Is anyone surprised?
As I have constantly predicted against a succession of sensationalised media stories, Theresa May refused to step down from power yesterday. Instead, she is going to remain in place until she has finally overseen the outcome of these Brexit negotiations and some sort of result is found.
I think by this stage, we might as well lock in for May’s tenure indefinitely. She’ll outlive all of us, supreme leader of ineptitude until the last days of man. As we live in our supposed apocalyptic post-Brexit wasteland, she’ll be reigning over her kingdom of dirt until finally, Michael Gove, turned half-cockroach by a radiation leak from a defective Chinese nuclear power station, eats her.
Much like the Tory party is currently eating itself.
You’re In A Cheery Mood Today
You know what? I’m happy. For political writers, May being in power means that we’ve at least got a few more months of drivel to keep chirping on about before things change either for the better or, more likely, for worse.
However, in the here and now, May met with Sir Graham Brady yesterday, the horse-faced chairman of the 1922 Committee. On behalf of many of the Conservative backbenchers who have been lobbying him to help them oust May from power, he asked her to spell out her timeline for her departure and encouraged her to make it sooner rather than later.
“Cheers, Graham,” replied Theresa, “But I’m not going anywhere. Ta-ta.”
Sources from within No. 10 said that her current plan was to not even consider stepping down before either September or when Brexit is resolved – whichever comes sooner.
September it is, then.
All of this came as the Conservatives admitted that, despite their best efforts, the European Parliamentary elections would be going ahead. Which we already knew anyway. Yesterday they finally admitted it, however. The Tories, having lost a considerable amount of funding from donors over concerns about their handling of Brexit, will be running a cut-price campaign. David Liddington, May’s deputy PM in all but name, announced all of this in a statement yesterday, expressing regret that talks with the Labour Party to find a compromise had not gone as quickly as expected.
Which was ironic, considering that a few short hours later, Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour Brexit Secretary, was saying how the Tories had just offered Labour an absolute pup of a deal. If the Tories had wanted a compromise to be found, they could have made it happen – instead, according to nearly all media sources, they’ve dragged their heels.
What Is All This Deal Malarkey Anyway?
Basically, while the Tories and Labour align on some compromises around Brexit like matching the EU’s regulations on protecting workers’ rights, the dreaded customs union is still the sticking point. In essence:
- The Tories want to leave the customs union so that they can strike their own trade deals with other major trading powers such as the US and China;
- Whereas Labour want to maintain pre-existing trade relationships with the EU to ensure that workers are protected as far as possible.
The proposal by the Tories yesterday was to remain in a customs union until 2022, which when the next General Election is scheduled to be (because it is five years after the 2017 election – remember that fiasco?).
However, given the way that we will be breaking off from the EU, this would likely be the case anyway, so the offer to Labour is basically to wrap a pretty little bow on the existing situation to make it look shinier.
So it’s currently looking like a real compromise is unlikely. Which means that Corbyn might be forced into supporting a second referendum, and May faces a total impasse as to what to do next.
Should be fun!
Two stories – one funny, the other absolutely not.
Firstly, Jean-Claude Juncker, the steadily-sozzled President of the European Commission, claimed yesterday that he could have “won” the referendum by telling the British people that the Vote Leave campaign were all liars.
While Vote Leave has, it must be remembered, openly admitted to cheating during the referendum campaign, this is still a wildly hilarious way of looking at things. According to sources, many EU diplomats quietly said to journalists that it “Wasn’t very helpful.”
Which is a polite way of saying that they considered Juncker to be a drunk old uncle telling everyone that things would be better, “If only they’d listened to me.”
The second story is far more serious.
At Between the Lines, we try to be as neutral as possible. Yes, we do not hold back our ire and frustration at the ineptitude of our politicians, but we do try to see both sides of the story. Both Labour and the Conservatives have been dire recently, and we see the Us vs. Them rhetoric of Brexit as incredibly damaging – far better to find positives on both sides and engage in debate rather than put our walls up further.
However, there are some issues where we will simply refuse to see things as a bystander.
Carl Benjamin, the UKIP MEP candidate, has made repeated jokes about the fact that he “wouldn’t even rape” the Labour MP Jess Phillips. When questioned about it, he stated that “anything can be made a joke.” UKIP have looked into the matter and their leader, Gerard Batten, has said that is was a bad thing to do, but Benjamin has not been deselected. He will still be running as an MEP.
Phillips herself has received thousands of messages of sexual abuse online, and has been harassed in the street by supporters of UKIP and Benjamin, his words legitimised by the lack of action by his party or other authorities.
This is where Between the Lines, as a policy, will not stand on the sidelines. In our opinion, if you believe in what Carl Benjamin has to say, you not only have no place in politics, you have no place in society. Abhorrent, abusive language like this is a relic of days gone by, and if you really believe that it’s ok to joke about rape, especially in public, then you don’t deserve a vote.
Take this as an official statement from Between the Lines:
Fuck you Carl Benjamin. You pathetic, mummy-issue-ridden, walking sack of festering turds come to life.
If you support Brexit, I urge you to vote for the Brexit Party, not the vile club of racist and misogynist cretins that UKIP has turned into.
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