What a voice. The rich, booming baritone of Attorney General Geoffrey Cox resonated in every crumbling crevice of the Commons this week, conveying the kind of old-school aural authority our ears have rarely been massaged by since it was rendered unfashionable. At one time, a voice like that would have read the news headlines on Radio 4 or at the very least delivered the football results with sonorous sonic expertise. Quite a contrast with the fingernails-on-a-blackboard croak of Our Glorious Leader; even before she lost it, Theresa May’s voice was always a reedy, hectoring whine of a sort that conveys no authority at all – which is pretty fitting because she has none.
The members of her Cabinet piss all over the naughty step on a daily basis; they’re like kids running riot in some grotty family featured on a Channel 4 documentary probably called ‘Unruly Britain’ or something of that nature. And like children with a weak, compliant parent incapable of administering any form of discipline, they know they can get away with murder. They can vote against their own government or publicly abstain from voting at all, despite the neutered entreaties of the whips. It must be great being a member of the Cabinet at the moment. Mind you, you don’t need to be in the Cabinet to take the piss out of the PM to her face.
When the Maybot tried to serve up her already-rejected motorway service-station meal to Parliament for a second time, adding a sprig of Irish parsley fooled nobody and she received another chorus-line of moonies for her efforts. Undeterred, she’ll probably emerge from the kitchen with the same dish next week and plonk it back on the table. It may give her diners indigestion, but she’ll remind them it’s better than no dinner at all, which is the only other option available to them.
Delaying D-Day may have been voted for this week, but apparently this typical tactic of a Parliament overwhelmingly opposed to the Referendum result is still dependent on the approval of all EU colonies – sorry, member states – so actual Brexit remains the default outcome on March 29. It would seem, however, that the PM will snatch a sorry victory from the jaws of defeat with such a sword hanging over Westminster. A rotten deal twice rejected by massive majorities could well pass third time round because May has consistently stuck her fingers in her ears when anyone has suggested anything else. She has ground down dissenting voices by refusing to budge as the minutes have continued to tick away.
In some respects, it’s a remarkable achievement on her part, though hardly one worthy of celebration. She’ll finally persuade all the knockers within her shambles of a party to vote her way even though they know her offer is shit; but the persistent propaganda of Project Fear has scared so many that they’ll no doubt fall into line in the end; and she’ll genuinely believe she’s led the nation out of the dark. It’s like settling for a loveless marriage because it’s preferable to being a sad singleton. Promoters of the so-called ‘People’s Vote’ have advocated a similar absence of choice with the proposed Second Referendum options of a) Remain or b) May’s deal, AKA a) Remain or b) Diet Remain.
As the PM offers a fresh pair of Brussels handcuffs rather than the key to the ones we’re already wearing, one of her more notorious predecessors cosies up with Macron behind closed doors, and the Remain righteousness of the media mafia mirrors the smug smile of a Guardian columnist’s profile picture; social media sneering and jeering at a pro-Leave protest march setting off on the long road from Sunderland to Westminster sums up a kind of despondent capitulation to the way we were and will always be. Everything appears to have changed, but when the dust eventually settles, maybe nothing will have after all.
Two and-a-half years ago, I guess I was one of them, but it still amazes me how many smart, intelligent people who rarely suffer fools gladly are content to defend a privileged coalition whose policies were responsible for the 2008 crash and who have imposed a decade of austerity upon everyone outside of their cosseted bubble whilst either outsourcing or effectively abolishing public services the majority depend on. But when the alternative is portrayed as some post-apocalyptic far-right racist state run by Old Etonians and policed by gammons, I suppose it’s no wonder, really. And those whose laurels must stink due to being sat on for so long continue to pedal the favoured narrative as long as they’re listened to; I don’t imagine comfortable comedians whose last funny joke was laughed at sometime in the mid-90s are that concerned with towns in the North East or Midlands that mean no more to them than obscure names on a pools coupon.
There are probably still a few out there who would like to see Mr Blair tried as a war criminal; but if any former PM deserves a public flogging, it’s that absentee ex-resident of No.10 who plunged us into this bloody mess, Mr Cameron. I heard his swift resignation described as ‘honourable’ this week, in the context of his successor’s refusal to fall on her sword; but heading for his caravan barely a year after winning a General Election and leaving the nation to fend for itself like an abandoned puppy seems pretty criminal to me. Maybe he sees us as leftover volunteers for his Big Society project and figured we all had unused brooms knocking about.
Gallows humour, satire and sarcasm serve as a way of enduring this daily grind. I used to be an optimistic romantic, whereas now I’m a hard, cynical c*** without an iota of love left in me, so I need to employ some coping mechanism. I always thought I was a man out of time, but it would appear I’m very much a man of my time. Life is full of surprises, but it could be a hell of a lot worse; we realised that on Friday. Back for more next week, no doubt.
© The Editor