Meanwhile, over in Blighty
I was happily reading Israel Finklestein and Neil Asher Silberman’s “The Bible Unearthed”—have I mentioned that Biblical exegesis is one of my pastimes?—and thus missed the breaking news that David Davis, the UK’s Brexit minister, resigned from PM Theresa May’s Cabinet as she wasn’t Brexiting hard enough. He was followed in short order by two junior ministers. Rebellious Tories are calling for a new leader; some even bruit a vote of no confidence, possibly triggering a new election just months before Britain Brexits. By the time we all wake up, the British political establishment may just implode. And, of course, waiting in the wings like some dim Iago, waits Jeremy Corbyn, as addled as Bernie Sanders, but in the unfortunate position of being head of the main opposition party, and riding well in the polls.
The demon in this morality play, though, is not May. It’s not Corbyn. It’s not, even, Putin or Cambridge Analytica or Steve Bannon. No. The true villain, the one whose name will be blackened when the books are written, will be former prime minister David Cameron. By cynically calling a referendum to placate Eurosceptics in his own party and secure a new term in office, he did something he didn’t need to do. He, from all his protestations, was pro-EU. A strong leader would have told the backbenchers to go pound salt. But a man who was accused of having sexual intercourse with the severed head of a pig can be forgiven for having no firm convictions. In order to buy himself some political space, he doomed his country to what it’s experiencing now. He gave Vladimir Putin and his internet goons the entre to use Brexit as a dry run for what they would do in the American presidential election. He was a weak leader at home, and a poor proponent for the benefits of membership in the EU. He will go down as the worst British prime minister since Neville Chamberlain.
This is your early week open thread.
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