Boris Johnson of course resigned recently, to no ones surprise. The man who agitated for Brexit by driving around in a bus with a lie on it, was of course too scared to become Prime Minister when what he agitated for came through. He was happy to leave such an important task to the Home Office minister who voted to remain – that is how much he cared. Because politics inspires trust and confidence, he was rewarded anyway, with the plum job of Foreign Secretary. And now he has quit at a time where he is driving the Brexit faction within the government and exposing how fractured his own government really is. That he is too weak to work within the system and too scared to lead it surprises no one. One would like to see him lead the country to a shambolic Brexit, but he would only do it if he had someone to blame when he fails.
Thus, the Brexit agitators remain in the perfect position – as victims. They know going for a hard Brexit will kill the country, but they can argue from the side that every deal is not going far enough. When it fails, their speeches and Op-Eds about not going far enough have already been written. There is no end point – so every potential deal is something for them to tear down on behalf of the “people”. This is the new political strategy for all. Find a topic that you can never reach an actual endpoint and bang on about it. Be the victim. It is always everyone elses fault. If it reminds you of a 4 year old child, you would not be wrong.
The UK continues to be an example of chaos, topped only by the fact that it is a barely relevant country, and that the US is most obviously getting worse faster. A once great country in the throngs of political division and opportunism, a better example of the potential trajectory of places like Australia.
Of course, this has culminated in the Brexit but was built long before then through the long wave of privatizations, extreme media, sweet deals for big business, and of course the standard government response to the financial crisis caused by reckless financiers of propping up their banks with public money, and reigning austerity down on the blameless people. But the Brexit vote was the real tipping point. Johnson and his lying bus wouldn’t contest the leadership and the leader of the minor party most agitating for change immediately quit. “This must happen – but I don’t want to do it”. Heroic efforts. If you could set the stage for a more ineffectual government that people would tire at quickly, to the point where they would want to blow the whole system up (or start a war to bring back nationalism), you could not set it up any better than the UK has right now. To make it even better, the legislation that no-one in parliament wants, has to pass the house of Lords, which is literally the house of unelected elites – what can you expect from a country that still celebrates the monarchy like it matters? The anti-elite revolt is set to continue, led of course by elites like Boris Johnson.
The Prime Minister – the unconvincing Theresa May, did not vote for Brexit, and is barely liked. The Conservative party is a shambles, and it seems like the Labour Party is too. Similarly to the US, we have big business elites who destroyed unions, deregulated financial products and opened markets now in change of shepherding through legislation supposedly for the angry lower classes. The NHS being decimated is merely a sidenote, even though it was supposed to be improved through Brexit. What a surprise that the government is is not quite finding the mark. And so, a Brexit that most of those in government can’t pretend to want or believe in languishes in 12 hour meetings that go no where, making fantastical demands of an EU that has no reason to compromise. Of course, this allows more air time for a minority of members agitating at the side to leak to the press and have their resignation pity parties. To what end?
The gradual voting shifts are becoming more obvious and problematic for a system that works poorly at the best of times. The party of the rural and poor was never the Tory party, and yet that is who they are suddenly charged with representing. Like wise in the US and in other democracies. They are responding by taking the votes and ramming through legislation to make everyone’s lives worse. The only breakthrough of the last 5 years is the discovery of how quickly politicians will change their minds (rhetorically at least) based on political opportunism. The depressing part is how quickly people will believe them even as they make matters worse. The Brexit won on a lie, but not enough people seem to care – there have been no political consequences. The only reason the Tory party members care, is because they don’t want to be leader to push it through. Because whoever gets to push it through is rewarded with uncovering the lie, unequivocally for all to see. Do you think the Murdoch Tabloids will go easy on them?
It’s easy to blame David Cameron for allowing the vote, which was a stupid decision at the time and remains stupid now. Like allowing Trump to go through the primary’s we often think that if we let the extremists get their way they will be silenced when they ultimately lose. But we underestimate how much the current trajectory is depressing for so many people, or how much influence the chaos of the media has on impacting peoples view. Change is something, compared to more of the same, which is nothing.
In the UK, the Labour party is half-assed the party of the mostly remain, although their history lies in protectionism, because they were always the party of the people. Like most parties of the left though, they have gradually sold out “the people” for privatization and big business. So no one really knows what they represent anymore. They are indicative of the crisis of the left – tepidly defending the status quo that made everyone so angry in the first place. Jeremy Corbyn seems radical, but he divides the party, and if he didn’t vote for Brexit, he certainly would have in the past. A protectionist tepidly leading the remainers, and a free marketer pushing through the Brexit. Boris Johnson is happy to watch it all burn from the sidelines like a true hero of the people.
No one in the Tory party wants to argue against Brexit, because it was the will of the people, but no one wants to push it through, because they will be responsible for the calamity. No one knows what the left represents. The only constant is Rupert Murdoch continuing to agitate everyone from his seat at the head of the media. That is a constant everywhere in the world. And so the UK marches faster forward into a government that represents no-one, and nothing, with no real alternatives, all whilst the edges get increasingly angry.
To what end?