IN SUPERHERO movies we are used to the sight of indestructible heroes having buildings picked up and smashed down on their heads. We are used to them somehow surviving nuclear explosions or the combined laser strikes of entire alien fleets. We are used to them returning from the dead, or becoming mindless zombies that refuse to stop shuffling forwards in search of some unattainable goal. We are just not used to seeing British PMs act this way.
Nor are we used to them actually being the ones who pick up the large buildings, let’s say a building such as The House of Commons, and smash themselves repeatedly in the face with said building whilst praising their own stoic endurance.
But we have to get used to this spectacle now, as it becomes increasingly evident that Mrs May and her loyalists are under the mistaken impression that she is indeed indestructible and that being indestructible, or just refusing to ever change a policy that everyone detests, is somehow the sole virtue required of a leader. We don’t need them to have the ability to persuade others, apparently. We don’t need to have the ability to listen to the votes of the people. That ability is, almost every MP agrees, a ludicrously old fashioned one that none of them need display.
We don’t need them to have a shred of patriotism, or the least respect for democracy, or even the ability to count to 230, the margin of the greatest government defeat in history. We just need them to keep plodding on, like some ghastly obsessed revenant, some chain rattling spectre moaning spectral cliches we have all heard, and rejected, before.
Listening to a Minister’s response to the largest government loss ever is actually quite entertaining in a perverse way. I also get the feeling that May could lose a vote of no confidence and carry on. Then lose a General Election and carry on. Then possibly die and carry on. Head down, plodding slowly nowhere like some ancient extinct creature that does not know its fluting mating calls will never be answered because it’s entire species are ten million years dead. Forgive the mixture of metaphors, but it really is such an astonishing situation that only a multiplicity of descriptions can hope to do it justice.
We are immediately being told after this enormous loss that Mrs May will carry on. We are being told she is the best person to find some consensus in a divided House (yes, really). We are told that she will listen to leading Parliamentarians and find some deal, over the weekend, to present on Monday. That is, we are being told that a government that could not find a decent deal in two and a half years and did not persuade more than a third of the Commons to support after months of scaremongering and arm twisting and friendly suggestions of a peerage, will find a deal in three days that everyone will like. Perhaps it is conveniently tucked down the back of Mrs May’s sofa, or until now has been being used as the lining of the litter tray for the Downing Street cat. Who knows, anything is now possible in this absurdist farce, with this joke of a government, and this abject shower of a Parliament.
Anything, that is, except a government that wants to deliver what we voted for, rather than a revolting capitulation to the EU we did not vote for. Anything, that is, except a Parliament ready to accept the only options that are Brexit, namely the ‘dreaded’ No Deal or the now forgotten Canada Plus option. Expect more shambling death throes from the indestructible May, a sort of political starfish that keeps quivering with life after multiple dissections, and more shameless scheming from a House united on only one thing, not giving us Brexit at all.