Tuesday, 28 June 2016

We ALL want our country back.

What a week. I've found myself agreeing with Laurie Penny's perspective on events, the winners of the Referendum seem to have scored an own goal and backtracked on their campaign commitments and both main political parties seem to be spontaneously combusting.

The Telegraph is reporting on the economic chaos with portents of Doom - all initiated by it's protege Boris Johnson who founded his coup on annihilating the cartoon caricature of the EU that he painstakingly thrust down our throats via his weekly column. Yet Boris is now advocating a Free Trade deal with free movement - otherwise known as what he campaigned against, but without the benefits of membership. The world has gone mad.

Of course, some Leavers still genuinely think we are going to "push" the EU for a good deal. The reality however is very different:-

Of course, Cameron should have known better than to offer a Referendum, but he needed to retain as much support from the Eurosceptics as possible to win a majority last year. Some believe he assumed the LibDems would still have sufficient power to vote down a Referendum Bill - but it was a massive gamble and one he has paid for with his job - and perhaps his legacy. If we break with Europe, it looks likely that Scotland will demand another Independence Referendum and he will have not one, but two schisms on his epitaph.

It was said the other day that usually working class revolts are not led by people like Boris Johnson and Michael Gove. I would argue that the leaders of the Leave campaign did nothing of the sort - they used the anti-immigration vote to topple Cameron, their motive was totally self-motivated, purely power seeking. Boris certainly didn't want to Leave, it was a useful banner to motivate those who have felt disenfranchised, ignored and abandoned, people he cares little for and his flippant column yesterday was evidence of this. Trump's campaign used the same strategy.  It's not many months since he was publicly advocating remaining in the EU either.

It is a fact that the Conservative vote changed little during the course of the campaign. It was a 10% swing of Labour voters who saw their opportunity to "stick it to the man" after years of cuts which cost Cameron his Remain win. This group believe Corbyn is their leader, but could not back a Remain vote. Blaming much of the pain of austerity on rising population due to immigration rather than an ageing population and a contraction of public services, they needed a scapegoat. Boris gave them one - and Farage rubbed his hands in glee. Corbyn was caught in the middle, left fighting for a campaign he did not associate with and there is emerging evidence that Corbyn attempted to sabotage his own LabourIn campaign, something I find highly likely. He has no love of Europe.

This is where Corbyn is such an anomaly. Voted in by a system which gives enormous weight to the party electorate over Westminster he really is a man of many people- but his role is to lead his party, which in Westminster consists of elected MPs, in opposition to the elected government.  And now facing an overwhelming Vote of No Confidence he's dug his heels in further. But it's not that he doesn't understand or respect the system, he's not part of it - and doesn't want to be. 

I actually doubt ‪#‎Corbyn‬ is going anywhere. He rather likes the idea of bringing the establishment down. I respect his commitment to those who elected him leader, but his mandate went beyond heading up the swathes of disenfranchised people currently unrepresented at Westminster. If he wanted the job of providing an opposition to Her Majesty's government he would have quit since that post is clearly untenable. No one survives two thirds of their cabinet resigning - but he's not "surviving", he's leading an internal revolution - at least in his head. 

So we are left with political chaos and economic uncertainty. Sterling has crashed - although recovered slightly - and the markets are in Bear mode once again. The Labour party is on the brink of splitting, with a revolutionary leader who believes he is the voice of the people - people who have voted for more cuts, another recession, and ironically a further right wing government than they have endured the past year. If nothing else, I hope a new era of politics might dawn as a result of this bonfire of vanities. We might not have a plan, we might be up a creek without the proverbial paddle - but one thing we all know is that we've had enough of soundbites, of electioneering,  of being lied to,  conned and used by power-seeking careerists politicians. It's time for change.

Thus we find ourselves in a stalemate. There is no one with any political power at Westminster with any stomach for leaving the EU. Meanwhile the war continues in Syria, the migrant crisis persists and Matthew Elliott, CEO of the Vote Leave campaign reckons we all need a holiday. 

As if. 

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