We’re generally disinclined to link to pieces on Brexit, although most British MRAs are Brexiteers – in my experience, though we have no problem with Remainer MRAs – in part because the MSM is awash with commentary on the issue. I’ve decided to make a rare exception because there’s an article in The Times today by Quentin Letts, an author and columnist I greatly admire. His comments on Jess Bloody-Phillips are hilarious. Has any other prominent columnist ever criticised JBP before? Not that I can recall. The article:
More cunning plans, more brain-ache and jargon spaghetti: it was another Commons session “Leaving the European Union”. Jeepers, will we ever? This saga has had more chapters than the Book of Isaiah but yesterday Theresa May conceded we might not escape by March 29, the date Brexiteers have been awaiting with such excitement. If Remainers can at least spoil that, think of the kick it will give them. Yeah, that’ll show who’s in charge!
The House hushed when, shortly before lunchtime, Mrs May delivered the news with a classic “good tidings and bad” approach. First came a dog biscuit to Leavers. “If we have to, we will ultimately make a success of a no-deal,” she said. This was not quite the “ruling out no deal” that had been rumoured all morning. Some MPs: “Ah ha!” Philip Hammond sucked his tongue. Amber Rudd (likewise Europhile, but braver than slippery Phil) went a bit cross-eyed, as though being gnawed below decks by weevils.
Now tilting to Remainers, Mrs May said that if the House again pushed away her deal, she would permit “a short, limited extension” to Brexit. “Ah ha!” said different MPs.
Mrs May’s announcement was not easy to follow. Higher-level City and Guilds in Westminster procedure would have been handy. West Dorset’s Sir Oliver Letwin, would-be mastermind of Tory Remainers, gripped his brow as though reading Schopenhauer. Once Mrs May finished, Sir Oliver beetled over for an animated mothers’ meeting with co-plotters Dominic Grieve and little Jonnie Djanogly. Games, games, games.
The other Hammond, Stephen (no better than Philip), whispered to Richard Harrington, one of those pro-EU ministers who is threatening to quit. Hammond is the sort of bloke whose eyes dart from side to side while he is having a discreet chat.
Jeremy Corbyn, who has started shouting a lot, thought Brexit repetitive. “They say history repeats itself — first as tragedy, the second time as farce, but the umpteenth time it can only be described as grotesquely reckless,” he said. “They”? Er, it was Karl Marx.
When Mr Corbyn said “Labour has a credible plan” there was honking merriment. Nick Smith (Lab, Blaenau Gwent) chuckled by the Speaker’s chair, in full view of the Corbynites. Momentum may need to send Comrade Smith away for re-education. As ever, Kenneth Clarke abused his privileges as Father of the House and rambled. As ever, the SNP’s Ian Blackford addressed Mrs May in the vocative instead of the third person. Blackford is blatant about this. Speaker Bercow corrected him half-heartedly.
Labour’s Barry Sheerman, a tremulous Piglet, said “I feel very f-f-f-frightened.” Security blanket for Barry please, matron. Jess Phillips (Lab, Yardley) became overemotional and barely coherent. This is not unusual. She must be a nightmare after a few jars. [J4MB emphasis]
Caroline Flint (Lab, Don Valley) had a snorting riff about how the people had made their decision and MPs should not try to stop Brexit. Sir Keir Starmer’s right index finger tapped a furious rhythm while she was speaking.
Tory Leavers were the hound that didn’t howl. Boris, in new buzzcut, stood cheerfully behind the Speaker’s chair. Tory Europhiles chatted to him, keeping in with the man who could become leader. Nor did Jacob Rees-Mogg bother to rise. Brexiteers, rather calmer than their opponents, had been comforted by Mrs May’s assertion that a delay could merely lead to “a much sharper cliff edge”. They sense no deal is still a runner.
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