Everything on the Table

The phrase “everything on the table” is intended to portray a stance of openness and innovation. It turns out it has more of a surgical vibe, and not in a good way. Trumps faux pas, which they are trying (and failing) to row back on today was a revelation that shouldn’t be lost on us.

As you sit mesmerised at the spectacle of £25 million going on security for a Trump visit that delivered nothing, at least be grateful for his blooper-gift of a glimpse into Brexit reality.

As you sit and watch this pantomime unfold, Jared and Ivanka stare back at you. The dynastic nature of Trump rule is on show in London with a regime riddled with corrupt patronage. Most of the family was here on show, siblings, Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric and now Tiffany, who we were told was “dripping in diamonds“. Still, if the Windsors and the Trumps needed to find something in common to fill those awkward silences at banquet, maybe they could bond over the fact they’re both large extended families of useless hangers-on?

Trump’s Royal visit has laid open the trade-imperatives of a broken political class. But the idea of a trade deal to “replace the EU” in which we come to the table from a position of power was revealed as a fantasy. But more than that, as the banquets rolled on the Brexit narrative – forgotten people, quiet majority, legitimate concerns – was being lost.

The desperation of the Conservative Party as it grabs the Boris Johnson leadership to fend off the looming sub-fascism of the Farage movement has coughed up these three unexpected messages:

Fix the Gays (Anne Widdecombe)
Sell the NHS (Oh God I didn’t mean to say that in public)
Deregulate our Food Standards (from Coronation Chicken to Chlorinated Chicken in one gulp)


An Atlantic Bridge

The idea that the Special Relationship can save us from Brexit economically seems spurious.

We know already that a swarm of lobbyists and think-tanks have been working behind the scenes to deliver just the sort of trade deals that Trump let out of the bag. It’s a network that includes the sort of people around the now disbanded Atlantic Bridge, the IEA, the Cato Institute and the Atlas Enterprise, as mapped by Mat Hope and Chloe Farand here:

“A close look at the transatlantic connections of the London-based groups pushing for the most deregulated form of Brexit reveals strong ties to major US libertarian influencers. These include fossil fuel magnates the Koch brothers — known for funding climate science denial around the world — and the man who bankrolled Donald Trump’s campaign, Robert Mercer.

At the heart of this network lies a little-known power couple, Matthew and Sarah Elliott. Together, the husband and wife team connect senior members of the Leave campaign and groups pushing a libertarian free-market ideology from offices in Westminster’s Tufton Street to major US libertarian lobbyists and funders.

Collectively, the network aims to use Brexit as an opportunity to slash regulations in the UK, paving the way for a wide-ranging USUK free-trade deal that could have disastrous consequences for the environment.”

State of Delusion

As we stagger towards Halloween, wondering if any of this really is happening, mass delusion seems infectious.

Poor Old Donald seems to have not seen any protestors (they literally had a statue of you shitting in  gold potty mate) and poor old Philip Hammond seems to be oblivious too …



Perhaps the strange days can be captured best by these people explaining how Trump is here to save us, and God and respect and pussy-grabbing and, er …



Late Stage Brexit

As Brexit morphs and congeals, there are political consequences.

What does it do for the case of Brexit as populist revolt to be hitched to a Boris Johnson Prime Ministership?

What does it do to a case for Lexit that key institutions are all “on the table”?

The answer to the first is it destroys the notion that the business elites don’t want Brexit to happen.

The answer to the second is that it inverts the current story that being in the EU prevents us from the socialist revolution that’s just around the corner when a Labour government sweeps to power making public ownership impossible. Actually what Brexit does is open up key institutions to deregulation and privatisation and many of those deals are at an advanced stage. These people may be useless politicians but they are expert money-grabbers.

This new late stage Brexit has other unintended consequences. For one, as Kenny Farquharson writes “The truth is that Project Ruth has been holed below the waterline by Operation Arse.”

Finally the myth of Ruth Davidson can be laid to rest.

Farquharson continues:

“Ms Davidson’s choice was stark: acquiescence or revolt. She chose the former but had she fully thought through the consequences? If Mr Johnson, as the bookies believe, becomes prime minister in the coming weeks, does she think for a moment that Scottish voters will forget what she has already said about him? Will they really have no memory of her withering contempt for his character, his judgment, his sexual incontinence, his mendacity?

When the moment comes and Ms Davidson has publicly to praise Mr Johnson as a leader, a thinker, a statesman, will she expect us to believe a word she says? And if she is insincere about the prime minister, why should we believe her to be sincere about anything else? Specifically, why should we trust her as first minister of Scotland?”

Who knew she was a naked opportunist willing to do and say anything for power?

I for one am shocked.

But as Ivanka and Jared stare at you like an expensive re-make of the Turn of the Screw, remember everything’s on the table.





















Comments (7)

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  1. Willie says:

    Aye, everything’s on the table, but what’s off is democracy.

    Like many a South American country people in the grip of a USA inspired plot for regime change, we now have a clear view of how exactly the same thing is now being visited on the UK.

    Like a 21st century Mussolini our Vichy royal family have given Trump the Royal stamp of approval whilst Corbyn and theLondon mayor are consigned to the gutter of irrelevance.

    1. Jo says:

      I rather think it’s the governing Party that’s given Trump the seal of approval! Look at them! All jostling for position, wanting an invite to private meetings with him, hanging on his every word…all on issues that are none of his darn business! Yet, there he was directing the Tory leadership campaign and patronising the current leader… something her own husband chortled away at from the front row. And our media. All over him, indulging him by showering him with the attention he craves. There he was, getting involved in Brexit. There he is tonight in Ireland patronising the Irish leader….”the border thing will be fine. There are good minds in London working on that.” Who? Boris? IDS? Nigel?

      And you blame Lizzie? It wasn’t Lizzie who invited Trump and his equally awful family. It was Theresa May. Lizzie is a bit player at these events. Only one group gave Trump the stamp of approval on this visit. The Tory Party.

      1. MBC says:

        Agree. Leave the Queen out of it. She had no choice in the matter. I felt sorry for her having to entertain this family of scumbags. Charles meanwhile did his best in a 90 minute conversation that was supposed to last only 15 minutes to convince Drumpf that climate change was man made and that the environment was in serious danger. He didn’t succeed but he had a good go.

  2. SleepingDog says:

    Which makes the timing of BBC’s rerelease onto iPlayer of Storyville: Decadence and Downfall: The Shah of Iran’s Ultimate Party all the more interesting.
    “In 1971, the Shah of Iran, the self-proclaimed ‘king of kings’, celebrated 2,500 years of the Persian monarchy by throwing the greatest party in history. Money was no object – a lavish tent city, using 37km of silk, was erected in a specially created oasis.”

    Incidently, the verb “to table” has opposite meanings in the UK and USA.

  3. MBC says:

    The NHS is the final tie binding the UK together into something like a sacred trust. If that goes, what else is there of Britain to belong to or be proud of? The Tories have run down our armed forces and sold off our public goods. The NHS is the last bit of British identity and civilisation left that you could conceivably be proud of. But how do we get out the word? How do we relay the news to the over 65s who voted for Brexit that their trust was in a chimera that will see them into an early grave?

    In this whole Brexit saga the one thing that has become clear to me is just how slow on the uptake the general public are.

  4. Wul says:

    My stomach turned when I heard the word “NHS” come out of Trump’s mouth. I felt truly disgusted.

    “£365 million a week in profit, to be made from your NHS” The bus advert should have read.

  5. Alistair Taylor says:

    Excellent article Mike. Thank you.

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