Bleats

Brexit Is A Garbage Fire And Theresa May Is The Only Person Not Actively Throwing More Garbage On It

As always, a woman is left to clean up the mess.

Let’s say that you lived in a share house where you were in a dispute with the landlord over the lease.

You tell your housemates the deal on offer and they refuse to even consider it, angrily insisting that you go back and get an unrealistically better agreement while also being very vague about what such a deal would actually entail. And your landlord is rapidly losing patience and wondering why your household dispute is now their problem as the deadline appears.

That’s roughly the position in which UK Prime Minister is as she attempts to carry out the plan to leave the European Union.

Pictured: a metaphor.

The deadline for Brexit is ten weeks away, there’s no deal on the table, the European Union have been clear about what the options are and don’t know why the UK are still dithering, and May’s own party have been continually rejecting her proposed deals while not doing anything helpful like, say, proposing halfway plausible alternatives.

Regardless of what one thinks of Brexit as an idea or May as a leader – for the record, I’m not a supporter of either – the fact remains that she’s actually attempting to do her job.

David Cameron, the last person in her position, chickened the hell out when he realised what a challenge it was going to be. The most high profile men in May’s party – Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson and their odious colleagues – aren’t even trying to do their jobs. May’s legitimately attempting to tidy up the mess left for her, and no-one’s even offering to help fill a bucket.

Neither is the opposition Labour Party being especially helpful – they’re not even particularly pro-Remain, but leader Jeremy Corbyn is still yet to give any indication of what sort of Brexit deal would get their support, even as they reject May’s proposals.

I SAID GOOD DAY.

There are many sticking points but one really big one is that no-one wants a hard border in Ireland between the independent nation of the Republic (which is part of the EU) and Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK.

However, leaving it open for travel and trade within Ireland either requires a border technological fixes which don’t yet exist or the UK remaining bound by EU trade and migration laws, which sort of defeats the point of having a Brexit in the first place.

It would also require the UK to negotiate a trade deal for the Republic of Ireland-slash-EU, presumably through the World Trade Organisation, and that would take months-to-years rather than the weeks that last between now and the Brexit deadline. Who’s up for installing a Berlin Wall in every Irish border town? Anyone?

Look, before we rule that out, the Berlin Wall gave us some good stuff…

So what are the options for Brexit? Look, they’re not great.

1. Accept the current deal that May has hashed out with the EU. You know, the one which the UK parliament overwhelmingly voted against? That one. Yeah, not a superstrong hope there.

It’s still possible that the parliament might accept it’s the best option they’re going to get, although it’s hard to imagine anyone being happy with it.

2. Negotiate with the EU for a Brexit extension. That’s assuming that there’s enough goodwill for such a move, which is an open question.

3. Have no deal in place when the deadline hits and simply let chaos reign. That’s the default position if nothing else is done and therefore seems the most likely outcome. What will happen to trade and borders and people’s travel documents and phone roaming and a billion other things? No-one really knows!

4. Cancel it altogether. The European Court has ruled that the British parliament has the power to unilaterally call the whole thing off and leave things as is if they want since the referendum was advisory, not binding – but doing so would be political suicide since it would mean a parliament ignored the Will Of The People.

5. Reintroduce Roman rule. It’s a long shot, but maybe doing a hard reset to the England of around 100 AD would give everyone a chance to start fresh. At least, until King Arthur finally returns.

Caesar will sort it all out, surely. Now, to the vomitarium!

Trump Is Now Denying That He Said Mexico Would Pay For The Wall Because Nothing Means Anything Now

Up is down! Black is white! Pay for wall is not pay for wall!

In 2015, when Donald Trump announced he would be running from president, this was part of his speech:

“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.”

And he kept this up, in part because he doesn’t really understand what “trade deficit” means.

 

Now it’s 2019, and this has just happened:

It’s worth adding that his statement goes on to say “I said they’re going to pay for it. They are.” So now they’ve gone from paying for it in money to via some rather more abstract sense, it would appear. Friendship, perhaps?

Now, it’s worth adding that his whole “we will build a wall and Mexico will pay for it” rhetoric has shifted subtly over the years.

During the campaign the claimed was that Mexico would pay for it which, obviously, was never going to happen.

That changed to that Mexico would reimburse the US for it (also not happening) to that Mexico would pay for it via tariffs (which isn’t how tariffs work, not least because it’s a charge on businesses and not on the Mexican government) to the idea that the money saved in eliminating illegal drugs from the US would save so much that the wall would be paid for many times over (…what?) and most recently that the Mexico-US trade deal will pay for it (which hasn’t been ratified yet, and won’t necessarily bring more money into the US).

This, however, is the first time that Trump has straight up said that Mexico won’t be actually be paying for the wall in any meaningful way and that he’d never suggested otherwise. Which is an interesting rewriting of very very very recent and well documented history.

It remains to be seen how well this goes down with his voting base – which is the only bit of the American public Trump is concerned about.

Will they happily accept this new version of reality, or will the idea that they have to pay for the wall themselves instead of making a bunch of brown foreigners do it take all the fun out of having a wall in the first place?

Either version feels like the worst outcome, really.

A Betting Site Lost Money Underestimating How Often Trump Would Lie In His TV Address About His Wall

Seriously, who bets that Trump will tell *fewer* lies? That's a crazy strategy.

As the US government shutdown gently turns from showy inconvenience to legitimate crisis, spare a moment for the real victims of this entirely avoidable disaster.

No, not the government workers who are either not working and not getting paid or working and not getting paid. Not the people who might be facing starvation and/or eviction as government departments cease functioning. Not the people trying to get into closed museums, or wondering why no-one’s picking up the garbage and/or human feces at national parks.

Um, it’s OK, we’ll come back some other time.

No, one of the real victims is the betting site bookmaker.eu, which offered odds on how many lies Trump would tell in the course of his eight minute speech.

They set their odds assuming it would be around three, except ninety-two per cent of punters bet there’d be more than five – which itself turned out to be an underestimation.

In the end the Washington Post counted six statements as being significantly and deliberately false. This miscalculation by Bookmaker.eu cost US$300,000.  Ouch!

The other victim is Trump himself.

He went to all the trouble of sitting down in front of a camera and carefully reading the aforementioned statement instead of relying his preferred communications strategy of making unsubstantiated claims on Twitter – and broadcast across multiple networks too, including ones that were sometimes critical of him! What a guy!

Despite Trump’s generosity the ungrateful public gave better ratings to the rebuttal by the dynamic Democratic duo of… um, Senate and House leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer – who weren’t mad at the president, just disappointed.

Mind you, maybe their rating win was because their statement wasn’t being upstaged by Trump’s sexy nemesis, Stormy Daniels, who spent Trump’s speech wearing lingerie and and folding laundry on Instagram Live.

Anyway, we’re sure that Trump will triumph over those traitors and cowards who think that walls aren’t perfect impenetrable barriers which will [puts finger to ear] I’m sorry, we need to interrupt this paragraph to bring this breaking news story from 2004…

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