11 December, 2020

Brexit head-banger in chief, first liar of the United Kingdom, and second-rate comedian, Boris Johnson, is primed to lead the UK, with sickening relish and grinning the while, into the abyss. I predicted this – as anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Johnson could have done – over four years ago (Boris Johnson ‘negotiate’ with the EU? The idea is laughable), and today’s editorial in The Guardian fleshes out the explanation. But it’s what ‘the people’, having been lied to, obviously, voted for. It’s going to be a bleak new year for those of us who feel deeply the theft of our European citizenship and an even bleaker one for those many communities in Britain already ravaged by the poverty and unemployment that have been exacerbated dramatically by the UK government’s incompetent handling of the pandemic. Expect Johnson, courtesy of one of his ‘chums’, to be heading back for a long spell on the private island of Mustique in the West Indies in February or March.

PS. 12 December 2020: Read Jonathan Freedland here.

PPS, 29 December 2020: The skeletal EU-UK deal of Christmas Eve, which I learned about with relief, was achieved  in spite of rather than because of Boris Johnson. It covers goods only (a minor part of the UK economy) and even there does not avoid non-tariff barriers. But at least that’s better than nothing and a savage deterioration in relations between Britain and the EU has been avoided: a bad deal was better than no deal. Confirmation that it is a bad deal is provided by the thumbs up it has been given by the populist Brextremist wing of Johnson’s Conservative party.

I am uneasy with Keir Starmer’s decision to lead the Labour Party in support of this deal when it comes to a vote in Parliament. Some of us have been urging abstention, which would not sabotage the deal because Johnson does not need Labour votes and it would force him to be the sole owner of its evil consequences. But Starmer does not wish to be accused of ‘sitting on the fence’ and fears it will make it more difficult for him to take back traditional Labour seats lost to the Tories in the last election. I think that neither of these worries are serious.