Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Winter is coming.

And so, I'm back. Umbria was, as always, Umbria. Great scenery, great food, great art, great time. Last Saturday I was once again in Orvieto, home of arguably Italy's greatest cathedral, Luca Signorelli's masterwork and, that aside, one of my most favourite restaurants.

But then? I flew home. That is done now.

Summer is over and the long echoes of the British Autumn are about to begin.

The Last Night of the Proms; the first night of Strictly; the September weekend; Halloween; Bonfire Night; Armistice Day. Each will come round with their usual inevitability as the leaves turn red, and then brown and then disappear altogether. And, in the west of Scotland at least, as the constant, four season, rain gets steadily colder until turning to sleet.

Until, equally inevitably, there will be Christmas and beyond that a new renewal.

And then plans for the new year.

But, in between, there will still be life.

And, in political terms, I suspect this will actually prove to be quite boring.

We have just had three years of politics unprecedented in my lifetime.

The Independence Referendum was, on any view, an event. As was not so much the General Election as the decision of the Labour Party to implode, perhaps abolish itself  entirely, in its aftermath. And then we had the Brexit vote. Let's be honest, not something anybody politically engaged, including most Brexiters, ever thought would ever actually happen.

But things can't carry on like this. A bit like Euro2016, watching two games every night, then at least one, then at least a few remaining high stakes contests......eventually there is the final. And it's over. No matter how much you might wish it could's over. Equally, mornings no longer will come with a Gold Rush from Rio but with the latest report on childhood obesity or on the problem of pension mis-selling. It's over.

And in the same way the last three years are over. Despite the obvious advantage to be gained, Mrs May seems resolved that my own Party's current travails will not be solved by her in the form of an early election. Despite all her huffing and puffing, Nicola is equally not inclined to the kamikaze mission that would be a second referendum. If Labour does split, which I still think improbable, it won't be this year. Brexit might mean Brexit but not quite yet.

So, politics are about to become boring. Normal. Tory.

Maybe, for a while, that is not a bad thing.

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