Sunday, 11 February 2018

Whack-A-Mole Brexit

I blogged quite a while back that Brexit has become repetitive.  It is turning into a game of political whack-a-mole with the same issues turning up one after another on repeat.  Back when I started blogging the whack rate was just one or two shrews a month but as we progress to the more advanced stages of the Brexit process the game has become faster and faster.  It's now progressing at a rate way, way beyond the capacity of amateur bloggers.  The palette of issues and conundrums, however, remains exactly the same as it was back in July, 2016.  We are metaphorically bashing away at the same moles with the same word hammers.  The only difference between then and now is that nowadays we can go through several cycles of the entire mole genus before I've even written the introduction to a blog post.  It moves dangerously fast yet stands entirely still.  And it just goes on (and on and on).

Since I last blogged I had another attempt at trying to understand Labour policy on Brexit. I'm afraid to say that I had to abandon that one, too.  I need to accept defeat and admit that I have failed to decypher any semblance of rationality in their brainwrong gibberish.  More than that, though, in order to show just how off-the-chart they are on the bizarro-grotesque scale I need to bore everyone with a summary of basic rules about the WTO and and Most Favoured Nation status.  I can't be bothered writing it and I'm equally certain that nobody else can be bothered reading it. We've done all of this before on many, many occasions. Besides, anyone who reads this blog has already worked all this out for themselves. Do we need to do it again?  It's fun to have a right old laugh at the Labour Party but, as you might have guessed it, I'm not really in the mood for that.

If you're getting the impression that I'm fed up with Brexit then you'd be absolutely right.  I am fed up with it.  I got so fed up with it that I wrote about half of a post about the woeful state of journalism at The National.  Howzat for brinksmanship?  Honestly, The National suffers from utterly, utterly dreadful journalism.  Its deficiencies range from the most basic level of fact-checking all the way up to its ability to edit copy into words, sentences and paragraphs . It was kind of exciting to have a fresh topic until I remembered that I'd kind of done that already. Besides, is there value in attacking a newspaper that nobody ever reads?  I don't think there is so the post remains unfinished and unpublished. It shall stay that way.

Well, what shall I blog about?  Can I really put together an entire post about nothing at all?  Yes, I certainly can and it won't be the first time, either.  That's right, even a post about absolutely nothing turns out to be a sad repeat.  We are stuck on repeat.  We are so stuck on repeat that a link to the pop video "Stuck on Repeat" by Little Boots would be a repeat.  Even the jokes about repeats are repeats. There's a danger that Brexit will lead us into a recursive mirror world where our own reflection will eerily bounce around long after we have died of boredom.  Someone has to stay alive, though, to bash all those moles on the head.  Bagsy not me.

Everything is a repeat move in the game of Brexit whack-a-mole.  Remember the Japanese ambassador and his grave warnings about Brexit?  So much has (and hasn't) happened since then it's hard to believe it was only about 3 days ago.  Hang on, was that 3 days ago or 18 months ago?  Hah, got it, it was a repeat.  Remember cakeism? Well, it's alive and well, thank you very much, still being baked and still being eaten.  How about all those 3rd party agreements that will end for the UK on Brexit day?  Liam Fox has had a go at whacking that one with different mallets (he tried bi-lateral negotiations; he tried blaming the EU; he tried a technical note sent to all and sundry, he'll have another go soon enough).  Please, please don't get me started on the chemically washed chicken saga. It almost as though washing chicken with chemicals turns them into annoying, rubbery boomerangs. Fox encourages the hormone-injected mole out of its hole, only for Gove to give it an almighty whack in the sad hope it will make him PM.  I can't take this any longer. We need a rest.

I'm fed up. My Brexit reserves are exhausted. I have nothing to say that doesn't make me wince at the pain of repetition. Please forgive me if I spent most of the last month watching Foyle's War on ITV3. There are only a few episodes left but then the compulsion to blog will return.  What shall I blog about?  Brexit.  It will never, ever stop.

Over and out,


PS I shall probably blog about the Withdrawal Bill and how it is incompatible with the EU's guidelines on transition.  It is a tiny technical point but it is also something new (to me, at least) and not many people seem to be blogging about it (maybe because it is not very exciting but that was never a requirement for a blog post round here, as demonstrated by today's effort).

PPS I'm fed up with Brexit but I'm most definitely not fed up with life or descending into a melancholy or anything like that.  It's healthy to be fed up with Brexit.  This is a good sign. Schloss Entoure is a happy place. 


  1. Glad to hear that you, personally, are doing alright, Terry, even if you are bored to tears with Brexit.

    But in reality, everything that needs to be said has already been said by you or other knowledgeable individuals. Brexit is going to be bad for the UK and Scotland and the only thing to establish is just how bad and that will only come from experiencing the full horror of the show. Predictions are all well and good but all are just speculation until proven right or wrong.

    I'm bored to death the indy politics too. I just want it done. I want another referendum and win or lose I just want it over with so I can get on trying to live the rest of my life as best I can. Isn't that what we all want? Apart from those who enjoy the game of politics for itself?

    Completely concur about the National. Useless rag. What a shame.

    1. It is wearying, isn't it? We're honestly no nearer knowing the form of Brexit than we were 12 months ago. Similarly, we're no nearer an indy ref than we were 11 months ago when Nicola Sturgeon gave a press conference calling for an indy ref. I don't know if we have the collective stamina for this. Maybe that's the idea - wear us down until we just can't bear hearing about Brexit or indy refs.

      The National is a shame. I kind of feel bad criticising it but it is really, really terrible. It's worse than terrible, though: it is also insulting. The Daily Mail doesn't insult my intelligence because it isn't aimed at me. The National is squarely aimed at me so any reaction I have to it is always going to be more personal. It also keeps popping up in my twitter timeline, unlike The Daily Mail or Express.

  2. Welcome back Terry. I look forward not a really technical take on the Withdrawal Bill and transition. It will be a top topic round the pub. Meantime I am consumed by ennui.
    Please smack me round the back of my head.

    1. It must be the midwinter blues or maybe even the mid-Brexit blues. We're all at the end of our tether at the same time. Consumed with ennui, however, sounds rather artistic, as though we are precious artists exhausted by the effort of our creations. I prefer to say it that way.

  3. "Can I really put together an entire post about nothing at all?" asks Terry.

    Course you can. Price-Williams does it every day.

    I'm not exactly bored with Brexit. Mainly becasue it's a bit like a sitcom, well, no. More like a Whitehall Farce really. One of these days we're going to see Davis come in through the French windows wearing Barnier's trousers and Andrea Leadsom will be hiding behind a potted plant in her undies ...

    No, I can't go on. I've said too much.

    Anyway, I'm more interested in how incredibly incompetent everyone of the British side has been. May has no control over anything or anyone. Johnson's a clown. Fox is delusional. I suspect old Davis sleeps most of the day. Rees Mogg is either favourite or second favourite to be the next Prime Minister and ...who knows...may send a gunboat to Cathay to settle the opium wars or something. Dear god!

    Now how could anyone be bored with a cast of characters like that, especially as you have, on the "other side", serious political figures like Macron, Merkel and Barnier, shaking their heads in wonder at what ever became of Britain.

    Anyway, cheer up lads. It may do Scotland a bit of good.

    I mean who in their right minds would want Jacob Rees Mogg in charge? Lordy, even Colonel Davidson would be preferable.

    And at any rate, when you open your Twitter feed there's always another "they did WHAT??????????" tweet to keep you amused.

    It's a while since I saw any "Foyle's War". But I have fond memories of them. These detective things they do on STV are really rather good. I thought I would hate "Vera", although my mum had taped (or whatever you call it) a pile of them. Eventually I watched the first one... and wow... Now I can't get enough of them. I've still got three of the latest series to watch. Oh joy.

    No ennui here least not till the end of my Vera fest!

    1. Maybe I should also try reimagining Brexit as a bawdy comedy starring Terry Scott. It seems to work for you. There is comedy in there but there is also something darker at the heart of Brexit. Maybe I just need to reimagine it as a comedy in the mould of Chris Morris or Armando Ianucci. This is a good tip.

      I did expect Brexit to have some impact on support for independence. That doesn't seem to be happening. Is it just too soon?

      I've become a bit of a fan of ITV3 crime dramas. They are always have adverts for electric chairs that tip you forwards to help you stand up. It slightly sullies it for me because the statistical overlap between Brexit voters and the target market of the advert is significant. As an act of rebellion, I put the sound down and fast forward straight back to the action, which invariably involves a country squire caught up in war profiteering or just being a raging Nazi.

  4. Always educational, Terry - I thought Whack-A-Mole was that gloopy green stuff you get with Mexican meals. Come to think of, I'll have some with my full English Brexit!

    1. Two plates of whack-a-mole for Andimac.

      I'm sure there is some pub somewhere on the Costa Del Sol selling full English Brexit. They probably make a smiley face out of the sausages and beans and then use the bacon for the hitler moustache.

  5. Terry! Where are you?!? As things spin sickeningly towards the point of 'no more BS' we need your eye and wit more than ever... But if it's not to be, then thanks for all you did thus far, it all bears repeated studying.


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