Impasse has been a very much used description of the Brexit discussions status - with good cause. There’s been much rhetoric and an equal amount of obfuscation by both sides that has led us absolutely nowhere useful. And that has not changed an awful lot even within the last couple of days as we listen to Mrs May resort to her well bandied about language of ‘clarity’, ‘confidence’, ‘friendship’, ‘common interest’ and many, many more of her standard, neutral and meaningless phrases and expressions. As Mr Corbyn clearly went through some sort of public image and speaking transformation at the time of the election I definitely urge Mrs May to have some similar lessons from his guru. Her public performances, both in the Commons and to the wider public are woeful, stagnant, repetitive and without even a hint of emotional commitment. She sounds like a bored call-centre operative reading from a standardised script that nobody either wants to listen to or believes. And that’s why we likely have a continuance of ‘impasse’ in the Brexit negotiations. An utter lack of meaningful and constructive language being bounced back and forth across the table like a ping-pong ball. We need proper negotiators at the table, people who understand the mentality and drivers in the team they are facing, people who know how to ebb and flow with intelligent debate in order to reach a satisfactory compromise. For that is what negotiation means - compromise. It is not about one side or the other having absolute crushing victory, it is about properly understanding the mutuality of a situation and bending where necessary and being firm elsewhere. I suspect our team sit their, paperless and using their establishment language to say near as dammit nothing of any substance. No wonder the EU are both confused and entrenched in their dug-outs - they can’t understand a word of what Westminster speak is all about !
Even Mr Corbyn - who for his own reasons no doubt has kept remarkably low key throughout the Brexit talks thus far - has raised the spectre of ‘groundhog days’ with the endless repetition of rhetoric triumphing over substance. Yet he is not the man to sit at this negotiating table and nor are any of his close cronies for whilst they might drive towards a conclusion in the talks they would surely end up with a deal that was definitely not good for Britain. But at the end of all this, we know that there will be no change to our negotiating team, no attempt at broadening the knowledge base and no attempt at bringing in the smartest people to carry it out. That would definitely upset Westminster would it not ? Heaven forbid !
From the EU side there are still mixed messages. Donald Tusk demands unity amongst the remaining 27 members to ensure Europe is kept strong and together, Jean-Claude Juncker (unexpectedly) has not continued his normal anti-British stance for the time being, Angela Merkel wants more money, Emmanuel Macron wants both more money and a penal mandate against any possibility of a trade deal helping Britain and Michel Barnier smiles benignly at everyone. Maybe their positions are forged by their confusion over Westminster speak ?
So, elsewhere, what’s going on ? Trump, as usual, is back in the news with his mouth and his fingertips. Can you imagine him saying to the widow of a killed serviceman, ‘...your husband - umhhh, what’s his name ? - knew what he was signing up for when he joined the army, so getting killed was just part of his job...’. The literal truth of that is perhaps unassailable but to use language like this to console a grieving widow is way off the mark. But, we know old Trumpy just can’t help himself. He opens his mouth and long before his brain realises it, out comes the rubbish that he has become famed for. If we survive that long I really do wonder what history will say of him.
Still abroad, I’m amazed that the Greeks have declared that they’re going to spend squillions upgrading their F-16 fighter stock. Am I missing something here ? Aren’t the Greeks just about bankrupt, payrolled by Germany through the ECB ? Just how can they justify expenditure like this - especially when all that expenditure will be with US companies - whilst Europe grunts away to loan them money. Possibly I’m being naive. If the business goes to American companies then you can imagine the State Department has a motive to generously step in. After all, Greece is the other half of the Bosphorous expressway for Russian ships to enter the Mediterranean ! Knew there was an explanation....
Enough for today, I need to find a dark room to rest in.