Let’s not talk about the coming crash …
Here’s the first success of Johnson’s government: the broadsheets are no longer talking about Brexit. Instead, they try to puzzle out what the new Johnson Cabinet might look like – before it’s announced on Thursday. Then there’s HS2 which may well turn into Johnson’s grave marker. Of course, a little swipe at Cummings had to be added. Oh – and then there’s the Corona virus.
That is still being treated as some sort of ‘local’ news (“Brighton is running out of facemasks”) or relegated to the inside pages or their equivalent in the online MSM. It’s as if, with a few exceptions, the MSM here as well as on the Continent, have been told not to create a panic and play a wait-and-see game. You’ll have to go to the DM to get a section on this epidemic.
Why am I using up precious space on this? Because of the economy! We remember that Remain has been using Brexit and its supposed detrimental effect on the economy as main argument. As the effects of the extended, prolonged quarantine in China on the global economy are incalculable we need to keep in mind that this is not ‘because of Brexit’, Remain wails notwithstanding. We may feel good at the moment because:
“Britain had the third-fastest growing economy in the G7 group of advanced nations last year even though it stagnated in the final quarter. Official figures show that the economy beat expectations to grow by 1.4 per cent last year. The UK outperformed France, Germany and Italy, which grew by 1.3 per cent, 0.5 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.” (link, paywalled)
However, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard paints a gloomy picture in his paywalled article in the DT, listing the Chinese factories and industries now closed until March, pointing to the effects this is already having:
“Global angst is for now largely focused on the car industry, commodities, and shipping. Hyundai, Kia, and Ssangyong have had to shut their car plants in Korea for lack of components. Nissan has closed two assembly lines in Japan. This will spread to Europe within a couple of weeks if the crisis drags on.” (paywalled link)
This ‘global angst’ which seems well-founded is relegated to the business sections because it’s nothing to do with Brexit. Here’s more – after all, most stuff coming from China is transported on ships:
“Shipping has buckled. Lloyd’s List says tanker rates have crashed. To be exact, spot earnings on the TD3C Middle East to China route have fallen to $16,000 a day from $115,000 in early January, a pattern replicated for smaller vessels. It said “SIRE” ship inspections cannot be carried out in much of Asia. The closure of Chinese shipyards has paralysed drydock and retrofit work. Richard Meade at Lloyd’s List […] told me Lloyd’s is getting reports of ships floating round Asia unable to dock at port after port, and running out of food.” (paywalled link)
But then, that’s only Asia: far far away, so why worry now! One aspect which even AEP has neglected is that China produces pharmaceuticals which are needed in the EU. Germany is already running out of drugs, and Brexit has got nothing to do with that. Why our MSM are not investigating if the NHS also experiences such difficulties – who knows!
There has been no concerted effort by Brussels to address this global threat to the health of EU citizens and indeed the EU economy which should not astonish us at all – they prefer to play their ‘punish Britain’ game, for example Mr Verhofstadt who backed M Barnier to the hilt:
“The Belgium MEP said: “The UK Government says no to EU standards, a far reaching fishery agreement, free movement. But it does want zero tariffs, zero quota and full access for the City. If this is the UK position, talks will be very brief indeed. Michel Barnier is 100 percent right!” (link)
He’s relating to M Barnier’s refusal to negotiate Mr Javid’s proposals for equivalency in regard to financial services (link).
However, something like ‘buyer’s remorse’ is emerging, for example from Mr Timmermans who, as I remember, was a staunch member of the ‘Punish Brexit Britain’ brigade and who is now one of the Commission’s vice presidents. He warns that:
“European countries “need the British” and should not exclude the UK from international organisations out of spite” (link)
Oh really – is that so? This is what Timmermans’ sudden demand for ‘reason’ is about:
“EU states cannot go it alone when it comes to developing offshore wind farms to meet climate change commitments, Frans Timmermans said […] He questioned why the UK had been removed from the North Sea Energy Cooperation (NSEC) platform – which is not an EU group. […] Mr Timmermans said the European Commission’s decision to remove Britain after it left the bloc on January 31 was not “necessary”. The Commission vice-president said the nine remaining members would need the help of Britons when it comes to rolling out their plans.” (link)
Ah – windfarms! So Timmermans is concerned about Greenery – which seems to be more important even than punishing ‘perfidious Albion’.
While Barnier and Verhofstadt are playing their tedious games, others (not sitting in Brussels) are looking at ‘The Rise of the Right’, in the wake of the German resignation of Ms Merkel’s designated successor. They name the usual suspects, from Spain’s new party ‘Vox’, to the old ones like Ms LePen and Mr Salvini. The Times however wonders if the huge sums of money spent in Eastern Germany, where the AfD is strongest, wasn’t counter-productive and warns:
“The HS2 assumption that connectivity will quickly reconcile the UK isn’t borne out by the German experience. As the benefits of infrastructural investment are slow to arrive, so confidence in the political establishment evaporates.” (link, paywalled)
This is quite insidious, alleging that there’s an incipient ‘far right’ to be found in the UK while alleging at the same time that HS2, just like those German investments in East Germany, might be a step to create such ‘far right’ movement. It’s connected to the Westminster denizens’ attempts to label Johnson’s One-Nation-Tory Party as ‘far right’, after his victory. There’s more – the author has had a little talk with the German Finance minister Olaf Scholz (SPD), who said:
“I think Brexit has a lot to do with scepticism about globalisation and technological change, and how this affects the everyday lives of people.” He has got to be right on this. If HS2 is branded as just a transport revolution, it will end in tears. It has to be part of a more general self-examination about how Britain is governed, in whose interests and towards what kind of future.” (link, paywalled)
Ah – here’s Brexit and the connection to HS2! That last sentence though is correct, self-examination is needed, not just here but in the EU member states as well. Sadly, the MSM here and in the EU are singing from the same lefty-greeny hymn sheet and never question if the ever increasing drift to unwanted green-socialist policies is the cause for this perceived ‘rise of the Right’, where ‘Right’ is of course any party or group opposing this trend, images of SA boots being evoked while Antifa violence gets filed under ‘they’re only playing’.
And finally – our favourite item, the ‘Cummings Watch’. He “ridiculed the Cabinet by claiming a trio of cartoon superheroes would do a better job than the lot of them.” (link) and that’s of course outrageous:
“In a baffling exchange with a television reporter, Dominic Cummings repeatedly referenced the Disney crime fighting PJ Masks gang and said they would outperform the Prime Minister’s top team. Downing Street sources insisted the adviser, the father of a young child, was simply having a joke at the reporter’s expense.” (link)
Of course RemainCentral was on the case, shocked that Cummings misquoted the catchphrase of that cartoon, and then going to No10:
“Asked if Boris Johnson shared Mr Cummings’ thoughts, the prime minister’s official spokesman said: “I’m not familiar with their [PJ Masks’] work.” (link, paywalled)
They didn’t seem to get it, that Cummings and that Johnson spokesman were taking the proverbial! RemainCentral even dedicated an editorial to this earth-shattering event – here’s the link, paywalled, if you can and must. This, dear friends, is what ‘reporters’ are wasting their and our time on!
Ah well, it must mean that there’s nothing else of import to write about, from the Corona virus epidemic to the economy to the EU. The MSM however are doing their best to obey Johnson and make ’Brexit’ into a no-word.
We however will speak and write about Brexit until it’s done.