What kind of Sunday headline, one wonders, would be both incendiary enough and stupid enough to spook the currency markets early doors the next morning, and indeed later the same day in the Far East? Wonder no more: the incendiary and stupid criteria have both been met by a source who gives every appearance of being not unadjacent to alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson’s chief polecat Dominic Cummings.
Which one is the real polecat ...
In fact, the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph names Polecat Dom as the source of its front page headline “MPs told: it’s too late to stop no deal … even no confidence vote in Johnson as soon as Commons returns after Summer cannot halt Oct 31 Brexit, says No 10 aide Cummings”. This is not an isolated incident.
It should be read in conjunction with the Murdoch Sunday Times signalling yet another pre-election bribe - “Boris drops £2bn NHS ‘cash bomb’ to woo female voters” - as well as telling readers the totally irrelevant news that “45 Senators back Johnson over Brexit”. Many Rice Davies applies. Their country isn’t the one about to be fouled up.
And it should be read alongside a magnificently delusional Op-Ed for the Mail on Sunday by Brexit secretary Stephen Barclay, headlined “You don't have a mandate now, Monsieur Barnier. Go back to your EU masters”. Monsieur Barnier’s mandate does not come from Stephen Barclay. And the Withdrawal Agreement is still not going to be reopened.
But do go on. “The Irish backstop led to deadlock, the machinery of Government gummed up with the same arguments we had in 2016 … We needed a fresh approach and we’ve got one. With a change of Prime Minister, we have the combination of determination and optimism we need to end the impasse”. There is no fresh approach. All that Bozo The Clown, under the control of Polecat Dom, is doing is to play chicken with Brussels.
Barclay is supremely dishonest: “We have a clear and unambiguous position – we will leave the EU on October 31, whatever the circumstances. We would prefer to leave with a new deal, but will be ready to leave without one, having made all the necessary preparations”. We haven’t made the necessary preparations. Have another go.
... nah, Dom looks far nastier
“Mr Barnier needs to urge EU leaders to consider this if they too want an agreement, to enable him to negotiate in a way that finds common ground with the UK. Otherwise, No Deal is coming down the tracks”. He’s said his piece. Sounding off in the MoS will change nothing. Nor will the tiresome repetition of the latest untrue Tory soundbite.
But out it comes anyway: “There is simply no chance of any deal being passed that includes the anti-democratic backstop”. The backstop, as I’ve previously told, was devised by the UK Government’s representatives. He is calling his own side “anti-democratic”.
Worse still is the sheer effrontery of allowing Cummings to run this game of chicken. As former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger mused, “A man who literally holds Parliament in contempt tells MPs their views are irrelevant ... in the cause of restoring national sovereignty. I hope MPs will show what Britain thinks of people who behave like that”.
The EU negotiators will also know what to think of that. And it won’t include reopening the Withdrawal Agreement. That’s what you get for playing chicken with a polecat.
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