Their latest diversionary tactic, in the long litany of blaming their crashing incompetence on anyone else but themselves, is to dust off the dead cat otherwise known as the Northern Ireland Protocol and whang it on the table once again. Yes, the rotten foreigners™ done it! They’re the root of all our ills! Boo Brussels! Boo people who talk foreign!
So it was that Liz Truss, now elevated to the rank of Foreign Secretary, and another at the cabinet table who owes her position there to Bozo’s patronage, rather than her ability to do the job, declared that she would seek to disapply the Protocol. She obtained a legal ruling from Suella Braverman, now Attorney General, and another promoted on loyalty grounds rather than ability, who said it was OK to renege on the UK’s treaty obligations.
Was it not a better idea to discuss the perceived problems with the Protocol with the EU and Irish Government? Or to bring in the US administration, which is a guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement? But you know what’s coming next: “Lord” David Frost, who negotiated the Protocol and condemned the UK to a customs border down the Irish Sea, has just gone to the States and crudely alienated the occupant of the White House.
Frost, addressing the Heritage Foundation, an extreme right-wing lobby group which dabbles in subjects like climate change denial, told his audience that Joe Biden didn’t understand the “niceties” of Northern Ireland: “It is our country that faced the Troubles. We don’t need lectures from others about the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement”. Biden is of Irish heritage. He knows exactly what he’s talking about.
Still, we didn’t want that trade deal with the USA, did we? But we know what the problem is: the Tories sold the DUP down the river and now need to throw them a bone. The DUP is outnumbered in the Northern Ireland Assembly in its refusal to participate in forming an administration after recent elections: the UUP won’t follow its hardline stance, and in any case, there are now 53 MLAs representing pro-Protocol parties, and just 37 against.
We have arrived at this situation, which is not going to be easily solved even if there was a half-competent negotiator on board, because Bozo pulled the plug on Theresa May’s “backstop” arrangement, substituted a deal that put a border down the Irish Sea, and then lied about it - in order to carry out his mission to “Get Brexit Done”.
So now we have the unappealing sight of ministers and other sundry Tory sycophants touring the broadcast studios, whining plaintively about how rotten the EU is being, how the Protocol is the work of the devil himself, and how jolly reasonable they are being in refusing negotiations and stamping around like demented toddlers.
The one saving grace is that the House of Lords is highly likely to delay the necessary legislation long enough for someone to deal with the collective stampy tantrums.
When will our Government take responsibility for its actions? Not while Bozo’s around.
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 becoming a Patron on Patreon at