Monday 16 December 2019

Get Brexit Done and then

Well The Brits [not me] had their Brexit Elexit at the end of last week. I didn't pull an all-nighter waiting for the counts to dribble in from Bath, Wantage, Stroud and West Dorset where I have family with voting rights. But I did fire up the BBC before I checked my e-mails on Friday morning. That revealled that hundreds of people had been pulling all-nighters in count-stations across the UK and that the election was all over bar the shouting and recrimination. I haven't heard a whiff that the count was 'fixed' by Goldman-$achs. Indeed, although as a European I deplored the whole idea of Brexit and the sorry political in-fighting that led to the referendum, at least we now have closure on saga.
My pal P, from Boston, sent me the text of an article by Dan Geary, a 20thC historian from TCD - who he? I was a bit skeptical about bloke who likes a fuck-off big picture of himself looking serious on his website.  And I did not rate his title "10 Observations on the UK election" which is reducing the analysis to 10 tweets whereas a more nuanced, longer investigation would be valuable.

Jonathan Pie a leftist pro-EU commentator castigates complacency among his leftie-pals. George Monbiot attempts to rally the Guardianistas to the barricades as the BoJo bus leaves the curb to its uncertain future.

Geary accepts as true things that I find quite fuzzy. Like the tired and tendentious Brexit slogans about 'the will of the people' and "17.4 million can't be wrong" as if the 16.1 million remain voters were invisible. Call me old but it would be a good idea to adopt a bigger threshold [say 2/3] for mandating major political-economic apple-cart-upsetting change. Otherwise you'll get expensive flip-flops on things like [de]nationalising the railways and telecoms with each change of government. There is a 1960s short sci-fi story about a fellow in middle America who is picked as Mr Median who decides all the elections. They've seen that, in a deeply divided polarised US, with swing states which are in thrall to swing counties . . . and swing wards.

Dunno about anti-semitism in the Labour Party because I'm 30 years out of talking to my middle-class leftie pals in Newcastle. But I could well believe that it is a lazy-arsed characterisation of anti-zionism and concern for the Palestinians. I find it hard to accept that Labour has a corner of anti-semitism; are middle-class Tory heartlands really welcoming jews to their golf clubs? Regardless, now anti-semitic BoJo can now "Get Brexit Done" and they can move on to getting ethnic cleansing done or whatever.

The change may not be as appalling as we all imagined in Spring 2019 when we started stock-piling beans. I'm done with Britland having finally vindicated my right to an Irish passport, paradoxically through my casually anti-Irish mother's Scottish granny who was accidentally born in Limerick, rather than my father's father who was born in King's County. The process took a year.

The Boy has bought a boat which he has secreted in bull-rushes on the shores of the Bristol Channel and is taking sailing lessons against when the Triffids start walking. The Avon is navigable between Bath and Avonmouth - only six locks intervene and they don't require oil or electricity to function. You might think that it would be easier to keep the boat on the Kennet & Avon canal which is only a 20 minute walk from their gaff but with zombies abroad the journey would be through hostile territory. Kidding about the boat . . . it's a raft.

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