And as for lies... well, this tomato thing is such a perfect example in so many ways. Yellowhammer predicted that a hard brexit might cause disruption to food supplies (incidentally who's seen that clip of Farage who now holds an EU passport saying that it was the most ridiculous thing that he'd ever heard?) and now we have disruption to food supplies. So, could there possibly be some kind of connection?
So brexiteers have a bit of a problem, how do they respond to this? Well, in several ways, all equally stupid..., well, all stupid, to be honest I haven't worked out the precise levels of stupidity in each case.
The first response from many - I think I've even seen it on this board weirdly enough - was just cretinous denial "I bought tomatoes yesterday therefore we are all absolutely totally fine and there is absolutely no shortage of tomatoes anywhere, it's all a big lie made up by Remoaners because there can be no possibility that quantities may vary across different shops at different times and my one single experience completely invalidates that of all other shoppers everywhere and of the heads of the shopping companies who have said that there is a shortage and who are are talking about rationing tomatoes and other vegetables, and it means we can disregard any MP or other person who has already fallen back from this position and is busily making up their own non-brexit related reason for the lack of tomatoes". I suppose the thinking was that if things got sorted out quickly enough and supplies came back online then they could just about pretend that it had never happened. Anyway, whatever the thinking behind it, even the dumbest have seen through it now and so I think we can safely disregard that for the clear nonsense it is.
Once several big chains came out and said that some vegetables are gonna have to be rationed even the most brexity of MPs had to admit there is a problem. Well, they have to admit there is a shortage, I have seen a number of people claim that it's not a problem - Therese Coffey said we should eat turnips instead, something I find fantastically depressing - it reminds me of nothing so much as a few years ago when the West introduced sanctions against Russia and Liza's brother was putting a brave face on it saying ridiculous stuff like "I've eaten enough brie already" - just pretending it made no difference by pointing out that each of the individual things that he could no longer get hold of were not really such a big deal. Lots of insisting that the western sanctions weren't that much of a problem - and in a sense it was true I guess, just lots of lots of things that were slightly worse than they were before didn't ruin his life, they just made it a bit smaller and more boring. And if that was the worst that an opposing power could do to them it was hardly gonna bring the country to its knees.... but in this case there is no opposing power, the UK has in effect introduced sanctions on itself. Oh, and look what I said on page one of this thread....
(UK will become some kind of) sealed mini-town - like in 28 Days Later or The Bad Batch or something - where you manage to eke out some kind of existence eating only turnips and...
The argument of "x is only a bit worse than it was before" is one that annoys me quite a lot in general when people try to use it as a positive. Sure if you compile a list of pros and cons then such a statement has its uses, but the idea that anyone in their right mind could think "Let's do this, it will only make things a bit worse" is worthless.
I've also seen someone on twitter say "Do you think that you have a divine right to eat tomatoes in February?" while somehow trying to link tomato shortages with the fifteen minute city thing and saying that lefties are all hypocrites. The tortuous argument seemed to be something to do with how not getting tomatoes flown in reduces the carbon footprint and, as all lefties are definitely in favour of 15 Min Cities and are, to a man, enemies of Brexit then this a huge hypocrisy. It may surprise you to learn that I do not find that argument particularly convincing - leaving aside the fact that I've never really given more than a minute's thought to the cities - the thing is that while I guess I am broadly in favour of the UK reducing its carbon footprint, I would like it to do it by choosing policies that cause that to happen rather than because it's become too weak to buy food for its citizens. Brexit was supposed to make the UK stronger and it has made it pathetically weak, I don't see that that is something to celebrate even if it does have the odd accidental side-effect that could be argued to be mildly positive. Seems like an incredibly desperate attempt to make the UK's weakness into a virtue. And surely the question is not "do we have a divine right to have tomatoes in Feb?" but rather "How come we were able to have tomatoes in February no problem for the last fifty years or so but now we are not?". In fact, why am I even bothering to address this argument, surely only the most hopeless of brexsycophants can suggest that it's a good thing that the UK cannot buy enough tomatoes.
But, allow me a small digression, the above IS illustrative in that this is actually a very common thing with Brexit now that I come to think of it, its defenders have to twist themselves into the most ridiculous knots and talk the most extraordinary absolute bollocks - I'm talking here about the times when they do not tell outright lies - to try and defend the completely indefensible. So I think it is worth noting that some Brexiters have straight-facedly suggested that one Brexit benefit is that the UK cannot buy enough tomatoes* to stock supermarkets.
And here's another typical Brexit thing in fact; in a normal world with a proper government, if there was a problem with the country's food supply then the government would be facing up to it and trying to solve the problem, but unfortunately we live in Brexit world with a Brexit government so first we've got to fight to get them to admit that it's happening AND then we have to make them admit that it's a problem. And apart from a few nutters insanely saying that it's a good thing, most of the government have realised that they need to explain that cos... well cos people like eating. So it's been a battle to get this far with the government but it has pretty much done, it's the next step which will prove completely impossible - the one where they have to correctly identify the cause of the problem and try to solve it - cos the actual problem is a shibboleth, something they are ideologically forbidden from discussing.
So, as things stand the government finds itself trying to come up with a plausible explanation as to why the UK has no tomatoes - but obviously they can't mention the real reason. Which, fair enough, is actually a pretty tricky little headscratcher - when you think of the mess than this bunch of fuckheads have made of the simplest things then you can well imagine that they must have been completely stumped - I'm picturing Coffey, Cleverley etc shaking their heads in utter bewilderment like a medieval peasant trying to solve a differential equation in several variables. Whoever came up with the idea of claiming that there was a shortage across the whole of Europe due to bad weather must have seemed to them like some kind of Von Neumann level super genius, and it is quite a good idea in that, although it can be easily disproved with a small amount of research, they know full well that they have an army of useful idiots who want so hard to believe that they will hear this, accept it and repeat it for them, deliberately ignoring any of the countless pictures of overflowing abundance in supermarkets from Portugal to Netherlands to Poland as anecdotal or photoshopped or some other kind of trick, and wilfully choosing not to see the weather reports from Spain etc
Here's a screenshot I took of Portuguese news today, I find it a little strange that they report on the shortages in the UK but ignore the ones closer to home, now why would they do that I wonder? It's almost as if there isn't a shortage here....
In fact I thought I might as well jump on the bandwagon and grab a picture from Aldi today while I was there.
Ultimately the official line seems to be something like "there isn't really a shortage but if there is it isn't that bad and the tiny not bad shortage was caused by a mixture of bad weather in Morocco and Spain which meant that there were shortages of tomatoes everywhere in Europe, but the shortages are more visible in the UK cos rising energy costs meant that UK farmers couldn't heat their greenhouses to grow out of season tomatoes, and also there is an all round shortage of farm workers but one thing we definitely know with an absolute cast-iron certainty is that it was absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with Brexit in any way".
But if someone who wasn't forbidden from considering certain topics tried to think about this whole thing with an open mind they might think some of the following things; bad weather comes along every few years without cutting off the UK's tomato supply but this year something was different, and this bad weather affected the countries that supply tomatoes to all of the EU but they were all ok and the UK wasn't. So is there anything that is different about the UK this time around, any kind of change that occurred that might affect the deliveries they receive? And is there anything, any reason at all that might differentiate the UK and, say, Belgium or Spain or any other EU countries?
*The other thing that kinda bothers me and probably ought to be worrying a few people is, ok, this time it's tomatoes, but what if it's medicine or something else more vital next time?