THE END OF THE BEGINNING?

Leo Varadkar

It is reported that Leo Varadkar, the Irish Taoiseach, has described the first main stage of the Brexit process as ‘the end of the beginning’, a phrase coined in what some observers may now think were perhaps more friendly times!

So Brexit moves on four more days,
Rewritten in all sorts of ways,
To try to satisfy those who,
Wanted a change in version two.

They say that compromise is there,
Page after page with some to spare,
But there are fudges all throughout –
It wouldn’t be agreed without.

And now the Taoiseach dares to say,
The version that was signed today,
Does not mean we are all winning –
Just the end of the beginning.

Now that phrase is so very old,
Coined years ago when we were told,
That in the event of the age,
We had, perhaps, then turned the page.

He said it was neither the end,
Nor the beginning of the end,
But it was, if we could forfend,
Of the beginning p’rhaps the end.

It was true then, but is it now?
That probably depends just how,
Things work out in the days and weeks,
Including with the Irish Tao’each.

And he’ll find out if it was wise,
These famous words to plagiarise,
Or should he have left them unsaid,
And just made up his own instead.

Image – William Murphy / Flickr

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FRANÇAIS ÊTRE NOMBRE UN!?

French 1

It is reported that French President Emmanuel Macron has announced in a speech in Burkina Faso that he will make French the first language of Africa and then the first language of the world. Dream on!

French presidents, you might have thought,
Have many things they really ought,
To do while they in office are,
As well as propping up the bar.

The country’s big, it must be run,
The job’s not meant to be much fun,
Especially when Brexit looms,
Creating words for Macron’s plumes.

Speaking of which, his latest ploy,
Deliberately to us annoy,
Is rubbishing the English tongue,
And say he will, before too long,
Make French the leader in its stead,
Which will help France to get ahead.

In Brexit, then, he sees his chance,
For this change might his plans enhance,
Because right after we are gone,
In the EU there’ll be no-one,
Whose formal language English is,
For talking politics and biz.

So Macron soon might make his move,
The English language to remove,
From all of Europe’s regs and rules;
But other people are not fools,
And they know it is not the case,
That French the English can displace.

For it’s so commonly in use,
With rules for grammar rather loose,
And as you can see in this verse,
The writing’s really none the worse,
For what the French would think kaput –
The words in any order put.

So Macron should take care right now,
Since he has rashly made this vow;
But, luckily, in French he spoke,
Not understood by many folk,
And though he’d think that a disgrace,
It might just help to save his face!

SQUARING THE CIRCLES?

irish-152474_960_720

It is reported that Theresa May and the European Commission thought they had reached agreement on the Irish border conundrum but it seems nobody asked the DUP.

I’m not intending to explain,
(For that would just create more pain,)
What was said and maybe was not,
Both in and out of earshot,
About the Irish border which,
In Brexit’s something of a glitch.

Too many people think they’ve got,
A veto and so the upshot.
Is, frankly, no-one will agree,
How border travel can be free.

And these demands that some maintain,
Are very different (not the same),
And no-one’s even slightly wise,
And hence prepared to compromise.

So all these circles can’t be squared,
With some of the pain being shared;
In fact, no-one at all would budge,
So this last draft was just a fudge.

On the EU side this seemed fine,
They do these fudges all the time;
But harder heads were now at play,
Who found out and to their dismay,
When they discovered what was writ,
They all had a collective fit.

The detail I will not repeat,
So trouble not to take your seat;
But I say this because it’s clear:
There isn’t even a veneer,
Of common sense in what’s been said,
So no basis to go ahead.

What happens next we can but guess,
There might be more dismay, not less,
But I hope in the future tense,
We might see some more common sense.

At least The Donald’s not involved,
He might think this a problem solved;
But Ireland wouldn’t build a wall,
They’d not want that at all at all.

A EUROPEAN FRIEND … AT LAST!

Hans-Olaf Henkel

It is reported that Hans-Olaf Henkel, a German MEP, has spoken in excellent English in the European Parliament severely criticising the ‘illogical, dangerous and unfair’ treatment of the British by the EU in the Brexit negotiations.

It’s sometimes quite hard to believe,
And think that one’s ears might deceive,
When out of all we have withstood,
There suddenly comes something good.

We’re used to being told what we,
Must do before we can be free,
And we, it seems, don’t get a say,
In how much we might have to pay.

The EU has stuck to this line,
Making the payment like a fine,
Until last week when, I would judge,
There was a teeny weeny budge.

This recognised bad Brexit would,
For everyone be far from good,
And this the EU should embrace –
No more nose cut to spite the face.

So Donald Tusk, in panic mode,
Said, “Goodness me!” and “I’ll be blowed!
There is a chance we’ll lose out here,
If we don’t all the same way steer.

We really must now speak as one,
So when the Brexit talks are done,
The British lose, the EU win,
But only with such discipline.”

But now a voice of common sense,
That says, “I fear some folk are dense.
You can’t expect the British to,
Pay billions – more than a few –
Of money that they have to earn,
Not knowing what is in return.

And when it comes to Irish peace,
Which must not be allowed to cease,
It is absurd to think that we,
On border crossings could agree,
Without agreement also made,
On customs and the terms of trade.

And, finally, I want to say,
That although they chose not to stay,
The British under Mrs May,
Are always noted for fair play.

For this is what the British do,
It may seem rather odd to you,
And, from where I sit on this bench,
The more so to our friends the French!”

Image – Mathesar / Wikimedia commons

THEY BLINKED FIRST!

Blinking

It is reported that, following Theresa May’s meeting with EU leaders last week, several are almost falling over themselves to say what good progress has been made and that a no deal Brexit is unimaginable.

So back to Brexit. What a treat!
Not much has happened that’s concrete,
Since talking started months ago,
And got bogged down on what we owe.

This was a quite enormous bill,
Which would the EU coffers fill,
While we, avoiding tempers frayed,
Just simply want to talk on trade.

So, last week, with consummate grace,
Our polite PM played her ace,
And said we would start to prepare,
For what some see as a nightmare,
Which is we leave, not having made,
Agreement on the terms for trade.

It seems, now, common sense has dawned,
And in the other leaders spawned,
Comments so positive that they,
A very different view portray,
Than what old Michel Barnier,
Has had to express day by day.

So Merkel said talks had been good,
While Juncker said all parties should,
Conclude a trade deal ’cos he’d hate,
Alternatives to contemplate.

And Donald Tusk, the Pole in charge,
Proclaimed that, really, by and large,
Reports of deadlock were too great –
Some had sought to exaggerate.

Of leaders there was only one –
The little French Napoleon –
Who still stuck to his former view,
And wanted just to Britain screw.

And Michel Barnier, in a rage,
Was clearly on a different page,
Perhaps because his former words,
Have now been made to look absurd.

So three loud cheers for Mrs May,
For she did pretty well that day,
She’a moved things on a bit, I think,
And all because she didn’t blink!

WORST FOOT FORWARD

Juncker 2

It is reported that Jean-Claude Juncker has given a speech to the European Parliament in which he painted a picture of a United States of Europe, saying that both Britain and Europe would regret Brexit and he would surely make certain that they would. With friends like this who needs ….

So Jean-Claude Juncker’s on fine form,
Now threatening, as is the norm,
That after Brexit – that’s a sin –
The sky will soon be falling in.

Brexit is bad, he’ll make it worse,
Will bring to bear the Euro curse,
And when it is all said and done,
The other states will all be one.

These others left will toe the line,
For not to do would be a sign,
Of disobedience which would,
For Juncker’s future not be good.

So members will lose their vetoes,
And will be forced to accept those,
New rules and regs and such whatnot,
Whether it’s good for them or not.

But now the highlight of his speech:
He would force rather than beseech,
All countries that have not yet joined,
The Euro with its notes and coins,
To join up quick without delay,
Which means to do it right away.

No matter ’twas a German trick,
Which worked ’cos people were so thick;
It’s right now to the zone enlarge,
With friendly Germans still in charge.

They will command us what to do,
They’re good at that as you all knew,
But will they keep us in the pink?
Well, you should have another think!

They’ll watch the money like a hawk,
If you want some they’re bound to balk,
And now that the die has been cast,
They’re running everything at last.

They’ve always wanted it that way,
So only they can have their say,
And if some should try to resist,
On points asking them to desist,
If you think back to days of yore,
That’s really all been tried before.

It didn’t work then and won’t now,
Will lead to one almighty row;
This is for them sine qua non,
And by then Juncker will be gone.

So how might all of this pan out?
The Germans, who have lots of clout,
Will doubtless want themselves to psych,
And might just call it the Fourth ….

Image – dw.com

THE BIGGEST BILL EVER?

Wine bottles

It is reported that the EU negotiators are irritated by the UK’s ‘cheek’ in questioning the content of its €100 billion bill for exiting the European Union.

The biggest bill you’ve ever seen,
Perhaps the biggest there has been,
Apart from those that end a war,
Which might have been this big before.

And really, it is quite absurd,
That such a bill without a word
Of explanation should be made,
With expectation it be paid.

The British did not it dismiss,
They said, “We’ll take a look at this.
We’re reasonable as you knew,
But will not pay more than is due.

So we’ve been through it line by line,
Before and after drinking wine,
But either way, before or aft,
The invoice really is quite daft.

You must have been completely drunk,
At The King’s Head or Merry Monk,
When you assembled all that list,
And must have been completely … inebriated.

So let’s discuss now what we owe,
And try to get agreement, so
With kindly words and sober thought,
We will then pay you what we ought.

But one thing that we have to say,
Which we have just found out today,
Is there is in the thirteenth line,
A rather hefty bill for wine!

That really rather makes out point,
Why noses are put out of joint,
And why right now we are afraid,
This bill can really not be paid!”