It’s tempting to wonder if the phrase ‘a Pyrrhic victory’ will soon be replaced by the word ‘Ukippered’. Pyrrhic, as you will recall, comes from Pyrrhus, the Roman general whose victory cost so many lives that he was heard to say, ‘One more such victory and we are done for.’
The same could be said right now of UKIP. Like the government when it started this ill-starred and ill-advised referendum, they don’t seem to have had a post-Brexit plan; and as a result they are now falling apart. Farrage, far from enjoying his victory and crowing loud and long over the triumphant state of a Britain that has ‘taken back control’, has resigned and hopped across the pond to place his grinning face under the inexplicable hair of Donald Trump. Trump and Farrage sounds like a firm of particularly dodgy lawyers, but nobody seems to care. Meanwhile, the government struggles to come to terms with a nightmarish aftermath which nobody really wanted, where nobody knows what could or should happen and where even those who voted for it are starting to think they didn’t know what they were voting for.
This was not entirely their fault: they were misled shamefully by newspapers and leaders who never stopped plugging lies and half-truths about spending and immigrants. At least Boris is still around to face the music – if not to actually conduct some of it – while his ally Farrage has skipped bail leaving the country and his party in a parlous state.
Meanwhile Corbyn seems to me to have the most coherent Brexit plan, trying to honour the democratic result of the referendum (which Owen Smith is proposing to disregard) while retaining some of the positive aspects of the European Union. My heart sinks whenever I hear the word Brexit: I hate the result with a passion, but it’s no good saying we can’t honour it, because then you may as well tear up parliamentary democracy if you do that. I hated the results of the last two elections but you can’t just hold another election if you don’t like the result of the first one; something Owen Smith would do well to bear in mind.
That’s it for today. Very tired. I hate moving house.