Brexit is proving a challenging concept for both the Government - still fighting amongst themselves as to what it all means and how they are going to negotiate with the EU - and some back-bench MPs, for whom reality has been suspended in order for them to tell the world of some new version of the political world, far away from the impending disaster.
And no back-bench MP is further away that Mid Bedfordshire’s representative (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries, whose grasp of real world issues is as fragile as ever. She does know that a British company has won a contract to supply warships to the Australian Navy. She just doesn’t understand how that relates to the EU - or, indeed, doesn’t.
The fragrant Nadine had already exhibited a worrying lack of real-world awareness before the ship question hove into view, her ignorance showing as she snapped “Thanks to a previous chancellor, we are investing multiple wasted £millions in HS2 and yet, every inch of our rail and tube infrastructure in the SE, even if trains were running on time, can barely cope with the number of users which is consistently rising”. No it isn’t.
Even last year, the Guardian was telling readers “The number of rail passenger journeys in Britain fell in spring this year, after two decades of virtually constant growth since privatisation”. Last January, the BBC reported “the number of travellers using London's transport system is decreasing”. Ms Dorries wasn’t interested in that. But she did know all about period poverty. “We can’t help with this until we leave the EU”. Total crap.
The detachment from reality was then taken into the Aussie ship story. “Wow. Well done @GavinWilliamson What a massive boost for Britain”. Gavin Williamson had nothing to do with it. And it wasn’t a boost of any kind for Britain. The ships will be built in Australia to an existing design. Which We The People paid for. But she wasn’t done yet.
“This is the #Brexit moment. The closer we get to leaving the EU the more opportunities will come our way from around the world. This is what the other EU countries fear and oppose so strongly. We aren’t a socialist country, the world can do business with us”. The world isn’t doing very much business with us. No, she wasn’t listening.
“We have not won a contract like this in over a decade. Time to embrace trade with the Commonwealth countries which the EU has for so long prevented us from doing”. Being in the EU does not prevent us from deals like this. We’re still in the EU. And being in the EU doesn’t stop Germany (for instance) doing more business with India than the UK.
No, the fragrant Nadine was not for confronting reality. Instead, it was “To all on my timeline informing me that we are in the EU, I have news. We are leaving, the whole world knows it and that is why they can agree to do business with us. We are building ships at the same time as we cut loose from the biggest sinking economic ship of all, the EU”.
Totally untrue. We are still in the EU, and indeed the two other bidders for the Australian contract were from other EU member states. And we aren’t building the ships.
Yet they allowed her to become an MP. Be afraid, voters. Be very afraid.