This post from Marina Hyde in The Guardian sums it up rather well:https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... azU7JVe21k
We focus so much on what divides parliament’s warring Brexit factions, when almost all of them are united by the guiding principle of brinkmanship: “Eventually someone will stop acting like a shit, but it certainly won’t be me.” The past few days have been like watching the Cuban missile crisis re-enacted by the Teletubbies.
MPs back Brexit delay as votes lay bare cabinet divisions
A recap, then. Hopes that Tinky Winky would grow into the role of Bobby Kennedy were dashed this week in a series of votes in the House of Commons. We are 14 days out from the date the UK will leave the European Union without a deal unless something else is agreed upon. With the threat of that something being a long extension, if granted by the EU, Theresa May is hoping MPs will look again at her withdrawal agreement next week in Meaningful Vote 3. Sure, they saw it lurching around the bar earlier and thought there was no way in a million years they were going home with it. But this close to tipping-out time, are they drunk enough to panic-buy? If the answer turns out to be yes, the prime minister’s various earlier losses this week will be hailed momentarily as tactically astute. Think of it as a sort of Crap Negotiations World Cup. Theresa May doesn’t want to finish top of the group or her Brexit will face the Treaty of Versailles in the semis.
To say the drama at Westminster came off as meth-assisted is to flatter it. Take Stephen Barclay, the unknown who was recently cast as Brexit secretary on the basis that he met the role’s single criterion: looking like you could snap a towel in a locker-room, then go, “Don’t be a girl, mate!” Stephen summed up the debate for the government. “It is time for this house to act in the national interest,” he said, presumably for the lulz. “It’s time to put forward an extension that is realistic.” And with that, he voted against that very extension. Abstentions included the actual chief whip, Julian Smith. Like a lot of Tory MPs this week, I haven’t paid much attention to Smith. But that is quite the character note.
Other lowlights? Bernard Jenkin calling the vote against no deal “a sad day for democracy”. Oh, please. Bernard Jenkin is a sad day for democracy – and one that’s gone on for 27 years now. Special mention, also, to all the guys helping us to understand matters via the medium of their penises. Monday began with the ERG deputy chair, Mark Francois, taking to the airwaves to reheat his TV exchange with Will Self last week, revealing that Self had asked him if he was worried about his penis size. “Quite the opposite!” Mark now honked to a wider audience. Also on Monday, Boris Johnson was talking about fig leaves and embarrassment, Geoffrey Cox was still going on about his codpiece, and by the afternoon an MP declared of May that Cox “has removed the codpiece and fucked her”. Thanks, all! Will the last man involved in Brexit who doesn’t think it’s all somehow about their penis, someone else’s penis, or the collective penis, please stand up?
Unfortunately they can’t, because Mark Francois is on the telly again. “I was in the army,” Mark was boasting by Wednesday. “I wasn’t trained to lose.” Like his fellow Brexiter David Davis, Mark seems to have parlayed a long-distant period in the territorial army into a dazzling military career. Can you get a DSO for bullshit? Either way, permission not to be automatically turned on by your former weekend job. Oh, wait, I just gave permission to myself. That’s MY chain of command, Mark. Free your mind, man!
Not that it isn’t always amusing to hear from the guy who led the raid on Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound. I should say that this was when it was re-enacted at Gary’s stag do at Splatoon Paintball in Wickford – but it was definitely Mark who whooped “Geronimo EKIA!” when Gaz got coated.
After the meaningful vote was lost on Tuesday, then, the CBI called for this to be “the last day of failed politics”. Will it even be the last decade? Like one of the classic Hollywood flops that ended up almost bankrupting their studios, Brexit is the niche project that has become a vast, troubled production. United Artists was the studio collapsed by Heaven’s Gate – at various points this week it has felt like the United Kingdom might be done in by Brexit.
And so, finally, to Nigel Farage, who went to the European parliament specifically to insult Michel Barnier. Like a lot of rightwing vloggers, Nigel’s branding depends on him declaiming in front of a prestigious backdrop, and this is why he frequently pitches up in the chamber, unleashes three minutes of complete non sequitur, then immediately leaves, presumably to count his salary and expenses while some incel intern posts the video for him.
You may not agree with Barnier, but he is faultlessly polite, and watching Farage address him in such aggressively obnoxious terms is to be reminded of just how antithetical Nigel is to all the supposedly British traits, such as good manners, that he drones on about. “We’ve had enough!” he shouted. “I’m sure you’re feeling a bit sore about that!” “You pushed your luck too far!” Yap yap yap. I’m so tired of this little doggy barking. Watching the United Kingdom shitshow this week and idly identifying culprits that ruined the franchise, you really don’t have to look a lot further than Racist Scrappy-Doo, whose best point about himself is that he isn’t Tommy Robinson.
Still, according to Nigel: “There is a greater sense of unity in the country than I’ve seen for some years.” Or, as polls found this week, opinion remains deadlocked or bitterly divided, while MPs have voted against May’s deal, the Malthouse compromise, a second referendum, no deal, parliament taking control of Brexit, and all manner of things besides. The territory we’re in is not so much The Will of the People as The Won’t of the People. Still, another week, another vote. Après this, le déluge.