We’re now over four months into the post-Brexit trauma, and Theresa May’s Brexit plans are slowly becoming clear. There’s going to be more opportunities to win than in a box load of scratch cards that you got given for free. Everyone is going to win the lottery of life because being Great is what being British means. We’ve got the baking programmes to prove it, and that’s why there’s going to be cake and Britain’s going to eat it. Britain’s going to divorce the EU but will be keeping the house, the car, and all the assets, but the EU gets to keep the kids, at least those ones that haven’t had their teeth examined by Amber Rudd. And everyone is going to be happy and patriotic, except for gay Olympic fencing judges.
It’s going to be grand, because Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage both say so, and just like the Donald Trump whom they’re competing to sook up to they’d never lie. Let’s get on with cutting all our ties to Europe, they both urge. They’re a bit like the chieftains on Easter Island who called on their tribespeople to cut down the last trees on the island in order to move a big and pointless stone statue, provoking a total collapse of the island’s civilisation and a descent into human sacrifice and a cannibalistic civil war. The difference of course is that the Easter Islanders at least ended up with some big statues to show for their sacrifices, whereas the only beings who will express any interest in a statue of Nigel Farage will be the doos which crap on it. And anyway no one is proposing to throw Nigel into a volcano as a sacrifice to propitiate Donald Trump, which is a bit disappointing really.
I must confess I did get my hopes up slightly when I saw that photie of Nige and the Donald grinning in front of a pair of golden doors which looked like something from an Indiana Jones movie, and was sort of hoping that they’d open the doors and immediately be devoured by giant spiders, and or fall into a tank of ravenous piranhas. But it was not to be. Doors like that are more usually associated with Egyptian pyramids and contain mummies whose brains and hearts have been removed and are stored in jars. Which isn’t a bad description of Nigel and Donald, come to think of it.
Anyway, this week we’ve finally achieved a modicum of clarity on the UK’s Brexit plans, not due to anything that the government has deigned to tell us, but because of a leaked memo. The leaked cabinet memo has highlighted just how well prepared and organised the UK government is for Brexit, if that is by well prepared and organised you mean running around screaming in a panic with your underwear on your head while blaming everyone else for the disaster that’s about to befall us. The reason that Theresa May doesn’t want to reveal her hand is because there’s no plan. There’s no strategy. There’s no definition of priorities.
Over four months on, there’s still no strategy or common plan from the various parts of the British government. They’re still far more concerned with fighting one another than they are with developing a strategy that they can all agree on. Quite possibly because no one wants to be the first to admit that they can agree with Liam Fox on anything. According to the memo, the government may need 30,000 extra civil servants in order to deal with planning and preparation for Brexit. Instead the government has decided to embark upon the tried and tested British method of muddling through then insisting that the resultant cock up was in fact a bold and innovative new jam-like strategy which they had been aiming for all along. And anyway, the mess is all the fault of migrants / Brussels bureaucrats / Jeremy Corbyn /openly gay Olympic fencing judges, delete as appropriate.
The memo has revealed that Theresa May is as much of a control freak as Gordie Broon was, and just like Gordie now that she’s managed to get to the top of the greasy pole of politics she doesn’t have the foggiest idea of what she wants to do next. She’s presiding over a cabinet full of squabbling egos, whose ability is in inverse proportion to their sense of importance. Boris hates David Davis, David Davis hates Liam Fox, and everyone hates Philip Hammond.
Liam has adopted the gunboat approach to diplomacy in his contacts with our EU neighbours, forgetting that we don’t actually have any gunboats. A few days ago he pissed off other EU member states by loftily informing them that they’d have no choice but to allow a post-Brexit UK full access to the single market irrespective of whether Britain rejects free movement or deports Polish people. This is because, said the bold Liam, the EU has negotiated trade treaties with non-EU states who signed up to them on the basis that they’d have access to all the existing member states, and if Britain was outside the single market they’d no longer have access to the UK’s market, so they could sue the EU. It was a cunning wheeze of the sort that has seen self-righteous British colonialists bundled up by the irked natives and thrown into the nearest volacano. Then it was gently pointed out to Liam that since it’s the UK which is voluntarily leaving the EU, it’s the UK which is choosing to withdraw from the single market, and if South Korea is going to sue anyone it’s going to be suing the UK. So that was Liam burned.
Meanwhile in Scotland there are still voices calling plaintively for some sort of deal that will allow Scotland to retain most of the benefits of EU membership even though the rest of the UK has cut down the last tree and set off a cannibal holocaust even without throwing any Tory cabinet ministers into a volcano. Unfortunately for these people, that would be Wullie Rennie and much of the Labour party in Scotland, the only certainty from the UK government about anything related to Brexit is that Scotland isn’t going to get any special treatment. The City of London can get special treatment, Japanese car manufacturers can get special treatment. Parts of the UK which voted heavily to leave will be treated with kid gloves to protect them from the consequences of their Brexit vote, but Scotland will get what it’s given and will be expected to shut up. We’ll experience the full force of the UK’s stupidly selfish incompetence. There’s only one way Scotland can avoid being the sacrificial victims who get thrown into the volcano of Brexit.
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Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-15th-nov-2016
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