Wednesday, January 30


Somewhere online, 7:23


Last night the British parliament had yet another debate about Brexit in which the government wholeheartedly supported a back-bench amendment that required Theresa May to denounce the agreement that she had herself agreed and signed with the European Union just before Christmas, and go back to Brussels to demand that they renegotiate it again – properly, this time.

The bill announces that the European Union should delete the so-called Irish Backstop – the mechanism designed to prevents a hard border between Ireland and the six counties – from the treaty and replace it with “alternative arrangements”.

The negotiations have taken almost two and a half years, with 39 days to go before Britain has to leave the EU. This instruction, which May embraced enthusiastically as “an important step forward” must count as one of the most delusional episodes in the whole sorry fantasy, set in an imaginary Britain where the nineteen fifties never ended.

Imagine my delight, then, when I see the front pages of today’s Daily Mail and Daily Express on the web, and realise with a start that I could not have got it more wrong. “Theresa’s Triumph” apparently means that “Now it’s up to EU”.

At least the Conservative Party and their supporters have their excuses all lined up now. When the EU refuse to attempt the impossible because Theresa May tells them to, they will stand revealed as cruel autocrats whose joy derives solely from trying to thwart the democratic wishes of the plucky British people.

“Mon Dieu!”, as they say sur le continent.

Charles Fulford and I will discuss this when we meet for lunch at Palema, where I will once again choose the vegetarian option and like it. We will also discuss Cirko, his girlfriend and her work in the fashion industry, the prospects of doctoral research, and the snow.

In the afternoon I will communicate with three students, Micke Forsström and Scott Cunningham. Several things will move forward. At least one road block will melt away. Two new options will open up.

At home I will spend some time doing the snowblading that I have become accustomed to. I will meet Arto who will start digging a hole where I have just put our snow. I will realise that I had thought that the early morning snow plough had left this hole as a kindness for me to use for the next evening’s snow. Arto had done it every morning for entirely different reasons: to leave space for his car to reverse out of his drive.

Oops. I will apologise and we will work together to give him the space he needs. He will find the comedy misunderstanding highly amusing.