How music makes Brexit disappear (for a moment)…

OH, I really wasn’t going to do this. I mean, yesterday I even switched off the BBC Today programme because it was all just too much.

BBC Radio 3 provided a haven of beautiful sound as I drove to work, taking the back roads. Open scenery and good music, even an unexpected burst of Miles Davis after a piece by Chopin; open scenery in contrast to the closed scenery of Brexit.

It was another discussion that did it, you see; another discussion about bloody Brexit. I forget now which Tory talking head was churning out the usual rubbish; but, honestly, it’s not important, as they are interchangeable, a waxwork gallery of talking heads who talk a lot and say little.

Bliss it was to complete the journey without another word about Brexit. Some days it seems that the media and the politicians are completely obsessed with Brexit at the expense of everything else; a single-issue sclerosis that stops any other issue being discussed, anything being done.

It is hard not to conclude that politicians and journalists are more interested in Brexit than most ordinary people are. Perhaps this plays to the Leavers in the end, as it would be understandable if even ardent opponents of Brexit found themselves mumbling: “Oh, for pity’s sake, just get on with it.”

While Mrs Maybe leads a government seemingly incapable of thinking about a single thing other than Brexit, the NHS is deep in a struggle to survive, the housing crisis worsens and, shockingly, six months after the Grenfell fire, most survivors are still living in temporary accommodation.

Just pause to consider that last point. Six months; six months of Brexit babble and Brexit bollocks, and this country can’t get itself organised enough to house people made homeless by that appalling tragedy. Parliament should ban Brexit for a day, force all MPs to attend and discuss nothing but rehousing those people.

As this blog goes out almost ‘live’, the headlines this morning are all Brexit-blasted again. “Sufficient progress” has been made to move on to talks about Britain’s future relationship with the EU, according to Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission President.

And Mrs Maybe says the issue of the Irish border has been settled – apparently to the satisfaction of the Arlene Foster and her backing vocalists in the DUP band, Arlene and The Discontents. No hard border and the Good Friday Agreement will be upheld.

Eighteen long months after the referendum, and we can talk now about our relationship with Europe. This is not the end, barely even the beginning of the end, just a move forwards by one shuffle inch.

I didn’t intend to write about Brexit again, as nothing anyone writes seems to make anything clearer. As a parting thought, we held an in/out referendum and the answer came back for leave, by a relatively slim margin. Nothing was mentioned in that referendum about a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit; nothing was mentioned about quitting the customers union and so on.

Instead, the shape of Brexit has been left to the Tories, with little more than offstage muttering from Labour. And today’s news is just one step forwards in a long and arduous slog.

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