Grim news from the Lebanon where Beirut has been left looking like, well, Beirut.
Domestically, commentators on all sides were shaken by the proclamations of Sir Iain Duncan Smith who has concluded that the EU Withdrawal Agreement – that he voted for – is in fact a juicy steamer. Even a nine-month old baby would be old enough to recall IDS’s own words in November 2019 that a deal was ‘oven-ready’.
Looks like it was one in the oven where the conception was a lot more enjoyable and less painful than the delivery. You would have expected would-be-doting Dad to have slipped away quietly, passing on the mantel of parenthood to somebody more responsible, but here he is trumpeting his disdain for the WA and at the same time his own credentials as a monumentally useless tosser.
As a long-standing Brexiter, he now cuts a hapless figure of the man who barfed out from the delivery suite clutching the turd after watching the newborn get flushed.
Of course, now he’s snagged a knighthood, he’s free to spout off however he pleases though he might have to double-check that the forces of darkness cannot spoof up a scandal or three to send him scurrying away as plain old Mr Smith. After the unmitigated catasrofudge that he cobbled together at the DWP, that’s the least he deserves. I’m surprised he hasn’t opted for a one-way ticket to Canada under some anonymous relocation programme.
As for the WA text, don’t rule out the painful truth that he probably never even read it. And if we give him the benefit of the doubt that he did read it, we will have to conclude that he didn’t understand it. Had he dug into it with the same gusto that he once did his nose, he might now be in a somewhat more edifying position. Of course, the WA had compromises within it – it was a deal.
IDS clearly wants to have his bogey and eat it.
You wonder how much of the DWP brief he got under his belt, but I think we can guess from a cursory examination of how many court cases and tribunal cases the DWP gets trounced in every year. And of course, the stratospheric uplift in reliance on foodbanks and other informal methods of support hardly merit universal credit (pun intended).
It really does bring home the egregious state we are in with our governing classes, who paraxoxically receive honours for their service to the nation.
But what more should we expect because serious opposition fell away some years ago? During a period of (self-inflicted) national crisis, Labour MPs are either plugging their books on social media, making formal police complaints in floods of tears about Twitter trolls, or losing the plot completely. One yesterday criticised the use of the term ‘nigger-brown’ in an Amazon shoes advertisement as ‘racist micro-aggression’. Surely, they would have been better off simply reporting the term to Amazon for removal. Unless they truly believe that outdated Chinese language translation bots are plotting to burn crosses in the back gardens of South London?
Still, when you’re boosting your personal profile with the nutter fringes, every little helps. But it won’t help constituents who need representation in the face of the worst Government in living memory. All in all, plenty of energy is being expended on anything but the business of opposition when it is most sorely needed.
Whichever way you roll it and flick it, it’s looking bleak.