It’s still ‘all quiet on the Brexit front’, according to the MSM this morning. There are some rumblings reported in The Express, but since those rumblings are about Fisheries, the metro-elites are not really interested: fish & chips is so plebeian, dear chap. But it’s a nice stick with which to turn Brexit into BRINO because the EU and France especially are set on not giving up even one tiny fish if it serves to keep us In and paying.
As always, it’s worthwhile to check if we’re shown a huge squirrel here while the more worrying event is taking place elsewhere. No, not that Corona virus, the economic effect of which will have repercussions that are not yet foreseeable. It’s something else. It’s the “Climate Extinction Crisis We’re All Gonna Die” event.
Before I’ll get to the fish, here’s why that Green stuff is going to threaten Brexit. Cast your minds back to Johnson’s excellent speech on Monday. If you want to refresh your memory, here’s our report, video included. In his speech the PM was fulminating about our wonderful green future and how much better at this we are than the EU. But this, the Greenery, is where the actual battle for Brexit will take place. Joe Barnes of The Express – is he now the only Brussels correspondent around? – reports:
“The institution’s UK Co-ordination Group, former the Brexit Steering committee, have demanded a “polluter pays principle” be included as part of any future trade deal with the UK. A leaked copy of the plan, seen by Express.co.uk, said any future Government should be required to maintain the same environmental rules as Brussels. It suggests the UK should be forced to match European standards on climate change, as well as workers’ rights and state aid, when the bloc updates its rulebook. […] The draft resolution, which will be voted on by MEPs next week, adds: “The principle that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source and the ‘polluter pays’ principle.” (link)
There are other straws in the wind. There is, for example, Ms May’s former chief of staff, now ennobled, who believes that Johnson won’t be able to ‘walk away with no deal’ (link). While Barwell – for it is he – is talking in generalities, I think this is a trial balloon, preparing us to accept a compromised Brexit. That his remarks are playing into Barnier’s hands is just a side effect.
Here is another straw in the wind. It’s a news story in a German paper this morning (link, for those who read German or have a machine translator). According to that report, the new EU ‘Foreign Secretary’ Joseph Borrell, who is also one of Ms vdLeyen’s vice presidents, remarked in an interview in Brussels that it’s nice by the young’uns to demonstrate for ‘climate crisis’, but …!
He then made the mistake to say that none of them is asked how this should be paid for, wondering if all those Greta-kids would be happy to pay as well to recompense all those Polish coal miners who’d be out of a job – costs which would be in addition to all those other costs caused by ‘green’ policies. As so sadly predictable, after the ensuing twitter storm he back-pedalled immediately, praising all those wonderful green youths.
I’m sure you can connect the dots: the EU insists on us following all their future green policies or else. Johnson, to keep his green halo, will sacrifice Brexit because what could be more important than ‘saving the planet’! And who wants to have all those green kiddies and their green mums and dads and grandparents on twitter, in the streets, creating mayhem.
Compared to that, what are a few fish between friends! While France’s Macron insists on ‘no trade deal’ without France having access to all our waters (link), while Barnier will insist on linking Fisheries before giving a micrometre on financial services, while Johnson is warned that this will require a ‘compromise’ (link) – read: “BRINO instead of Brexit” – there’s reason to expect a hot Fisheries summer.
French fishermen are gloomy about the situation around the Channel Islands (link). They accept, for the moment, that they are rightfully excluded from those grounds but are clear whose fault that is:
“Mr Rogoff told the French daily Le Monde: “Our morale has taken a serious hit,” after French fishermen were temporarily banned from entering the waters of Guernsey due to post-Brexit administrative changes. He said: “The French state is also to blame for the situation, because it was not strong enough and failed to negotiate with Guernsey authorities. I would not want this to be a foretaste of future problems.” (link)
And here’s the French cudgel, aimed at Macron:
If the government and Brussels do not manage to consolidate our access to British waters before the end of the transition period, if no French boat can go fishing beyond the centre-line of the Channel, then the situation will explode. We can no longer rule out this disastrous scenario.” (link)
I think that this is the big squirrel which we’ll see hopping along the Brexit negotiation tree while the green deals will be done behind our backs. There’s also a delicious little report (link) which describes ‘buyers remorse’ amongst the remaining 27 EU member states. They miss us already because they can no longer hide behind us, or ride on our coattails. Oh dear.
And so to our ‘Cummings Watch’. This time it’s not RemainCental, it’s John Humphrys in the DM. His article has the headline “Don’t silence the hacks, Boris – muzzle your ‘evil genius” (link), referring to the spat on Monday where all MSM hacks (since Humphrys uses this word, I’ll do so as well) walked out because some uninvited hacks were told to leave, blaming that ‘Rasputin in No10’. He starts by using a quote from Thomas Jefferson about the freedom of the press:
“Thomas Jefferson, who drafted the American Declaration of Independence, had no doubt about the value of a free Press. ‘Our liberty,’ he said, ‘depends upon the freedom of the Press. Were it left to me to decide to choose between government without news-papers and newspapers without government, I would not hesitate to choose the latter.’ Coming from the greatest of the Founding Fathers of what would become the world’s greatest democracy, that’s pretty powerful stuff.” (link)
Isn’t it just – especially as Johnson has been closing down TV channels and the big newspapers … oh wait – he hasn’t! Instead of bashing Cummings and by extension Johnson Humphrys would have done better to take note of some other Jefferson quotes, for example:
“I deplore… the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed and the malignity, the vulgarity, and mendacious spirit of those who write for them… These ordures are rapidly depraving the public taste and lessening its relish for sound food.” (link)
Or what about this one, Mr Humphrys:
“Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.” (link)
Last but not least – how about this one, which rings several bells, loud and clear:
“The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.” (link)
‘Plus ça change plus c’est la meme chose’, isn’t it! We all have experienced this in the last four years, to an extent that is surely worthy of a research paper or two. Moreover, it’s what we’ve seen for the last ten years, at the very least, in regard to ‘climate change’.
It’s this experience which keeps me writing – about Brexit, BRINO and the EU as ‘reported’ in our MSM.
Photo by Slideshow Bruce