Rafael Behr makes an obvious point:
And it isn’t obvious that the Brexit ultras would want to be in control of the process now. Then they would have to negotiate, to own the compromises and explain the disappointments. They would no longer have the luxury of crying betrayal from the sidelines, which is all they really know how to do.
It’s long been apparent (to me) that, with the referendum, the Brexiters achieved what they campaigned for but not what they wanted.
Blaming the EU for all of your country’s ills is both easy and comforting. But once you’re out, you will have to start taking some responsibility.
This, of course, is the fundamental problem into which all populists eventually crash. Finding a scapegoat is easy, but when the scapegoat is gone and the problems still persist, who or what will you blame next?
Axel Scheffler, illustrator of The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, and much else was awarded Illustrator of the Year at The British Book Awards 2018. In his acceptance speech, he shares some thoughts on Brexit, the importance of kindness and the danger of truning your back on your friends.
Via The New European.
While on the subject of workplace toilets, Alistair Dabbs observes:
Also highly revealing about a workplace is the signage displayed in office restrooms. Wherever I go, no matter how posh the surroundings, workers appear to need wall-mounted directives printed in large font sizes on how to use — or rather, how not to misuse — the facilities.
This reminds me of the facilities I encountered at a previous employer. The cubicles on the first floor (which was inhabited mainly by IT folks) all carried a sign instructing you to clean the pan after use.
On the second floor (where the accountants lived), the cubicles carried signs explaining how to clean the pan after use.
It is one of life’s ironies that Mr Corbyn has made Labour a more middle-class party than Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson managed to do.
Mrs May and her cabinet are daily lambasted by their opponents and the same hyperbolic language tends to be employed over any issue, whether it be significant, second rank or trivial. Words such as “shameful” and “disgrace” and “despicable” are hurled around in parliament, in broadcasting studios and even more so on social media. They are thrown about in such a routine, ritualised way that the words are losing their power to sting ministers on the occasions when excoriating language is entirely deserved. The trouble with using the vocabulary of outrage to describe everything about this government is that it makes it harder to nail ministers when there is an authentic scandal. It is making it easier for Ms Rudd and Mrs May to weather this one.
Government records show the U.K. tax authority, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), spent £680,000 on a contract with consultancy firm McKinsey & Company to, among other things, assess the “commercial feasibility” of the “new customs partnership model.” That is one of two customs proposals put forward by U.K. Brexit negotiators last week in talks aimed at avoiding a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
The customs arrangement designed by McKinsey was, of course, dismissed as unworkable as soon as the rest of the EU saw it.
Hiring consultants is like wishing really hard. It doesn’t mater how much you spend — or how much you wish — the impossible will remain impossible.
It is not provable whether earlier intervention would have altered the course of Syria’s tragic history. Non-interventionists said then, as they say now, that anything that the west does only makes things worse. That we can’t prove either. What we can see is how bad things have become and it is hard to conceive how exactly it could be worse. After seven years of failing to act in Syria, we can audit where a non-interventionist policy has got us. It has been an utter disaster in every respect.