Since I am still failing to summon the effort to talk about politics in any meaningful sense, I think it’s instructive to have a look at what Pete North, someone who has been vehemently against the EU for a very long time, has to say about the looming clusterfuck of trying to extricate ourselves from it:
We are told Brexit means Brexit but in truth the government has no way of satisfying the expectations of leavers without inflicting a good deal of unnecessary self-harm. People think we are leaving a European legal system but it isn’t that simple. We are stepping out of a partition and into a broader global legal system where we have to reconfigure our own laws while honouring legacy commitments and also being mindful that close cooperation is still a necessity for the normal functioning of business.
The leave campaign has caused a number of problems. They pretended that sunlit uplands were only a single bound away and that the alternative is instantly preferable to EU membership. It isn’t.
The thing is, I think Mr North, something of an inverse stopped clock (as in, I’ll be nodding along to a lot of what he says and then suddenly come to a screeching halt as I reach something I’m violently unhappy with) and me would probably agree more on this whole thing than I’d care to admit, despite my being a pinko lefty bastard. The principal difference is that I want us to stay in the EU and he doesn’t.
David Davis, Liam Fox and the other cretins currently in charge of trying to extract ourselves from the EU are singularly not up to the task of it. Unfortunately for them and for us, “get us out of Europe” is a nice enough slogan but one that can be spouted without having to acknowledge the fact that the UK is deeply, deeply integrated with the EU from almost the roots on up, and to yank ourselves out of that is at best something that needs to be done slowly and methodically, if it must be done at all. Having spent decades whinging about it and screaming about how we need to get out from under the federalist EU yoke, they have now discovered that it’s not simply a case of telling the frogs and the krauts to fuck off and then suddenly everything being wonderful, but that we do actually derive some benefit from the EU and more to the point those benefits would be keenly missed by any number of businesses and citizens. The whole thing is beginning to remind me of the joke that goes around regarding Bitcoin and libertarians; the best part of the Brexit shitheap is that we get to watch Brexiteers slowly discover why we were in the EU to begin with.
What little we have heard from the senior Brexit braintrust is, to put it mildly, not encouraging. David Davis’ idea of leaving the single market, with all of its myriad benefits to the UK, because some people are shit-scared of Poles and we can’t let them down in their myopic crusade to keep the forruns out, is one of the stupidest, most cracked-out concepts ever advanced by someone nominally in charge of a government department. Actively insulting businesses as lazy just because they should be seizing all the wonderful “opportunities” this unabashedly cretinous right turn in policy lays out in front of them like an Elizabethan banquet made of fried dog shit is the sort of thing you’d only do if you shouldn’t be in the cabinet to begin with, possibly because you were disgraced and ejected from it once before, like Liam Fox was. Both of those articles feature Theresa May distancing herself from those remarks, which leads to the exciting prospect that our sovereign government is about as organised and coherent as a creche full of meth-addicted chimpanzees – not to mention, as Alex “Right About Everything” Massie pointed out, one that is overtly nationalist and has a strange idea that businesses exist to somehow serve the state by making leaving the EU a success. If you think it’s bad now, wait until the “lazy and fat” ones are British workers, dragging down Brexit by expecting reasonable wages for their work and making the UK less competitive – you’ll love that.
So it turns out I can actually be motivated to write about politics. It’s just that our government has to be turned into a fucking clown car in order for that to happen. Isn’t this year just great?