When Sauron met Mr Bean

According to reports, the small elitist group of arch-Brexists in the Tory party who attended a meeting with Theresa May at Chequers over the weekend have taken to calling themselves the Grand Wizards. You know, what the leaders of the Ku Klux Klan call themselves, so that’s terribly reassuring. Only it’s not so much a burning cross on the lawn as it is a binfire in parliament.

But it’s true that the Grand Wizards of the European Research Group are magic, their intransigence has managed to make the UK’s reputation for stable democratic institutions and pragmatism disappear, along with their own preference for a no-deal Brexit. They’re what you’d get if you mated Sauron with Mr Bean. Jacob Rees Mogg was forced to admit on Tuesday that it was now looking like a choice between Theresa May’s deal or no Brexit at all. He was forced to concede that he was now “reluctantly” considering lending his support to the deal even though the DUP remain opposed to it.

On Monday, frustrated with the paralysis and chaos of a government which has lost the trust of even some of its own members, MPs voted to take control of the business of the Commons and to debate a series of what are called indicative votes. The aim of the indicative votes is to ascertain whether there is a majority for any approach to the Brexit crisis in the House. The approach to Brexit adopted by most people in the UK is to either run screaming from the room whenever the topic is brought up on the telly, or alternatively to rock slowly back and forward while crying uncontrollably. We are repeatedly told just how divided the UK has become because of Brexit, but nevertheless everyone is united in the fact that a huge majority of the population of the UK can agree that the English language has run out of words to describe the magnitude of the galactobinfireclusterfuck that Brexit has created.

According to a recent poll, just 7% of people think that the government has handled the Brexit process well and only 6% think that the UK will get a good deal out of leaving the EU. These are also the same people who think that The Clangers is a searing social documentary about life on another planet. Coincidentally, the same planet on which most no-deal Brexit supporters live.

A similar proposal a couple of weeks ago for MPs to take control of Parliamentary business was rejected, but even Conservative ministers have now got so frustrated with the delusions, lies, and inflexibility of the Prime Minister that they felt they had no choice but to vote against their own government. It’s not merely that Theresa May has long since become divorced from reality. Reality recently had a bit of a breakdown as it tearfully explained how badly affected it was if Theresa May attempted to approach within the same orbit on the galactic plane. Although it was reassured by the knowledge that this never happens. Reality has now taken out a restraining order against her and insisted on custody of the music collection, the coffee maker, the cat, and everything else except Brexit. Theresa May has become the Alan Partridge of politics, only without his self-awareness that he’s a parody.

On Tuesday, Theresa’s grasp on events was blasted even further into the most distant reaches of the galaxy when the DUP announced that it would prefer a lengthy extension to Article 50 to her deal. Despite the likelihood of her deal ever getting passed now being lower than the chances of Ian Paisley Jr leading the Belfast Gay Pride parade while bedecked in the boa his father woa, Theresa has signalled that she may not accept the results of any indicative vote that manages to gain a majority in the Commons. The government is not bound by an indicative vote, and Theresa May is not about to allow a trivial little matter like parliamentary democracy get in her way. Even so, she’s not going to present her deal for a third meaningless meaningful vote tomorrow because she knows it won’t pass. She’s not going to resign either. She’s certainly not going to change her mind. She’s just going to keep on keeping on, glowering at everyone and blaming them for her own mess. Theresa May is now the largest single obstacle to any progress being made in the British political process. She is the fatberg in the sewer of British politics, a glowering lump of unpleasantness that prevents anything else from passing.

Speaking to the Commons, arch-Brexist Andrea Leadsom said that the priority for the government was to ensure that it fulfilled the Conservative mandate given to it in the General Election by the voters. That would be those voters who ensured that Theresa lost her majority. This is possibly the first time that a British government has prioritised its election manifesto. Honouring the promises made to the people of Scotland during the independence referendum campaign has never even appeared on the Conservatives’ list of priorities. Some referendum promises are clearly worth more than others. Westminster always puts an invisible extra box on ballot papers in Scotland, and that’s for Scotland’s wishes to be ignored. No one ever votes for it, but it’s what we always get.

There are several options which MPs will be debating on Wednesday. The order which they are put to MPs will be crucial, as those who support one particular option will want their favourite to come last, as then those whose own favourite options have already been rejected will be more likely to support it.

The options range from a no deal Brexit, through accepting Theresa May’s deal but without the Irish backstop (which the EU considers a non-starter), Theresa May’s deal again, a Canada style free trade deal which won’t solve the problem of the Irish border, Labour’s plan to remain in a customs union, so called Norway plus which means retaining freedom of movement, a second referendum which could be linked to one of the other options, to unilaterally revoking Article 50 and staying in the EU. There is no guarantee that any of them will manage to achieve a majority in the Commons.

And then we’ll be back where we started, watching the Grand Wizards of Brexit perform their magic trick – making British politics disappear up its own backside. Scotland will be stuck in the cheap seats watching helplessly. They don’t want any audience participation.

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22 comments on “When Sauron met Mr Bean

  1. deelsdugs says:

    Great post Paul. She won’t resign. She won’t give up number 10. She won’t she won’t she won’t…do anything that’s in any capacity remotely democratically human-like. This is the money thing.

    And I’m still chortling at this: ‘She is the fatberg in the sewer of British politics, a glowering lump of unpleasantness that prevents anything else from passing.’

    It’s all true.

  2. benmadigan says:

    Given the DUP ‘s influence at Westminster, I suggest the “Grand Wizards” might be Orange Order leaders


    Further evidence: there actually is a Westminster orange order lodge!


    No surprise our Jacob is not among them – he’s a Roman Catholic and he’s just realized that Discrimination means Discrimination!

    • Charles McGregor says:

      If Moggy becomes PM he will be the first Roman Catholic PM ever, at least overtly. Blair kept his Catholicism under wraps until he left office. So it aint likely.

      BTW noticed in the National that the OO are now allowing members to enter a RC church if they want. What progress.

      Long live the UKKK!

      • Andy Anderson says:

        Blair became a catholic during his time as PM joking his wife who was a life time catholic. Who cares what religion anyone is. It is a private matter

        • Andy Anderson says:

          Arrgghh!! Following not joking

        • Charles McGregor says:

          ‘Who cares what religion anyone is. ‘. I don’t but my point is some do.

          BTW Blair resigned the PMship in June 2007 and converted in Dec 2007.

  3. Terry callachan says:

    Theresa May is called a fool by many and sometimes much worse.
    She is no fool.
    When you control the purse strings you retain a lot of power in any circumstances even when discussing brexit .
    Theresa May might still get support for her brexit ,especially if her deal is the last one considered after everything else has failed.
    Conservative politics is a very strange affair bereft of logic and balance.
    Westminster celebrates its ability to consume opposition.
    It will do so again.
    England will settle into whatever form of brexit it gets and the history writers will tell of the struggle and eventual victory for English democracy while the rest of the world shakes its head in disbelief.

  4. Illy says:

    My prediction is that all motions will fail, and we’ll get a no-deal brexit.

    Because that’s what the Conservative Party leaders (not May, the actual leaders) want. And Corbyn, but he doesn’t really matter much atm.

    New EU tax haven regs come into force on Monday, so the UK will not be allowed to be subject to them, by any means necessary.

    • Daisy Walker says:

      ‘New EU tax haven regs come into force on Monday, so the UK will not be allowed to be subject to them, by any means necessary’

      Not quite but almost

      Have a read of The Brexit Effect – Extra Time But For What its over on Wings in one of Nana’s links. 24/3/19.

      This bit is particularly important I would suggest.

      Parliament is due to recess 4 – 23 April, therefore there is really only 1 additional week possible for a MV.

      Under Treaty EU A50 exit day in UK law is 29/3. Extension beyond (in terms of A50 TEU keeps UK in EU as a matter of EU Law) BUT without UK domestic law giving continuing legal effect to membership.
      In order to preserve our EU rights into the extension period – it will require parliament to pass regulations extending them. (And this is unlikely as it would also include the Tax Haven Legislation).

      I hate to say it, but I suspect that the extension is enabling the Establishment to sneak past the 29/3, while at the same time removing our EU rights, protecting their Tax Havens, and kicking the can down the road again.

      One thing that was made clear – revocation without penalty has been extended to 12/4/19 – it will be interesting to see how complicated and convoluted New Labour (in all its shapes and sizes) makes this.

      Its also worth reading Jo Monaghan’s twitter account 22/3/19 about Blair/Campbell’s ‘hijacking’ of the Peoples Vote movement and the subsequent obstacles they’ve put and keep putting in the way of a clear and simple vote to revoke.

  5. Derek says:

    The soup dragon had commonsense and empathy. Unlike Mrs May and most conservatives.
    She has already said that she won’t rescind Brexit. 5.8 million votes on the petition and still rising slowly. What right has she to do so when she has completely lost control of the agenda?

  6. mogabee says:

    And so the day has come when we will know what way BRexit will face…

    Sooo sorry folks! Got carried away there and dreamt I was part of a rational, caring UK.

    It won’t happen again.

  7. Welsh Sion says:

    This from BBC Cymru’s Vaughan Roderick – one of the saner voices and indeed a columnist from the BBC you can trust. (Translation mine with a bit of help from Google Translate.)

    27 March 2019

    The road to Damascus

    Vaughan Roderick
    BBC Editor of Welsh Affairs

    When Teresa from Ávila was seven, she ran away from her home in Spain to seek martyrdom by fighting against the Moors. According to the story, her watchful uncle stopped her and it’s not clear if she was running through a field of wheat at the time!

    Another kind of martyrdom is facing the Theresa of our age, with no sign that there is a kind uncle watching over her.

    During the next few days, perhaps even today, Mrs May will have to decide whether to sacrifice her political career in order to get her Brexit deal through.

    That decision would be surprisingly difficult even if there were certainty that the sacrifice would be rewarded. After all, there is not much point in attempting martyrdom and then finding yourself in the middle of Purgatory!

    My feeling is that the numbers are not there yet and that Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson have left their conversions too late to be able to save the Prime Minister’s plan.

    Why then? Well, partly because of the fierce attack by the First Minister on MPs that makes it much less likely that Labour rebels will be willing to save her skin from the hard Brexiters who will oppose the coming deal.

    There’s another factor too. Today MPs will be holding a series of indicative votes and it is quite possible that MPs will rally round behind some sort of soft Brexit. If that happens, the question would have changed from choosing between leaving without agreement and leaving with Mrs May’s agreement to choosing between a hard and soft Brexit. As she gains the support of the ERG, Mrs May could lose more moderate Brexiters on the Conservative benches.

    I can’t be sure of this but it seems to me that Jacob and Boris have lost the last bus to Damascus.

  8. Macart says:

    Quite a show they’ve lined up for today and about now 2014 seems both a long time ago and only yesterday all at once. For those who voted no out of fear or misplaced trust? What you’re seeing now is the cost of that vote. (A few generations of disengagement, a fair old dose of political fibbery and more than a smidge of apathy will do that to people.)

  9. Robert Graham says:

    Your on a roll Paul ,

    The last few headlines to your posts make excellent material for billboards , any plans to make use of them ? , I am sure there are many out there how will lend a hand in anyway they can ,

    A whole independence supporting movement just waiting for some action , everyone looking for some leadership , meantime a lot of folk bickering amongst themselves on various blogs , we all apparently have the same goal , this backbiting only helps the opposing side , I am sure the security services are at work let’s not help them out .

    I believe I have just witnessed a first , during Fluffys wee spot in the Sun we had 4 Scottish Tory MPs one after the other magically called all with one aim and that was have a go at the Scottish Government , a government widely acknowledged as the most competent in Britain , But we have government ministers standing up ,bending twisting , bordering on downright lies ,

    Stop Press miss hair makes it 5 now , assisted by a Tory PM openly Lying to parliament by saying the Scottish Governments Tax hike is hitting many, what a load of guff and should be corrected by points of order ,

    Get off yer arses SNP MPs cause mayhem in this English Parliament .

  10. Mary mortimer says:

    Another good one WGD. Putting everything into perspective. Loved the * fat berg inthe sewer*. Been reading Jegget. If you know him at all, will you tell him to cool it. He’s frightening all the old Scots ladies. Tell him we’re aware of all scenarios and are prepared. Think he’s been living in Ireland too long. Missed your latest visit to Falkirk, hear good things of your visit. Be good.

  11. Andy Anderson says:


    How Team Ruth was broken by Brexit by Glenn Campbell

  12. Welsh Sion says:

    Tweeted by ‘our’ Adam:

    Adam Price


    So Mrs May is poised to become the second Conservative Prime Minister to leave the scene of the crime in three years. This is the polar opposite of leadership. It would make even Neville Chamberlain blush. Good luck to the Tory Party in finding a modern day Churchill.

    18:09 – 27 Mar 2019

  13. Macart says:

    This can only end well. 🙄


  14. Welsh Sion says:

    House of Commons – Latest.


    – I don’t very often swear, not even on public forums (? fora) under the semi-anonymous name I use here, but: What a f—-ing farce!

    • Jason Smoothpiece says:

      A farce it is but it is frankly starting to worry me.

      The levels of incompetence are startling.

      Many here laughed at the USA electing Mr Trump. Who’s laughing now.

      Are we seriously looking at Boris or Rees Mogg for PM ? What madness awaits us.

      I sincerely hope the SNP can engineer Independence for the people of Scotland in the very near future, or Scotland will have no future.

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