— Arne Delfs (@ArneDelfs) June 12, 2021
… or, BULLY BUNTER’S SEASIDE SUMMIT OF SHAME:
International gatherings have been off the menu for quite some time now, due mostly to the ‘current unpleasantness’, but also thanks to a certain country’s well-funded trollfarms and obviously blackmailed client-politicians making sure that no one’s really trusted each other enough for visiting to be worthwhile. So, it’s actually a nice change of pace to be able to slot the Tonytush into its well-worn couch groove, crack open a can of 8% chocolate stout, and settle down to enjoy a collection of cocksure national emblems assembling under the bright summer sun to dazzle us with their range of inspirational skills, visionary ingenuity under pressure, and intuitive understanding of the additive value of teamwork, all of the things which people operating at this rarefied level of excellence are supposed to excel at, and for which they are all oh so very, very expensively renumerated. Their job – their only job, really – is to make the world a better place, if only for a short time, and remind us that the stiff, crabbed, endlessly negative world the Right have clumped together for us since they grabbed the wheel isn’t the only puddle in which we can splash. There really is a better today out there we could be living in, one where otherwise rational people don’t need to feel the urge to palm a sharp knife because you just never can tell when Stranger Danger might happen to YOU! Life can be good. It can be hopeful. We can share the best of ourselves and look damned good doing it.
But that’s enough about the delayed 2020 European Football Championships, they’ve got their own thread where inevitable French or German victory can be celebrated. We’re here to talk about the recently concluded G7 meeting where, in utterly predictable fashion, Flobalob Johnson’s delusional buffoonery took a serious event devoted to serious issues and sprayed bum-paste all over the august proceedings like someone stuffed a veal-fed pug full of laxatives and glued it to a writhing garden hose.
This G7 took place at an upscale hotel estate in the lovely little seaside resort of Carbis Bay, Cornwall, which just so happens to be as distant from Scotland as their team’s chances of qualifying from Group D [Ed – Oh, you’ve jinxed it now] and a county that sums up Brexit voters in a nutshell, in that it voted Leave, immediately demanded that other parts of Britain stump up the £200 million a year it then lost in EU infrastructure grants, and has spent the last year watching its fishing, farming and tourism industries turn to dust while blaming everyone but themselves. It was promoted by Tory State Media (with typical jingoistic myopia) as a made-to-measure showcase for ‘Global Britain’, that lean and hungry future-state created when Johnson’s Brexit victory freed the UK from the EU’s jealous bondage and liberated its phalanxes of swashbuckling entrepreneurs to go boldly forth and harvest the world’s pent-up appetite for Stilton, period drama and things that go Fucking Boom! Hosted by the (checks notes) charmingly chummy (burns notes) Alexander ‘Boris’ de Pfeffel Johnson and his long-term mistress Carrie ‘Antoinette’ Symonds (hastily transformed into wifey number 3 in an ostentatiously Catholic ceremony at the end of May that had nothing at all to do with Joe Biden being a practicing Catholic and Doctor Jill Biden being a step or twenty above visiting local schools and animal sanctuaries alongside a sharp elbowed concubine), this gathering of the Great and Good (Western Division and Affiliates) would immortalise the moment when Britain strutted confidently back onto the international stage of Big Boy globo-politics as a respected peer rather than a shackled rule-taker, winning over all the silly doubters with a display of backslapping camaraderie and musky bonhomie redolent of a leather-clad Elvis circa 1968. Still got it, uh hu hu.
Yeah, but no. Grey reality falls with musty inevitability across our story. This is the Disunited Fiefdom of Lesser Brexitannia we’re talking about here, a country run by and for a grifting minority of highly slapable nonentities made lazy and overconfident by their sweethearts and lollipops deal with domestic media. These people think that they’re the creamy white shizzle to whom lesser folks raise statues of purest marble, while in reality they’re so universally incompetent they could fuck up a facial at a Porn Awards afterparty. All that PR bullshit (and this Government is nothing but PR bullshit) does wonders when you’re pitching woo to a radicalised population of tabloid-poisoned geriatrics, less so when your audience consists mainly of grown-up people with their own political and media culture to worry about, no illusions whatsoever about the lowness of your quality and barely any reason bar general politeness to hide their awareness of it. If Johnson imagined he could cosplay Churchill during cocktails and photo-ops while ducking any of the substantial issues of state he’s so badly suited to solving [Ed – He did] he was very quickly disabused of his naivety. Brexit was the pale horse Flobalob rode into Absolute Power, but his problem remains that sealing that deal meant signing off on legally binding international agreements with rules and timetables and everything. These were sold to the electorate as “oven ready” and “the deal you voted for”, but all that guff was just one more big, fat fucker of a lie amidst an Election campaign notable mainly for its shameless embrace of barefaced dishonesty. Leaving aside the fact that Britain’s economic future has been hammered into driftwood and splinters by the predictable aftereffects of leaving the EU (we might as well, since the British Media certainly aren’t inclined to talk about it), the major pressing issue that spoiled Bunter’s weekend jolly was The Matter of Ulster.
Basically, the UK and the Republic of Ireland share a land border on the island of Ireland. On one side of it the Republic, on the other the Province of Ulster, also known as Northern Ireland. When both were EU members that wasn’t a problem, because civilised, but since the UK became
adrift isolatedindependent, it most certainly is. The Good Friday Agreement of 1998 that (mostly) ended decades of sectarian strife in Ulster specified no hard border (border posts, customs inspections, identity checks, etc) between the Republic and Northern Ireland, but how does that jibe with the need for the EU to protect its internal market and regulatory environment from a UK where Tory ideology demands low to no regulation and is seeking import/export deals with countries with lower standards than a Nickleback groupie? Answer – It does not, and the thorny question of how to square this circle has bedevilled the Brexit process for years. It’s why Theresa May’s numerous flawed attempts to compromise with the EU in a way that maintained Tory Party unity failed to get Parliamentary approval. The parties opposing Brexit plus the Ultra-Brextremist wing of the Tory Party (which Johnson acted as semi-official spokesman for before winning the Tory Party leadership and which cynically equated any kind of genuine compromise with outright capitulation) could outvote the Government loyalists and stop things dead.
This is the problem Johnson faced after winning the 2019 Election on the unexamined (by the Media) promise that he had a plan to “Get Brexit Done”. In order to secure a Brexit deal in late 2020 that simultaneously met the EU’s demands for clarity on customs checks and regulatory standards, got rid of the ‘Irish Backstop’ provision that had assumed mythical hate status on the Brexiteer Right, and also respected the Good Friday Agreement that kept the peace in Ireland, Johnson chucked aside everything he’d previously said on the topic (no surprise there) and agreed that Northern Ireland would remain subject to EU customs union rules even after the UK as a whole exited the EU, establishing a de-facto customs border down the middle of the Irish sea in order to protect the EU’s internal market in goods from any changes (for which read substantial downgrading) in British regulatory standards. The idea being that there would be a grace period lasting for the first part of 2021 to allow the UK to get its shit together (either by signing up to EU-level regulations in perpetuity or by funding the establishment of a proper network of customs posts along the UK side of this notional border) but the important point was there would be no ‘hard border’ between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, preserving one of the major tentpoles upon which the Good Friday Agreement rests.
Of course, and as any of his ex-wives and unwanted children can attest, Flobalob is constitutionally incapable of keeping his word, and virtually as soon as the ink was dry on the Northern Ireland Protocol his Government-of-Rogues was making it clear that it planned to treat it more as a first-draft pending renegotiation than the legally binding international agreement it actually was. They’ve been thumbing their noses at the EU for months and acting as though the front pages of the British tabloids are the ultimate arbiter of international law [Ed – They’re not? Do they know that?] which is entirely on trend. These are the people who passed an Internal Market Bill in 2020 that gave the Government ‘authority’ to unilaterally ignore any bits it disliked in the Withdrawal Agreement Johnson had just signed with the EU, dismissing Parliamentary and EU concerns that this amounted to brazenly breaking international law with, and I only barely paraphrase, “No we’re not, and even if we are, it’s only in a specific and limited way, so mind your own business, oiks.” Your rules don’t apply to them. Don’t you know who they are?
Crapping all over the same Northern Ireland Protocol that they had rammed through Parliament and signed into law was dumb, but very popular with the Tory Party’s rabid Brextremist base. Unilaterally extending the termination point of the ‘grace period’ that allowed shipment of some trade goods from the UK into Northern Ireland without checks from June to October without even consulting the EU was even dumber, but was even more popular with the rabid Brextremist base. Whining that the EU’s refusal to just let the UK get on with violating the clear wording of the Northern Ireland Protocol was an “excessively purist interpretation” of the rules was beyond dumb, but had the rabid Brextremist base flushed and wet lipped. Slashing the UK’s international aid budget by £4 billion in direct violation of their election manifesto was so dumb even Nicolas Cage wouldn’t star in a film with it, but it had the rabid Brextremist base frantically digging out the ball-gag and harness set they got in the divorce. Johnson’s own repeated insistence that he might be minded to invoke Article 16 of the Protocol (which justifies unilateral measures if applying the Protocol’s rules “leads to serious economic, societal or environmental difficulties that are liable to persist”) in order to facilitate the movement of crappy English sausages into the already sausage-sufficient Northern Irish market was so dumb it could win an election in a safe Tory constituency, but it had the rabid Brextremist base slamming their rigid members in car doors while howling “BORIS’ BRITISH BANGERS!!!” at the uncaring moon.
All of these hugely embarrassing actions by the British Government were politically as dumb as fuck while being red meat to the base, to which I’m sure you’d say so far, so lime-flavoured Trump-lite, but ramping it all up on the eve of a major G7 summit? One which you are hosting and at which you’ll be negotiating vitally important international co-operative efforts with the people you’re most pissing off? That’s beyond dumb. That’s deaf, dumb and blind. That’s Helen Keller floating in a sensory deprivation tank. That’s… well, that’s our Government. If fate had conspired to elect a box of wind-up dildoes to office in 2019 they’d be a substantial step-up on this shower of self-satisfied teat-suckers. One might almost think they were deliberately sabotaging the nation’s interests in service to other bodies that might benefit from a divided and isolated UK, but that’s for people with better legal representation to argue. I’m just clear that they’re a bunch of nasty fucking idiots led by a lazy, incoherent fraud and every single one of them would benefit from a punch to the throat.
So, we get what we had last week. Which was an extended, excruciatingly embarrassing evisceration of the comedy character known to his fans as ‘Boris’ Johnson at the hands of people who arrived at the G7 already well-aware how lightweight he is and refreshingly unwilling to give him the benefit of the doubt he’s so very reliant on. In meeting after meeting, the EU leaders Johnson met with took time from discussing more important topics to explain calmly and almost pityingly that the UK had no option but to abide by the agreements it had negotiated and signed, otherwise every other nation would have to conclude that the UK and its Prime Minister simply could not be trusted to keep their word, and he wouldn’t want that, would he? In response Flobalob fell back on his trademark melange of huffy blather and casual lies, but that flew like an Acme anvil. To their credit (and much to my surprise, maybe it was the Pirate-themed air of the Cornish coast inspiring them to stick it to the Establishment) various reporters, including Channel 4 News’ delightfully to-the-point Gary Gibbon, went straight for the corpulent creep’s wattle, saying bluntly that he’d been told over and over again what the terms of the agreements he’d signed were and asking if he was just flat-out lying when he claimed to be surprised by the EU’s stance. The look on his face when that interview concluded (cold-eyed, haggard, impotently furious at being humiliated) was such a chef’s kiss moment that you could almost hear the Chief Executive of Channel 4 sighing as she prepared to field a barrage of threatening phone calls from the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
So comprehensive was the mass-beating Johnson was being forced to endure that peanut-headed brain-donor Dominic Raab was brought out of the steroid-induced coma he’s been kept in since the last time Johnson needed someone at his back with the intellectual firepower of a salted anchovy to pretend that he was mortally offended by French President Macron’s banal observation that Northern Ireland wasn’t part of Great Britain (geographically or as far as customs were concerned). Raab, a man so blisteringly stupid and moronically belligerent that Johnson couldn’t resist appointing him head of the Foreign Office, and the same cork-skulled knob who was surprised to learn that Dover was a coastal port of some importance to British overseas trade despite his being Brexit Secretary at the time, bellowed into the first available microphone that of course Northern Ireland is part of the UK and foreign johnnies needed to acknowledge that or else, proving once again that distraction via tabloidesque meltdown is the only thing this lot are any good at. Needless to say, Macron (whose main concern all week appeared to be ensuring that his pants were tighter than Justin Trudeau’s) didn’t give a fuck about yet another rosbif tantrum, but the fauxrage had done its job of luring the British Media away from boring old questions about policy and onto the much more familiar ground of access journalism and insider gossip, where the optics of who ‘won’ and who ‘lost’ will always benefit whoever has the right journalist’s private number.
Take the New Atlantic Charter Johnson signed with Biden as case in point. On the one hand, the dawn of a post-Trump era of co-operation between the great democracies to secure political and economic freedoms in a world of spreading illiberalism and climatological peril, on the other a purely theatrical photo-op for an eternally needy brat who loves to play dress up. “I’ll be Churchill and you can be Roosevelt”. Pointless and ultimately meaningless when no one who isn’t paid to pretend that they believe a single word you utter actually trusts you as far as they can throw you. On the other, other hand, it doesn’t matter one Little Jimmy Osmond if Johnson meant a word of it, does it? He just signed an official agreement with the President of the United States on behalf of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland promising to promote and defend things like transparency, the rule of law, independent media, the dignity of work, all of which are under attack in one way or another by his Government and its allies, while working to combat disinformation designed to manipulate elections, which his own Government and its allies have benefitted from enormously. Who exactly do you think is going to be holding the casting vote when the question is asked “Are our Brits working?” Hint, it’s not anyone who knows which words require a ‘U’ in order to be spelled correctly, it’s not even anyone with an American passport and an Australian accent, and it’s definitely not the ‘Great British Public’. The British Media were happy to cover the signing of the NAC as a coup for Johnson, a ‘win’ to offset the ‘loss’ of him having his knuckles rapped by Biden over the threat to the Good Friday Agreement, and a serious moment of adult behaviour after the cringing embarrassment of The Exchange of Unequal Gifts, but looked at more cynically Uncle Joe used Johnson’s vanity to manipulate him into signing the UK up to a specific set of behavioural standards that today’s Tory Party are not naturally capable of living up to.
That’s, uh, that’s how mature democracies treat troublesome rogue states, isn’t it? Wrap them up in silken chains and squeeze if they wriggle? That what we are now?
Makes you proud to be British, said no one who wasn’t on the take. It’s just so infuriatingly embarrassing that this is the future of Britain because 43% of voters were stupid/evil enough to look at the scruffy buffoon and think, “Oh yes, he’s the one we want leading us”, and if the opinion polls are anything to go by he’d get back in with an even larger majority because the Opposition is… well… I don’t know, apparently convinced that offending every one of its core constituencies in turn will somehow purify their essence and attract a better class of (Tory) voter.
The G7 was supposed to be about the world’s most important democracies coming together to negotiate big answers to the big problems plaguing the world, and although, yeah, that only barely started to happen in a few areas and in others not even that, what’s even more galling is that Britain’s sole contribution to any of it was a thin-skinned clown who thinks the world owes him a life of luxury and some nice scenery for group shots.
If only anyone could understand how depressing that is. /s
Fuck these people, I’m all about the Football.