comedy of government that this illustrates there are, obviously, some serious issues swept up by this volte face by Mrs May. Mrs May is a control freak to use the jargon. She cannot delegate, she believes in her own divine wisdom and doesn't listen to the arguments of her allies, let alone her adversaries and she sees absolutely no point in telling either colleagues or the public what her latest plans and strategies will be. She knows best is her personal mantra. And at Chequers today I have no doubt that despite the opposition she will face to this abrupt shift of intent she will walk away oblivious of the folly of this action and prod David Davis into spouting yet further meaningless platitudes and practising his curtsey to the EU bureaucracy. Unless the public make their views known Brexit will become a non-event and we will have swallowed every condition blurted about by the EU non-elected grandees. Is that really what we want for Britain ? I sincerely hope not, but change will only come if we, the silent masses make enough noise about it.
Old Corbyn is up to his neck in it again. Despite my earlier thought that he might be getting the thin end of the wedge about his alleged association with foreign spies, he has made no attempt to challenge his detractors and clear his name. It's hard to imagine that some radical MP of thirty years back would know anything of value to a communist spy ring and perhaps we should all recognise that the sowing of discord, untruths and mischief are the very tools of Russia and its allies amongst Western societies. Whatever Corbyn was up to, they were most certainly playing him. But more fool him for not seeing that and admitting the error of his ways. That would be a refreshing stance to be taken by a politician, wouldn't it ?
I see Trumpy is thinking about arming schoolteachers so that when crazed gunmen stalk through the campus they can bravely go out and have a High Noon showdown in a blaze of gunfire and bullets. This, rather than muzzling the much too influential NRA, is his train of thought. Not fewer guns, but more ! I know our government is crazy but it's almost incomprehensible that a President of the US could advocate this as a solution to school campus massacres. Possibly I'm not seeing the clarity of this because I'm a numpty...
Hollywood, television and all its associated bits and pieces have been flaunting their support for the fight against sexual harassment and abuse by yet again wearing black. Who do these over privileged folk think they are ? Do they see themselves as some paragons of virtue and probity in a seedy industry that they have voluntarily joined, get handsomely rewarded for and help perpetuate ? Add to this their wails of criticism about those who don't conform to this trend and we see a very flawed community of bandwagon jumpers who believe they are special. Strong words come to mind but I'll settle for 'What Tosh'. The campaign against unwarranted harassment has virtue but I somehow doubt that many of these black garbed wannabees are that genuine. After all, isn't all publicity good publicity ?