Politics has forever been a dirty profession and just to remind us there is yet more evidence of this spilling out from Brussels (not that we really needed reminding of European behaviour - we have, after all, had over a thousand years worth of experiencing that). Their message is clear: ‘Pay us at least €60 billion and we may just get in the mood to talk trade - but no guarantees mind !’ It’s a style of message we’ve heard countless times from the EU and it derives from a European arrogance about their importance. What Continental Europe should perhaps consider is that its positive contribution to the world and mankind through its cultures, influence and style ceased over a century ago; since then it has made no significant input into world affairs and has in some respects been a distinctly negative influence upon the world. The consensus view might be, therefore, that Europe should have learned by now not to play brinkmanship - for they do not have a track record of playing this game well and, frankly, they are unlikely ever to develop those skills - it’s not in their DNA.
Britain should, in contrast, lose its polite and cricket rules style of negotiating with the EU. I suspect we’ve all long believed that Britain is just about the only country in the EU that faithfully has followed the EU rule book - how often do we openly see evidence of other EU states manipulating those rules to their own favour whilst bleating loudly if anyone else does it ? The instances are as common as night follows day. But in taking a tougher stance we need to demonstrate - and very, very quickly - that we are fielding a team of negotiators who will not yield to unreasonable behaviour from across the negotiating table and it is now absolutely imperative that we get the right team fighting for BritaIn. That does mean drawing in experience and knowledge from other political and social quarters and it does mean giving the point position to someone exceptional. I don’t believe that exceptional individual exists within the Conservative Party, and I won’t labour my well known preferred choice for this role, but now, within the next two or three days, that exceptional person has to be recruited and briefed and yet given the flexibility to manoeuvre that he/she will need to sort the Brexit negotiation chaos out. Cricket used to be a gentleman’s game; it isn’t any longer and if we are to succeed in this enterprise then we need to start playing by the rules of mud-wrestling, ergo, no rules whatever.
Westminster’s internal affairs - assorted scandals - should be devolved to an independent, investigative body so that government (I’m forced to grimace slightly as I use that word in this context) can get on with the job it is supposed to do. The political balance is still fragile and it is by no means certain as to whether the said government will stumble further and precipitate yet more elections. Whilst that might be a cathartic experience for the politicians it potentially opens the doors to further chaos should the Labour Party succeed in a first passed the post contest. I have no brief for either party - they are both as inept as each other - so even though a new election might be the constitutional way to go if the governments ‘confidence vote’ deteriorates it may not be the best course for we peasants out here. To the government, therefore, the message is simple: listen to the electorate, listen to wise counsel and stand up squarely for Britain in Brussels’. Anything less won’t do.