Can we all agree that Brexit is as far from an oven-ready deal as you can get… more like a dog’s breakfast?
As I write these words the danger of no-deal is looming ever larger almost by the minute. Even if by the time you are reading this, some sort of breakthrough has been made, we are still in a nightmare scenario.
Without a deal we are hearing dire warnings of shortages for medicine and food, the prospect of civil unrest, clashes and the poor paying the highest price. And that’s from government sources.
Even if we dodge a no-deal bullet, does anyone seriously think that from January 1 we will be in a better position than we are now?
With less than a month to go, no one has any idea of how trade with the EU will work, not least the firms and people in this country who trade with Europe.
Clearly Boris Johnson’s understanding of “oven-ready” is different to everyone else’s. Well, apart from James Cleverly who says Johnson and his grisly crew have already delivered said oven-ready deal.
And with that he joins the long list of Tory ministers who try to rewrite history by denying the words they used meant what they mean. As for all these trade deals with the rest of the world that would be lined up and good to go, where are they?
Oh yes, of course. Donald Trump was going to come riding to the rescue with a great trade deal, the best trade deal, no one does better trade deals than him.
You take our chlorinated chicken, we’ll take your National Health Service.
Except the Trumpeter is about to be oxtered out the White House and Joe Biden seems to be a little less cavalier over things like recklessly endangering the Good Friday agreement.
Mind you, should we be at all surprised that all the claims of Brexit being simple and Europe needing the UK more than we need have proved bogus?
It was all a big lie… as big as a slogan on the side of a bus about the NHS getting some £350 million a week instead of fat cat Eurocrats.
Whether we go screaming off the cliff edge without a deal or jump off it trying to use a hankie as a parachute, one thing is clear. Brexit will be an unmitigated disaster that will hobble the UK for generations.
While Westminster scrabbles around trying to get big wins with Macedonia, one of the world’s largest trading blocs will merrily continue on its way on our doorstep – but with the door firmly shut in our faces.
It’s not even as if we wanted this. Not in Scotland certainly where 62% of us very clearly said we wanted to remain part of Europe. We wanted to be a forward-looking, engaged, modern country that is part of the world – not some isolationist cult trying to relive the glory days of Empire, taught in the history classes of public schools.
There is still a chance Scotland can live the European dream. We just need to have the courage to make it a reality.
City gallery a treasure trove of local talent
Not even coronavirus can get in the way of Christmas shopping, judging from the queues outside city centre shops at the weekend.
So much so that there was a fairly lengthy – but quick-moving – line to even get into Union Square on Saturday.
I know because I was sitting watching it with a cheeky afternoon pint at the rather excellent Bier Haus outside the shopping centre.
It’s nice to see people getting on with life as normally as possible in these abnormal times – everyone had a mask, everyone was socially distanced.
That said, I’ve never been a big fan of queues. I simply don’t have the patience.
So I was grateful, then, for an opportunity to pick up some Christmas goodies in one of the most beautiful places in Aberdeen and not a line-up to be seen.
Where was this magical place? Inside Aberdeen Art Gallery where gifted craftsmen and artists were offering lovely things.
We left the HAAN Design pop-up market with a good haul of beautiful Christmas cards, a new bauble for the tree and a renewed appreciation for the talent of the north-east.
All of that plus a chance to take in some of the gorgeous artwork the gallery boasts.
So, shopping local, supporting crafters and enjoying the peace and calm of the gallery.
Now, that really is an early Christmas present.
March of time getting a bit quicker
Once upon a time the march of my advancing years was marked by things like birthdays or another New Year.
Today the creeping encroachment of middle age is announced in a rather more prosaic and perfunctory manner.
Just last week an envelope dropped through my door from NHS Scotland with a bowel cancer screening kit for my delectation.
Now, that’s an important and possibly life-saving gift and one that I send back pronto. But they come every two years once you turn 50 and that’s my fourth… is it just me or is time speeding up?