“Why can’t they just get on with it?” says Colonel Mad to his good lady wife at the Felchingham Conservative Club.
“What Brexit dear?” She simpers over a schooner of Cyprus Sherry.
“No! Fucking Christmas!” thunders the colonel, raising a fluffy grey eyebrow to the steward for another tincture. After all, it was nearly ten thirty in the morning. The sun surely must be over the yard arm somewhere.
“But Madders, that nice Mr. Johnston said it was going to be a doddle, that the beastly Krauts want to sell us their cars and those awful Dagos their prosecco. And don’t forget we cancelled our health insurance because of the the £350 million extra a week for the NHS”.
But the colonel wasn’t listening. The steward had failed to deliver his drink and was flirting with a barmaid.
“Steward. My whisky and soda. Chop. Chop,” he barked in full military mode.
The youth in a stained white jacket reluctantly broke off his attentions and sauntered over.
“Enough of the chop, chop grandpa. I’m running this bar now.”
“But what happened to that nice chap from Poland? Nothing was too much trouble for him.”
“Gone back to Poland where he bloody belongs. Oh, and before I serve your drink, if I can be arsed to, I want a pay rise.”
By now the colonel’s rheumy eyes were fixed on the television above the bar.
“Oh it’s Mr Johnson darling,” wet gussetted his lady wife.
But this was too much for our thirsty hero who slumped back dangerously on his bar stool.
“But listen dear. He is telling us that if he was Prime Minister, which he doesn’t want to be, all he needs to do is shout loudly at Johnny Foreigner and they will give us everything we want.”
“I’m afraid my dear that we are up shit creak and nobody can find the bloody paddle. Steward! Drink! Pronto!”
But of the steward there was no sign. He had gone on strike.
This is a terrible time for democracy. Members of Parliament are failing us. They are stuck in the headlights of a speeding truck and don’t know which way to jump. Some are just praying for a miracle. That somehow the truck will screech to a halt and the driver, dressed as Santa, will distribute sacks of wonderful presents to us all. The rest are just hiding under the duvet hoping it will all go away.
Yesterday the Commons was in turmoil. “Let’s have a People’s vote……..let’s crash out with no deal…..go back and tell Brussels what we want…whatever that is…..let’s have a vote of no confidence…let’s elect a new leader who will be …..better…”
So Madame does what she has always done. Tries to square the circle. Attempts to reconcile the unreconcilable. Puts up with unspeakable abuse. And sits in the Parliamentary stocks being pelted with rotten fruit.
The Tory mob is just as unpleasant, violently irrational and unstable as the Paris yellow shirts. Anna Soubry has lost her marbles. Priti Patel beyond a disgrace. And in India Esther McVey would be sacred. All the while Owen Paterson Spode leads his black shorts to a land fit for unicorns.
Corbynistas are just as bad. Mad eyed Momentum Williamson tours the country as chief Witch Finder General. “I see the mark of Blair on the body. Confess, confess and I will purify your soul through the burning fires of deselection.” Whilst McDonnell, Corbyn’s Beria, draws up lists of those to be executed after the revolution. For them Brexit is just a side show on the long march to power. No deed or thought will be too cynical.
Parliament has become like Bedlam where the aristocracy used to come and wonder at the sad antics of the seriously deranged. And at the moment one of the few voices of sanity is Madame. Off she goes again for another round of shuttle diplomacy. The choice is simple. May for the continent and Rees Mogg for the incontinent.
Heaven knows what the twenty seven think of all of this. Well, I’ll hazard a guess.
“Britain has decided to leave. It was their choice not ours. We have negotiated a deal where both sides have made concessions in good faith. The Anglo Irish Agreement makes it clear that there cannot be a hard border between north and south. We will not let Ireland down. In no circumstances will we allow a deal which will put British interests above EU interests. We will give you assurances regarding the temporary nature of the backstop. But they cannot be legally binding. We will not allow the negotiations to be reopened because we have more pressing issues. Massive unemployment. The Italian economy tanking. A new Chancellor in Germany. The French have become an ungovernable basket case. And don’t let’s forget the migration crisis”.
Let’s be honest, Britain has just become an irritation to the EU. They have calculated that if we crash out without a deal it will be a catastrophe for us and a minor disaster for them. The best Christmas present they can give Madame is a beautifully wrapped package with some helpful words on the card. But the gift will still be the same. Parliament would be mad not to accept it. Sadly, there is no available certificate of their sanity. But their worst crime is that they have become the Grinch that stole Christmas.