Well, that’s certainly been one heck of a week! Unseasonably mild weather (15 degrees C or just under 60 degrees F – in mid-November!) and also the week the wheels finally fell off the Prime Minister’s Brexit Bus. Oh my goodness.
And speaking as we were, briefly, about Brexit, on Tuesday evening Ms Playchute and I trotted off to London to attend a rally in support of The People’s Vote on Brexit. Coincidentally, this was the same day that Theresa May announced the conclusion of her negotiations with the EU and the “successful” culmination of a Brexit deal. This will now be presented to Parliament for approval at some point in the next few weeks. So, two years after the referendum we finally know what it means to have decided to Leave the EU. Perhaps it would have been a better idea to have had this information before the vote instead of the lies and misinformation as well as the outright fantasy put out by those campaigning to Leave?
As we’ve suspected all along, the withdrawal agreement leaves the UK neither in nor out of the EU and clearly in a worse position than is currently the case – still subject to EU rules and regulations without any say on how those rules and regulations are formulated. This will persist until some “magical” solution to the issue of the border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland can be found. Just about everyone concludes that it’s a crap deal but the choice is between this deal or no deal, so the mantra goes.
Before the rally we met up with friends and had a bite to eat at The Temple of Seitan, a vegan McDonalds if you will. I know, that seems a mammoth contradiction but it is, essentially, a burger bar but with completely vegan produce. As you know, I am very much a meat lover but this place was excellent. It’s not going to win any Michelin stars but the food was very good. I had the BBQ Bacon Burger with Fries and it was very, very tasty.
The rally was very good and very well-attended. So well attended, in fact that not everyone was able to get in to the venue, Methodist Hall, Westminster. One had to apply for tickets (Free) before the event but, rather like some airlines, I guess, they “sold” considerably more tickets than there were seats available. When we arrived at just before 7.00 for a scheduled 7.30 start there were two queues snaking from the front door of the hall all the way around the block and for several blocks down the street. I suppose we finally got in about 7.40 and we were amongst the last to be admitted. I don’t know how many people didn’t get in but there were certainly a thousand or more still waiting in the queue when we were allowed in.
Of course the speakers, from all parties and political persuasions, were preaching to the converted but it was very uplifting to hear prominent politician after prominent politician (and some we’d never heard of) denouncing the stupidity of the original referendum and the agreement that the government had finally negotiated. And, to make the point that Mrs May’s preferred option of her deal or no deal was, in fact, no choice – that there had to be an opportunity for a fresh referendum in which remaining in the EU was one of the choices available. As speaker after speaker said, the deal which has been negotiated is nothing like the promises which were promoted by those running the Leave campaign. Apart from the lies and misinformation, it’s now clear that the sunlit uplands of perpetual freedom and prosperity which the Leavers promised resembles rather more closely the damp, dreary bog lands of despair with reduced freedom, reduced opportunities and reduced prosperity. Damn those pesky Russian election manipulators.
So, this week we’ve had the drama and theatre of various Government ministers resigning (along with several folks who, again, no one had heard of), as well as the Pound dropping off the edge of the Brexit cliff. Interestingly, two of the ministers who have resigned were members of the Cabinet when Mrs May produced her Chequers deal which the cabinet endorsed. Now, when the final negotiated deal comes back from Brussels these ministers suddenly decided that what they had endorsed was no longer acceptable. What’s changed?
What’s changed, I think, is that the penny has finally dropped and at long last some folk have realised that what the EU was saying all along was actually true, not just a negotiating ploy. I.e., that whatever deal the UK would be offered by default would be worse than our current membership – how could it possibly be better or even the same? Yet the looney Brexiteers claim the deal is not good enough so it’s better, in their eyes, to crash out without a deal in an acrimonious divorce where the only folks who benefit are the lawyers and the ones who are worst hit are the children, i.e., us!
Interesting days and weeks ahead.
That image is splendid but this video from Ell Potter on Twitter is stupendous – “The sign language interpreter doing the Brexit Agreement on BBC News is perfectly conveying the perplexing fuckery of this situation.”
Now that the Pound has fallen through the floor, what better time to head off to the States and spend some seemingly worthless currency. We’re off this morning to the States for Thanksgiving with my mother, brothers and sister along with our Nick. We’re looking forward immensely to seeing everyone and especially to seeing Ben, Brex-Anna and Max the Magnificent who are going to make the trip from the West Coast. Max is the youngest of my mother’s 12 great grandchildren (so far) and one of the two, I guess, which she has yet to meet. She also has never met Jessica but sadly Adam and Ava can’t come and Jessie is just a bit too big to sneak into our luggage. In light of this expedition you may be spared a post next week – I expect to have a lot of fun and, rest assured, I will definitely eat too much!
Love to you all,