Isn’t it incredible? Just 46 days to go before the Brexit crunch, and we still seem to have all the time in the world to negotiate, renegotiate and swan around in an evaporating pond of options as if the whole world rotates on our axis. That’s the swirling axis evident in a plughole. If I had my way – to try to instil some urgency into the government’s approach - I would have them all, and particularly ministerial offices, removed to a set of freezing cold portakabins somewhere out on Salisbury Plain and make them sleep in sleeping bags and eat out of unheated past-their-sell-by-date tins until they understand the woeful mess they have got us into. This might instil some urgency into their behaviour. I guess we will be hearing a bit more of the Dunkirk spirit shortly.
I watched The Darkest Hour the other night, starring Gary Oldman as Churchill. Oldman I think has done one of the best Churchills, but the film was bunkum. As has been pointed out, there was no encounter between Churchill and London Underground travellers, an encounter with ‘the people’ that lifted Churchill’s spirits and banished his doubts about carrying on. But from that scene onwards the whole film deteriorated into a rosy-spectacled comic history of the great British turning point in the war. A far better history of what happened can be found in 1940 Myth and Reality by Clive Ponting. The real turning point in the war came with Pearl Harbour.
Now imagine Chris Grayling as First Lord of the Admiralty and that just about sums up any parallels between today’s situation and our Shining Hour.