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de Pfeffel – A Working Man’s Hero

Boris Johnson is now Prime Minister, a move that is bound to shake up British politics, especially with the impending endgame of Brexit about to come to fruition some way or another come October 31st.

In spite of Michael Gove’s ‘Game of Thrones style inspired back stabbing in June 2016, Johnson becoming PM is a move I have seen coming since Leave’s victory over Remain in that very same month. It was, in my opinion, very self evident that the Conservatives could not pull us out of the European Union with a remainer, and Labour could not offer the counter argument that their supporters so desperately craved with a Eurosceptic in command.

And this kicked off months of some of the worst polictical discourse in the history of the United Kingdom. A remainer, in Theresa May trying her hardest to pretend to be a staunch leaver and eurosceptic. Whilst Jeremy Corbyn, through gritted teeth it seemed, tried to act like a remainer.

It was, and has proven to be unsustainable, and now we turn to the working man’s hero, New York City born, Eton College educated and Oxford graduate, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

He had only a slim chance at becoming Prime Minister, in fact the odds were so firmly stacked against the former mayor of London, he has said, “My chances of being PM are about as good as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or my being reincarnated as an olive.”

However, the son of former Politician and Consevrative MEP Stanley Patrick Johnson, knuckled down and kept grinding, knowing one day an opportunity may arise and arise it did.

Boris Johnson speaking outside number 10 Downing Street regarding Brexit. Photo Credit: Michael Tubi / Shutterstock

When David Cameron announced that Britain would hold a referendum, politicians ran to their positions ready to take aim, party alliances were put on hold, it was leave vs remain.

de Pfeffel decided to side with leave, slashing ties with Brussels, where he once ventured to school in 1973, attending the European School of Brussels. An opportunity many would love to provide for their children, de Pfeffel would, in the future, campaign to take away.

His campaign was so mismanaged that he majored on a statistic so misleading, even Nigel Farage refused to to back the claim, “No I can’t (claim £350 million would be redirected to the NHS), I would never have made that claim.

“That was one of the mistakes made by the Leave campaign.”

He claimed that Cameron was greatly over exaggerating in relation to the troubles the UK could face post Brexit. However, in his May 12th 2013 Telegraph column, de Pfeffel made four points on “why a rational person may consider staying in the EU”, number one being “Foreign direct investment. There may be a risk (though this is far from proven) that international companies and funds could be put off from investing in the UK by the notion that Britain has somehow cut itself off from a giant European Market.”

Below is a list of companies that have either warned of considerable uncertainty in their business, have plans to cut UK jobs or have increased their European operations since the referendum:

Airbus

Aviva

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Barclays

British Steel (Oh the irony)

Credit Suisse

Dyson (Oh the irony)

Ford

Goldman Sachs

Honda

HSBC

Jaguar Land Rover

JPMorgan Chase

Lloyds of London

Michelin

Moneygram

Nissan

Panasonic

P&O

Philips

Rolls-Royce

Schaeffler

Sony

Toyota

UBS

Unilever

* List taken from Independent 26th February 2019 Article *

But in fairness, it was far from proven that could happen. 

Number two was “Widgets. We may be putting UK firms at a long term disadvantage if we are no longer able to influence the setting of standards and regulations in Brussels. There may be a risk, if we leave, that our partners would be so piqued and irrational as to try to stitch things up against us.”

This argument from de Pfeffel is actually one of the core arguments of remain, and whilst conversely not being subject to the rules and regulations of the EU is an argument for no deal. For a remainer, the ability to influence market standards and regulations from within the EU actually bolsters our sovereignty when compared to a soft Brexit such as May’s deal in which we would be subjected to European standards and regulations in order to maintain a high level of trade with the bloc. De Pfeffel, however, may now take the no deal interpretation of this argument, suggesting that we sever our traditional economic ties with the EU along with our ability to influence continental standards and regulations, and push for trade further afield in which we would be the standard setter. Considering his following argument, this may be harder than he anticipates.

de Pfeffel’s third point was, “Global influence. The EU is arguably better placed to strike trade deals with the US, or China, than the UK on its own, though this proposition is plainly untested, and the idea of an EU “Common Foreign Policy” is plainly a joke. Where was the EU on Iraq, or Libya? What, come to that, is the EU position on the Falklands?”

The most glaring contradiction in this comment is de Pfeffel’s admittance that the UK would become the junior partner in a future relationship with the US or China, losing the significant bargaining power found in the strength and size of the European economy and market. The PM now maintains the position that the UK would somehow be in a position to dictate the terms of future trade deals with these large global economies, a line of his much hailed ‘optimism’ which is certainly not grounded in the reality of International Relations. His critique of the EU’s foreign policy, or the lack thereof, is rather redundant considering the UK has been the biggest opponent of a common EU foreign policy, an area traditionally filled by NATO due to the worry of encroachment on national sovereignty.

And finally, “Perception of UK. It is often said that our strategic significance for the Americans or the Chinese depends on our memebership of the EU; though again, this is untested. More generally, there is a risk that leaving the EU will be globally interpreted as a narrow, xenophobic backward-looking thing to do.”

And leaving the EU has been interpreted as exactly that, although this could be harsh, why is it racist to leave a white man’s club when you want to do deals which lead to free movement across the world? Although, we now have a man at the wheel who has so many quotes that have led to accusations of racism and xenophobia that is a struggle to pick which one to put here.

Yet, de Pfeffel did list four reasons as to why we should leave in the same article ranging from saving money, getting back our lost sovereignty, being able to make our own laws and being able to “no longer blame Brussels. This is perhaps the most important point of all. If we left the EU, we would end this sterile debate, and we would have to recognise that most our problems are not caused by ‘Bwussels’, but by chronic British short-termism, inadequate management, sloth, low-skills, a culture of easy gratification and under-investment in both human and physical capital and infrastructure.”

This is the issue and the statement de Pfeffel must live or die by, he is right, we chose to leave and if we do leave, deal or not, Brussels and the EU is no longer to blame. For once, the forgotten people are no longer the people, they are the establishment and the failures or successes lie on their shoulders and most importantly de Pfeffel’s.

de Pfeffel once said, “My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters.” I mean, if there was ever a quote to sum up this whole debacle and… It does not even make any f*cking sense.