But while we’re waiting, we can improve the hygiene in Casualty

Me22616If any politicians emerge in the next few months to tell us they can “heal the divisions in Britain’s culture”, don’t believe them. One – Stephen Crabb – is already pushing that line, but we established here yesterday that he’s a tapioca pudding, so that’s him out of the running. The task for any Waspis who choose to accept it is to ensure his humiliation….and hope that somebody wins the leadership who’ll fire him immediately. The one thing above all that Brexit brought into sharp focus was that Britain is now, irreversibly in the medium term, four nations.

8% at one end are neoliberal fanatics out to create a corporate State.

12% at the other end are socialist diehards whose mantra is, “the answer’s socialism, now what’s the question?”

30% in the middle are the desperate poor rendered apolitically cynical by the neolithic ideologies of the other two.

50% are what I call The Habitually Near-Sighted. Some are young and too lazy to vote, some are smug Tories in the South East, some are muddled SNP leave/joiners, a few are Old Labour getting older, and quite a lot are UKIP.

I call them near-sighted because either they never read about what the EU gets up to, or they never travel to the Northern end of Britain, or they’re  over 75, or they think Nigel Farage walks on water. All those afflictions are strongly suggestive of tertiary myopia.

This last group has been – to coin a phrase – tabloidised. They see an MP murdered by an alleged far Right extremist, and are put off voting Brexit. They read some crap by Con Coughlin in the Telegraph, and become convinced that the EU is the only thing stopping Putin from heading straight for Dover. They listen as David Cameron says their pensions are at risk, and come down firmly on the side of Remain. They see a letter signed by fifty economists (none of whom saw 2008 coming) and conclude that the safe bet is to stay as we are.

I’m always struck by their tendency to describe themselves as “too busy” for news analysis, while marvelling  their encyclopaedic knowledge about Game of Thrones. They begin a discussion on the Greek crisis with the words, “Course, you’ve got to see it from the Germans’ viewpoint – they want their money back”. Asked about Jihadists, they describe them as nutters who must be wiped out….having four years earlier been talking darn the pub about the Arab Spring ‘dividend’. Many of them thought Tony Blair was wonderful in 1997, and David Cameron had all the right ideas in 2010. They describe Boris Johnson as “a bloke just like us”, and Nigel Farage as “the only man on our side”.

The only sub-group within this half of the electorate that has been enthused by an idea and made things happen in the last five years is UKIP. They are also the only new force in the last fifty years that has taken support from both major Parties with any degree of consistency. They certainly aren’t (in my experience) the ‘fascistscumracistbigot’ stereotypes trotted out by the Left’s venom-spitters; but having established that they want to ‘take back control’ of the country, they’ve little or nothing to say beyond that. They seem more fixated with the past than the future.

I don’t see anything wrong with that per se – let’s face it, almost anything would be better than where we are – but the Party needs to take on cerebral heavyweights (and get a new leader) if it wants to move beyond where it is now.  Without more solid, inclusive ideas about the future, UKIP’s core support will (literally) be dead within fifteen years.

The problem, however, is that the two sets of ideological major Party zealots have the biggest mouths, the most seats in Parliament, the most money, and the best access to mass media.

As a result of this, they can peddle the ‘no alternative’, ‘smash capitalism’, ‘Little Englander’, ‘multicultural’, ‘global world’ or ‘institutional racism’ simplistics of propaganda non-stop; and if the giant middle of England is tabloidised with little mind of its own, they will be seen to represent ‘real Britain’.

Both sets of Beeeleeeevers long ago left any empirical analysis of reality far behind, and the vast majority of them are self-assuredly ignorant about behavioural science, the shadow banking system, neuroanatomy, social anthropology, breakthroughs in physics, discoveries within cerebral science, 3-D printing and above all, anything beyond their immediate experience.

There is no way (until they’ve died and gone to wherever they expect to go) these troublesome priests can heal the divisions created by redundant ideology, because they’re the ideologists whose survival in power depends on keeping the war going.

Indeed, over the years since 2010 the signs have been very much those of a neoliberal oligarchy determined to neuter the Law, the police, the electoral rules and the liberties of the British citizen. Legal aid has gone, the BBC has been penetrated, Newscorp continues to be above the law, the powerful escape prosecution, and those who speak out fall foul of Theresa May’s Orwellian nonsense about ‘non-violent extremists’.

Or put another way, Camerlot was determined to equate everything they peddled as Truth.

I wish I could suggest the Left is any different, but I can’t. If anything, Labour’s tabloidisation of events is even worse: Jo Cox is dead, Nigel Farage caused her death; the EU has stopped European Wars, therefore it is to be preserved at any price; Migrants are all deserving cases, there should be no entry limits; the Queen is a privileged old leech; taking our Sovereignty back will isolate us in the world; and if you want to leave the EU, you’re a nasty old bigot who we cannot help but feel antagonistic towards.

If you can see even the remotest chance of any mind-meld between those two Groupthinks, then you’re a better man that I, Mr Spock.

I wish I had a solution to it, but I don’t….beyond time – which is, history shows us, the only thing likely to heal wounds: and even time is far from infallible.

You’ve seen and read my personal long-term view so many times now, there’s no point in repeating it here. In fact, at the age of 68 I am bound to observe that blogging on any topic is a classic case of diminishing returns. So all one can do is move on to a focus upon any and all strategies and tactics aimed at making a ghastly situation a little better. These I would summarise as:

  1. Keeping Gove out of Number Ten: that way lies Murdoch, and yet more zealotry
  2. Scoring a goal against at least one plank of Tory policy while the Party is all over the place. I think the Waspi women have more potential than most to achieve this, but as long as they’re led by people from Abilgail’s party, it just isn’t going to happen
  3. Coming down hard on any Establishment attempt to drag its feet on Article 50
  4. Specifically within 3, supporting Andrea Leadsom as a leadership candidate
  5. Supporting Jeremy Corbyn against Fat Labour’s pernicious coup.

These may seem random scattergun priorities, but they  aren’t: my urgency remains the same – to defeat a divisive, ideology-blinded Establishment by any and all means possible.

Enjoy your Saturday, pray for the Welsh soccer team, and don’t miss Germany v Italy tonight: it should be a cracker.


Recently at The Slog: 50 years of political failure skewered in one Referendum