‘Everyone has their price, and you too will learn to live the lie; aggression, competition, ambition, consumer fascism’ 1

 

In a desperate, and frankly pathetic, attempt to garner support for her deal, the PM sunk to a new low, offering £1.6bn to areas in the Midlands and North.

As this column has highlighted before, these areas predominantly voted ‘Leave’, and this inducement is obviously aimed at gaining support from incumbent MPs

‘to garner support for her deal, the PM sunk to a new low’

This bung should be judged on two levels; firstly, the PM desperately needs her deal and will seemingly stoop to any low to get it through, and proof of the cynicism that hard Brexit has brought to government. The handout offers £1bn to deprived regions on a ‘needs’ basis, only an adjustment of the last austerity-based formula of grants to councils.

The additional £600m is not unconditional it will only go to towns that can bid for local partnership or city challenge projects.

Whilst the PM is right in realising that many people voted for Brexit out of a desire ‘for a change for the better, with more opportunity and more control’, this is simply a marginal redistribution of money from the south-east northwards.

As an amount it pales into insignificance beside the £1bn bunged to the DUP, and the people of Northern Ireland, to keep her minority government in-power after she bungled the last election.

Approximately 2m people live in Northern Ireland, whereas up to 10 times as many live in the areas her latest bung targets, a very hollow inducement, indeed.

This gesture, because is no more than a token gesture, show the contempt the PM holds for each one of us, and utterly devalues the office she holds; we are no more than cannon fodder to keep her in power and see her policies come to fruition

And now, from devalued politics to trade agreements, especially one with the country across the Atlantic that we have a special relationship with!

‘show the contempt the PM holds for each one of us, and utterly devalues the office she holds’

At this point please refer to Hugh Grant’s speech in ‘Love Actually’ never a truer word was said in jest….’ ‘I love that word relationship. Covers all manners of sins, doesn’t it? I fear that this has become a bad relationship. A relationship based on the President taking exactly what he wants, and casually ignoring all those things that really matter to Britain.’

In the first foray into being told by US what the agreement will be, Woody Johnson (Woody? sigh…surely that isn’t his name?), their ambassador to the UK said that fears over chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef are ‘myths’, and urged the UK to embrace US farming methods after Washington published its objectives for a UK-US trade deal. Currently, EU rules limit US exports of certain food products, including chicken and beef – but Mr Johnson wants that to change in the UK after Brexit.

Downing Street has repeatedly denied it will accept lower food standards, a No 10 spokeswoman said: ‘We have always been very clear that we will not lower our food standards as part of a future trading agreement.’

‘you will be able to tell who eats it when they glow in the dark!’

However, the first sign of out predicable capitulation to our partners in that special relationship, came when the President of the UK’s National Farmers Union, Minette Batters, said that while Mr Johnson was correct in saying chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-fed beef was ‘safe’ to eat, there were other factors that needed considering, e.g. US farmers are not required to include windows in their sheds or clean out in between flocks.

But, this is only the opening salvo in the battle to agree a trade deal with the US, one in which we will make positive and determined statements that will ultimately prove to be hollow, as the US tramples all over us in the spirit of friendship and cooperation.

As to, chlorine-washed chicken, no thanks; you will be able to tell who eats it when they glow in the dark!

 

‘I drove my polypropolene Car on wheels of sponge, then pulled into a wimpy bar To have a rubber bun’ 2

 

And now to matters of race and immigration, again, as this column predicted, people are taking on an increasingly aggressive attitude, with MPs warn that they now regularly receive death threats and other forms of intimidation via social media and elsewhere, with many using panic buttons for their own safety.

One MP, who asked not to be named, said she still received ‘death threats every single day’ despite heightened security measures. They were stepped up after the murder of the Labour backbencher Jo Cox in the run-up to the 2016 EU referendum.

‘she still received ‘death threats every single day’

Rupa Huq, the Labour MP for Ealing Central and Acton, said she had received an email over the weekend suggesting that she ‘return to Bangladesh to ponder your life if you do not come to your senses over Brexit shortly’.

After calling Huq ‘a miserable, stinking, filthy EU whore’, the anonymous author told the MP: ‘You should abandon your new referendum anti-democratic rhetoric and either vote for the government deal or not obstruct a no-deal exit.’

Further proof of this vile behaviour came when the Conservative party suspended 14 members for allegedly making Islamophobic comments after a string of abusive posts were uncovered on social media. The former Tory chairman Sayeeda Warsi has again called for an internal inquiry and suggested the most senior figures in the party – including Theresa May – needed to take the problem more seriously. Comments and posts include:

 

  • ‘turf all Muslims out of public office’
  • ‘get rid of all mosques’
  • Another said they could not vote for Sajid Javid, the home secretary, in any forthcoming leadership race because that would amount to a vote for ‘Islam to lead this country’.

 

A post in the Facebook group supporting Jacob Rees-Mogg showed a map of all mosques in Britain, provoked several hostile responses, including: ‘This is not a Muslim country’ and ‘We’re just letting the takeover happen’.

‘this week has been a series of bungs, thinly veiled threats, racism and bullying’

And finally, where are we in the PMs game of brinkmanship with all our futures?

Unsurprisingly, attempts this week to find a satisfactory solution the back-stop stalled, and hard-line Tory Eurosceptics are likely to vote down the deal for a second time in parliament next week.

In one last, desperate, roll of the dice, the PM will make a speech in the Brexit stronghold of Grimsby, to plead with EU leaders to offer further concessions,

‘this week has been a series of bungs, thinly veiled threats, racism and bullying’

The view from parliament is that it is difficult to find anyone in government who believes that the PM stands any chance of winning next week’s votes on her deal, even with those extra inducements promised to Labour MPs.

Julian Smith, the chief whip, reportedly told ministers on Tuesday that the vote will be tight and he doesn’t know which way it’s going, more recent reports suggest a defeat by up to 100 votes.

In the event of a defeat, Parliament will then take the no-deal option off the table and call for an extension, earlier ballots indicate; Smith predicted that what would happen next is members would move to keep the U.K. in a customs union.

All of which sounds like the usual government mantra aimed at scaring Brexiteers to support the PMs deal.

In summary, this week has been a series of bungs, thinly veiled threats, racism and bullying, and our special relationship leaving us all green in the face!

How have we sunk to such depths that our government can treat us with such contempt?

 

‘I wonder to myself, Could life ever be sane again?’ 3

 

Another triple for lyric spotters this week, and what a mix as rage and indignity replaces last week’s soft-focus and fluffy!

1 OK, I can ‘fess up, I’d not heard the first offering but The Pop Group’s ‘We Are All Prostitutes’ is spot on – angry and aggressive;  strange boys though and an unusual genre – Punk Funk if you will.

2 Next off the rank is the fabulous X-Ray Spex with ‘The Day the World Turned Day Glo’; seems nobody told the lovely Poly Styrene that it was traditional to at least have a stab at miming on Top of the Pops – 41 years ago!

3 just to prove that Philip’s sombre mood has returned we then have the deliciously miserable Smiths with ‘Panic’.

Not a trio of tunes that may inhabit your favourites, but spot on in terms of the mood of this week’s missive – enjoy! 

 

 

 

Philip Gilbert 2Philip Gilbert is a city-based corporate financier, and former investment banker.

Philip is a great believer in meritocracy, and in the belief that if you want something enough you can make it happen. These beliefs were formed in his formative years, of the late 1970s and 80s

 

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