And so the latest outing for Lyndon Johnson’s observation on the effect of giving a speech on economics - “Did y’ever think … that making a speech on economics is a lot like pissing down your leg? It seems hot to you, but it never does to anyone else” - comes round to the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not), who, like the rest of the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, has been ordered over the top to slag off the EU.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan
Letts’ chosen target - as in chosen for him by the Vagina Monologue - is European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, whose team attending last week’s now notorious Downing Street dinner was so exasperated at the inability of Theresa May to get her head round the sheer scale of the task ahead of her on the Brexit negotiations that one of them cautiously but deliberately leaked an account of events to the German press.
Quent wants to stiffen the resolve of all those Daily Mail readers. But the deceit on show is preposterous, even by his standards. So let’s subject The Great Man to a short, cold blast of reality. The rot sets in with the title: “Who'd want to be ruled by the risible Juncker and his poison-spreading Brussels sidekick? QUENTIN LETTS on a boozer with wandering hands and unfortunate family connections with the Third Reich”.
A Daily Mail pundit calling Third Reich connections on others. R-i-i-i-i-ight. Do go on. “[Theresa May] extended the dinner invitation to his sidekicks”. Very good Quent, she also extended it to her own sidekicks, like David Davis. “The best silver was polished”. You don’t know, so don’t make it up. The Mail is unreliable enough as it is.
“At the end of the night, the important (if unelected) Eurocrat tottered off to his waiting limousine”. Who elected Ms May as our PM? No-one. Quent’s memory is on maximum selectivity setting right now. “A few days later, that poisonous account of the evening appeared in a German newspaper”. Highly accurate account, it seems, unless Quent knows better, which we know he doesn’t. But do go on.
“Putting to one side the simple bad manners”. It was calculated to let us know that the EU wants this negotiation to succeed, and therefore wants us to take it seriously. But all Quent can to is to go through the set menu or Europhobic abuse. Try again.
“Mrs May has dismissed it as 'Brussels gossip'. By 'Brussels', she probably meant Juncker's chief-of-staff, a German lawyer called Martin Selmayr, who was at the dinner and is said to have been the source of the story”. Said by whom?
“His nicknames in Brussels include 'the Monster', 'Lenin', 'Rasputin' and 'Darth Vader’”. At least he’s not called Quentin Letts. Next.
“Rasputin was the sinister adviser to the Russian royal family before the revolution exactly 100 years ago”. WE KNOW WHO RASPUTIN WAS.
“Mr Juncker is his boss and the man who must take responsibility for the 'leak' - and what is being seen in Westminster as a taste of things to come, a blatant bullying tactic”. Wrong, wrong, wrong. It was a wake-up call to take the negotiations seriously (see above).
What's f***ing wrong with kicking the EU, c***?!?
“[Juncker’s] favourite tipple is Glenfarclas single malt, which he knocks back like breakfast fruit juice”. Quent and his editor need to get their smears straight - the other day, it was Cognac the EC President was supposed to be fond of.
“If [Juncker] has an idealised view of the European Union, that may be because he is emotionally scarred by his father's experience of forcible conscription into the Wehrmacht on the Russian front”. Ah yes, World War 2, the scrap that the late father of Quent’s editor chickened out of, by cowering behind the cover of being in a reserved occupation.
“His time in charge of his home country, which is the size of Surrey, was flecked by allegations of bibulous womanising, tax evasion by multinational corporations and chaotic extravagance, spending taxpayers' money not only on vanity projects but also on a swanky private jet”. Whether or not any of that is true, it will advance the cause of Britain in the upcoming Brexit negotiaions exactly how?
“The man who so perfectly embodies all the faults of the European Union and its scheming bureaucracy plainly has a jolly time being EC President”. See previous paragraph.
All that is left is to wheel out the tired clichés about how It Isn’t Going To Happen, starting with “No deal really would be better than a bad deal - and the Commission must know that”. No deal would be disastrous for Britain, and yes they do.
“'No deal' would be disastrous - 'eine Katastrophe' - for German car manufacturers, French vineyards and cheesemakers, Spanish farmers and the many industries of the EU which export to us”. They need us more than we need them. Except (a) it’s not true, and (b) we are facing a united front of all the other 27 member states. Blathering about who needs who is not going to move our case forward one millimetre.
“The 27 nations of the EU will see that and will want the Commission to reach a compromise with London”. If only we could avoid these pesky negotiations and pick the 27 off, one at a time. But we can’t - it’s a united front (see above).
“Downing Street is keeping out of the fray”. So (a) why did Ms May call it “Brussels Gossip”, and (b) why are all her press pals expending so much effort to rubbish the story?
Quentin Letts will have to try harder than that to make any sense, or to convince anyone that he, as one of the longstanding, privileged media establishment, has any idea how this charade will impact on all those little people who buy his paper. Or, indeed, that he gives a flying foxtrot about them. The real world never does intrude at Northcliffe House, does it?
"Rasputin was the sinister adviser to the Russian royal family before the revolution exactly 100 years ago”
There's the Daily Mail's estimation of its readers' knowledge in a nutshell.
Look out for the Mail's account tomorrow of how May today visited the 'important (if unelected)' Queen, niece of the notorious Nazi sympathising Edward, scion of the von Battenberg dynasty.
Your take on this is a bit one sided, the EU elite do appear to be approaching the negotiations with just as much bad faith and mendacity as the Daily Mail. They're just coming at it from different ends.
Juncker is a sleazy euro-trash politician, so I don't think a down market tabloid pointing out the obvious will make much difference in real negotiations. At the moment it's cheap talk. Theresa May cannot seen to be cowed by the risible 'hard cock' shtick coming out of Brussels and she'd be demeaning herself if she used such theatrics herself. I'd much rather the British press mocked the EU 'hard cock' shtick, not in a screechy Daily Mail way, but with a kind of 'oh my, how big and brave you are waving your willies around' sarcasm that infers the EU's political culture is backwards for using such slapstick.
I'm sure May and the UK's negotiators are only too aware the EU elite is desperate to paper over cracks and keep off the table EU reforms that could have stopped this whole sorry business. But it's a fact that reluctance to reform sclerotic and corrupt institutions are sowing discord. If the 27 are currently standing together that's fine, let's see how that goes when positions start getting unpicked. The recent volte-face that UK only shares liabilities and not the corresponding assets is convenient if legally suspect, but how should the German people feel about it, probably not as good as the Polish given their respective contributions? And just what is the legal principle here, does it apply to all financial relationships with the EU, does it engage with the World Bank and IMF on same basis?
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