Just in

Don’t worry, be happy …

When it comes to the really big issues – e.g. such as instances of life imitating art, or perhaps vice versa – the world can sometimes get its knickers in a twist.

We have all heard real or apocryphal tales of screenwriters submitting to Hollywood producers diligently-researched and laboriously-produced scripts that faithfully recreate historical lives or events and having them rejected out of hand for being too far-fetched to be believable.

That said, to those of us looking on, sometimes real-life events can seem bizarre and surreal enough that the phrase “You couldn’t make it up” springs naturally to mind.

Which brings me – and yes, I must apologise here to those who gravitate to the Rust as a haven of relief from the harsh realities of the world – back to the latest developments in the UK’s Brexit crisis.

Let’s just recap – at least for the benefit of readers and researchers who may alight upon this organ on the internet in decades to come, if not perhaps those already suffering terminal boredom at the state of the nation’s current affairs – where we have reached recently.

After suffering three defeats in the House of Commons and being held in contempt of Parliament for refusing to release the full text of the Attorney General’s advice on Mrs May’s EU Withdrawal Agreement, plus the other bit which covers the negotiating of the finer details which contains the controversial stipulation regarding the Irish backstop, the Prime Minister finally bowed to both the gods of mathematics and reality by postponing the Commons vote upon her deal on the day before it was due to be held.

She then immediately had to endure a “Leadership No Confidence” challenge from within her own (Tory) party – arguably or not then managed to wrong-foot the plotters by triggering it instantly, thereby getting the whole kaboosh over in a single day – in the process landing a minor triumph when she won the vote by 200 to 117 with the add-on prize that under party rules she could now not be challenged again for another 12 months.

Armed with that, and presumably also large dollops of desperation and a determination to plough doggedly on, she then flew to Brussels in the vain hope of somehow persuading the EU grandees (and 27 member countries) to revise her ‘Deal’, which had been chiselled out in great detail and after endless hours of negotiation over the past two years and then final all-round agreement (including hers) and therefore was hardly now going to be unpicked just in order to help her ‘get it through’ the House of Commons.

As just about everybody including my cat had predicted, she duly got short shrift in this quest and in fact – depending upon your viewpoint perhaps – she was ultimately and possibly justifiably rebuffed and humiliated along the way.

At the moment – based upon those of them now queuing up on radio and television programmes to pronounce upon the subject – it seems that at last our politicians at Westminster have ‘twigged’ the obvious fact that they have been making an unholy mess of the Brexit process ever since the day the 2016 EU Referendum result was announced, a verdict that at least 95% of the nation’s population had reached within a week.

Some that I consort with and/or have the opportunity to air their views publicly are metaphorically hanging their heads in despair and/or resorting to anti-depressant tablets to fend off their anxiety attacks at what they imagine to be the world’s reaction to the UK’s current political and diplomatic problems – i.e. puzzlement, bemusement, frustration, disbelief, disappointment and exasperation, perhaps with added degrees of thinly-disguised satisfaction and amusement.

After all, who could not fail to find some of the last two of these in watching the formerly great British nation – still held in huge global esteem as the source of ‘the Mother of all Parliaments’, the Queen and the Royal Family, Beefeaters at the Tower of London, red buses, the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Adele, James Corden, 70% of all great actors, Winston Churchill and Accrington Stanley FC – scrabbling about on its knees and reduced to performing a second-rate but convincing imitation of a bankrupt banana republic?

Still, I suppose we can be thankful for the survival of some of our few remaining positive characteristics amidst all the mayhem.

To give one example, our enduring capacity to laugh at ourselves.

For those Rusters today resignedly chomping away at their Crunchy Nut cornflakes this morning whilst pondering where the hell all this is going to end up, I offer the following links to two articles I have seen recently in the UK media that will hopefully provide a short diversion or even prompt a hint of a smile:

Firstly, political sketch-writer John Crace reviews Mrs May’s performance on the EU trail in Brussels, as appears today upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN

Secondly, reporter Rod Ardehali updates the world on the recent media story doing the rounds in which Ceylan Yeginsu, a New York Times correspondent in London, filed a report informing her US readership that after ten years of Government austerity London’s police had been left unable to investigate ever minor petty crimes, citing a burglary that she herself had suffered. She then made the fatal mistake of putting out a call for Brits to send her their examples of being victims of petty crime … and didn’t quite get the response that she had been expecting – see here on the website of the – DAILY MAIL

Have a good day, y’all …!

About Lavinia Thompson

A university lecturer for many years, both at home and abroad, Lavinia Thompson retired in 2008 and has since taken up freelance journalism. She is currently studying for a distant learning degree in geo-political science and lives in Norwich with her partner. More Posts