by Rab Bruce’s Spider

As someone who remembers John Major as Prime Minister, I must admit I always thought he was quite a caring and sincere man. This impression was probably helped by the fact that he followed Margaret thatcher, so he had a pretty low bar to hurdle. He certainly wasn’t an inspiring leader, as subsequent Tory in-fighting revealed.

Having said that, his speech yesterday was one of the better ones on Brexit and contained a lot of good sense. However, we need to differentiate between admiring what he said and admiring him as an individual. I certainly agree with his comments on Brexit, but he is still a British Nationalist who was part of the Westminster bubble and whose views on Scottish independence mean he remains very much part of the establishment.

However, it must be said that his speech confirmed one thing most of us already knew; that the current crop of Tory politicians who are running the UK are of a very much lower calibre than those of Major’s generation. Whether you agree with his politics or not, Major showed the likes of Boris Johnson and Theresa May how a politician should conduct themselves.

Not that it will make any difference. The Tories we have in power are a clueless bunch who are so steeped in British nationalism that they are unable to comprehend why they are not getting their own way in the Brexit talks.

And now, after Theresa May agreed to find a solution on the Irish Border back in December, she has been faced with the consequences of that agreement because the aims of the Brexiteers are totally at odds with the avowed intention to keep an open Border. It simply cannot be done. With the UK Government waffling on and insisting it will be able to cherry pick parts of the current membership arrangements despite the EU consistently saying no such deal will be agreed to, the EU have now drawn up a detailed document outlining the consequences of the December agreement.

And what is the response to this very obvious step?

Theresa May says it is unacceptable despite the fact that she tacitly accepted it in December, and David Davis says the UK will withhold any payment to the EU unless it backs down. He may think this is playing hardball, but it’s not; it’s simply showing the EU he has a hard head out of which it is impossible to get any sense.

The issues over the Irish and Gibraltar Borders have always been incompatible with the dreams of the Brexiteers. Whether the Tories wake up and acknowledge this remains to be seen. Quite frankly, I doubt it. May’s next speech will probably simply be a re-hashed version of the “We will get a bespoke deal" fanciful nonsense we’ve heard before. But it cannot continue like that. Pretty soon, something is going to give. When it does, let’s hope the Scottish Government is ready to launch the lifeboats.