Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Nothing to be ashamed of

There has been some talk of late as to when and where it might not be a good idea to mention you voted to leave the EU. Being that it's a subject encompassing just about every area of regulated life it's a difficult one to avoid. Some have told me they prefer to keep it to themselves in the face of the complete mess this government is making of it. Ten days short of Brexit day and we don't have the first idea what's going on. We don't know how, or when or even if. This is ridiculous.

But then Theresa May did say early on she sought to unite the country. This she has done. We are all united in our utter dismay that anything could be executed so cack-handedly. For that reason no leaver need feel guilty. It is simply beyond the abilities of our political class.

There were two ways of going about this; to decide that we wanted to keep a close and integrated relationship with the EU in which case the economic impact could have been kept to a minimum - or that we were taking an absolutist line on what voters said they wanted.

In respect of that we could have made that decision early on, removing much of the uncertainty. We could have set upon Efta EEA as the basis of a "jobs first Brexit" (my preference) - or simply made it clear that we were leaving without a deal in which case there wouldn't have been much to talk about save for the timing of our exit. As much as leaving without a deal is a terrible idea, we could at least have been competent in its execution.

Instead parliament has largely been a pointless talking shop, with MPs and wonks projecting their worthless ill-informed opinions into the void while the executive ran its own secretive agenda. This much is not out of the ordinary. This is pretty much how politics has degraded. The only difference between now and before is the media management. If anything this is all a stark reminder that Westminster is disconnected in every sense.

As chaos descends into farce it has become harder and harder to record these events. In the early days there were similar strains of ignorance which have now become distinct specialisms where just about everyone has their own reading of events all of which have long since turned inward, oblivious to anything said by Brussels. We have dithered to the point where the decisions will eventually make themselves.

The extent to which this political atrophy is attributable to EU membership is debatable, but what we are looking at cannot be put upon leave voters. Even at my most cynical I never imagine our politics was this far gone or that this crop of MPs were this lacking in talent. So as much as I feel no shame in expressing my view that Britain ought not to be a member of a supranational project for the elimination of the nation state, I feel no shame in that we are at least all on the same page that politics as we know it cannot continue in the same vain. That's a start.

For the sake of my own sanity I've unplugged from Twitter and the blog this week and have elected to swan off to Cambridgeshire to nosey round Duxford (pictured) and the Fens. I'm not ashamed of that either. Every normal bloke has limits and I've reached mine. I am left with just one sentiment.

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