James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Going for tea to China
3 February 2018, 20:44 | Updated: 3 February 2018, 20:53
The latest stop on Great Britain's glorious world tour of genuflection was in the Far East.
Mrs M. went to China to prostrate herself at the feet of the ruling emperor to beg forgiveness for the Opium Wars and see if she can't drum up a bit of trade on the other side of the planet to make up for the predicted shortfall caused by turning our backs on trade with our next door neighbours.
It went very well. They didn't arrest her and she came back with vague promises of business to be done.
Unfortunately, Britain cannot enter into any contractual obligation until we are free of the pernicious influence of the evil European unelected socialist experiment, so any pronouncements of deals made are a little premature, but the PM was in need of a good news story.
Instead of extracting concrete proposals, Mrs M made a perfunctory ten minute speech light on foreign policy and drank a cup of tea.
The British delegation announced that the trip was a great success, truly this was the dawn of a global Britain, we are open for business, and all that old flannel.
Investment and trade deals worth a reported £9bn were trumpeted. There were no details forthcoming because there aren't any.
It was a vague promise that at some point in the future, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, the Chinese might invest but there seems little for them to buy here that the Qataris don't already own.
And anyway, we already do $79bn worth of business with them a year.
That trade is conducted on terms that were negotiated on behalf of the 500 million people of the EU, the most powerful trading block on earth.
Why would the Chinese offer us 65 million Britons better terms that those?
It's not as though being in the EU is holding us back either, Germany sells six times as much to the Chinese as we do.
What can we sell to them that they don't already buy from us, and vice versa?
It's not like we make much that they would want, apart from weapons of mass destruction and they seem to be self-sufficient in those as it is.
We could offer them the services of our banking racket but they appear to have that covered too.
The PM flew round half the world to make nice to the country that her security services say is a threat to our nation and came back with little to show for it.
At least she did not have to suck up to a mass murdering dictator and claim “shared values”, as Liam Fox had to do in the Philippines.
That was a low point in the history of the nation.
In China, Theresa May did not have any problems with bringing up the human rights abuses of her hosts. She just did not mention them.
You can't go to a place to ask for some loose change and also lecture them on arresting political opponents, lawyers and activists and the frequent use of torture, or chastise them for executing more people than the rest of the world combined.
The state controlled Chinese media congratulated the Prime Minister for ignoring the “nagging” and not bringing any of that up.
Instead, May confined herself to flattery and enthusiastic remarks about how lovely everything was.
We may have turned into an ethically vacuous grovelling lick-spittle on the world stage but at least we are getting our country back!
At home, the Brexiteer Ultras celebrated the great news of opaque assurances of future dealings.
They only just resisted the urge to wrap themselves in the flag, have a multiple patriot-gasm and announce that the Chinese need us more than we need them.