Friday, 17 May 2019 08:44

Of mice and men — Editorial

Written by  Peter Burke

Peter Burke on the shambles in Britain’s House of Commons and New Zealand's FTA talks.

While the FTA talks between New Zealand and the European Union continue this week in Wellington, we can be thankful that they are moving in a positive direction.

NZ’s hope is that these talks will at least be conducted in a professional manner and that a reasonable deal will somehow be done.

But our worry beads are close at hand over Brexit. The shambles in Britain’s House of Commons is unprecedented in that nation’s history. Let’s forget calling it Great Britain now.

It seems like a perfect hate party. Tory MP’s hate Theresa May, she probably hates them. Labour MP’s dislike Jeremy Corbyn and he doesn’t like them all that much. And he and Theresa May don’t like each other. To add to this, the British people hate the British Parliament and the country is divided over Brexit. So is there any hope of a deal?

It seems while the MP’s have been busy squabbling over Brexit, mice – yes, mice! – are plaguing the Houses of Parliament. When MP’s sit down at their office computers the chances are a mouse – a real one – will be sitting alongside the computer mouse. In their exclusive cafés in the Commons, the mice are waiting to pounce on food scraps. Where is the pied piper? 

Cats have been suggested but they would fight, breed, run wild and become another plague.

Then there’s the human rat pack of MPs on the Government and Opposition benches in the Commons. Theresa May has proved she cannot control or exterminate them and they are of course are unwilling to exercise ‘self control’.

Brexit has descended into a farce. Britain’s latest date to leave is October 31 – Halloween – the day children ‘trick and treat’. Will NZ be tricked or treated on this inauspicious day? Will the EU and UK treat us and give us a fair deal on tariff rate quotas and geographic indicators or will they trick us and leave us out in the cold? Or will there be another postponement?

If this should happen who would be surprised? 2020 will be the year of the rat.

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