Building A Wall? – Revisited

Have you ever checked your spam folder? I take a look at mine often, to keep it to manageable levels. It is also a source of occasional amusement and seemingly never-ending offers from young women to come and play with their cats. Well, I think that’s what they mean, anyway. One thing I’ve never understood is how these spam comments attach themselves to particular posts. In my case, it is often my About Me page or this post, which I’m resharing now.

I wrote this three years ago, when I was feeling gloomy about the UK’s post-Brexit prospects. In these pandemic days it is a reminder for me that there will at some point be a return to pre-Covid days. I’m sharing it again for a couple of reasons:

Firstly, it may come as a surprise to newer readers that I’m actually capable of thought and of producing a fairly coherent ‘serious’ piece, and

Secondly, that it was interesting to me to see how little has changed, in some ways.

History shows that May’s election gamble backfired in spectacular fashion, losing both her Parliamentary majority and, ultimately, her role as Prime Minister, after several failed attempts at getting agreement from Parliament on the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Amidst all that we are currently enduring it is easy to forget that the UK did finally leave the EU on 31 January this year, and that we are now in a ridiculously short 11 month period of negotiation on the terms of that departure.

I saw a piece in the paper yesterday that said that trade talks with the US are due to take place next week – those will go well, won’t they! We are now less than two months away from the practical deadline by which the UK must ask for an extension to the transition period with the EU, and most member countries have been – and will be – too preoccupied to think about that. The likelihood is, therefore, that we will stumble into a no deal Brexit almost by default. Some, including me, suspect that this has always been Johnson’s aim, which is one of the reasons why he appears to be doing little to prevent it. Anyone with some common sense, who wanted to negotiate the best deal, would recognise that an extension would be the only sane course to take, given all that we and other countries are facing in these pandemic days. A conspiracy theorist might even suggest that Johnson had encouraged Covid into the UK to ensure nothing could stop a no deal Brexit. It has certainly provided him with an effective smokescreen – how else can he explain the Government’s initial lethargy and inaction when it was clear that the virus was coming? It’s a thought, at least!

Conspiracy theories aside, I am offering this post to you again as a reminder that events other than the pandemic will be affecting our lives in the months and years ahead. I retain the faintest of hopes that reality will dawn on those allegedly ‘leading’ our country, but I’m not holding my breath.

Take It Easy

With apologies to Pink Floyd:

“We don’t need no new election,

We don’t need no thought control;

No deeper schism in our country,

Leader, leave us plebs alone!”

I really don’t think of myself as a particularly political person, far less a political blogger, but for the second time this month I feel I just have to vent my thoughts on what is going on. A few days ago, our Prime Minister, Theresa May, called a snap general election. This was despite her saying publicly on five occasions that she would not go for an election any sooner than 2020, as required by law. May became Prime Minister after the debacle of our referendum last summer, and was anointed by her party without an election, as the other candidates engaged in collective self-destruction. She faced pressure at the time to hold a general election, to ratify her credentials to lead…

View original post 1,312 more words

26 thoughts on “Building A Wall? – Revisited

  1. endardoo May 4, 2020 / 3:06 pm

    Brexit, ah sweet nostalgia!! It’s not even funny looking at the antics of the American and British heads of state! Our own Taoiseach here in Ireland, Leo Varadkar, gets praised for reading auto cards quite well, or vilified for checking his notes. And the real concerns are barely addressed. Same as it ever was … #SeniSal

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive May 4, 2020 / 3:21 pm

      It’s actually quite frightening to me that those two are in charge of countries – I suspect history will not look back kindly on this period. Varadkar rarely rates a mention in our press, and it’s usually because he has pointed out the common sense of the EU’s position on Brexit and has thereby upset the rabid right wing maniacs who own most of the papers here.

      Liked by 1 person

      • endardoo May 4, 2020 / 3:30 pm

        Maybe the truth is more prosaic, Clive, they barely know, or care about Irish PMs!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive May 4, 2020 / 3:38 pm

        Very probably true, but he’s good for a few paragraphs of ‘who does that pipsqueak think he is’ ranting when, for example, he perfectly reasonably points out that the n-s border issue needs to be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. As does everything else to do with the Brexit shitshow.

        Liked by 1 person

      • endardoo May 4, 2020 / 4:02 pm

        Yeah, seems to be about taking sides more often than taking the trouble to give a complex topic the nuanced attention that might lead to constructive action!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive May 4, 2020 / 4:32 pm

        I think that’s beyond our govt’s capabilities. They have always wanted a no deal Brexit and to be able to blame the EU for it. A misplaced sense of grandeur, dogma over sense. All because the vested interests didn’t want to play by the EU’s financial transparency rules.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim Borden May 2, 2020 / 3:31 pm

    It’s amazing the leaders our two countries have – how did this happen?
    I read your older article as well; I never quite got the Brexit thing. I always thought that if they had another vote on Brexit, the result would be drastically different and England would still be in the EU. Great job explaining all that was going on a few years ago – and I did check out the other Teresa May… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive May 2, 2020 / 3:40 pm

      I put it down to herd stupidity, fed by vested interests who realised how dumb the populace can be. I think you are right on your surmise about a second referendum – fear of that is what has driven the minority who support it to reject every suggestion of it, and it will never happen now that we have a far-right government with many personal financial interests to lose. Now you know what I meant about Teresa without an ‘h.’ 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden May 2, 2020 / 4:42 pm

        herd stupidity is bad, but herd immunity is good 🙂

        and it’s a shame that our countries are controlled by such a small number of people. I am just shocked that our primary was coming to three people in their 70s, to run against another 70 year old. There’s a lot to be said for experience, but we need young blood! and I am sure the British press had fun with the two Miss Mays… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive May 2, 2020 / 5:03 pm

        Not if it is an excuse for doing nothing, as happened both there and here at first. I find it sad that in a country that size the only candidates they can find are so old. Mind you, Johnson is ‘only’ 55 so relative youth is no guarantee of competence!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden May 2, 2020 / 8:32 pm

        are there term limits in England? or might you be stuck with Johnson for a long time?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive May 2, 2020 / 8:43 pm

        The law is that a Parliament lasts for a maximum of 5 years, after which there must be a general election. It can be shorter, if the House of Commons votes for an election sooner than that, as happened in 2017 and again last December. So we’re stuck with Johnson as PM until Dec 2024 unless he gets a vote for an earlier election. If his party – the Conservatives – dumped him as leader the new leader would take over as PM by default, but there would be calls for an early election for ‘the people’ to ratify that choice. But as they have voted for Brexit and Johnson I don’t trust them!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden May 2, 2020 / 8:57 pm

        thanks for the explanation. so could Johnson be the PM again after this term is up? and again after that? In the U.S., you can only be president for two terms (8 years), or possibly 10 years if the person took over for someone.

        Brexit and Johnson is not a good combo…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive May 2, 2020 / 9:05 pm

        Yup. He will stay as PM until either the electorate or his party tires of him – until death, in the ultimate scenario, as long as he keeps winning elections. You’re right about that combo – he’s dangerous for our country.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jim Borden May 2, 2020 / 9:09 pm

        well now that he’s built up his immunity to covid-19, there’s nothing that can stop him 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clive May 2, 2020 / 9:13 pm

        He’s a one-trick pony, liable to trip himself up. I just hope it happens sooner rather than later. He’s like Trump in some ways, given to boasting and lying, but with better words.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. robertawrites235681907 May 2, 2020 / 2:46 pm

    I can’t imagine any government would want the nightmare that is covid-19 in their country for any reason but a no deal Brexit may well happen. Not sure if it will make much difference given the mess of the global economy right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Clive May 2, 2020 / 2:58 pm

      I wasn’t being entirely serious when I said that, but it has taken attention away from the damage that Brexit will cause. We will just be in an even worse position to begin the post-Covid recovery than we would otherwise have been. Hope you’re staying safe and well 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      • robertawrites235681907 May 2, 2020 / 4:49 pm

        Yes, that is probably true. Yes, we are all well and safe. I am still working, writing, baking and now teaching my boys too. Lots of interesting challenges.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Stevie Turner May 2, 2020 / 12:17 pm

    I have the same ladies contacting me sometimes. I don’t know about you, but I have an allergy to cats…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mrs ESTJ May 2, 2020 / 10:55 am

    I agree that an extension needs to be sought. I don’t think anybody could have foreseen the current circumstances and the constraints that would put on any negotiations around a deal (unless your conspiracy theory is right!). I almost miss hearing about Brexit in the news. Never thought I would say that!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Clive May 2, 2020 / 11:04 am

      I fabricated the theory, but you’re right in saying that no one could have foreseen what has hit us. An extension would be sensible, but when did sense ever come into government thinking? The pandemic will pass, I hope, but the effects of Brexit will be with us permanently, and will be back in the news before long.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. franklparker May 2, 2020 / 10:54 am

    Everyone seems to have forgotten Brexit. I don’t think Johnspon is capable of the kiind of conspiracy you describe, but I could believe that dragging the lock down out as long as possible will help him achieve that No Deal crash out he and others crave.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Clive May 2, 2020 / 11:01 am

      I agree, Frank – I don’t think he’s that intelligent. That ‘conspiracy theory’ was of my devising for this piece, but I wouldn’t mind betting that there is someone out there who is promoting something similar!

      Liked by 1 person

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