Bristling Brock speaks out...


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The ascending levels of 'extraordinariness' seem never to end when it comes to utterances from No.10.

The 'new idea' of involving cross-party contributions to resolving some sort of Brexit agreement have lasted but a few days and Mrs May has resorted to her time honoured tactic of twisting the arms of her own Conservative ranks.   Her Withdrawal Agreement has no changes to offer parliament save for the now declared intent to 'manipulate' the backstop arrangement in Ireland in ways that don't compromise the Good Friday Agreement and are acceptable to the EU.  With anyone but Mrs May at the helm there might just be a glimmer of possibility here, but with the PM's gauche and clumsy approach to negotiation it seems unlikely to be a winning hand.  Perhaps the car bomb explosion in Derry over the weekend is a stark display that the IRA are still there to remind her that the Good Friday Agreement continues to be seen in Ireland as sacrosanct.   How Mrs May squares that circle remains to be seen, but be assured that the interests of the Conservative Party will dominate any thinking.  Forever politics first, national well-being....well, BB isn't that sure there is a national well-being element in this most bizarre political drama ever seen.

Some politicians rail in the press that all this will damage the confidence of the public in the political processes of Westminster.  Really ?  Most of us on the outside of Westminster long-ago concluded that our political system was not fit for purpose but desperate politico's still keep waving their alarm flags as if we didn't already have pretty firm opinions on the subject and we might be swayed into thinking kindly of them in the future for warning us of this 'not-yet recognised' phenomena.  That merely reinforces the reality that Westminsters occupants have little idea of what public feeling engenders.

So let's consider what Brexit may have become.   It may have started as a choice between leaving or remaining in the EU but it has evolved into something far wider in scope and influence.  Now, it possibly represents the vehicle by which the common populace can express its wider dissatisfaction with politics and the representatives who purport to speak for us.   It could be seen as the beginnings of some quiet revolution, a groundswell of public feeling - not yet organised enough to be truly effective - that could, if followed through, use the ballot box to completely shift the dynamic of Britain's political status quo.  That would, of course, require some alternative political body (or bodies) to enter the arena that could hold the appeal of the majority and become a significant focus of attention in terms of reform and reflection of public opinion.   Therein lies the big question.  Are these alternative bodies of political thought actually out there and preparing and are they quite what we might imagine in terms of manifesto and true purpose ?  If they are, then they're doing a good job of keeping a low profile.   If they are not there, then the current swell of public feeling will merely wash ashore and recede and the status quo will continue.  Whatever Brexit may become, the platform for wider public expression will go with it unless any such emergent political factions begin to show themselves as a cohesive presence and force.   

Whoever you are - if the nations well-being is truly a political objective, then show yourselves and show yourselves soon !

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