The Politics of ...

The Politics of ...

Monday, 22 February 2016

Judging the Fancy Dress Costume Competition

We might have to save Dave's bacon...

It's not something that will sit well with people, especially people like me who have suffered from the austerity program, but the threat of something much worse looms.

If Britain votes to pull out of the EU, we'll end up with a far right wing led Tory party that will make Cameron and Osborne seem reasonable and almost benevolent. The reason we'll end up with that is not only will we be free of those pesky benefits of being in Europe, we'll also lose the PM and any chance of Gideon becoming the next PM. That looks like a brilliant idea; get rid of the Eton scumbags; except can you imagine a country run by Michael Gove, Theresa May and a PM who looks like a special needs albino dandelion and believe the welfare state is still far too bloated. Imagine a country without an NHS and the state pension abolished after a certain period, so that everyone in the country will either have to arrange a private pension or get nothing when they choose to retire, or never retire as the case will be.

That's probably where this Tory party will take us, but under Cameron and co that might not happen for another 10 years; under Boris, Gove and the wife of the 'owner' of G4S 'reforms' will happen much faster and anything that hasn't been privatised will be. This isn't me scaremongering, go and look at some of these people's speeches and their ideology, if you can be bothered, and see just how extreme some of them are.

I'll give you an example of how the world has changed in the last 15 years. Glenn Hoddle was sacked as England football team manager because his religious belief told him that disabled people could be sinners in a previous life. This was blown out of all proportion, Hoddle - a deeply religious man - was castigated by all sides and his career was effectively destroyed. The Tory party via their evil and Draconian Prove You Are Disabled charter is pretty much blaming the disabled for being disabled and charging their relatives with the sole responsibility of their care. In a world that should be civilised, people with limbs missing are being asked questions that suggest their inability to grow arms or legs back is their fault and not the government's or any of the 'tax' payers - which it isn't, but society does have a moral obligation to look after those who can't look after themselves, or are people suggesting we just leave the disabled to die in their own filth, ignored by people? Ian Duncan Smith would probably be called Hagbastard Thorngristle in a Dickens novel and be far more vile than any of Dickens's creations could ever have been.

The EU has protected us from the Tories persecuting everyone who doesn't have a chance. The only thing a vote to come out will do is allow them to 'legally' screw you over.

So, we need to support the man with a penchant for all things porcine; we need to keep him in power for a few more years at least. As abhorrent as that sounds, I'd rather have Dave than a seriously dangerous group of neo-Nazis that stand to his far right.

The sad thing about this is my own party should be strong and Corbyn should act like a PM - he might have, but we'll never see it. What Corbyn needs to do is hold Cameron to ransom; he needs to Francis Urquhart him and it might be Corbyn's honesty that prevents Labour from gaining much ground from this referendum.

Imagine what shocks it would cause if Jeremy stood up and said, "Do you know something, after much debate and 1000s of emails (from Rose, Nigel, Steve, Dawn...), I think Labour will side with the Brexit vote. We should leave the EU and go it alone." What it would do is totally galvanise the Brexit vote and tip the scales towards all the things I forecast; so why am I even suggesting it?

Imagine what would happen if Jeremy arranged a private meeting with Cameron - as he is allowed to as HMLotO - and said, "We have to come to some new understandings or Labour will back the Brexit. You have to ensure several, if not all, of my demands are met or you'll be out of work before I am." Dave could tell him to sod off, but this referendum is no longer just about our position in the world, it is about the battle for power of the Conservative party and about who will be in #10 a week/month after the result.

Labour could achieve some things - reversal of planned changes to boundaries; guarantees against tax credit cuts; getting the press to back off - heck Labour could take a truckload of demands and handle negotiations in a far more hard-nosed way than Cameron could ever imagine, but they probably won't and you have to ask yourself how someone who doesn't run the country and has no hope of running the country can work that one out but the people wanting to run the country haven't? This might have happened and Dave might be confident we'll stay in; but he doesn't look it and no one trusts polls any more.

This might be a time of scary uncertainty, but it's also a time for real serious politics; stuff like this is how deals for the benefit of good are often struck. Voting to come out of Europe, especially now doesn't make us safe, it makes us alone with no guaranteed allies. Honestly, do you think if Britain stuck two fingers up to the rest of Europe by reinforcing and expressing every xenophobe's disdain, that anywhere in Europe is going to be rushing to negotiation tables for anything? Really? You might say 'but they'll need us and our money' and you might be right; but I'll bet they wouldn't mind some of Russia's money, but they don't need it. Remember that - THEY DON'T NEED IT.

Monday, 8 February 2016

My Instincts Are Probably Wrong, But...

I was round a friend's house last night, dropping off a data stick and enjoying a chat and a coffee - we both like to put the world to rights. Last night, I forecast that David Cameron would be gone sooner rather than later. It was a throwaway comment - more hopeful than informed - but my instincts have been pretty sharp in recent years, especially about politics and a little later, without the jest, I made the forecast again.

I said something along these lines: the general ignorance, xenophobia and cold-heartedness of middle England is sad because our society will allow exceptions which makes them seem like hypocrites but somehow that'll be okay or will be written off as 'diversity'. The establishment is moving the people to the right by feeding us a diet of fear and more people are being suckered in while offence is being tolerated more often.

It's easier now to nod in agreement when someone moans about the amount of 'migrants' or 'foreigners' coming into the country than to try and argue with them. People no longer care about facts, they just want to believe someone who agrees with them.

I reckon the country will vote us out of Europe by as much as 65% (maybe more) and within two years 'I Told You So' will be the most recognisable political phrase used by the remaining 35%. What the 'Out' brigade can't seem to get their heads around is as far as Europe will be concerned we would become Russia - big, lucrative but not part of the team.

People and governments don't seem to realise that if they did something the rest of Europe didn't like they'd get sanctions. That's trade sanctions; the prevention of certain things being imported or a ban on exports and, of course, as we've learned from Russia, sanctions are tolerated and help breed even more fanatical nationalism.

Can you imagine Theresa May getting the UK Bill of Rights passed to replace the Human Rights Act? Can you imagine the rest of the civilised world's reaction to something more akin to North Korea? Do not accuse me of being a scaremonger unless you can give me a single concrete reason to change the current rights of humans to something that suits the state more than the individual.

Pulling out of Europe would cause another Scottish referendum and this time they'd go and be queuing in Brussels asking to join before David Dimbleby's breakfast. Despite what you might think, there would be many in Northern Ireland - devout Loyalists - who would consider ceding from the UK because much of NI's trade and economic resurgence has been through its deals with Europe and not the rest of the UK. Things aren't perfect in NI, but they are brilliant compared to what they were and that isn't just down to a peace agreement, it's because NI is a good place to live - economically. Imagine the damage Europe not dealing with us so favourably would have there. And, ironically, we can complain about all those nasty migrants flooding into our country, what would we do if 2 million Loyalists had to be repatriated? I know, it's not ever likely to happen, countries simply don't move entire nations into hostile environments...

The aftermath of it would be more than a disaster for whoever the PM is because if we vote to come out I reckon Cameron will quit. He'd have to because whether he's a puppet or his own man he's not going to want to be known as the PM who oversaw the downfall of the United Kingdom (he'd rather George got that award) - I believe he understands pride. This would mean a fight between Gideon Osborne, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and A.N. Other to become PM and the simple fact that whoever claimed the prize would be accepting a decaying poison chalice would inevitably force them into a General Election and for two reasons: 1) If the establishment doesn't want us to leave Europe because of the inevitable damage it would cause and 2) to simply get a mandate to begin to run the country like a totalitarian dictatorship which oppresses the poor and disenfranchised - because they are a drain on society and people's ability to work - and gives the rest enough money to always want for more.

So, 21st Century USA is the model the Tories are aiming for and one wonders, quite simply, what Tories' problems with the poor, disenfranchised and unfortunate is? By all means target the feckless, lazy and criminal; but why think everyone is trying it on? I meet so many genuine people in need, I simply can't understand how a government can treat them so contemptuously.

Part of the problem is that our schoolchildren are taught a curriculum that doesn't reflect the needs of the 21st century child, so we are breeding an increasing number of apathetic worker drones who thrive on a diet of mindless 'entertainment' and political apathy; political activists probably convert as many people as JWs do. Therefore what is needed is something being changed in schools; perhaps making the teaching of politics compulsory, like Maths and English, because and quite simply, politics is one thing that affects everyone everyday even if they're not aware of it. Kids need to understand why we have politics rather than be made to hate it and think it's anachronistic and something old people do. But, of course, the existential problem with teaching school kids about politics is how do make it unbiased; how do you ensure your teachers are being fair and balanced and not secretly indoctrinating the youth into a future violent revolution? You can't. I'm being melodramatic, but people have opinions, even teachers, and regardless of what you might think I've never met one who hasn't expressed one in a classroom, playground or dining hall.

The solution is simple; you employ a politically diverse trio of politics teachers and you divide the students political year into three terms: Autumn/Winter: Conservatives (and all the right wing); Winter/Spring: Socialism/Labour (and all the left wing) and Summer: Liberalism and extremism (because a liberal is the best placed person to be objective about extremism).

I've wildly digressed, but there is a point hiding in there and that is with exception of a referendum, fewer people every year are voting; a large percentage of those not voting are the young and the disenfranchised - probably two groups that need a fairer society. We are relying more and more on career politicians, all playing their own mental version of Celebrity PM, while less people get involved in the ultimate decision making. What is scary is the fear being generated by the Right at the thought of a fair-minded man being in charge of the country. Have the Tories learned nothing from history? Humans don't like oppression and eventually they rise up against it. Have the Tories ever wondered why there are only ever riots when they're in power? Or the mass marches in London tend to be when a Tory government is around (or a Blair one, which is pretty much the same thing). What often happens when a society becomes a bit fairer is the majority of the people are happy; it tends to be the greedy that ruin it for everyone else.

What we need are future generations that will make the right decisions for the people not for a few and that will only happen if we teach kids how important having an understanding of politics is, but more importantly, how to look for fair and unbiased opinion and coverage, because mainstream media news is no longer unbiased and benefits from the nuances of deceit developed by the entertainment industry.

I don't know if there are any politicians in the country who believe that everything about it needs an overhaul and that we should be investing in a country to still be great in 100 years, because your grand and great grand kids will want a world for their children and not a capitalist wasteland of inequality, hate and mistrust.