Contempt and Humiliation

Sarah Vine tells us  in the Daily Mail that she and Michael Gove have a new dog. It’s a puppy called Brussels Griffon. If that factoid doesn’t distract you from the unfolding shitfest then I don’t know what will.

Just when you thought the Brexit debacle couldn’t get any worse – couldn’t get any clearer at exposing the British political elite as the most venal, shambolic crowd you’d ever witnessed, they dig deep and produce some fantastic new low. The Telegraph said the Prime Minister had “suffered humiliation on a historic scale … as her government became the first to be found in contempt of parliament”.

Others were less positive.

The Daily Express sensing the political meltdown shrieked: “Sabotage Brexit at Your Peril” simultaneously evoking and threatening democracy in a single headline.

In the Holyrood Brexit debate Stewart Stevenson read out advice given to hospices about “how to recognise death”, and applied it to the Conservative Party.

Jekyll and Hyde Democracy

Being a resident of Britain this festive period is a roller-coaster of farce and frolics as we veer from dire warnings of food shortages to pantomime bonhomie. Unlikely ideas and amendments and legal rulings hove into view before being instantly shattered on the rocks of some new parliamentary eruption.

Odd heroes and heroines emerge out of the carnage: one day its Gary Lineker, the next its Oliver Letwin (I shit you not), Hillary Benn is championed on Monday but by Wednesday Dominic Grieve is our unlikely saviour.

But the one constant is this Jekyll and Hyde response to “democracy”. The Daily Express – acting as some barometer of the national (sic) mood (crazed) is useful here.

We must “take back control” but from the un-named THEM. This is about sovereignty damn it but any expression of sovereignty by, say, people voting or elected MPs expressing themselves is tantamount to treason and the signal for Farage & Troops to don their khaki.

Got it?

The Brexit Traitors are everywhere. They are in our midst: Doubters, Remoaners, Judges, Jocks, Paddy. This bloody Backstop. “It’s a trap” someone shouted in Westminster as if we were on the pages of Victor in 1957. “Gott im Himmel! Achtung! It’s the Fritz!”

Occasionally someone says something vaguely sane and it stands out. Tim O Connor notes: “Something I think may be relevant is that the UK never experienced the Eurocrisis – in fact, spent at least part of it undermining efforts to fix things – and so doesn’t understand how the iron entered the EU’s soul in that process.”

The Brits – indulging in some monstrous and persistent levels of self-deception – think that ‘Europe’ will cave or that they desperately ‘need us’ for unspecified economic or cultural reasons.

John Redwood tells us the UK as a “leading great power” can take over global leadership on free trade from the USA.

O’Connor’s point is that having been through formative existential crisis and emerged scathed but intact, much of Europe considers Britain with sadness, dismay and derision, but will ultimately just move on. He observes: “The Eurozone members – even those like Ireland still clawing out of our own monstrous hames – were quite willing and able to coldly triage and move on. We then all rolled straight into the migration crisis, which, again, the UK largely sat out.”

But any semblance of sanity is quickly dispensed with as Britain staggers towards the tinsel and the cherry liqueurs.

The People

Legal advice on the Brexit deal, published (very) reluctantly after MPs found the government in contempt of parliament, warns the terms of the Irish backstop could trap the UK in “protracted and repeated rounds of negotiations” in the years ahead. This apparently came as a shock to some people.

Like bad tantrics Brexit doesn’t conclude it will roll on with devastating irresolution for years crushing the life out of everything before it.

At what point this political crisis morphs into a constitutional one is unclear.

As Iain Macwhirter notes: “Scottish Parliament votes overwhelmingly against May’s deal – and it means absolutely nothing. Hardly mentioned in Westminster. Sad reflection of Holyrood’s diminished constitutional status after two years of Brexit centralism.”

It’s sadly true. Westminster is a sort of banal vortex. The Government and His Majesty’s Opposition are mirrors of incomprehension, bad leadership and incompetence. Jeremy Corbyn facing a PM reeling from three separate catastrophic defeats in 24 hours chose NOT to focus on Brexit.

Why?

Because Labour’s posturing and lack of strategy is unforgivable.  The idea that we are on the verge of a Corbyn triumph to take us to Full Luxury Communism is just like a cracked reflection of the Brexiteers Post-European Utopia.

Sadly we don’t have the spectacle of Ruth Davidson, to cherish in this period. Instead the focus is on the Member of Parliament for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale.

Yesterday the Scottish Secretary flops on the committee room floor like a stuck pig bleeding out.

Today the Scottish Secretary today’s urges the First Minister to “listen to business” and support Theresa May’s deal, business like, er, BAE arms dealers.

But how do the most fervent Brexiteers resolve this apparent contradiction between ‘taking back control’ and hating Parliament and resisting a referendum?

First Brexit needs to be elevated to a sort of mythical status, dispensing with all of the fines ‘data misuse’ and troublesome irregularities. Second ‘The People’ need to be  given a new special status floating free and above any normal understanding. Third, process or parliament needs to be denigrated as an institution that is basically anti-democracy, riddled with potential traitordom and treated with contempt, which isn’t difficult, but also isn’t particularly helpful.

The Union, the People and the Brexit now stand together as a sort of holy trinity. They are clung to with an increasingly tight grip as the grimace of Britannia remains fixed and the country sides into humiliation and chaos.

Mince pie anyone?

 

 

Comments (20)

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  1. raddledoldtart says:

    Is Sarah Vine going to name the puppy ‘Shitstorm’ ?

  2. Interpolar says:

    “Appeasement!” They scream, and look forward to hunkering down in a re-enactment of the Blitz spirit come March. By summer, we could be relishing in our Finest Hour as we share out the rations of government stockpiles and stick up two fingers defiantly eastwards while picknicking on baked beans and marmite on the Dover cliffs. Who knows, maybe there will even be mass repatriations of png-ed British citizens to undertake and whom the freshly liberated fishing fleet of Ingerland can rescue from the Calais-Dunkirk coast.
    What’s not to like?

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      Perhaps a fleet of little ships could be sent across the Channel to raid the groaning shelves of the supermarkets of Dunkirk?

      1. Legerwood says:

        Isn’t it a piece of luck that they have found one of the little ships that took part in the original Dunkirk evacuation? Wee bit of work and it will be ready in time to bring us our supplies. What a lucky find, eh?

  3. Bill Middleton says:

    Well, how much more of this man can we take? He is, allegedly, The Secretary Of State for Scotland, but nothing he has ever, ever, ever said has been to the benefit of Scotland who he is supposed to represent and support. His whole diatribes, which are many and wearisome, reflect his love for this ‘precious union’ and never for anything that the Scottish Government has achieved for the people of Scotland over the past decade. Just because the essssmp are in power by the will of the people and not by Tory dictat, he thinks it best to disapprove of anything that is sensible or helpful to the people of Scotland by his silence or his rants at SNP Baaaad!

  4. Kenm says:

    Wikipedia cites the punishment for MPs held to be in Contempt of Parliament as “…may be expelled or suspended…” “May” is of course a weasel word (pun intended), but if expulsion or suspension could be applicable to an MP, it would be an interesting scenario if the UK Gov’t were to be threatened with those too! Given the clusterbourach we’re witnessing on a daily basis at WM I’m amazed that nobody inside or outside WM has raised this. Better still, why not lock them up (catchphrase, anyone?) in the Tower of London and/or put them in the stocks in a public place for a public pelting?

  5. Mathew says:

    Fuck Brexit – just a sad little sideshow to the main event which is climate breakdown. 2018 sees emissions of CO2 topping 37 billion tonnes – more than a 2% rise. CO2 concentration now regularly up about the 409 ppm mark.
    And for those who thought emissions had decoupled from economic growth – think again.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Mathew, indeed. Exponential maladministration may have reached the point where young people no longer have a cooling-off period in which to become complicit in the system:
      https://freedomnews.org.uk/australian-youth-rise-up-for-climate-justice/
      The argument of Swedish striking school pupil Greta Thunberg is a compelling indictment of her country’s parliamentary representatives.

      Although the French Yellow Vests have been painted as rioting against climate change measures (more fuel tax), another political outsider provides a more considered view:
      https://www.pamelaandersonfoundation.org/news/2018/12/4/yellow-vests-and-i

      What Brexit may have highlighted, if anything, is how backward the UK is politically, and how weak or divided civic society must be to fail to take advantage of centralized political failure.

      1. Mathew says:

        Thanks Sleeping Dog – yes the Australian kids protest was inspiring. I think kids in Denmark had a school strike last week too. And Greta Thunberg makes most of our politicians look like complacent dimwits.
        I think Pamela Anderson is right – the Gilets Jaune protests are about a lot more than just the one tax. There’s a whole stew of issues causing the anger. Macron was never really popular – he got in only because he was slightly more palatable than Le Pen.

    2. David says:

      Yes Mathew !
      The chance of our or any other politicians doing anything to face up to the climate change situation seem to be zero .
      To be fair ,measures that would have a hope of being effective would guarantee they would be unelectable .
      Ban recreational flights – stop looking new oil fields – holidays by public transport only – that sort of thing .
      No chance – we’re fucked .

  6. Frank says:

    Excellent piece of writing.

  7. Ron Pomfret says:

    “Westminster is a sort of anal vortex”
    Fixed that for you

  8. Angus says:

    Reminds me of this, keep up the good work.

  9. Willie says:

    A good article that summarises the total and utter chaos that is the Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    Hate however is the currency of this beleaguered land and hate will only grow. Yes we hate foreigners. That after all is the driver for Brexit. But we increasingly hate the poor too. That is what the roll back of the benefits system and social protections are all about. Like the filthy foreigner who comes to steal our jobs, plunder our resources, or control us from out with our borders, the foreigner along with his counterpart the worthless poor, is our enemy.

    But will it reform our economy. Will it halt it’s relentless slide on the world stage.

    And will our isolation help or hinder, or will we, like Rhodesia slide into a civil war between the ruling elites and the poor lumpen masses. No wonder the EU27 looks on in horror at the Apartheid state on their doorstep. But that I fear is the prospect that lies before us. The combination of faded empire, ruling elites, and an insane belief in one’s superiority, will see to that.

    The drawbridge has been drawn up, the borders are being secured, and internal security is ramped up. The currency of hate is here, and unless we neutralise it, hate, not hope, will now decide our future.

    It’s not the country I want nor what I chose. So tell me – who did?

    1. Torry Joe says:

      Correct Willie. The building blocks are setting in place. We can only await, in bewilderment at the destructive antics of these idiots. Thanks.

  10. MBC says:

    Am I alone in thinking that the ‘meaningful vote’ will not be that meaningful and that after a season of protest and symbolic gnashing of teeth, MPs will just knuckle down and vote for May’s deal next week, to avoid the catastrophe of a no deal cliff edge Brexit?

    Rarely do I agree with May, but her point that MPs have three choices, May’s deal, no deal, or cancel Brexit is what they must face.

    So who is brave enough to lead the country into cancelling Brexit? Absolutely not Corbyn or Macdonnell. I don’t know what is worse, the skullduggery of the Tories or the moral cowardice of Labour, and both are equally delusional.

  11. Robbie says:

    Very good article , and All good replies,now let’s just get the fxxk out of this so-called (union)

  12. Angry Scotsman says:

    I should never watch David Mundell on video. Seeing him makes me shout at my monitor about how much I want to kick the crap out of him (which would take days, he’s so full of it), and this is not a helpful thing for the blood pressure or sanity. He’s such a worthless horrible wee nothing nyaff fart of a man. I wish he would just resign, like he promises to every five minutes, and leave the rest of us alone. Permanently.

    1. Chris Connolly says:

      He’s my MP. I need sympathy, hugs & chocolate and it’s my birthday the day after the “meaningful vote” so I shall be ready & waiting.

      Worst possible scenario: No-deal (or any kind of) Brexit, climate change, no independence for Scotland. So we need a People’s Vote to deal with number one on the list. Then, having eliminated that nightmare we can move on to the next two. An independent Scotland, free of nuclear weapons, land returned to the people and climate change properly addressed. If I didn’t think it were possible I’d have never come to live here.

  13. Alf Baird says:

    May’s current Brexit proposals inclusive of the NI ‘backstop’ clearly represent a major breach of the Treaty of Union:

    Treaty of Union 1707 ARTICLE VI. Regulations of Trade, Duties, &c.
    “That all parts of the United Kingdom for ever from and after the Union shall have the same Allowances Encouragements and Drawbacks and be under the same prohibitions restrictions and regulations of Trade and liable to the same Customs and Duties on Import and Export And that the Allowances Encouragements and Drawbacks prohibitions restrictions and regulations of Trade and the Customs and Duties on Import and Export settled in England when the Union commences shall from and after the Union take place throughout the whole United Kingdom”

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