Friday 31 March 2023

How historians will see Brexit. I have been granted a privileged glimpse: the CPTPP

 I have managed to decipher another section of the fire-damaged New Oxford History of England: Brexit 2015- which was offered to me by Sybil, an emissary from The Future (see my post of 7 March). This is from what appears to be the section on the CPTPP.

‘After a brief attack of courage when he faced down the Brexit fanatics who wanted the UK to welch on the agreement we had made with the EU over Northern Ireland, Sunak sadly soon reverted to spineless type, and decided he had to offer the ‘head-bangers’, as they would become known, a consolation prize.

Most British people soon saw that even among the multiple absurdities of Brexit, the UK’s ludicrous decision to join a trade group on the other side of the world in preference to neighbours 20 miles away, stood out.

It was presented by Sunak as one of those highly elusive ‘Brexit benefits’, but this argument soon fell apart when it was revealed that, on the government’s own figures, it would benefit the UK's economy by about 0.08 per cent, while Brexit impoverished the country by fully 4 per cent, fifty times as much.

Instead it became clear that joining the CPTPP had only two functions: 1. As one of those endless empty gestures designed to fool people into thinking that there was some upside to Brexit, and 2. To try to put another obstacle in the way of the UK ever rejoining the EU, so imprisoning the country permanently in the Brexit disaster.’

Tuesday 7 March 2023

Brexitwatch: A Book of Secrets - have I met an emissary from the future?

 A funny thing happened to me the other day as I was walking across a blasted heath not far from where I live in North London.

I saw a woman standing by a fire. I was going to write ‘old woman’ and then I realised she was no older than me, and was possibly a good deal younger, as most people are. As I approached she held out a book, quite a weighty tome, and said: ‘I am Sybil. I have come from the future with this book of secrets. Take it.’

Sadly, living in modern Britain has bred suspicion and cynicism in me, and I quickened my pace and brushed past her. After a few moments, I heard her shout: ‘Then I’ll burn the book.’ I looked back and saw her throw it on the flames. Then I went hurrying on my way.

A few hours later something made me go back. There was no sign of the woman. The fire had gone out, but among the ashes were the remains of the book. I saw that it was a volume in the New Oxford History of England entitled Brexit 2015- but the end date of the period it covered was lost, as was the author’s name and date of publication.

Gingerly I retrieved what was left of the volume, and found the opening sentences:

‘We can now see that the Brexit referendum of 2016 was the real fault line in English history. The previous year, David Cameron, a friendly, plausible prime minister, had won a surprise victory in the General Election. Unfortunately Cameron was also shallow, weak and careless, and rarely failed to put the interests of the Conservative Party before the interests of the country.’

I am now trying to piece together other passages, which I will post in this blog.