David Michael Davis MP – now there’s a curious fellow. You’ve likely seen him, though given he’s somewhat of the retiring type you perhaps couldn’t spot him in a parade – he’s far more likely to be lurking in the confines of his office, taking occasional bites from a ham sandwich somebody else made, than jet setting around the world, being a relentless antagonist to the EU and pushing the case for a “Global Britain” he so obviously entirely understands.
Reclusive as he may be however, he does come bearing a rather unmistakable presence – wide eyed and befuddled, stumbling around the European Council with an alarming passivity more befitting of a competition winner being given a tour than the British Brexit Secretary.
You know, this bloke?
See? Instantly recognisable. Bet you never thought such an expression of smug bewilderment was even possible but there you go, apparently. It’s fair to say that Mr Davies has become somewhat a figure of ridicule in the past two years. While unsurprisingly reluctant to position himself as the de facto figurehead of Brexit negotiations – most likely down to his desire to not leave too many fingerprints upon this most sorry of car crashes – when he has dared to stick his head above the parapet, he’s immediately the proverbial rabbit caught in the headlights. Eternally equivocal and preposterously hesitant, with each increasingly unwelcome query of his rhetoric being met with ever more pronounced involuntary tics – the most notable of which being the near constant removal and immediate reseating of his glasses, the irritation growing as the questions continue to search for answers he simply doesn’t have.
Still, his allies are quick to remind us that chronic incompetence and expertise in the placement of spectacles aren’t the only strings to his bow:
Basically, if you thought he was merely a jobsworth you’re mistaken – he’s a jobsworth who is apparently trained to take people out; presumably with a machine gun crafted out of a discarded fag packet.
The how and why as to the apparent need for David Davis to take someone out remains unfortunately confined to the limitations of Nadine Dorries’ fevered mind – not to mention being entirely irrelevant to the real reason his mug is currently being plastered all over the news: he’s threatened to resign. Again.
Curiously enough, despite it being the apex of good sense to offer your resignation should a work colleague be sacked for throttling the old fun stick on company time, David didn’t fall on his sword following Green’s rather enforced departure. This presented somewhat of a problem for what was, at the time, the prevailing narrative – it being that Davis was simply looking for the best way to abandon ship before it careers off the face of the Earth. It just didn’t seem to fit, so what else could our erudite man of mystery be up to?
For your answer to that poser, you need to strip away the polish and other assorted artifice to look at Mr Davis in the simplest possible terms – does he want Brexit and what would he stand to gain from it?
As if his support for the Brexit cause pre-referendum didn’t provide a resounding enough answer to the first question, the fact that he does indeed have a considerable vested interest in Britain crashing out of the EU only strengthens the case.
It’s with that in mind the pieces all suddenly start falling into place; as with all Leavers standing to personally profit from Brexit and are faced with debate they lack the coherent argumentation for, he resorts to his last remaining card – distraction.
Given there’s growing unrest amongst British citizens that this Brexit malarkey isn’t quite what they had in mind back when they lent their support to it, it’s understandable that the Jacob Rees-Moggs of this world are getting a bit antsy. With dissatisfaction comes the need for debate and it’s a debate the Brexiteers simply don’t have the ammunition for. Even nauseatingly slick operators like Jacob have been reduced to gibbering simpletons when the perennial party pooper of reality decides to show up at the worst possible time.
Their only remaining tactic is simple – if the debate can’t be won then it must never be held in the first place. There’s no room for pride; the moment the gaze of scrutiny goes all Sauron on you there’s little choice – jettison what little of your dignity remains and pray your inquisitors take the bait, irrespective of how non-sequitur it may seem. Don’t believe me? Simply look at the intense scrutiny the current Brexit proposals are being subjected to. Or at least, were – before the silver fox decided to unleash another circus by pondering his resignation once more only for nothing to happen. Just like the last time, right? On a superficial level, it all seems somewhat pointless – until you’re hit by the sudden realisation that the most ridiculous version of Brexit possible has edged ever closer to the finish line while you were busy talking about something else.
So don’t be fooled by the blunderings of David Davis. He’ll lie, he’ll misdirect, he’ll even fall flat on his fucking face if he has to – all to keep us laughing as he surreptitiously delivers a burning bag of dog faeces through our letterbox.
And trust me, you won’t be laughing when it’s your turn to scrape up the shit.Follow @grahamlithgow