Brexit as a debate is still blasting back and forth between those who would leave and those who would remain. The tactics of debate are as partisan as they ever were and have perpetuated the position of there being no clear way ahead. This, more than anything else, has begun to damage our economy, our confidence and our very democracy.
It's often bandied about that if the electorate had known what it was voting for in 2016 then Brexit would never have come about. Commentators and members of the public alike, when asked now what they voted for, frequently state that if we had known the facts that we 'know' now that we didn't know then, then Brexit would not have begun its tangled journey through our divisive and unrepresentative political system. And this is where Bristling Brock challenges the assertion that we were ignorant of the consequences in 2016 but are now fully informed of the Doomsday predictions being constantly launched from Westminster. In some respects, that statement is correct - we are very informed now of the Doomsday predictions authored by Hammond, Carney, Gaulk, May, Stewart, Hague, the LibDems and countless others. But their predictions are not fact. What they are saying repeatedly is that it will be a disaster for Britain if there is no negotiated and acceptable deal for Britain with the EU and we revert to the legal position of no deal. They present no facts, they present a scenario designed to agitate a very febrile political state and sow the seeds of concern, anxiety and rejection of the referendum result. But BB repeats - nobody that is credible in this debate has actually calculated what 'disaster' means - there are no soundly based figures, no economic theories that hold water in the absence of facts, no policies that represent the majority electorate. All that is being presented, nay, bombarded upon the British public, is a fresh wave of craftily orchestrated and theatrically hysterical fear, a fear that those committed to not leaving the EU hope will so damage the cohesion and position of the Leave campaign that either a second referendum will be called by the new Prme Minister or a blockage to the no deal option in parliament can be upheld and the option thrown into the waste bin. But fear and speculative story-telling is not fact. BB would suggest that the electorate knows very little additional 'fact' now than they had in 2016; what the electorate have had a surfeit of is vested interest interventions, speculation, opinion, if's-but's-maybe's and the weight of the Westminster pro-EU establishment behind an organised campaign to discredit the referendum result. Those who campaign thus do not possess facts to support their disaster theories because this is a unique situation without precedent. In truth, nobody has a completely clear idea as to what will happen if a no deal Brexit occurs. What we should be saying loudly is that the referendum result was a legally mandated choice that expressed the democratic will of the wider British population - and, as this blog has often argued before, we trash our democratic processes at our peril. If we British allow Project Fear to win the day - and make no mistake that that is precisely what some sections of the establishment, executive, parliament and the media are pumping out in volumes - then we will get a society so riven with discord, distrust, anger and increasing faithlessness that whatever the engineered outcome of Brexit these people conjure up it will be nothing as compared to the civil,political and social strife that will build up rapidly around this country.
Respect the referendum, respect the democratic right (necessity) for the 2016 choice to be implemented, respect that no deal is a necessary part of any EU renegotiation, respect that if renegotiation is fruitless then no deal is the way to pursue. Project Fear should not be the measure by which this decision is brought about rather it should be Project Re-Birth being hailed - confidence, hope, and belief in what this country can do - in spite of the Westminster cliques. Britain has re-invented itself many times in the last two millennia; there is no reason - no restraining facts - that it cannot be re-invented again. We need courage and a sense of excitement and anticipation about our future outside of the EU - after all, the EU is nothing more than a gentlemans club with a rule book - and we should not allow those who would drag us down with their miserable predictions succeed.
Trumpland, as ever, has a fresh episode of extraordinary behaviour almost weekly which, predictably involve a turn-about viewpoint being expressed just days later. It is still difficult to fathom whether Trump is very clever at manipulating people and situations that he can wriggle free of in almost an instant or whether he is just a bull in a china shop crashing about. Perhaps that is his true intent, to create that ambiguity of purpose that sees the scales dipping and rising constantly, giving little solid ground for his opponents to really present their case against him. Is it really clever - or is it just crass ineptitude ? Yet nobody can deny that within the US, the economy, employment and even on Capitol Hill, there is an up-beat story to tell. Whether people love him or hate him, they are generally doing better from him - and that is his appeal to the majority of the US population - possibly 250 million or so of forgotten America - who, like us in Britain, have previously been forsaken by their governments. It's certainly hard to like him, but he's doing somethings that are benefitting the common American. And that'll get him a second term in 2020.