THE MAY SPEECH: Yes, a curate’s egg…but it has left Brussels with egg all over its hard face
After her Downing Street address this afternoon, I posted something halfway nice about Theresa May on Twitter. It’s not something I’m likely to make a habit of doing (tomorrow I have something up the spout returning things here to Normal Service) but I think the tweet speaks for itself:
It is impossible to exaggerate how important this is in the global fight of all liberty-valuers against Alt State hegemony in general, and the arrogant, incompetent fascism of the European Union in particular. Fair enough, Alexis Tsipras resisted for a while, Viktor Orban puts his foot down with admirable force, and the New Italians are cocking a snook at the Belgian chocolate soldiers. But with respect, few EU States have the clout of the United Kingdom.
May made three good points: show us some respect, don’t try to steal our sovereignty, and if you want to swallow No Deal, then bring it on. The ball’s now in your court, genius. This is the first time anyone has given Teacher some homework to do. I confess (and I don’t care who knows it) at this point in her speech I did a woa-woa-woa worthy of any Yoof.
OK. Here endeth the good news.
Let’s return to the Slogpost of yesterday and revisit the question of FSB – Full Sovereign Brexit. These are the four red lines crossed by the Chequers Plan that the PM’s speech didn’t address today:
These are the British freedoms of action that Theresa the Terrible is prepared to give away. I’m not….but it will be interesting to see how the Country reacts in the wake of her Downing Street foot-stomping anger.
On the one hand, it puts diehard Remainoids in a corner. The mood at Westminster this morning was very much one – even among mildly Remainer Tories – of, “Well, if that’s the way it has to be, more fool Brussels….let them stew in their own juice”. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if a new poll were to appear this weekend showing that the pro-Brexit number has firmed up, and the undecideds are moving that way. I think the reason for this is plain to see: the Mafiaesque nastiness and petty infantile yah-boo-sucks of the Verhofstadt to Juncker First Formers is becoming more clear.
On the other hand, nothing has changed in my opinion of Theresa May. While awkward and inflexible, she is also a full-on Alt Stater and cunning with it: she will hope to use this hardball stance to help ease the passage of Chequers through Parliament….especially if the EU blinks and dumps the Irish issue. On a wave of obfuscatory patriotism, she might help the dumber Brexiteers in her Party waive all thought of Red Lines and go for it.
This would be a disaster, because if Brexit means Brexit, then without question Chequers really means fudge-all. Once the dust settles, however – and I doubt if the Dodos of Brussels will blink – I sense people will still know that Chequers has checked out: it has left this material world, it has gone where they don’t play billiards, it is an ex-Plan, it may be nailed to Theresa’s mast, but it has ceased to be: it is dead.
In the meantime, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. I very much doubt if May realises the potentially mortal blow she struck against the Brussels apparatchiks today…if she had, she wouldn’t have said it. But then, She the Acclaimèd One was never that good on the consequences thing.
A further issue tonight is how the UK’s diplomatic services allowed a British Prime Minister to walk into the kind of ambush that made the one which saw off Bonnie & Clyde seem an attack using pea-shooters by comparison.
The how is not hard to define: the Sir Humphreys in the Treasury, the MoD and the FCO are geopolitical blocistas to a man plus the occasional senior woman: they are an Alt State cooperating with all the other gargoyles, and every bit as corrupt and pernicious.
The why of it all is more tricky. May is a suitably compliant doer of their dirty work; indeed, her very appeal is that few on the Right of UK politics know how to be safely rid of her. But my strong instinct after Salzburg is that at least one interest set wishes her gone….and it may now be in the ascendancy.
If the Dark Forces really want her out – and if they want Brexit delayed – then another General Election following a Parliamentary Brexit catastrophe would kill two birds with one stone. A split Left would rule them out of potential government, and a split Right would make firm policy impossible. Just the sort of environment, in fact, in which technocrats can prosper.
As for the new front-man, we can rule out Boris…at least, as a Conservative leader. Hammond would stand, and be roundly rejected by the Tory grassroots. The one complete Dorian Gray who’s been busy establishing his neolib/neocon credentials while expressing adoration for the NHS he loathes is Jeremy Hunt. At the moment, he looks to me like the most likely recipient of the Crown of Thorns. A lot of powerful Conservative and Establishment media money has been invested in this man. He may yet become Britain’s “centrist” Macron.
Note the warm media response to his Japan visit. Expect more like this.