Well, where do I begin…? First, it’s probably worth saying that I could well have been wrong all these weeks for which I have been writing my thoughts on Brexit. Instead of deriding our politicians, I need to thank them. They have been doing a tremendous job. They are brilliant at it and I should thank them very much indeed for what they have done.
That’s a surprise, isn’t it? But I haven’t yet said what I am thanking them for…! I am tremendously grateful for their stupidity, incompetence and thoughtlessness because they have given me so much to write about. Without the likes of Bonkers Boris, Nutty Nigel or that Joyless Jerk Jacob I’d be stuck. So, I, first of all, want to thank them and all their colleagues for providing me with so much raw material.
There is a problem this week, though. There is so much of that raw material that I could write a book. It’s been a struggle to work out what I should focus on today. Do I start talking about the off-on general election? Should I begin with the sackings and resignations of Tory party MPs? Or ought I to be considering the negotiations that are only going on in Boris’s head?
However, I’d like you to consider this scene. A body has been found in a ditch by 21 middle-aged folks taking an afternoon walk. Inspector Barnaby has arrived, together with his friend Miss Marple and a chap they know called Morse. They all ask the walkers if they know the man in the ditch.
“We used to work with him,” they all say, “but he went bonkers and sacked us.”
The police arrest them all, thinking they are prime suspects and cart them all off to the nearest cop shop for questioning.
However, as viewers of this drama we all know that if Boris does end up in his metaphorical ditch, it won’t be the disaffected party members who put him there. It will be Dangerous Dominic who is leading the PM astray.
Several times this week I have heard people who know Boris on the radio all saying they do not recognise the man they are seeing. They all say he appears to have been taken over by some force which has changed his normal behaviour.
Whether that is true doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the man devising the strategy being used in Number Ten is clearly not thinking straight. Indeed, this week the original Vote Leave “route map” for success was revealed on BBC Radio Four. Nowhere does it talk about “no-deal”. The Vote Leave desire, it turns out, was for a negotiated exit from the EU – not “crashing out”. You will recall, no doubt, that we were told several times it would be “the easiest deal in history”.
Yet, now, we find ourselves with a rump of hard-line leavers forcing the Prime Minister to take the country in a direction hardly anyone wants. YouGov polling consistently shows that of the roughly 50% of the population who want Brexit, less than half of them want “no-deal”. In other words, more than three-quarters of the population do not want the Government to take the direction it is currently following.
Meanwhile, we witness that Joyless Jerk Jacob lolling about on the Government Front Bench showing his arrogant disrespect for us and his role as Leader of the House of Commons. Remember, this is a “Leader” who has voted against his own Government 100 times. Frankly, he is a complete and utter tw*t. Sorry.
At the same time, we have the Prime Minister saying he will break the law by refusing to ask for an extension to Article 50. That shows disrespect too for the position he now inhabits. He might not like the law, but if the Prime Minister picks and chooses the laws he wants to abide by, then the country really is in a very sorry state indeed.
He also cannot get a General Election as the rather amazingly united opposition parties (which are growing in numbers every day, by the way) are blocking one from happening. Until Article 50 is extended, they will not agree to a General Election. Yet Boris says he will rather end up in the ditch than extend Article 50.
Either he is going to have to abide by the law and thereby go back on his word (he often does that, so don’t rule it out). Or he is going to have to resign and allow a caretaker Prime Minister to go to Europe to ask for the extension. Or he is going to have to create a new piece of legislation calling for an election on a specific date. However, the opposition will only agree to that if the date is after 31st October – which puts him back into going back on his word or ending up in a ditch. The choice is his.
It is going to be another fascinating and entertaining week. Be prepared for more resignations (Amber Rudd won’t be the last) and more total tosh being spoken. You will laugh out loud this week, as well as scratch your head in amazement and find your heart beating faster due to pure anger. We are all going to be on this emotional roller coaster for some time to come.
If you’re ever in doubt about what is going to happen, it’s always worthwhile looking at the current betting odds. At the moment they put leaving the EU at only a 33% chance, but remaining in the EU at 75% chance. In other words, the people with money to burn on this reckon all the signals are this is going to end in revoking Article 50. And this week, I’ve noticed the word “revoke” being used in more political interviews than ever before.
I suspect that behind the scenes everyone knows that Boris could well break the law, meaning that as we rush headlong towards 31st October the only option will be a revocation. But all that will do is create another political crisis and emotional roller coaster for us lasting another decade or so.
Whatever happens in the next few weeks, this ain’t over for a long time yet.