Nobody should be too surprised at the peculiar atmosphere of acceptance that permeated the House of Commons this afternoon. A corporacratic wannabe superstate run by incompetent control freaks has just put the UK on probation, with the job of passing May’s deal or revoking Article 50 by October 31st at the latest. The obvious desperation of Brussels not to let the British Cash Cow escape is beyond doubt. But Remainers think the EU is being jolly nice to us, and ever so patient. This is not going to end well.
“May arrives back to face Tory fury,” Sly News afternoon anchor Kate Burley informed us today. Bored of listening to Piggy-eyes Boulton patronising Brexiteers during the morning, I decided instead to watch the PM’s Commons statement uninterrupted on BBC Parliament. It was, by turns, an enervating and revolting spectacle.
If this was Tory fury in action, you’d need a sick-bucket handy to watch Tory Glory. Only Jeremy Corbyn, Bill Cash and Steve Baker gave the Prime Minister any grief. The overwhelming atmosphere was one of self-congratulation, ignorant relief at the obtaining of an extension, and a sense of optimism that now at last – in a spirit of bipartisan duty – both Westminster Parties could continue huddling together in order to finally unravel the Brexit ball of wool completely……behind closed doors.
The stream of virtuous observations about People’s votes, customs unions, crashing out, honouring the referendum, red lines and delivering Brexit was notable only for the quite extraordinary Orwellian consistency involved in it: the People had already voted (and been ignored) had been told we would leave the customs union (we won’t), that WTO was the default Leave option (it’s been banned by Law), that red lines would be observed (one by one they’ve been rubbed out) and Brexit meant Brexit (there is almost nothing of Brexit left in the WA Diktat).
This is probably what the Parliamentary session felt like after Chamberlain returned from Berchtesgarten in 1938, having heartlessly carved up Czechoslovakia and delivered (he claimed) “peace in our time”. Hitler granted him an extension for another year….during which the German superiority in Luftwaffe forces and blitzkrieg tanks became overwhelming. Chamberlain was briefly and disgracefully a hero. His treachery was to cost 46 million lives.
German documents captured after the war vindicated Churchill’s Commons ginger group view that, when he reoccupied the Rhineland in 1936, the German führer had nothing to back it up: had the French and British run a couple of divisions up to the Rhine and ordered the Germans to leave, they’d have doubled back over the bridge in disarray. A quarter of the tanks were mocked up cardboard replicas, the procession over the bridge was led by horse cavalry, and most of the Wehrmacht soldiers carried empty guns.
Today, the evidence is there in all the detail we need to show that the EU is a busted flush, its single currency a dead man walking, its economic strategy a failure, its federalist aims unpopular….and that WTO rules hold no horrors for Britain: where we trade and obey them, we make a profit. When we trade with the EU, we make a loss – and have done for 45 years out of 46.
But those with no common sense or commercial perspective either cannot or will not see this, for they are – by and large – a mediocre bunch recruited and chosen as lobby fodder, their limited brains stuffed with nonsensical ideology about human perfection, and their life experience based on becoming Parliamentary assistants, trade union officials, social workers and bureaucrats.
This cannot be dismissed as mere bigotry on my part. For nearly three decades during my advertising career, I worked on government communications business in the departments of Health, social security, financial regulation, community relations, police recruitment, the Home Office and Northern Ireland. During that period (and since, when supporting ignored causes) I met a broad cross-section of MPs and Ministers. Let me tell you, they aren’t the cream of the crop: almost to a man and woman, they displayed the bluster and bombast of the ill-informed chancer.
They are dull, they interrupt without apology, they arse-lick incessantly, and they hold the electorate in utter contempt. Debate the validity of an assertion they make, and the eyes narrow, followed by words to the effect that you are nothing, whereas they are Members of Parliament. Far, far too many of the of them are too easily bought – by private health providers, media owners, arms suppliers, pharmcos, the European Union….and a steady throughput of bankers and globalists who variously want government contracts to go their way, or regulatory laws to favour their sector.
The exceptions to that rule were, it is no surprise, the genuinely dedicated ones: Denis Skinner, John Redwood, Kate Hoey, Owen Paterson, Bill Cash and a few others with the same incorruptibly high standards. None of them, of course, has ever held high office: Whitehall see them as trouble and advise against them, and the Whips report every “disloyalty” to Number Ten.
Conformity is a huge part of the MP’s life, and it inevitably leads to herding behaviour – as has been so disturbingly illustrated over the last eighteen months. Before May gave her Brussels update to the Commons this afternoon, there was a debate about racism in football. Covering every possible dimension – the lack of black managers, racist chants, racist insults on the training ground and so forth – it was little more than an exercise in goody-two-shoes signalling by backbenchers aware of the fact that they were on telly. The cliché count – has no place in our society, give the red card to racism, totally unacceptable in any walk of life – rose and rose during the twenty minutes before Tinfoil Theresa turned up to explain her latest humiliation. Football ground racism these days rarely occurs in Britain: the latest cases all took place during England’s games abroad. Nobody stood up to suggest to David Lammy this didn’t support his contention that Britain is “the most institutionally racist country in the world”.
These personality types, of course, are intrinsically attracted to intellectual echo-chambers. Ideologues of the neoliberal, feminist or socialist persuasion (and most MPs “of colour”) spend their lives on transmit, sneer at those who cannot accept their skewed view of the world, and seem to hate almost everyone who doesn’t share their belief system, ethnicity or gender. There is little to choose betwen Right and Left in this regard, but I’m bound to observe that the more radical Left MP has the greater tendency to give offence liberally…. and take it at every possible opportunity.
And so here we are, travelling down another road in history, with the vast majority of our legislature on the wrong side of it – and almost entirely unaware of just how angry the majority of the electorate are about their double standards and sly hypocrisy.
There were enthusiastic shouts of “Hear! hear!” when May stole an iota of crass popularity at the start by applauding the ejection of Julian Assange from the Ecuadorean Embassy. I’m not much of an Assange fan myself (he definitely has a Martyr-Messiah complex in my book) but he does have a track-record of risking life and limb to prove that most governments lie to most of their citizens most of the time. To many Sloggers, this might seem like a blinding glimpse of the obvious: but out there in Smuggieland, it is at times terrifying to see how many people still think the Government “means well”.
What I found compelling was the guttural roar of aproval about Assange’s capture: to most of this lot, he represents (without question) The Enemy…..as do those who report or blog the truth online, and give politicians a thoroughly-deserved bad report. Let’s face it, the MSM aren’t going to do it any more. The “liberal” agenda of fake news and online abuse is nothing more than the precursor to shutting down contrarian opinion.
Completely absent from the Commons chamber today was any talk of a General Election: the last thing these robotic tram-drivers want is to put themselves up for reelection. Instead, the People’s Vote brigade were out in force, pointing up the “justice” of having something that hardly anyone wants and which would produce nothing in the way of a decisive way to “break the impasse” (this week’s new buzz-cliché).
If, for instance, the choices were May Deal, Remain or Leave on WTO, the most recent research suggests that those options would get 14%, 19% and 46% respectively – clear lead for WTO, but no overall majority for anything. But that’s Remainers for you: they’re never that careful about what they wish for.
There can be no conclusion to any Brexit post at present, because anything could (and probably will) happen. I draw the analogy of 1930s appeasement purely because it is the last time the Establishment made a mistake of equally inflated stupidity and ignorance.
But there is one dimension where the parallel falls down. After the invasion of Poland in 1939, a broad front against the Nazis rapidly formed in Britain, because people quickly realised they’d been duped by Hitler, and he was out to dominate Europe in the new Dark Age ahead.
I cannot see any such discernment likely to develop on the Remain side….or indeed among those who can’t see the attack on Personal Destiny that is taking place across the world. The queue for the showers is broad and long, and I see no glimmer whatsoever that any of those shuffling forward bearing an inane grin will work out what’s going on until the gas starts hissing through the walls.