Tuesday, 27 November 2018
Treachery on Tour
I once tried to make a living as a salesman. Sharp suit, company car and all the spiel... it was disastrous and cost me a great deal of dignity and self-esteem. I hated it so intensely that my weekends were spent dreading Monday. My problem? I just didn’t believe in what I was selling and knew that a large part of the price was because of the advertising and the fleet of gab-gifted salesmen needed to try and part businesses from hard-earned profits in return for products which, in all honesty, they could get much cheaper elsewhere.
So I really feel for the embarrassing parade of Maybots appearing in the media, backing the atrocious sell-out of a deal. Theresa’s Travesty as it may become known, or The Dog’s Brexit. Now, by all accounts the Prime Minister is to travel the country to try to get the electorate on board with her 'deal'. I can’t think of anything more likely to turn hearts and minds against Theresa May than Theresa May herself. If only she could channel Margaret Thatcher and embark on a tub-thumping, peasant-rousing, anti-EU tour to stir up as much antipathy to the whole project as she can.
But that’s not the plan, is it? It seems clear now that the direction of travel is to preach against no-deal (the actual leaving of the EU, which was voted for) and to frame the choice as her deal or another option. That other option either being remain, which could result in riots, or a second referendum which, whatever the outcome, could result in riots. It could have all been so much simpler had successive governments heeded the concerns of those who voted them into power. When Parliament no longer represents the people, what is the point of representative democracy?
The political classes are of one voice when it comes to their calling out of ‘the rise of the far right’, or when they are being slightly more generous, decrying the spectre of populism. But what is populism if not a cry for help? Voting to leave the EU was intended to remove an excuse, to deny our treacherous ‘leaders’ the option of blaming it on a supranational power. The next step must be to remove from office all those who appear to be unwilling to take responsibility. If you are voted in to represent your constituents concerns but you then hide behind party unity, then we must attack the party system.
Next election what say we refuse to vote for all sitting MPs and vote on a non-party basis for new candidates, based entirely on what they, not their party are selling. It will make little difference that we will end up with a ramshackle coalition of some kind because the Uncivil Service will maintain continuity anyway; Belgium managed without a government for the best part of two years recently and Italy spent decades with revolving door administrations and both are still here. But it might be a start. I say ‘might’...
For the last twenty years at least I've felt as if I were watching a dystopian post-apocalyptic movie about a society whose rulers genuinely lived on another planet, out of touch, out of reach, but with all the power. The extra-terrestrial, May, has brokered a deal which is even worse than many of her critics think because although no-deal means we start with a clean slate we begin from a position of total regulatory alignment for trade; accepting this deal binds our hands forever and makes all future trade dependent on politics, first and foremost.
If you can't define it, can't explain it and
need to sell it, it's not worth saving.
Where is our Churchill? And don’t say Boris – his rebuttal of May’s deal was self-congratulatory, waffly and full of piffle – even Churchill would say it was overwrought. Right now, whatever you think of him, Tommy Robinson probably has more credibility than most MPs. We need to elect not just the ballot stuffers for discredited parties but genuine, patriotic, energetic agents for change. Let’s look beyond the sales pitch see what a whole new Parliament can achieve – it can hardly be worse than what we have now.