Dutch Brexit humour from outside the nuthouse

Note: If you think we are conducting Brexit in a competent manner and it’s all a great idea, let me save you the time; don’t bother with the rest of this, OK?

Once upon a time, when that Jacob Rees-Mogg were a nipper, he sat on the knee of Daddy Rees-Mogg in charge of the Thunderer. Our lad Jacob was regaled with tales of Imperial derring-do, and he thought that’s the world he’d grow up in. Sadly, his cosseted public-skool upbringing never forged character in the crucible of adversity, so he got to grow up thinking that the world really was like he had been taught by daddykins, that it remembered the British Empire with fond sepia tones like the Road to Mandalay declaimed by BoJo rather than say, the trains oozing blood in the Punjab when in the shambles of the secretive Partition as the British scarpered. Sure, Britain did less badly de-Imperialising than some of her European neighbours, but let’s not celebrate that as something that will be a source of great common cause and better trade deals in the 21st century, eh, Jakes me old mucker? It’s probably safe to assume that Empire is recalled more fondly by the aristocratic class of this septic isle than the erstwhile subjects in all those red bits on the map, so check your facts Jakey-boy before sending your henchmen to go batting on that wicket in the trade talks, should we ever get that far.

Right now we Brits are making such absolute twats of ourselves on the international stage, what with striking a deal with the EU and seeming to agree, then saying well, no, that’s not what we actually meant all along, though hold the line, caller, while we actually work out what it is that we meant.

May picks up the old hotline to Jake’s pad where he celebrated her defeat with champagne for his buddies. Yes, I know, with friends like that who needs enemies and all that, but any port in a storm, eh? Brr, brr may I speak to JRM please? “heeelooooow, Jacob Rees-Mogg here, what’s that? (screws monocle into eye) oh what do we want? Simples, Treesa me gal, dont’cha-know, one wants not to give a bally inch. We keep all our cake and eat it, those dashed Continentals will soon come to their senses, they need us more than we need them. Stiff upper lip, Treesa, still upper lip and all that. Tally-Ho” Click.

It’s left people scratching their heads and wondering WTAF is going on here1. Hat tip to the Dutch government. Sometimes, faced with a clusterfuck over which you have precious little control, a spot of humour is the best answer. That’s exactly what they’ve done with their latest website to help their businesses understand Brexit. 2 Obviously they can’t really help them because nobody understands Brexit as it’s being made up on the hoof, but they’ve depicted it as a great big obstreperous woolly mammoth looming over small biz’s attempts to work out which way is up with Brexit.

And yeah, I’m doing the sneering Remainer bit here, because, to be honest, the absolute snafu being made here with Brexiters fighting with each other to imagine what success looks like does look bloody stupid. It looks bloody stupid inside the country, it must look like a collective nervous breakdown outside, though I tip my hat to the Irish Times in calling it a peculiarly English breakdown. Of the two constituencies of Brexit, I have some sympathy with the people who lost out to globalisation3, and I guess Theresa May’s original agreement would have been a serviceable answer to their complaints. I’m not sure it would have been a solution to their problems, but nevertheless, it would have delivered the result of the misbegotten referendum and allowed us to get on with life.

But it wasn’t to be, because there is another part of this heart of darkness, and it consists of people rich enough to not care one whit about the knock-on effects of their dreams. These are the toffs and aristocrats of Jacob-Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group. Just like you can take a bet that any country that has ‘democratic’ in its name is probably not democratic in any accepted term of the word, the ERG is neither European nor does it do any research, if you define research as inquiry into a topic where you don’t know what the answer to your inquiry is beforehand. These are guys who have a very purist view of sovereignty – pretty much ‘we are top dog and no other bugger has influence on what we do‘. Ahem, chaps and chapesses, along with that whole sun never sets on the Imperium no longer being a thing

that was the late 19th/early 20th century, guys

some dashed clever buggers invented something called trade, y’know, where you buy and sell stuff and services to foreigners. It goes on a bit more nowadays that it used to. Anytime you want other people’s money, well, you get to dance a little to their tune. It also pays to speak nicely to them rather than charge around like you own the joint. You do seem to have your heads stuck in a time when you did own the joint, it’s been nearly 80 years since then.

The ERG and their ilk are despicable rich bastards that don’t have to giveashit

And they don’t give a shit. Sure, the entire UK body politic has conspired to make a pig’s ear of this, but I’d like to direct Donald Tusk’s infernal ire better. I reserve a special place in Hell for Jacob Rees-Mogg, BoJo and all the strutting rich bastards who seem to be getting a massive horn out of sticking spanners in the works, and telling people that the only way to think about sovereignty is the way Kim Jong-Un thinks about it. Presumably Jacob’s got My Way on repeat on the old gramophone, with some pliant serf to wind the dratted thing up when the spring runs down.

If this is the way we are negotiating our first and possibly largest trade deal or non-deal with our largest and nearest trading partner, then as far as negotiating with Trump-land and China, well, so help us God. It reminds me of Tacitus’ description of the Druids retreating to Anglesey and hurling curses at the invading Roman Army across the Menai Straits.

On the beach stood the adverse array, a serried mass of arms and men, with women flitting between the ranks. In the style of Furies, in robes of deathly black and with dishevelled hair, they brandished their torches; while a circle of Druids, lifting their hands to heaven and showering imprecations, struck the troops with such an awe at the extraordinary spectacle that [it was] as though their limbs were paralysed, they exposed their bodies to wounds without an attempt at movement.

Apparently the troops got a right bollocking for such wussy behaviour along the lines of WTF is wrong with you lot, are you men or mice, and they stormed the island swimming across the Menai Straits with their horses. There’s a lesson in there, and it’s that hurling curses across a watery boundary at the other side doesn’t end well.

This is not a professional way of carrying on, people. We look like incompetent buffoons, and a great big blue furry buffoon looks about right. Hats off to the Dutch

Project Fur – you gotta have a larf, else you’d cry

At least they will be shot of it soon enough. We have to live with the massive monster of our projected id – it’s Forbidden Planet all over again without the pretty girl to make it better.

Forbidden planet – beware the power of the twisted darkness within the ERG

So here’s a gratuitous picture of Altaira

Altaira

before we have one of the villains of the show, the “I drink champagne wiv my Brexit Bruvvas when ‘my’ side loses a battle they deserve to lose” Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jacob Rees-Mogg

Now I’d rather have JRM for prime minister than Boris Johnson, but that’s not setting the bar high. In fact I’d prefer the Dutch woolly mammoth to either…

Our next PM, the fella with the blue wooly head!

because when it comes to British politics, let’s take a leaf out of Hippocrates.

Rule 1: Do no harm


  1. I am aware of the Brexiter’s line that you have to keep the enemy on it’s toes and not knowing WTF is going on during negotiations. Sometimes you do have to play the capricious fool. However, I think that the problems here stem from Brexit hiding two quite opposing world-views, and like the Red Dragon and the White Dragon under Vortigern’s castle, they fight endlessly so no stable structure can be built on the house divided.  Where are Merlin and Arthur now? We need them now in the kingdom’s hour of need, there is only greed and evil in those that rule today… 
  2. since obviously nobody in Britain speaks foreign any more, what with our Imperial glory meaning all we have to do is yell louder at our subjects till they get it, Google can help us with that
  3. In theory these guys would be ably represented by the Labour Party,  it’s fairly simple and honest what they want – less austerity, a better welfare state, some middling and low level jobs that pay enough to live on. They don’t really give a toss about the trade deals. However, if anybody can work out what Jeremy Corbyn thinks about Brexit, well, could they tell him, please, because there’s no consistent signal that comes out of the noise from his mouth, apart from that it’s not what the other lot wants. Which other lot, Jezza? in fact which part of which other lot? Oh, fuhgeddaboutit. 
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28 thoughts on “Dutch Brexit humour from outside the nuthouse”

  1. Tsk tsk, talking Britin down, enemies of the people-type traitors. We should all be using the last few weekends assembling our garden stables from B&Q and putting in other finishing touches, so when we all get a Unicorn on freedom/independence day, it’ll settle in nicely in our new-build, postage stamp-sized backyards & feel welcome. Containers for self-replicating cakes that can be left permanently in the fridge will be popular too. Back in feudal times, nobody needed pensions or were obese, or had many green vegetables to eat, let alone fancy tropical fruit, but they kept calm and carried on didn’t they, no fussing about missing things like prosecco or heating in winter.

    Think of all the positives of returning to simpler times: spending quality time with family (10 per room/20 per house) uninterrupted constantly by tech, reviving the traditions that glued community together, like badger baiting and burning witches. Real culture will make a comeback too, like traditional herbal cures instead of chemical-based drugs, morris dancing and wide spread uptake of physical activities, like poaching for protein and piracy of forin shipping if there’s more plastic than fish in the newly reclaimed sovereign waters. Utopia will be yours if you believe.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for this very intersting post about what is about to befall on us all. I was recently talking to my wife about how social media are the modern incarnation of the id that destroyed the pretty civilizaton in Forbidden Planet. I see that I am not the only one that has found that old 50´s movie so enlightenting about our present predicament, no just in the UK but in Europe and most of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. despite my crush on Altaira the wider message was pretty good. Sci-fi had a terrible rap for lacking depth, but FP was a terrific introduction to the vengeful power of psychological forces driven underground but drawing power to gain expression.

      My recollection was that the movie was in black and white, but the last time I saw it must have been as a student on a scavenged B/W TV. Amazon will flog me a used Blu-Ray for about £6.50, I’m tempted, though I have to get a player first. They claim it’s all-region and in colour. ISTR it had some great theremin background music too.

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    1. William, c’mon, give it a chance first, we should all pull together to ensure the will of ~33% of the people is done. Have you at least tried to think of the positives? Quite a few products will be thrown in for free by our new suppliers as a gesture of goodwill, like antibiotics in the meat and fish or cleaning products in the chlorinated chicken, tech is improving all the time, so hopefully, with GMO crops we could glow in the dark & bingo, no need to waste energy on lighting, literally brilliant! Anyway, no need to take it from me, it’ll all be emblazoned on the sides of every ox-cart in London in a few weeks and that way you’ll know for sure it’s the truth; you just have to believe you see, so exciting.

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  3. Many people that I know voted out to give the elites a bloody nose. Look on the bright side – property prices should revert to the mean.

    Michael Lavelle

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    1. > voted out to give the elites a bloody nose.

      That’s fine, it’s competence in doing the job we could use here. I’m not sure I’m seeing any of that, and since the plan is to get it sorted in a month and a half a bit of joined-up thinking and action PDQ would be nice.

      Talking of elites, does this example look like a man with a bloody nose? from this article? He pretty much looks like S.P.E.C.T.R.E. stroking the white cat saying ‘it’s all going to plan, Mr Bond’

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In a no-deal scenario, the elites stand to lose a fortune. And it’s what many voters in the South West of England want. The Cornish are sick to the back teeth with the number of holiday homes owed by Londoners, many locals don’t stand a hope in hell of ever owing their own property. And many feel they have nothing to lose, they truly believe that Brexit will be an equaliser, and I can somewhat see their point of view. The country is very divided.

        Michael Lavelle

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can see that argument, and for those who voted out because they were getting shat on by globalisation I really do hope they get some benefit, and ideally the balance of pluses outweighs the minuses from their POV. There’s also some argument that London should become a city-state like Singapore, because it is a different world. But we will see.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Going next door to attack your neighbours because your boss is hurting your life is the wrong answer to the problem,
      so can never help fix it, let alone avoid it being worse now that you are now surrounded by self-created hostiles. The elite have tortured the most vulnerable people repeatedly using austerity and consulted expert psychologist propagandists (look up Sir Lynton Crosby for an example of these creatures) yet the electorate rewarded them with better results. The backlash when the pain reached clear to the bone in the poorer half of the population has now gifted the very elite that instigated the cruelty with the opportunity to go for broke in extending the same treatment to the whole country in perpetuity. Genius, you can’t make it up.

      If house prices drop 90%, but people have no income, they still can’t get accommodation and the housing stock will continue to be sold to the ‘high-net-worth’ from around the globe needing to hide their money via financial ‘entities’ here owned by the elite. That doesn’t look like a bloody nose, more like a disaster gifting them a bonus and never ending bewilderment at how easy taking candy from babies is.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My own take on it is very simple – assume the worst. My own portfolio contains mainly overseas stock, the only UK holding is AstraZeneca.

        Aren’t you prepared for the worst, Ermine? I believe you have bought gold? Now, that is really preparing for the worst!

        An emotional topic.

        Michael Lavelle

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      2. I have some gold, fortunately mostly purchased before the referendum, though mainly equities as foreign assets. Mostly foreign assets, to be honest, one would have anyway if going for a world index, the UK is only about 6% to global capitalisation.

        In this post I targeted my ire to the rich nodealers, who I suspect do have a plan for their preferred outcome, along the general lines of disaster capitalism. There is some point to be made that we already have some of that, the loathsome Universal Credit and pretty much anything to do with housing in the UK from RTB onwards. You couldn’t make Universal Credit up – what berk decided that any fule kno that the unemployed carry a cash float of more than five weeks expenses in hand so they can wait 5 weeks for their claim to go through before getting paid FFS. However, we can always have more, and I suspect the ERG’s machinations are to bring on a lot more than we have already.

        I think the majority of those who voted for Brexit because they were taking the shaft from globalisation and to some extent immigration would be served okay by May’s deal, which could do something about immigration which is probably their prime issue. It’s not perfect but it’s serviceable, nothing in this twisted world is perfect. I’m unconvinced that no deal is in the interests of anybody other than the ERG headbangers who are rich enough to either buy their way out of trouble or clear off in a private jet. And of course to make money out of the results.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. If the HoC votes in 2 weeks time to extend article 50 (if a deal hasn’t been passed by mid-March), which is looking increasingly likely given they’ve already voted against No Deal in principle, it’ll be really interesting to see what the ERG does next. Will they vote for the PM’s deal, or vote against in the hope that they can still get their desired No Deal at the end of the extension? They’re all complete nutters so it’s anyone’s guess really, but we could be in for some entertaining fireworks. Lots of toys will be thrown out of lots of prams I think.

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  5. I’m pretty sure the remain chancers had a plan for when they won the referendum (healing internal tory divisions… my arse).
    I’m pretty sure the brexit chancers had a plan for when they won the general election.
    Neither had a plan after the first punch from the electorate.
    So all in all things are not quite as bad as they could be, mustn’t grumble and so on.

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  6. Looking at this situation from across the Atlantic, I see an eerie parallel between the Brexit referendum and the Quebec “sovereignty-association” plebiscites of the 1980s. The Quebec populace was asked to vote on something that was unattainable in reality.
    As far as the Empire goes, I experienced the end of it in the mid-90s when I stood in line for an hour at Heathrow with the rest of the colonists while the EU citizens zipped through Customs in 5 minutes. As a Canadian, it was far easier to get into Australia and New Zealand than it was to enter the Mother Country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. > The Quebec populace was asked to vote on something that was unattainable in reality.

      I like that analogy – it gets to the heart of the matter. Of course Brexit is a possibility – the big fail here is not spotting it’s a load of often mutually contradictory possibilities. Which leads to a jolly good fight and general fog of war and little movement in any direction in particular.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What is ironic is that the Quebec separatists envisioned a sovereign country in what would be a present-day EU type relationship with the rest of Canada. Had they been successful, the remainder of Canada would likely have offered them a no-deal Quebexit I suppose. Either way what the voters were engaged in was Fantasy Island. The electorate was never fooled – although one of the referenda was pretty close.

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  7. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/clusterfuck
    It may not have been made as a new word just for BreXit, but the depth of it’s meaning is strengthened by it. To give the Toffs a bloody nose? How, when it’s proponents recommending Brexit were the toffiest of the toffs, did that happen? The Bullingdon club must be warming up the pigs heads ready for the new masters of the Empire as we speak. Brinkmanship is a thing in negotiations, I understand, but confusion politics, WTF, In my life, housing has never been seen as affordable and yet rents were always more than mortgage payments in the places I lived. (and still are). Things are immeasurably (scuse the hyperbola) better than in the days of my yoof, and I look upon the purchasing power of the younger generation in awe compared with what we were able to do. (look at the duration and range of any bachelor party that occurs and think). What makes this situation so bad we are willing to throw in with the very people who want more power to enrich themselves and their kind?
    Again CLUSTERFUCK.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We should have an honorary mention for SNAFU too 😉

      Although on a point of order and Queensberry Rules, while the younger generation may be spitting bricks about housing, which is at higher income multiples than historically (possibly as a result of being predicated on two incomes not one but also due to other factors like we have nowhere near the amount of social housing we used to), in no way can it be said that the younger generation voted for Brexit. You can make the case that they didn’t show up in enough force which is something that immediately struck me when I voted – lots of old codgers with really creepy grins

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I feel the process is less about incompetence and more about trust.

    As an old stoic saying goes, ‘Trust is built slowly. Trust is destroyed quickly. Trust can make complex things possible. The absence of trust can make simple things impossible. Trust powers relationships, businesses, nations. Trust is as precious as it is fragile.’

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    1. > less about incompetence and more about trust

      To outsiders, and let’s face it, I am one because I was on the losing side, the trust issue seems between the anti-immigration vision of Brexit and the ERG anti others telling us what to do crew. Both have gone and stuck the same label two very different things, that happen to share not being in the EU. It’s an easy logical fault – all donkeys have four legs, but not all that has four legs is a donkey.

      A competent phraser of the question would have made it clear what the Leave the EU vote was running towards, rather than leaving it defined as what it was running away from. As a rule of life in general, run towards the light rather than away from the darkness.

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  9. I had breakfast last week with a friend who works at the European Parliament and she said the word in Luxembourg is that an extension until the end of July is a done deal.
    So presumably the plan is to run down the clock in the hope MPs will opt for Theresa’s plan rather than no deal. Safe in the knowledge that the “no deal” scenario won’t actually materialise on 29 March because an extension has already been agreed behind the scenes. Not quite sure how extending the process will help in the longer term of course.

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  10. That was a great post, very amusing and unfortunately very true. Great to have some realism rather than all the tin pot experts who can’t wait to make Britain Great Again!!!

    Like

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