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Any compromise over Brexit that actively involves all sides has to be taken seriously and the real obstacle to progress is now firmly located in No.10

January 29, 2019 Leave a comment

img_2513Brexit has been mismanaged from the start. Much of the problem has been the many competing priorities and motivations belonging to the key influencers who have been involved, but this itself is in no small part due to the biggest Brexit problem of them all. The absence of good, decisive and responsible leadership.

The Brexit process over recent months could have gone in different directions at many different points and it is regrettable that there has been a distinct absence of vision and understanding on the benches of the Commons. Vision which could have seen that a deal, formula, pathway or whatever you want to call it has never been just about an agreement itself, but about the people involved, the chronology of events, the changing landscape and yes, a whole lot more besides.

We are where we are. So no matter what has come before, there is no sensible option beyond trying to play with the hand that is available.

So when a compromise arrives in a form which could work for our MPs and our Country too, the focus should be shifting to identify and remove the blocks to realising that opportunity for progress. Not dwelling on who has ownership, who claims the legacy, who will be upset or anything more.

The reality is that the very best ‘deal’ that would be available to the UK could only be negotiated from the position and mindset of already being out of the EU.

With the obsession over plans and having to have a strategy in place which our MPs have, it is clear that the current Parliament will not willingly support this pathway.

As such, it is vital for MPs to accept the closest thing to that which they find acceptable.

From the information now available, it looks very much like the Malthouse Compromise could be the opportunity that everyone – and not least all of us outside of Westminster have been waiting for.

This Plan is far from perfect for either side. I say this with a firm belief that in the right hands from the start of this process, Brexit could immediately upon Leaving in March have promised the UK a massive amount more.

Because of what has happened during the Brexit process, the decision and therefore the method of our departure has become about so much more than just Brexit itself.

From this point alone, the Malthouse Compromise has to be seen as potentially the least trouble-free pathway to getting out of the EU, on time, with the prospect of building a working relationship with our former partners and in a way which at the very least honours the spirit of the Referendum Vote, even if at this stage it would be impractical to expect any more.

As a lapsed, but nonetheless lifelong conservative, it gives me no pleasure to feel or openly be so very critical of a Conservative PM.

But the situation we are facing over Brexit and beyond is so very, very serious, there must be a collective acceptance that with May at the helm, compromise penned by anyone other than her and her coterie of advisers, is not in her plan. It is not in her mind an acceptable form of what this Brexit process will become.

Never mind the missed opportunities and the what could haves, what should haves and everything that has gone before and been done. The way to get this problem solved is to remove the obstacle of a spent force as a Prime Minister to whom owning the legacy of a Brexit deal is all that her premiership has now become.

The Conservative Party has the ability to remove her right now if there is collective recognition amongst the Parliamentary Party of how dire this situation has become.

Personal ambition must be put to one side so that a leader can be Elected and installed in No.10, who will embrace the catalyst for change over Brexit. A new Prime Minister who can set off the reaction and chain of events now needed here within our own Parliament.

And then take it to Brussels not as a question, but as a statement of intent and overview of what our departure from the EU will look like.

Something that the EU can choose to embrace or reject. But with the consequences made very clear that failing to engage with what is on offer to them will leave the EU responsible for what follows, and that it is our commitment to prosper and be a friend to all Nations who are friendly to us, no matter what they think or then do.

The war of ideas is lost. Somebody please tell the politicians before it really is too late

October 2, 2018 Leave a comment

the-future-is-won-or-lost-in-the-war-of-ideas-quote-1If you are following the Political Conference Season, even at a peripheral level, and are able to cut through the constant flow of noise created by Brexit, you will surely have come across one group or another saying something like they have to stop this person or stop that person from doing this thing or that thing to prevent some unspeakable outcome, which they are uniquely empowered to predict.

There are times, yes moments even,  when the lunacy of the behaviour in which our political classes engage would be laughable.

At some level, it really is. But the consequences of the constant flow of proclamations about who is fit, unfit or the right person to lead, speak or do whatever in the public sphere which can be interpreted as outshining someone else in some way has entered dangerous territory indeed.

Dangerous, because these attempts to micromanage this Country’s destiny based on little more than taste and appearance is focused on ideas created from nothing but self interest. It has severe disregard for the consequences that will follow, and that’s not because they will succeed.

Because so many of our politicians and members of the opinionati are now doing it and in a competitive way too, there is no longer a direction of travel available for the majority of forward looking and common-sense thinking people to get behind. There remains just a mish-mash of ambition for good or for worse blocking everything sensible from gaining traction, all coming from a no mans land between points of reason at one end placed within a zone of nostalgia for a different past and at the other, a world ahead where any alternative idea to that of the commentator will result in disaster.

If you really need to observe the reality of this in all its comical but nonetheless horrifying glory, do please take note of the lack of attendance at the Key Ministerial Speeches which are taking place at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham this week.

Attendees are instead packing out fringe meetings where they are focusing their attention on the figureheads that the media loves to make us believe we all hate at every turn, whilst actively overlooking the over-crafted words of the very people who are running this Country today.

That the Government can now be composed of so many different politicians at the most senior levels who might otherwise have good skills, but have become consumed by the race to position themselves for the long-anticipated Leadership Race is very telling.

That they do so whilst overlooking the genuine will of the people who once supported them to gain the places at the big table that they now have, is very telling indeed.

Whilst an unpalatable truth to the political many, one of the reasons that there is such a void at the top of Politics today, is because of the control that the Party Political System now has exerted on Candidate Selections and upon the behaviour of junior politicians once they have obtained and wish to do nothing more than hold on to their coveted Seats.

Sadly, the way the system works is to require of once principled applicants that they are unswervingly loyal to their party, and therefore completely subservient to the whims of the leadership without question, if they a) wish to stay and b) wish to have any genuine chance of ‘career’ success and advancement.

Being conditioned by a process that requires people in a position of responsibility not to question, but to say yes at every turn just to get along every day leaves many of them becoming the living caricature of Mrs May the automaton made manifest. They are unable to say no to anyone who postures around them once that long-aimed for responsibility has become theirs to possess. Saying yes to the loudest voices is now all they know how to do.

The individuals who break this mould are few. Yet they are ridiculed for demonstrating the power to think outside of the tent.

The Boris’s, The Jacob Rees-Moggs, some others no doubt sat frustrated and waiting in the wider wings.

These are the potential leaders who may be far from being the perfect options in the idealists eyes.

But these are the very people who have the power to restore some purpose and hope for all of us, because they are different. They have already shown that they can stand alone, and that they can consider there being a different way to do things, rather than the way the political system has taught them to behave.

The Party Political system suits the purposes of the EU, simply because it is highly effective at stifling and shutting down dissent. It is the perfect antidote to the reasoned, moral and best-interests-of-the-people fight against technocratic government which demonstrates the behaviour of an autocratic dictatorship, and is to all intents and purposes that very same thing in all but name.

Good people within politics do not see this for what it is. They still believe that this is just the way that things are; the way that the system works. But that doesn’t make it right.

If they continue to wait for the perfect or rather the ideal option, the one that fits with the ideas which being in this broken system has given them, they will condemn us to a future which will make the lack of connection, conviction and a preoccupation with messages and soundbites employed by the May regime look positively democratic and in touch with people in the extreme.

We don’t have a perfect option today where leadership is concerned. We have to take the best that is available.

This is certainly not Jeremy Corbyn. We already know that it is not Theresa May.

The flurry of ideas might look great within the walls of all these different minds. But the many differences mean that there is no coherence. That they result in little sense and this war of ideas and the idealism behind them is already over and will never be won.

We need direction which incorporates a return to real democracy. That means putting aside the ‘I know best’ mentality and embracing change which must start with us all and come from within.

Embracing and making the very best of Brexit is now the only way that the UK can really win.

 

 

 

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