"But how can you live and have no story to tell?" Fyodor Dostoevsky
"The Brexit vote ... was a mass vote of defiance against a political and expert class that viewed the populace with disdain."
If we’ve learnt anything from 2018, it's that politicians and their technocrats minions have failed the British people. Moreover, those same people appear hellbent on usurping the democratic will of the nation by orchestrating a false Brexit. As a Remainer, I take no joy watching this slow-paced putsch unfold. It’s evident the people who negotiated the deal have by a sleight of hand produced a non-Brexit.
What’s on offer will leave the UK within the EU, without the ability to influence decisions. In effect, Britain has surrendered its right to assert an opinion or control policy. I’m afraid it is vassalage. This stunning achievement has arisen for many reasons. The establishment doesn’t want out, that’s clear. Then you have endless infighting and cross-party posturing. No one in the political class walks away untainted from this monumental mess.
That Mrs May is beholden to the Democratic Unionist Party for her tenure in Number 10 is crucial. It means the faux issue of the Northern Island border sits centre to the whole imbroglio. No one even thought about it at the time of the vote. Distracted by a bloody red bus with numbers and the implied cash flow to the NHS, the debate was facile.
And yet, the Brexit vote was about much more. It was a mass vote of defiance against a political and expert class that viewed the populace with disdain. I include all shapes of politics in that statement. That ‘war-criminal’ Tony Blair and his pet rottweiler Alsatian Campbell come out to scupper the deal is enough proof. The elites don’t like it that the people are dictating the agenda; thus they want to see the deal sunk.
The avowed pro-European Westminster mandarins align with Brussels. It suits them well. The ‘I know best’ attitudes prevails, plus the offer of rich career pickings. For politicians cast aside, the EU is a fat paycheck. Lord 'Mandy' Mandelson is one of many who trod that path. They adjudge the British people as ‘poorly educated and angry’ dismissing them to rob the popular vote of its agency. Only self-proclaimed clever people can decide matters. It’s not lost on us that many Brexit voters are less well-off than the Remainer elites.
With such people in power, you have to question their commitment to democracy. Meanwhile, a proposed second referendum amounts to shirking responsibility. Although, it does affirm the failure of the politicians as if that needed highlighting. Elected to do a job; the whole lot has fallen down.
Over in Parliament, a furore erupts over whether Jeremy Corbyn called Mrs May ‘a stupid woman.' Who gives a flying futtock? Indeed, not the ordinary folks, who would either agree or be indifferent. More attention is thrust on this issue than the growing numbers sleeping rough.
Expert lip readers pour over the recordings of the incident to seek the ‘truth’. Even if he said it, there is nothing inherently sexists with the statement. That’s unless you are an emotionally-charged SJW seeking offence in every statement. This weaponisation of emotional utterances, allied to fake outrage, is a sorry pantomime with no laughs.
In summary, you have to say the current crop inhabiting the Westminster bubble is incompetent, weak and deceitful. Don’t expect Labour to deliver. The party is far from cohesive under Corbyn. The public recognises his frailties as his popularity falls further behind the besieged May. That he can’t rise above her dismal showing is beyond belief.
The hollowed out Liberals remain soiled by the Clegg years. He's run away to work for Facebook. As for the Tories, the old fault-lines are on display. Civil war is on the verge of breaking out if only the paper tigers - Rees-Mogg and Boris - can summon the courage to act. Mrs May was always a place filler, who has extended her tenure way beyond what I expected. I’ve developed a grudging respect for the lady. She’s still at the helm, fighting every swell and wave while taking flak from the rear.
In 2019, there need to be new voices, new blood, and new direction. In truth, without it, British politics will wallow in a stalemate. Transformational change must come, with all its roughness, dislocation and mayhem. Unlike their ‘gilets jaunes’ French counterparts, the British people don’t usually take to the streets. They don’t burn down Starbucks or blockade the highways. I feel that unless things change, that might come.
Walter De Havilland was one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Royal Hong Kong Police and Hong Kong Police Force. He's long retired.