On 9 February 2022, the House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts published its latest report into the impact of Brexit and the consequent changes to the EU/UK border. It made grim reading. On the same day Johnson, scrabbling around for diversions from #partygate, reorganised the deckchairs on the Torytanic and moved the minister for the eighteenth century, aka the ‘haunted pencil’, from his role as Leader of the House to a new job as Minister of State for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency.
Why does the role even exist when Johnson has ‘got Brexit done’, as his sycophants bay almost permanently from the back benches, bellowing the absolution that excuses all deceptions, all lies, all corruption?
Given the conclusions of the report, the evidence of our own eyes (those lorry tailbacks) and the growing mountain of red tape and obstacles to trade, the frequently supine and languid Rees-Mogg has quite some task in front of him – and it is definitely more Sisyphean than Herculean. The sliver of grit that is Brexit rapidly becomes a boulder of adamantine rock as soon as anyone tries to push it up towards those fabled sunlit uplands. And, as he himself said, in his patrician, condescending tones, those sunlit uplands are fifty years away…
He really has got a challenge on his hands! The Public Accounts Committee was very clear in its conclusions.
“…it is clear that EU exit has had an impact, and that new border arrangements have added costs to business. We have repeatedly raised concerns about the impact of changes to trading arrangements on businesses of all sizes and we remain concerned.”
Remember, this is a cross-party group. Their cynicism over government’s ability to deal with Brexit’s consequences oozes out of every sentence:
“The EU introduced full import controls at the end of the transition period. The UK
government originally intended to do the same but has since delayed this three times and officials could not give us complete assurance that it would not do so again. However, departments were very confident about their ability to introduce import controls over the course of 2022. We hope that this confidence proves justified. […]
The government has ambitious plans to create “the most effective border in the world” by 2025, which includes plans to make it easier and simpler for traders to submit information on goods crossing the border. While this is a noteworthy ambition, it is optimistic, given where things stand today and we are not convinced that it is underpinned by a detailed plan to deliver it.
In our view, there is much more work that departments should be doing in the shorter term to understand and minimise the current burden on those trading with the EU, to address the immediate delivery and readiness risks in introducing import controls, and to have a border in place which is operating effectively without further delays or temporary measures.”
Has Johnson got a wicked sense of humour or is he deluded or just vengeful in creating this ludicrous role? Or is he creating a bit of a job share on the making-stuff-up front? “Here, Jacob, you’re a Brexiter. Go and cook up some benefits to fob off the plebs, there’s a good chap! Better still, let them eat red tape. We’ve created more of that than you can shake a stick at!”
Jon Danzig‘s video makes it clear that Rees-Mogg certainly has the qualifications for this job given its inherent requirement for duplicity:
We have seen that Rees-Mogg, despite his avowed devotion to the Catholic church and, presumably, the teachings of Christ, is more than happy to be economical with the truth when it suits and has happily and glibly defended the King of Liars, trivialising the objections of those in the House who dare to challenge the torrent of mistruths which flow from the front bench.
He has cultivated an air of gracious condescension as he bestows the benefit of his learning and some scraps of his precious time on public affairs, whilst making it perfectly clear that it is all rather tedious and beneath him. He sets himself up as someone who occupies a very lofty patch of moral high ground (moral high ground as defined by him, of course: his views on abortion, for example) whilst employing many of the tactics of a scoundrel or morally-bankrupt grifter.
But you can really see him here, apparently (patently?!) goading Johnson into making his Savile claims during PMQs…and even if he didn’t, his jabbing the finger at Starmer as Johnson cast the shameful slur certainly revealed a very nasty side to him indeed:
It must be plain that this is a man without scruples, a man who has soaked up the vision of chaos-creating opportunities for the disaster capitalists of the world from his father’s book, The Sovereign Individual: The Coming Economic Revolution and How to Survive and Prosper in It and sees Brexit as the perfect vehicle to make that vision a reality…and make some serious money. We can expect a bonfire of regulations and protections designed to keep us safe trumpeted as benefits of Brexit, when all they do is to boost the profits of the multinationals.
I think we can safely assume that there will have to be a very great deal of deception practised on us all if we are to be conned into believing that Brexit brings us any opportunities at all and persuaded to wipe from our memories those happy times when we were free to live, work, travel, love and retire in 31 countries. He will be aided in this deception by Brexit-pain deniers like Natalie Elphicke, here exhibiting maximum delusion:
And now it seems he is subcontracting the job of identifying the benefits of Brexit to readers of the Sun, leading to WCV tweetibg this:
We will need to be on our guard. This is not a principled man. This is not a man who cares one jot for his constituents. He is a dangerous ideologue, complicit in an epic scam. Let’s keep calling him out.
Mind you, that old Brexit boulder is going to keep on rolling over him, isn’t it?
A selection of other articles on Rees-Mogg…there are more!