Brexit 2018: Ended not with a Bang but a Whimper

May 1 - 0 Corbyn (own goal)

May succeeds in running out the Clock as Corbyn falters

The year ended as it began for the British Parliament, shabbily.

Theresa May has spent the last fortnight insisting she is not trying to delay a vote on her Brexit deal, while refusing to hold a vote on the Brexit deal. Jeremy Corbyn has insisted the nation has no confidence in it's government, while refusing to call for a no confidence vote in the government.

The inability for either side to move decisively is emblematic of a greater problem in the state of British Politics, but An ignominious misstep by Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn handed the advantage back to Prime Minister May.

Jeremy Corbyn's words in Parliament dominated the news for all the wrong reasons this week: caught on camera as possibly, probably but not definitely calling Theresa May a 'stupid woman', a row broke out in Parliament. Corbyn, insists he said 'Stupid people'. Whether Theresa May is stupid is up for debate, it's not a commonly used word to describe her. That she is a woman, seems self evident. As the clip is not audible there's no satisfactory way to settle this, but even the most left leaning observer does have to admit, it looks like he says 'People' with a W and an M included. Perhaps he should have apologised, perhaps he should have said nothing, but he denied it and things descended into farce.

Corbyn's strenuous denial, and barely disguised Tory glee at such a misstep, means nothing of note was achieved by either side ahead of the Christmas recess. The government made it through another day without having to meaningfully discuss Brexit, and the no-deal planning arms race between the UK and EU shifted up a notch. Theresa May did what looked near impossible not too long ago, she made it Christmas, her premiership and her deal intact.

Two things of note can be surmised from this: firstly in today's politics, for May survival is victory. Secondly, that a news cycle, at such a crucial time could be readily, happily and completely distracted by the most spectacularly trivial of debates, means perhaps we have both the politicians and the journalists we deserve.

TransPacific - Coming Spring 2019
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