Brexit: Shambles and sham

Reaction to the resignation of Sir Ivan Rogers and others betrays a failure to understand Theresa may’s Brexit strategy – if one can be forgiven for glorifying her efforts with such a term. Alternatively, it suggests an unwillingness to acknowledge awareness of her true intent. Which is, perhaps understandable. The very nature of British politics precludes explicit accusations of deviousness and dishonesty. Except, of course, when the subject of those accusations is associated with the Scottish Government and the SNP.

The shock and rage at the loss to the UK Government of so much expertise at the very time when it is presumed to be most needed assumes that Theresa May is going into negotiations with the EU intending and/or expecting some kind of favourable deal. Not so. For all the public bluster, May realised some time ago that the UK was, to use a term that probably isn’t in Sir Ivan’s workaday vocabulary, screwed.

The UK was screwed by David Cameron’s hubris; screwed by the Leave campaign; screwed by large sections of the media; and screwed by voters in England. And it is about to be further screwed by the EU. Everybody apart from the Mad Brexiteers openly acknowledges this. The tone of denial from the Faragist Faction grows daily more shrill and desperate. Not all the the deserts and all the seashores of all the world offer sufficient sand to meet the demand from Europhobe ostriches frantically trying to bury their heads deeply enough to shut out the disastrous consequences of their folly. Why suppose that Theresa May and her clique might have somehow failed to realise precisely how screwed the UK is?

Sir Ivan Rogers and the others have been ‘let go’ because they are not suited to Mays true purpose. A purpose which has nothing whatever to do with negotiating some ‘red, white and blue’ Brexit deal, but with ensuring that whatever settlement is imposed by the EU can be portrayed as a ‘victory’ for Britain.

The UK’s departure from the EU – including the single market because that’s what Brexit actually means – long since ceased to be an exercise in diplomatic negotiation such as would undoubtedly have benefited from the expertise of Sir Ivan Rogers et al. If it ever was seen that way by May and those with whom she has surrounded herself, it was only briefly. It is now solely an exercise in political presentation. It is about a pretence of control. It is entirely a matter of persuading enough of the public that, whatever the outcome ends up being, it is the outcome that May was aiming for. And that, to whatever extent it all too obviously isn’t what was wanted, the blame for this lies entirely with Johnny Foreigner – and, of course, Nicola Sturgeon.

Sir Ivan Rogers very evidently was not useful to this purpose. Rather, the contrary. By simply doing his job, he threatened to make the deception massively more difficult – perhaps impossible. He had to go.

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5 thoughts on “Brexit: Shambles and sham

  1. Del

    It could have been worse. Sir Thomas More lost his head because his conscience wouldn’t allow him to sign Henry VIII’s letter to Pope Clement, or swear the Oath of Supremacy. As in “a man for all seasons”.

  2. bringiton

    It was inevitable that the English press would portray the EU as bad and now the great “opportunities” that being out from under Brussels rule will afford Westminster.
    No voting Scots are about to find out that a Westminster establishment,unfettered by EU law and effectively treating Holyrood as if it doesn’t exist (we will find out next week whether the “Supreme” court agrees with that or not) is not the benign supporting influence that they think it is.
    All of this is down to No voting Scots without whom none of this mess would have been possible.

  3. Alasdair Macdonald

    The vote to leave the EU has been a successful coup d’etat by a group of very rich people. They probably do not even merit the term ‘right wing’ because in terms of their exclusivity such simplistic categorisations are not particularly relevant. However, they have been uninhibited about using ‘conventional right wing terminology, such as immigration, welfare scroungers, etc. to win sufficient popular support. They are using the ‘leave’ vote to strip the majority of us of even more of our rights, to facilitate divide-and-rule and to make their position even more impregnable. Whether the ‘brexit’ is hard or soft, it will be tailored to optimise the benefits to the clique. They will increase their share of the wealth created by the efforts of us all, and distribute what is left, unequally amongst the rest of us. Through unemployment, poverty, imprisonment a large group of ‘outcasts’ will be created and they will subsist on the fringes. The rest of society will be organised in hierarchical groups with fairly well paid (but not truly wealthy and not particularly powerful) at the top, through several layers of decreasing earnings and fewer powers. The outcasts will be there ‘pour encourager les autres’.

    Scottish Labour and the Lib Dems exist only to try to ensure that their own decreasingly small groups have a place a few rungs above the outcasts. The weasel wordsmiths like Messrs Blair, Brown, Darling et al have been given their rewards fairly high up the hierarchy of the servants and are well enough remunerated and sufficiently safely segregated from the rest of us.

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