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)
As you watch Farage attempt to cowardly slither away from having to condemn his star MEP for suggesting that gay people could be “cured”, be sure to remember his UKIP days.
Bigotry latches onto Farage like flies swarming round an especially putrid shit.pic.twitter.com/AHGkv03wFD
— Graham Lithgow (@grahamlithgow) June 4, 2019
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 US–UK 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 …
“Look around you. I just don’t believe there are 14 million in poverty!” says multi-millionaire who spends almost all his time with other millionaires. pic.twitter.com/hJfJzWEkI2
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) June 3, 2019
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 …
“Donald Trump is here to save us. Save the world. From people like you.”
British Trump supporters were outnumbered by protestors as they came out to show their respect for the president pic.twitter.com/iU8EipmZzE
— PoliticsJOE (@PoliticsJOE_UK) June 4, 2019
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.
“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.