So does anyone know what’s going on? Nope. Me neither. There are just 63 working days left for Parliament before the Brexit clock runs out, and British politics isn’t just broken, it’s been reduced to its constituent atoms, sucked into a black hole, and squeezed out the other end into an alternate universe in which supposedly serious reporters stick a microphone in Ross Thomson’s face and ask him for his considered opinion. You’d be as well asking a balloon animal. And to be fair the BBC has tried that. Liam Fox is being interviewed on Newsnight as I type.
Absolutely everything that Theresa May has promised has turned out to be wrong. She is consistently and reliably wrong. There’s been no one in the history of British politics who’s been more wrong than Theresa May. Except John McTernan. On Monday morning Theresa’s little helpers were still trotting round the tellyland studios to assure us all that the vote was going to go ahead, until by early afternoon it became clear that it wouldn’t.
The vote was postponed. Postponed until when exactly, Theresa wasn’t for saying. Presumably it’s postponed until such time as she can come up with something that might allow her to keep her job and keep her party together. Since there’s precious little prospect of that, and the EU has made it clear that they’re not going to renegotiate the existing deal, the postponement is just a desperate attempt to delay the inevitable. Theresa’s going to do a tour of EU capitals anyway, begging for something that she’s already been told she’s not going to get. There’s that punching above your weight that the UK was so proud of. Not so much Brexit means Brexit as Brexit means that the people who told Scotland that it was too small to become independent are now reduced to desperate pleading for some concessionary crumbs from the Irish Republic, Estonia, and Malta.
The headline in the Guardian at the time of writing this blog article is “Desperate May reveals her plan B: to buy more time.” Which is a headline that could have appeared in any newspaper at any time since June 2016.
The only thing that this sorry excuse for a government cares about is the internal party politics of the Conservative party. Nothing else matters. We got the Brexit referendum in the first place because of internal Tory party politics, and internal Tory party politics have driven the entire Brexit process ever since. And we have to listen to this bunch of hypocrites telling us that they’re working in the national interest. Now the whole of the UK is being left to dangle on the Brexit noose until some unspecified time in the New Year, when Theresa might, just might, have come up with a formula that the different factions of her party can agree to. But the chances of her finding one are as remote as the chances of David Mundell finding a principle to resign over.
The only thing that the most ineffective Prime Minister in living memory has got going for her is that she’s up against the most ineffective Opposition leader in history. It is a source of amazement, a wonder of miraculous proportions, a record breaking performance that story tellers will be recounting to wide eyed children around the campfires of the post-Brexit apocalypse, that even when faced with incompetence and venality on the scale of Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn still can’t command a substantial lead over her in the opinion polls. Hell, never mind substantial, any lead at all would do.
In generations to come the word corbyn will enter the dictionaries as a noun meaning something or someone which is unfit for the task you hope to use it for. As in, “I tried to put together that new flatpack wardrobe, but I needed a screwdriver and I only had a chewed up nailfile that was handmade by a Bolivian peasants’ collective. So that was a bit of a corbyn.” Or as a verb meaning to refrain from action on the basis of some unrelated principle. As in, “Well I was going to save the cows from the fire in the cowshed. But I’m a vegetarian and don’t believe in meat-farming. So I corbyned them. There’s some cooked steaks in the fridge. A bit overdone mind.”
Labour isn’t calling for a no-confidence motion in a government that has pretty much abdicated any attempt at governing. After slagging off Theresa May for not holding a Brexit vote because she didn’t think it was going to be successful, Labour is now refusing to move a motion of no-confidence because they don’t think it’s going to be successful. And if the SNP, Plaid, and the Lib Dems move a no-confidence motion instead, well you can always rely on Labour to abstain.
No one knows where we’ll be tomorrow. So much for the supposed stability and security of the UK. Will Brexit happen? No one knows. Will this Conservative government last beyond Christmas? No one knows. Will there be a Brexit deal? No one knows. Will the UK manage to stay in the EU after all? No one knows. The only thing that anyone knows is that Scotland will continue to be marginalised and ignored and that Scotland’s interests will never figure in the calculations of a Westminster government. This isn’t a union. It’s a farce.
What’s the point of being a part of a so-called union that doesn’t even acknowledge Scotland’s existence? What’s the point of being a part of a so-called union which treats Scotland and its concerns with contempt and derision. What’s the point of being a part of a so-called union whose masters and mistresses play games with one another and as as detached from reality as a bad acid trip. Theresa May, she’s a bit of a corbyn.
A poll over the weekend found that 53% of voters in Scotland think that independence would be better than a negotiated Brexit, and a whopping 59% think that independence would be better than a no-deal Brexit. The events of Monday can only have reinforced the impression amonst the electorate in Scotland that Westminster is a confused dystopian soap opera which isn’t fit for purpose, and in which Scotland isn’t even a sideshow. The events of Monday in Westminster, and what may transpire the rest of this week, is only going to increase the conviction of people in Scotland that independence is better than this.
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