Bristling Brock speaks out...

 

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So extraordinary was the outcome of the Conservative conference yesterday that I completely forgot about my latest grump on our governance.

I refer to our Minister for Europe and the America's (who on earth thought up that title ?), Sir Alan Duncan, who has been in the America's recently and spouting his views to the US media.

I'm sure he said much - the Americans seem to like wordy and verbose commentary - but what struck me most pointedly were his remarks on Brexit.

Paraphrasing a little, the gist of his comments centred around Brexit being something of an aberration, akin to a bit of a wild moment of paddyism, wholly to do with an 'absurd' paranoia over immigration and brought about by the unthinking and ignorant working classes of Britain.  Now that's a red rag to a bull moment is it not ?

Here we have a government minister - who is supposed to be pursuing the Brexit agenda (whether he agrees with it or not) - telling the American media that but for a bunch of low-grade peasants back home, Brexit would never have happened, indeed, should not have happened. There are multiple issues with this crassness.

First, it is highly insulting to the 17.4 million of the electorate who voted to leave the EU (at the government's invitation) and to blithely cast them all as ignorant and unthinking.  There were undoubtedly some who were, but there were also plenty of them in the Remain camp also. There were also plenty of Leavers who do think and are informed and resent very much this generalisation of what Brexit meant.   Second, his display of arrogant elitism setting himself above the democratic vote labels him as unfit to hold his office - as Minister of State for Europe and the America's he should be supporting the British position rather than bemoaning that it didn't turn out his way.  Third, if he represents a party that allegedly respects democracy and freedom of speech (there's another story there for another time) then he has no right or status in the government's political debate to criticise a legally mandated and parliament approved free vote.  Fourth, the man is a p***k.

This is the stereotype of the current day Tory that is being re-enforced day by day through its inept behaviour and complete detachment from reality.  It is not a pleasing image and is one, despite many Tory attempts to alter, that characterises the inability of government to respond to the mood of the nation.  I similarly don't think the Labour Party or the LibDems or the Scottish Nationalists have any idea how to do this either.  But I do think there are politicians out there who have the passion, feel, skill and gravitas to undertake this task.  As previous posts have bleeted, it is now time for that new breed of governance to emerge.