The New Year’s first edition of The Andy Marr Show™ aired today, with the predictable Tory presence on the paper review sofa, Sarah “vain” Vine, otherwise known as Mrs Michael “Oiky” Gove. Apart from Ms Vine showing her customary cluelessness on the workings of Government - worrying for someone so close to a cabinet minister - the other highlight was an interview with Theresa May.
Here, Marr attempted the fruitless search for straight answers from a Prime Minister who likes to tell whoever is asking the questions that she is being perfectly clear, when she is being anything but. And on the subject of the Brexit deal vote, to no surprise at all, she took one step forward and then several steps back.
As the BBC has now reported, “Theresa May has said the Commons vote on her Brexit deal will ‘definitely’ go ahead next week as she vowed to redouble her efforts to win MPs round.” A straight answer at last! Praise be! But it was not to last. “She said she would set out new measures on Northern Ireland and look at giving MPs more say in shaping negotiations over future trade relations.” Yes? Yes yes? Yes yes yes?
“Warning of ‘uncharted’ territory if MPs rejected the deal, she declined to rule out holding more than one vote”. Oh goody. So she is not ruling out bringing the same, er, fluid - perhaps in a differently labelled bottle - back to the Commons as the clock runs down. That is appallingly irresponsible. But it is entirely in character for an obdurate PM.
Would she really allow the clock to tick down to the point where the UK left the EU without a deal? Straight answer came there none. Her deal, she declared, was a good deal. So she left open the door to chaos come the end of March, something the Brexiteer headbangers rather like the sound of. The Beeb, still clinging to its mantra of “balance”, gave one of them a platform - Peter Bone. He’d love a no deal outcome.
Whether all those in his constituency who see their livelihoods screwed over as a result would love that is, to no surprise, not told. Marr also put it to Ms May that there was a growing call for a public vote on the deal. Would she offer that? Straight answer came there none (again). She disapproved of the second referendum idea. But, to the exasperation of business leaders and many others, she did not say no.
All that Marr got out of her was the usual scripted soundbite: “The deal is on the table. We've got people who want to see their perfect Brexit. And I would say don't let the search for the perfect be the enemy of the good. The danger there is that we end up with no Brexit at all”. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. The line for which its author should be publicly shamed. Another way of saying nothing about anything.
Ask yourself this question: if your pilot had no idea where she was flying the plane, or even if she was hopeful of reaching her destination - any destination - would you board the aircraft? And if you wouldn’t, then also ask why this charade is being allowed to continue.
Our Prime Minister is reducing British democracy to the level of a Carry On film. And she is being allowed, nay, enabled, by a self-enfeebled media establishment. Now you know why the rest of Europe is laughing at us.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at