Should anyone feel that, while awaiting with bated breath the outcome of the remaining US election results, some distraction might be useful, Chris Grey’s new Brexit blog entry is as good a place to begin as any. Two disillusioned paragraphs:
So for now the bogus drama of ‘will they or won’t they?’ continues and remains as pointless as ever, as do the breathless faux-scientific assessments that a deal is now ‘X% likely’ and the faux-worldly pronouncements that ‘a last-minute deal was always the plan’ or, with equal certainty, that ‘no deal was always the plan’. It is abundantly clear that there has never been a plan ‘all along’ and very likely that there isn’t one even now.
The pilots in the Brexit flight deck have never been able to agree on their destination and, for that matter, have never qualified for their flying licences. To the extent that there has been a plan, in recent months it appears to have been the belief that the large mountainside to which the plane is heading will disappear at the last moment. And whilst that is hardly a comforting prospect for those of us strapped in the passenger seats, it’s better to be honest about our situation than flatter our leaders by crediting them with a competence, even if a malign competence, that they so manifestly lack.
As ever, Grey covers a wide range of topics including the effect the US election result may have on Brexit negotiations (“That what the UK decides about its relationship with the EU should be contingent upon the decision of the US electorate gives the lie to the naïve ideas of national sovereignty propounded by Brexiters”), the “imbrication” of Covid and Brexit crises, the UK’s failure to prepare for Brexit (“[T]he failure to prepare has deep roots right back to the Referendum campaign’s dismissal of all adverse effects of Brexit as Project Fear”), the failure to extend the transition period (“it has now proven to be not just a mistake but a catastrophic error of judgment”), the new lockdown in England, the failure of the Labour opposition to “be more vocal in exposing the folly of what is happening.”
P.S. Not strictly on topic, but not entirely off it, either:
“It’s like watching someone get kicked to death with ballet shoes” is one person’s characterization of Rory Stewart’s (onetime contender for the Conservative Party leadership) review in the TLS (Lord of misrule—Boris Johnson: an amoral figure for a bleak, coarse culture: https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/boris-john... ) of a biography of Johnson, which Stewart uses to take the prime minister apart. Johnson, according to Stewart:
... the best liar ever to serve as prime minister ... has mastered the use of error, omission, exaggeration, diminution, equivocation and flat denial. He has perfected casuistry, circumlocution, false equivalence and false analogy. He is equally adept at the ironic jest, the fib and the grand lie; the weasel word and the half-truth; the hyperbolic lie, the obvious lie, and the bullshit lie – which may inadvertently be true.
I just wish Johnson would put his ingenuity in the service of saving lives and looking after the people of the UK.