Netflix is full of half-watched dramas. Up they pop when you log on. “Continue watching” or “because you watched”.
Brexit is much the same – “continue watching” or “because you watched the first series of this rubbish, you might like this shitstorm of a follow-up”.
The ‘star’ actor changed recently, jumping gender and class background, and still Brexit rolls on, unalterable. And don’t believe the enthusiastic reviews in the Tory papers for Johnson’s New Deal – those right-wing luvvies will type up any old tosh in defence of that indefensible posho.
Much as some liberal-minded types will rattle out any old tosh attacking Boris Johnson, that misleading man of our times (because you watched “You really are a nasty piece of work…”).
In the run-up to yesterday’s ‘Super Saturday’ episode of the long-running parliamentary soap, several witty women were tweeting about how Boris Johnson’s ‘new’ Brexit deal was just like when a woman suggests something in a meeting only to be ignored – and then a man says exactly the same thing and is clapped on the back as a hero.
This is true and it would be possible to feel sorry for Theresa May if, well, she wasn’t Theresa May.
On BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House this morning, someone reviewing the papers said that May had been “magisterial” in her speech yesterday. Magi-what? Last time I checked in the dictionary, magisterial didn’t mean peevishly repeating yourself until the cows turned around, deciding not to come home because they just couldn’t stand another minute of listening to that.
In yesterday’s unusual Saturday episode of WestEnders, Boris Johnson tried to get his super-new-same-old deal through parliament, telling everyone how super and new it was, and reminding everyone how super he was for having rewrapped that old parcel Theresa May left in Downing Street.
Johnson was rebuffed again, continuing his spectacular record of never winning anything. MPs ignored his bullying monologues and instead voted for an amendment put forward by Oliver Letwin. This welcomed Johnson’s deal in principle but stopped him smuggling Brexit out in a rolled-up carpet at midnight when no one was looking.
The Benn Act obliged Johnson to write to the European Commission to seek an extension to the Article 50 process – something he’d sworn he’d never do, preferring to be found dead in a ditch (“Because you watched Brexit the Zombie Apocalypse”).
Our misleading man did as was required, sending a letter to the commission, but declining to add his signature. Instead he signed another letter saying why he didn’t want the extension he’d just been forced to ask for. And then he said that puppy he got to generate good headlines had eaten his homework.
Those critics in the right-wing newspapers continue to big up this episode as the people vs parliament, as democracy derailed and – in their latest rumbled mantra – Just Get This Thing Done.
Please don’t be fooled by that line. Yes, this has been going on forever, but that was always built into Brexit. It isn’t parliament’s fault this is happening; it’s because Brexit is a contentious idea, pushed on us in a referendum where the winning side knowingly told lies, and tipped the vote with a stream of illegal last-minute campaign ads (see Carole Cadwalladr, anti-Brexit Twitter warrior of the Observer).
Any minister cornered about Brexit now rolls out this “get it done line – the people are tired, etc”. This is just another bullying slogan dreamed up in Downing Street, in line with all the other bullying.
Parliament isn’t the problem and should be the solution. And I don’t care how many more episodes there are, Brexit is a terrible idea – a pointless and monumental act of self-harm built on blatant false promises.
Oh, what’s this? Because you watched Iain-Duncan Smith, Michael Gove and Mark Francois fall off a cliff while singing Rule Britannia in a fog of their own making.
Oh, hang on a minute – when was that on? I’m up for that episode.