For Mrs May, the nightmare gets a little worse each day. Each time she thinks she has turned the corner and achieved consensus - in cabinet or parliament - she comes up with an absurd policy plan that completely upsets the apple-cart yet again. Her notion of a customs partnership whereby we - the UK - collect duties on behalf of the EU and then hand it over to them is as bizarre as it is ridiculous. Nobody is pretending that sorting out an acceptable Brexit strategy is easy - it was never going to be that from the onset - but we seem to be in an age of scatter-gun propositions where the absurd and the possibly realistic ideas are blasted out at the public simultaneously with no apparent rhyme or reason behind them. I’ve long held the view that our government is really not wishing to separate from the EU at all; it recognises an obligation to go through the motions of Brexit for both legal and political reasons but at its heart it has no fundamental desire to leave the union. Fortunately, there is a pretty strong Brexit alliance amidst certain influential politicians who - as a minority in government - are trying their best to ensure that actual policy - as distinct from scatter-gun policy - is created that upholds the legal and moral mandates to bring Brexit about. And that is Mrs May’s fatal flaw. Having instigated an election that she needn’t have last year she lost control (or I perhaps should say her ‘desire for control’) of a situation that she could have steered her way. In losing that control she has visibly weakened herself infront of the EU, the British people, her cabinet, her political party and upon the world stage that she holds much store by. In short, she is no longer a credible leader, she has forfeited her options on getting Brexit fully pushed through (to British levels of satisfaction) and she has patently not learned a single thing about political humility despite all the catastrophe’s she has presided over.
I put great faith in the ability of the true Brexiteers in government to thwart the mad-cap attempts by the PM to push through a policy that even the EU thinks is daft. We are at a crucial point, nationally, where we have a discredited government (that doesn’t stay far ahead of a discredited Opposition) trying its best to remain in the EU by subterfuge. If we let government behave in this way, we will have given tacit support to a political process that is not only disgraceful, but illegal and morally bereft of any justification on the Brexit matter. If we truly believe in Britain’s potential outside of the EU then we should make a noise about it in every way possible. If Mrs May gets her way then not only will Brexit be a fudge, it will be the end of the Tory Party as it presently exists. Unfortunately for those true blue Tories, they have a leader who doesn’t recognise the problem - she has learned next to nothing about political practise and moral behaviour - and from a vicar’s daughter, that’s rather damning !
I see Israel, that well known member of the European family, has won the Eurovision Song Contest. Not only is it bizarre that a state in the Middle East - which has always been in Asia-Minor - is a contestant in Eurovision (as it is equally bizarre about the notion of admitting Australia to it) but it is bizarre, and slightly troubling that the winner used the occasion to promote the success of diversity and acknowledgement of those that are ‘different’. OK, we might all think, let’s be liberal and open-minded, but Eurovision is not a political platform, it is a song contest between nations (tacky as it may be) and using it to make a social and political point is not the objective. The organisers should be hard on this - but they won’t be because it transgresses that peculiar line of political correctness. And woe betide that we should cross that line !
On the subject of Israel, that they have brought the world a step closer to some new global confrontation by attacking Iranian positions in Syria is reprehensible. Always the poor old underdog (in their own eyes) they lash out at anyone and everything and generally get away with it on the international stage by claiming that the ‘world owes it to them’. Not only is this rubbish, but it is also a dangerous attitude for the rest of the world to react to. The Middle East has been a cauldron of disent, hostility and bitterness since time began - not unlike the Balkans in European annals - and to continue stoking the fires is unbelievably provocative and foolish. You may think yourselves some special case in Tel Aviv, but you are not in the context of global affairs. Calm down, see the bigger picture - and recognise that it was you who stole the Golan Heights from Syria in the first place - and behave with dignity and political gestures before you resort to dropping bombs. Maybe your friends in Moscow can teach you about that. I’ll await the backlash to this ‘criticism’ of the chosen nation in due course.
Elsewhere, Jeremy Corbyn has - surprisingly - made the argument that Royal Navy ship contracts should be given to British shipyards. Equally surprisingly, I agree with him. For Heaven knows how long, we British have faithfully kept to the strict rules of EU procurement whilst every other member of the EU has faithfully twisted and dodged to ensure that particular public sector contracts get awarded to their own nation. Nobody in the EU quibbles about this but we British get into a right tizz-wazz about obeying every letter of the rules (which are nebulous in the extreme but which we choose to interpret as having to bend over backwards for to be seen as good Europeans). We should have followed the European strategy of protecting its own long ago. Now is the time to say that enough is enough and we will start by giving our own businesses the right to acquire British contracts. For once, Mr Corbyn, I’m on your side.....