A day in the life of a former global superpower
October 19, 2018 8:32 AM   Subscribe

As a recent deputy Prime Minister joins Facebook, a John Inman double sues his weary hosts, something from the 1990s makes an unwelcome return, technology startups quietly move eastwards, residents hide from a cat, amputated limbs are (allegedly) kept in handy skips, and a rising Tory MP who but a few hours ago demonstrated he is a very angry man goes "pub carpark fight" on (inevitably) Twitter, so the lonely Prime Minister, bereft of even a genuine handshake or a legal joint (which is ironic), charges on with cannon to right of her, cannon to left of her, and cannon in front of her, though much of the nation is otherwise gripped by the latter part of Bread and Circuses, namely Jose-drama and who is [redacated] who on Strictly Come Dancing, when not growing pumpkins.
posted by Wordshore (29 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Because its absurdity's made me laugh more every time I've seen it I'll post the entirety of Johnny Mercer's pub car park fight tweet:
I’ll give you one chance at honesty. Did you insinuate my wife was a prostitute on the Plymouth Herald comments section?
posted by ambrosen at 8:38 AM on October 19, 2018 [5 favorites]

Because its absurdity's made me laugh more every time I've seen it I'll post the entirety of Johnny Mercer's pub car park fight tweet:

Earlier in the week - the period of which is historically a 'long time in politics' - he was being discussed as the 'compromise leader' if Theresa May was deposed.
posted by Wordshore at 8:41 AM on October 19, 2018 [1 favorite]



As you were, everyone. I'll see myself out.
posted by SansPoint at 8:45 AM on October 19, 2018 [16 favorites]

Ex-British Army officer Johnny Mercer has questioned whether the party still shares his ‘values and ethos.

I have some good news for him, the tories are still total wankers, so I guess that's a 'yes'.
posted by biffa at 8:50 AM on October 19, 2018 [8 favorites]

I should be working, but I keep coming up with captions for the 'genuine handshake' picture. The latest one being:

"I can't even bear to touch you in any way any more, but we'll try and keep up appearances for just one more Christmas for the sake of the children."
posted by Wordshore at 9:02 AM on October 19, 2018 [5 favorites]

The New Republic draws parallels between Greece's negotiations with the EU over their bailout and Britain's with it over bailing out: The Mistake Countries Repeatedly Make When Dealing With the EU—Greece with its bailout, the UK with Brexit: The European Union is the reigning champion in this game of chicken. "The UK is suffering from the same illusions as Greece was in its negotiations with the EU: overestimating its power, and believing that a shift in domestic politics, either by a change of government or Prime Minister, can yield a better result."

Meanwhile, the FT reports, EU Leaders Shelve Plans For Special Brexit Summit Next Month—‘New ideas’ awaited from Theresa May in talks that could still take ‘weeks or months’ "The decision came at a short, low-key dinner on Brexit in Brussels, where Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, noted that talks had hit a “deadlock”* and other leaders expressed frustration at political paralysis in Westminster, according to diplomats briefed on the meeting."

* “There isn’t even a one in a million chance that Merkel will say no.”—Greek PM Alexis Tsipras, 2015
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:13 AM on October 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

But Wordshore, is there no news of cakes? I rely upon the UK to supply cake news, virtually the only news with any cheering power at all anymore.

This week I learned that Madeira cake doesn't actually contain madeira. I had always thought it was like a rum cake but it's not. I may make one this weekend since it looks very straightfoward.
posted by Frowner at 9:31 AM on October 19, 2018 [5 favorites]

Is it too late to post this? John Major: "I have made no false promises on Brexit – I’m free to tell you the truth"
posted by heatherlogan at 10:03 AM on October 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

No cakes, but a possibly-authentic Alien Big Cat is still reason for joy.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:58 AM on October 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

residents hide from a cat

Again?! Last time there was a big cat on the loose in Scotland, it was this one.
posted by heatherlogan at 11:03 AM on October 19, 2018 [4 favorites]

The Plymouth Herald used to be known as the Western Evening Herald - notable alongside its stablemate the Western Morning News as being one of the best training grounds for cadet hacks on their way to national attention - and when we first moved to that fair (*) city, my father used to amuse himself, if nobody else, by walking past a street newspaper seller who was yelling"Evening Herald" and saying "Evening, Arthur.",

(*) Although not without its charming bits, Plymouth is not on the whole a fair city and is never referred to as such, except in football chants and ironically.
posted by Devonian at 12:23 PM on October 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

(*) shithole
posted by biffa at 1:04 PM on October 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you read the panther article a certain way, it sounds like no one is actually equipped to handle the magnificent creature, and instead the best they can do is look at it from a distance and talk about where it's headed now. I want to imagine that it will never be caught, and the Ayrshire Panther will become part of the local landscape. Bored teens will try to follow it, locals will gripe about seeing it in their gardens ("go on, shoo!"), and visitors will be asked "have you seen our panther yet?"
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:10 PM on October 19, 2018 [6 favorites]

Madeira cake doesn't actually contain madeira

In Madeira I was told they call it ‘English Cake’.
posted by Segundus at 1:17 PM on October 19, 2018

Devonian: I was a student in Plymouth for four years, so I remember the Evening Herald vendors there very well. I used to amuse myself by muttering "Evening, Harold" whenever I passed one, hoping my timing would be right to produce an instant "Evening Her-ALD!" in reply.

Simple pleasures.
posted by Paul Slade at 3:25 PM on October 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

In Madeira I was told they call it ‘English Cake’.

It doesn’t contain English, either.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:37 PM on October 19, 2018 [7 favorites]

"If you think Brexit will leave us weaker and poorer, march for a people’s vote"

If you agree with former prime minister John Major that the Brexit vote was “a colossal misjudgment that will diminish both the UK and the EU”, leaving Britain “weaker and poorer”, then march with us tomorrow. If you feel that the British have a historic and moral responsibility to help the island of Ireland move irrevocably beyond bloody sectarian conflict – march. If you want a liberal, progressive England, not the xenophobic, reactionary England of Tommy Robinson and the English Defence League – march. If you think the economic and cultural concerns of those who voted for Brexit must urgently be addressed, but that Brexit will do nothing to address them – march with us.

If you want your children and grandchildren not to have worse life chances than their parents – march. If you are under 30 and realise that it’s your future that is being sacrificed, as explained by the subversively named pro-referendum campaigns Our Future Our Choice (OFOC) and For Our Future’s Sake (FFS) – then, FFS, march. If you care about Europe as a whole, not just about Britain, and grasp what a serious threat Brexit is to the whole post-1945 project of building a better Europe – march. If you understand that this demonstration is just one small part of a much larger pushback against a worldwide anti-liberal counterrevolution – march. See you there.

If you're in London tomorrow, Saturday October 20th, or can get there, come to Park Lane at midday / Parliament Square by 2pm, and help show what we losers can do.
posted by Quagkapi at 3:41 PM on October 19, 2018 [8 favorites]

Is it too late to post this? John Major: "I have made no false promises on Brexit – I’m free to tell you the truth"

Astonishing / depressing to think that Major would turn out to have been the best Prime Minister of my lifetime.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 5:09 PM on October 19, 2018 [9 favorites]

Also the best comment I saw on Nick Clegg was: "Let's hope he does for Facebook what he did for the Liberal Democrats".
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:58 PM on October 19, 2018 [11 favorites]

I’m on the other side of the world and can’t afford to fly back to the UK for a weekend, so a massive thanks to everyone who took part in the march today. Wish I had been there and I hope that it makes a difference. Thank you.
posted by chappell, ambrose at 8:27 AM on October 20, 2018 [4 favorites]

I was at the march and it was a lovely day for it. Apparently 700,000 people turned up and it was all very good natured and peaceful. The underground trains to the start were packed. I got off at Green Park tube station and it took a while to get out despite all the ticket barriers being opened and the staff telling us not to bother swiping tickets/cards.

Policing was light and their main job seemed to be giving directions to lost tourists.

I ended up just outside of Parliament Square for the speeches and I still managed to stand where I couldn't see the speakers or the screens. Still they sounded good and Sadiq Khan certainly knows how to play a crowd.

After that it was beers, food and home. Good day.
posted by antiwiggle at 3:21 AM on October 21, 2018 [4 favorites]

The Guardian's got a good selection of pics from yesterday's march.

I saw one elderly marcher there with a 6-pointed yellow fabric star labelled "French" sewn to the breast pocket of his jacket. I lost him in the crowd before I could get a photo, but the chilling power of that star eclipsed every sign on view.

On a lighter note, I also liked this Banksy tribute.
posted by Paul Slade at 5:52 AM on October 21, 2018

Well done and thank you to everyone who made it to the march. I couldn't this time around, but it's great to see it was even bigger than the one in June.
posted by rory at 2:41 AM on October 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

The New Yorker on the march.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:54 AM on October 23, 2018

Sky News's Faisal Islam has posted a tweetstorm on the unfolding debacle of the UK's post-Brexit proposals at the WTO (Threadreader):
Russia blocks UK post Brexit WTO tariff carve up plan...
This was exactly one of the pre referendum Cameron Government Brexit warnings
I first wrote about this process when it was going well in July 2017 on a visit to the WTO with Liam Fox
They let me into the basement archives where I found the last set of UK trade schedules - the process of negotiating this with EU going well at that time
Here was Mrs Campbell negotiating tariffs with China in the 1930s
But a year ago onwards many of the UK’s post Brexit trade allies started to object informally to this WTO plan that had been agreed with the EU... eg US, NZ and here Australia (then ambo in a #brexitforensics on sheep farming)
Objections began to get more detailed over summer
All of them tracked by expert @CoppetainPU here
Eg NZ in a submission to EU saying the post Brexit wto quota carve up risked a spiralling unilateral trade retaliation that sounds a lot like a trade war
Today’s story is about a formal objection from a non-ally, in Russia, which could spell the end for a lengthy attempt to try to get round the WTO tariff issue through a short-circuited “rectification” process. Process beholden to any and every other member, for whatever reason...
Though this is not about *WTO membership* UK is and always has been a member....
However there are parallel problems in the important Procurement Agreement, with objections from the US itself according to reporting of @bbaschuk
"Omnishambles" doesn't even begin to describe the situation.
posted by Doktor Zed at 8:15 AM on October 25, 2018 [3 favorites]

(Is this the most recent Brexit thread? It looks as if there might be some important news in the next couple of hours.)
posted by chappell, ambrose at 9:01 AM on November 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

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