A Laughing Stock

Friday 4th May

Living in France you get a different perspective on the news.  Thursday is market day, I am in the Café at seven and I see the same people week after week, grabbing an early morning coffee while setting up for another day.  And yesterday they were all amazed at our (Britain’s) Government.   They simply cannot believe the Windrush Scandal, how a Government could be so stupid as to try to chase people who have been working and paying taxes in the country for thirty, forty or even more years.  Add that to the general disbelief at our decision to press on with an absurd Brexit which will result in lost trade and influence – and they can only stand back and laugh at our stupidity.

Many in France do not like immigrants either, but even they can see that the policy designed by Theresa May is cruel and taking a sledge-hammer to crack a tiny nut.  But it is Brexit they mostly cannot comprehend.  Okay, they say, people stupidly voted for it, but surely it is up to Politicians to find a way of doing it sensibly with the least damage.  They say, “Have another vote, now it is clear what difficulties it involves”, or “Sit down and really talk to Europe and see what compromises can be reached”.  Our bull-headed approach is simply unbelievable to these Europeans.  And all they can do is sit back and laugh at us.

And even now, less than a year before ‘exit’ day, our be-knighted Government still has no clear policy regarding the Customs Union.  The Cabinet is still split and undecided.  Mrs. May, terrified of Boris or Gove resigning, is prevaricating once more. The votes in parliament are being pushed back and back, delaying the inevitable.  Does she really think that suddenly Peace and Harmony will break out both in Cabinet and in Parliament; that the EU will suddenly say “Oh, we were in the wrong all along…we must give Britain a wonderful deal even though they do not want to be part of us anymore”.

Unfortunately, there is still a long while to go before common-sense arrives.  I still have a sneaking suspicion that she actually wants the talks to collapse.  Then, an Election – Us against the nasty EU…we will see then if we are still a laughing stock.