The last of us has yet to arrive for the beer, curry and talking about shit club. Only a slurp in and we have broached Brexit already.
Two of us think Jeremy Corbyn has offered no leadership or guidance on Brexit, while the outnumbered one, being a keen Corbyn man, says that’s nonsense as Labour aren’t in power, so there’s not much they can do.
This argument fails to convince the two of us who think that Corbyn is hopelessly conflicted on Brexit; and our complaints fail to convince the staunch Corbyn man.
Then the fourth member of the party arrives. This reconfiguration allows the conversation to decamp from that most quarrelsome of dead-horse-flogged topics (apologies to anyone using the new vegan dictionary), and we move on without settling anything.
Moving on without settling anything seems to be the mood of the moment.
That night in the pub last week came back to me after yesterday’s PMQs. Corbyn was generally thought to have blown it. The day before, Theresa May had suffered three Commons defeats in 63 minutes, a record even for her. Given a chance to gloat or at least to land a gleeful punch or two, Corbyn didn’t mention those three defeats. He didn’t bring up Brexit at all. Instead, he began one of his solid sermons on austerity.
This is comfortable territory for Corbyn and he made some decent points about the struggles people face. Mrs Maybe delivered her usual robotic statistics rap – “more people in work, blah-de-blah”, without acknowledging that it is people in poorly paid work who are struggling.
You can make an argument that Brexit was in part caused by austerity. Along of course with all those hoarse cries of freedom – freedom from what, you might wonder, while inching ever closer to that cliff; freedom to do as we wish, cry the freedom squaddies; freedom, perhaps, to throw ourselves on an unfeeling world, or onto those rocks below the White Cliffs.
And so on. That’s the problem with moving on without settling anything.
Yes, austerity can be said to have played its part, as some Leave voters were feeling the pinch or feeling ignored and overlooked; or just feeling that life should feel different or better than it did.
Still, in the Parliamentary boxing ring, Corbyn’s tactic just seemed odd. In a sense he shares with his opponent a curious dull stubbornness. When people expect him to crow about the other lot having trudged into a stinking quagmire, he changes the subject and accidentally offers Mrs Maybe a hand up from the mud.
I raise this matter, and write these thoughts, knowing that people may well spot that this is another Brexit blog, and wander off to do something more profitable.
It’s easy to appreciate the yawns. Earlier this morning, I switched off the BBC Today programme as John Hymphrys interviewed Theresa May. It was annoying and pointless and went nowhere. Instead, I spent a few minutes deleting emails on my phone: a more profitable use of time.
Right now, there is a headline on the Guardian website reading: “‘People’s eyes are glazing over’: Brexit fatigue grips Basildon.”
Basildon and everywhere else, I shouldn’t wonder. That leaves me to depart with a sigh, while trying to work out if fatigue can grip anything: if you are extremely tired, aren’t you more likely to release your grip and let go?
Oh, who knows; who knows anything these days.