The real reason they call it Perfidious Albion

While the nations of the UK are snowed under by the Beast from the East, the bumblin from London is getting mired in the shit from Brexit. On Wednesday the EU published the first draft of the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU, which was based on things that the UK government had agreed to last year in order to progress negotiations to the next stage. Predictably, the British government has reacted to the draft treaty with yet another illustration of the origins of the phrase “Perfidious Albion”.

Theresa May, doing an extremely convincing impression of a Prime Minister who has no clue what has been going on for these past eighteen months or so, reacted with umbrage, outrage, and just plain old harrumphage. No British Prime Minister could possibly agree to the things that Theresa had agreed to in December, and she has no idea why Michel Barnier might imagine that the British government would agree to a guarantee to Ireland that it had agreed to last year. She might not be clear about many things, especially not when she says she’s been very clear, but she’s definitely clear about that.

The Prime Minister has no idea why the EU might all of a sudden and entirely unexpectedly bring up a guarantee to the Irish that the British government had signed up to several months ago just because it was now publishing its draft of the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU. That Irish guarantee thing was so last year, back when David Davis was still dissembling about the existence or non-existence of the impact papers, and those were totally different circumstances unrelated to what’s happening now. We’re in a different political landscape nowadays, one in which the Irish border looks very much like the London Congestion Zone.

Last year, in order to ensure that the Brexit negotiations could progress further than Michel Barnier rolling his eyes at David Davis while David fumbled with the egg and cress sandwich he’d got from Greggs in preparation for the talks, the British government had agreed that in the absence of any alternative deal on the Irish border issue, the British government would ensure that Northern Ireland would remain a part of the EU Customs Union after Brexit. The UK’s negotiating position is now that while this issue was being discussed, David Davis was not in fact fumbling in his briefcase for his egg and cress sandwich, he was in fact crossing his fingers, which as everyone knows means that he doesn’t have to abide by what he promised. So there. Nyah, nyah, nyah. Take that, Brussels bureaucrats. This is Great British negotiating. These are the skills that the British government will use to negotiate super-dooper trade deals with Burkina Faso and Belarus.

Not surprisingly, the Irish government is less than best pleased that the British government is trying to renege on what it agreed to last year. After all, in the past 800 years or so, the attitudes of governments on the Thames towards Ireland have always been characterised by respect, honesty, and an abiding concern to do the right thing. That is, if you define colonialisation, theft, land-grabs, mass slaughter, ethnic cleansing, and famines as respect, honesty, and an abiding concern to do the right thing, which even less surprisingly is precisely how some British nationalists define them.

What Theresa was very certain about was that no British Prime Minister would permit the EU to draw a border down the middle of the UK. It’s only the UK that’s allowed to draw borders down the middle of countries, like it did with Ireland and India. But the EU hadn’t actually said that. All the EU was saying was that the UK has signed up to a treaty guaranteeing that there will be no hard border on the island of Ireland, and it had reiterated that promise last year during negotiations with the EU. The UK can leave the Customs Union if it wants, but it has signed up to ensuring that there can be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland, and that means that Northern Ireland must remain a part of the Customs Union. If Theresa May thinks that it is unacceptable that Northern Ireland is treated differently from the rest of the UK, that’s not Michel Barnier’s problem.

As far as the EU is concerned, it’s entirely up to the UK to come up with solutions that can square that particular circle, solutions which the UK has so far failed to detail other than Boris Johnson’s wittering about congestion zones and meaningless waffle from the British government about technological solutions. Time is running out, Brexit is looming in a mere 13 months and so far the UK has done diddly squat. It’s taken the Dept of Work and Pensions eight years to come up with a technological solution to Universal Credit, and that’s still a disaster zone, so the signs and portents are not looking good.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Thatessempee’s Ian Blackford asked Theresa if she believed that the four nations of the UK were equal partners in the Union as she’d claimed that they were back when she was trying to persuade Scotland to vote no to independence. The correct answer is of course, “Don’t be foolish you silly little Celtic person, it’s only people who lose referendums who need to be held to account.” Uncharacteristically Theresa was unable or unwilling to lie and claim she really believed they were, possibly because there was no handy egg and cress sandwich from Greggs to disguise her crossed fingers. Besides, if she’d said that they were, people in the lesser nations might hold her to it, and she had had quite enough of the mess that causes from the uppity Celtic types in the Irish government. She certainly didn’t need any more snash from the Scots and Welsh, and certainly not when she’s got former Prime Minister John Major biting her ear as well. It’s like being savaged by a bichon frise puppy, and losing badly.

There are only three ways to solve the Irish border question, a united Ireland, a special deal for Northern Ireland involving customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, or for the entire UK to remain inside the customs union. None of these are palatable to Theresa May because she lacks the support within her own party in order to enforce any of them. The only way to solve the looming constitutional crisis between the devolved parliaments and Westminster is for Westminster to concede that all devolved powers currently exercised by the EU must return to the devolved parliaments. That’s not palatable to the Conservative government either, because Theresa May lacks support within her own party in order to enforce it and the hard Brexiteers would rebel if she tried.

The UK is mired in confusion and political incoherence because the first, and only, political imperative of the British government is to keep the Conservative party together and to placate its frothing fantasists who still dream of empire. Ireland, Scotland, and Wales are all to be sacrificed on the altar of Tory Brexit fantasies. The real reason that Albion is perfidious is because it is governed in the interests of a small and selfish elite and not the interests of Albion. The price of keeping the Conservative party together will be the the failure of the British government to keep the UK together. There are more and more of us who won’t mourn its passing.

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0 thoughts on “The real reason they call it Perfidious Albion

  1. We used to joke in school about that great football team Perfidious Albion. Turns out they didn’t really want to qualify for Europe….

    BTW, I have a poster for a Lake Garda area amateur game featuring a team called Perfidio Albiano, presumably founded by historically aware expats with a sense of humour. If still going, they might like to offer honorary membership to the Brexiteers.

  2. I could rant on about this Paul. However I will not as you have it spot on.

    Labour also must take credit for a future departure of Scotland and Ulster from the UK. They with the SNP and Libdems could have done a lot had they chosen.

    Labour and Conservatives, traitors all. Traitors to the people.

      • labour and lib dems where jumping in bed with the conservatives rather than fighting alongside the scottish goverment to respect the remain vote here as we voted remain thats a fact and theyve shown they wont respect that while the snp try to make it possable and it is doable the eu early one even said it was but like paul said thats not westminsters preferance having scotland remain in the eu oh no its englands way or nothing thats how westminster has always been and always will be lets get independance asap and decide on europe ourselves bugger england scotland comes frist.

  3. Pingback: “The real reason they call it Perfidious Albion” | Wee Ginger Dug | COMRADE BOYCIE: VIVA THE ANTI-tORY / BIG BROTHER REVOLUTION!

  4. Another excellent post Paul. I’ve been thinking, and that’s aye dangerous I know. But,but,but,would another answer to the Eu problem for the tories mibies be an indpendence referendum for Engerland. They could then go their own sweet way, and gie the rest o’ us peace, and live our lives as we wish to, not as they think we should.

    Too extreme maybe, huh?

    • Totally agree and have advocated this fo some time. I would wish them well in following a path of their choosing whilst we follow ours. We can still be good neighbours as we shall with any Country that does not wish us harm.

      • Completely agree. The regions of England have suffered as much from WM as the devolved nations have. English Independence could rebalance the social and economic deficit across the regions. And we could be good neighbours, and co-operate over areas of mutual importance, as we could with any other nation.

    • It was argued at the time of Indyref1 that if YES won Scotland would be thrown out of the EU.

      So. if England were to have an Independence Referendum and voted YES they would be thrown out of the EU without any of the current silly negotiations leaving the other 3 home nations as members.

      Result – problem solved and everybody happy until – iEngland was hit by the disasters following exit fromThe EU.

    • agreed let scotland deal with things like the eu ourselfs england can get lost wanting everything there way because thats how these talks have been the whole time.

  5. Pingback: The real reason they call it Perfidious Albion | speymouth

  6. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that Brexit is an English nationalist project, and that the expected role of the “Celtic Fringe” is to sit down, shut up and await their fate. When it all goes horribly wrong (as it undoubtedly will), failure will be blamed on everyone except those responsible for the disaster. We could all probably write even now the future headlines in the Mail, Telegraph, and Express, and draft the scripts for the news reports in the “impartial” BBC.

  7. Right on the money, as always, Paul. The only people who will mourn the passing of the Union will be those with a vested interest in keeping us “uppity Celts” in our place. And, frankly, who cares about them? They certainly don’t care about us!

    • so lets kick them to the curb then before they do it to us once we are of no further use to them.

  8. Is it bad that I have a certain feeling of schadenfreude when I think about Teresa. I mean, there she was, she was now Prime Minister, only the second woman to do so, mon the feminists!!! She was going to get things sorted. She was going to prove that now every female PM needs to be a Rottweiler with a hangover and a God complex. Strong and stable leadership in the national interest, remember?

    Instead, history will remember her as the total failure who stood up to the uppity jocks by talking to herself in a garden shed in rural Aberdeenshire, she stood up for the future of this great nation (lol) by losing her majority and having to beg the orange order to prop her up as PM, who showed all the steely determination of a wet paper bag in the Brexit negations… and now she gets to be the Conservative and Unionist Prime Minister who couldn’t stop the breakup of the UK.

    So sad, so sad. My heart bleeds rivers of blood for her.

    • TBH I’d hate to be leading (if that’s really the proper word for it) either of the main UK parties just now.

      The Brexit referendum was a clever wheese that misfired badly. It was simply meant to be lost and so put the issue to bed. Instead the enthusiasm of the Brexiteers was stoked up with promises of untold riches and a revival of Empire Greatness. And it’s quite tragic how this played into the dreams and frustrations of so many.

      Now the awful truth is out, and I’m sure both leaders know it, that Brexit would be a disaster. Yet it’s as if the Titanic’s passengers have mandated the crew to steer full steam ahead for the iceberg. They, the trusting souls, having had it drummed into them so many times that the ship is a wonder of Brit engineering and literally unsinkable. Even if that were true in her heyday, the old girl has rusted and strained over the years. But who wants to admit that their ‘fine’ ship is now nothing but an old rust-bucket?

      Worse still, the Brexiteers account for close to half the population, and the same is true within each of the major parties. So it matters little who’s currently on watch. If either leader swerves from the Brexit disaster course, close to half or more of their supporters and voters will rebel. Moreover they have ‘democracy’ on their side!

      Take a look at the comments section where anyone has suggested backtracking. The threats of mob-rule are barely below the surface. A whole mess of disillusion, hurt feeling, anger, scapegoating, racism and more. Isn’t this how fascism came to power between the wars?

      What a fucking mess the political class have brewed. Who now has the skill, stamina and indeed courage to wind all of this down so that cool heads prevail?

    • I did expect this Sam. Good that we are rattling them. If they had negotiated openly this would not have happened. Twats.

      • Not just the Scottish government mind, but also the Welsh.

        Step on the devolved assemblies with their Supreme Court and draw attention to the power grab, the nature of UK politics and the question of parliamentary sovereignty v popular sovereignty. OR watch as devolved legislatures act to protect the rights and laws of their populations without Westminster oversight.

        It’s a pickle for them. 😉

        • The deranged and incompetent embers (that was suppressed to be members, but the spellchecker got the better of me; I am going to leave it.) will not step on the devolved assemblies, they will stamp heavily on the devolved assemblies with the Supreme Court which, we should never forget, is in practice an English court.

          The media will then proclaim that democracy has prevailed to ensure that the will of the people to take back control has been achieved. God save the Queen, the Empire, Kate, Wills, etc. etc. Let’s have a wedding. Is there another baby? Kate has been seen in the snow without a coat. Dear God, I think I am becoming deranged.

  9. The problem with the Scotland’s controlling administrative centre (London) is that it’s never responsible for anything… It’s always someone else’s fault. I could go on ad nauseum with historical examples the French done us at Dunkirk etc.. but the most recent example is atypical: not outdone, outplayed and outfought by the Scots Rugby team saturday past- it was the referee who dunnit. No wonder they are doomed to repeat their failings and here we are led by donkeys.

  10. Perfidious Albion is well kent for renegeing on deals/treaties etc,the British Establishment is a by-word for treachery/double dealing,only those of a selfish psychotic nature could ever countenance being a part of this.

  11. Great fun watching the brexit mess develop. The only thing keeping this so-called united kingdom together is the stinking British nationalist media.

    • but for how much longer those cracks are getting bigger as the die hard brexiteers want brexit at any cost.

  12. There is still the Doomsday option for Theresa May. It just depends, on how much these psychopaths desire a hard brexit. The Doomsday option is them agreeing to Indyref2. Not only agree to it, but have the UK Government back Independence.
    Now this may seem unrealistic. However, remember we are now in Brexit World. Where a Foreign Secretary thinks it’s OK, to write to a PM and say; Let’s just have a hard border in Ireland, won’t make much difference. So this idea is a lot smarter than that.
    Just think about it. The SNP agree to withdraw their MPs from Wesminster, if the UK Gov. agree to back independence in a 2nd Indyref. That will give her the majority she needs, without reliance on the DUP. Also of course, the Irish border can then be in the Irish Sea and the DUP are irrelevant. Which then gives her the opportunity, of taking the hardest of hard Brexits, without worrying about the EU or the Irish Border.
    It’s the Doomsday option. A bit like pressing the Nuke button. But if we remember, it was the only clear answe ,May’s ever given in the House of Commons. When George Kerovan asked her; Would you press the Nuclear button? She said; Yes I would. So if she really wants to “take back control”, I’m sure she’ll have no difficulty in pressing the Doomsday button.

    • Either that or they’ll just sacrifice the Good Friday Agreement. Who cares about a few Paddy’s blowing each other up anyway……

      • dont forget the conservative party was the goverment that caused the bloody sunday incedent of 1972.

    • Correction: We withdraw from Westminster AFTER the UK Gov have backed Independence and we’ve won it. Never ever trust them to deliver.

      • Well, your right that no one can believe a word they say. That’s why it would have to be an agreement like the Edinburgh Agreement. Preferably with the EU signing as well, to be on the safe side. If it’s signed quickly, then we could leave quickly. The sooner the better.

        • Surely we have learned by now that we cannot trust anything the Britnats say or even sign. They have no scruples. Double dealing betraying going back on their word that is their way and always will be.

          • thats why i always say never trust the english because thats who the britnats want us ruled by.

  13. The wheels have fallen off the wagon and have then been stolen.

    Never in all my time observing politics have I seen such a shocking performance by the Tories and Labour.

    I think part of the problem is the creation of career politicians. Most of the Labour Tory crew could change to the opposite benches and be comfortable there . They have no passion its only about making some money.

    The shocking incompetence however is there almost daily it has become the norm.

    The media of course have to take the blame for failing to highlight the many shortcomings and double speak.

    I am terrified that we may not manage to become independent before they sink us all.

  14. Perfidy AND incompetence is a toxic combination – especially when played out on an international stage where the BBC cannot limit the public exposure.

    And how will this well justified reputation – the former long known or suspected but now in combination with the latter – impact upcoming negotiations with countries beyond the EU over new trading relations? The common sense approach would be a mix of very acute suspicion – is trust possible? – plus to take advantage of an increasingly perilous, desperate position (if not seeking even just a little retribution for past wrongs)!

  15. When it comes to it, I am fully onboard with a hard border between England and Scotland from the date the two countries become independent of each other, no matter how it is instigated. We have much more to gain from it than they do, given the products we export to them, in the form of oil, gas, electricity, water, not to mention manufactured goods and services. If we can strike a deal with the EU over manufactured and financial services and remain in the single market then the benefits for Scotland will be immense, especially after Brexit when relocating companies could well move to Glasgow, Edinburgh and other centres in this country to retain EU access.

    • just like they need us england has become a parasite under westminster surviving of others because they got nothing themselves merkel did tell them to start making stuff but they chose not to listern and yet the english come out saying the eu needs them or when we are mentioned its soctlands subsidised by the english taxpayer so remember when the english say others need them its always the opposite.

    • Going back many years, the English parliament sowed the seeds for all of this. The tories damaged manufacturing, and labour damaged agriculture, by their psychopathic policies of taking from their enemies to give to their friends.

      I have not known one English parliament in my 73 years which has actually had policies to increase the income to the British Isles. The main reason we have a finance industry is that Canary Wharf looks pretty and it is in the Holy London Empire. And, if you are already rich, you can make squillions more by wonderfully devious means and have fun while the lower orders starve which makes you look even more important.

      We were told not to be simple minded and childish. We don’t need to make things, others do it more cheaply. We don’t need to grow things, look at all the lovely things from France, Italy, Peru, etc. We have Finance.

    • Just read the whole speech Sam.

      Clouds and Cuckoos come to mind in a lot of it. I see the fishermen are being sold out as we suspected. I think they thought voting leave would stop foreign boats, obviously not.

      • That was the speech that was meant to save… well, everything. Lay out deals, commitments and such.

        It took the PM approximately thirty odd minutes to drive a JCB through the phase 1 agreement, the GFA, the standing devolution settlement and the 2014 indyref result.


  16. I know this post is a year old, but it is as relevant now as it was then. Change the number of months left until Brexshit from thirteen to less than one and you could publish it again word for word and it would make perfect sense. Nothing has changed at all!! Absolutely bugger all!

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