As the date for Britain’s departure from the EU draws nearer, so the amount of falsehood and misinformation peddled by the pro-Brexit press and its political soul mates increases, creating what those people would like to think is sufficient background noise to distract the masses from what may be a very sudden drop from the cliff edge.
Look Uncle Arthur, I'm in the paper again!
Added to this has come the sure and certain knowledge that even if Theresa May is not on her way out now, she soon will be. Thus the manoeuvring by a variety of undeserving and wholly unsuitable candidates aiming to replace her. Thus far we have had Sajid Javid pretending not only that a few people crossing the Channel in inflatable boats is a crisis, but also that he is actually going to do something about it. He is not alone.
To demonstrate that others are also jockeying for position, yesterday brought the most magnificent slice of idiocy from the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, as it provided a platform the the terminally inept Gavin “stupid boy” Williamson, who claims to be the Defence Secretary, to make claims about an era of post-Brexit military grandeur.
The article, under the by-line of Christopher “No” Hope, who was in reality merely taking dictation from the Private Pike of the cabinet, claims “Britain will open two new military bases in the Caribbean and South East Asia as the country looks to step up its military presence overseas after Brexit, Gavin Williamson has revealed”. There is more.
“The Defence secretary urges Britons to stop downplaying the country's influence internationally and recognise that the UK will stand tall on the world stage after leaving the European Union … In an interview with The Telegraph in his Ministry of Defence office, Mr Williamson says: ‘We have got to be so much more optimistic about our future as we exit the European Union’”. If only we smile a little more, everything will be all right.
But there was, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, only one thing wrong with this idea - it was bollocks. For starters, membership of the European Union has no effect whatsoever on what military capability this country chooses to deploy, or indeed, where it is based. The reason Britain retreated from many post-Imperial era bases in the 1950s and 1960s had nothing to do with the EU, and everything to do with our being skint.
Opening and maintaining any significant military base thousands of miles away, as the Tel article suggests, involves the expenditure of serious amounts of money, which Britain does not have, and will not have in the foreseeable future. The story is bunk.
What makes it worse, though, is not just that Williamson knows he’s indulging in empty propagandising, but that Hope, who lays pretence to being a responsible journalist, is not challenging the SOB, but joining in with the charade. They know this is a false prospectus. So do the Tel’s editor and management. They should hang their heads in shame.
There is not going to be some great new era of British flag-waving and military greatness. But there is going to be an increasing amount of dishonest copy pretending that Brexit will be a thing of wonder, rather than the inevitable shit show. And lots of Tory posturing.
Gavin Williamson should be called out for what he is. Just another stupid boy.
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