Tuesday, 22 October 2019

"inept and peevish behaviour leaves [our] reputation for honest dealing with our EU partners hanging by a thread"

Our PM is getting the usual grief from the usual self-publicists for not signing that letter to the EU.

This episode was either childish and stupid or hilariously funny, depending on your point of view, and I think it was both (like shouting "Fuck!" in the middle of a school assembly).

But let's not forget that our PMs have a history of such stunts; complying with the letter not the spirit of the law to convey their utter disregard for the whole thing. From Wiki:

Absence of Gordon Brown

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was the only national representative who was planned to sign the [Lisbon] Treaty in the ceremony but did not take part, leaving Foreign Secretary David Miliband to sign the Treaty alone. Instead, he signed the document at a lunch for heads of state and government later the same day. A requirement to appear before a committee of British MPs was cited as the reason for his absence.

This brought criticism from opposition parties. The Conservatives claimed it made him appear “gutless” and referred to it as a "stunt” which proved Brown was "not very good at international diplomacy". The Liberal Democrats claimed it raised "serious questions" and Chris Huhne said showed "inept and peevish behaviour that leaves Gordon Brown's reputation for honest dealing with our EU partners hanging by a thread".

Parts of British media also criticised Brown for this, suggesting he did it because he was ashamed to sign the Treaty, with Nick Robinson, BBC Political Editor, claiming that Brown was capable of attending the signing but instead chose not to.

I thought fair play when Brown did it, so fair play to Johnson as well, you've got to be even-handed.