Storming The Bastille

I have the slight feeling this morning of being part of a revolution. Because the government of Theresa May is tottering, and about to fall.

In the Telegraph today:

Theresa May must go – now. This is a national emergency

What can the Prime Minister be thinking? It’s over. She can no longer pass critical legislation; the latest draft of her Withdrawal Agreement is dead in the water; her backbenchers are up in arms; Cabinet members would like to meet to discuss her future.

Andrea Leadsom has resigned as Leader of the House, saying Britain will not be “truly sovereign” under the agreement and that “government processes” have broken down. And yet, Theresa May clings on. Why? What does she think she has left to achieve? What political face is there left to save?

The remainder of the article is behind a paywall. But I think I can fill in the rest of it for myself:

It’s quite simple. Theresa May is fighting to keep Britain locked inside the EU. That’s what she’s been doing ever since she took office as Prime Minister. She may as well be working for the EU. In fact, she probably is. And she’s now earning very good overtime money. And maybe even danger money too.

She’s not really our Prime Minister. She’s the EU-appointed Prime Minister. And her job has been to slow, stop, and hopefully even reverse Brexit. And she’s done a very good job of it. Nearly 3 years after Britons voted to leave the EU, we’re no nearer leaving than we were back then. And her proposed “Withdrawal” Agreement would actually bind us more tightly to the EU.

But now the game is almost up. It can’t go on very much longer.  She may remain in office, but she’s not in power. Her cabinet is disowning her. Many of her backbenchers want to force her out of office. And Conservative voters all over Britain are about to vote today, perhaps for the first time in their lives, for a party other than the Conservatives: the Brexit Party.

And that’s where I come in. Because today I’ll be voting the exact same way, and I’ll have the feeling for once of actually doing something, actually having a hand in events, rather than just being a passive onlooker. It’ll be a bit like Storming The Bastille when I mark my cross on the ballot paper. It’ll be like swinging a sword across the paper, slashing first to the left, and then to the right, as I drive back the guards from the gates.

And this revolution in Britain may also be part of a wider European revolution that is going to fill the EU Parliament with nationalist populists this weekend. So I’ll be part of two revolutions, not just one.

And after I’ve completed the exhausting task of storming the Bastille with my slashing sword, I’ll head for the pub to drink a well-deserved beer, and to smoke a well-deserved cigarette.  Because that’s ultimately what it’s all about.

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4 Responses to Storming The Bastille

  1. Timothy Goodacre says:

    A fine way to spend the day Frank !

  2. RdM says:

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    Ho, hum …

    I already get some free articles via a Telegraph Editor’s email, but maybe I’m not subscribed enough to qualify for unpaid pay-walled articles…and don’t care enough to be.

    A sad indictment? Or just realism?

  3. beobrigitte says:

    I had a text today from a relative who is about to visit me with tobacco. She asked if she can bring only 250 gr, as Theresa May is rumoured to resign tomorrow.

    And after I’ve completed the exhausting task of storming the Bastille with my slashing sword, I’ll head for the pub to drink a well-deserved beer, and to smoke a well-deserved cigarette. Because that’s ultimately what it’s all about.
    If that would bring back comfortable smoking areas and would stop the discrimination against smokers, I’d be all for it. Unfortunately no new government will kick out the anti-smokers. If anything, it will get worse for us.

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