We’re jamming, I hope you like jamming too

By Toby Neal | Politics | Published:

No-deal preparations featuring intentional traffic jams and ferry companies with no ferries should prompt us all to consider our own coping strategies...

In the words of Roy Wood, I wish it could be Christmas every day.

For a day, or two, no mention of it. You know... it.

Politicians spending more time with their families were not having to wrestle with the inconvenient Will Of The People. Like everybody else, they were on a festive break.

There were upsides and downsides to that. Out of pure spite on the part of an increasingly weary public, it would have been satisfying to make them sit in the House of Commons on Christmas Day, as they are paid £77,000 a year (plus expenses) to do a job, but at the moment they are decidedly not value for public money.

In fact, as a national decision-making machine they are collectively about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

The upside of the festive break was that we had a break from them. And it.

But now they’re back, not that anybody is cheering. And Theresa May is facing the biggest political crisis of her life since the last biggest political crisis of her life, which was just before Christmas. There will be more biggest political crises of her life in the coming weeks.

Take pity on those who are keen to write her political obituary. No sooner is the ink dry on their latest version than she rises from the dead and they have to update it yet again.



Misdirected by her dry, vicar’s daughter, duty-above-all demeanour, what we have all been missing is that Mrs May is a circus performer, an acrobat, a contortionist and the greatest escape artist since Houdini, all in one.

Take her Brexit policy, which has often been repeated, that No Deal Is Better Than A Bad Deal. Now that she has secured a deal with the EU, she has started standing on her head. So now No Deal is something very, very scary, and to be avoided by giving the green light to the May Deal which, as it is the only deal on the table, is by definition the best deal available.


To make the point of how scary a No Deal scenario would be, the Government has started staging some “rehearsals” for the eventuality, such as commissioning fleets of lorries to drive round in circles in Kent, and signing up a UK company to run ferry services across the Channel – even though it has no ships.

Meanwhile, a coincidental drone invasion at Gatwick gave a taste of what to expect in terms of air traffic, or rather the lack of it.

This is all very serious and with the clock ticking down, it is time for members of the public to start their own rehearsals for the possibility of a No Deal Brexit.

How to cope

Here are some suggestions:

1. Prepare a safe place at your home. Under the stairs is a good choice. Barricade yourself in and don’t listen to the TV and radio for the next three months, because if you do you will be liable to be driven mad.

2. Quit your job. Doing so now will save the humiliation of being sacked after March 29, along with 749,999 others (Source: UK Trade Policy Observatory and the University of Sussex).

3. Deliberately get stuck in a traffic jam so you can empathise with lorry drivers at Dover and Folkestone.

4. Panic-buy medical supplies and food. If you have a hospital appointment booked for after March 29, see if you can bring it forward.

5. Psychologically resign yourself to the end of Western political civilisation. (Source: Donald Tusk).

6. Get away from it all – take a holiday in Northern Ireland.

7. Die. But only if you are over 50 and voted Leave. By this publicly-spirited action you will spare yourself all the Brexit stress, and as a bonus for Remain you will also boost their chances of winning a second referendum aimed at reversing the result of the first referendum.

If none of the above appeals, here are some alternatives:

A. Apply starch to upper lip.

B. Shrug shoulders, and say: “It’s only a trading arrangement.”

C. Throw a party.

D. If a bit old for above, sit on sofa, slip off slippers, sip cocoa, watch telly (but not the news)... and await developments.

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.


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