The latest Letter from Brexitannia:
It’s been a good long while since I last graced these august premises with a doggerel dump on the state of British politics, and it’s not because there’s been a dearth of things taking place over here for me to get angry and rant about. Au contraire, Mes Amis, this is, after all, late-stage Tory Britain we’re talking about, where on any given Tuesday you can always peek your peepers above the parapet to witness at least half a dozen examples of something heartbreakingly awful being inflicted on society’s most vulnerable by immensely privileged garbage who have never had to suffer a moment’s insecurity in their cossetted, buttersmooth lives, all soundtracked by media vandals (who would themselves benefit immensely from being volleyed repeatedly in the wormsack by a drunken kangaroo) being allowed to bray something imbecilic and horrible about it through a publicly funded megaphone.
The problem that I’ve had recently is that the above is basically the sum total of what Britain’s national political culture consists of these days; it’s just one endless, out-of-focus conveyor belt of soul-crushingly banal atrocity winding its way past the dead eyes and distorted faces of a million haggard proles like a sushi-bar in a Marilyn Manson video, except the fish are all rotted black, half of the plates have puppies nailed to them, and the other courses seem to consist mainly of boneless mice squirming about in bowls of cracked glass. Who in their right mind would ever want to write about that?
Hello. Pleased to meet you.
You may or may not recall from previous ranting episodes that the Anglosphere’s (current) least favourite KulturKrieging Kick-back machine has been drowning in disaster since pretty much the moment it installed a Russian-owned ethical void as its leader. They may have coasted to Absolute Power on the back of intense Media fluffing and a grinding, half-decade long, bipartisan campaign to paint the only alternative as some kind of folk devil on a par with Hitler, Stalin or Gwyneth Paltrow, but from there on it’s been the very definition of Downfall. From the insanity of its Brexit policy to the inhumanity of its Covid response and everything in between, when it comes to fucking up the country in the most corrupt and incompetent way imaginable the Tory Party of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson has gone above and beyond mere human rapacity to achieve something touching on the infernal. It’s been a tour de force of open larceny that I could compare to something like Alaric’s Visigoths sacking late-Imperial Rome, except that would be a grievous insult to both Alaric (who was by all accounts a popular and capable leader) and the Visigothic nation (who at least had the decency to move to Spain and invent tapas). It’s simply unparalleled.
This isn’t a Government, it’s an Occupation, and there ain’t no one coming from over there to liberate us because we did it to ourselves.
The laundry list of Tory shit-the-beds is so long it would tax the Magdalene Sisters, so I won’t even bother trying to detail all of them again. Suffice to say that on top of everything else there’s now a cost of living crisis eating away at the bank accounts of every non-millionaire in the UK, with energy bills, food bills, fuel bills, and every other bill you can think of accelerating to escape velocity so quickly it’s driven Elon Musk into a full-blown jealous breakdown, while at the same time the wages of everyone but the cutthroats of Pirate Capitalism Island lag in real terms and the much-touted promises of ‘levelling up’ funds for the most benighted (by consecutive Tory and Tory-lite regimes) areas have evaporated faster than a widow’s tears in a cremation oven. The only parts of the 2019 election manifesto that Tories haven’t abandoned are the ones cribbed from Labour’s offering, which says far more about the relative seriousness of each party’s policy ideas three years ago than anyone in the British Establishment is willing to admit.
And in all this race to the bottom of the barrel and beyond, the one constant is an echoing silence about a major driver in the UK’s plunge into failed state mode, namely Brexit. The national auto-asphyxiation episode masquerading as a policy debate that decided the 2019 Election and gave Flobalob the keys to the kingdom simply doesn’t get mentioned anymore in the world of capital N ‘News’.
Twenty-mile queues for lorries trying to cross the Channel at Dover? That’ll be “global supply chain issues” to blame. Britain’s post-Covid recovery lagging way at the bottom of the European economic league table? That’ll be the “global economic downturn”, then. The UK’s elected representatives getting cold shouldered and laughed at when attending any significant international gathering? That’ll be due to “global meanie-pants syndrome”. When Union and Business leaders get interviewed by the BBC about the havoc Brexit and this Government’s complete failure to be honest about its costs are wreaking on their industries, they’re told to avoid using the B-word, and if they fail to self-censor, they find their interviews edited to meet the approval of the Corporation’s Tory appointed (and Tory supporting) most serene and noble upper management.
It’s absolutely insane. If it ain’t ‘New’ then it ain’t ‘News’ taken to an illogical “Nominative Determinism gone mad!” extreme. OTOH, if your only job is to spare the Tory Party embarrassment and avoid asking difficult to answer questions about where the country is going and who led us there, it makes perfect sense. After all, looked at rationally, pulling us out of the enormous free market we source most of our trade and trade goods from because it was going to tighten up rules on tax avoidance our junk newspapers have firehosed racism into people’s brains for decades… err, we want Our Sovereignty back was always going to be incredibly disruptive and cost us a LOT of money. In fact, a ton of people at the time said so, only to be dismissed as suspiciously cosmopolitan agents of ‘Project Fear’ and shouted down by the hooting loons of Putin’s Useful Idiot circus. Giving the lumpen proletariat simple and clear real-world evidence that those ivory tower elites were right when they said leaving the EU would be a proper “Will Smith, His Hand Open” thing to do (short term satisfying, long term super disastrous) could even result in political and reputational blowback against the people who propagandised 17 million rubes into voting for an acid bath spa, and that would in turn have an absolutely fatal knock-on effect on the career prospects and peerage-capped retirement plans of a lot of Very Important Pricks.
Can’t have that, can we?
So, when we do hear about Brexit, it’s solely through a pro-Tory lens, as an instrument of distraction rather than illumination. When there’s a dangerous (because the Government has done sweet FA to prepare for it) Brexit-specific deadline approaching or tens of thousands of people getting tossed on the unemployment pile because of post-Brexit economic realities, out will stomp one of the hardline Brextremist roublewhores of the backbench Tory European Research Group cult, probably Steve ‘Libertarian Jesus is my Co-Pilot’ Baker or maybe David ‘My offer is Nothing’ Frost (it doesn’t matter which one since they’re all equally full of bowel gas) to lay the blame for whatever Brexit-sparked catastrophe happens to be in the News today squarely on the European Union, then demand unconditional surrender from all foreigners on all fronts as a non-negotiable prerequisite for diplomatic talks to even begin. Headlines will be vomited up based on this nonsense, and TV News torsos will solemnly regurgitate the bland pabulum before revolving to face their Murdoch-loanee political pundit Buxom McNerdyglasses and asking in a jocular tone for her latest mindnumbingly shallow opinion on “What this could mean for the Prime Minister’s holiday plans?” and nobody learns a damned thing.
Whenever there’s a particularly bad news cycle on the cards for Flobby and Co (which is pretty much every week) they can always go big and dial in the coordinates for Abbith to summon forth the Ninth Emanation of Crawling Chaos, the Squirming Tongue of Nyarlathotep, He Who Bathes In Musty Seas, to emerge with jerky motions from his subterranean cocoon and say something equal parts stupid and enraging on the topic that will trigger a response from ‘The Left’ and hit all the right notes with the White and Right and fed on Shite crowd. I refer, of course, to the British Government’s Brexit Opportunities Minister (pause for laughter) Jacob Rees-Mogg, that humanoid-shaped nadir of all that is wrong with the British class system.
A living refutation to any argument for inbreeding between Conservatives, Jake the Fake was left so socially misanthropic by a childhood spent quaffing only quail’s eggs braised in snuff that Flobalob now deploys him strictly for out-and-out trolling purposes. Last week he came through for him with proper Edgelord brazenness by admitting directly to camera that it would be “an act of self-harm” to properly enact the Brexit deal his chum Flobalob signed Britain up for, knowing full well that our gimp-bridled News media would instinctively rear away from pursuing that particular topic for fear of where the obvious next question would lead. Headlines about “Brexit Minister admits it’s all fucked” might theoretically sell more newspapers, but they would also cost anyone pushing them access to ‘anonymous Government sources’ and with them any hopes of moving up to bigger and better journalistic gigs, so it’s “Brexit Minister defends Prime Minister’s strategy” and everyone stays dumb while everyone who matters stays happy.
His latest bread for the ducks is “Brexit will allow us to gut 90,000 Civil Service jobs and replace them with servers located in Russian troll-farms. Hurrah for Brexit.” The man’s a pantomime villain with a platform and the all-round vibe of a late-18th century French Vicomte infamous for selling peasant children’s teeth to fund his wig habit, but he’s extremely well compensated for playing the role his masters and their Media co-conspirators need him to. He’s a skinny Limbaugh with a languid drawl. English D’Souza. A walking, talking sneer existing purely to ‘own the libs’ and attract ambient criticism on the understanding that he’ll never, ever, have to pay a serious price for it. It’s quite alright to want to punch his teeth down his throat and ram those glasses up his Nanny-wiped backhole, because that’s how he’s supposed to make decent people feel. That’s his one job. Villain protagonist of a one-man show that might as well be called “Things You Can’t Believe He’d Say!” Meanwhile, the horrible laws his Cabinet colleagues are pushing through pass without much coverage because, after all, there are only so many hours in the day and we can’t expect busy journalists to obsess over the details of every single piece of legislation when Jacob is up there giving them tons of free content, can we?
It’s the same story with Covid, more or less. Ever since Flobalob ran a JCB-branded bulldozer through the very idea of having any protections in place (mutilating the country to appease the hardline Covidiotic roublewhores of the Covid Recovery Group cult like Steve ‘asbestos is a vegetable’ Baker and David ‘a face only a virus could love’ Frost… haaaaay, I know those names…) we’re averaging something like 1000 to 1500 people a week dying “of or with Covid”, but the equivalent of a passenger jet fully laden with people Flobalob is paying some form of Child Support for crashing into the Thames every single day is simply ignored by the News Media. Not happening. Boring. Old News. Covid joins Brexit as another thing “Wot BoJo Got Dun” and that’s all there is to say about that.
But they’re not going away, and neither is their malign impact on what’s left of the country. Financially Brexit is wrecking us to the tune of hundreds of pounds a year sucked out of the average wallet, tens of billions a year gone from the economy, an estimated £130 billion in costs so far and a hit to GDP somewhere between 2.5% and 8%, depending on who you ask and whether you prefer the burning pain of unvarnished truth to the alternative of, say, stabbing yourself in the eyes with shards from one of Her Royal Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee Commemorative plates depicting Prince Andrew wearing an “It’s A Right Royal Knob-Out” T-Shirt as he hands over millions of pounds in damages to women he definitely never raped. It’s up to you, don’t sweat the small things.
Add to that the truly gobsmacking scale of Covid-related waste exposed in the courts over the last year or so, and the extent of our national fuckedness becomes plain. While Flobalob’s Cabinet of cronies and charlatans were deliberately shoving thousands of the unproductive elderly out of hospital beds and into Covid-ridden ‘care homes’ (and lying about it) their main focus was on how they could exploit this crisis to funnel public money into the bank accounts of Party donors. Tens of billions in ‘VIP’ contracts handed over to chums and supporters for Track and Trace programs that didn’t work, PPE that didn’t fit, furlough loans that were never repaid. Everywhere you looked there were hosepipes of cash being blasted in all directions but at the people and organisations that desperately needed it, with little to no oversight, followed by absolutely eyewatering amounts of fraud being written off by Rishi Sunak’s Treasury as ‘unrecoverable’, all on the say so of Tory Ministers who now have the effrontery to shake their heads and pompously inform everyone that we’re in for a period of belt tightening because ‘someone’ has to be the grown-up and tell the little people that they’ve already had their £10 voucher as part of ‘Eat Out to Contract Covid and Kill Granny … err, Help Out’ and shouldn’t be so bloody greedy.
Maybe, just maybe, a genuine Government led by a talented politician could navigate this disaster and emerge with some, if not ‘credit’, then at least grudging respect for realism and grace under pressure. Maybe they could remove underperforming Ministers and refresh the Cabinet with seasoned characters who can take on big tasks with energy and ideas? Maybe, but that’s not what we’ve got, is it? We’ve got this shower. A Roald Dahl feverdream of a Government headed by a feuding clangour of no-mark failures so incredibly dense that they disprove the Titan Intelligence theory of black-holes just by existing.
I’ve been banging on for a good long while now that Flobalob’s days are numbered and all we’re waiting for is the trapdoor to open so the sharks can feed. That number has turned out to be bigger than I imagined, but that’s because I forgot the cardinal rule of wetwork, namely that it’s harder and more time-consuming to complete a sanction when the target knows you’re coming, but it is most definitely coming. From the moment it was calculated over blood cocktails and bukkake on some billionaire’s rented yacht that Bully Bunter’s remaining usefulness was inferior to the gains that could be made from strip-mining Britain with their bought and paid for puppet sitting at the head of the table, parts of the News Media affiliated to that faction have been allowed to go after him and fed a steady diet of leaks that have gradually eviscerated his popularity out there amongst the hoi polloi. Wallpapergate. Poledancegate. Pattersongate. Puppygate. Kermitgate. Partygate. The list goes on and on and on, with more gates than a dog racing track and noxious scandal oozing out of every one of them. All of the ‘hilarious quirks’ that sent Political Media into wide-eyed swoons when he was garbed in Teflon have been exposed as what they always were, the affected mannerisms of a greedy, lazy, deceitful Etonian snob who embodies Wilhoit’s proposition about Conservatism in every aspect of his being.
Flobalob has responded to these bad headlines by doing what he always does, tossing out red meat to the base and dead cats to the Press in ever growing proportions. Whatever it takes to change the subject and get him through just one more day of World King cosplay. He’ll promise absolutely anything to anyone, threaten, beg, whine, bluster, and always (first, last and eternally) he’ll lie. That’s what has been behind the frequent Brexit posturing and the racist/sexist outbursts and the outrageous lying to smear opponents. Whenever there’s heat on his rubbery neck he shines his laser-pointer of nonsense against the wall and gives the cool cats of the News Media something easy and ridiculous to chase around instead, freeing up breathing space to invent some bullshit inquiry or fact-finding project that will spin its wheels ineffectually until the narrative moves on far enough for it to be dropped as “Something that has already been dealt with and no one really cares about”. Yes, it’s Trumpian, but old Senile Saggysack didn’t invent the technique, and Flobby has been employing it for years.
The difference between Partygate and all of the other scandals he’s been allowed to skate on is that it’s a confluence of a lot of things people don’t like about him and the world he inhabits. While the country was in Lockdown and members of the public were being fined for minor breaches of the rules, Flobalob’s Downing St was party-central; a drunken, crass, hedonistic spaffatorium of rule-breaking from which queasy underlings would emerge each morning to berate and threaten members of the General Public who failed to take Lockdown seriously. And then when asked point blank about it in interviews and (crucially) in Parliament, the loathsome brat lied about it again and again and again. People couldn’t be with their parents while they were dying in hospital beds, but Flobalob could have a birthday party and then lie to our faces about it? Fuck right off with that nonsense.
*That’s* what’s cut through and made this ‘gate’ uniquely fatal even to someone as protected and pandered to as Johnson has been. It’s ‘Us and Them’ beaming out in strobing neon atop a thousand-foot-high spire made out of fresh headstones, exacerbated by the cowardly response of Tory MPs who have chosen to defend the duplicitous dogshit and keep him ensconced in Downing St despite all the revelations. Any mature and functional democracy would have kicked Flobalob to the kerb ages ago, but the nature of the Tory Party allows him to hang on as long as he can bribe, threaten or otherwise browbeat its MPs into circling the wagons around him for fear of what it might mean for their long term futures if they move too quickly and get labelled as the instigators, rather than the beneficiaries, of his ousting.
So, last week, there were elections…
To be continued (tomorrow, same time)