Well that went well. After loudly proclaiming that it’s time to get down to business with the EU, David Davis, the Secretary of State for Thick Vain Lazy Toads, spent less than 15 minutes with Michel Barnier in Brussels followed by a cursory meeting involving senior officials lasting an hour before heading back to London in order to leak something embarrassing to the newspapers about his colleagues. Who wants to be in Brussels ensuring that the country isn’t turned into an economic basketcase worse than the worst predictions made for Scotland by the frothiest of frothing Unionists during the independence campaign when there’s very serious business in London to get back to – shafting fellow members of the government as they all jockey for position once Theresa May has been tossed off the Brexit cliff along with the economy.
You’d have thought that 110 days after his boss pressed the big red Brexit button – the one marked “self-destruct” – the time to get down to business would have been quite some time ago, especially since there are only 730 days between pressing the button and the whole thing exploding in our faces in a very unpleasant mess. 15% of the available negotiating time has already passed, much of which was taken up with an entirely unnecessary vanity election for Theresa May which ended in a debacle, much like the EU negotiations are shaping up to be. Yet here we are, with one seventh of the available negotiating time already eaten up, and still we’ve got no idea of what the British government actually wants to get out this process other than a magic unicorn and all the advantages of EU membership without having to pay for them or being a member.
A photo of the encounter between Dave and Michel showed the EU side, two women and a man, with stacks of briefing papers in front of them, while the all male British team was fronted by nothing more than an embarrassed smile and a vacant expression as they wondered whether the women were train drivers. The British press team insisted that the lack of briefing papers on the table was merely because Dave hadn’t retrieved his documents from his briefcase, which is possibly the first time in history that a half-eaten M&S coronation chicken sandwich and a dog eared copy of the Daily Mail open at a page with a photo of Michael Gove which has been defaced by crudely drawn spectacles and a beard have been described as diplomatic papers. He did have a piece of paper in his pocket saying “have cake, eat cake, remember to pop into M&S on way back from Eurostar”, which is as close to a negotiating strategy that the UK has got.
This was what Dave had touted as the “row of the summer” just a few months ago, when he’d also claimed that as soon as the Brexit starting pistol was fired he’d forget about Brussels and be off to Berlin to do a deal with an eager Angela Merkel. It fell much further short of a row than the distance between Brussels and Berlin. In fact the row of the summer goes hadn’t got any further than the cabinet office in Whitehall, where the real row of the summer was taking place.
This is the row that involves nasty Tories leaking anonymous briefings to the press that their nasty Tory colleagues are in fact nasty Tories. Someone called Dave a vain thick lazy toad, said that Phil Hammond was sexist, and that Boris Johnson was a boorish buffoon, and then everyone blamed Michael Gove for being a crawling wee gobshite whose idea of politics is to stab his friends in the back before his enemies do. All of which may be true, but none of which comes as any surprise. The only surprising thing about a press release slagging off a Tory cabinet minister from anyone who is described as a friend of Michael Gove is that Michael Gove has anyone who can be described as a friend.
Whitehall rumour has it that the Toady One only got the negotiating gig because when Action Man Dave was a member of the SAS he was trained to garotte the enemy with a length of chicken wire. This is about as close as anyone in the UK government is able to get to an understanding of EU poultry subsidies in Latvia. However as anyone who ever possessed an Action Man as a child will know, the Action Man figure is missing certain vital bits. In Dave’s case the vital bits consist of anything approaching a semblance of awareness that he and his colleagues are sleepwalking the UK into one almighty disaster.
According to the Guardian, some Conservative MPs are going to attempt to get rid of Theresa May after Westminster’s summer break, which is due to begin on Friday. The only thing uniting the Tory party at the moment is the need to avoid another General Election, because they’re afraid that they’ll get humped. With the Tories party interest always comes first and foremost, and if securing the interests of the Conservative party means bringing down the economy, falling out of the EU with the worst deal possible, and turning the UK into an even bigger laughing stock internationally than Donald Trump, then so be it. Back in 2014 we were told that Scotland needed the broad shoulders of the UK and the security and stability of Great Britain. So how is that working out, hmm?
None of this is going to get any better any time soon. The Tory party will continue tear itself apart as its leaders fight for the captaincy of the Titanic. Labour will continue to make all sorts of fine sounding promises and then fail utterly to deliver on them. Britain will continue to slide towards irrelevance and the potential of economic disaster. For independence supporters, it’s pretty much a question of allowing the UK to destroy itself. But that doesn’t mean we can sit back with the popcorn. Not everyone joins up the political dots. We need to use this time of weakness in Westminster to organise, build a coherent story of the better Scotland that is possible, and educate people that talking about independence is not a distraction from education, health, jobs or public services, independence is the only way to secure them in an increasingly insecure British state. The collapse of Westminster into a mire of its own manufacture wins us only half the battle, we need to win the other half ourselves. While the Tories consume themselves in their row of the summer, let’s get winning the case for independence.
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