After the frenzy of last weeks Brexit revelations, we have entered the Doldrums, that place where everyone within the political bubble is waiting and watching what everyone else might do first. It is a bizarre spectacle to observe and not an edifying one.
The Withdrawal Agreement's publication last week stirred emotions immediately - strident camps of opinion saying 'Yes ! We must follow the PM on this one' whilst others shouted 'Nay ! We must reject this abominable document and push for a new PM'. Absolutely nothing seems to have happened. No affirmations of the Agreement in government, no manoeuvres by rebels to initiate a leadership change and a political coup-d'etat. Has everyone in Westminster suddenly gone home ?
The answer is no, they haven't - but the whole tense atmosphere has scaled down considerably. Those against the Agreement, needing their 48 letters expressing no confidence in the PM, are still beavering away decrying the text, but have seemingly not got as far as they wished on getting the 48 signatures; by contrast, the solid supporters of the Agreement are not making capital out of this situation but are merely also beavering away to sway borderline thinkers in parliament that backing the Agreement is the best way to go. Some would say that any waverers are waiting to see whether the EU summit on the 25th November throws up before committing themselves to one side or the other. None of this is a pleasant phenomena to observe. Our representatives are all waiting to see which way the wind blows before making their personal decisions. And, of course, their personal decisions are based upon personal career, income and status considerations - with an odd exception here and there. What about doing the right thing for the country, we may all ask ? The likely unspoken response to that by most of our esteemed MP's would be 'Bollocks to that ! I'm not cooking my goose until I know I can still hold on to my parliamentary seat...' Status quo, vested interest, etc, etc are phrases that readily come to mind.
We shouldn't be surprised. After all, unless Westminster can willingly engage with radical change to its methodology then we will have a continuance of the status quo, the establishment forged over centuries to ensure that only the truly privileged can qualify to interfere in matters of state. The initiative in challenging the Withdrawal Agreement document effectively has now likely been lost. Those against it might rail and shout against it but the reality is that nobody has drawn a sword, nobody has acted upon their stated conviction to oppose a bad deal and force change. It is a bitterly disappointing aspect of the Brexit Chronicles that we should have reached a point where this nation state will probably capitulate to the unending demands of the EU without putting up a better fight than we have. More bluntly, it is a disgrace, a direction that will shame us all as history records this time. The Withdrawal Agreement is a recipe for vassalage but it looks increasingly likely that that is where we are headed - UNLESS - the massed ranks of those who have stated their opposition to it actually shift their butts and commit to a course of action that can bring about a significant change in that direction. This is not a time for feint hearts and self-interest, it is a time when those who care about what happens to this country and have the means to influence it actually declare their positions and act to stop this quickly approaching humiliation.
In the EU, the process is also a tad rocky. The Spanish - that's the place with the hotels, beaches and warm weather - declare that unless they get their sticky paws on Gibraltar they won't vote for the Withdrawal Agreement. Whoopee ! The more who won't sign it off, the better. Maybe the Poles, Greeks, Hungarians and Italians will do the same....
And in Trumpland, the old trooper is still denying that he's lost the mid-term boost he was after and is saying he'll continue to back the Saudi's in spite of the evidence that their Crown Prince probably ordered Kashoggi's murder in Istanbul. I'm seeing some similarities with Westminster here - vested interest trumps the right thing to do (no puns intended). The worrying thing about all this stuff on both sides of the Atlantic is that no matter how disgraceful something may be, we aren't, as nations, getting overly agitated by it. We are getting inured into passively accepting bad behaviour as being the norm. We should all be concerned about that.