In the antimatter world inhabited by Theresa May, everything is possible. Just when everyone has the table cleared for a dog’s breakfast, in walks TM the PM and all the plates fly out of the cupboard, careening around the room along with napkins and cutlery until a few remnants here and there collide with each other and fall back onto the table.
Having taken No Deal off the table last night, this morning May’s spin doctors have announced that – thanks to the tireless efforts of their taxidermy branch – Her Deal is back.
In truth, it isn’t anyone in Britain’s deal. It is the deal dictated by Angela Merkel and Brussels that the Prime Minister signed last November without changing so much as a semi-colon. As accepted, briefed and nurtured with due humility by Olly Robespierre and his fellow fanatics in Whitehall following the David Davis suicide.
The way you can be absolutely sure it isn’t her deal is to take on board a simple fact from last night: she voted against her own motion to make No Deal highly unlikely because earlier on the House overrode her desire by passing a motion saying No Deal Over our Dead Bodies forever and ever amen.
Mrs May has, over the last six months, lost control of the Brexit process, her Cabinet, her Party, the House of Commons, and now her voice. And while this enforced oral silence gives her the opportunity to claim “I never said anything about that” when later referring back to this crucial 48-hour period, the reality is that her single-minded mission to block a clean, Sovereign Brexit in any shape or form has produced political anarchy, a constitutional crisis, and destroyed Britain’s global image for grit – probably in perpetuity.
Came the hour of dark silence, came Michael Gove – or, to employ his anagram, a VILE HOG CAME. It was a vomit-inducing display of Uriah Heep parody delivered in a fashion totally unbecoming a man who claimed to be, in 2016, the unswerving voice of Sovereign Brexit. Having accepted the role of His Master’s Voice, Gove opened a debate in which every viewer was bewildered by things Spellbound and Malthoused. Milady Spellbound withdrew her motion but others unwithdrew it and it passed. Malthouse fell over the Speaker’s leg and disappeared. May croaked long enough to blame everyone else for everything. Hammond left early in search of his leadlined coffin.
Today, the “job” of the 600 is to jump the final hurdle in the way of Clean Brexit by voting for an extension of the tumescent Brussels penis, prior to its insertion into the dark recesses of the UK taxpayer: in pursuit first of more Danegeld, but then, in due course, further punishing proctology.
Quite what Nigel Forage will be doing in the coming hours and days is unclear. Yesterday, he suggested in the European Parliament (following another grizzly display of histrionics from Guy Verhofrant) that the EU Council should veto Britain’s request for Brextension, and we could all go our separate ways in harmony. Amusing, but not particularly practical given that said Brextension is precisely what the EU wants. After that he will be marching down to London, having already dumped on UKip, Tommy Robinson and any other form of Bretrayal rebellion not called The Brexit Party.
The plans of Boris Johnson also remain unknown, although to be honest I doubt if we care much about BoJo either way any more. Yesterday, he took a bath in yet more hot water by reverting to his role of saying paedophile abuse enquiries were a waste of police time and public money. Mr Johnson remains worried that the cover-up of events at Elm House during his mayoral career will one day come to light. He seems considerably less concerned about his abject failure to organise and protect the Leave process after June 2016. He faces the same wilderness that Churchill did ninety years ago, but lacks the honour, courage or attention span to ever be given the sort of second chance that led to WSC’s final resting place in history.
Some of you will recall The Slog’s longstanding desire for a General Election at the earliest possible opportunity. I haven’t changed that position.
I have been punting for this for one very simple reason: the problem for the Brexiteer majority is and always has been the existence of a clear Remain majority in the media, politics, big business and bureaucracy. The only one of those we can change decisively is the political make-up of the House of Commons.
But even that can’t be done without a united front against the saboteurs, a targeted approach to every constituency, and a campaign of persuading tribalists out of their stockades.
I’ve been studying the persuasion and tactical targeting closely during the last ten days. I hope to publish an extended essay on the subject imminently.