Our correspondent The Rebel tries to explain another day of extraordinary political events as the UK moves towards a possible ‘extension’ in leaving the European Union (EU), despite the Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledge to be ‘dead in a ditch’ rather than ask for one, and the leader of a divided opposition party has met him to refuse to fast-track the withdrawal bill.
These are all just part of the fight for Mr Johnson who sees himself in the same light as Churchill.
The Rebel is a leading figure close to senior politicians in London as well as Cardiff Bay, and will always give readers the inside track on what is being discussed in the corridors of power.
The arm-twisting by Boris and his adviser, staring eyes Dominic Cummings has been to no avail.
We are in an ‘Alice In Wonderland’ situation where Bojo has asked for an extension in one letter (which may now succeed), in another told the EU to ignore it so that the leader of France, President Macron, at his behest has said a further delay “would be in no one’s interest”, and yet Donald Tusk President of the EU council said he had begun efforts to settle the terms of the delay unanimously by means of a written procedure.
No one knows what’s going on, but it’s all grist to the mill for Boris who has always viewed himself as Churchill, bulldozing his way to victory.
Like his esteemed predecessor in Number 10 he had taken over from a previous Prime Minister at a time of acute crisis.
In the image of the man he so admires, he too fell out of favour with the Tory high command, and returned to save Britain in its time of need.
Except this narrative is completely wrong.
The ‘crisis’ over leaving the EU cannot compare with the 1930s and 40s when the UK faced a continent governed by dictators, and Britain (along with its empire) stood alone preparing for invasion.
The Editor of The Eye’s father, Robert Parry, fought on behalf of freedom and democracy along with thousands of others.
This was real bravery.
Churchill had not just fallen out of favour with the Tory high command, but his political career appeared over.
The early ’30s were his ‘wilderness years’ and only a terrible war turned him into a hero.
The USA, which eventually joined the allies in that war, was an isolationist country with an internationalist President, but everybody there knew of the rise of totalitarianism in Europe and the treatment of the Jews.
Today we have an erratic protectionist President who is hated by huge sections of his public, while FDR was loved.
Most Americans are probably completely unaware of this little local spat over the UK leaving something called the EU, whereas they were well aware of war in Europe.
Boris has also been helped by the appallingly divided and chaotic state of the official opposition, which wasn’t the case to anything like the same extent in the 1930s.
Apart from dealing with atrocious headlines about the alleged inability to deal with anti-Semitism in its ranks, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer is at complete loggerheads (along with other high profile people in the party) with his own left wing leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Last weekend Labour declared that it would seek the backing of rebel Tories and the political wing of the Old Testament, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Bojo’s partners remember.
They wanted even more amendments that would force Boris to drop the deal – or accept a softer Brexit.
The news raised the prospect earlier in the week that a bizarre parliamentary alliance could form at the 11th hour – forcing the UK Government into a softer departure from the EU, or a confirmatory vote on whether to leave at all.
All of this would have helped Boris in his final push.
He will have known the headlines that followed will have scared the ‘Leaver’ Labour lot into his camp.
Better his deal, they will have thought, than no deal at all.
So this extension and a possible General Election are all part of the ‘crisis’ he has to deal with as ‘heir’ to Churchill.
At least he will have seen it that way…
Our Editor Phil Parry’s memories of his extraordinary 36-year award-winning career in journalism as he was gripped by the incurable disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major new book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order the book now!