Friday 29th March 2019. The day of publication of this article and the day that the United Kingdom officially left the European Union. …er…or not. Why not? Well, there is a story attached to that:
There are very good reasons to dislike the EU whichever side of the political divide you happen to be on. And of course there are very many who like it very much. Of the political classes there is a group who dislike it so much that they were/are prepared to say/do anything to get us out of it and those people are the extreme right wing who inhabit the British Conservative and Unionist Party. Such a problem has this been to those who have had the misfortune to be in charge of that party that it has cost the political lives of most of them. To circumvent the problem one of them, a certain David Cameron, decided that it would be a good idea to hold a national referendum not for the good of his country but in order to tame the extreme right within his ranks since (he thought) he couldn’t possibly lose. He lost. And then buggered off quick in order to avoid the fall out.
In came Theresa May who, despite having supported a remain vote, made it her job to deliver this ‘Brexit’. She could have discussed this with all interested parties – business, the unions, other political parties, academics, economists, experts – but instead she decided from the outset that it would a ‘closed shop’. It would be her and her chosen advisors who would negotiate a deal to leave. As far as we can see she did this for the benefit of her party – to keep the right wing happy – and the rest of us could go hang. The fact that she was utterly clueless about negotiating didn’t help and she pretty much lost the goodwill of the EU who identified in fairly short order that she didn’t have the first idea what she was talking about. And then she had the temerity to demand that parliament ‘put the country first’ and support the dog’s dinner of a deal that she confronted them with. Parliament didn’t kow-tow and she lost not one but two votes by vast majorities. And if the rest of us thought we might get a chance to comment on the deal in the form of a further referendum then we are left whistling. She even offered to resign as leader of the party if they got behind her and voted the deal through.
The utter contempt of the woman – behaving as if giving up a party leadership were the ultimate sacrifice when the principled thing to do would be to admit defeat and actually find a solution based on compromise and (internal national) negotiation. So as it stands we as a nation aren’t leaving today but it might be some time in April. Maybe. Who really knows. We are all going to end up losers.
And whilst all this goes on bear in mind that official statistics released this week show that four million – four fucking million – children in this country live in ‘absolute poverty’. For shame.