Tuesday, 13 June 2017
Oh, what a tangled web we weave...when first we practice to deceive.
It’s official. We’re in a mess. An official mess, as opposed to the unofficial mess that has characterised the UK ever since a slight majority of the people of England and Wales decided that curvy bananas were more important to them than job security and the ability to travel freely throughout Europe. Yesterday Theresa May apologised to Conservative MPs for the mess she created with her single minded pursuit of what was good for her career, but she hasn’t apologised to anyone else for what she's put them through. She hasn’t apologised to the public and she certainly hasn’t apologised to the goats who’ll die in order to produce the goatskin(*) for a Queen’s Speech that will be a tissue of wishful thinking.
But then to be honest, she did stand on a manifesto commitment to animal cruelty, so the goat sacrifice might be the only one of her promises that she’s going to keep. If ever there was a time when Westminster politics was getting on the public’s goat, this is it. It’s perversely totally appropriate that the process of forming a government is being held up by a goat, seeing as how Mother Theresa is looking to do a deal with King Billy's friends.
Possibly the most concerning thing about the proposal that the British government is seeking to be propped up by the climate change denying, misogynist, homophobic, sectarian, fundamentalist, bigots of the DUP is that the London-centric media has only now realised just how horrific that the party is. Equally concerning is the damage that’s being done to the Irish Peace Process. The terms of the Good Friday Agreement require the British government to remain neutral as far as the communities of Northern Ireland are concerned. Just how neutral can Westminster be when it’s reliant on the main party of one of those communities to prop it up? How neutral can they be when they’re making deals behind closed doors with people whose idea of Peace is indistinguishable from victory and who want the right to hold parades in Catholic areas. How neutral is it if one of the terms of the deal is for the British government to block an Irish reunification referendum? Brexit always threatened the Peace Process, this deal puts a bomb under it.
Theresa May went to the country to seek a mandate for a hard line Brexit which she was going to define all by herself. She went to the country to seek a mandate for secret plans that she wasn’t disposed to reveal to anyone. But mainly she went to the country in order to further her own career and secure her position as the unchallenged boss of the Tory party and the country. And then she got humiliated because, having based the entire campaign on her personal character, we've discovered that Maybot seems an apt description of her charisma. So now the country is in a mess, and so is Theresa’s career. That much at least serves her right. But the rest of us don't deserve it.
Several days on from the election, and still no one has any idea what’s going on, where the country is going, or what the government is hoping to achieve in the Brexit negotiations that are due to begin in a few days’ time. We don’t even know what the government is going to be. We still don’t even know if Theresa May will be able to negotiate an agreement with the DUP or whether by this time next week cabinet meetings will conclude with a rousing rendition of The Billy Boys.
The British state used to boast that it was one of the world’s leading powers. Now it can only vie with the Trump administration to see who’s the most ridiculous. Is it the orange skinned Trump, or the orange hued government of Theresa May? You really couldn't make it up, could you? How I wish I was back in Croatia sitting in the sun.
(*): I know that no goats are actually used in the production of goatskin vellum but allow me a little poetic licence.