Wonderful short account of Brexit that illuminates its high absurdity content
Well worth reading. Robert Mackey’s article in The Intercept begins:
Until Thursday, the political wrangling in Britain over how, or whether, to withdraw from the European Union — a move supported by a narrow majority of the voters in last week’s referendum, but opposed by 75 percent of the members of Parliament elected just last year — seemed likely to trigger a new general election.
Although the ruling Conservative Party is not required to call an election until 2020, most political observers expected Prime Minister David Cameron to be replaced by the leader of the campaign for a British exit from the EU, Boris Johnson, who would then want a fresh mandate from the public.
That was the thinking, anyway, until an extraordinary sequence of events unfolded, starting with an announcement from Michael Gove, the Leave campaign’s ideologue, who was expected to run Johnson’s campaign to become the new leader of the Conservatives, and hence prime minister. Gove, the justice secretary, released a statement on Thursday saying that he did not think Johnson, his ally in the Leave campaign, was up for the job of running the country, and he wanted to be prime minister himself.
If you don’t have time for the full ‘Gove and Boris’ story, basically Gove is the penguin on the rightpic.twitter.com/beUDuA7hUB
— Gaby Hinsliff (@gabyhinsliff) June 30, 2016 [and do click that link – LG]
Gove’s surprise move undermined Johnson’s chances of winning the internal party vote to be leader, but also seemed to make it unlikely that he could succeed either, given how many bitter accusations of betrayal it prompted from fellow Conservatives.
Fury among some Boris backers. ‘I’d rather vote for Pol Pot than Gove’ says one new May supporter. ‘Treachery’ says another.
— Ben Wright (@BBCBenWright) June 30, 2016
Tory MP: Gove is f@cked. It was the most monumentally stupid thing to do. From now onwards disloyalty will be simply called ‘Doing a Gove’
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) June 30, 2016
With the anti-EU faction of his party suddenly split, and rumors that his candidacy was opposed by the men who run Britain’s most influential right-wing tabloids, Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre, Johnson turned up late for the speech in which he was expected to announce his leadership bid and revealed that he would not take part in the race. . .
Given that it was widely believed that Johnson had only joined the Leave campaign as a way to increase his popularity and make it more likely that he could become prime minister, this shocking turn of events earned him widespread derision online from Britons who see departure from the EU as a disaster for the country. . .