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Waiting for something

The ironies are running thick and deep as the United Kingdom continues its trajectory through what Fleet Street traditionally calls “the silly season” (when no news is actually happening and – back in the day during any given August – ITN used to end its bulletins with fillers such “and to finish, a skateboarding duck …”) and those in our political circles might be referring to as “the Phoney War” if it wasn’t all so serious and the Brexit Halloween deadline hurtling over the horizon towards us.

Just as the winds of change seem to have brought climate change issues to the fore and the weekend gales (plus the National Grid two-power-station ‘outage’, of course) have devastated the travel plans of hundreds of thousands across the nation, the long-time certainties of Parliamentary business procedures and pollsters seem to have been thrown up in the air leaving sufficient uncertainty that even over-fed and over-paid SPADs and pundits have no real idea what is going on or how to deal with it.

Meanwhile our cruise liners of the national press have also finally cut loose from their moorings and begun drifting all over the place.

In the current circumstances any average member of the public like me could be forgiven for either whipping the bottle top from an ice-cool beer and settling down on the sun lounger in the garden while waiting for someone somewhere to get their act together [“Well, if nobody with the power to do something seems to be capable of getting a grip, why should I worry?”] … or, alternatively, speculating wildly about peoples’ revolutions, right-wing fascist coups or even perhaps the arrival of a helpful giant asteroid from space that might being an end to it all (and it doesn’t matter which).

Regular Rust readers will be familiar with my view that the feeblest vehicle in Fleet Street is The Independent which has latterly become little more than a Remoaner mouthpiece and Project Fear peddler.

For those of us who can recall its humble 1986 beginnings with Andreas Whittam-Smith at the helm this development may be a source of wistful disappointment, but others (more philosophical perhaps) might subscribe to the view that, since the bulk of national organs – bar the Rust of course – are nakedly partisan in furthering their proprietors’ personal obsessions and causes, why should The Indie be any different?

Here’s a piece by Andrew Grice expounding the theory that the current Tory regime is so determined upon Brexit at any price/cost that it risks prompting the break-up of (eventually) the entire United Kingdom, beginning (naturally) with the hordes North of the Border – see here, as appears today upon the website of – THE INDEPENDENT

Typing as someone whose strategy in bothering to vote at all in the 2016 EU Referendum was to rid our glorious kingdom of the dragging anchor of Scotland so we could sail freely and inventively into a global sunset of endless milk, honey and free season tickets for all at the point of contact, Mr Grice’s discourse comes as a welcome and positive surprise.

Meanwhile – for those who can still be bothered – various academics offer their visions of how things will pan out on the Brexit front over the next few months: here’s a compilation of views as amassed by Josh Sandiford of The Observer, as appears today upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN


About Simon Campion-Brown

A former lecturer in politics at Keele University, Simon now lives in Oxfordshire. Married with two children, in 2007 he decided to monitor the Westminster village via newspaper and television and has never looked back. More Posts