Impasse between Britain and the EU over Brexit terms continues unabated. Whilst the PM is still pushing Chequers but with caveats over where the Northern Irish border should sit, the likelihood of a timely deal that satisfies the referendum mandate and the border position is lessening at a pace. We should certainly be now thinking in terms of a no deal scenario emerging from this fiasco. To illustrate this, the EU are also taking a tougher position, country by country. France has declared a state of illegality upon any Brit living there after a no-deal Brexit unless they have the 'necessary permits'; Germany has committed to not wishing partner states - aka Britain - having anything like the benefits of a member state. And those two alone will flavour the responses of the other remaining 25 member states. It's equally extraordinary that the PM has nothing fresh to offer in the negotiations (and by the term 'offer', I do not mean concessions to EU demands) which adds yet further doubt as to the sincerity of the government in reaching a deal that truly reflects the Brexit choice made in June, 2016.
It's unclear as to why the EU continues to wield the Irish border situation so vigorously - possibly it's the only thing they imagine will truly damage UK unity, but in truth it is a weak and senseless axe to wave around. In the event they should agree with a soft border and a national border being in the same place, ie, along the line of the present border, their alleged concerns that British goods could enter the EU tariff free are ridiculous and petulant at best. There is nothing to stop the EU - through the Irish Republic - checking whatever they want, irrespective of whatever measures the British might develop. The notion that it is Britain's exclusive problem is naive and likely deliberate in its attempts to frustrate the British exit position. This is an EU problem as much as anything - they want the controls, they want the assurances that British goods will not 'sneak' into Europe through the back-door yet they want Britain to figure it out for them. It really is a shining example of why continued affiliation to Europe politik makes no sense at all for Britain.
I also find it disturbing to have to listen to utterances from people like John Major, Tony Blair and Nick Clegg - all political has-beens of various hues and opinions - denouncing the Brexit process in the most colourful and outrageous ways. If the Leave camp were over-the-top with their £350 million bus advertisement then these characters must surely be censured for their attempts at stirring fear and anxiety amongst people. Politics will never be a truthful game but excesses like theirs - and any that pertain to the Leave community - will only further sour the public perception of governance and integrity. At present I'd say that on a scale of 1-10 where ten is great and 1 is pretty awful, we have governance that rates somewhere around -5 (to re-affirm, that's MINUS 5). The time to radically change the Westminster machine is long overdue. How many of us can truly say that they believe there is a good choice for governance ? How many of us would wish to see a 'None of the above' option on the ballot paper ? How many of us really don't like any of our political party options ? There are glimpses of possible change but there is so far nothing that suggests we have the political courage or appetite to bring such change into being. Even if such a change were to be initiated now it would probably be too late to redeem Britain's options on Brexit; if the move for change were to come post-Brexit then whatever the outcome turns out to be will be the one the new regime would have to adopt. Neither are satisfactory positions to begin re-shaping the political landscape in this country.
What a shambles this whole sorry tale has turned into, yet the old adage that 'we get the governance we deserve' should make us reflect upon our own electoral apathy. Perhaps change will only come when the people demand it - and mean it.
On a lighter note, Bristling Brock has recently viewed an American political thriller focused upon the integrity of the president and his 'God Bless America' sanctimony. It's a passable drama in a TV context but it wallows in cheesy and pious Pax Americana. Yet it is allegedly a very successful production over there. Compare this with some British and European political thrillers and we see the very seedy side of our political classes. I wonder who gets the better ratings for authenticity ?