2017 Dec 16 - Brexit & Alabama

Big political moves in Westminster and Alabama this week; two places that don’t often have much in common although if you’re a politician from the West Midlands and fancy a holiday to America, why not spend a week at the Hilton in Birmingham - Birmingham Alabama that is - and try submitting the 1st class airline ticket as an “honest mistake” ?

But first let’s discuss the Brexit vote in Westminster. Essentially the parliament will now get to vote on whether they like Theresa May’s deal or not. It’s like the end of a dinner party when the host asks the guests what they thought of it but still refuses to disclose what type of meat was in that stew. But the powers in Brussels are certainly happy enough to move onto the next stage of the talks. They eat frogs legs and raw chicken though so who knows how the second stage will go.

That vote though, according to the press it was the result of a betrayal by capricious tory rebels akin to something out of a John le Carré novel, and now the Labour Party will get the chance to race in on horseback as saviours at the end of the process to vote down the deal and prevent Brexit. Or at least they would be, had the date not already been placed in law and were the EU not already moved onto planning a more federal post-UK Europe. It’s a fact that in around 18 months the UK will now either drop out with Theresa May’s deal, or the likes of the LibDems and the more metropolitan wing of the Labour Party will win their vote and thus deliver a WTO rules Hard Brexit. And a few days later, event at that stage, the Labour Party will no doubt put out a serious of contradictory statements about the future of the customs union with about as much coherence as a Diane Abbott attempting to read the football scores.

So now to the US. This week saw Roy Moore loose his run for the US senate seat in Alabama and the deeply conservative stage chose their choice of spokesperson from the same party as Hilary and Nancy Pelosi. That’s the kind of End-Of-Days black swan event you might imagine featuring in a montage in a disaster movie. But we live in odd times, Scotland has several Conservative MPs after all. But this was more a condemnation of the system. Moore shouldn’t have been the candidate in the first place but not enough people cared during the primaries to kick him off the ballot and once his name was there, they were stuck with it, like a badly installed bathroom. In all honesty I think in the longer term it was probably a good result for the Republican party. If he’d won, the Democrats would have used him as the mascot for their campaigning next year to destroy what was left of Trump’s powerbase. It’s a bit like how in 1992 the Conservatives won a narrow victory but the resulting 5 years destroyed what was left of the Party’s soul and public credibility. They ultimately paid the price for that win. Perhaps if the likes of Jonathan Aitken had lost their seat in ’92 then things would have been very different in ’97.
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