by John Ward
Another defeat for Theresa May, another cynical power-grab by a Remainer House of Commons, another massive march by the Remoanoid Sheep. March 29th abolished with the stroke of a Legal Instrument. Further ramrodding of the Constitution. But precious little from Leave leaders and voters. Only a miracle can save Sovereign Brexit now.
To the surprise of many, the Letwin amendment reviving Theresa May’s Magnificent Seven options passed the House of Commons last night. This means that tomorrow (Wednesday) MPs will vote on them to give “an indication” of what they can support as a group. It also, effectively, shouldrender May’s Withdrawal Agreement “plan” dead, but don’t bank on it: I only hope somebody somewhere has a good supply of silver bullets and sharp stakes.
As I posted last week, the seven options are a liar’s card trick designed to create Brino – Brexit in Name Only. Only ‘No Deal Leave on April 12th’ and ‘Tariff-free trade deal’ would deliver clean Brexit…and the latter wouldn’t solve the backstop problem….although that remains for me an invented problem. Of the rest, either Leavers or the EU wouldn’t accept them. The aim is obviously to guide us all gently into ‘Leave and stay in Customs Union’.
Memories are short, and lies feed upon such frailty. Nobody seems clear about where the Seven Options originated, but the fact that Oliver Letwin is punting them suggests very strongly they came from Brussels. As one of the few things all voters did know in 2016 was that leaving would involve quitting the customs union, positioning it as a form of Sovereign Brexit is a lie.
After the vote, serial liar Dominic Grieve was asked whether another defeat for May meant we need a General Election. “We could have one,” said the weasely one, “but the vast majority of MPs think this wouldn’t solve anything”.
This too was a lie: Grieve – and most other MPs short of a 15,000 majority – know that a General Election could well mean the end of the Gravy Train for them.
From Jeremy Hunt via David Cameron to Jeremy Corbyn and Hillary Benn, statements of ‘principle’ that later turn out to be lies to cover up opportunism are now the norm in British public political life.
The blatant, serial lying began when politicians grasped that media information overload guaranteed them a near-certain safety from detection. Jeremy Paxman was a meticulous detective in catching them at it, but he too grew bored with the process in the end. Who amongst us can blame him?
In 2002, Tony Blair’s chief spin doctor Alistair Campbell went on the Parkinson chat-show and gleefully admitted in front of 11 million TV viewers that his revelations about David Mellor’s sexual behaviour with his mistress had been the high-point of his investigative career.
“The best thing was Michael,” this empty shell of a human being told the Nation, “I made it all up”.
He was. A journalist. And. He made it. All up.
The audience? They laughed out loud, and gave this pathetically misguided jerk a storming round of applause.
It was a defining moment in my life as a Briton, for it was in that few seconds I decided that, very probably, I no longer wanted to live in Britain.
Lying non-stop to the British public about the real state of socio-economic and political affairs began with the Saatchi brothers and their campaign to elect Mrs Thatcher’s Conservative monetarists in 1979. Small juxtaposition of numbers and eighteen years later, 1997 saw the election of Tony Blair as the first “Socialist” Prime Minister in a generation. He wasn’t a Socialist (at University, he’d been a Liberal) but after his election as Labour Leader, he built around himself a small kitchen coterie of puerile thinkers and media manipulators whose aim was to achieve power by pretending to be NotLabour.
The leading figures were one-time Communist Peter Mandelson, PR hack Alistair Campbell, and the former adman (with whom I was well acquainted) Phil Gould. Gould – a mediocre thinker who had studied the election of Bill Clinton at close quarters – came up with the brand name New Labour. Much later – once established as Prime Minister – Blair hired the twin nitwit constitutional vandals John Birt and Andrew Adonis. It is a tribute to the sociopathically brainless nature of Blair that he ennobled all of them except Campbell. Perhaps Chemical Ali felt it was against his principles.
Twenty years on, the mantra “If in doubt, lie” is not only near-universal, it is positively lauded as the only way to govern. Jean-Claude Juncker himself told journalists four years ago – without even the hint of a blush – “when there is a lot at stake, the only solution is to lie”.
During the 2016 referendum, both sides lied to the voters. The default position among the Estblishment now is to lie, lie and lie again: the older ethic of perseverance has been replaced by an apparently eternal addiction to mendacity.
The Brino process we continue to watch with a mixture of boredom and despair is based upon lies…..upon which further lies have been overlaid, and then a third and fourth layer placed again upon those.
For example, during the Parliamentary approval of Article 50, the House voted overwhelmingly in favour of No Deal being the default Leave option. Theresa May herself said “No Deal is better than a Bad Deal”.
But then the Blairite-to-Grieve axis of sabotage began the No Deal fear campaign. Every last episode of this disgraceful agitprop bollocks proved to be either utterly baseless or outrageously exaggerated. But it succeeded: today, switch on any UK or US News Channel, and you will hear the same flocks of ignorami spouting the “crashing out, disastrous No Deal, hugely harmful” fantasies.
Somehow, a 4 ouf 5 pro No Deal Commons has turned into a ‘take it off the table’ Commons. No wonder citizens of the UK are bewildered.
Then May came up with the Chequers Deal, insisting that it “honoured” the principle of Sovereign Brexit. Every respected legal opinion from the Attorney General downwards opined that it did no such thing, but the Prime Minister continued doggedly to insist on the honouring thing….and now a clear majority of Tories are trotting out that line.
Tragically – if Matt Hancock is anything to go by – they are still trotting it out this morning.
Labour, meanwhile, opposes The Deal That Is a Capitulation because it has, more than any other group, swallowed whole the lie of No Deal catastrophe……a lie promoted by the very Blairites they claim to hate. And their lie on top of that lie is that they want an even softer brexit including a customs union which – during the referendum campaign – both Remainers and Leavers agreed that exiting the Customs Union would be the inevitable result of Brexit.
So Brexit has gone from being something without the Customs Union to being something within it. Can anyone show me an MSM piece anywhere prepared to call this out as Orwellian doublespeak?
A mere four days ago, Theresa May returned from Brussels full of seven guiding votes about alternatives to her Deal. These were rapidly whittled down to four. After meeting with her Cabinet, there were none.
Today, there are seven again. May says such approaches have been tried before, and failed – a reasonable point, but again, a lie about her motives: her instinct is still – unbelievably – to try and pump some more formaldehyde into the carcass of “her” Withdrawal Agreement, and drag it across the line. “It’s only restin’ – look. See, it moved. Beautiful plumage yer Withdrawal Agreement. They’re known for it”.
To rephrase the famous Mark Twain witticism, “Rumours of Theresa May’s political death are greatly overdue”. But will killing the EU’s pet hobgoblin really solve anything?
Addressing the Commons yesterday afternoon, the Prime Minister was asked questions about serious constitutional issues, and batted them off by answering a different question. The Speaker didn’t intervene because, as Speakers go, he is a severely stunted pygmy. Whether those questions were asked by Owen Paterson, Sir John Redwood or Sir William Cash made no difference whatsoever: she ploughed on regardless, and not a single Member of the “Opposition” Parties challenged her refusal to obey the Law of the Land…..because all they care about is their own goals, which do not match those of the People – Scottish Independence, a Second Referendum, to revoke Article 50 or whatever.
Thus, without as much as a murmur from MPs – Theresa May vapourised the 29th March Law leave date with a wave of her Legal Instrument, said the details would be debated on Wednesday and Thursday….and then departed the Chamber leaving everyone with the same old same old: it’s My/Merkel/Juncker Diktat, or no Brexit at all.
I hate to say “I told you so” to all those supremely overconfident Leavers, so I’ll just remind them, “You read it here first”.
But there is no point in replacing Mrs May – she is a pliant Brussels convert, no more – with another one of the same species. Her disappearance into well-deserved obscurity will be a personal delight for me, but no Leave PM candidate could get the support of the Conservative Party.
The success of the Brussels strategy remains, in my view, the triumph of organised lying over short voter memories. However, the key word there is “organised”. What we have here is a war of cheating persuasion in which Leavers have been comprehensively outthought, outplayed and outclassed by a more determined, activist and media-supported Establishment.
Tomorrow, MPs will try to use the Magnificent Seven as wriggle-room, and a way to disguise who did what to destroy Brexit. The obvious thing for Leave voters to do now is bombard their Remainer MPs with letters, phone calls and emails showing their intention of kicking them out come the next General Election unless they vote for the only two options capable of delivering Brexit.
Is any organisation in place ready to do that? Is the Brexit Party formed enough to do it? Will Farage call for it? No, no, and no again.
Thus far – with the possible exception of Brexit Direct Action – the Leave camp has been a shambles, and demonstrable public anger at the betrayal entirely absent. March 29th has become UnBrexit Day without so much as a whimper.
History, as Joe Stalin said, is made by those who turn up. Thus far, the 17.4 million have failed miserably to turn up.