Bristling Brock speaks out...
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The last few weeks since the exasperating declaration of a General Election next month has thrown up what Bristling Brock can only describe as a tidal flood of absolute political tosh and downright rubbish. To exacerbate this nauseous process we have not only found this coming from the left but also the right, the middle and even those that aren't even on the political scale of absurdity. It's been a very depressing few weeks.
The tragedy in this, of course, is that with such a universal display of 'lacking savvy' amongst all complexions of politicians we, the electorate, are faced with a looming election choice that ranges between the appalling, the utterly stupid and the wholly unacceptable. We might argue that that is no choice whatever, rather it is the inevitable result of a decision made three and a half years ago never being legitimately acted upon and delivered, of weak governance, of disingenuous governance, of dire political commitment and equally dire understanding of what that public decision actually meant. We blame Brexit for many things, and in truth there have been many aspects of that debate that have been worthy of criticism, but the underlying problem that lies at the root of this forthcoming election is that the electorate have no faith whatever in those of the political classes who would try to nudge our support in their direction. We are faced with more of the same rather than a style of governance dedicated to reform and the rebuilding of that soured public trust. Political words are cheap, but if we do not believe in our political class then they are words without meaning, they fail to resonate anywhere except in the heartlands of committed socialism, conservatism, liberalism and greenism. That these creeds no longer represent us is very clear to the electorate but seemingly invisible or irrelevant to those who would have us listen to their stylised, predictable and - in the main - untruthful promises.
It is a despairing prospect in BB's eyes that we are so continuously badly led. But perhaps - possibly a big perhaps - that may be because we, as a body of the British electorate, have let it happen over the last fifty or so years. We have not striven for change, for reform of our governmental system, of parliament, and increasingly nowadays, our judicial system. We have let this bland, dysfunctional style of governance wash over us with little reaction, tamely letting this political club carry on doing that which it had become ever used to - talking much and acting little.
On 12th December a choice has to be made. The choices available are poor beyond words description. So how would YOU express your real feelings about what the outcome may be - ignoring Brexit as the defining issue if possible - and make your voice heard in places that count ? The simple answer would be a mass marking of ballot papers with the words 'None of the above !' a rejection of the political status quo and a clear message that a complete overhaul of our governance and executive and parliamentary accountability is long overdue. It would be a rejection of the election process, a rejection of any mandate to steer our politics in any singular direction - the result of which could be a continuance of the exiting government under the explicit knowledge of an electorate prepared to call the shots.
Will any of that happen ? Bristling Brock doubts it. We must remember that we have collectively become supine and manipulable as an electoral corpus - after all, it'll be Christmas soon, and beyond that all will be forgotten....again. If we want real change - not revolution, but organised and meaningful change - then we all have to want it. If we remain wedded to the existing tribal camps before us, then we WILL get more of the same. The power is in the hands of the electorate.
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The government are going to push for a general election on 12th December it would seem. There are many pro’s and con’s as to the political advisability of this but Mr Johnson has effectively seized the initiative by declaring to the Commons that the lack of a Conservative majority is impeding the whole spectrum of government legislation - and, therefore, the only way to get anything through Parliament is to put it up for re-election by the public. Bravo, Mr Johnson, it was the right thing, possibly the only thing to do under the present state of embargo that Parliament is hamstringing the government with.
An election is always a risk for a political cause - as Mrs May discovered back in 2017 - but the country is most definitely now at its crossroads - even its Rubicon - over the issue of Brexit and the way forward. Part of this seemingly intractable debate is the essential truth that nobody knows what either Leaving or Remaining will entail. There are no facts for either, only guesstimates, speculations and politically driven responses. That we have a media constantly slavering for every tid-bid of gossip draws us all further into a state of confusion and frustration. Whom should we believe ? Journalists, economists, bankers, industrialists, politicians, etc, etc. Again, the underlying truth that is never commented upon is that none of the people representing these categories of vested interest actually KNOW what either outcome will deliver, good or bad or, just maybe a mix of the two. But it makes for good theatre in the papers and on the tv.
Brexit has become the drag-anchor for just about every public decision, possibly a whole load of private decisions too. Left to perpetual delay and prevarication it will destroy the very fabric of the country in ways that may be irredeemable. It is, therefore, essential that it is concluded at the earliest possible opportunity. Some will undoubtedly question that the WAB is imperfect, has loopholes and commitments which are not entirely to Britain’s liking - and in many respects they would be right. Against that argument, we as a nation must weigh up the negatives of the WAB and balance these against the imperative to remove that drag-anchor and collectively move forward. Psychologically and literally, the country as a whole - including all those bankers, industrialists and others - needs to deliver Brexit as it was legally mandated in 2016. There will be many who don’t like it, many who do, but continuously sitting on the fence will not make the challenge go away. Factor in a EU that is thoroughly cheesed off with the whole circus performance to-date and we see an institution that has reached a collective point of incredulity about British democracy. In short, they have given as much as they are prepared to give and it is naive for characters like Corbyn to even imagine they could exact a better deal - he’s way out of his depth.
Britain needs to move on. All the tenets of the Leave mandate need to be upheld - for that is what the country voted for - and the only realistic way for the government to facilitate that is to challenge those who would frustrate and block any progress with a new election. It will not be the perfect solution - few solutions to any issue are that favourable, but it will create a climate of possibility opening up and unquestionably, Britain will adapt. If the election fails to provide such a majority and the doomsayers win the day then we are in for years more of their endless negativity, and then we can bury democracy in Britain for generations to come. Not everything is about money, wealth and the curse of economics; sometimes, the reasons for following a course of action are intangible, cultural and social - but every now and again, such a cause decided on these grounds pays dividends. Brexit is one of them.
As for Trumpy and his self-declared brilliance at brokering a Turkish cease fire in Syria is astounding beyond words. Why has the world not recognised the genius of this man before ? He ought to be World President, surely, for his skill and political deftness are clearly unrivalled by anyone else. Even Putin and Assad must be smiling about his clear and modest praise for himself. God Bless America ! Where would we be without this brilliance....a much better place than we are globally in now, we might fancy.
Has anyone actually noticed that our roads and towns are continuously clogged with traffic ? Bristling Brock is a regular M6 user and it’s a nightmare to drive on it. Driving standards are almost nowhere to be seen in some instances and the increase in the manic, ‘let me through’ brigade is a threat to all of us who would like to live a little longer. Towns are constantly full, even minor roads that have become rat-runs for those pushed to the extremities of towns to live where there is no employment and therefore commute dozens of miles fill our small, low capacity roads with endless queue’s and fume belching muck. There is a sense of immense population density in the urban zones of Britain (not necessarily reflected in rural areas - yet), of hordes of people trying to move in opposing directions simultaneously. Has town and road planning gone entirely bonkers ?
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So, the proposed Withdrawal Agreement proposed by the Johnson government has been, yet again, pushed further down the ever extending timetable of the Brexit saga.
Those who would Remain in this tale of fevered dispute are, presumably, very pleased that the vote against the government favoured their position of never ending delay ultimately leading to the revocation of Article 50 and a resumption of full EU membership. Those that would Leave are most likely chewing bricks and spitting frustration and disbelief that the prospect of an immediate solution to ‘leaving’ (albeit one that was by no means ideal) has yet again been sabotaged by parliamentary technicalities and a House of Commons with an extremely self-centred focus.
The very fact that there is such a fight going on over Brexit is testimony to the polar extremes to which British communities have gravitated. Bitterness, frustration, anger and incredulity mingle with the perceived notions of which course of action is better for Britain - in or out. The fact that the 2016 referendum result still stands in law has become irrelevant as parliament has displayed an egregious capacity for flexing legal interpretations and instituting laws of its own which inhibit the means to bring the Brexit tale to some sort of conclusion. That law is being flouted so openly shouldn’t really surprise us, for we see it all around us every day with a broadening disrespect for adherence to common law in both our communities and in parliament. One persons law has become ‘floutable’ by just about anyone who wishes to disregard it. In short, the integrity and absolute pre-eminence of law and abidance to it has diminished progressively across the country. So if Parliament twists and turns the laws of the land to suit vested interest arguments, again, there should be no surprise. It has, after all, always gone on - we just haven’t been that bothered about it until Brexit came along.
And what of the Johnson proposed agreement ? It was markedly better than the product that Theresa May came up with but it still fell short of fulfilling everyone’s expectations. And therein lies the problem. Such an agreement could never address every single concern from the corners of the nation, every doubt, every niggle, every angled and technical demand. Even Aristotle would have failed to achieve that. What it could have been was a method to bring Brexit to a conclusion in a way that gave the country latitude to adjust to life outside of the EU with the beginnings of trade deals being brokered around the world whilst enabling business, industry and communities time to realign themselves in keeping with the frameworks of the agreement. It would have been a gate opener for business that could have defined their operating positions clearly and enabled decisions on adjustment, investment and productivity to be taken. It would have been the means by which the aching tooth of the population could have been extracted, a finality to the endless squabbling, acrimony and nastiness that has crept into our very souls, an end to the uncertainty and an end to the media frenzy that has pervaded everyone’s life for the last three and a half years. This might sound glib, but we should not underestimate the psychological advantage of removing the Brexit albatross from around Britain’s neck and clearing the pathway for moving on. Moving on wholly on British terms was never going to happen and it is naive to imagine the EU will bend over backwards even more to accommodate the bizarre and expectation all demands of the Labour Party and others. To leave and secure battle space for future negotiations (on trade and other bilateral areas of interest) was the very essence of the Johnson proposal. It would have been the way to get the job done, clear enough to start meaningful trade talks and, most significantly, reenergise the country with a mission that everyone had an interest in making it succeed. Again, in short, we have blown a key opportunity in trouncing Johnson’s proposal. We should be collectively ashamed that it’s delay and frustration has been allowed to happen.
But, of course, let us not forget that parliament wants to thwart Brexit lock, stock and barrel. The Labour Party want to kill it, the LibDems want to kill it, the SNP want to kill it, the Greens want to kill it and doubtless the DUP and most of Ireland wants to kill it. Yet who is it with all these death wishes toward Brexit ? None other than our erstwhile politicians and parliamentarians, that corrupted and disconnected bunch of non-qualified representatives that the wholly antiquated and unrealistic first past the post voting system permits to enter the Commons. That we have allowed such people to be in charge of this process is unforgivable. If you were the CEO of a big company making decisive judgements on a course of action, would you seriously allow people like our MP’s anywhere near the boardroom ? Of course you wouldn’t. But Party loyalties, career opportunities and vested interest pervade the very stones of Parliament. And look what a dogs dinner they are making of Brexit, not least in their total disregard of the referendum result.
Brexit will never reach a conclusion without brave and possibly painful choices being taken. Regrettably, with our Parliament, there is little chance of wise, brave and selfless decisions being made - only those that suit the Party Politic.
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