Is it possible that all of this Brexit chaos was a part of an elaborate plot to put John Bercow in Number 10?
I don’t really believe that, of course. Still, old Francis Urquhart immediately came to mind as soon as I heard that some MPs were talking about forcing Boris out and replacing him with the Speaker.
It’s interesting to watch. It’s obvious that many MPs are not confident in Boris Johnson or his ability to steer the UK through Brexit. Probably the only thing keeping Johnson in power is the threat of Jeremy Corbyn becoming PM. Meanwhile, Labour is trying everything to make Corbyn PM, short of winning an election. At a time when the Tories are in disarray, Labour is being led by the one man that most voters never want to see become Prime Minister.
And, all the while, the October 31st deadline grows closer and closer.
Boris Johnson’s latest Brexit plan seems to deal with what has been a major sticking point, what to do about Northern Ireland. In fact, Johnson’s plan sounds a lot like what the EU itself proposed a few years ago.
Of course, the main problem with this deal (beyond getting Ireland to sign off on it) is that it doesn’t actually solve the problem. It just puts things off for another six years, at which point it will probably become someone else’s problem.
Putting things off until they become someone else’s problem seems to be the only consistent strategy that anyone has for Brexit.
I know many people are trashing Boris for saying this but this is actually pretty cool and it’s going to speak to more people than the Remainers and anti-No Dealers realize. We may be on the verge of the end of everything but at least we’re going out like a big, green rage monster. The Hulk may smash everything doing it but somehow, he always saves the day.
I’m not saying it’s a good thing, mind you. I’m just saying never underestimate the popularity of the Hulk.
We always tend to assume that our politicians and leaders know what they’re doing and that what might look like a misstep is actually just a case of them “playing 4D chess.”
Instead, the reality is that William Goldman’s famous saying about Hollywood — “Nobody knows anything” — applies just as well to politicians as it does producers.
To those who are confused by what is happening in the UK right now, all I can say is that I have dual citizenship and family members in London who I talk to several times a week and I make it a point to follow Parliament as well as one can while living on the other side of the ocean and I’m just as confused as you are.
While this is being portrayed by many as being an embarrassing moment for Boris Johnson, it’s actually probably just what he wants. Despite only having a one-seat majority, Boris previously threatened to purge any Conservative MPs who failed to support his plans to leave the EU in October. That may have been bluster on Boris’s part but it might also indicate that he wasn’t that worried about losing his fragile working majority. (Though I doubt he necessarily wanted it to happen during his first speech as PM.)
Boris Johnson will probably get his general election now. A general election can always be a risky proposition (just ask Theresa May) but Tories do currently have one big advantage: the opposition is being led by Jeremy Corbyn.
Lisa and I are planning on taking a vacation in November. Up until a few weeks ago, our plan was to travel to the UK so that I could visit with family and so we could cross the channel and spend at least a day or two in Paris. When we were in the UK last year, our plans to see France were canceled as a result of the Yellow Vest Riots so we were hoping to make up for that this year.
However, the problem with making vacation plans right now is that I’m not sure what type of state the UK’s going to be in, come November. Boris Johnson has said that the UK will be leaving the EU on October 31st, regardless of whether a deal is in place or not. No one seems to be sure what a No Deal Brexit would be like. Depending on who you read and where you read it, it could either be no big deal or it could be the end of the UK as we know it.
That’s assuming, of course, that Boris Johnson is even prime minister in November. Jeremy Corbyn has been pushing the idea of Parliament to make him a “caretaker prime minister,” in order to ensure that there won’t be a No Deal Brexit. The day that Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, I swore that, if Corbyn ever did become PM, I would not step foot in the UK until he was out of office. Considering that most of the family that I have in the UK is also planning on leaving the country in the event that he ever becomes PM, there wouldn’t be much reason for me to visit.
Fortunately, I doubt that Corbyn could ever get the backing necessary to become even a caretaker PM. If Corbyn’s ever going to move into 10 Downing Street, Labour’s going to have to actually win a general election.
Still, in this time of increasing uncertainty, we have to ask ourselves if not Europe, then where?
Greenland, perhaps? If it’s going to be the 51st State, now seems like a good time to visit.