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Brexit fallout, follies and fairies


Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column looking at the lighter side of politics.

David Cameron, the former British prime minister who has spent the past few years standing next to the dumpster fire that is Brexit with the still-warm matches in his pocket, doesn’t want to be asked questions about the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.

Cameron, who retired to his shed after the June 2016 referendum to write a book called “For The Record” (much better would have been “Yikes,” “Sorry about that” or “Oh shit”), spoke at an event organized by Bono’s ONE campaign and then took questions from volunteers at the event. But Brexit questions were reportedly banned.

Perhaps that’s because it was just a few weeks ago that Cameron’s wife Samantha publicly admitted that her clothing business is suffering because of post-Brexit trading difficulties with European countries. Awkward.

Thankfully, things are going swimmingly for the latest Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who wants to build a giant roundabout under the Isle of Man to connect England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This raises several questions, including what did poor old Wales do to get left out of the plan and also what are they injecting people with in Britain, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine or LSD?

As one unnamed official told the Sunday Times: “Just as Hitler moved around imaginary armies in the dying days of the Third Reich, so the No. 10 policy unit is condemned to keep looking at this idea, which exists primarily in the mind of the PM.”

The Isle of Man is at least a good choice for a make-believe construction as it’s home to the Fairy Bridge. Locals say you must say a jovial “Hello, fairies!” as you pass over the bridge or fall prey to their mischievous whims — there really is little to do on the Isle of Man apart from the annual TT motorcycle race and falling in love with your sister.

Of course, Johnson’s got form when it comes to massive, unsuccessful vanity projects such as the Garden Bridge (a flower-filled bridge across the Thames in central London, like a pound shop version of the High Line in New York); and a proposed bridge across the Channel between France and England that caused much eye-rolling in Paris.

Maybe Johnson’s hare-brained schemes would last longer if they were soaked in gin and stored in a jar. That’s the secret to long-life according to Lucia DeClerck, the 105-year-old who survived Spanish Flu, COVID-19 and outlived three husbands. The secret to her success? “Prayer. Prayer. Prayer. One step at a time. No junk food.” Oh, and she eats nine gin-soaked golden raisins every morning.

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“Can I count on your vote next year? Yes, I believe Mrs. Le Pen does eat raw navarin for breakfast.”

Can you do better? Email pdallison@politico.eu or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

Last week we gave you this photo:

Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag (there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze).

“I repeat, Article 16. Abort, Abort…,” by Val Flynn

Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor.



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