Friday, 22 December 2017

Highs And Lows

Merry Christmas to all visitors to this blog.  It's time to take a short break from blogging so that I can properly concentrate on stuffing my face with nut roast, chocolate and whisky.  I hope everyone has similarly indulgent activities lined up for the festive season.

It's been a very odd year of highs and lows, ups and downs.  It seems that Brexit giveth then taketh awayeth righteth awayeth. Uh oh, that's me slurring my words already so let's get cracking with a quick review of all the highs and lows/ups and downs of 2017 before my fingers can only slap the keyboard like a forlorn seal.

One high point of the year was Theresa May losing her overall majority after calling a senseless General Election.  Boy, that was a delicious high.  Jeremy Corbyn, of course, immediately spoiled it by directing his party machine at the hardest Brexit possible.  The Labour Party had been granted an embarrassingly huge opportunity to take down the government and they missed it. They proceeded to miss it about 25 times in a row.  Boy, that was a depressing low and it keeps on getting lower by the day.

Gina Miller is a something of a hero.  She withstood death threats and persistent racist slurs to ensure that Parliament was given final say over whether Theresa May could begin the Article 50 process of withdrawal from the EU.  Her victory at the Supreme Court was a highlight of the year.  What did Parliament do?  They behaved like the supine, spineless, cowardly careerists we know them to be and voted for Brexit in a blink of an eye.  They let the government proceed despite there being no analysis of the effect of withdrawal from the EU, no plan or vision for the UK's future relationship with the EU, no preparation for the upcoming negotiations, and overwhelming opinion among MPs that withdrawal would lead to a poor outcome. Yes, that was a low.  To this day, I still don't think they understand the consequences of that pivotal vote.  That was the moment the UK lost control of the process and its own future.

Parliament did finally gets its act together, even if they are merely rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.  They managed to force David Davis to publish his much-trumpeted Brexit impact assessments.  That was a high. Then the analyses were released.  Oh dear, that was a low.  I read  two of the sectoral non-analyses that were most closely aligned to my profession.  They were merely a collation of public domain statistics and well-known facts about EU regulation.  I learned nothing, except that the Labour Party missed another embarrassingly large target. Why hasn't Davis been forced to resign?  Well, that's because Jeremy Corbyn doesn't want to upset the Brexit process.
The government are committed to maintaining the Common Travel Area with Ireland. This is the only good news whatsoever to come out of Brexit.  Of course, that simple high was undermined by the tabloids screaming at the Irish for daring to have their own geopolitical interests and acting as though Ireland was still part of the British Empire. The other day I watched an old episode of The Two Ronnies.  I only lasted about 10 minutes because I didn't remember there being so many jokes about the Irish being stupid.  It wouldn't have annoyed me so much if it hadn't felt so contemporary.

Can anyone remember when Nicola Sturgeon gave formal notice to the Prime Minister that there should be a Scottish independence referendum?  That was a high. It felt like something was happening at last.  Then nothing happened whatsoever so we end the year on a low.  The SNP need to regain momentum on their promise of a referendum and they need to do that quite quickly.  We all need to start the next year on a fresh high.  Independence is the only way out of this madness.

On a purely personal note, this blog is much bigger than it was 12 months ago.  That is a high. It is, of course, still a tiny niche blog but I can't believe so many people choose to read the long-winded meanderings posted here.   A huge thank you to everyone who visited or posted a comment or just stopped by for the pop video with semi appropriate song title.  The only high that remains is to achieve the final goal that will allow me to stop writing this stupid blog. On the count of 4 we all need to yell, "Oi, Sturgeon, get a move on." Yup, let's get on with it.
Over and out,



  1. Kangaroo says
    Patience, patience the enemy is making mistakes, don't interupt.
    Have a great holiday break and I look forward to continuing to read your informed views on the EU in 2018.

    1. There will be more views on the EU in 2018. And in 2019. And probably in 2020. Someone make this stop!

      Merry Xmas to all at kangaroo towers.

  2. It's almost impossible to believe that we have come this low.

    It is incredible that we went into this referendum with no impact assessments done. Never mind signed article 50 without doing them.

    They don't even know what they want, so how can Barnier recommend anything to the 27.

    The problem is that some of the Cabinet want one thing and some want something else, and quite simply the most awful prime minister for 100 years isn't strong and stable enough to knock them into line.

    Worst of all the real power behind the dispatch box is Arlene Foster who seems to be sufficiently important to call the PM out of summits with the EU to tell her NO!

    Unless I'm missing something, there is no solution to the Irish (of Gibraltar) border. You really can't have your cake and eat it and get some extra ice cream with it.

    And Arlene has all the cards in her hand. (Of course I'm not suggesting for a second that Arlene would ever play cards when she should be practising her Orange songs and reading her Bible.

    But it seems that enthusiasm for independence is on the rise, as Britain becomes more and more of an international joke and of course, a cruel heartless place where the devil takes the hindmost.

    We are now looking at the possibility of the NHS being privatised; of Scotland losing the power to run it's own affairs and of many things that we were told would never happen if only we voted for the broad shoulders of the union and all this punching above our weight tra la la.

    The latest poll showed 49% for... but of course there's at least 2% margin of error in that. Still, even at the lower end of the margin that's up from the last referendum.

    Well, as the Chinese are want to say...We live in interesting times.

    Let's see that 2018 brings.

    PS: If nothing else, we are gong to get "iconic" blue passports (even if they are Fabriqué en France).

    1. It is amazing to think that the Uk government is making the most complex policy choices for a generation without any data or analysis to inform them. Even more amazing is that everyone knows this but the government isn't under any pressure over its failure.

      The EU are drawing up a worst case scenario deal that will closely match CETA. They've given the UK until March to formulate their own plan but if they fail to present a credible proposal then we'll get whatever the EU dreams up. The UK still has no credible proposal because cakeism still reigns at Cabinet meetings.

      I do hope that enthusiasm for independence is on the rise. There is no other escape route and there hasn't been since March of this year.

      Let's all hope that 2018 brings some more positive news. We started 2017 with a very bleak situation and we end it slightly less bleak so at least the direction of travel is positive.

  3. Reading your niche blog has been a consistent highlight of my year, Terry! Of course, that could be because I'm having a truly dreadful year... ;)

    Merry Christmas!


  4. Merry Christmas, and thanks for the time and work you put into this. Gaining the details I do from reading this blog is one of the few effective analgesics for the general dismay engendered by this utter clusterf*ck. Picking up on your comments to TPW, , the most astonishing element of the whole thing is that there is neither pressure on the government nor any notable acknowledgement of how badly things are going by the Brexit-supporting public at large. Indeed, having foolishly watched an instalment of Question Time (which I normally avoid) I came away rather depressed and not at all confident that Brexit can be stopped without it leading to violence. The sheer unreason on display was truly frightening... So, more of your well-informed comment in the New Year will be most welcome, and I thank you for it.


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