The success of any trade deal is usually in inverse proportion to the amount of lame spin applied in selling it. That should be borne in mind when considering the supposed eleventh-hour “breakthrough” in negotiations between the UK and EU over a free trade agreement, and the momentary euphoria in which our free and fearless press has indulged this morning. Because this is not a win. It is a humiliating climbdown.
Enter an obscenely overpaid stenographer
What is being sold as a personal triumph for alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson is nothing of the sort. But the new received wisdom has to be established before anyone has had a chance to read a few of the maybe 2,000 pages of text and draw the obvious conclusion: the EU held firm, and Bozo caved in, desperate for a deal.
After seeing what could be a regular future occurrence unfold in the last week - thousands of lorries stranded and parked up across Kent, their drivers on the verge of rioting, looming food shortages, financial markets turning against the UK, more businesses ready to leave for good - the UK side knew the game was up. The press is pretending otherwise.
And nowhere is that shameless and pointless turd-polishing more evident than in the claims made by the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, continuing his pretence to be a real journalist as he claims to be political editor of the Murdoch Sun. Applying more spin than a Shane Warne flipper, the front page headline tells “Brexit Deal Close … THE NIGHT BEFORE BREXMAS … Boris poised on trade pact … EU agrees to zero tariffs”.
Master Cole’s Twitter proclamations are yet more effusive. “DEAL! Britain on brink of inking historic zero tariff, zero quota trade deal with Brussels - ending years of bitter Brexit war … Personal triumph for a PM that won vowing to ‘get Brexit done’ … UK will finally cut ties with EU red tape and meddlesome judges as promised in 2016”. It was a war! Honestly!
There was more. “Record breaking accord poised to be signed in less than a year of talks and will allow free trade to continue without tariffs of quotas in a major win for Britain … Many said it was impossible ... and No10 rejected MASSIVE pressure to drag out for another year because of Covid”. It was always possible, providing we caved in. Next.
“Barnier was side-lined [no he wasn’t] in the end as predicted by many and I understand PM and VDL actually held FOUR calls yesterday, haggling on the numbers and the detail … Car industry row was going late tonight but still expecting to see PM before too long”. And so Master Cole entered the joint realms of dishonesty and fantasy.
The reality, and the point of Cole conveying his crock of weapons grade horseshit, was summed up by Peter Foster of the FT: “The sell is on”. Jon Stone of the Independent had the real-world context: “a basic free trade agreement of the kind Boris Johnson seems to have secured will reduce UK GDP by 5.2% over 15 years compared to staying in the EU, according to the government’s Office of Budget Responsibility estimate from March 2020”.
He added “What if the UK uses its departure from the customs union to sign free trade agreements with other counties? The government’s own estimate is that the biggest of these potential deals, with the US, will give just a 0.16% boost to GDP over the next 15 years … What about trade deals with Australia and New Zealand? The government estimates their effect will be around 0.00%”. A 5% hit on GDP, then.
Worse, there will be no more influence at the EU’s decision making table. And Sam Lowe was beginning to compile a list of mildly inconvenient questions: “If there is a deal, here’s some things I’m interested in: - rules of origin provisions - whether there’s anything on mutual recognition of conformity assessment/professional qualifications - provisions on temporary movement of services providers - any phasing”.
That list will only grow as time goes on - and the fine print of the deal is discovered. That is why Master Cole is spinning like a top this morning, and he is not alone: the urge to look over there has spread across the national press like a wildfire in a dry eucalyptus forest.
In the real world, the UK will be poorer, have less influence, and be a less attractive proposition to investors. All that Bozo has achieved is to finally cave in on signing a deal which was on the table several months ago. Master Cole lying about Michel Barnier being sidelined just screams satisficing dishonesty, a crowd pleaser for Tory back benchers.
As Ian Dunt put it on reading Cole’s claims, “Imagine how shameful it must be to take a career as a journalist and end up as a PR agent for the prime minister”.
All this proves is that a bad deal is better than no deal. Yes, Bozo lied about that one, too.
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"Imagine how shameful it must be to take a career as a journalist and end up as a cuckholded PR agent for the guy that was shagging your missus because your boss tells you exactly what to type..."
There fixed it for Dunty.
Think that lying bullshit is bad?
Wait until CV-19 finally expires of its own accord. Then it'll be full-on claptrap across corporate print and broadcast media about how the Bozo Circus "saved Britain...Spitfires.....White cliffs of Dover*.....Gawd bless 'er majesty".
Hamster-face Cole will be just one of the array of liars and hypocrites.
*If you can glimpse them through the clouds of lorry-pewking carbon monoxide/exhaust fumes.
Ian Dunt should be aware that political reporters rarely check the facts.
Particularly with the lies he told about Corbyn.
That said, Harry Cole is the dirt worst.
“Imagine how shameful it must be to take a career as a journalist and end up as a PR agent for the prime minister”.
I dint think Cole EVER took a career as a (proper) journalist. Still shameful though.
Compliments of the Season, Tim. Thanks for all your hard work and an entertaining year of holding the usual suspects up to examination and well deserved ridicule. I hope your slackening off isnt too drastic or long.
They'll be dancing in the streets of [insert name] tonight.
Don't "the Russians" get some "credit" for Brexit? Or is it "the Chinese"?
Have a Merry Christmas Tim and thank you for your posts this year.
I stopped viewing and listening to announcements from the Government years ago and Pfeffelbod the OvenReady's broadcast today will not be an exception.
Tim, I would like to join with other regulars in thanking you for this blog. I know from experience just what it takes to research and write at such length and accuracy. Plus polemical quality.
And to wish you and yours season greetings. May New Year bring you all you wish for. You've earned it.
"EU red tape"??? Yes. To be replaced with a load more good old fashioned British red tape instead. Who needs that forren muck?
Merry Christmas to this blog and all who read and contribute.
You Scrooges are welcome to leave this free and liberal country and join your authoritarian comrades in the EUSSR over the water, bye bye, so long !
Actually we're not free to leave anymore, FOM has gone.
We're all trapped here with Patel, the Tories, their corruption and their austerity agenda.
Thank you Tim, for your work, research and willingness to call out the likes of Harrry Cole and the large cotiree of rightwing media pundits including L.K trying to deceive the general public with propaganda dressed up as facts.
None have what it takes to be an investigative journalist, none prepared to put in the long hard hours, put up with dead ends, death threats and silence.
It shouldn't be left to independent journalists operating via blogs to expose the corruption of our entwined political and media personalities and organisations they work for, sadly it is, what it is.
A few like yourself holding power to account.
Happy Xmas anonymous purveyor of Cretinous Drivel.
No more sexy Spanish and Italian girls renting the house next door to me any more!
Screw you brexiters!
Merry Xmas Tim. Is it just me or is there a distinct smell of shoite about this deal?
AAnd let's see what we've won for Christmas.
A quarter of a fish.
We'd prefer Daily Heil subscribers to fuck off and join Orange Face in the United States of Amnesia, Land of the Fee, Home of the Crave, where they massacre each other at regular intervals and soon will isolate themselves with sanctions.
You can go too. If they'll let you in.
Well done Ms Symonds, your taste in men is appalling (Harry Cole is her former partner)
The 'anti ronseal' deal.
Ha Ha We've won got our country back - Farage the most successful politician of this century. Darren Grimes man of 2020.
Fishermen will disagree with you.
You have now given me the image of Britain as a prison, and Patel thinking she's Rorschach.
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