British politics is at something of a defining crossroads. We'd perhaps feel a tad more comfortable about this if we had some faith in our political establishment and some belief that they - collectively - knew the right course to take. But that's a foolish expectation these days, whatever your political persuasion.
Brexit is heading for a crunch in a variety of ways. The likelihood of the EU accepting the PM's obsessive Chequers Plan looks as distant as it it ever could be - unless she sells the nations family silver in some desperate concession to the super-bureaucrats (and we cannot, unfortunately, dismiss that possibility) - and in parliament, even if the EU were to sign-off on it then British MP's almost certainly wouldn't. Dead horse and flogging are words that come to mind. The tragedy here is that there really isn't a Plan B squirrelled up the PM's sleeve - the so called no deal Brexit plan is something that should exist but in reality is no more than a marketing ploy to field the impression that we have one.
So where shall we head ? The new Brexit minister, Dominic Raab, is bullishly confident of a deal - but we might ask, what deal would that be ? The PM is equally bullish about the Chequers success odds but with every signal indicating the opposite the general public, the great unwashed of this once proud nation, are befuddled by what is going on. I see little attempt by the government at any level to try and express any sense of order and control here - Brexit appears for all practical purposes to be in free-fall. But let's not be mired in doomsaying, if the crunch moment comes and we have no deal, then we will push our own way and do what we do best - preferably without political interference - and create a new position and role for this country in the world. The EU is not the be-all-and-end-all in this story, we are better than that.
I see the Labour Party has succumbed to the pressures of adopting all the IHRA's definitions of anti-semitism. This is possibly what 'new democracy' looks like - shout and stamp loud enough and often enough and you get your way. In some respects this is an image of our political and social structure where the majority (unwisely silent for too long) are overwhelmed by the minority (unwisely too vocal for too long), portraying a society where the freedom to voice opinions (not in a malicious way) is curbed by the drowning wails of vested interest and misplaced passion to be seen doing 'something'. As an aside to this, I often wonder where all these protesters suddenly lurk out from every time there is a 'cause' to protest about - don't they have jobs to work at, homes to run, or other useful past-times ? Seemingly not. They've obviously got time and money to spend on protesting but I wonder just how impassioned by various causes these folk really are. It conjures up the notion of rent-a-mob being an almost professionally organised cultural resource here - "Advertise your cause and we'll provide umpteen thousand placard waving, shouting protesters..." But hey, I'm a cynic and should probably join a protest somewhere. Anybody got any ideas ?
The Russians have just bombed jihadist targets in Syria's Idlib region counter to every sense of humanitarian consideration. I'm all for them bombing jihadists but unfortunately they're scattered amongst the civilian population - that much tortured crowd of people who always get caught in the cross-fire. The UN will wag is finger but do little else. Trump may add a couple more sanctions to his list, but nothing will change as far as practical effects go. Assad will get his way because the rest of the world sits wringing its hands in horror but will do nothing. History repeats itself so often, but as a human species we learn very little.
Jose Mourinho, that severe faced egotist of the football world, has somehow avoided a Spanish jail sentence and struck a deal by waving dollars around. I really must try that technique - should the occasion ever arise - but I'm not sure Monopoly money will cut me a deal !