Skip to main content

Brexit: Where's Barbara Cartland's magic acorn when you need it?

THERE are no words - quite the technical hitch when it comes to writing - to do justice to the single greatest political calamity of our generation. This Reporter considered instead using expressionist art or shadow puppetry. She would make a concerted effort at it for five minutes before setting fire to the whole damn lot - as symbolism.
As alternative, let's start with the bare-boned facts of the matter. Prime Minister Theresa May lost her second meaningful vote on her Brexit deal in Parliament on Tuesday night by a stonking 391 votes to 242. Not the complete annihilation of meaningless vote part numero one, but still an almost unprecedented disaster.
David Cameron, tracked down at his lair, said: "I don't understand why MPs who have always wanted Brexit keep voting against it". Well David, sometimes people do the most unfathomable of things don't they. But back to the facts.
Mrs May's promise of votes on No Deal and Article 50 extension are coming up next. A toss up then between hurling ourselves off a cliff and more time for MPs to prat around.
Now to mosey back in time in manner of inquest, to see how it came to this...
Late night Monday - "I've got it", Mrs May tumbles into view on satellite link up, broadcasting live to the House of Commons. She is in Strasbourg waving a piece of paper manically above her head.
"I've got it", she garbles, again, "the changes to the Irish backstop. You said I needed to get them. I've got them. See."
She slaps the piece of paper onto a nearby table and immediately takes up runner's recovery position - bent double, hands braced on knees, panting. The camera zooms forward, gives an almost imperceptible double take, before focusing in to reveal a missive in purple wax crayon. In EU chief Jean Claude Juncker's handwriting, it reads: "The backstop will be temporary".
Much was made of this new development in the national newspapers. An 11th-hour triumph for Mrs May; a "legally binding" alteration to the Irish backstop, such as MPs had been clamouring for, before they would even think of voting for her deal.
Here's the glaring problem. (Yes there was one - funnily). What MPs had been promised by Mrs May back in January was one of these three joys - a unilateral exit mechanism, so the UK could get out of the backstop without the EU's permission, a time limit, or a replacement with an alternative arrangement, written - crucially - into the actual Withdrawal Agreement. Not this "legally binding" add-on, which pushes the capabilities of quotation marks to the limits of imploding.
The matter was formally referred to MP and Attorney General Geoffrey Cox for him to run his professional eye over it and he concluded - direct quote - it was "bollocks". So all looked good for the meaningful vote later that day (Tuesday).
The mood was not downbeat in all quarters. One Tory MP was heard telling Mrs May: "I was looking for you to bring a rabbit out of the hat - you've managed a hamster. It's good enough for me".
As we all know however, what everyone else thinks is immaterial. It all, inexplicably, boiled down to how Tory hardliners the ERG and "here's what we think of a billion pound for our loyalty" the DUP, planned to vote. Just hours to go and it was announced they would be voting against Mrs May's deal, so that was rather that.
And then in glorious poetry, Mrs May started to lose her voice as she addressed the Commons one final, desperate, time ahead of the vote, taking us neatly back in mood and timbre to the Tory Conference 2017 where, in hindsight, she really should have accepted that P45.
She croaked: "This is the moment and this is the time - time for us to come together, back this motion and get the deal done. Because only then we can get on with what we need to do, what we were sent here to do." The rest as they say, is history.
As is this...It has been revealed that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher consulted romantic fiction author Barbara Cartland for alternative remedies and lucky charms for her health. It was Ms Cartland who came to the Iron lady's aid in 1989, the year her popularity waned over the poll tax, with the gift of the "magic acorn".
The nut - according to unearthed letter exchanges between Ms Cartland and Mrs Thatcher - originated from an oak tree in the garden of Ms Cartland's estate in Hertfordshire. Reputedly planted by Queen Elizabeth I on shooting her first stag there, Ms Cartland believed the oak tree to have magic powers.
The unavoidable question is this - would things have panned out any differently if Mrs May had had access to the magic acorn?
All things considered - probably not.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Pig stalkers, BoJo's Jet and the Zara contrast print dress

Socks off.

Do you remember the childhood rhyme which runs: "This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed at home..."? You do. Well this story is the remixed version.

A man in America called the police when a 'persistent pig' followed him home from a train station, it is reported.

He called the North Ridgeville Police Station in Ohio at 5.26am on Saturday claiming the pig was following him and, understandably, the officers thought he must be inebriated (the man that is, not the pig).

However, on arriving at the 'scene' they found a completely sober man who was indeed being followed by a piggy stalker. One of the officers managed to 'coerce' the pig into his police car (no jokes please) and brought the pig back to the station where he was locked in one of the dog kennels. The pig has since been reunited with his owner.

Time for some news headlines and today it has been announced Sweden has distributed a 'be prepared for war' leafle…

Government accused of Coronavirus cover-up and Veggie Corbyn booed at kebab awards

FROM the UK Government announcing it will only release Coronavirus data weekly, to vegetarian Jeremy Corbyn presenting an award for the best kebab, these are the news headlines according to This Reporter on Thursday 5th March 2020.

The Government has been accused of withholding information about the spread of Coronavirus after a 70 per cent increase in confirmed cases prompted health chiefs to stop providing daily updates on the location of new infections. Instead they will be provided on a Friday in a weekly round-up.
Thirty six new UK cases were announced yesterday (Wednesday) bringing the grand total to 87 people.
A former director at Public Health England said the move to weekly updates should be reconsidered to allow the public to make informed decisions.
In related news, the Government is putting in place contingency plans, should the virus outbreak become widespread, to close Parliament for up to three months to stop 650 potential "super spreaders". Which gives This R…

Meghan and Harry "grin in the rain" and the Kimono-wearing fox killer

FROM Meghan and Harry making their first appearance in the UK together since Megxit, to the kimono-wearing fox killer who appears to have been cleared of all crimes, these are the news headlines according to This Reporter on Friday 6th March 2020.

Yes that's right, This Reporter is declaring this particular news gathering outlet a Coronavirus free zone as we kick off today's headlines with the news Meghan and Harry, otherwise known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have returned to the UK and had their photograph taken together, under an umbrella, in the rain.
The couple were in town - London specifically - as they wind up their official duties before bowing out of royal life forever, with last night's paparazzi extravaganza related to their attendance at the Endeavour Film awards.
With what we can only assume were fixed grins on their faces as they braved the weather, and the fact these moments under the media spotlight, were exactly what they were talking about when the…

CBeebies' daydreams, dog dining and the & Other Stories lounge shirt

This reporter invites you to grab your favourite teddy bear, guzzle up your warm cup of milk, snuggle down under the blankets and get ready for a bedtime story. If you are lying comfortably, she will begin...

Once upon a time in a land far away, accessed only by a button on the TV remote, there was a children's television channel called CBeebies. Home to a hodge podge of colourful characters with funny names like Yakka Dee, Boj and the Twirlywoos. This children's TV channel was a godsend to many a time-poor, life-frazzled parent but the equivalent of a shot glass of e-number laced fizzy pop to the goggle-eyed, bullish monsters it had been sent to earth to entertain.

Station masters behind CBeebies realised this sort of stimulus could not go on. Parents had reported having to go to drastic measures, such as shovelling chocolate buttons down their children's throats, to deal with the inevitable pick-me-ups and crashing lows of the channel's televisual output and so they …

Rudd's resignation, Trump's visit and Kat Von D's indestructible eyeliner

You better watch out. You better not cry. Better not pout. I'm telling you why. Donald Trump is coming to town.

More about that later. First, some serious news. (This reporter puts on her most sensible of news reading glasses). The Guardian reports today (Monday) that Amber Rudd has "dramatically" resigned as home secretary after "repeatedly struggling to account for her role in the unjust treatment of Windrush generation migrants."

The documenter of our times continues: "The home secretary was forced to step down after a series of revelations in the Guardian over Windrush culminated in a leak on Friday that appeared to show she was aware of targets for removing illegal migrants from Britain.

"The pressure increased late on Sunday afternoon as the Guardian revealed that in a leaked 2017 letter to Theresa May, Rudd had told the Prime Minister of her intention to increase deportations by 10 per cent - seemingly at odds with her recent denials that she w…