Archive

Archive for the ‘Brexit’ Category

The Lib Dems could be about to make Labour irrelevant. But polarising the Brexit debate by promising to scrap it would mean victory in the next General Election is a very hollow win

September 20, 2019 Leave a comment

Jo Swinson might be annoying the hell out of Brexiteers and the right alike, but it’s her friends across the opposition benches in Parliament who are now most in fear that her new energy and approach could be about to throw them back into the electoral bin.

Some startling parallels have been made between the new Liberal Democrats Leader and the approach of Nigel Farage.

But beyond the fact that they have now positioned themselves outwardly at the polar opposites of the Brexit debate, there is something very different in the motivation that underpins the reasons why these two politicians are pushing a narrative that sounds confident, as if these two political parties are on the verge of a breakthrough win.

Spoiler alert: It’s only about Brexit for one of them and always has been.

We are experiencing an endgame in politics right now. A watershed moment that is being drawn out into a long and painful period of transition.

Yet the players on the political board don’t even know that the rules of the game around them have adjusted already and continue to be in the process of fundamental change.

Farage and the Brexit Party have become a voice of the heralds of change. What defines them is their riding the truths that are the foundation of Brexit, using them to wrap their collective’s crusade. The vein of truth that gives a feeling of legitimacy to their cause.

Yet as a political force the Brexit Party represents the very same things that are wrong with all the politicians we have in office as MPs right now. Their MEPs in the public eye are media savvy, obsessed with getting a hard-hitting narrative out there that ‘connects’ with the electorate, but nonetheless suffer with a lack of real empathy and understanding of the whole spectrum of issues and experiences that people have both beyond and including Brexit. 

Beyond Brexit itself, these are not the people who are equipped to actually get things done.

But Jo Swinson and her Liberal Democrats are playing the very same game as Farage. Only the way that they are playing on this field is very cynical and potentially much worse. As they do not recognise nor attempt to acknowledge in any way what Brexit represents or what the Brexit debate is really about.

For the ambitious Leader of this now apparently revitalised Political Party, the current Parliamentary mess and the chaos that surrounds it is a political opportunity to exploit that could result in real power for them.

That’s their primary aim. But it’s clearly a case of bugger the consequences of what might be involved along the way.

At its best, power for the Liberal Democrats would come at a high price for everyone. Even those who are intricately involved.

The unyielding commitment to the EU that they would deliver, beyond being a massive democratic betrayal and surrender all-in-one, would also create obstacles to us ever Leaving the bloc or attempting to do so. Everything that defines us as a Nation State, our defining characteristics and the ties that bind us would be systematically, progressively and deliberately eroded away by laws, rules and regulations that nobody is aware of until it is far too late.

The process of liberally democratic change would be no doubt accelerated no doubt my the implementation of so called electoral reform and the switch from First Past The Post (FPTP) to a Proportional Representation regime. One that favours small political parties that appear to be unfairly place or unelectable under FPTP, but by its very nature will make what we have been experiencing since the European Referendum in terms of a stalemate in Parliament – pretty much the norm. 

And all that is what happens just as a start, if everyone – including the 17.4 million voters and the others who now support Brexit and Leaving the EU were to just roll over and accept what under a Jo Swinson government was about to come.

The reality is that they wouldn’t.

And as far fetched to our cosseted and complacent society as it may seem, civil unrest and what might follow it would soon blow the lid off the lie that is neither a liberal nor democratic party, and show us what the self interest, selfishness and ignorance that underpins politicians that are obsessed with power tangibly means.

But what Swinson, Farage and all of the incumbent MPs and those that facilitate them today must realise is that the politics of old, which is there to serve only that which they choose is now over.

It began to die the very moment that the decision over EU Membership was tossed back to the people and Jo Swinson represents the death throws of all that is wrong and is rotten with our politics as she demonstrates how this broken politics is about nothing more than doing absolutely everything and anything to win.

We are all waiting for a new politics to begin. These politicians and their ideas will have to go or at the very least change definitively if our democracy is ever again to be capable of experiencing a win.

 

 

3R’s for Boris: Recall. Resign. Regroup.

September 12, 2019 Leave a comment

Whilst it’s difficult to imagine that many of our MPs are capable of even a lucid moment with things in Parliament as they are now, we must still hope that change could come from somewhere before it is too late for anyone.

Boris Blows Brexit is increasingly likely to be the headline that we will think about when we reflect on these times. But he could still summon the leadership that he has always sought to be seen to channel and even now, turn all of this chaos with Brexit on its head.

Put simply, Boris has no way of winning anything from this without reframing and regaining control of the narrative first. And he won’t do that if he remains precious about keeping control in No10.

Recall

No matter how right or wrong the prerogation of Parliament might be, Boris has given the opposition what is arguably an elevated position from which to more effectively toss their sticks and stones. The best way that Boris can help himself is by helping the opposition to resume fighting amongst themselves – and that can only happen once Parliament has been recalled.

Resign

Boris has nowhere to go. He hasn’t created the narrative of a new politics that we are all waiting for. He has fallen into the trap of believing that leadership is about how it looks, rather than what he actually does.

Leadership now is about calling the oppositions bluff. About passing the buck and the poisoned chalice of going against a public majority vote to the people who are genuinely responsible for all of this mess.

If Boris wants to have any chance of winning the next General Election and then being in control, he has to relinquish it now, let the opposition trip over their own mistakes and that means he must resign.

Regroup

Most important of all is what Boris really does next. We’ve heard talk about One Nation Conservatism and putting out an olive branch to the 21. But if the only regrouping that Boris is prepared to do is to return – or rather attempt to return to how things in the Conservative Party have been, his Premiership and the Party will very soon be no more.

If Boris really wants to win the upcoming General Election and be remembered as a Prime Minister who really got something done, he will need to lead the very first steps upon a pathway which brings together those who voted Leave with those who voted Remain, left, right, centre and just about every political persuasion that is currently involved. He must capture our imaginations with a new politics and ambition for all that is to come. It will only come after we have passed through the open door that is a completely no-deal Brexit. And even now, he can have his cake and eat it, if he realises and accepts that this is how he must lead and regroup.

Has Boris blown Brexit?

September 11, 2019 Leave a comment

Politics is no longer just broken. Our current Parliament is in the process of crushing democracy into dust as well – and is attempting to break our system of law and the constitution itself as they do.

What is most difficult for the real people outside of Westminster to fathom, is whether this treacherous rump of MPs is really so detached from reality that they believe they can do whatever they want, tell the people that they are doing the right thing, and they will then be believed and that we will ultimately thank them for taking things their own way.

It certainly looks that way. The problem for MPs is that over three years of blatant lies, obfuscation and outright contempt for the electorate, completely in the open and plain for all to see, has made even the most disenfranchised members of the UK electorate aware of how things are now so very wrong and how they actually should be.

Regrettably for Boris, his options and therefore chance to get his legacy as prime minister right have been all-too-predictably slim. And with his exquisite choice of appointing Dominic Cummings as his principal advisor and at the same time tying himself to the flawed concept of One Nation Conservatism as the only way to deliver Brexit, he is now on the cliff edge of being the Prime Minister that consigned Brexit – and our democracy – to the bin.

His decision to rebuff Nigel Farage’s offer of an electoral pact will surely come back to haunt him – and all of us. Not just because he has in all likelihood just removed any chance of a ‘no deal’ Brexit for the foreseeable future, but because he is likely to have just made the decision that could lead to a General Election this Autumn in which a Marxist – by default – will win.

Whilst Boris might well find the prospect of working with the Brexit Party unpalatable, the truth is that it is only by working with them that the Conservative Party can now precipitate a General Election and win.

People can see what the collective Opposition in Parliament are doing. And the deadline of Halloween that Boris has committed to will not be a problem for him if the delay is out of his hands. But a purely Conservative victory – based on his now clear commitment to the old politics which is One Nation Conservatism – is not an outcome that is within his grasp.

The focus now must be delivering Brexit and nothing more. There is nothing else that any MP has the power to control. And it is only the delivery of a proper, guaranteed no-deal, no-ties, no EU-rule-sharing Brexit that will give the UK the positive future – that works for all of us – that the majority of the British Public now want to be assured.

The implications of the poor choices that Boris now appears to be making could quickly prove to be disastrous for us all.

Whilst hard, late and a minefield in every form, the pathway from the 23rd of July still allowed for Boris to get Brexit right. He just needed to be a leader and do what was necessary – and right.

Unfortunately it now appears that the honeymoon has quickly proven itself to be over. And we must ask if Boris has blown Brexit, and with it a peaceful and fruitful future for us all?

The ‘opposition’ has focussed the Brexit argument on Boris and the way to win is to move the focus back – by resigning

September 9, 2019 Leave a comment

Should I read it? Should I switch it off? Will engaging with it make any difference?

To many these are very familiar questions when it comes to the news that is coming out of Westminster each and every day. Familiar, because few of us can any longer believe what it is that we see, hear and understand to be going on.

With a list of car-crash interviews involving high profile opposition MPs last week, the Public is now becoming seriously less inclined to indulge this contemptuous mess of a Parliament for all of the lies and stories they still continue to tell. In fact, it would perhaps be better to go as far as to say that it is no longer possible to discern whether these Politicians have so much contempt for the people they were elected to represent that they believe they can say anything without fear of ever being called out for treating voters as if they are completely stupid, or indeed if it is actually a fact that they are that stupid themselves.

Either way, the jiggery-pokery and line blurring that has led to a law being enacted today that is in place with the intent of preventing a British Prime Minister from honouring the outcome of a democratic plebiscite – just because its what the MPs themselves want – has succeeded in boxing the PM into a corner surrounded by elephant traps and the clarion call of undemocratic triumphalists who believe that by delaying the coming General Election beyond 31st October, when it comes to both that Election and the topic of Leaving the EU, it is they who have already won.

Yes, it does look that way. But by so assiduously attempting to bolt down Boris to the choices that the Opposition makes, they might have only won a hollow, indeed pyrrhic victory – depending on how Boris and those advising him now choose to interpret what steps he must take if he is to lead.

It has been said that he who frames the argument wins it.

Right now, Boris appears to be penned in because those who can control the law are using it to control him and control what he now does.

Being able to control the law, doesn’t make what the Opposition is doing right. But it does leave a PM with a big dilemma – if he cannot see that sometimes doing what appears to be wrong is necessary to deliver what is right.

There is good reason to believe that most of the Country would be behind Boris if he were to do so. But it may not be necessary if he really has the metal when it comes to doing what needs to be done to lead.

The alternative that Boris has is to call the Opposition’s bluff. Resign and make clear that whilst he wouldn’t break the law – however shakey the ground might be in which it was built – he also would not sell out the British People in the way that Theresa May and now all those MPs we collectively identify as being the Opposition have done.

No sensible person wants Corbyn in No10 as allowing his hands to touch the levers of power even momentarily would be a process accompanied itself by monumental risk.

But passing the buck to him to go to the EU and beg for a further extension to A50 – in what would almost certainly have to be a pretext to a General Election in November – maybe the real act of leadership required of Boris to sort out this political chaos, and as far as delivering Brexit via a Parliamentary majority – all it will really take.

Once some light of reason – or what we might better identify as forced progress – has been shone into all the darkness that sits behind this Parliamentary movement against democracy and shows it for all it is, the MPs who are facilitating this madness through their own fear and self interest over the EU will not allow Corbyn to affix himself to a tenure as PM in No10, as surely as they have attempted to prevent Brexit.

The choice will then be one for Boris and Nigel Farage to make over their accepting what steps it will take with a politically-enlightened Public to secure that Brexit majority without letting division between Brexit supporters manifest in splitting votes across constituencies that could ensure it isn’t won.

 

 

 

The Government needs to take a leaf out of the Remainers book and deliver Brexit – no matter what it now takes

September 6, 2019 Leave a comment

One of the oddest things about The UK – bearing in mind that we have what was previously known as the mother of parliaments – is that things have worked well for a very long time, based on little more than respect, a deference for fairness and a metaphorical handshake thrown into the mix somewhere too.

Regrettably, when you fill a Parliament with MPs who don’t understand the realities of genuinely doing what’s right and fair play, we should perhaps guess that it was inevitable that they would abuse this age-old system just as soon as they felt it was too important to do their own version of the right thing.

Put simply, the Remain-led Parliament that we have has broken with convention, simply to try and force through anything that will stop Brexit, despite everything that the People demand.

The government- that has a mandate from the people to deliver the Brexit that the Remainers are still trying to deny – should now respond by doing the same in kind.

When this is all over and we are finally out, there is no doubt that the question over a UK formal constitution must be answered.

We cannot step off into the future with the risk that fearful politicians filled with nothing but self interest can walk over our democracy and for reasons based on nothing but selfishness see a good future for many others, wilfully denied.

Categories: Brexit

Changing Politics for the better Pt 7: Social Care

September 6, 2019 Leave a comment

It’s very easy to forget that most of us will become old, and that 1 in 4 of us will require care in the later part of our lifetimes.

Whilst there currently some resentment of the ability for older people to influence politics with their Votes ‘because they won’t be here to see it’, the reality is that every single person in this Country should receive care and support at any time during their life – should they need it, whether it be just through the provision of education, access to the NHS, benefits or more specialised support, that includes Social Care for anyone who needs it when they become elderly.
Most of us would agree with this approach upon reading it. But the reality is that right across the provision of services to people who need them in this Country today, there are too many experiencing lower levels of service than it would be reasonable to expect from the Public Sector, and in some cases, they are not receiving help at all.
Of these services, one of the hardest hit by changes in local Government Budgets and the way that Local Authorities are now run is Social Care.
There is no longer the level of consistency of service provided to guarantee that the support needed, wherever or however that need might require, will be the same for everyone.
This must change.
But we must also address the causes of the problems with Social Care and Public Services first.
When we hear Politicians talking about Social Care and how they intend to address the problem, they will almost certainly suggest that the problem is all about money or lack of funds. Sadly, thinking that throwing money at every problem will solve it, is just something that current Politicians do.
Yes, in the short, but probably only the immediate term, additional funds can appear to make a problem like this go away. But without looking deeper into the much wider problem and facing up to the changes that must now be made, the problems with Social Care and all forms of Public Service Delivery are simply not going to go away.
In a Country as wealthy as the UK appears to be, we should all have unhindered access to the Public Services that we need.
Those Public Services should be affordable if they are managed and delivered in the way that they should be. And we should all be happy that the contributions that we make through Taxes and National Insurance will be spent appropriately and that everyone will receive help and support to cover all their needs, if and when they genuinely need it.
A good Government could begin by:
  • Reversing the European Working Time Directive and replacing any other restrictive working practices that make workers rights more important than the ability of the organisation or business they work for to perform economically.
  • Installing new legislation to protect employees that works sensibly and fairly for both the employee and the employer.
  • Doing away with any rules, regulations and laws that mean it is more cost effective for a Local Authority or NHS Trust to outsource or contract out any role, supply or service to a profit-making private contractor, than keeping the provision or service ‘in-house’.
  • Removing gold-plated and disproportionate pension schemes that are being subsidised by Taxpayers and the expense of service provision.
  • Creating new profiteering laws to prevent third party agents or middle men from taking profit from supply chains at any stage, without adding real value to the services or products offered.
  •  Legislating to prevent Councils and Health Authorities seeing Temporary Staffing Agencies as an easy option to overcome staffing difficulties.
  • Undertaking sweeping Public Sector Reform to ensure that Officers and those employed by any Public Service are ready, able, prepared and unhindered in doing their job, without the influence of blame culture, or fear of doing wrong.
And there is definitely much more….

Changing Politics for the better Pt 6: Governing the Internet, Social Media and the online world

September 6, 2019 Leave a comment

For many young people, access to the Internet, Smartphone technology and publishing every aspect of our lives online is already experienced as being the way that things have always been.

Yet for those who have lived through the arrival of analogue, then digital mobile phones; analogue internet with the dial-up tone, then broadband and streaming too, the whole process feels remarkably quick when looking back on 30 years doesn’t actually feel like its that long.
But a process that has been very short for what has been achieved in terms of technological development and access during that period of time, has been remarkably long for the large wheels of government, which have moved throughout this period at a rate that looks comparatively very slow indeed.
Like it or not, the way that we interact with each other and with anyone with whom we have contact has been affected by this extraordinary change.
Social skills that we learned through basic interaction and conditioning with other children, with adults and with the people we met as children has been replaced with a cultural restructuring.
Children are now handed ipads or tablets at a very early age and quickly learn to use the tools that they have been given. Yet in so doing, they surrender much of the understanding and trial and error learning processes that come via human and community interaction, and they do not develop a robust or rounded set of social skills as a result.
Likewise, the ease with which adults can order almost anything on the internet and the speed with which what were once long winded processes are now completed, for many is a new skill, outlook or understanding that simply cannot be unlearned.
Yet the changes that on the face of it appear to have significantly improved our lives have at the same time created a strange and unrealistic dichotomy, where ethics or the rules of interaction with others only seem to count in ‘real life’ when we find ourselves face to face with others, and even these now seem to be being eroded too.
A distance now exists between many people that was never there before. Not with the people we know and love. But the humanity is being lost from the way that we interact with each other in those situations beyond. And instead of the parallel universe that is the Internet catching up with the way that things have always been done in the real world outside, the dehumanisation of relationships that exists on the Internet is now finding its way slowly, but steadily into the way we behave with each other in the real waking world.
We only see the tip of this daily in the way that the removal of social barriers on the internet encourages people – who in real life would never dream of talking to other people face to face in the same way – to attack, criticise and yes, troll other people as if their action will never create any harm – simply because it has been done online.
Without government having already taken the steps to govern our use of the internet with a working, open, accessible but nonetheless safe framework for social interaction and conduct with business, people in the online world are simply going to continue cherry picking what they want to take away from the rules we are currently much better at accepting when we are in and focused on the world beyond.
The apparent ease with which internet giants can appear almost overnight doesn’t give them a free reign to ignore rules of an unwritten kind that have developed and governed the way that people behave over a very long time.
In fact, if anything, the whole thing needs to be turned on its head. We must learn to respect the Internet as another part of our already complex lives, and ensure that the rules are no different and that what we do online and especially in the case of interaction with people we never have or may never have cause to meet are simply the same as they would be if we were meeting with that person face to face, and government needs to do so before it is much too late.
Life is already becoming much too cheap as a result of a system which conditions us to believe that we can always quickly get our own way.
We must embrace the positive aspects of the internet and smart technology for the benefits that it ahs and will continue to deliver for us all. But at the same time, we must also recognise the very dangerous and destructive side to this two edged sword and ensure that legislation is created and then evolved to make sure that the Internet really is a tool that is there to benefit everyone and is not just there to be exploited at the expense of others by yet another ‘knowing’ few.
A good Government could begin by:
  • Removing the ability of all to be completely anonymous on Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Blogger, Youtube or any other form of social media where commenting and the ability to openly attack anyone or anything is openly involved.
  • Ensuring that a system does exist where legitimate anonymity such as whistle blowing or helpful comment and dialogue from those with a genuine desire to help others whilst needing to protect themselves professionally can also exist.
  • Creating legislation to ensure that no decision that could affect the future and wellbeing of any individual in any way, such as credit checks & authorisation or CV matching can be fully automated or completed by algorithms alone without human interaction on the part of all parties involved of some kind.
  • Creating legislation to ensure that everyone is automatically ‘forgot’ after a period of three years, so that everyone has the ability to legitimately move on with their lives, and only appropriate authorities hold longer term records on any individual or business and hold the right in certain circumstances to disclose.
  • Legislating to ensure that any social media or publishing platform builds in detection software that will automatically trigger an on screen flag when formulations of words or topics that might be offensive to others might be involved.
%d bloggers like this: