As if some enormous penny has just worked its way through the labyrinthine complexities of the government machine and finally dropped into place, the Conservatives have made almost a stirring movement !
Rebels are being denounced, loyalties and support are being pledged and messages are twittering back and forth amongst the great and the (not so) good. What a wake up. Like Rip van Winkle, the Tories have slumbered, plodding along, making gaff after gaff and at the same time damaging the future prospects of this country. Now, in a flurry of righteous indignation, those that covet their jobs are demanding support for Mrs May in her beleaguered political position.
Whilst I have no wish to see chaos in government I do find this abrupt and almost savage burst of invective from the so called faithful extraordinary and I wish I could believe it to be a genuine sentiment that has the country at heart rather than the vested interests of individuals or a political party. But I do find it difficult to see genuine purpose here, partly because the prior behaviour and responses of this bunch of the ‘faithful’ have been noticeably absent and partly because I just don’t trust them. It’s perhaps not quite as black and white as this for there are many other factors that sway my thinking, but there is a sense of artificiality about all this, the standard knee-jerk reaction to criticism, the rallying of the troops, the almost snarlish look upon their faces. In some ways it is quite disturbing to see this venal and almost primitive outburst - an expression of something that isn’t so pleasant, something with a taint to it.
We will, nevertheless, have to wait and see what transpires. Half of me wishes for reconciliation and them getting down to sorting out Brexit and other significant domestic issues but the other half still has a good measure of disquiet about their commitment, understanding and skill to do the job properly. Nothing in the recent past has revealed any of these attributes (in fact, quite the opposite on many occasions) - and to me, that is probably the single biggest concern, the government’s lack of appreciation of the tasks before it and its desire to put party (and by association, careers) before country. If I could dispel that disquiet I would wish the blusterers well.
What will the EU make of all this tumult ? It’s reported that they are already having discussions with Labour Party representatives in anticipation of a government change in the UK - which, from their perspective we might see as their Plan B - but however this turns out the chances of getting a satisfactory exit deal with the EU looks now to be very slim indeed. Which suggests our own Plan B, a clean and total departure from the EU, should be being refined and made as good as it can get. This has not, by any measure, been an edifying episode in Britain’s governance and the opportunity for certain key individuals to make a significant step forward in our political scene and start to make that difference to our standing, our affairs and our future must surely still be an option. People of integrity, passion, drive, belief, skill, understanding and force of personality - in fact everything the current Conservative, Labour, LibDem and Scottish Nationalists don’t have - are what we need in government. Let’s not give up on that simple requirement, that essential part of good government.
In Trumpland the usual bizarre events in their government and their society continue. Why are we not surprised ? Prototypes of huge wall sections for el Trumpo himself to approve as the anticipated American barrier to Mexico, a reluctance not only of governance but of public opinion to in any way control the use of automatic weapons, withdrawals of birth-control choices for women, the chaos of repealing Obamacare, the tearing up of a nuclear agreement with Iran.....and so the list might go on. Just what is happening there seems Hollywood’esque to us, up there in lights but only fantasy, yet for Americans it is real. I somehow wonder, however, as to how many Americans actually see what is happening in their country and what they are prepared to do about it. Much the same could be said of us here in Britain, I suspect.
My final comment today returns to the story of Bombardier versus Boeing, an airliner saga. Not many days ago the US Commerce Department, presumably at the behest of Boeing, slapped a 219% import tariff on Bombardier aircraft (partly manufactured in the UK). They have now upped that figure to 299% to make sure that there is virtually no chance of any foreign airliner being imported into the US. It’s protectionism at its extreme, yet we know this of the Americans and should not be surprised by their inward looking and profit oriented interests. As with Brexit, we should encourage our aerospace businesses to look outside of the worlds defensive and protectionist spheres and support their bids in every free part of the world.