Do you sometimes wonder how low Britain’s stock can fall? Not in GDP, the size of her armed forces or the “soft power” of cultural influence. Those have been on the slide, relative to other great powers, since about 1870. No, we’re talking here about the simple dignities of diplomacy and plain old-fashioned good manners. Smooth and harmonious international relations with friends and allies. These are the things the British used to be rather accomplished at. Not so much these days, not now that we have this clucking clown running the country, and his Brexiteers running amok in Brussels.
For example, we read about another cunning plan from the fecund mind of Dominic Cummings to thwart the European Union Withdrawal No6 Act. This would involve sending the required letter applying for an Article 50 extension to Brussels, but also tucking into the vellum envelope another letter saying we don’t really mean it. Smart, no? That’ll show ‘em.
It’s illegal anyway, but neither Cummings nor Johnson are lawyers, so what do you expect? If they bothered to listen to Radio 4’s Today programme they’d have heard Lord Sumption explain as much, in forensic detail. But they just don’t want to hear anything on the BBC or elsewhere that contradicts their world view – Trump-style. The playpen in Downing Street is hermetically sealed to reason.
Presumably, when he attends the EU summit on 17 October, Boris Johnson will need to resort to the old childish prank of shouting “Not!” after every sentence he utters about the UK’s legally mandated position on an Article 50 delay. I’m sure Chancellor Merkel will get the message.
How low can “Boris the Menace” go?
It is not impossible that Johnson would, in fact, get himself arrested deliberately and be put on trial and imprisoned, the ultimate Brexit martyr. Saint Boris of Uxbridge. Ironic that despite all his past scrapes only now, as prime minister, does the old rascal end up in chokey.
Languishing during a four-week stretch in a cell in HMP Belmarsh he will, perhaps by tapping out instructions with a tin mug on the water pipes, direct his administration and his general election campaign. I don’t suppose he’ll get many visitors.
Dominic, in the cell next door, will no doubt have another plan ready to spring the pair. Prisoners of war hunted down by the liberal establishment. Boris Johnson would be the first Conservative and Unionist Party leader to campaign whilst on the run! Die in a ditch indeed.
That might be fanciful, but silliness and rudeness have firmly entered mainstream politics.
Only a few months ago we had the shaming spectacle of Nigel Farage, Ann Widdecombe, Annunziata Rees-Mogg and the other Brexit Party fruitcakes turning their back on the EU anthem, treating both the Ode to Joy and the joy of the young string quartet performing it with equal contempt. Maybe next time they’ll go “full moon” and show some real British cheek to the jackbooted Gauleiters of Brussels.
No doubt they will also be assisting Johnson in doing their best to disrupt the workings of the EU, setting off fire alarms, blockading the staff canteen, trying to expel Malta, that sort of thing.
Courtesy – The Independent 9 September 2019