When a plan cannot come together

As a child that grew up in the 1980s, and from one of those horrible ITV families, I’d often spend Saturday evenings watching George Peppard’s “Hannibal” Smith chomping on a big cigar, cranking out the catchphrase “I love it when a plan comes together”. If a leaked Deloitte memo is anything to go by, it’s a sense of smug satisfaction that Theresa May won’t be feeling soon. Nor is she likely to break into a shit eating grin over Brexit.

The memo would seem to confirm what many have suspected all along. The Conservative A-Team never had a plan for Brexit. Their B-Team doesn’t either. The impulse to vote Leave, no matter what you might have read elsewhere, was not the exclusive province of right-wing racists or obviously deluded Little Englanders. People across the political spectrum had myriad reasons to quit, including a third of Labour voters. The Cameron government over-estimated the power of the media blitz and Project Fear. May’s second-stringers haven’t the faintest notion of how they’ll deal with the consequences.

The memo paints a picture of the government in crisis mode, ready to bend over to any big corporate interest that says there’s a cheaper and greasier barrel elsewhere. Eyebrows were raised at the rather vague details of the Nissan deal. How many other big firms are going to chance their arm with the release of this memorandum? What is the corporate subsidy bill going to be?

The Tories are denying most knowledge. Chris Grayling rather non-noncommittally stated that it should be obvious that some of the points in the memo clearly aren’t true. He doesn’t go on to illuminate specific mendacity. Not quite a blanket denial, but not good enough either. Deloitte has already confirmed that the memo is genuine, and not for wider use.

Another approach used to diminish the memo’s importance is to suggest an ulterior motive on the part of Deloitte. If the government creates 50,000 jobs to cope with Brexit opportunities, you can be sure that the management accountancy firm will be attempting to get its staff through the revolving door. A near certainty, but so what? If Deloitte is pursuing a business angle, it makes no sense for that angle to be prosecuted on the basis of flawed information. This was their assessment.

Cameron took your vote for granted. May’s government is on the run, ready to be blackmailed to save jobs and swerve bad publicity with tax payer funded subsidies. The options on the poll were Remain and Leave, not arrogant entitled shit-houses or second-string incompetents.

A plan can never come together if it doesn’t exist.


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