Posted on 5th October 2019

Slane Castle

Sometimes evil needs to be called out.  Anybody who watched the BBC Panorama programme on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post journalist, cannot fail to have come to the conclusion that his murder was ordered by the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman.  In a nauseating attempt to deflect attention from this startling fact, he has accepted “responsibility”.  Give me a break.  He has blood on his hands and so does the despicable Saudi regime.

Yes, there is a world beyond Brexit.  This week was the 70th anniversary of the modern Chinese State and the hardware on display in Beijing showed their absolute determination to outstrip both the United States and Russia to become in time the world’s leading military power.  They now have a worrying missile called the DF17 which travels so fast that “no defence to this weapon exists”.  Believe me when I say the Americans take Chinese expansionism extremely seriously.  The trade war between the U.S. and China is about more than mere economics.  Throw in the volatile situation in Hong Kong and the very real threat that all this new weaponry poses to the U.S. Navy’s freedom of manoeuvre and you have a potentially very dangerous situation.

I cite all of this because sometimes we need reminding that there is a world beyond Brexit.  Do you realise that a medic has now established the fact that the 2016 Brexit referendum triggered an acute psychosis in a patient.  If the latest events are making you feel a little queasy, relief is at hand as hopefully the UK and the EU will shortly enter a phase of the talks called “the tunnel” when there will be silence as they attempt to find a solution.  Will they ?  At this stage God knows but I will make a couple of comments.  It is imperative that our government acts in the national interest as the economic consequences of a No Deal Brexit are potentially catastrophic.  The government should not be swayed by short term political considerations.  For months, this column has expressed the concern that they were too strident and too rigid in their approach to the Backstop.  They should be cognisant that a majority including Labour MP’s may be emerging in the House of Commons.  It is difficult to get inside the mind of Boris Johnson but be sure of one thing, he is more than willing to go for the high wire strategy and it is not impossible that he could win a General Election and come back with a sufficient majority to enable him take a more aggressive stance.  So Leo and Simon tread ye carefully.

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