Brexit Hell

What was Brexit like? America’s declaration of independence? A man leaving a golf club but demanding to still be allowed into the bar? Over the years, I went through a few analogies, but the one that persisted was of a married man who has for years enjoyed casually flirting with a work colleague. One evening he makes his traditional half-hearted pass, and instead of rolling her eyes, she replies: “Go on, then”. A month later, he’s living out of his car and negotiating through lawyers to see his children one weekend a month, and he can’t really tell you how it happened.

Robert Hutton looks back at the unrelenting mess of Brexit and notes just how stupid the whole thing has been.

And so it remains, with the UK government managing to come up with a toxic combination of compounded stupidity, wilful ignorance and stubborn refusal to face reality. After the (stupid) referendum, the Tories rushed into Brexit without having the faintest idea of what they wanted to achieve or how to achieve it. Or anything.

So here we are, approaching the finally final (we mean it this time) deadline for a trade agreement there is still very little likelihood of anything being agreed, and probably less that any agreement being ratified.

Britain has gone from being part of the largest free trade zone in the world to having a free trade zone smaller than the UK. And for what? To be as independent as North Korea?

Was it really worth it?

Grifter’s gonna grift

David Allen Green makes a good point about the rationality of Trump’s refusal to concede that he has lost the election.

Of course, any decent person would have conceded in order to allow the incoming administration to start preparing for power and Trump’s refusal to do so is both dangerous and deeply undemocratic.

Trump, of course, is not a decent person and right now he has a thing — power — and sees no advantage in giving it up. Why would he? We all know that he’s only in it for himself and he has nothing to gain from stepping aside and everything to lose.

Trump’s going to milk the White House for as long as he can get away with it.

Quote of the day: The sore loser, and the malign loser

Trump is a sore loser. But the GOP is a malign loser. We can and should blame Trump for not conceding this election and starting the transition process to the Biden administration. But even more, we should blame and condemn the GOP for supporting and encouraging a position that endangers the county, internally and around the world. It knows better, and simply doesn’t care.

John Scalzi largely sums up my own view on the US election result.

It is, of course, unquestionably good that Joe Biden won this election but, given what we have seen of Trump over the past four years — and what we knew about him back in 2016 — this was unbelievably close. In a sane world, Trump should never had won the Republican nomination, he should not have beaten Clinton and he should have been utterly wiped out electorally this time around.

Biden’s win represents (hopefully) the start of a return to sanity for US politics, but the country still has a long way to go.

Brexiter Brexits before Brexit

With the UK becoming the first European country to exceed 50,000 Coronavirus deaths, all attention is focused on the fact that Dominic Cummings has resigned.

He’s intending to be gone by Christmas, which means that none of the Vote Leave campaigners will be left in government by the time that Brexit really starts to bite.

After being instrumental securing the Brexit vote, Cummings then spent years worming his way into the government machine to ensure that his particular vision of Brexit is the one that would be inflicted on the country. Who’d have thought that such a man would want to quit just as Britain enters the sunlit uplands that he’s been orchestrating for so long?

It’s almost as if he’s finally realised just how destructive a path he’s set the country on and has decided to quit before he has to deal with any of the consequences.

Bye, Dominic. Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.