The clown car that is the Tories’ Brexit vehicle hurtles onwards, no-one at the wheel, and worse, no-one aware that they are screwing with the livelihoods of tens of millions or people. All that appears to concern some of those on board is burnishing their tattered reputations, and one of those prepared to spin for his supper yesterday was the comedy Brexit secretary David Davis. All he needed was to find someone who believed him.
Cometh the hour, cometh the flannelled fool: waddling aimlessly around the Palace of Westminster was the singularly unappealing figure of Master Harry Cole, formerly tame gofer to the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines at the Guido Fawkes blog, and who now claims be a real journalist, having inexplicably been given a berth at the Murdoch Sun as the paper’s “Westminster correspondent”. And he’ll believe anything.
So it was that the Super Soaraway Currant Bun told its readers “DD-DAY Theresa May and David Davis in hour-long Brexit showdown during ‘morning of madness’ … David Davis tore into Theresa May’s Brexit strategy yesterday in an hour long showdown over her 'backsliding' - as PM moved to avoid Brexit Secretary walking out”. How the PM can be accused of backsliding, when she isn’t moving at all, is an interesting concept.
But do go on. “The pair met for an hour-long showdown in the Prime Minister’s ornate wood-panelled Commons office after a year of simmering tension with her Brexit Secretary … And Mr Davis took the chance to let rip - raging about the direction in which her EU exit strategy was heading … After months of keeping quiet at being sidelined by civil servants, Mr Davis called time on ‘Brexit backsliding’”. After months of being asleep, more like.
There was more. “Although he had not explicitly threatened it, Mrs May sensed the Cabinet heavyweight was on the verge of walking out - and could take his Brexit junior ministers with him … Such a dramatic explosion would almost certainly have triggered a meltdown across Whitehall that would terminate Mrs May’s weak and wobbly grip on power … And she had to act fast to fix the mess”.
But enough. What happened is that Davis briefed Cole. Hence all the self-aggrandising drivel about “Davis tore into”, “showdown”, “let rip”, “raging”, “called time on”, “Cabinet heavyweight”, and the idea that Davis was so important that his departure - threatened on so many occasions but never enacted - would bring down the Government. Worse for the flannelled fool, he recycled Davis’ claims more or less verbatim.
David Davis actually resigning would be news. David Davis threatening to resign is not news. And David Davis pushing the faux narrative that he is some kind of Parliamentary tough guy going in there and telling the PM how it is - that is not only not news, it’s not credible. This should not be a challenging concept for any competent journalist. But then, this is Master Cole we’re talking about. And he isn’t competent, or a journalist.
The Tories’ Brexit clown car careers onwards. David Davis is still on board, despite the braggadocio suggesting otherwise, because he’s full of wind and piss. And the paper that published Master Cole’s credulous drivel continues to see its circulation decline.
As Private Eye magazine might have asked, I wonder if the two are in any way related? I think we should be told.