According to a new ‘survey’ made up for Channel 4 to promote a television programme, the word ‘Brexit’ is uttered more than 500 million times a day in Britain.
Not in our house it isn’t.
To paraphrase Basil Fawlty, I may have mentioned the B-word once, but I think I got away with it.
Like most of you, if I never heard the word again, it would be too soon. For a couple of glorious weeks over the Christmas and New Year holiday, it was almost possible to avoid Brexit altogether if you tried hard enough.
To paraphrase Basil Fawlty, I may have mentioned the B-word once, but I think I got away with it. Like most of you, if I never heard the word again, it would be too soon
The hope was that the season of peace and goodwill would rub off on the political class. Once back in the real world, with their families, their friends and their constituents, surely they would come to their senses.
Fat chance of that. So forgive me for having to return to the subject.
When Parliament reassembled this week, it quickly became apparent that the brief cessation of hostilities would be resuming more fiercely than ever.
Not that there was a proper ceasefire, just that most sensible people were taking no notice whatsoever. There was never any chance that MPs would all start singing Silent Night in perfect harmony and emerge from their trenches for a friendly game of football.
The sole footballing analogy came from a senior Conservative who compared Mother Theresa to a player trying to run down the clock in the dying minutes of a game.
When Parliament reassembled this week, it quickly became apparent that the brief cessation of hostilities would be resuming more fiercely than ever (Theresa May is pictured at Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday)
Unfortunately, Theresa follows cricket, not football. Otherwise she would realise that you only dribble the ball to the corner flag in the 89th minute to protect a one-goal lead, not when you’re losing 7-0.
Yet she persists stubbornly with her dismal, defeatist Brexit-in-name-only ‘deal’, even though it pleases nobody.
The bookies, who are rarely wrong, give it a 16/1 chance of getting through the Commons.
Leavers won’t vote for it, Remainers won’t vote for it, the DUP won’t vote for it, Labour won’t vote for it.
Most members of the Cabinet wouldn’t vote for it, either, if they didn’t — like former Brexiteer Michael Gove — fancy their own chances of becoming Prime Minister when the music stops and Mrs May finally swallows the cyanide pill.
With a few honourable exceptions, no one in Parliament comes out of this well, least of all that preening puff adder John Bercow, who has demeaned his office and betrayed centuries of neutrality in the Speaker’s chair by ripping up the rule-book to help those headbangers who want to stop any form of Brexit altogether.
If Bercow had attempted this treacherous coup in an earlier period of history, he’d have been dragged off to the Tower for execution and his head displayed on a spike at the entrance to the Palace of Westminster, pour encourager les autres — as they don’t say in Sunderland.
With a few honourable exceptions, no one in Parliament comes out of this well, least of all that preening puff adder John Bercow (pictured on Wednesday)
All this garbage about protecting Parliament is an intelligence-insulting smokescreen. When we voted to take back control of our own lawmaking, we meant after we left the EU. We didn’t vote to give MPs the power to overturn the result of the referendum.
That’s how deceitful and self-serving most of our politicians really are. Once they get into office, they hold the electorate, the people who pay their wages, in complete contempt.
We’ve had the spectacle of Dominic Grievance, until fairly recently of one of the country’s most senior law officers, scouring the small print for any obscure clause which can be deployed to scupper Brexit. His latest wheeze, in concert with Labour’s ghastly Pixie Balls-Cooper (who still hasn’t fulfilled her promise to take Syrian refugees into one of her own homes), is an attempt to deny the Government tax-raising powers and disrupt the Budget.
And where did he get that idea from? In the U.S, Donald Trump is currently refusing to sign government spending bills unless Congress agrees to provide the money to build a wall along the Mexican border.
The fundamental difference is that Trump is trying to implement a firm promise he made to the American people during his election campaign.
What Grieve, Cooper and the rest of the hardline Remaniacs are attempting is to thwart the democratically expressed will of the British people, in defiance of both their parties’ manifesto pledges.
At the 2017 General Election, the Conservatives and Labour stood on a platform guaranteeing to respect the result of the referendum, in which 17.4 million people voted Leave.
We’ve had the spectacle of Dominic Grievance, until fairly recently of one of the country’s most senior law officers, scouring the small print for any obscure clause which can be deployed to scupper Brexit (Dominic Grieve is pictured arriving at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday)
Neither party now has any intention of doing what they promised. Once upon a time (it really does seems like a lifetime ago), Mrs May assured us that ‘No Deal was better than a bad deal’.
Now she tells us it’s her ‘deal’ or no Brexit.
Would you buy a second-hand car from this woman? Her Brexit deal is a bit like buying a T-reg Skoda from Arthur Daley.
Lift the bonnet and there’s a Bri-Nylon shirt stuffed in the noisy gearbox and grass growing from the mud used to fill the holes in the bodywork.
If Mother Theresa was Fiona Bruce’s agent, not only would Nick Robinson now be hosting Question Time but Fiona would find herself paying the BBC to carry on presenting Antiques Roadshow.
So where do we go from here? Your guess is as good as mine. Anyone who tells you they know what’s going to happen is lying.
There’s agitation for a second referendum, a so-called ‘People’s Vote’. Jeremy Corbyn yesterday again demanded a General Election.
In the immortal words of Brenda from Bristol: ‘Not another one!’
But why should we believe they would accept the verdict of a second referendum, when they have trampled over the outcome of the first?
And there’s no guarantee that a second General Election would change anything when it comes to Brexit.
After all, both Labour and the Conservatives have reneged on their last manifesto commitments.
My own well-known preference has always been a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on WTO terms. But that’s not going to happen, either.
I’ve reluctantly accepted that there will have to be some kind of compromise. But with everyone so bitterly entrenched and the PM clinging to the wreckage of her doomed ‘deal’, I honestly can’t see where it’s going to come from.
Back in the autumn, I assumed that a shabby carve-up had already been agreed and it would soon be all over bar the shouting, much to everyone’s relief, after a bit of patronising political theatre designed to pull the wool over our eyes. I got that wrong.
What we have learned from this tawdry, demeaning episode in our nation’s history is that we no longer live in a proper functioning democracy.
The arrogant political class despise the wider electorate and believe they are our masters but not our servants.
I’m reminded yet again of the odious federast Peter Mandelson’s smug declaration 20-odd years ago that the ‘era of true representative democracy’ was coming to an end. He wasn’t kidding.
And of Ken Livingstone’s best line: ‘If voting changed anything, they’d abolish it.’
Look, I’m sorry to have added to the alleged 500 million mentions of Brexit today. But someone’s got to do it.
Sadly, only one B-word comes to mind right now. And it’s not Brexit.