2007 - 2021

All Aboard the Thalassa Mana

We’re told a ship has left the UK for Japan with no guarantee of unloading its cargo due to Brexit. The U.K. business minister has confirmed that a trade agreement with Japan won’t be in place by the time Britain leaves the European Union. Cargo leaving Britain by sea will now be arriving at some ports after March 29th.

The ship is called the Thalassa Mana. It left Felixstowe on Monday and is scheduled to arrive in Osaka, Japan, on March 30, one day after Britain is set to leave the EU.

You can track it here.

We’re all on board. We’re all at sea with an uncertain destination.

When Donald Tusk speculated that there might be “a special place in hell” for those people who promoted Brexit without having “even a sketch of a plan” for how to deliver it he might not have been deliberately evoking Limbo (the “bosom of Abraham“) but we are clearly in – not just a crisis – but a period of suspension.

This is a 32 day interregnum.

We don’t know when or how the Brexit negotiations will end; we don’t know if there will be a second referendum a “People’s Vote” (dry boak); we don’t know if there will be a general election; we don’t know if the Conservative or Labour parties will still exist in a month; we don’t know if there will be a poll on a United Ireland; we don’t know if there will be adequate food and medical supplies; and we don’t know how there will be a new referendum on Scottish independence – or indeed if that is the route to democracy.

We don’t know very much at all.

Interregnum: a period when normal government is suspended, especially between successive reigns or regimes. An interval or pause between two periods of office or other things.

Theresa May is formally in charge she is visibly powerless: in office but not in power.

Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of a basket-case of a party.

Nicola Sturgeon is the leader of a country without agency in the Brexit fiasco.

This is a shambles.

And into that shambles pours all sorts of conjecture, insecurities and confusion, a mangled distortion of racism, triumphalism and a mix of both utopia and dystopia.

As Gramsci had it: “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear”.

Morbid symptoms.

One way out is the idea of a second referendum put forward by Jeremy Corbyn tonight. It is either grossly cynical game-playing or what he’s been saying all along depending on who you believe. Will a second Brexit referendum trigger a second indy referendum signalling that votes cast on dodgy and corrupt prospectus need revisited? Or will it suggest that any referendum has no legitimacy and undermine the whole process?

This is chaos being tied to a broken failed state plunging onwards in its dysfunctional politics and its incoherent identity crisis.

32 days.

All aboard the Thalassa Mana!

Comments (5)

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  1. simon cowan says:

    The idea of a second referendum put forward by Jeremy Corbyn tonight. is not true –

  2. Blair says:


    Looks like the Bible is True after all.

  3. Dougie Blackwood says:

    We are the cargo on this slow boat to Brexit.

    In the face of xenophobic propaganda from the tabloid press kind indecision in Westminster we await the inevitable collision. We are told that parliament will not allow us to crash out without a deal but, as the clock is ticked down some will be persuaded that any deal, even May’s blind leap in the dark is better than no deal.

    Will she get the Labour party to swing round and “for the greater good” sign up to her deal? Nobody knows, least of all Jeremy Corbyn.

    The worst case scenario is that we arrange a couple of months extension. This would lead to a never ending continuation of the chaos we have suffered for the past two years.

  4. John B Dick says:

    Like it or not, referenda are not mandatory. We were told in 1950 that only votes inthe House of Commons count, and the SNP target, till the run-up to the first Home Rule referendum was 50%+1 MPs.

    The old system would have been to set up a Royal Commission which would have taken a minimum of 3 years (more likely 10) to report,but Brexiteers were told, on the PM’s authority alone, that the willofthepeople result would be enacted.

    That promice no longer held when some other person took DC’s place.

  5. Willie says:

    Like folk waiting for the gas chamber or a reprieve to a life sentence of incarceration, democracy is absolutely non existent in Scotland.

    And welcome to the sight of a Scottish Government locked in a container on the Thalassa Mana being taken for a ride.

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