Sunday, 12 April 2020

Lost in the political wilderness.

I'm politically lost at the moment. I used to be hardcore libertarian and then I started to confront a few of life's more complex realities which demoted libertarianism from a righteous cause to a set of guiding principles. I'm still fiercely individualistic and mistrustful of anyone in search of a leader. I'm especially wary of personality cults be it Farage, Corbyn or Johnson.

These days, I have no political allies at all. I have a few sympathisers but generally it certainly feels like I'm out on my own. I'm a robust critic of Boris Johnson and the more belligerent attitudes to Brexit which makes me a remainer in their eyes, but being pro-Brexit and running a Twitter account called the Leave Alliance makes me no friends on the remain side particularly, and being that I despise the left and the dumpster fire that is the Labour party (and everything it stands for), Twitter is not a good sea for me to swim in. When I'm not being mobbed by offendatrons from all four corners of the axis I'm completely ignored.

It's probably also a lot to do with the fact that I'm not especially interested in what they have to say. Twitter does tend to be the domain of tribal narrative enforcers who are entirely predictable. They're like zombies. To avoid becoming one of them you have to hack them up with a (metaphorical) chainsaw. Twitter is just something I reluctantly engage with until something better comes along - which it sure must eventually. It serves as a useful bulletin board that means I don't have to look at newspapers, but as a rule, the closer a person is to the British media establishment, the less likely they are to have anything of value to say.

The problem is these people are all absolutely certain of themselves. I'm not. I gave up being certain about anything circa 2014. I don't trust anything I read, I question everything, I doubt everything and in the end this blog is just my best guess, and like anyone else's best guess, it isn't worth a damn. My meandering thoughts have no impact on events and the more I demand the truth, the more I demand competence and integrity from politics and media, the more alienated I feel.

I've been losing my way for some time now. I thought our media and politics had already hit rock bottom about five years ago but they still keep finding new ways to plumb the depths of depravity. The leavers get more belligerent, the remainers become more unhinged, the left becomes more bitter, the right becomes more arrogant, and the centrists remain as sanctimonious and unbearably smug as ever they were - all the while my vote might as well go in the bin.

Politics has become an exclusive domain of zealots, haters, preening narcissists and pompous bloviators. Maybe it was always like this and I just never saw it but each day I yearn to unplug, to stop caring and to make something of a normal life for myself. But then that's not really possible anymore. There is no longer nay normal and if unplugging was an indulgence before, it certainly is now. I have no choice but to stay and subject myself to this in the hope that some sense of sanity will prevail.

But of course it won't. When we voted to leave the EU in 2016 we really started something. We pulled out the linchpin from an old and decaying order and in so doing revealed the underlying dysfunction and a number of longstanding injustices. Nothing particularly was resolved by doing so. All it did was drag it all out from under the rug for a fresh fight to define the new political settlement. It seems we may as well not have bothered since Corona has done that and more and has shown that even the fundamentals we thought were functioning are nowhere close.

To say these are unprecedented times is something of an understatement. We've gone from an era of relative wealth and prosperity to an era of political uncertainty that could descend into chaos and anarchy. Though we notionally have a strong government with a commanding majority, it may soon count for nothing as everything we have known collapses. A new order is coming whether we like it or not and I'm not even sure whose side I'm on. These are dangerous times when fear, irrationality and breathtaking idiocy threaten the peace.

I suppose in the end all I can really do is watch and wait - but it feels sometimes like that's all we do. We are passive spectators of a process we are told is democracy. My voted only counted once in my lifetime and even then Corona has made an irrelevance of it. I'm starting to understand why in these such times people start finding their faith - because right now, there's not a lot else to believe in - and not much to hope for.

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