I consulted my favourite 'grown-up' comic this morning and observed the political cartoon showing Theresa May befuddled by the simplicity of building a 'do-it-yourself' customs border between the north and the south of Ireland. Whilst it was clear that she was abjectly failing to understand how to do such a thing it represented the growing awareness that the government has either been negligently neglectful of preparing fully for Brexit or, alternatively, that Brexit was never going to be on the agenda, let alone accomplished under the present administration. It seems perverse that the Irish border question seems only to be a 'British problem' rather than a shared one between both Britain and the EU. Michel Barnier stomped around the border lands recently and declared Britain's efforts at proposing a solution as being woefully unacceptable to the EU. But let's hold on a minute. Yes, it's the UK border with another EU state but is also the border of the EU with a future non-EU state, ie, Britain, so to me there is just as much imperative upon the EU as there is being piled upon Britain to reach a satisfactory solution. On the fringes we have others bleating about the sanctity of the Good Friday Agreement being jeopardised by this political clap-trap and that we can't have a border down the middle of the Irish Sea. Yes we can. It's only convention and political blindness - on all sides - that dismisses this notion but then, of course, we have to factor in the political survival factor for the politicians. Mrs May likes been the autocrat PM that she is, Arlene Foster likes being in charge of the DUP and Messrs Barnier and Juncker like their plum little sinecures in the EU. But for these characters a solution would have been found to this and many other issues long ago. But when you're at the top of your game it must be really hard to say to yourself, 'You know what, I'm going to put the country before my own egotistical ambitions.' To all of these characters - and I use that term very loosely as none of them seem to have much character - the message from Bristling Brock is, 'Read the signs, read the electoral mood, read the realities of what will happen with Brexit and start working for your country's or your pseudo federal states. If you don't, even the limited democracy we have will cast you ignominiously into the dustbin of history - every last one of you !'
The local elections have not been very exciting, have they ? Nobody has achieved anything of substance. Perhaps the only notable demise has been that of UKIP who are now almost a political nonentity in Britain. So, everyone was getting worked up about massive change. Old Corbyn was photographed even praying for some Divine intervention whilst Theresa May looked as gauche and clumsy as ever. It was, however, an opportunity to divert media attention away from Windrush and immigration scandals and for the PM that was possibly the key element of this electoral jamboree. With EU rejection of her proposals on Brexit customs partnership, the Lords equal dismissal of them and a growing Commons resistance movement these were very opportune issues to swing the telescope off immigration, the Home Office blunders and political discord within the government.
Now what can we say about old Trumpy's misfortunes, eh ? Hookers, porn-stars, pay-offs, Giuliani's fumbled denials of anything that involved campaign funds, and, to cap it all an episode of Channel 4's The Good Fight airing a very robust and pointed finger at Trump's absolute unsuitablity for the office of president and the plan to impeach him !!! Wow. This is getting to a very personal level - but anything is possible in America, as we all well know. How he can pay-off his lawyers bribe of a porn star and continue to say that he knew nothing about an alleged liaison is extraordinary - but perhaps the extraordinary is what we have all been waiting for for many years. How long have we been bemoaning the staid and inept antics of politicians across the world, demanding change, something different and something more 'in-your-face' to show that they are human, aware of the ordinary man's plight and prepared to ride roughshod over the established methods of doing things ? Well, Trumpy has done all of that, hasn't he ? In one fell swoop, he has blasted the old guard of politicians into space and introduced his own, blunt, direct and unafraid stance to governance. We may not like this weirdo, but he is what many have been clammering for for ages. I don't like him one little bit, but he's certainly chewing up the established way of international and national politics and ploughing his own furrow. Should we really be that surprised that he has still got the coarse edges of any other human being ? I think not.
And my final thought for the day. If you think things are economically tough here in Britain, think of those now desperate Argentinians facing a new 40% interest rate - a tad worse than the short-lived Black Tuesday highs. Great if you're rich and have investments but if you're the average chap then all your money is going on just surviving extraordinary inflationary costs. They may like the French more than us (misguidedly, of course), but, hey, we've been there and know what it's like. Solidarity, brothers !