I will include the statutory cute picture of Ava-Jane to lure in the unsuspecting who might think this post will be about my darling daughter, as the blog purports to be, rather than just me sounding off again. This one is at Caernaforn Castle with AJ’s absolute bestest buddy Eloise.
So my father-in-law seems to think that I knock off these Brexit diatribes late at night having maybe had a glass or two of wine… My father-in-law is a very perceptive man!
But in actual truth, I have had this one brewing for a while now. Ever since… well, ever since the last one probably.
So this time what has got my goat is the accusation that anyone who is not fully signed up to backing Brexit is somehow being unpatriotic and “doing Britain down”. This is the kind of thing you might hear from Jacob Rees-Mogg, our own dear B Johnson, I refer you back to his puff piece from the Telegraph or even the kind of thing that Mrs May alludes to with her “citizens of nowhere” concept.
There has always been a tendency for patriotism to be claimed as the sole possession of the right. They hark back to the glories of the British Empire, Waterloo, Agincourt etcetera ad nauseam back to Boudicca though they might prefer to call her Boadicea as all this renaming has the whiff of political correctness gone mad. I mean to say that if the Calcutta was good enough for the Black Hole, what is this Kolkata stuff and nonsense. But there are plenty of other reasons to be proud of Britain and being British: The Levellers, The Chartists, William Wilberforce, Wat Tyler.
And while all of the above could be debated to death, what we have in the present day is a very real and present danger to the very fabric of our society. The Brexit charge is led by what I believe is a fundamentalist wing of the Conservative Party. Their unswerving faith in their cause lets them believe that this threat of a no deal Brexit is somehow the interpretation of the will of the British people.
Threatening to leave without a deal, which some are touting as the only way to negotiate is not the sane business negotiation they envisage. Yes, if you are trying to sell a car and someone makes you an offer that it too low it is entirely reasonable to walk away. There is no deal but you get to keep the car – you are back where you started.
What we are facing is the kind of no deal that we have seen in so many films. This is where a swivelled-eyed loon might have a grenade and threatens, for example, “if you take another step, I will blow us all up!”
We might take some of them of us but we will certainly be doing ourselves the greatest damage.
I have been writing this post in instalments and I am now stone-cold sober and it’s not even that late but today is the day that we have been bombarded with all sorts of fantastically ironic juxtapositions of news. For example:
Last night the PM gave a speech telling the Russians “we know what you are doing” as evidence mounts of Russian state interference in the Brexit referendum. See here
. That’s great, very perceptive and brave But then the very next night she tries to fix a hard and fast time and date to leave the EU. Presumably because the referendum was the “will of the people”. But I’d say it’d be worth checking that we are not actually enacting the will of the people of St Petersburg before we charge ahead, no?
We also had the unlovely long-term Brexiteer, Sir Bill Cash, co-opting a cock-eyed view of history to serve his own ends:
“We have just had Remembrance Day. I just want people to reflect on the fact that those millions of people who died in those two World Wars died for a reason – it was to do with sustaining the freedom of democracy in this House.”
So, Sir Bill, that would be WWI when we fought alongside the famously democratic Tsarist Russia and at a time when British women didn’t even have the vote? Or WWII when we fought alongside the famously democratic Communist Russia? And when “this House” is about to push through legislation using a mechanism named after the famously democratic Henry VIII, right?
It’s our past not just yours and other people might believe that the most respectful way to honour the dead of those wars and so many before them, would be hold together a unique union of Europeans that has kept the peace in a continent that has seen centuries of bloodshed.
Something else that has been hitting the headlines since I picked up my pen is the wholesome news related to the Paradise Papers revelations. Now I know and you know that none of this was actually news. We all knew that Lewis Hamilton was a tax dodger, he hardly moved to Monaco for the miles of open highway upon which he could enjoy a good drive. Bono’s a hypocrite, you say?
And, yes, as we are obliged to say, “none of it is actually illegal”, well no, it isn’t, but it is all just a bit grotty. And then you have the owners and editors of the Brexit-loving wing of the British press: the Paul Dacres, Viscounts Rothermere, the weird twins who own the Telegraph and the pornographer who owns the Express all involved. These are the ones that will happily trot our headlines accusing judges who are doing their jobs for being “enemies of the people” or calling Tory MPs trying to uphold parliamentary sovereignty “mutineers”. These hugely wealthy men then have the cheek to squirm out of paying their dues. I, for one, certainly do not feel I need to take a lecture on patriotism from them.
To my mind it’s the same kind of patriotism voiced by people who say “Britain is the greatest country in the world” but then threaten to up and leave if Corbyn elected. So what made Britain great wasn’t the cricket, the eye-watering beauty of a Cotswold village bathed in autumnal colours, our proud democratic history, or our great cultural heritage – it was the tax rate. How shoddy! That seems a rather flimsy greatness to me.
I had better leave it there. I am not sure any of it made an awful lot of sense and I was a bit less sweary than usual but I felt I had to get these things off my chest!
It seems I credited Mrs May too much. Apparently though she knows that Russia is interfering in elections just not Brexit, even though there is plenty of evidence of precisely that. If Russia is doing what she said it is, it is in order to sow discord in “Western” states and to distract us from working against what Putin sees as Russia’s interests and what better way to do that than to support Brexit and Trump. Putin wants to make Russia great again and one way he sees of doing this is to set everyone else squabbling and you have to give it to him – it’s working! But our PM has decided to side with her sagacious (f)FS, who has no self interests here and somehow decide that Russia hasn’t interfered in a vote that has not only set one important European nation against all the rest but has turned it in on itself and divided a once united kingdom.
From today’s Guardian:
The prime minister yesterday supported the position taken by the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, that there was no evidence yet that Russia had interfered in Brexit. May said: “I spoke on Monday about the issue of Russian interference in elections. We have seen that taking place in a number of countries in Europe … the examples I gave of Russian intervention were not in the UK.”
Check out this pic of AJ and Nonny with Fo and Otto on their gee-gees in the background.