Friday, December 08, 2017

No island is an island entire unto itself...

OK so there has been a breakthrough apparently...

But the breakthrough is not that a framework agreement to start substantive talks is kinda, sorta, done, maybe...

It is that now the UK public knows that the leaders of the "Leave" campaign were a bunch of charlatans. 

David Davis took "hapless" to new lows with his "my dog ate my homework" explanation of why -in fact- no impact assessments of the single most important economic policy change in 60 years, were made. Whether you choose to believe or disbelieve the shifty excrescence is a matter for you, because its all the same to the Secretary of State as to whether you believe him or not.

Meanwhile the refusal of the Conservatives to recognise that Ireland is a separate and sovereign state, and that therefore of course the UK has a land border with the EU, nearly brought the whole process to a shuddering halt. In fact that actions of the DUP have now, for the first time brought the departure of Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the point of being more likely than not, but that is not a breakthrough either.

The breakthrough is that there is no way to avoid a national humiliation. A humiliation that the Conservatives are wholly responsible for and which is the result of their arrogance and ignorance.

The disaster will continue to unfold until either the UK, probably shorn of territory as well as billions of pounds and vastly diminished international standing, emerges into the cold world of a post EU economy; or the British people revolts against their incompetent and dishonest government. At the moment either is possible in the short term, with a slight edge towards revolt. 

In the medium-to-long term a major reset in the UK is now looking very likely indeed.  

The anti-modern Imperial measurement, Imperial mindset of the Conservatives is growing ever more absurd. Clinging to their vision of a better yesterday, the Tories refuse to face up to the fact that their vision of the country is deluded.  Socially more divided than ever, the public realm, from the Houses of Parliament to the underfunded infrastructure, is increasingly squalid. The moth eaten relics of Empire now simply look absurd in the increasingly cold light of Brexit day.

This starts with the system of government that has delivered a government of incompetence and an opposition of fools. The government gets away with lies because they face no opposition from a House of Commons which they can whip to their service and an essentially toothless House of Lords. Neither can the Monarchy control the evil nor the idiocy.  In the name of the venerable Queen Elizabeth II baubles called the "Order of the British Empire" are still handed out to the great and the good- irrespective that the Dutch, let alone the French, have empires rather more impressive than the speckle of rocks that is the last inheritance of the moth eaten Land of Hope and Glory. The flummery of orders of the Bath or the Garter should fill any modern democrat with amusement, but for the fact that people take this dross seriously. The pageant of Monarchy "brings in the tourists", but fails to protect the rights of British citizens- it serves no useful purpose, unless you are a London hotelier. Yet still Prince Andrew and other highly intellectual, charming, and modest members of the Royal family are appointed counsellors of state with significant political power, on the clear understanding that if they use this power in public they will be swept away. The answer is clear: the substantial reserve powers of the Crown should be placed under public, not personal, control. As with the accession of King Karl Gustav XVI of Sweden in 1973, the accession of the heir of Elizabeth II should be marked by the end of the political power of the Monarchy.

The modernisation of Britain- with or without Northern Ireland- should then proceed. Not merely the long overdue constitutional reform, but economic reform. Burn the current tax code and start again. This is the only way we can then begin to tackle the catastrophic public finances of the country. Promote savings over consumption- and yes that means a prolonged and deep restructuring of the entire economy. Times will be really tough, but instead of trying to save the outdated tax-and-borrow-for-current-consumption-and-forget-about-the-future model we have now, we can start to think long term and strategically. Infrastructure spending must increase and pensions and welfare made sustainable.

So let us hope this "breakthrough" finally causes the British voters to understand the fact that the government system is broken beyond repair. Any government that has been so reckless as the Conservatives with their wealth and well being should be eviscerated and the political party responsible should be liquidated.

For the fact is that unless we punish the guilty at the next election we will continue be complicit in our own decline. A radical change of direction is not merely desirable, it is essential, and understanding that is the only way to make any kind of breakthrough and ultimate recovery.

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