Tuesday, 13 June 2017

will get fooled again

I originally felt a bit sorry for Teresa May when she first took over the leadership of the Conservatives. Like holding the controls of a train about to smash into a wall. Her first ever speech outside 10 Downing Street wasn't too bad. It seemed to be inclusive and considerate, despite an almost impossible task to make that Brexit thing happen.

Despite applying some short term brakes, it's been downhill since then, even across her new speechmaking after that re-election. Stilted, clumsily done, and with a distinct aroma of denial.

In amongst the radio silence imposed on most of her cabinet, a few ministers and back-benchers seem to be allowed to speak although that has hardly helped.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss etc.

After all of what had happened, at least some media tuning could have been applied. But no.

A case in point is that Fopdoodle of a backbencher, The Rt Honourable Jacob Rees-Mogg. Instead of answering questions properly, he dived into disgraceful fustiliarian time-wasting more suited to the 18th Century in his TV interview with Channel 4's Jon Snow. I suppose he could be considered arrogant, but that hardly covers the privileged position that this person has, with his wife's mother getting a recent £7.6 million grant from Phillip Hammond to do up the 300 room stately pile, Wentworth Woodhouse. Some sort of benefit grant, maybe?

I had a similar sinking feeling when the smugness of Gove's reappointment oozed out. He managed to seem delighted with whatever he was saying, whilst demonstrating an almost immediate 'party-first' approach, despite his denials.

His self-anointed vast intellect doesn't realise his words evoke such annoyance. I assume he slithered back in via some kind of patronage deal. Whether it's puppeteer Murdoch, Larry the Cat or some kind of 'keep your enemies closer' move, he seems to have a negative effect on any environment he inhabits.

So altogether it isn't looking too good right now. Michel Barnier warns that the clock is running on the Brexit negotiations. It's around a year since the EU referendum and several months since Article 50 was triggered.

May could have used the signals from the latest election to form a cross party team for Brexit, and show some proper leadership. Instead she has just tweaked the current team and even added another hard Brexiter to the main negotiators. It could well become all about 'process' next, with sensible end-goals supplanted by the need to have 50 or 500 pages of 'bumpf' on the now panicky timetable.

And while all of that goes on, pieces of the UK economy are quietly slipping offshore. There's still some time to fix this, but not much.

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