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So much butthurt
Last week, Donald Tusk (the European Council President) wondered what that special place in hell looks like, for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely.
The Irish Taoiseach (say: tea-shock) called him on it they'll give you terrible trouble in the British press for that, and sure enough the massive butthurt was swift and immediate.
Special kudos for the astonishing hypocrisy of Nigel Farage tweeting that "After Brexit we will be free of unelected, arrogant bullies like you [...]". Farage, you understand, is an arrogant unelected bully (he's an MEP, not an elected MP so has no right interfering with domestic policy or the parliamentary decision making process).
This also shows the deliberate "ignorance" in the fact that Mr. Tusk was nominated and voted by the members of the European Parliament, and those people are directly elected by voters. To this end, complaining about Mr. Tusk being "unelected" is not only incorrect, it's about as valid as complaining about Theresa May being "unelected" because the people did not directly vote for her.
As for Mr. Juncker who is also often attacked for not being voted: European citizens elect MEPs who then choose their president; exactly the same as British citizens elect MPs who then choose their leader.
There is an implied democratic deficit in that EU citizens do not directly elect the various Presidents, however this is partly due to the complications it would involve, and that a number of countries don't want to pool politics within a pan-European arena - I can imagine the UK being one such country as it would likely be seen as "creating a superstate". Besides, as I have mentioned, the British are perfectly happy with not directly electing their leader (unlike, say, France) so why should they have any qualms about this when it comes to the EU? Why? Because it is easy points scoring for a habitual liar like Farage.
Politicians called it unacceptable, and the newspapers that regularly ridicule the Europeans and EU demanded apologies.
Besides, as undiplomatic as his language was, Mr. Tusk does have a point. Brexit was a shambles before the referendum - back in 2016 nobody cared about such issues as the economy or the Good Friday agreement. They wanted to spend non-existant amounts of money on themselves, kick out foreigners, and issue themselves blue passports. David Cameron, the man who organised the referendum and then did an unbelievely poor job of laying out any coherent case for why the EU was good (instead the label "Project Fear" stuck) found that a remarkably slim majority of English voters came out in favour of leaving the EU. His reaction was to buckle down and make a heartfelt plea for calm and the experience of history as to why unity is a good thing.
I lie. He quit. He dropped the ball and simply walked off the field.
This led to a variety of backstabbings until the god-awful and massively incompetent Home Secretary found herself leading the country in an equally incompetent manner. It took months before she managed to produce a paper documenting her desired delusions. Along the way she held a snap election to "strengthen her hand" (the EU did point out that the number of MPs in Westminster means sod-all in Brussels) and that backfired meaning that in order to remain in power she had to cut a lucrative deal with a small group of nutjob right-wing creationalists who see themselves as defending Britishness against Irish nationalism... in a part of Ireland that Britain basically stole back in the days of antiquity.
Following her failed election, May then invoked Article 50 with no clear idea of what she wanted. Okay, that's not entirely correct. She knew exactly what she wanted, in much the same way that little girls would like a unicorn for their birthday. In the actual real world, nobody knew what the end game was to be. Britain was going to separate from Europe in... some manner... and all May could offer was "Brexit means Brexit", and "Red, white and blue Brexit", and the ever popular bullshit about the "democratic will of the people" (completely ignoring the democratic will of Northern Ireland and Scotland who both voted in favour of Europe, by a much greater margin than the referendum voted leave).
We had one minister overseeing Brexit negotiations, who more than once turned up without bothering to bring his paperwork. Because, you know, it just wasn't a big deal. I suppose at that point they still couldn't understand why it wasn't all done and dusted in a couple of weeks. After all, the British saved those European idiots in the second world war, so why the hell were they not just accepting whatever the British told them?
He was replaced by a new Brexit MP who, with the aid of many civil servants, actually managed to reach an agreement of sorts that both the British civil servants and the European civil servants could agree on. And he then advised everybody to vote down the deal that he spend god knows how much taxpayer money brokering.
It was duly defeated in a day of defeats that saw the biggest parliamentary defeat since ... what was it, the mid seventeenth century?
Europe, for its part, had said negotiations we concluded and that the agreement created after nearly two years of back and forth was the only one on offer. With a stunning display of typical British exceptionalism, Parliament responded to that by holding (and winning) a vote to get May to go back to renegotiate.
The thing is, it doesn't matter what May says. It doesn't matter what the EU says. Short of giving British unfettered access to the single market for free (and no stinking foreigners), there is pretty much nothing that the British government can agree on. May is a completely useless leader and isn't capable of controlling her own party, never mind presenting anything that even remotely resembles a "strong and stable" government.
As for Ireland, there is no answer. At all. The DUP will vote down anything that resembles a border between Northern Ireland and the mainland; and even if (hypothetically) all the other Irish political parties accept some sort of imaginary border between the two Irelands, the DUP would vote it down because they're genetically predisposed to reject anything the rest agree on. They were the lone voice of dissent against the Good Friday Agreement. Nobody listened to them back then, but they have to listen now because they're the only thing keeping this shambles of government in power.
One thing that Mr. Tusk's outburst did signal was a growing exasperation with Britain. After Brexit, Europe was like "oh my God", followed by "what can we do to help (but remember we have our red lines too)?". The mood now is more akin to "sod off already, we have bigger things to worry about".
I would imagine that if May asks for an extension to Article 50, the EU will offer one. And only one. Because it is clear to everybody that every MP in Westminster knows what they don't want, but few know what they do want and how to achieve it. It doesn't matter if the EU offers a single day, a week, a month, a year - this pathetic circus that the British media would be mocking relentlessly had it been some other country will just go on and on until Britain finally crashes out with no clue and not much in the way of hope.
Even now, the unelected Farage is vying to set up his own party (a different one, now that everybody knows UKIP's true colours) if Brexit is delayed, and politicians still talk of "frustrating the will of the people" and "we must deliver what the people voted for" (despite polling showing increasing majority support for the EU). The EU itself knows that Britain is in the middle of an identity crisis, which is why there are still many people who value their blue passports over the futures of their grandchildren, and why people would rather trust the likes of Rees-Mogg to make Britain trade with the world on WTO rules instead of easy and simple trading with the European Community. It's that exceptionalism again, it's the delusion that countries will be lining up to cut lucrative deals with a minor country of sixty-something million inhabitants who are perceived as both extremely xenophobic and unwilling to respect international treaties, especially those they helped to set up. That's probably why the politicians say that they can't talk about pending trade agreements. It isn't because they're a big secret, it's because they simply don't exist.
Speaking of don't exist, I still don't see one single benefit to Brexit that makes all the pain worthwhile. Asking any Brexit supporter will garner the usual mantras as if they're actually incapable of reaching any conclusion other than parroting phrases uttered by others. The more articulate might mention something about foreigners and hospital beds, as if that's somehow more important than the number of companies bailing on Britain. And, as expected, there are fewer hospital beds available now (than before the referendum) because of a sharp drop in the number of Europeans wanting to work in the NHS.
In reality, Donald Tusk is making a very valid constitutional point - that utterly no realistic plan for handling Brexit was presented prior to the referendum, nor prior to invoking Article 50. The people voted upon lies, fraud, and external meddling rather than anything that was even remotely possible. Another aspect of his consitutional point is to implicitly question how a fight within a political party can bring an entire country to crisis point, with a very real possibility of wrecking the country in the process. Additionally, why is it that a rabid out of control media are able to demand that government and British law are sovereign, and when British law makes a decision against their right wing agenda, it is decried as "enemies of the people".
That people with such morals as Farage, Leadsom, and Mees-Mogg "manufacture outrage" in response to Tusk's points demonstrate that this situation is not going to be resolved in any coherent manner. Indeed, if you think the butthurt of the past few days was something, if you think there was outrage, just wait until "the people" realise exactly how much they just got screwed. Cameron opened Pandora's Box. There will be fury on the streets. Politicians are aligning themselves in ways to advance their careers (hello Javid), and they will soon look to who they can pin the blame on, as if having somebody to blame is magically going to fix things.
It won't. Unless somebody comes to their senses and calls off Brexit (and takes steps to quell the right wing press), the British are looking at being a deeply divided country for at least the rest of my lifetime (if not longer). They're also looking at being a poorer country outside of the EU. And last but not least they are looking at being a smaller country for there is a viable case now both for Irish reunification and Scottish independence. In other words, a shell of its former self, probably still trading on past glories rather than anything new.
And the worst part? The architects of Brexit will not be going to hell. They'll be okay. They'll be insulated. Hell will be what's left of England (and maybe Wales) when the dust settles. Hell will be where the 17.4M who voted for Brexit end up - a broken country with more opaque beaurocracy, tax havens, no real concern for environmental issues, fewer worker's rights, and sod-all human rights. And the 29M that did not vote for Brexit will be taken along for the ride.
Is that what everybody wants?
Is that what anybody wants?
The final days are nearly here.
Maybe I should say, the end of times are nearly here.
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|BrexitIsBest, 10th February 2019, 21:39|
|Rick, 10th February 2019, 21:48|
And your typical Brexiteer response in 5...4...3...2...1...
|VinceH, 11th February 2019, 10:36|
Personally, I'd rather be considered an arsehole (for expressing views that show I want to remain in the EU) by a Quitling, than a Quitling by a remainer.
At least as a remainer, even if I am considered an arsehole by Quitlings, I come out of it with my head held high knowing I wasn't someone who wants something that could see the UK ruined, which I firmly believe is the most likely outcome if we leave the EU.
|David Pilling, 11th February 2019, 18:12|
I got a letter from my potential Labour MP today - seemingly free TV licences are to be taken away from 12000 homes in Blackpool.
|jgh, 10th March 2019, 03:50|
"a sharp drop in the number of Europeans wanting to work in the NHS"
You've accidently fallen into the trap many Remainers have fallen into, adopting Leavers' "us and Europeans". Errr.... we *are* Europeans* until 29th March. This is the "apples and fruit" fallacy.
(*ignoring for the moment the Europe!=EU bit)
|jgh, 10th March 2019, 03:53|
David: because of <i>Brexit???</i> That's a new one.
(Felicity? Marte? Find out!)
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- Migrants into Britain; Sorry, I'm an introvert; La Poste, what the hell? (2021/09/05)
- Passport; Oh, how stupid!; Tea; What broke the phone line? (2021/08/30)
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Last read at 05:25 on 2021/09/22.
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