IT’S 150 years since Lewis Carroll wrote Through The Looking-Glass. Yet on any passing day, you can look at the front page of the Daily Express and step through another sort of glass, a not-looking glass, perhaps.
The other day that newspaper said Boris Johnson was ‘losing patience’ with the shortage of lorry drivers. Both the Express and the Prime Minister somehow managed to keep a straight face while rolling out that old barrel of blubber.
From this side of the glass, it looked as if Boris Johnson was losing patience with Boris Johnson, and perhaps he is, for the rest of us are. And if you’ve not lost patience with the man but have accidentally been gathered up by my Boris-sweeping brush, well, hard luck.
This morning’s looking glass treat was the headline: “Don’t blame driver crisis on Brexit”. This one was based on a few quotations from Iain Duncan Smith – sorry, I accidentally knocked off a ‘Sir’ there. Sir Iain Duncan Smith, knighted for services to never being afraid to blather absolute bollocks.
Perhaps if you step through that glass, it all looks different. Perhaps on that side all those European drivers weren’t sent packing and told not to come back to Brexit-land as we didn’t need them in our sunlit uplands.
Perhaps on that side of the looking glass, all those European lorry drivers weren’t stuck on a runway at Christmas, homeless, foodless and without anywhere to shit. Maybe, you never know, those lorry drivers won’t want to come back here to help us out for a few months before being told to go home again.
Please excuse me, for an interjection on the Tories is coming in from Miriam Margolyes – “I think they are an appalling, incompetent, corrupt shower of twats. The cronyism and the prejudice and the bullying – I have never seen such a deplorable collection of people…”
Thanks, Miriam. She said that in an interview with Eva Wiseman in the Observer the other week, and not just into my ear or anything like that. Thanks to Eva, too, for an entertaining piece of journalism.
And: “I think [the Tories] are an appalling, incompetent, corrupt shower of twats. The cronyism and the prejudice and the bullying – I have never seen such a deplorable collection of people… I don't want [Johnson] to die. But I wouldn’t mind if he was castrated.”
— Eva Wiseman (@EvaWiseman) September 19, 2021
It’s been amusing to watch the Brexit faithful swearing on Nigel Farage’s beer belly, or whatever it is they put faith in nowadays, that nothing bad is linked to Brexit. It’s an article of blind faith.
Sometimes their logic can be hard to grasp.
The shortage of lorry drivers has nothing to do with Brexit, yet the government is offering temporary visas to foreign lorry drivers. If Brexit has nothing to do with it, why are we bending the Brexit restrictions to sort out a problem caused by Brexit?
The knotty maze where my brain used to be is a very confused place nowadays.
Some say all those problems are caused by Covid. Yet in a sense, the pandemic has acted as a blanket for everything that’s going wrong thanks to Brexit. Covid has provided a distraction, and hardly anyone in the media – or the Labour party – can be bothered to keep an account of what’s going or gone wrong with Boris’s Big Botched Brexit.
As for fuel, when is a shortage not a shortage? If you can’t fill your car with petrol, there’s a shortage whether it’s caused by Brexit reducing the lorry-driving workforce or by people rushing to buy petrol because everyone else is rushing to buy petrol. Or a bit of both.
The result is the same.
No petrol, no motion.
We’re off on a short holiday next week for the first time in a year, or we are if we can buy petrol. The two garages I tried today in York had run dry.
I’ll tell you what: if our holiday is cancelled, I will be blaming Boris Johnson.