Game theory for Dummies

Lovely comment by the Guardian’s John Crace on Boris Johnson’s Downing Street speech yesterday:

A speech that was muddled and half-arsed, whose only obvious purpose was to put the blame for any imminent general election on everyone but himself. “Pifflepafflewifflewaffle,” the prime minister mumbled, sounding rattled and lacking his usual sense of entitlement as he struggled to make his voice heard above the protesters just down the road.

He was on the verge of getting a great Brexit deal. It was just that neither he nor the EU had a clue what that deal was. So he didn’t want parliament getting in the way of the thing he didn’t know how to do. Largely because it was impossible. But we were still leaving on 31 October with or without a deal, even if parliament decided otherwise. And that was it. All he asked was that no one told the EU what the UK’s negotiating position was. Just as well Johnny Foreigner can’t understand English.

Johnson went back inside feeling strangely deflated. It somehow felt as if, in his first major standoff with his MPs, he had been the one to blink first. Still it must have been the right thing to do, he supposed, because Dominic Cummings had told him so…