One of the problems with the Brexit issue in the United Kingdom which is also a problem I believe for other -formerly open – democratic countries especially in the Northern Hemisphere is that it has been led and is being driven by the those in power who display an abundant talent for stupidity.
In the past and certainly throughout history we in Britain have seen what the result of being “led by donkeys” leads to.
Yes the Battle of Waterloo may as the Duke of Wellington is claimed to have said “been won on the playing fields of Eton” – which incidentally has never been proven to be anything but a myth.
What is certain is that it displayed the attitude – remember he is also alleged to have said that his troops “were the scum of the earth” – that the aristocratic families of the 17th and 18th centuries held namely that they were born to and entitled to rule.
It was so ingrained in them that they saw no point in changing the way they acted and if ever there was an example of their self absorbed intransigence it was their complete failure to be prepared when WW1 broke out.
‘Horses against cannons’ will always result in the same way.
In modern day parlance ‘thoughts and prayers against bullets’ will always have the same tragic outcome.
Things changed somewhat in 1832 – bloody French having a revolution and becoming a republic or as the British aristocracy saw it “see chaps you simply cannot trust these Johnny Foreigner peasant types” – as fear spread through their ranks that it could happen in England.
And make no mistake this is more of an English than a United Kingdom issue.
The aristocrat monopoly of Government was gradually seen to being eroded but in fine Darwinian fashion they strengthened their position and re-invented themselves by marrying and absorbing into their ranks the new and very wealthy industrial families.
The result was the combination of the aristocratic inherited upper classes and the wealthy industrial class becoming one which allowed the former to not only become even wealthier but perhaps most importantly hold on to the reigns of power.
Including of course increasing their wealth by the simple ploy of convincing “the masses” that they as the wealth creators are those who are providing jobs and therefore looking after the interests of all.
And “the masses” have fallen for it for decades if not centuries.
So where has this brought us to in the 21st Century
Well those who were originally the innovators driving the industrial revolution, ambitions and enterprise to venture out across the globe are the new aristocrats who send their children off to Eton and such like institutions of learning whilst amassing a fortune by doing absolutely nothing leaving it in the hands of hedge fund managers and speculators.
Which of course means they have time to spare – unlike the “ordinary hard working people” they are so fond of talking about.
The only thing left for them to do then is to go into Government and hence we have the likes of Rees-Mogg, Johnston, Hammond, Cameron (now departed), Gove and May running the country.
In fact apart from hoping to win the national lottery it seems the easiest way to become a wealthy millionaire in the United Kingdom today is to become a Member of Parliament.
As a slight digression and to alleviate the fears that I am only criticising and accusing the Conservatives of being solely driven by their own self- interest it applies equally to the other political parties.
It has always been a wonder to me that people who are moderately well off – what we would call Middle Class – and some we would call working class after being a Member of Parliament on a salary of circa £82,000 for a relatively short time in terms of a working life are at the end of it very wealthy people.
However back to the subject which is this:
Waterloo, WW1, WW2 all of the conflicts since and the industrial wealth and power of the British Empire as it was known was not won on the playing field of Eton or in the wealthy stately homes or even in the Westminster corridors of power that the wealthy elite occupy.
It was all won on the ground by people from the back streets of Manchester, London, Liverpool, Glasgow and cities, towns and villages throughout the British Islands.
It was won by men and women who came from all walks of life “the scum of the earth” they may have been but they were “scum” who were prepared to write a blank cheque to their country which would be paid by many of them with their lives either on the battle field or through working in fatal industrial conditions and living in extreme poverty and poor housing conditions.
What is also certain is that Brexit and the promises based on lies that the political Brexiteers are continuing to espouse of a better life for all in the United Kingdom once we have shaken free of the yolk of the European Union will only be realised by the modern day people from the “playing fields of Eton”
And the price as before will be paid by the “scum of the earth”.
Unless that is once Brexit has been settled the people decide that they will hold those responsible to account declare a revolution and through the ballot box send them on their way.
It can be done and was in 1945 when Labour won a resounding and surprising – or at least to the Conservative Party – overwhelming landslide victory.
Mind you the same happens again in 1997 when Tony Blair became Prime Minister but in hindsight all that happened was that a radical Tory Government was replaced by a less-radical Conservative Government.
I can hear the cries of anguish now from the establishment supporters and especially the Conservatives that this would lead to and that I’m suggesting that we have a totalitarian socialist republic.
They will no doubt point to the fact that -Adolf Hitler (when they panic they always drag Hitler out as a back stop argument) – was also democratically elected and look how that turned out.
What they fail to recognise or understand is that there is such as thing as democratic socialism that is absolutely in accord with holding a liberal democratic approach to how Government should be available to and support everyone.
It is an attitude and approach that gave us a universal health system in the National Health Service which would not have happened had the right wing Conservatives had their way in 1945.
In fact we are seeing their descendants systematically undermining, underfunding and dismantling the NHS today before our very eyes.
So what about claims that a social liberal democratic economic revolution would lead to being no more than a socialist totalitarian state.
Well whatever the flaws in the British democracy the one thing the public would not accept is a totalitarian state for the simple reason that they continue to hang on to the illusion that whoever is the Government they that MP’s generally still act as their representatives.
And if there is one thing the British people love more than an illusion it is believing in an illusion that the United Kingdom on the world stage is still a great nation – and why not didn’t we have the largest empire ever known and besides that we also have nuclear weapons –
The illusion that the “Old Commonwealth” will always come to assist us in our hour of need.
The illusion that everyone is equal within the law and that justice will be delivered equally and the truth will always prevail.
The illusion that all of our politicians – across all parties – have entered parliament to do what is in the best interest of everyone across the Nation.
The illusion that we remain a tolerant caring and welcoming society to those in need of a safe refuge.
The illusion …
I think you may have got the message by now.
And it is exactly what the devout – some might say deviant – Political Brexiteers have relied on and continue to rely on – that the British people see “independence and taking back control” not as an illusion – which it certainly is – but as something that can and will be achieved.
As for the argument that a liberal socialist democratic state will be totalitarian well let’s look at the divination of totalitarian:
It is a system of Government that is centralised and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state.
Or in other words, do as we say because we are the Government and we are the law.
Which brings me neatly back to democracy in the United Kingdom :
We currently have a Government and Leader who are complicit with their supporters in the media and in their own Members of Parliament who accuse the judiciary of being “Enemies of the People” claiming that Government has authority over and is above the law.
And what has the judiciary done to deserve such approbation?
Well they had the temerity to tell the Conservative Government that it is Parliament that is Sovereign and that whilst they can legally proceed with Brexit they have to do so under the constitution and within the law.
The law – judiciary – quite correctly has made it clear that it is the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary that is sacrosanct not the Government.
We have in the UK a Government that has now reached the stage of not even trying to hide the fact that they will blatantly lie and make up stories and allegations against anyone one who questions their actions of motives as part of a co-ordinated and concerted attempt to undermine any opposition.
In other words to make us all subservient to the will – the state – as envisioned and governed by this Brexit obsessed Government.
The only thing standing between the UK becoming a totalitarian state by stealth under the Conservatives is the Judiciary and the Law.
Brexit will go ahead – unless of course there is another referendum at which those who didn’t vote last time wake up to the dangers of it – and the future for the United Kingdom and its place in the world will then have to be developed.
I believe that future is one in which we need to look not only to our past but well into the next century.
It is a future that I can say with absolute certainty will not be a part of but my children, grandchild and their offspring certainly will.
It is a future I believe lies in the United Kingdom recognising that we live in a global internationalist world that need to be increasingly liberal in both it’s politics and economics.
But most of all it should be future in which people and the planet should be our priority.
I’ll expand on this in the last of this series of articles.