STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Theresa May is a modern-day Rasputin

As Britain's Parliament returns tomorrow from its summer recess, right on cue comes another attempt to blow ...

Posted: Sep 3, 2018 2:14 PM
Updated: Sep 3, 2018 2:14 PM

As Britain's Parliament returns tomorrow from its summer recess, right on cue comes another attempt to blow up Prime Minister Theresa May.

This time it's her former Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. In his weekly column in the Daily Telegraph newspaper, he describes the government's Brexit negotiating position with the European Union as "white flag fluttering."

Boris Johnson

Brexit

Continents and regions

Europe

European Union

Government organizations - Intl

Northern Europe

Political Figures - Intl

Theresa May

United Kingdom

Piling on the outrage he splutters: "The UK has agreed to hand over £40 billion of taxpayers' money for two thirds of diddly squat."

The article has generated exactly the coverage Johnson wants. The focus is back on him and speculation about a leadership bid.

So, mission accomplished? In a way, yes. Just not in the way that Johnson intended.

The autumn political season -- which includes a brief return of Parliament and then the party conferences -- is launched as summer ended, with arguments about Brexit and speculation about May's longevity.

But she's still standing. Why? Because she has tried to answer the hardest political questions facing the UK in 2018.

Unlike her critics, she has actually written down what she wants to happen after Brexit in what is known in Britain as the "Chequers Plan." It might not be perfect, but it is a plan. And while it is being criticized in detail, it does as least set out some details.

And what does Johnson offer? Bluster.

He is long on assertions and short on solutions.

Take just one example. One of the trickiest circles to square in the Brexit negotiations has been the question of what happens with the currently open border between Northern Ireland, which will remain part of the United Kingdom as it leaves the EU, and the Republic of Ireland, which will remain an EU member state.

Johnson claims that the Irish border is "fixable," and that the real scandal is that rather than failing to fix it, the government has "not even tried."

Yet, if sorting the border with Ireland is so easy, why did you not manage to do so in the two years you served as Foreign Secretary, Boris?

The answer is obvious. When you describe a possible real world solution with actual details and information it can be analyzed and criticized by people who know what they are talking about.

Far easier to stick with rhetorical flourishes than to attempt any answers. It's just like that scene in "Blazing Saddles" where Mel Brooks demands "We must do something immediately!" and is met by a chorus of "Harrumph! Harrumph! Harrumph."

Once you start looking, you see it everywhere. The People's Vote campaign, which wants to have a referendum on Britain's final deal with the EU, is acting like a cross between a sociologist and a mafia boss -- making an offer you can't understand.

Anti-EU MPs who want to assert parliamentary sovereignty over Brexit cannot describe a realistic route to end the deadlock, let alone to a decision.

Chief among this rabble is the European Research Group, a hardline Brexit group of MPs, for whom a great deal with the EU27 is so easy they can't be bothered to publish it.

Then there's the equally pathetic Conservative Remainers, who want to hold back and soften the government's Brexit stance, but not just yet.

And don't forget the Official Opposition Labour Party, whose strategy of ambiguity was intended to pile pressure onto the government, but has instead led to Labour silence on the most important issue facing the country.

Every week is Theresa May's worst-ever week -- since last week, that is.

This pattern is going to repeat itself again and again. She has grasped the truth that in politics, as in life, a bad plan is better than no plan. While her opponents, on all sides, wander around like King Lear, claiming, "I will do such things/What they are, yet I know not," May will survive.

She's a modern-day Rasputin. They shoot her, they stab her, they poison her -- and still she keeps walking.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30900

Reported Deaths: 1111
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds249840
DeSoto159416
Madison130034
Jones112449
Neshoba98871
Rankin93412
Harrison91211
Lauderdale90979
Forrest86942
Scott77115
Jackson62216
Copiah60215
Washington5849
Leake57819
Holmes55341
Lee54718
Wayne54513
Oktibbeha54126
Warren51518
Yazoo5096
Leflore48751
Grenada4835
Lowndes48313
Lincoln46034
Lamar4587
Pike43112
Monroe40130
Lafayette3914
Sunflower3727
Attala36023
Covington3565
Panola3506
Newton3399
Bolivar33414
Simpson3173
Adams31118
Pontotoc2866
Tate28310
Marion28111
Chickasaw27718
Claiborne27410
Noxubee2638
Jasper2626
Winston2616
Pearl River25432
Clay25010
Marshall2323
Smith21811
Clarke20724
Union2079
Coahoma2016
Walthall1995
Kemper17914
Lawrence1772
Yalobusha1707
Carroll16511
Humphreys1479
Tallahatchie1364
Itawamba1358
Montgomery1322
Calhoun1304
Tippah13011
Hancock12813
Webster12710
Jefferson Davis1114
Prentiss1083
Jefferson1073
Greene1058
Tunica1003
Wilkinson949
Amite912
George883
Tishomingo801
Quitman760
Choctaw744
Alcorn692
Perry664
Stone651
Franklin452
Sharkey370
Benton360
Issaquena91
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 44375

Reported Deaths: 984
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson5221152
Montgomery4127103
Mobile4080134
Tuscaloosa228842
Marshall171110
Madison14307
Lee138437
Shelby128423
Morgan11025
Walker93924
Elmore92514
Franklin89514
Dallas8809
Baldwin8649
Etowah73913
DeKalb7195
Butler63328
Chambers62927
Autauga60712
Tallapoosa59169
Russell5520
Unassigned50323
Houston4964
Limestone4950
Lauderdale4906
Lowndes47221
Cullman4524
Pike4295
Colbert3956
St. Clair3822
Coffee3772
Bullock36910
Covington3587
Calhoun3545
Escambia3506
Barbour3492
Hale31121
Talladega3097
Marengo30211
Wilcox2918
Dale2880
Sumter28512
Clarke2746
Jackson2732
Winston2583
Chilton2462
Blount2351
Monroe2352
Pickens2356
Marion22413
Conecuh2097
Randolph2069
Choctaw19512
Macon1949
Bibb1901
Greene1868
Perry1771
Henry1343
Crenshaw1253
Washington1097
Lawrence1080
Cherokee977
Geneva800
Lamar771
Fayette701
Clay652
Coosa581
Cleburne361
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Broken Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 93°
Columbus
Scattered Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 98°
Oxford
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 92°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
84° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 90°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather