Those are the terms used by Theresa May to describe a second referendum on the issue of Scottish independence. It is of course completely different from the Brexit referendum which was clearly and unequivocally “decisive”; not to mention “the will of the people”, and certainly not to mention “a clear mandate”.
As anyone who saw me punching the air as England scored their final try against the hapless Scots last Saturday will confirm, I am English (albeit with a weird mélange of international DNA). But as the shambles of the Brexit process unfolds, Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement yesterday gave me hope.
Is it, as our Prime Minister stated, “playing politics”? Or is it a perfectly reasonable response to what is going on in Downing Street and Parliament?
It’s the latter. Because, as that exceptional woman Mhairi Black, our youngest MP, has claimed, Westminster is “depressing”, “a waste of time”, “so old and defunct in terms of its systems and procedures”. It can drag down the best of us and raise to the heights the worst of us.
In my last post, I remarked that Corbyn is devolving from a man of principle into a politician. Black has intimated that she will not stand again: she is apprehensive about becoming institutionalized or helpless. This, I fear, is happening to Corbyn.
No, Mrs May, politics is a game, and Corbyn and so many others are being forced to play it.
In this parliamentary hangover from the worst of the public school system, games are compulsory.
I suspect and hope that Nicola Sturgeon’s determination to allow the Scottish people an opportunity to remain in the EU is the equivalent of the apocryphal action of William Webb Ellis at Rugby School back in 1823.
I believe it demonstrates “a fine disregard for the rules of the game”.
Today from the everysmith vaults: I'm listening to an old (1967) John Peel show, featuring Pink Floyd, a band by which I have never been totally convinced, even though they played a great free show for The 1/- Paper at the Cambridge Corn Exchange in ... probably '68 or '69. Anyway, in the middle of the show, randomly, Peel plays a great song called The Red Sox Are Winning by a band called Earth Opera. There's some stuff on YouTube. Anyone got anything else? They're good.