Some thoughts on politics

Over the last few weeks we have witnessed an unprecedented upheaval in British politics. Who would have thought that something as simple as a referendum would have had such an effect? Party leaders (and would-be leaders) have been falling like dominoes. Currencies and stock markets have been swaying in the political wind. Is this the end of the world as we know it?

In times like these, our ship needs a captain with experience, nerve and determination. Someone who is prepared for bad weather and knows how to cope with it. But our leaders have failed us. The Prime Minister has resigned; the Leader of the Opposition has been rendered impotent by the mutiny of his crew. The ship is dead in the water while we wait for someone to actually take charge.

The problems began during the campaign, when they didn’t treat the voters as intelligent adults. We weren’t given cool calm opinions, let alone facts, on which to base our decision-making. Instead, we had dire warnings of disaster that nobody could take seriously. And some of us actually thought: if you can’t make a better case than that, then your side is probably rubbish.

And then they didn’t seem to realise that a referendum is not like an election. If you lose an election, you don’t have to implement the winning policies. But you have to implement the result of a referendum whether you like it or not. And the Remainers were so confident that they would win that they didn’t make a contingency plan… Big mistake, but understandable. What has shocked so many of us is that the Brexiters apparently didn’t have a plan either. So now nobody knows what to do – and as a result, some of those prophecies of disaster may become self-fulfilling.

For some time I’ve been wondering why I’ve become so disenchanted with politics. Now I know why.

11 thoughts on “Some thoughts on politics”

  1. The UK has many opportunities and many options that are far better than the status quo ante. Many are starting to materialise. However, the UK needs a steady hand at the moment to negotiate the UK’s exit from the EU. The two candidates, May and Leadsom, leave much to be desired. May has the toughness necessary, but her record has been less than stellar. Leadsom has the intelligence and offers a new approach, but she’s untested in political waters and this is not the time for the UK to have an amateur as PM.

  2. The brexiters couldn’t really have a plan because they were neither a political party or in government. All they could do was to outline what they thought might happen. As for information there was plenty for those who chose to look for it. As for them as needed spoon feeding…not so much. The only real challange to the Brexit side was on the £35bn EU contribution and that was just hair splitting.

  3. Christopher, your ‘tested on political waters’ criterion for a new PM hardly guarantees success. I see many PMs being too familiar with political solutions and unfamiliar with real-world problems. And negotiations with the EU will be stuffed with diplomats and lawyers, not politicians.

  4. Hi Deborah – good to see you back.

    I think the problem is that the Remain side was so confident that the electorate would be bamboozled into doing what their ‘leaders’ told them that they really never gave one single thought to the possibility that they might lose.

    To be ignored by the electorate is a very salutary lesson for all politicians and one they would do very well to learn – but I doubt they will.

    The problem is, as Jazz says, the Brexiters are an odd mixed bunch, with no power to do anything beyond make suggestions. But why would the mob who lost pay any attention to them? The Brexit campaign made both parties look quite foolish – so they are pfaffing around like headless chooks making themselves look even more inefficient than they already are.

    Personally, I think it’s about time for a shake up in politics all round the world and that those who consider they are masters to be reminded that are the servants of the people.

  5. Hi Boadicea – nice to know that you’re still around.

    Our political system needed an earthquake – if Brexit achieves an element of reform it will be worth it.

  6. Here’s a novel thought. All politicians are incompetent and unable to run the show despite us continually electing the self-serving, shallow barstewards. That is not the novel bit, but may I humbly suggest (only half in jest) that we return sovereign control of government in these times of crisis to Her Majesty and Phil the Bubble, which is She is the most experienced in affairs of state by a country mile having been in office for more than six decades and ticks all the PC boxes being a) a girlie and b) being a Mum several times over, although I’m not so sure about some of the offspring. Phil, on the other hand, would make an excellent incumbent in a new joint role of Foreign Secretary and Head of the Diplomatic Corps.

    Also, she has the gravitas and authority to put minnows like Junker and Tusk in their place with a single disdainful glance.


  7. I totally fail to understand the behaviour of Boris Johnson. He withdrew from the leadership race with an alacrity unparalleled. Why? Did Gove have more on him that would make his position untenable? After being the mayor of London one would have thought him up to the job? Can anyone offer any cogent theories? It appears all the serious contenders have disappeared into the woodwork!
    As the whole of Westminster appears to be a total shambles. Perhaps the best would be to have a snap general election and be done with it.
    And, whist they are at it, change to proportional representation. The two party system no longer seems to fit the bill for adequate representation of the people.
    Personally I would much prefer to see the use of plebiscites introduced. I am tired of governmental systems where the elected representatives do not implement the platforms on which they were elected. If Switzerland can do it, why can’t we?

    To be left with the choice of May or Leadsom (who the hell has ever even heard of her?) is a total bloody farce! A pity there is no facility in British elections for ‘write in’ candidates, there should be.
    Amusing really the May/Leadsom choice is as about repellent as the Trump/Clinton selection. Talk about Scylla and Charybdis!

  8. I like Peter Hitchens’ perspective on all the political upheaval. ‘The Conservatives are in disarray’ … Good! —‘Labour is unraveling’ … Good! —‘Brexit may cause other EU countries to leave’ … Good!

  9. Yes, CO, the speed of Boris’s fall from political credibility, if not grace was astonishing, but some might think he has only himself to blame. The newspapers in the immediate aftermath of the referendum result all tell much the same story: Boris maintaining that the UK could have ‘the best of both worlds’, i.e continued access to the single market, while freeing ourselves from the European Court of Justice, introducing an Ozzy points system for immigrants etc. That touching fantasy was immediately shot down by the EU. What’s more it implanted the suspicion in the minds of us real-world Brexiteeers, resigned to being shut out, probably indefinitely, from the EUSSR’s quaintly-called single market, that Boris was being less than sincere, that he had maybe hijacked the Brexit campaign and that quisling-like he was intent on quietly restoring the status quo, using the referendum result to extract a few more concessions from the EU, and supplanting Cameron as PM. Right or wrong, Boris put himself off-Brexit message, on the wrong side of history, and, more immediately, the wrong side of the wild man of genuine wholehearted Brexit – Michael Gove – who less astonishingly also proceeeded to self-destruct by creating a high-speed head-on collision with Boris.

    Self-destruction seems the fashion among the Government elite right now, what with Dave and now Andrea doing the same, then grubby would-be philandering ‘family man’ Stephen Crabbe. It can only be a matter of time before Theresa joins them, maybe proposing that a Supreme Sharia court be tacked onto the back of the Old Bailey…

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