Another epic blog by Chris Grey - this one over Brexiter desperation to win the battle over the meaning of Brexit, and avoid the harsh judgement of history. Every sentence is quotable, but here are some [edited for concision] highlights 🧵…
"the most committed Brexiters are so invested in the idea of being betrayed and of victimhood that no actual Brexit would have satisfied them. Taken together, this meant it was almost guaranteed that the idea that ‘Brexit would have worked but it wasn’t done properly’ wd develop.
there's no great moment of revelation that Brexit has failed, just steady accumulation of a realisation..One way some Brexiters seek to head off such assessment is not so much by denying as by downplaying damage caused, principally by pointing to aversion of worst-case scenarios
.. as if the case for Brexit were made by the avoidance of predicted damage rather than the need to show positive outcomes. ..Shows the desperation of the Brexiters, ... that they need to rely on the argument that it hasn’t been as bad as some said it might be
..other Brexiter argument when costs are pointed out, is that their project was never about economics but simply about regaining sovereignty...this is entirely untrue and proposition was, rather, that the (supposed) regaining of sovereignty would yield economic benefits,
...[but] with denial and downplaying of damage now being threadbare arguments, and forced to confront the lack of such benefits, Brexiters are now once again promising that great things are, or could be, just around the corner.
What the likes of Farage, Duncan Smith, and Hannan are engaged in is a rear-guard defence of their project which, whilst to a degree accepting that it hasn’t delivered, is also a doubling-down on the fantasies that it could, with one more push, be delivered.
For Johnson and his government this emergent criticism presents a conundrum. He can hardly admit that the Brexit that has been delivered is ‘disappointing’ since he is the one who delivered it,..
If Johnson would now rather not mention Brexit and the promises made for it, it is because he is now reaping the consequences of having been the most prominent person making those promises.
Whilst they still don’t understand why, the Brexiters do sense that their project has gone awry and they do care about the judgment of history – or at least the most ideologically committed of them do, because they genuinely believe that they initiated a ‘national liberation’.
However some, at least, realise that public opinion is beginning to settle permanently to the judgement that it was a mistake, in which case their life’s work will be forever discredited.
Brexiters are right to think this is what is at stake, and the rest of us should realise it as well. For if – and in my view when - judgment pronounces Brexit not just a mistake or a disappointment but an abject failure and a disastrous folly, then new possibilities will flow.
Amen. Thank you @chrisgreybrexit , (with apologies with the liberties I have taken to tweak some of your text, to fit twitter.)

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More from @alexhallhall

7 Jan
I woke up this morning feeling strangely unsettled...and realised that despite (or perhaps, because of) 30+yrs in conventional govt service, I'm now starting to question everything I thought I once knew about my country and its institutions.
Top down, our system is undemocratic - prerogative powers exercised on behalf of the Crown, unelected House of Lords, system that gives disproportionate powers to govt, elected with less than 50% vote, imbalance in powers across the Union, cozy nexus of donors, media, politicians
Populace kept distracted and entertained with never ending diet of shallow news and gossip about royals, toffs, socialites, models, sports, pop, soaps, crime, etc. Feelgood stories or trivia which gloss over the challenges and inequities which actually prevail in our society.
Read 7 tweets
5 Jan
Today I issue the second in my series of dispatches as new Ambassador at Large to the Court of St Boris (sorry, I mean, St James), addressed to the President of the Small Island Developing State which I currently represent, "Sid" for short.🧵
Excellency, I bid you greetings on the New Year, and health and happiness for our people. Following my "first impressions" dispatch on the state of the UK, in this telegram I shall identify some of the opportunities I foresee in 2022 for our relationship with this noble Kingdom.
First, trade. I believe we have an opportunity to secure a new deal on excellent terms, as the UK, facing new red tape & decline in trade with EU, is desperate (I mean, "keen") to achieve results elsewhere. More favourable than the existing EU deal, to which the UK used to belong
Read 20 tweets
3 Jan
The comments on this post are amazing...the extraordinary efforts required by civil servants and others to justify their expenses, against this cavalier use of public money. My favorite comment was by someone criticized for buying the "expensive biros"!
I spent literally hundreds of hours over my career both collating, photocopying and itemizing my own expenses, as well as poring over the claims of those I line managed, (feel guilty about this) sometimes order to ensure not even a hint of fraud.
Of course, it's absolutely essential to use public money carefully. However, I once got into serious trouble with the FCDO hierarchy for pointing out that the amount of time spent on such activity and other rigorous internal paperwork also came at a cost.
Read 10 tweets
28 Dec 21
I'm quoted in this article about the decline of the FCDO saying: "The job of foreign secretary no longer necessarily goes to a minister with a long record of thinking about the Uk's strategic challenges..(cont)…
"It is a top prize - one of the top cabinet posts that is given to politicians for their loyalty, or to keep them quiet, or out of the country."
Couple of other quotes in the article came from me also, uncited, including the comments about officials now self-censoring, unable to give honest advice for fear of being accused of being a "Remainer" who can't be trusted. I experienced that directly.
Read 11 tweets
24 Dec 21
Though I may have resigned from the Foreign Office, rumours of my demise as a diplomat are greatly exaggerated. Today I report as the new "Ambassador at Large" to the Court of St James: my first report is the traditional "First Impressions" despatch, titled "Yule Britannia"🧵
SUMMARY: The UK today is far removed from the "Cool Britannia" of a decade ago. Buffeted by crises and scandals, many self-inflicted, trust in the government is plummeting, even as the costs of Brexit become more apparent, and covid takes its toll on a fatigued and divided nation
ECONOMY: This year saw supply chain problems, empty grocery shelves, worker shortages, soaring fuel prices, pigs culled and crops unpicked. While covid played its part, and other countries faced problems, Brexit magnified the impact in UK, though the Government remains in denial.
Read 21 tweets
19 Dec 21
Very good analysis here on implications of Frost's departure. But what I can't imagine is how and with whom BJ replaces him whilst maintaining party unity: I call it "The Goldilocks Problem "🧵
2/ Another hardliner, or even more extreme successor to Frost will only exacerbate relations with EU [and US, if NIP threats continue], worsen business problems, and increase disillusion of even more voters about Brexit, whose results fall far short of what was promised..
3/ But a more moderate pragmatic replacement will alienate ERG rebels and stir up allegations of BJ "selling out". Too soft.
Read 7 tweets

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