Sunday, 15 July 2018

Brexit: the longest drop...

While our politicians scurry around for clues as to how to avoid the Brexit cliff edge it seems there is a bigger one on the horizon. Even if by some miracle we avoid the economic cliff edge, there is a political cliff edge approaching and there's nothing we can do about it.

As it happens even the softest of Brexits is still going to have a serious impact.and our politicians are simply not equipped to handle it. This current generation of politicians has never had to respond to a serious crisis and the last two years has done little to prepare them.

What's more troubling is that things can only get worse. As much as I'm betting we will leave the EU without a deal I think the Tories are certain to lose the next election leaving us with a hopelessly inept Labour party at the helm. That election though will be a landslide victory for the Meh party - the millions of voters who stay at home having nothing at all to vote for.

Certainly there is no possibility of me voting Tory now. My local MP being Jack Lopresti - an ultra Brexiter who casually brushes off concerns in respect of Airbus - the main employer in his constituency. Meanwhile there are rumblings that Ukip may get back in the game.

Unlike previous elections though, the disaffection will have no obvious vehicle. For all that the continuity remainers have demonstrated an impressive ability to mobilise a mob, there is no obvious political home for them and there are plenty of conservatives who no longer recognise their own party.

By then there will be brushfires all over the place with only limited means to put them out. Whatever agenda Corbyn may have in mind, we will be too busy and too broke for him to push through any transformative agenda. It won't take long for the wheels to fall off that particular bus. If it isn't already apparent that we lack the political talent to navigate the turmoil of the coming years then it soon will be.

It won't take very long for political infighting to spread in every direction with nobody capable of mobilising a coherent political force. Bizarrely only the SNP looks like an organised force. It would be a supreme irony if they ended up forming part of the next government.

The problem central to this is that ever since Blair and the emergence of presentation politics, successive parties have sought power for its own sake with no real agenda for government. They announce their intentions to tinker with policy or splurge on a pet project - usually a white elephant, but none have had a grand design or a vision much less any idea of how to implement one.

What we find when they do take power office is that they are little more than administrators responding to various upsets but largely doing nothing beyond rolling over the agenda of the previous government. Cameron's government was only really an exercise in accountancy, pruning the worst excesses of the Labour era but essentially the same set of PR obsessed social democrats.

The only thing in town that passes for a vision is Corbyn's resurrection of socialism which is little more than a delusion. Corbyn imagines that Brits are a huddled oppressed mass ready to rise up and seize the means of production, itching to renationalise railways. A non-solution to no problem we have.

We will soon see this pummelled by the onslaught of reality as problems arise of a complexity far beyond their ken. We are going to see incompetence we never imagined possible while the breadth and magnitude of problems consumes them. Meanwhile the public will be lose all patience, not only with politicians, but also the media. Omnishambles will be the new normal.

Here you may ask what has happened to us that we have lost our ability to govern. It should be obvious. These are pretty much the same people who were in government in 1997 onward. They have always been this useless. They just haven't been tasked with changed because inside the EU change doesn't happen. Processes and policies evolve - managed by technocrats deep inside the Commission and kept far away from politicians until they needs a rubber stamp.

It's actually a long time since politicians were entrusted to actually run anything. So long that we no longer have that institutional knowledge and we are not in the habit of self-governance. It's an art we shall have to re-learn.

Thankfully, much of the economy is not dependent on competent government. There are examples around the world where decades pass without a functioning government but life plods on somehow. Here we will see local government taking up some of the slack while Westminster implodes. That will be one of the more tangible benefits of Brexit.

Here is where I do not accept the finger wagging arguments of remainers who insist we leavers have brought chaos to the country. We were always going to have to go through this process. We were always going to have to wake up to the rot. We were always going to have to fight off the ideological fringes and rebuild our politics. This implosion was already an inevitability.

What Brexit gives us is the tools we need to rebuild. As we try to restore the functioning of government we can change what we need to change without asking Brussels for permission. We will have to revisit long established policies and rethink them. We will have to re-engage civil society to guide it. We will have to consult and organise. Once again policy will have to be research driven.

It is through this process we will see who is up to the task and who isn't. The Diane Abbotts of this world will be swept aside in favour of anyone with a command of the issues. Our tolerance for incompetence will evaporate.

And there's the thing, see. We are all part of the problem here. We are the ones who tolerated mediocrity. We are the ones who let politics go on autopilot. We are the ones who decided politics wasn't important enough to engage with on a serious level. We are the ones who treat it as tribal entertainment.

Here I paraphrase philosopher and comedian, George Carlin. "Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from British parents and British families, British homes, British schools, British churches, British businesses and British universities, and they are elected by British citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders".

It would seem, therefore, that if we want to fix politics then we have to fix ourselves. The EU wasn't the cause of our problems. It was a symptom of it. If you give politicians the opportunity to offload their obligations and responsibilities while maintaining the status and income then they will grasp it with both hands. What you're left with is a venal, empty, vain shell surrounded by social climbers and parasites.

When I look at modern Britain I see a nation of infants and pampered adolescents. Especially so when I watch interviews with remainer protesters. Just look at pro-EU campaigner Femi Oluwole who exemplifies everything loathsome about the remain movement. Self-absorbed, superficial, shallow and preening. "Ask not what I can do for my country - ask what my supranational government can do for me". The same can be said of the little girl with the dog who produces crayon scrawl love letters to the EU while dressed as Wonder Woman.

This extends deeper into the left where we see a Guardianista brat pack led by Owen Jones. Staggeringly ignorant, possessing no subject knowledge, no real life experience, obnoxious and whiny. The type who would turn the other cheek to Pakistani rape gangs for the good of diversity. Censorious zealots ever keen to shut down debate.

Not for nothing has Brexit evolved into a culture war. Politics cannot withstand these creatures. The London metropolitan consensus does not work for the whole of the UK nor are the regions willing to tolerate its depravity. This is a generation who have never been told no, have never known austerity or hardship and feel entitled enough to suggest votes should be erased if they don't like the result. It's not just Brexit. They actually turn out to protest a general election result.

Of course these specimens are not representative of the whole country, but these are the wastrels our media lavishes attention upon, who then become influencers inside the bubble. I've seen this cycle time and again. The media is as much a part of the problem. These same cretins are running the media. The children have taken over. Brexit as much as anything gives us real problems to worry about where the startling inadequacy of our media will become apparent to all.

The point for me is that until this malaise is addressed there is no possibility of returning to good governance nor is there an obvious path to recovering our international standing and national morale. Our future prosperity depends not on trade deals and beancounting. It depends on restoring credibility and gravitas to our politics, putting the adults back in control and forcing the tough choices.

In or out of the EU the future was not rosy. We have accumulated too many systemic problems where, like Brexit, the critical decisions are routinely kicked into the long grass for political expediency. Habitually we firehose money at the NHS, while taxes spiral upward, all the while government is delivering less while our financial security is eroded.

Meanwhile look at the warning signals. Ukip may have evaporated and now there is not presently a vehicle for that disaffection it links arms with the Free Tommy brigade. Animus against Muslims is growing, for quite understandable reasons but with a risk that ordinary Muslims will become collateral damage. With a hamstrung state paralysed by political correctness and more concerned with managing media and slapping down dissent than addressing the problems, we are sliding into an abyss.

We have been indoctrinated with the idea of tolerance which is generally no bad thing but tolerance is an interesting word. You tolerate things with a view to them improving eventually. Improvement though is not happening. In many respects things are regressing. And if tolerance of immigration means an invitation to the intolerable on top of what we already have then politics can only turn nasty.

For a very long time now I've been living in anticipation of a political collapse. It has influenced a number of my life choices where I have prized mobility over assets. I've always known things could not continue in this way. Brexit to me was the one and only chance to arrest the decline. Yes, it disturbs our relatively easy living, yes it comes at a great cost, and we will all pay a price for it, but we will pay a greater price should we shrink from this responsibility.

Ultimately we are here because our politicians have shed so many of their obligations and handed away so many vital powers. It is they who have wrapped up all of our external relations in one treaty system. It is they who have put all the eggs on one basket and they have introduced this vulnerability into the system. Giving up control was always a national security threat and it was always going to cost a great deal to repair their mistake.


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