Britain is resigned to leaving the EU
Britain is resigned to Leaving the EU. Cameron resigned, Farage resigned (again) as leader of UKIP saying he wants his life back, and most of the Shadow Cabinet resigned because the alternative to stabbing their leader in the back was to actually OPPOSE the Tories and so risk getting into power and having to DO something. Boris Johnson had nowhere to resign from but still managed to resign from the risk of having to clear up the mess he created. The spate of resignations has tailed off as there seems to be no one left to resign.
Cameron has not yet resigned to the extent of applying for the Chiltern Hundreds but is likely to move to Scotland, presumably in order to hide from the rest of the Conservative party, and Farage has not resigned as an MEP from a job he thinks should not exist, but then a princely salary and expenses that dwarf the income of anyone doing a real job would make any would be resigner hesitate. Still the extra money will help his wife relocate to Germany should she feel threatened by the rise in racist crime post referendum.
The Week that was
Relative sanity returned to politics with the announcement that a Lithuanian MP is trying to run for leadership of UKIP as a Pro EU candidate.
The Chilcot report came out, nailing Tony Blair as closely as its remit could by showing he said one thing to Parliament and another to President Bush. Jeremy Corbyn stood up in Parliament and apologised on behalf of the Labour Party for taking England ( with the rest of the UK dragged along) into the Iraq war. David Cameron, the quintessential lame duck, stood up and showed his mastery of pre referendum political techniques by using a lot of words to say nothing. Insofar as any sense could be extracted from his answer he seemed to be saying that sometimes it is right to invade a nation that poses no threat to your own.
275 Labour MPS abstained on a motion to guarantee the residence rights of EU
nationals in the UK meaning Parliament agreed to support EU Nationals by 245 votes to two. As usual this should not be taken as a sign that those Tories have a functioning moral compass, or indeed any at all
What does it mean?
Brexit has shown it is simplistic to say politicians lie. To politicians, especially those in the mainstream UK parties, truth or falsity are irrelevant. The impor- tant thing about a statement is that it helps achieve their goals. Facts and Lies are weapons and truth is decided by the winner. For some this mendacity has gone beyond a game, beyond second nature and become first nature. The good of the country is an irrelevance as are the people who suffer. Machiavelli would feel himself outclassed.
Brexit has shown that people are stupid. They believe something because they want to believe it and reject or ignore all evidence to the contrary believing they know better than experts
Brexit has shown that a Referendum result the rulers like must be respected and a once in a generation affair but a result they find inconvenient can be ignored and implementation delayed indefinitely as the settled will of the people may change. Perhaps we will again see a revived UKIP with Nigel Farage in charge.
Brexit has shown that the Labour picture of the voter as selfish, lying and xenophobic, i.e just like the Tories, that won Tony Blair his first election victory, is true. As they moved right Labour dragged the country with it. The working class voted on tribal and traditional grounds for a Labour party that became ever closer to the Tories and raised political lying to an art form as documented by Peter Oborne in The Rise of Political Lying , an art form crudely imitated by the Tories since 2010 with much less finesse. Fortunately the public in Scotland woke up to the lies between 2012 and 2104 and with the EU referendum it looks like the English electorate are finally waking up.
Now Britain is like someone waking up after a party, deafened by the sound of ants marching across the carpet and realising that at any moment the people they invited to lunch will be knocking on the door. Part of the brain is saying ” I never knew” while the part of the brain that remains clear even after a bottle of Brandy is saying ”Well ye ken now, and were telt” Meanwhile the cat has decided to use your favourite slippers as a toilet, there are some dodgy looking
cigarette butts that need to be surreptitiously placed in a public rubbish bin and someone has scrawled a moustache on your favourite painting.
What comes next?
The Brexiteers assure us this is, in the words of Nigel Lawson in 1988 merely a blip and the fall of the pound to the lowest levels since 1985 ( at the time of writing) and sinking like the Titanic: but today the band are still playing and the captain is yelling ”Don’t Panic” from the lifeboat he and the senior officers launched seconds after the Iceberg struck.
The Remain portion of the Great and Good are preparing the way for a rerun of the referendum or to embark on the slippery slope of ignoring the electorate, just as the Labour and Tory parties ignore their grassroots. Even if you voted to remain the result of the referendum must be honoured, though the heavens fall. A child who asks for a toy then, when they get it decide they do not want it should not get a trip to the toyshop to exchange it but be told ”Tough: you wanted this” and learn to think before asking and acting, the Leavers who only wanted to send a message to the government and did not REALLY want to leave should take responsibility for their actions and stop behaving like infants letting the parents make all the decisions. They should grow up, stop believing the media and politicians and try to do their own research. The same applies to the Reflex-remain voters. It does not apply to the few who listened and tried to assess the evidence for each side of a very complex situation or those who had personal reasons for wanting to remain.
Tony Blair today showed the acceleration of the pace of political life today. He resigned years before the disaster caused by taking a course of action without planning, preparation or thinking caught up with him. For a similar disaster with similar causes David Cameron took 12 hours, Boris Johnson two days, The Labour shadow cabinet about three days and Nigel Farage about a week. At this rate we will soon have politicians resigning before they are elected.
The breakup of the United Kingdom is like the movement of a glacier, slow but unstoppable. Given the obvious dismay of the ”winners” in the referendum one has to ask whether the NO vote in the Scottish Independence referendum was actually desired. And that raises the question whether England is hanging on to Scotland not because of the oil, but from loss aversion and habit.
On a personal note: This so coming to you from Germany where I have secured work for hopefully at least six months so these notes may become less frequent.