As these clueless, frantic Tories drag our nation towards the abyss, all I can say is... Well, I did warn you
WITH a heavy heart, I feel compelled to write about the European issue again. I am sick of it. I want it to be over. I would, by now, accept almost any arrangement if only this ignorant, stupid squabbling would stop.
People who only five years ago dismissed the whole subject as irrelevant are now on fire with mad passion for one outcome or another.
They have no business to be. I recall trying to persuade Tory politicians, now brawling, redfaced and panting, about backstops and customs unions, that the EU mattered at all. Nothing doing, they said. Not important, they said. A dead issue, they said. People don’t care, they said.
Then and later, they never bothered to try to find out why it mattered or how it worked. They wouldn’t read the necessary books, or talk to the people who knew. To this day most of them are clueless. In fact, the more clueless they are, the more frantic they get.
I also warned against the referendum, and that it would cause a constitutional crisis. Almost everything I warned of has come to pass.
So now I’ll say just this. It seems Mrs May’s agreement will fail. I care little about that. The only point of it was to fend off the madmen who are so blinded by dogmatic frenzy that they want a Tory leadership challenge and a General Election, and to hell with the country.
The May plan has prevented that until now. It has also left a tiny passage through which we might escape into calm and sanity. I have, for some time, urged that we take the Norway option, out of the EU, away from its courts and its wasteful farm and fishery policies, with access to a powerful emergency brake on immigration but still able to trade through the Single Market.
It is still just possible that, in the weeks of closed minds and jockeying that seem likely to come about, enough calm heads will grasp this. There could actually be a majority for it. It would be miles better than any other feasible outcome.
But it is like that bit at the end of the adventure story where the hero, pursued by implacable enemies, has to leap from a tottering, crumbling bridge on to a meagre ledge below, and then swing himself into the tiny opening to safety. In the story, you know he is going to do it. But in British politics, it is far more likely that he’ll miss his footing and fall screaming into the chasm, taking the rest of us with him.
Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.