The Politics of ...

The Politics of ...

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Can we Trust Politics Now?

£350 million to be redirected to the NHS.
A points-based immigration system and a block on unwanted foreigners.
The scrapping of VAT on fuel.

These are just three of the promises made by the Brexit campaign to woo voters to opt for leave. Three Brexit pledges made, supposedly in good faith and all three disregarded and now seen as lies by some people - but not all, some people still believe the country has made the best decision.

Is there any suggestion that the Brexit campaign should, in some way, be held responsible for the mess we could be in. Or even a call for a report on how people were mislead about certain aspects or even the simple fact that the 'powers that be' were so convinced we would vote Remain, they had no actual plan.

So we stumble almost blindly into the unknown and the pressure is growing for an actual action increases. The feeling I'm getting from the other 19 members of the recent G20 summit appear to be one of 'don't expect any favours' and that doesn't surprise me. This advisory referendum has become an edict which threatens the economic stability of the world or that's how some people view it.

The fact that David Davis - the Brexit bloke - has said the country has to work with the other EU countries to work out the best trade deals given that another one of the key points of the Brexit campaign was the inability for us an EU member to strike up deals outside of the EU, suggests to me that some of our politicians haven't got a clue about how things work and are just making stuff up as they go along.

To be fair, I was actually struggling to criticise the May administration, but that might have be down to the fact they appear to have realised the country is all politicked out, so they were just keeping their heads below the pulpit. Then the reintroduction of grammar schools made me realise that the drive backwards to Victorian times was just delayed.

People are fed up with it all - politics, that is - and no more so than Labour supporters who, to the uninformed, are members of a chaotic warring party with no interest in government when they can destroy themselves instead and generate all the headlines while the Tories get little or no coverage of their master plan - if it isn't particularly fair or just.

The Brexit vote was a protest vote; the problem was it was a protest against no one really knows what. The government? Europe? Politicians? The establishment? Goats?

Some people seemed to think that by voting Leave they were emancipating themselves and forcing the government to realise they wanted an end to austerity and a return to prosperity; the problem was the government and all politicians didn't listen, won't listen and we won't see things get better for the average person. For them it was never about and should never be about that - the poor and disenfranchised are pretty much collateral damage - just ask Gideon.

Last week businesses were suggesting our food bills will ultimately rise and some suggested they might move their businesses to Europe, because of costs (over profits... see, for the rich Brexit is nothing more than logistics). This means the salads you used to buy that were locally grown by local farmers, will be grown in Poland by  those (no longer) 'local' farmers, who relocated to ensure they can continue in business (while paying staff much less than they would have to here). One man on telly the other day - a grower of iceberg lettuces - showed how prices for his product have dropped by 50% in the last 15 years and he was 100% sure that prices would now have to increase - because of everything from the devaluation of the £ to the unease amongst the people they banked on getting their crops in.

Some people think it's a price worth paying. My guess is those people will be making money either way. Other people - your average Joes of life - will also think it's a price worth paying for our 'independence' and you tell them that things will get worse because of it and they are unfazed, like less for more won't affect them.

To quote a friend, 'we live in a post-expert world' and if the referendum is anything to go by this is totally correct, except that isn't strictly true because now everyone is an expert - based on faith and feeling rather than anything rational or learnt. Politicians are now hard targets and, outside of the glossed over media, people are just growing angry with nothing seemingly happening to change their lives.

If Fred Bloggs thinks or feels something this becomes far more important than actual fact. Social media has made people remarkably self-aware and it has made some people think that by giving the public access to comment, their voice is as important as anyone else's, despite it just being a grain of sand on a country-sized beach. However, link these individual commentators with a common theme - xenophobia in this particular case - and you are no longer an individual, you have become a movement. Even if you're not.

People want something to change - even the Remain vote acknowledge this - but more importantly, people in depressed areas expect positive change (ironically unaware, it seems, that any money they received in the past 40 years was largely down to the EU and not their own governments) and if that doesn't happen then who knows how they will react. I'm not suggesting we're going to have riots or mass insurrection, but since Brexit some people have shown their true colours and the unprecedented rise in hate crime hasn't really been addressed by holidaying, coke-sniffing, allotment-tending, rent-boy leasing or Swiss mountain visiting politicians. People are now being murdered because they're foreign. People being abused in cafes, bus stops, pubs and on the street because of a different language, a hijab, a beard, anything that some idiots find unBritish.

I remember 'Paki-bashing' from the 1970s. Not just gangs of skinheads, but average people, getting involved in fascistic activities because they didn't have the emotional intelligence to accept people from different cultures. No wonder there are a huge number of people out there more interested in war than peace.

Decent and seemingly honest politicians all over the world are vilified by the corporate overlords who probably really run the world and yet we hear that politicians like George Osborne showed nothing but contempt for people who didn't vote for his party and even suggested that helping the poor only creates more Labour voters... Surely being an MP gives you the responsibility of care for all the electorate, not just your mates? Jeremy Corbyn, whatever his faults are, isn't being attacked for his desire for a fairer society, he's being attacked for everything else. The media isn't that stupid, they ignore the policies that might get people thinking and focus on anything that is bad. Because people, especially now, want the shit; the shit is interesting, helping some 'scrounging single-parent disabled lesbian' isn't.

Politics has stopped being about you because you stopped caring about the big picture, this allowed politics to become an almost elitist privilege and cemented the rift between 48% of the population and the people they view as only in it for themselves. Perhaps this was the ultimate goal, to reduce the voting electorate to the bare bones by convincing people it isn't worth voting for any of them as it only encourages them more? The lower the turn out the higher the chance of a Tory victory.

Political attrition has been going on for nearly 40 years and we now have no trust in politicians to do the right thing for the country and its people.