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Thanksgiving – too precious for America to keep to itself

November 24, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving y’all! And I mean all.

Now that Black Friday has spread its slimy tentacles across the internet to encompass the globe, perhaps it’s time for every country to embrace another American tradition, and give thanks for national deliverance.

In the case of the United Kingdom, I suspect that the most appropriate symbol of our fortune would be a scrawny old pigeon pumped up with water injected by a poultry producer in Norfolk whose workers come from some faraway country of which we know little. I’m joking of course. We have much to be thankful for, do we not?

Let’s see now….

First up, Nigel Farage is fed up with everybody in the UK being nasty to him (Very Unfair, as the president-elect might tweet). So he’s planning to emigrate to the United States. “How will he get a Green Card?” my wife asked when I broke the joyous news. “Well…”, I replied, “The Walrus’s best friend? Think about it.”

Sadly, Nigel is unlikely to be our next ambassador to the court of St Donald. Perhaps he can be persuaded to change his mind about going to America, and we can offer him a cushy number as Our Man in Asunción. Think how much a trade deal with Paraguay would transform our national prospects.

Second, let us give thanks for my local Member of Parliament, the ultimate Mr Boring, who has dared to do what hundreds of po-faced automata in Parliament have shrunk from. Philip Hammond, our Chancellor of the Exchequer, has through his Autumn Statement, effectively admitted that Brexit will make us worse off. Very much worse off.

In the words of Robert Peston, one of the UK’s most respected financial journalists:

“….the rise in the national debt compared with expectations at the time of the March budget is much more than most expected: by the end of the parliament the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts government debt at £1.945 trillion, up from £1.725bn.

That is an increase in the cash level of debt of an eye watering £220bn (to use an adjective favoured by the Chancellor, Philip Hammond).

Now £78bn of that is due to the expected post-referendum slowdown in the economy, £16bn is from government spending and tax decisions, and most of the rest is the result of measures taken by the Bank of England in August to avert recession (its initiatives to help banks lend and to purchase bonds).

So it’s reasonable to characterise that £220bn increase in the national debt as the financial cost of Brexit.”

£220 billion over four years? Stuff and nonsense. And anyway, I’m sure all right-thinking Britons will agree that a minor increase in the national debt will be a price worth paying for freedom from EU bureaucracy, the ability to negotiate our own trade agreements and the power to impose our own rules on immigration. Thank you for your honesty, Mr Hammond. You’re fired.

Thirdly, let us give thanks for Deloitte, the consultancy, who suggested in their now infamous memo that in order to disentangle ourselves from the EU, we would need 30,000 more civil servants.  Either that, or other programmes that are on the government agenda would have to take second place to what in effect is an act of institutional destruction. Which won’t happen, of course. Excellent, all those new jobs thanks to Brexit. Even if you halve that number, that’s still one ginormous recruitment drive.

And from where will these potential mandarins be sourced? It’s not quite the same as hiring a few turkey pluckers in Norfolk. Will we drag retired civil servants out of their comfortable retirement? Or raid the private sector? Surely we can persuade a few bankers to jump ship for a tenth of the salaries they’re currently earning and no annual bonuses.

No? Not to worry. We’ll muddle through, as we always do. All this stuff about being unable to cope with the Brexit workload is propaganda cooked up by lazy civil servants anxious to make sure that they can still have Friday off to play golf. And if not, there’s no obstacle that a few thousand more bureaucrats can’t clear. As for Deloitte, their disloyalty has been exposed for all to see. They will soon find out what happens to peddlers of inconvenient truths.

Next, let us give thanks for Ed Balls, the former Labour minister whose artistry on Strictly Come Dancing gives hope and encouragement to all those politicians who realise that Brexit is a slow slide to disaster, but don’t have the courage to say so for fear of their jobs. There is a life beyond politics! Think of Nadine Dorries, who outshone all the D-listers on I’m a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here. And Gorgeous George Galloway, resplendent in his pussy suit in Celebrity Big Brother. Who would not embrace a deselected MP in some future blockbuster  – Celebrity Rehab perhaps? Thanks to the dancing buffalo, we now have the opportunity to purge Parliament of all but the true believers. Ship out the doubters!

Let us also rejoice in the fact that we in Britain are entirely free from the malign influence of false news and lying politicians, unlike our cousins across the pond. When we are told about the massive influx of funds that will flow post-Brexit into the National Health Service, we know it to be true. When we are told that Boris Johnson is an agent of the Russian FSB, with a mission to spread confusion, division and indigestion across the EU member states with his after-dinner speeches delivered in Latin and his incomprehensible Etonian humour, we know it to be true. How lucky we are that in the nation that gave the world John Stuart Mill, Charles Darwin and Alf Garnett, the notion of “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” is still so eagerly embraced by our upstanding politicians and newspaper editors.  Post-truth? Not in our backyard.

We should also glory in our ethnic and cultural purity. The fact that ever since our ancestors dragged the bluestones from Wales to Stonehenge, we have resisted the malign attempts to change our culture by the Romans, the Saxons, the Normans and all the other interlopers who have tried and failed to dilute our essential Britishness. What did the foreigners do for us? King Alfred, Henry V, William of Orange, Georg Freidrich Handel, Prince Albert, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Benjamin Disraeli, Gustav Holst, Isiah Berlin, Philip of Greece, Peter Ustinov, Salman Rushdie, Freddy Mercury, Helen Mirren, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lewis Hamilton, Moeen Ali, Anthony Sher? Foreigners all, of little account.

Yes, we Brits have so much to be thankful for. And I haven’t even mentioned Andy Murray, our glorious Queen, fish and chips, our rapidly improving climate and the flourishing industrial heartlands of the North.

So Happy Thanksgiving, my wonderful homeland. Enjoy the pigeon, and count your blessings that those mangy pilgrims sailed off to America all those years ago, leaving us free from dissent and division. The harvest is good. It’s morning in Britain.

Isn’t it?

Well, we might have a few shortcomings, but fear not. In the immortal prose of The Donald: “Hang in there, Britain. When I’m done draining our swamp, Nigel and I will come over and fix yours. Great country!”

From → Politics, UK, USA

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