by John Ward
Laughter followed by tears and fears in this post. In a small island off a small-minded continent, Little Englander pols are doing hysterical verbal somersaults in a bid to avoid being pigeon-holed as anything other than Brexmain in their outlook. But whatever her reasons were, May has put the European Commission on the back foot, and it is a joy to watch. Less amusing is the reason why she was allowed to do so: first because we don’t know what it was, and secondly because the 0.2% of usual suspects will have been behind it.
‘ere missus – them Towrees, roit, they’s all over the place on Brexit, inn they eh?
However, let’s not be in any way unclear about this one, Labour is united behind the idea of staying in the peace-keeping European Union that can do no wrong.
Or rather, it was……until yesterday, when John McDonnell made “a full-on Socialist speech” to Conference, including the view that there should be a People’s Vote on “the deal” that didn’t include the option to Remain. In doing do so, he was quietly floating the hidden agenda of the Corbynista privy council top brass to (keep it under your hat) leave the EU.
But Keir Stürmer spotted this and said no, there should be an option to Remain. So Comrade McDonnell air-brushed his own words of earlier that day, and said, “Keir is right, we’re keeping all our options open”. But then another acolyte on Twitter said, “No, John said the Vote should be yes or no on the deal because we want to respect the referendum”, to which McDonnell added, “I agree and be careful what you wish for”. So it was a sort of addendum to a mispoken correction saying yes and no, but with reservations about the future. Owenderboy Jonesavitch the Fascist-smasher was so confused, he decided to transfer the problem to The Other Lot:
Standard procedure for the Neverongs. But funnily enough, apart from the equally Orwellian propaganda of Rambling Sid Vulhovshit on Twitter (he’s so famous there, they named it after him) we have heard not a peep in the way of what passes for substance from the Chocolate Bunker.
It is five days since the Macropoleon outburst that insisted, “Chequers cannot be a take it or leave it”. Whether he was astonished about being told to fuck off, or just dismissing the May theatrics as so much hokum, is unclear. But either way, last night Downing Street issued a release confirming that the response to her lectern lob of spittle was, um, nothing. Nul. Rien. Nichts.
Amazingly, I’ve thus far been unable to find more than one MSM title (the Express) that ran with the release. Last week, I offered the view in these columns that this was the first time ever that a dissident EU member had tossed the exercise book at teacher and said, “OK genius, it’s your call – your turn to do some homework”.
But answer is there none. Nothing from Barnier on twitter apart from this yesterday:
Perhaps later today Michel will give a press conference saying that he’s very sorry, but the dog ate his homework book. I have it on good authority that Angela Merkel has a note from her mum saying she broke her wrist opening the sausage fridge. And Guy Verhofstadt himself met the PM yesterday: sources suggest he blamed “a big boy who ran away” with his homework, but then later changed his mind and said he “must have left it on the bus” on the way to Number Ten.
Oh how we laughed. But – for the moment at least – nobody’s laughing at all in Brussels. Here are some simple pointers:
- Look again at Barnier’s tweet above. He’s admitted that Brexit means “serious challenges” for the EU. I can tell you that he spent much of yesterday taking concerned phone calls from other senior ministers among the EU membership expressing concern about ‘no deal’.
- The Brexit Tory rebels are now armed with their alternative plan to the cadaver that was Chequers. Generally, the document has been surprisingly well received.
- The WTO gave only faint applause to the rebel yell – but made a point of saying that it should “not be difficult to minimise pain in the event of a No Deal Brexit“.
- Against expectations, Sterling soared on the markets yesterday.
- President Trump is on the point of signing, without demur, a major new mutually zero tariffs trade deal with the UK. Juncker’s great breakthrough, meanwhile, is stuck in the Washington mud.
- Further feedback from Westminster yesterday tells me that more Conservative MPs back a tougher stance with Brussels. This was confirmed by Kate Hoey (if you didn’t know this already, she is very well connected to – and respected by – Tory backbenchers) who said in an interview that “a major change in attitude” was apparent now on Brexit: that, ironically, no deal really is better than a bum deal.
The simple truth is this: the Brussels Commission has gone into a huddle, because it genuinely did not expect to find itself on the back foot.
But equally – as I have maintained from the outset – the Soviet-style solidarity of Salzburg is Cloud-cuckoo cover for a deeply divided EU. And this division goes well beyond the ClubMed and Eastern States.
I read the major French and European titles regularly; on a day-to-day basis, the mainland journalists are united on two matters: they clearly don’t get why Britain has had enough of the EU, but they also don’t pander to the “everything’s tickerty-boo” EU line any more either.
Now I can reflect this, do research, question the validity of stats and show irrefutable evidence of bent data, illegal central banking procedures, the insanity of the Greek ‘success’ nonsense and hardening attitudes among the Club Med and Visograd countries. ….and still the Adonisheads out there will shout and pout and disbelieve. But the reality is not as May, Hammond, Robbins, Juncker, Verhofstadt and Macron would have us believe.
It is the Remaindeer who have put the ‘Little’ into ‘England’. They don’t read the mainland media, they don’t travel widely, they don’t talk to real people, and most of all they don’t understand two things: the reality of the financialised mess behind the “growth” spin; and the invisible Giga-Rich pulling the strings in favour of killing Brexit.
The truly delicious twist we might possibly be about to witness, in fact, is several senior Europols being forced to wonder whether this time they might have a tricky decision to make: do I continue to just do as the Geopolitical Giga-Rich Gargoyles say even if it means falling on my sword?
One factor hugely underplayed (or just not known) in the UK is the frosty nature of the Merkel-Macron relationship. Macron resents the German attempt to start putting the heat on France to balance its budgets. Merkel believes Macron’s Brexit inflexibility is getting in the way on Brexit. Macron is annoyed by the imperious way in which Merkel has shuffled her candidate onto the next EC President throne. Merkel in turn distrusts the French leader’s naked-banker neoliberal ideology, which isn’t the German way. Macron lashed out at EU members who won’t take their allotted migrant quotas. Merkel sees this as insensitive given her own migrant dilemma.
The very formation of the original EEC was encouraged and bankrolled by Washington as a way to stop squabbles between Germany and France….thus making the continent safe for
democracy NATO US business. Now Trump has said the EU gets too much from US business.
The real European Union (and euro) situation is one of skating on thin ice because all the land surrounding the lake is quicksand. Their terra is very decidedly not firma.
I stick to my guns on this one: I still believe there will be a deal.
But somewhere out there at the top of the global Power Pyramid, somebody or something among the O.2% has decided that the EU is maybe getting too big for its boots. Because otherwise, I do not believe Theresa May would’ve been daft enough to cling to The Chequers Plan, and then in turn obdurate enough to put her foot down. She would’ve needed permission to do that.
Of course, there is an element of showboating and playing to the lumpen proles in all this. It has to look real.
But why wait until now for the Cabaret playlet? Perhaps a few movers and shakers in one or more Alt States can benefit from a chaotic EU. Perhaps they think a divided, fragile Europe creates a better case for bigger NATO budgets and more demonisation of Russia. Perhaps a hidden British alliance in the developing alternative global hegemony has made EU defeat the price of coexistence with the US Energy-Industrial complex.
There is no way that anyone beneath that rarified group knows whatTF is really going on behind the scenes. Myself and millions of others are tired of playing the guessing game: we’d simply like all these puppeteers to be gone forever. Perhaps as I suggested recently, only Crash2 can deliver that.
Perhaps. On verra.